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Israel and US comparing Iran to the Nazis

At Auschwitz on a Holocaust Memorial Event on Thursday, a group of world, Muslim and Jewish leaders paid a joint “historic” visit to honor the victims of the death camp.

Netanyahu told leaders and some 100 Holocaust survivors that while for many “Auschwitz is the ultimate symbol of evil… it is also the ultimate symbol of Jewish powerlessness.”

The main lesson of the Holocaust, he added, was that “Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our state, defend our people, and defend the Jewish future”.

“I call on all governments to join the vital effort of confronting Iran,” he added.

Israel fiercely opposed a 2015 deal between Iran and world powers that offered Tehran sanctions relief in return for curbs to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, and applauded when US President Donald Trump in 2018 pulled out of the accord.

Israel and the United States called for action against Iran, comparing it to the threat once posed by Nazi Germany, as world leaders marked 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.

On the other hand, Tehran denies it is trying to produce a nuclear bomb and rejects accusations of Antisemitism, insisting that while it opposes the Jewish state and supports the Palestinian cause, it has no problem with Jewish people, including its own Jewish minority.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has promoted Russia as a global power-broker, proposed a 2020 summit of those countries’ leaders to “defend peace” in the face of global instability.

Putin told the meeting that the victors of World War II, which became the five permanent UN Security Council members, “hold a special responsibility to save civilization”.

It was Russia’s Red Army that liberated Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, but the Jerusalem gathering has aggravated a heated debate between Moscow and Warsaw over wartime history.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda stayed away after being denied an opportunity to address the event, organised by Moshe Kantor, a billionaire close to the Kremlin.

French President Emmanuel Macron told the Jerusalem gathering that “no one has the right to invoke their dead to justify division or contemporary hatred”.

Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he bowed “in deepest sorrow” at the memory of “the industrial mass murder of six million Jews, the worst crime in the history of humanity … committed by my countrymen”.

Referring to extremism and intolerance in Germany and elsewhere today, he said: “Of course, our age is a different age. The words are not the same. The perpetrators are not the same. But it is the same evil.”