Israel News for April 24, 2017

Terror in TA
An 18 year old Palestinian terrorist from Nablus stabbed 3 men and 1 woman at the Herod’s Hotel on Tel Aviv’s seaside promenade yesterday. The terrorist was overpowered by hotel staff and police.

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai has frozen all daily permits to enter Israel after investigators found that the terrorist had a similar permit. All permits will remain frozen and no new permits will be given until further notice.

This morning a 41 year old Palestinian mother of nine stabbed a female soldier in the shoulder at the Qalandya checkpoint near Jerusalem. The woman was arrested and under questioning revealed that she was attempting to commit suicide because of a domestic dispute. The female soldier was only lightly wounded.

To view security footage of the TA attack click here.

Chinese Workers
Israel and China have signed an agreement to allow 6,000 Chinese construction workers into Israel. However, reports say that the workers will be prohibited from working in areas considered to be across the “Green Line” (West Bank). The Israeli government is hoping that the workers will help alleviate the housing shortage in the country by facilitating more and quicker construction.

China considers Judea and Samaria to be occupied territories. But, business is business.

For further reading click here.

Holocaust Commemoration
Last night, Israel ushered in the beginning of the annual Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day with a state ceremony at Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Ghetto Square on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem.

The ceremony, the theme of which was “Restoring Their Identities: The Fate of the Individual During the Holocaust,” was attended by the president, prime minister, speaker of the Knesset and deputy president of the Supreme Court. Some 2,500 Holocaust survivors also attended, along with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, members of the Diplomatic Corps and IDF soldiers.
President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev spoke at the ceremony. Esther Miron, a Holocaust survivor, spoke on behalf of the survivors. Six survivors lit torches commemorating the six million. The Chief Rabbis recited psalms and kaddish.

In his address PM Netanyahu said, “We have to be able to defend ourselves on our own against any threat against any enemy. From a helpless people, we have turned into a robust nation. From a defenseless nation, we have turned into a powerful country that can defend itself with one of the strongest armies.”

Netanyahu also cited newly released documents from the United Nations showing that the Allies were aware of the Nazis’ systematic extermination of the Jews at least two years earlier than previously known, and that if they had acted on that information at the time could have saved some 4 million of the Jewish Holocaust victims.

He said, “If the powers in 1942 had acted against the death camps — and all that was needed was repeated bombing of the camps — had they acted then, they could have saved 4 million Jews and millions of other people. When terrible crimes were being committed against the Jews, when our brothers and sisters were being sent to the furnaces, the powers knew and they did not act.”

In a video message to the World Jewish Congress, US President Trump said, “On Yom HaShoah, we look back at the darkest chapter of human history. We mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge: Never again. I say it, never again.”

He continued, “The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror, and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.”

Trump also said, “Today, only decades removed from the Holocaust, we see a great nation risen from the desert and we see a proud Star of David waving above the State of Israel. That star is a symbol of Jewish perseverance. It’s a monument to unyielding strength. We recall the famous words attributed to Theodor Herzl: If you will it, it is no dream. If you will it, it is no dream.”

“We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found. We must defeat terrorism, and we must not ignore the threats of a regime that talks openly of Israel’s destruction. We cannot let that ever even be thought of. To all of you tonight, who have come from around the world, let it be known, America stands strong with the State of Israel.”

At 10am this morning a two minute ling siren was sounded throughout the Israel, and people froze in place silently. All traffic came to a halt as people stopped and exited their vehicles for the moments of silence.

Remembrance ceremonies will be held at different locations throughout the day.

For further reading click here.

Survivor Stories
The stories of the the six survivors who lit the torches at the official Yad Vashem ceremony last night are displayed on the Yad Vashem website along with a video of each one.

To watch the videos and read their stories, click here.

How We Remember
In Israel it is almost impossible to not remember and reflect upon the horrors and tragedy of the Holocaust. Especially on this day of remembrance, the Holocaust permeates every aspect of Israel’s existence. But for those living in the US, it takes effort to remember. Even if you try, the sheer numbers — 6 million — are simply overwhelming. How can anyone possible even begin to try to understand the suffering, brutality and horror inflicted upon millions of Jewish men, women and children in homes, schools, hospitals, on streets, in forests and in ghettos and concentration and death camps? It’s impossible.

The only way to attempt this awesome task is to start with individuals. The Holocaust destroyed ordinary individuals — the kind of people you see in your own family and community.

Think of the accomplished woman dressed in her finest business suit (is it you or someone you love?) being marched to her gassing. Imaging the accountant, professor, musician, storekeeper, carpenter or plumber being suddenly torn from their daily routine, herded into a forest and gunned down into a mass grave.

The sun shone, the birds sang and the local gentile population looked on (for the most part) as the Jewish populations of entire towns (like Teaneck, Lakewood, Monsey, Houston, San Diego etc.) were hunted down, collected in a central square and then forced onto trains heading to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, etc.

Distinguished rabbinic sages with long white beards and young yeshiva students immersed in Torah study alongside secular university students and communist activists went to their deaths with dignity and shared their final resting places in mass graves or ash piles.

If you’re willing to go one step further into a place that is almost too painful to even consider [if you can’t then please stop reading here]— take a look at your own young children or grandchildren (or nieces and nephews) and imagine those pure and innocent souls marching to their deaths — and imagine yourself helpless to do anything to help other than watch them…

Now you can begin, in the tiniest sense, to fathom the Holocaust, remember the tragedy and strive to ensure that it never happens again.

May the souls of the millions that perished in the Holocaust be elevated and may they finally find some form of rest knowing that the Jewish nation can now live securely in the homeland they prayed and yearned for.