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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Mount Herzl’

Netanyahu: ‘On This Day, All Israel Feels the Agony’

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Wednesday morning at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told families who lost their loved ones defending the nation lf Israel, “on this day all of the People of Israel feel this agony with you.”

In Israel, he said, “The boys and girls who defend our nation along with their families should feel pride” for their sacrifice to their country.

But he also said, “We members of the bereaved families do not need Memorial Day to remember our loved ones who fell… on this day the entire nation is with us in an embrace and with love.”

Netanyahu himself has lost more than one person who was dear to him. His older brother Yoni was killed in the line of duty while on a mission rescuing hostages at Entebbe airport. He also told those gathered at Mount Herzl about two comrades killed in action: Zohar Ben Linik and David Ben Hamo.

The prime minister said his memory of his friend David dying of his wounds as he held him in his arms will never leave him. Decades later, when he went to visit David’s family in Be’er Sheva, he saw how his mother had left his friend’s room exactly as it had been on the day he died, he added.

Netanyahu also spoke about a more recent encounter with twin girls whose father fell in battle. When asked what they remembered of their father, they broke down crying, unable even to speak. “We cried with them,” he said.

“Throughout my years as prime minister, whenever I get the news of a soldier who falls, my heart breaks with the family,” he said. Netanyahu vowed to do “everything possible” to bring home the remains of Israel’s two lost soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. The bodies of both are being held hostage by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.

Hana Levi Julian

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

Practice, Practice, Practice

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Rehearsal sessions ahead of Israel’s 68th Independence Day ceremony, which will be held on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem next week.

Rehearsals for the Israeli 68th Independence Day Ceremony

Rehearsals for the Israeli 68th Independence Day Ceremony

Rehearsals for the Israeli 68th Independence Day Ceremony

Rehearsals for the Israeli 68th Independence Day Ceremony

Rehearsals for the Israeli 68th Independence Day Ceremony

Photo of the Day

Hotovely Says Foreign Dignitaries Must Visit Western Wall

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Israel finally has an honest religious Zionist as acting Foreign Minister.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has changed protocol for foreign dignities who now will be asked to visit the Western Wall (Kotel) as well as Yad VaShem and Mt Herzl Cemetery.

The new protocol is at least the second major change she has introduced into the Foreign Ministry since her appointment by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

When she took office, she met with Foreign Ministry officials and gave them a short sermon on Torah – “Dvar Torah” in Hebrew – and instructed them to made the Jewish People’s Biblical right to Israel as part of  the “Hasbara” public relations program.

Now she wants foreign dignities to understand that official visits to Jerusalem sites should not be limited to the sadness identified with the military cemetery and the Holocaust Memorial.

Hotovely told the new head of the “Ceremonies Branch”” of the ministry to include the Kotel as part of the itinerary for foreign dignitaries, Yediot Acharonot reported.

She explained:

In my eyes, the fact that the Kotel will become part of official visits of foreign dignitaries in Israel is a meaningful statement that strengthens the position of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This visit will take dignitaries from the ethos and sentiment of Yad VaShem, which deals with the catastrophe of the Holocaust, to the positive character of the Kotel that speaks of deep roots of the city.

This will change the view of visits from 100 years of Zionism to 3,000 years of Zionism.

Hotovely she has taken into account that there will be some dignities who will refuse to visit the Western Wall because they consider it part of “disputed territories,” depending on the visitor’s political agenda.

Barack Obama anxiously visited the Kotel when he was campaigning for president in 2008. In his last visit to Israel, he refused to come near to the holy site and instead opted for Tel Aviv.

“If there are those who refuse to visit, we will try to convince them to do so, but the change is that until now, visiting the Kotel was not even a priority in the Foreign Ministry.

She added that she will not object if dignities condition their visits to the Western Wall on their being able to go to the Temple Mount, presumably to visit mosques and not to utter forbidden non-Muslim prayers, or to the Holy Church of the Sepulchre.

The first foreign dignitary to come under the new protocol will be Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who will be met at Ben Gurion Airport next week by Hotovely. She will escort him to the Kotel.

Hotovely’s innovations – a Dvar Torah and now visits to the Kotel – are brilliant if not simple moves that should have been part of policy from Day One of the modern State of Israel.

The beauty in the changes is that leftist and pluralistic politicians and media cannot easily oppose them.

They may not like including a bit of Torah in Israel’s explanations to the international community, but how can they be against it without saying that the Torah should not an official part of Israel?

They may not like her including the Western Wall as a part of the protocol for vesting dignities, but as Hotovely said, the Western Wall is part of the Israeli consensus.

Hotovely’s real innovation is that her observance of Judaism is above politics, exactly what has been lacking in Israeli governments.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Operation Protective Edge Remembrance Day

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Adi Kaplan, widow of Captain Zvi (Zvika) Kaplan lit a torch during a ceremony marking one year since Operation Protective Edge at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on July 6, 2015.

