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.

rabbi murdered in jerusalem

Israel News for October 13, 2015

< back to sign up

Breaking News
A Total of 3 Israelis were killed and 24 wounded in 4 terror attacks today.

In Jerusalem two terrorists boarded the number 78 bus in Armon Hanetziv, shooting and stabbing. Two Israelis were killed and 16 wounded. Police shot and killed one of the terrorists and injured the other.

Also in Jerusalem, an Arab employee of Bezeq (Israeli phone company) rammed his Bezeq vehicle into a crowd of people at a bus stop on Malchei Yisrael street. He then got out of his car and stabbed people. One Israeli man was killed. Three more Israelis were injured.The terrorist was killed by police. He was related to the terrorists who attacked the shul in Har Nof last year.

In Raanana a resident of East Jerusalem stabbed a man before being subdued by people at the scene. Later, another East Jerusalem resident stabbed four Israelis. People chased down the terrorist and subdued him until police arrived.

These stories are still unfolding.

Terror Youth
There were four terrorist attacks in Jerusalem yesterday.

At around 8:30pm a Palestinian, screaming Allah Ahkbar, tried to grab a soldier’s gun on a bus. When he failed he stabbed the soldier in the head. A border policeman who was also on the bus tried to stop the terrorist and was also stabbed. A passerby with a pair of nunchucks noticed the commotion, hopped on the bus and hit the terrorist. Then police officers boarded the bus. There was a struggle. They shot and killed him.

Earlier in the day two Palestinians stabbed a 21 year old man and a 13 year old boy who was riding his bike, in the Pisgat Zeev neighborhood of Jerusalem. The terrorists were 15 and 13 years of age, from East Jerusalem. One was run down by a car and injured. The other was shot to death by border police when he refused to drop his knife. The Israeli victims are in serious condition.

Shortly before that, on Ammunition Hill, a 16 year old girl from East Jerusalem stabbed a border policeman in the back. He then shot and wounded her.

In the morning, an 18 year old Palestinian stabbed a border policeman in his flak jacket at the Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist was shot and killed. The border policeman was not injured.

One of the striking and most disturbing common denominators of the recent terror spree is the young age of the terrorists. Almost all of them are teenagers, most attending high school. They seem to be getting their inspiration via social media, which is where they are usually posting warning signs of their impending attacks.

The real battle to stop these attacks might have to be fought in the classrooms and on Facebook and Twitter, to change their way of thinking before they have a chance to act on their impulses. Unfortunately, it might be too late for this generation of Palestinian youth. That leaves heightened security, intelligence and aggressive prevention as Israel’s only options — which in turn fuels Palestinian hatred. And so, round and round it goes — where (or how) it stops, nobody knows.

For further reading:

Guns for Terrorists
The nightmare scenario of Arab terrorists trading in their knives for automatic weapons could be getting closer to fruition.

A few days ago there was a burglary at Kibbutz Naot Mordechai in the Galilee. Six M16 assault rifles were stolen from the kibbutz armory. It’s unclear whether the robbers had nationalistic motives, but the threat of these and other weapons ending up in the hands of Arab terrorists is very real.

The money to be made from selling weapons is substantial. An M16 goes for 55,000 shekels on the black market, a handgun 25,000 and a grenade 2,500. A bullet for a handgun runs 8 shekels.

Special police units have been operating in Nazareth, Karmiel and Shafram for past four years to investigate and combat illegal arms in the Israeli Arab population. In that time period they have confiscated 133 handguns, 146 rifles and 186 grenades. And there’s a lot more where that came from.

Analysts believe that the weapons are primarily being used for criminal purposes and are unlikely to be used for terror. In fact, local Arab leaders are happy that the police is cracking down on illegal weapons and hope that it will help reduce crime in Arab areas.
But the possibility of these weapons getting into the hands of terrorists exists, and is scary as hell.

For further reading:

India Goes Both Ways
In a speech at the University of Jordan in Amman on Sunday, India’s president Pranab Mukherjee declared his support for both Israel and an independent Palestinian state. “India’s traditional support to the Palestinian cause remains steadfast and unwavering while we pursue strong relations with Israel.”

He also quoted a statement made by modern India’s founder Mahatma Ghandi in 1938 where he said, “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English and France to the French,” and that it would be “a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.”

Mukherjee is scheduled to visit Israel today for a three day visit. He will meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and opposition leader Isaac Herzog. He’ll visit Yad Vashem and the grave of Theodore Hertzl. He’ll also lay a wreath at the grave of former Palestinian Authority chair Yasser Arafat before meeting with current president Mahmoud Abbas.

In July, India abstained in a vote on a UN Human Rights Council resolution that backed a report critical of Israel’s behavior during last summer’s war in Gaza. That shocked the Palestinians and put a huge smile on the Israelis.

India is traditionally known for its lack of anti-semitism. They seem to earnestly want to be friends with both sides, and particularly reap the benefits of Israeli military and weapons technology. But they also have a population of over 130 million muslims to placate. Will they be able to be BFF’s with everyone? With all the Israelis trekking through India, they just might.

For further reading:

Salad Crisis
In a previous issue we reported that prices of tomatoes and cucumbers, the mainstay of Israeli salad, were going through the roof. One of the primary reasons for the veggie inflation was the severe summer heat wave. Well, the director general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Shlomo Ben-Eliyahu, told the Knesset Economics Committee yesterday that, “the shortage in tomatoes will continue until the beginning of December,” and that, “farmers can only produce about 50% of demand,” of fruits and vegetable in general.

What happened to all that amazing Israeli agro-technology that can turn sand dunes into Whole Foods suppliers? It could be that Israeli brains are focusing more on cyber security, biotech and other successful venture capital type startup ventures and less on the less sexy world of farming.

Could this be the end of Israeli salad for the masses who can’t afford to pay the price of a local tomato? Let’s pray for the health of Israeli salad. Without it, what would an Israeli breakfast (or lunch) be?

For further reading: