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The President tours Holocaust Museum: Elie Wiesel challenges Obama over Iran, Syria

President Obama toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., accompanied by Elie Wiesel.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Accompanied by author Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, President Obama toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 23, a few days after Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The two men began their tour in the Hall of Flags, featuring an homage to Jewish resistance including the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Auschwitz Revolt, and ended it in the Hall of Remembrance, where they each lit a candle and observed a moment of silence. The President, whose great-uncle helped liberate Buchenwald at the end of World War II, then placed a candle in front of the section of the wall dedicated to that concentration camp.
Following the tour, the President delivered remarks to an audience that included survivors,  Jewish community leaders and other groups focused on preventing atrocities. He was introduced
by Wiesel, who admonished world leaders for not having “learned anything” from the failure to prevent the Holocaust.
“How is it that Assad is still in power? said Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. “How is it that the Holocaust’s number one denier, Ahmadinejad, is still a president? He who threatens to use nuclear weapons – to use nuclear weapons – to destroy the Jewish state. Have we not learned? We must.  We must know that when evil has power, it is almost too late.”
“Mr President, we are here in this place of memory,” he said in conclusion. “Israel cannot not remember. And because it remembers it must be strong, just to defend its own survival and its own destiny.”
In his remarks, the President reiterated his support for Israel.
“I said I would always be there for Israel,” he said, enumerating the steps his administration has taken to isolate Iran and to prevent atrocities in Sudan, Libya, Uganda and the Ivory Coast. He also pledged to continue working with allies to bring about “the end of the Assad regime.”
But he stopped short of committing the U.S. to military action.  Preventing atrocities, he said, “does not mean we intervene militarily every time there is an injustice in the world.”

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