Sun. Apr 7, 2013 Israel News

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  • Israel observes Holocaust Martyr’s and Heroes’ Remembrance Day
  • IDF Chief Benny Gantz to lead March of the Living
  • Anti-Israel hackers try to “erase Israel from the internet”

Israel commemorated Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day beginning on Sunday evening. 192,000 Holocaust survivors currently live in Israel; half of them are over 80.                                                               IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, himself the son of Holocaust survivors, arrived in Poland where on Monday he will head the annual March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau. Gantz was accompanied on a tour of the Auschwitz death camp by IDF soldiers and veterans as well as Holocaust survivors.

Israel's main Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony took place on Sunday evening at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. This year's theme was the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chief rabbis, Holocaust survivors and righteous Gentiles attended the ceremony, as did former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. President Peres warned that anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial have not left the world, noting that Iran's leader both denies the Holocaust and threatens a new one. Prime Minister Netanyahu said the ability of Jews to defend themselves led to the creation of the State of Israel, where for the first time, over six million Jews live. Netanyahu warned that today Iran poses an existential threat to Israel – and vowed that Israel will never allow another Holocaust to occur. Six Holocaust survivors lit torches to symbolize the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday announced measures to increase financial aid to Holocaust survivors. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated the government's promise at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Hackers from the Anonymous group launched cyber-warfare against Israel on Sunday, after the pro-Palestinian group threatened to "erase Israel from the internet." Anti-Israel hackers attempted to shut down hundreds of Israeli websites. Despite disruption to several government websites, no major damage was inflicted by the cyber-attacks. Pro-Israel hackers fought back by hacking into Anonymous' "OpIsrael" website.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel on Sunday night to attempt to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On Sunday evening Kerry met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. On Monday he will attend Holocaust remembrance events, and meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tsipi Livni. On Sunday morning Kerry was in Istanbul, where he urged Turkey and Israel to rehabilitate the damaged relations between the two countries.

The past year has seen a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents throughout the world. 686 anti-Semitic incidents occurred in 2012, 30% more than in 2011. The highest number of incidents, 200, took place in France.


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