JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran is preparing for another Holocaust — the destruction of Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
At the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu said that Iran is the leader in spreading Holocaust denial, both from the United Nations and other platforms, while it prepares to destroy "the state of the Jews."
"They are not halting their relentless and systematic race to achieve a nuclear weapons capability in order to realize this intention," he said. "We do not make light of these threats and we will prevent them. This is our primary mission as a government and as a people."
Netanyahu said anti-Semitism has not disappeared, "and to our regret, neither has the desire to destroy a considerable part of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. They exist and they are strong."
What’s different now, the Israeli leader said, is that Jews have the ability to defend themselves.
“Nobody will defend the Jews if they are not ready to defend themselves; this is another lesson of the Holocaust," Netanyahu said.
Also Sunday, Israel’s Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom confirmed that Israel could launch a military strike on Syria if it appears that Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas or Syrian rebels have taken possession of Syrian chemical weapons.
Shalom confirmed to Army Radio that Netanyahu met last week on Election Day with the country’s security chiefs to discuss the situation in Syria.