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December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Memorial’

Israel’s President Rivlin Makes History at Kafr Kassem Massacre Memorial

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

President Reuven Rivlin made history Sunday (Oct. 26) by being the first sitting Israeli president to participate in the annual memorial ceremony at Kafr Kassem that marksg the deaths of 48 residents of the village.

During his visit Rivlin met with the mayor and officials of the village, who said they had waited 58 years for such a senior Israeli leader to attend the ceremony and speak against the conduct of Israel’s security personnel during what was then called Operation Kadish.

Known as the Kafr Kassem Massacre, the October 29, 1956 event was one of the most complex and difficult in Jewish-Arab relations in the history of the State of Israel, and the source of the expression, ‘the black flag.’

Because the country was at that time on a wartime footing, an order went out on that day at 3:30 pm placing all Arab villages near the Jordanian border on curfew from 5 pm to 6 am. However, most of the Arabs from the villages who were working out of town were unavailable and could not be notified – there were no cell phones, or any phones in most Israeli homes – in those days.

The Israeli commanding officer received orders to take all precautions to ensure quiet on the Jordanian border, and he then reportedly ordered his commanders to “shoot on sight” any villager violating the curfew. No one was to be allowed to leave their home, or enter the village from any direction. The mayor of the village was advised of the curfew and he asked what would happen to those working outside. He was told they would be taken care of. Word was sent and most returned immediately. Some did not make it back in time.

Of the 48 people in the village, six were women (one was pregnant, leading Arab sources to make the count 49) and 23 were children ages eight to 17. More were wounded but their families were not allowed to come out to help them until the next morning after 6 am, when they were taken to hospitals in trucks.

Eleven border police officers and soldiers involved in the operation were charged with murder; eight were convicted and sentenced to prison terms. Judge Benjamin Halevy wrote in his decision, which is still quoted today, that “The distinguishing mark of a manifestly illegal order is that above such an order should fly, like a black flag, a warning saying: ‘Prohibited!’”

On November 20, 1957, a “sulha” (traditional Bedouin reconciliation ceremony) was held in memory of the victims of the Kafr Kassem massacre between Israeli government and community leaders, and members of the leadership of neighboring Arab villages. Reparations were made to the families of the victims.

In December 2007, then-President Shimon Peres formally apologized for the massacre, but until today, no president ever participated in the annual memorial ceremony commemorating the victims at the village.

“Distinguished guests, I came here today as a member of the Jewish people and as a President of the State of Israel to stand before you, the victims’ families and the injured, to remember the pain together with you,” Rivlin said.

“The existence of this terrible black flag that implemented the killing of innocent people was criminally ignored. The Supreme Court has spoken clearly and gave expression to legally verify the State of Israel’s moral consciousness,” he added. “It is our duty to teach future generations this difficult episode.

“Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, but it will also forever be the home of the Arab population. They are not a fringe group – it is a population which is part and parcel of this land, a population with a cohesive national identity and a shared culture that will always be a fundamental component of Israel.

Pope Francis Lashes Out at Nazi Murderers During Yad Vashem Visit

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Pope Francis has had a busy day so far in the ancient Old City of Jerusalem.

He began his day on the Temple Mount, in the Al Aqsa Mosque, visiting with the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Waqf Islamic Authority. The pontiff was quoted as telling both, “May we work together for justice and peace.”

Given the violence that has emanated week after week from that quarter towards Christians and Jews alike, that would seem to be a tall order. There is no information about the response of the Arab officials to the Pope’s comments at the mosque. On the first leg of his journey to the Holy Land, yesterday, he made an unscheduled stop at the separation barrier that was built by Israel to prevent suicide bombers from infiltrating and murdering citizens in areas of the country that were under the government’s control prior to 1967.

The Pope was then led to Judaism’s holiest site for prayer by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. The Kotel (Western Wall) had been cleared of visitors for security reasons earlier by police. The pontiff bowed his head in prayer with his hand on the ancient stones. He followed those silent moments of communion with the Creator by placing a note in the Wall — an ancient tradition observed by nearly everyone who comes to the Wall — and embraced close Jewish and Muslim friends with him.

Francis met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres and made a quick visit to the Mt. Herzl cemetery where he laid a wreath at the tomb of the ‘father of Zionism,’ Theodore Herzl. He then visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in a moving ceremony where he laid a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and greeted six Holocaust survivors. There the pontiff questioned the role of G-d in the slaughter of the millions of victims murdered by the Nazis.

“The Father knew the risk of freedom, he knew that His children could be lost, yet perhaps not even the Father could imagine so great a fall, so profound an abyss,” he reflected. Having lit the memorial light in the center just minutes before, he compared the Nazi Holocaust to idolatry, and standing before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, himself a survivor, lashed out against the murderers.

“Who convinced you that you were G-d? Not only did you torture and kill your brothers and sisters, but you sacrificed them to yourself, because you made yourself a god. Today, in this place, we hear once more the voice of G-d: ‘Adam, where are you?’ Hear “L-rd and have mercy,” Francis prayed. “We have sinned against You. You reign for ever.”

