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.”
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.