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As Israel marked Holocaust Day with two minutes of silence and memorial ceremonies, and the United Nations-sponsored Durban II conference called on the world to combat intolerance, former chief rabbi Yisrael Lau yesterday invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

Lau said that the invitation is intended so that Ahmadinejad can see for himself proof of the Nazi's deliberate murder of 6 million Jews. "Under the international umbrella of the United Nations, the president of Iran appeared dripping with hatred toward the Jewish people," Lau, a Holocaust survivor, told delegates to the March of the Living at the Auschwitz-Birekenau death camp in Poland.

On Monday, Ahmadinejad delivered a speech condemning Israel at the Durban II racism conference, and accused the West of using the Holocaust as a pretext for aggression against Palestinians.