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Israeli PM heads to Poland for emotional Auschwitz visit

Last Updated: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 10:22

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Poland for a highly emotional visit to the Auschwitz death camp after he warned of a sharp rise in anti-Semitism across the world.
A ceremony on Wednesday will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi camp where some 1.1 billion Jews perished between June 1940 and January 1945.

Netanyahu will be accompanied by a delegation of Israeli MPs and Holocaust survivors.

The visit was set to be a particularly emotionally charged for the hardline Premier, whose wife`s father was the only member of his family to survive the Nazi Holocaust in which some six million Jews were murdered.

"This will be a very emotional visit. No Jew can go to such a venue without having the weight of history and memory on his shoulders," the Premier`s spokesman Mark Regev said.

The son of a prominent, nationalist historian, Netanyahu views the Jewish state as the "shield" against the growing expressions of Holocaust denial in recent years, mainly by Iran and its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"We will not allow Holocaust deniers to carry out another Jewish Holocaust. This is the supreme commitment of the state of Israel, and it is my supreme commitment as prime minister of Israel," he said in speech in parliament last year.

"The state of Israel is the shield. It is the comfort and hope of the Jewish people."


First Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 10:22

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