The Pope also received from Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev a reproduction of a painting of a Chossid engrossed in prayer created in the Lodz ghetto by a teenage victim of the Holocaust.

He is expected to celebrate Mass at the Cenacle, the upper room in the complex where some believe the tomb of the Biblical King David is located – and where Christians believe the Last Supper took place, sometime before leaving to return to the Vatican in the afternoon hours.

There have been protests against the Pope’s visit to various sites in the Old City of Jerusalem by both Muslim and Jewish groups, both saying the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church is intent on defiling their respective holy places of worship.

Anti-Semitic Graffiti Painted on Ohio Mausoleum

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

A 56-year-old man faces a fifth-degree felony charge of vandalism after allegedly spray painting antisemitic comments on the side of a mausoleum at a memorial park in Springfield Township near Akron, Ohio.

Slavko Mazibrada allegedly wrote “GO HOME JEWS EVL Z” and “DEAD JEWS” using black spray paint on the morning of Aug. 2, according to a Springfield Township police report.

Mark Heisa, superintendent of Hillside Memorial Park, was arriving at work when he saw the vandalism and called the police. Heisa followed Mazibrada’s car until police caught up with and arrested Mazibrada on Albrecht Avenue, according to the report.

Mazibrada was booked into the Summit County Jail, where as of the afternoon of Aug. 2 he awaited trial. The damage to the mausoleum and three cemetery statues on the cemetery’s property is estimated to be $7,000.

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New Kiev Memorial Complex to be Built at Babi Yar Massacre Site

Monday, June 24th, 2013

The World Forum of Russian-Speaking Jews (WFRJ) unveiled on Sunday a model of the new memorial site to be built at Babi Yar in Ukraine, where an estimated 50,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust

WFRJ Alexander Levin, who also heads the Jewish community in Kiev, told the Governing Board of the Jewish Agency in Kiev that the new memorial site will allow visitors from around the world to experience an emotional connection to the horrific slaughter that occurred at Babi Yar over 70 years ago.

He also sternly warned of the current anti-Semitism plaguing the region and called on European leaders to act more firmly to eradicate all manifestations of anti-Semitism in their country. The site will display historic material, including remains of clothes and belongings of the murdered, documents from the Nazi archives, a 3D film, and interviews with survivors. The site will include a Jewish center and synagogue that will symbolize the revival of Jewish life in the place where Nazis once planned to exterminate every remnant of Judaism.

Construction of the site will begin in the next few months and is expected to take around two-and-a-half years to complete. Funding will come mostly from Levin and Vadim Rabinovich, a Jewish philanthropist from Ukraine, and the United Israel Appeal is also expected to raise money.

Babi Yar is a ravine in the northwest sector of the Ukrainian capital Kiev and the location where Nazis murdered around 100,000 people in total, more than half of them Jews, from September 29, 1941 onward. Nearly 34,000 Jews were slaughtered between the two-day span of September 29-30, which is defined as the most gruesome Holocaust extermination carried out in such a short period of time. Over the next year, 15,000 additional Jews were murdered there.

Rav Ronsky: Your Arms and Legs Will Be Broken

Monday, February 18th, 2013

On Sunday, ahead of the Fogel two-year memorial ceremony in Itamar, Rabbi Ronsky, the Rosh HaYeshiva of the Itamar Yeshiva, and former IDF Chief Rabbi received a phone call from an activist youth who called to protest the inclusion of General Nitzan Alon in the Fogel family memorial ceremony.

Alon, who is the commanding officer of Judea and Samaria, is a controversial figure among many settlers for the rough relationship he’s had with them over the years, ranging from statements he’s made, to the numerous distancing orders he served to Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.

The caller, who identified himself as Dov Morel, said that Alon had given Morel a military order preventing him from entering Judea and Samaria, and has done the same with 20 other teenagers. Morel said that Alon should not be included in the ceremony.

Rabbi Ronsky told the caller that Alon, like the commanders before him, is a rubber stamp, and the body giving the distancing orders is the Shabak, furthermore he’s done a tremendous amount for Israel’s security.

The two talked for 7 minutes. It was clear that the young caller was obviously in pain from what he felt was unjustly done to him.

The two discussed the Alon, and the Shabak-IDF connection and distancing order decision making process.

At one point towards the end of the conversation, Morel said that they [the activists] would be coming to the memorial ceremony to vocally disrupt Alon’s appearance.

At which point the discussion got heated and Rabbi Ronsky’s formerly calm demeanor changed and he told the caller that if he or his friends disrupt the memorial ceremony for the Fogel family, they would find their arms and legs broken by the students of his Yeshiva.

The audio of the phone call can be heard on HaKol HaYehudi.

The memorial ceremony was held without incident, and a new dorm building for the Yeshiva was inaugurated.

Among the speakers at the ceremony were Tzila Fogel, the mother of Udi Fogel, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat Shmuel Eliyahu, Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, and IDF Central Command Chief Nitzan Alon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rav-ronsky-your-arms-and-legs-will-be-broken/2013/02/18/

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