The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Israel:
'We join tonight President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu and survivors at Yad Vashem for the opening ceremony of Yom Ha'Shoah, Israel's Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day. We bow our heads, remembering with heavy hearts the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis in the darkest days of European history. As we hear the closing words of the El Maleh Rahamim prayer tonight – "may they repose in peace in their resting places" – we reaffirm our duty and responsibility never to forget.
'This year's ceremonies are linked to the marking of Israel's 70 years of independence under the theme, "70 Years of Remembering and Building: Holocaust Survivors and the State of Israel."
'The memory of the Holocaust has not only been shaped by the horrific suffering of the Jewish people, but also by the remarkable story of the State of Israel. The Holocaust survivors who are still among us are a living memorial both to the horrors of the Shoah but also to their perseverance, creativity and endeavour in developing the state which welcomed them from across war-torn Europe. They overcame an experience of unimaginable horror, choosing life over despair, and shaped the successes of which Israel is proud today.
'We reiterate our duty and responsibility to fight those who deny that these atrocities ever happened. We stand together to combat antisemitism, which continues to undermine the security of our Jewish citizens and threatens the very core of our values. The European Union is committed to fight unremittingly against all forms of antisemitism and to never allow the darkest chapter of our history to repeat itself.'