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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘IDF’

Memorial Day Speech by Former IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

“We will use any means to ensure that the Israeli society is based on equality, ethics and justice,” he said. “We must not lose our morals or our purity of arms, even during the most difficult times. No small number of soldiers and commanders have endangered their own lives, and even injured or killed for the sake of these values. This shows the legitimacy of our path.”

This is the same Mofaz who is directly responsible for the death of IDF soldier Madhat Yusuf as he bled to death defending Joseph’s tomb from “Palestinian security personnel” (terrorists in uniform whom we acknowledged with the Oslo perfidy, and with weapons we gave them) in October 2000.

Rather than risk the “peace” with our “peace partners,” Mofaz, then chief of staff, was there on the scene observing with his field glasses, as delirious Arab mobs assailed and desecrated our holy site and shot at our soldiers cowering inside.

Incredibly, Mofaz chose to put his faith in his “Palestinian counterpart” as he was assured that the attacks will end and the he will send an ambulance to help the wounded. The ambulance never arrived.

Our soldier bled to death – but the “peace process” survived!!

This is the ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ mind set that directs people like Mofaz; and our current deputy chief of staff who sees a parallel between Israel today and Nazi Germany of the 1930’s…

Of course, these self appointed bearers of the moral torch, were there as advocates of handing our land to our enemies at every opportunity, even , or especially, if it meant the mass expulsion of our people from their homes and destroying their lives. Morality demands

This Memorial Day we remember the 23,447 soldiers and victims of terror who gave their lives for us in our land. This ghastly number does not include the tens of thousands crippled in body or mind– or both. It does not count the thousands of devastated families who will never be the same.

On this day, I rather not hear from our “military leaders” who have lost the moral compass and rub salt into our wounds.

Perhaps we can better understand now why Israel has not won a war since 1973. (We fought five since then; three in Gaza in 2005 that we gave to Hamas and two in Lebanon that we gave to Hizbullah in 2000)

The chief of staff during the 2006 Second Lebanon war was , Dan Halutz. While sending men into battle he did not forget to take the time to sell his entire portfolio as he knew that war and stocks don’t go well together..Smart man . Great leader. Lost war. Lots of dead soldiers. Saved his portfolio.

One year before, to the day, Halutz very proudly presided over the very successful, well planned military campaign in Gaza – the one in which he expelled ten thousand Jews from their homes and handed it to Hamas..

On this Memorial Day, as we remember our true heroes, those 23,447  who put down their lives despite the blustering and warped moral compass of some of our generals, let us take solace in the fact that the people are indeed waking up.

No doubt, these blowhard “leaders” realize that their light is fading.

Servants of values not shared by the majority of Jews in Israel, the baton of leadership is slowly but surely changing hands.

May we be blessed with leaders who know the value of Jewish lives and Jewish land.

 

Shalom Pollack

Yom HaZikaron: Israel Remembers 23,477 Fallen & Victims of Terror

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

The State of Israel came to a standstill at 11 am Wednesday when a siren shrieked through the countryside, reminding the nation of the losses we’ve suffered this year and those past.

The siren also sounded after nightfall at the start of Israel’s Memorial Day to remember IDF soldiers who fell in the line of duty and Israeli citizens who died as victims of terror.

An Israeli policeman prays at the Western Wall as a group of other officers pose for a picture, before a Memorial Day ceremony held at Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City, May 10, 2016.

An Israeli policeman prays at the Western Wall as a group of other officers pose for a picture, before a Memorial Day ceremony held at Judaism’s holiest site in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 10, 2016.

Israel has lost 23,477 soldiers in wars since the time Jews first began to settle outside the ancient city of Jerusalem. The figure includes members of all of Israel’s defense forces: the IDF, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the Mossad, Israel Police, Israel Prisons Service, World War II Jewish Brigade and Israel Defense Forces soldiers who died of wounds suffered during combat. There were 59 such soldiers this year.

In Jerusalem a memorial ceremony to honor fallen soldiers began at Mount Herzl military cemetery with the sound of the siren. President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and other dignitaries attended the even in Jerusalem.

A similar event with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in attendance took place simultaneously in Tel Aviv at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul.

Israeli victims of terror are to be honored in another ceremony at 1 pm.

More than 1.5 million Israelis are expected to visit 52 military and other cemeteries through the State of Israel on this day.

At nightfall, the torch-lighting ceremony to signal the end of the sadness and the advent of joy will be held at 8 pm, launching the start of celebrations for Israel’s Independence Day.
Those attending the ceremonies can ride the Jerusalem Light Rail to reach Mount Herzl free of charge, up to the time of the event.

Hana Levi Julian

Update on IDF Officer Wounded in Hizmeh Bombings

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

The IDF officer wounded in the multiple-bombing attack near Hizmeh on Tuesday night continues to be serious condition.

