U.S. President Barack Obama visits the grave of Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on March 22, 2013. (Xinhua/GPO/Mark Neyman)
JERUSALEM, March 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday morning visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
"The state of Israel does not exist because of the Holocaust, but with the survival of a strong Jewish state of Israel, such a holocaust will never happen again,'' Obama, wearing a white skullcap, said after touring the Hall of Names, a memorial to the 6 million Jews murdered in Nazi extermination camps in World War II.
"We learn here that people have a choice to succumb to evil or to act against it," the U.S. president added.
Obama began his third and final day in Israel with a visit to Jerusalem's Mount Herzl cemetery, where he laid wreaths at the graves of Theodor Herzl, the visionary of the Jewish state, and Yitzhak Rabin, the prime minister who was assassinated in 1995 at the height of a controversial peace process with the Palestinians.
"Sometimes it is harder to embark on peace than to embark on war," Rabin's daughter, Dalia, quoted Obama as saying at her father's grave.
Later in the day, Obama was planned to visit the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem and hold a final meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will then depart Israel to Amman for a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II.
According to Israeli government officials, due to a severe sandstorm hitting the country, the departure ceremony for Obama was cancelled and he had to go to Bethlehem by his presidential limousine instead of going there by a U.S. marine helicopter.
JERUSALEM, March 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama called on the Israeli government Thursday to stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, saying continued settlement activity is "counterproductive" to peace.
Obama, who is in Israel on a three-day visit, was delivering a keynote speech to Israeli students which was nationally televised. Full story
JERUSALEM, March 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama urged Israel's young generation to push for ending a decades-long conflict with the Palestinians, assuring the Israeli public that it has the unshakeable U.S. support for making the sweeping changes required to forge a lasting peace.
"Look to a future in which Jews, Muslims and Christians can all live in peace and greater prosperity in this Holy Land," Obama told a crowd of university students in Jerusalem Thursday evening, in a keynote speech culminating his visit to Israel. Full story