JERUSALEM, Israel (WTXF/AP) - President Donald Trump's brief visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial may prove to be the most explosive stop during a hypersensitive trip to Israel. While Trump touts his Jewish daughter and his strong support for Israel, he has suffered a series of missteps on Jewish issues and appeared cavalier at times about the Holocaust.
Wearing a skullcap, Trump took part in a brief ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance and paid his respects to the 6 million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators.
Trump rekindled the eternal flame, and he and first lady Melania Trump laid a wreath of red and white flowers upon a stone slab. The slab sits atop an area of the museum where ashes of Holocaust victims from the extermination camps are buried. Both then observed a moment of silence.
Trump was also accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, and daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, an orthodox Jew.
President Trump says Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust memorial, is a testament to the "unbreakable spirit" of the Jewish people.
Speaking after a brief ceremony at the site, Trump says words can never describe the "bottomless depths" of the evil that led to the killing of 6 million Jews by the Nazis during World War II. Trump calls the period "history's darkest hour" and says the only way to "prevent this agony from repeating" is to never "be silent in the face of evil."
Trump says the Holocaust was the most savage crime against God and his children.
He says everyone has a solemn duty to remember, mourn, grieve and honor every life that was extinguished during the Holocaust.
Nearly all foreign leaders make a pilgrimage to Yad Vashem's vast complex in Jerusalem during official trips to Israel and most visits typically last about an hour and a half and include a tour of the museum. Previous American presidents have had lengthy, emotional visits.
But Trump's team has allotted no longer than 30 minutes to Yad Vashem, citing the busy schedule of his 27-hour stay in Israel.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev is expected to present Trump with a gift: an exact replica of the original Holocaust-era personal album that belonged to Ester Goldstein, who was murdered during the Holocaust at the age of 16. Ester's sister Margot Herschenbaum, the sole survivor of her immediate family, will be there to meet Trump.