Binyamin Netanyahu at Yad Vashem
Binyamin Netanyahu at Yad VashemUri Lenz/Israel Hayom/POOL/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem on Tuesday, marking International Holocaust Memorial Day and the liberation of Auschwitz.

"My responsibility as Prime Minister of Israel is to ensure that the State of Israel will never again be threatened with destruction," began Netanyahu. "My responsibility is to see to it that there will not be a reason to build additional memorial sites such as Yad Vashem."

Turning to the threat of nuclear annihilation from the Islamic regime in Iran, Netanyahu said "the pending agreement with Iran is an agreement that endangers the State of Israel. It leaves Iran with the capabilities that will allow it to arm itself with nuclear weapons, one bomb at first and afterwards many atomic bombs."

"Even those who try to challenge us within our borders will discover that we are ready to respond with force. Israel views with utmost gravity the attack against it from Syrian territory. Those who play with fire will get burned," he warned.

Seventy years from Auschwitz, Netanyahu stated "preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever before. We live in an age of resurgent and violent anti-Semitism, and commemorations like this ceremony remind us where humanity's oldest and most enduring hatred can lead."

"Hatred of the Jews...has now returned in full force," emphasized the prime minister. "Around the world, Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear. But it’s not just the Jewish people that is being slandered, vilified and targeted. It’s the Jewish state as well."

Netanyahu noted that Hamas's very charter calls for the genocide of Jews and the destruction of the Jewish state, portraying Israel "as the embodiment of all evil in the world" as was done by anti-Semites against individual Jews before the foundation of the modern Jewish state.

"And what do the so-called ‘enlightened’ organs of the international community do in response?" asked the prime minister. Answering his own question, he listed the various atrocities being committed in the Middle East, and noted that the Geneva Convention members, UN Human Rights Council and International Criminal Court (ICC) meet precisely to condemn Israel.

"No rational examination of the facts could justify this assault on Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, the most beleaguered democracy on earth," he said. "This obsession with the Jewish people and their state has a name. It's called anti-Semitism."

"We will defend ourselves against Iran"

While the hatred of Jews may not have changed, "the Jews have changed," said Netanyahu. "We are no longer a stateless people endlessly searching for a safe haven. ...Today we are an independent and sovereign people in our ancestral homeland."

Netanyahu went on to emphasize that while "the Jewish people will defend itself by itself against any threat," it is appreciative of support from friends around the world, particularly from the United States, "our great ally."

But after mentioning the dangers of Iran, he reiterated "it is the Government of Israel that holds the ultimate responsibility for the security of the one and only Jewish state. ...Israel will reject any agreement that leaves Iran as a nuclear threshold state. Regrettably, our understanding is that the offer made by the P5+1 (world powers - etc.) does exactly that."

Not only would such an agreement threaten Israel with a nuclear-armed foe bent on its destruction, but it "is sure to spark a nuclear arms race in the region that would turn the Middle East into a nuclear tinderbox," he added.

"On this day of Holocaust remembrance, I pledge to you what we could neither say nor do 70 years ago," concluded Netanyahu. "Israel will always do what needs to be done to ensure the security of the Jewish people and the one and only Jewish state. That is the significance of this day."