Netanyahu, marking Holocaust remembrance, says Trump will help world recognize Iran threat


(JTA) — Iran poses the greatest danger to the Jews, and President Donald Trump will help make the world aware of the threat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said in remarks marking Holocaust remembrance.

Netanyahu, speaking Thursday at the commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, also noted the rise of anti-Semitism in the West.

“Anti-Semitism, which is the world’s oldest hatred, is experiencing a revival in the enlightened West, you can see this in European capitals, just unbelievable,” he said. “The rise of anti-Semitism, the resurgence of anti-Semitism that is happening, few would have imagined that this would be possible a few years ago.”

He added that European governments have behaved responsibly, directly addressing the increase in anti-Semitic acts.

“Yet as disturbing as this is, the greatest danger that we face, of the hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish state, comes from the East,” he said. “It comes from Iran. It comes from the ayatollah regime that is fanning these flames and calling outright for the destruction of the Jewish state.”

Netanyahu said there was a “deafening silence” worldwide to the threat Iran poses to Israel.

“I believe it will change,” Netanyahu said. “Because I spoke a few days ago to President Trump and he spoke about the Iranian aggression. He spoke about Iran’s commitment to destroy Israel. He spoke about the nature of this nuclear agreement and the danger it poses. We spoke about it together.”

Netanyahu, who has effusively praised the new president, is due to meet Trump in Washington next month. The Israeli leader differed sharply with Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, over Israel’s settlement building but more keenly over the Iran nuclear deal.

The deal, reached in 2015 between Iran and six major powers, rolls back Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Obama argued that the deal would stem the likelihood of Iran gaining a nuclear weapon, while Netanyahu insisted it would facilitate the acquisition of a weapon.

Trump has said the deal is a bad one, but has yet to make clear whether he plans to abandon it.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945, was recognized by the United Nations in 2008. It routinely is marked on Jan. 27; Israel marked it a day early this year because of limited time on Shabbat eve.

Recommended from JTA