IDF soldiers stand at attention in front of the graves of IDF soldiers buried at Mt. Herzl, Israel’s national military cemetery. (Photo: IDF)
Those who are familiar with Israeli holidays know that this week marks the most intense week of holidays in the State of Israel – and no – it’s not the Jewish High Holidays yet. In the span of just one week, the country memorializes Holocaust survivors and victims, fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, all followed by the jubilant Israeli Independence Day.
This year, each of the holidays carries a different weight in the context of the past week’s violence.
Last Thursday, the world said “Never Again” to the indiscriminate murder of 6 million Jews. And yet, the people of Israel are once again under attack – this time ahead of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Day of Remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terror.
Since Saturday morning, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists have launched 700 rockets into southern and central Israel, killing four Israelis and leaving numerous injured. Bomb shelters have been opened across Israel and the IDF has responded with hundreds of forceful, targeted attacks against Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
Although a ceasefire seemed to be reached by Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned that the “Gaza campaign is not over” and “We are preparing to continue.” A spokesperson for Hamas similarly said, in response to the prime minister’s statement, that although the recent flare-up in violence had come to an end, the wider conflict would continue.
On Tuesday until Wednesday evening, May 7-8, marks Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Day of Remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terror. In the context of the recent rocket attacks – attacks on the very Israeli sovereignty that IDF soldiers fight for day in and day out, this Yom HaZikaron will be even more meaningful.
“The recent violence has highlighted the great significance and burden that IDF soldiers must carry on their shoulders,” said Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of the official welfare fund of the IDF, LIBI USA.
“This Yom HaZikaron, we will have in mind the latest four victims of Hamas terror: Moshe Agadi, Moshe Feder, Ziad Alhamamda and Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, who were all tragically killed in week’s rocket attacks,” said Grossman. “We pray for their families, and for the complete and quick recovery of those injured.”
Following the day of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s sadness will turn to joy, as Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, begins.
“The symbolism of this transition is clear,” noted Grossman. “The soldiers who have given their lives for the State of Israel have allowed for Israeli independence and sovereignty. We understand the great cost of living in the Jewish homeland. Therefore, as much as we celebrate, we must thank and support soldiers who continue to ensure the survival of Israel.”
Grossman posed that “Israel and the IDF have every right to defend itself against the nonstop terrorism on its borders,” adding, “As we memorialized Yom HaShoah, we know exactly what is at stake. No other country would accept constant rockets targeting civilian populations and neither should Israel.”
As IDF soldiers continue to protect Israel and the Jewish people by defending the borders and deterring rocket fire, LIBI USA continues to provide Israel’s soldiers with support, education and assistance to help ease the burden of their service.
“As the week of holidays commence in Israel,” Grossman concluded, “we remember that our freedoms today are inextricably tied with the blood of our ancestors before us, as well as our soldiers who have given their lives to Israel. And finally, we hope that peace will come before the week of holidays next year.”
Netanyahu’s support for the settlement enterprise, is believed to have been reigned by former democratic US president Barack Obama who was in office from January 2009 to January 2017.
A man photographs a woman as she stands next to a mural depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and Is
Spending on West Bank settlements spiked by 39% in 2017, the first year US President Donald Trump was in office, the left-wing group Peace Now reported on Tuesday.
Weekend work permits for Eurovision complicate Netanyahu’s coalition bargaining with ultra-Orthodox parties
Israeli singer and past Eurovision winner Dana International at the Orange Carpet event in Tel Aviv, May 13, 2019.
Israeli singer and past Eurovision winner Dana International at the Orange Carpet event in Tel Aviv, May 13, 2019.Tomer Appelbaum
Seeking to quell ultra-Orthodox anger over holding the Eurovision Song Contest’s final in Tel Aviv on Saturday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday it was an “individual international event” not sponsored by the state, and that the government doesn’t want to violate the Sabbath.
French Holocaust denier Alain Soral. Photo: Egalite et Réconciliation.
The mayor of one of southern France’s most picturesque towns expressed fury on Tuesday after learning that a group of right-wing activists and conspiracy theorists — including convicted Holocaust denier Alain Soral — were planning to hold a “summer school” there at the end of August.
“I say it clearly, Soral is not welcome here,” Alexandre Reynal — mayor of the town of Amelie-les-Bain in the spectacular Pyrénées-Orientales region — told a local news outlet on Tuesday.
I urge all visitors to join me in a conspiracy to violate the UN Security Council Resolution…Obama, himself, engineered the Resolution. He pushed it through the Security Council despite some reservations by other members, including Egypt, which believed that the Resolution itself could become a barrier to a negotiated two-state solution. After all, if Israel’s control over Judaism’s holiest site is deemed illegal, then Israel would have to negotiate its legality with the Palestinians.
The ruling Law and Justice Party views Poland as a victim of World War II, and that therefore Poland should not be required to pay damages to other victims.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reacts after receiving his nomination during a government s
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reacts after receiving his nomination during a government swearing-in ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, December 11, 2017..
Only three-quarters of a century after Der Stürmer incentivized the mass murder of Jews by dehumanizing them, we see a revival of such bigoted caricatures.
I do not believe in free speech for me, but not for thee. But I do believe in condemning those who hide behind the First Amendment to express anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, sexist or racist views.
One of the most influential newspapers in the world, the Jewish-owned New York Times decided to present the Jews with a gift in honor of the last day of Passover – a major Jewish holiday – an antisemitic caricature. The controversial cartoon shows US President Donald Trump as a blind man with a skullcap on his head, being led by a dog that looks like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And to make sure the reader knows it is indeed the Israeli premier, the dog has a Star of David dangling from its collar.
Last week, Jared Kushner, one of the administration’s point men on the Middle East, dispensed with the term “two-state solution” in its impending peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians. “The two-state solution has failed,” he said.
The “two-state solution” does not appear in the 1993 Oslo Accords, which called only for “interim self-government” for the Palestinians. The goal was a negotiated final status agreement, in which independence was not specified.
Religious fervor always picks up before the Jewish holidays. Not surprisingly, Israeli undercover police arrested Jewish activists from the Hozrim L’Har (Returning to the Mount) organization early Friday afternoon, just before the onset of the Passover holiday, after an apparent attempt to bring a young goat on to the Temple Mount for a self-proclaimed sacrificial rite. Indeed, this drama plays itself out every year, but according to Jerusalem police, this year a record of at least twelve members of the organization were arrested throughout the course of the day on counts of disturbing the peace.
Every year when Passover eve arrives, I do my best not to think about that night; to allow the joy of cherished rituals meant to renew our family’s tribal history and faith envelop us in its warm glow as whoever among the kids and grandkids it’s our turn to host partake of the matzoh, bitter herbs, and wine. Often – actually most often – I succeed.