Israel marks Holocaust remembrance day with somber ceremony

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People visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, April 23, 2017.

President Reuven Rivlin opened the ceremony by saying that the Holocaust cannot be universalized but it also can not be the only lens through which we view the rest of the world.

"We believe that events such as these are a declaration to the younger generations that we should never forget the Holocaust and should never be silent when hatred and bitterness are expressed against human kind by human kind". It downplays the Shoah.

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"This approach is risky to us both internally, and also unsafe externally".

"Voices are being raised more and more and in many places around the world so that the past mistakes will not be repeated".

"But there is also a third approach, an approach that we can trust and that stands ready", the president continued. She said these individuals were chosen for ways in which they were helping to carry out the lessons of notable Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel who passed away previous year.

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"Man is beloved, every man, created in God's image. Nazi ideology cast the world as a racial struggle, and the singular focus on the total destruction of every Jewish person was at its racist core", the Museum wrote in its statement.

Citing recently released United Nations documents that show the Allies were aware of the scale of the Holocaust in 1942, some two years earlier than previously assumed, Netanyahu said this new research assumed "a bad significance".

In his address, Netanyahu said the lives of at least 4 million Jews could have been saved if the allied powers had bombed Nazi death camps in 1942.

In a bleak and bitter address, the Israeli prime minister said that the Holocaust was enabled by three factors: the vast hatred of the Jews, global indifference to the horrors, and "the bad weakness of our people in the Diaspora".

There were six candle lighters to represent the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust at the event.

More than 213,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel today, many of them below the poverty line, according to survivors' groups. Last summer, a spokesperson for the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany told Time magazine that there were just 100,000 survivors left worldwide, down from 500,000 just two years earlier.

Top Israeli officials will mark Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) on Sunday evening with a memorial ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem at 8 PM.