As of Wednesday morning, the soldier is still undergoing surgery at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. He was wounded in the face and head from the explosions.

His life is not in danger.

A second soldier was lightly wounded in the leg from shrapnel from one of the bombs.

Four bombs blew up, and another 5 failed to detonate at the scene of the terror attack.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israel Mourns its Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

The national Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen commenced on Tuesday at 8 p.m. with a nationwide minute of silence, as sirens throughout the country marked the solemn moment and flags were lowered to half mast.

The official memorial ceremony was held at the foot of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City and was attended by Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin and the IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

The Kadish, a Jewish mourner’s prayer, was read by Ofer Cohen, bereaved father of 19-year-old Hadar Cohen, who was killed in a stabbing attack in February.

“A great nation cries over its fallen sons and daughters,” opened Rivlin. “We hate death, but we understand the heavy price you payed to protect a nation.”

“The soldiers and the commanders of the IDF stand united to defend the country, our unity is our strength,” Eizenkot said. “But unity does not mean agreement. Our commanders need to know that the entire country stands behind them and supports them even when there’s disagreement.”.

Memorial Day, or Yom Hazikaron, has been observed annually for 68 years, since the foundation of the State of Israel, and is symbolically marked the day before Israel’s Independence Day. In recent years the commemoration has been expanded to include the civilians who died as a result of political violence and terrorist attacks.

According to the Ministry of Defense, since 1860 the total number of fallen has reached 23,447 – including soldiers, policemen, civilians, and operatives of Israel’s security and intelligence bodies. The same data reveals that today there are 16,307 bereaved families in Israel.

The count starts at 1860, since it includes not only IDF soldiers, but also fallen fighters of Jewish security and defense organizations from the beginning of the Zionist movement. Organizations such as HaShomer, active during the time of the Ottoman Empire, and the Hagana, active during the British Mandate and up to the 1948 War of Independence, when the IDF was formed.

According to data from the Israeli National Insurance institute, 2,576 civilians have been killed during Israel’s wars and in terrorist attacks since the end of the 1948 War.

According to the IDF, 68 individuals have joined the list of Israel’s fallen in the past year alone. The Magen David Adom counts over 20 civilians killed in the recent wave of terrorism, which included 106 stabbing attacks, 25 car-rammings, 22 shootings, and one bombing of a public bus.

Eizenkot made a direct reference to the recent escalation in terrorism and its effect on the Israeli homefront, saying that “terrorism has raised its head again over the past year, and today both Israel’s security agencies and its civilians are forced to stand against it.”

Rivlin mentioned several victims of terror by name, including ”Hussein Ali, who will not attend his own wedding, and Hadar, the watcher on the walls of Jerusalem who was no more then a young girl when she was killed, and more.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

President Rivlin at Western Wall Memorial Day Ceremony: ‘We Must have Faith in the IDF’

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel’s Wars began Tuesday afternoon with a ceremony at the Yad LaBanim Memorial in Jerusalem, in honor of the 23,447 who have died in Israel’s wars since 1860. 2,576 Israeli civilians have perished in hostilities since 1948. Prime Minister Netanyahu opened the day saying, “The national reconciliation is born by our shared destiny, and there is no deeper and nobler expression of this shared destiny than this day.”

Hundreds, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, participated on Tuesday night in the ceremony in honor of Memorial Day and the lighting of the memorial candle at the Western Wall plaza. The ceremony commenced following a country-wide siren marking a minute of silence at 8 PM.

President Rivlin told the assembled at the Western Wall that “over the past year we didn’t get to be together much. We dug in, each in the righteousness of our path — we’ve had disagreements. Naturally they are hard and piercing and they have to do with the essence of our life here. But the IDF is not only everybody’s army, it is everybody. The cover of loss is over all of us with blood curdling accuracy — the same pain, the same longing, the same shared destiny. The red marks prick equally in Negba and in Tel Aviv, Kiryat Arba and Marar, Sderot, Jerusalem, Yeruham, and Shlomi. We have to remember: the IDF does not navigate the ship. The IDF is doing all it can, in the best and most professional possible way, to make sure the ship can navigate its own path safely and reach its destinations. Our faith in the IDF and its commanders is our faith in ourselves. It is our faith in our strength, in standing before our losses, your losses, in the righteousness of our way.”

Maj. Gen. Eizenkot said at the ceremony that the unity of the nation “is the foundation of the Israel Defense Forces, and it shapes it as the nation’s army, as a state army.” He added that the IDF commanders and soldiers must be certain “without the shadow of a doubt, that the entire nation supports them and stands behind them, even when there are disagreements. Unity does not necessarily mean agreement, but we mustn’t allow these gaps to damage the unity of our goal. The faith of the people in the IDF is crucial to the accomplishment of our task: protecting the state, securing its existence, and if needed — victory in war.”

