Cars stopped in their tracks and millions of Israelis stood in an annual tribute to the dead.

The eerie wail of air raid sirens brought bustling Israel to a halt on Monday, marking two minutes of silence in memory of the 6 million Jews who perished during the Nazi Holocaust.

Cars stopped in their tracks and millions of Israelis stood in an annual tribute to the dead.

In keeping with tradition, the media carried sombre music and numerous tales from the rapidly dwindling number of Holocaust survivors, including 200,000 aged Israelis. But the melancholy nature of the day was leavened by news that U.S. forces had killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden just hours before.

“This successful operation sends the important message that terror and evil will find no permanent shelter and will eventually be destroyed, just as the Nazis decades before,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in a statement.

The Holocaust ended in 1945 with the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany, but the Nazis’ ability to exterminate a third of the Jewish people remains a strong undercurrent in Israeli politics and society.

At a ceremony on Sunday night at the start of the sunset—to—sunset commemoration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew a parallel between the Nazis who sought to exterminate the Jewish people and Iran’s talk of Israel’s destruction.

The most important lesson of the Holocaust for the Jewish people is, “if someone threatens to destroy us, we must not ignore their threats,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

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