Protective Edge Remembrance 2015 2

Prime Minister Netanyahu laid a wreath of flowers at the ceremony honoring our heroes killed in battle against Israel’s enemies in Gaza

Photo of the Day

‘They Did Not Fall in Vain: IDF Struck By Air, Sea & Land’

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Israel again faces terror from a multiplicity of sources in the south — a fact acknowledged by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during remarks he delivered Monday at a ceremony to mark the first year anniversary of the 51-day counter terror war against Hamas, Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. But during his speech to families of the fallen IDF soldiers at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery, Netanyahu warned Israel would not tolerate any threat to her citizens. “If Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran or Da’esh (ISIS) attempts to harm Israel, they are risking their lives,” he stated.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization, Netanyahu reminded, was dealt a “severe blow that it has not felt since its founding… We are [currently] monitoring events in the south and our operations [there] require strength,” he said.

At least two families of the fallen are particularly grief-stricken: the bodies of their sons have yet to be laid to rest. Hamas terrorists kidnapped their remains during the war, and have held them in captivity since.

The prime minister addressed the issue, promising the families, “We will do everything we can to return home Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin to their families.” President Reuven Rivlin also related in his speech to the wounds that – for some families — seem to have no end.

Speaking about those soldiers who are still medically fighting for their lives, and the grief of families whose pain yet remains, Rivlin said, “An operation was launched last year and for some, the battle carries on today; a post-war battle, a battle with no cease-fire.”

Rivlin warned the terror organizations that Israel would not tolerate a renewal of the threats that led to the last war – such as the rocket fire and road terror attacks that have again begun to target civilians throughout the country.

“Israel will not continue to be a hostage in enemy hands,” he said, “an enemy who does not respect human rights or civilian lives… The next conflict could be a lot harder than the last one.”

It was Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, a former IDF chief of staff, who bluntly said in his address to the families of the fallen that the sacrifices of their loved ones had not been in vain.

“Hundreds of terrorists were killed, and the Hamas infrastructure was destroyed. Our soldiers hit them from the air, from the sea and by land in such a way as to make their leaders understand we would not accept any attack on the security of our civilians,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Tears Lead to Triumph: Israel Celebrates 67th Independence Day

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

At sunset Wednesday, citizens in the State of Israel dried their eyes and raised their heads, left the cemeteries and bid farewell to their fallen warriors and victims of terror as Remembrance Day ended with the setting sun.

By nightfall, citizens around the country were streaming towards public parks and stadiums to attend celebrations marking the 67th birthday of the State of Israel.

The evening began with the raising of the nation’s blue and white flag to the top of the flag pole at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Israel’s annual torch-lighting ceremony officially kicked off the beginning of Independence Day in the country with specially-selected individuals to light each of the torches.

This year, 14 trailblazers who reached unusual, inspiring achievements were selected, each having made a significant contribution to Israeli innovation and excellence. With two pairing up, they lit 12 torches. They were:

  • Danny Gold: one of the developers of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system that saved so many lives in last summer’s war with Hamas
  • Ehud Shabtain: the developer of the WAZE GPS system, recently sold to Google for more than $1 billion
  • Or Asulin: age 17, CEO of a company that develops youth entrepreneurship in high tech – he lit a torch together with Ehud Shabtain.
  • Rami Levi: CEO of the supermarket chain in his name that has revolutionized food prices and marketing in Israel.
  • Alice Miller: First female pilot in Israel, sued the IDF in Supreme Court to break the military’s gender glass ceiling
  • Lucy Aharish: Muslim Israeli Arab journalist voice against racism in Israel, news anchorwoman on i24News
  • Prof. Marta Weinstock-Rosin: Researcher who developed Exelon, the ground-breaking medication for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Dr. Gabriel Idan: Developed the medical mini-cam swallowed by patients in lieu of invasive procedures.
  • Rafi Mehudar: Inventor whose technologies have helped Israel and other nations conserve water.
  • Avihu Medina: Singer and songwriter who brought Israel into the world of Mediterranean music.
  • Sima Shine: Highest-ranked woman in Israeli intelligence, director of Regional Affairs Division, Strategic Affairs Ministry
  • Gal Lusky: head of Israel Flying Aid Foundation, which provides humanitarian relief in crisis situations around the world
  • Malka Piotrkowsky: Paved the way for women’s study of Torah and Talmud, honored for her work as a teacher and women’s rights activist
  • IDF Pvt. Dan Korkowsky, who is diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum and serves with IDF Special Intelligence Unit 9900. He was joined by Sgt. Bat Chen Fumorchok, who leads the special needs soldiers’ division.

Fireworks lit up the skies in every town and city in Israel and in some places, in separate neighborhoods as well.

The annual International Bible Contest is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Thursday, Israeli Independence Day) at 11 am in Jerusalem, from where the event will be streamed over the Internet around the world. Contestants have been pared down to a final set of 67 competitors from 33 different nations, all of whom will be participating in Thursday’s event.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tears-lead-to-triumph-israel-celebrates-independence-at-67/2015/04/22/

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