JERUSALEM, Israel – At Wednesday evening's ceremonies marking the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said no generation has the luxury of ignoring evil and aggressive regimes.
Netanyahu began his remarks by calling survivors of the Nazi genocide "heroes of spirit who came from the darkness to the light of new life in the State of Israel."
"The events of recent days teach us that facing evil and aggression is a mission that has to be done by each and every generation. No generation is exempt, no one can avoid it," he said. "Woe to the generation that evades it."
Netanyahu reiterated that Israel will not allow Iran to embed a military presence in Syria. At the same time, he said to the Iranian people, "Israel is not your enemy." It's the Iranian regime that's oppressing you.
Our Voices Were Not Heard
"In the Holocaust we were defenseless, with no shield or voice," he continued. "In truth our voices were not heard at all. Today we have a strong country, a strong army, and our voice is heard throughout the nations."
He warned that evil not confronted spreads quickly, eventually threatening people everywhere.
Netanyahu cited the failure of the 1938 Munich Agreement between Great Britain and Nazi Germany, signed by then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Adolph Hitler, comparing it with the July 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.
"They wanted to prevent a war, but their concessions only fanned it, made the damage much worse and brought about the occupation of all Europe and the eventual deaths of 60 million people, including six million Jews.
Signed in July 2015, the deal has not stopped Iranian threats to destroy the Jewish state, clearly showing it's not "worth the paper it's written on."
Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu held security briefings with senior Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot to talk about a potential US attack on Syria. The second most pressing issue, he said, is Iranian threats to retaliate for what's believed to have been an Israeli airstrike Monday against the T4 Airbase in Syria.