The State of Israel’s official ceremony of Yom Hashoah took place yesterday evening at Yad Vashem. President Reuven Rivlin took the floor and voiced concern over the growing anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States, “anti-Semitism is once again raising its head, fueled by waves of immigration, by economic crises, and by disillusionment with the political establishment.”

He also warned about the dangers of Israel siding with Europe’s far right-wing parties.

“Every country and society has the legitimate right and even the duty to choose its policy and to protect its identity. Not every right-wing party in Europe that believes in controlling immigration or in protecting its unique character is anti-Semitic or xenophobic. But political forces where anti-Semitism and racism are part of their language, their legacy or their ideology can never be our allies,”  Rivlin said.

After him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke and reminded everyone that ”today the situation of the Jewish people is radically different: the State of Israel is strong, will fight antisemitism and will not allow such horrors to breed”.

Netanyahu also put the hatred of Jews and the Jewish state on the same footing“we’re not talking about legitimate criticism of Israel,” he said, “but of systematic, poisonous and shallow hatred.”

”The extreme right, extreme left and radical Islam agree on one thing: their hatred of Jews.” he said.

Survivor Tsipora Granat took to the podium and gave her testimony of the Holocaust on behalf of all living survivors.

The ceremony closed with the lighting of six memorial candles followed by the traditional prayers of Yizkor, El Male Rahamim and Kaddish.