At 9:15 PM, the Knesset held the event “Singing in their memory,” in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset Speaker, Minister of Defense, the Deputy Chief of Staff, and the chief of police.

On Wednesday morning a second, 2-minute siren will be sounded, at 11 AM, followed by the State Memorial Ceremony for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers at Mount Herzl, with the president, the prime minister and the chief of staff. At the same time many local ceremonies will be conducted in cemeteries throughout Israel, including the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, Tel Aviv, where Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will speak. On Wednesday evening there will be a ceremony of lighting torches on Mt. Herzl, which will mark the end of Memorial Day and the start of the 68th Independence Day festivities.

David Israel

‘Miriam’s Song’ Speaks to the Soul of the Nation of Israel About Loss

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The reviewer’s copy of Miriam’s Song has been floating around the house for days. It was passed from hand to hand during the holidays and scanned by family members over the Sabbath. Photos of national icon and author Miriam Peretz are scattered throughout the book: Miriam with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with President Reuven Rivlin … even in a hug with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Each time the promise was made to pass it on ‘when the review is finished.’ The list of readers demanding that book is as long as the entire apartment.

And yet.

It was ready for review a while ago. But how does one describe the world of a whisper, a prayer, a cry filled with grief, a confident embrace of support for countless others and yet a scream of defiance too?

Miriam's Song, the best-selling account of a mother of two sons who lost their lives in combat, translated now from Hebrew into English.

Miriam’s Song, the best-selling account of a mother of two sons who lost their lives in combat, translated now from Hebrew into English.

Miriam Peretz does all that and more in her account of how she managed to survive the loss of her two sons in combat — one after the other, both serving in the Golani Brigade — and her husband whose heart she said “could simply stand no more” and yet motivate herself to move on and lead others.

The mother of six speaks of her children, all of whom served and serve in the Israel Defense Forces, most as members of the elite Golanis.

Sons Avichai and Eliyasaf, Miriam and Eliraz, z'l.

Sons Avichai and Eliyasaf, Miriam and Eliraz, z’l.

She speaks of her childhood, how she immigrated to Israel with her parents as a child from Morocco, her years growing up in the south and her struggle to learn how to become an educator. Her courtship and marriage to her wonderfully patient, wise husband.

That first moment of pride seeing her oldest son in uniform, watching him grow to become an IDF officer. The first life-crushing experience when an IDF delegation came to say he’d never come home again, alive.

The battle faced by her life partner with a life-threatening illness that drained his vitality but not his determination – until the last moment when he too could fight no more.

The day she learned her second son was determined to follow his older brother’s footsteps: could she deny him his dream? And yet, the price she paid for her willingness to allow him that chance, the day she stood at the cemetery facing his newly-dug grave alone, without the support of her husband beside her.

The dilemma of no longer knowing which grave to visit “first” on Memorial Day: the guilt she felt that day. It is this last that perhaps is the most heartbreaking of all: for in this, Miriam is but one of thousands. How many wives and mothers and daughters join her in this horrific nightmare – whose grave to visit “first” this year at Mount Herzl’s military cemetery on Israel’s Memorial Day?

Father? Husband? Brother? Son? Daughter? Sister, Wife? Mother?

There they lie, our courageous, fearless veterans of every defensive war our battered but unbowed nation has ever fought. Without any hesitation they don their uniforms, shoulder their weapons and set off to their units with a chuckle and a grin, maybe a hug for the little ones, a whispered reassurance for an older child or a mother or a wife. None of them ever know when or if they will return. That is written Upstairs in the Big Book.

Hana Levi Julian

2 IDF Soldiers Wounded, 5 Bombs Still ‘Hot’ in Attack at Hizme Checkpoint

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

An IDF officer and a second soldier were wounded Tuesday night in a quadruple bomb attack at the Hizme checkpoint, while an hour later five more bombs were defused by IDF sappers.

The IED (improvised explosive device) were detonated by terrorists as the officer was searching a suspicious package planted on the road at the entrance to the checkpoint.

Two pipe bombs were discovered attached to a gas canister shortly after that initial bombing attack, according to local sources. The Adam junction was evacuated for the safety of everyone in the area.

Sappers then discovered five more additional bombs as well, including that which was tied up with the gas canister. The bomb squad carefully worked on dismantling all five bombs at the site.

The IDF officer, meanwhile, was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center with serious face and upper body wounds, according to Magen David Adom medics on the scene. The victim sustained head and facial wounds but was fully conscious.

A second soldier was in stable condition after sustaining shrapnel wounds in the leg. He too was treated at the scene before he was evacuated for further treatment.

The Hizme checkpoint is located near the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, not far from the Jewish community of Adam.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bomb-blows-up-in-idf-officers-face-at-hizme-checkpoint/2016/05/10/

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