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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Frenkel’

International Jewish Unity Day Ceremonies Hosted by Pres. Reuven Rivlin

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

More than a million and a half people participated in International Jewish Unity Day commemorations around the globe on Wednesday (June 1), marking the second anniversary of the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens, Naftali Frenkel, Gil-ad Sha’er and Eyal Yifrach.

Now in its second year, Jewish Unity Day is an initiative of the Jerusalem Unity Prize created by the families of the three boys together with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Gesher. Unity Day and the Jerusalem Unity Prize are designed to bring together all elements of the global Jewish community to demonstrate the sense of national collectiveness which defined the Jewish people in the wake of the boys’ kidnappings.

Global events were planned for 25 countries and include programs in over 100 cities with an expected participation of 750,000 people. Unity Day is working with 160 different partner organizations to coordinate the 200 different events in schools, synagogues, community centers and parks.

In Israel, an expected 850,000 participated in official government, school and private events on Unity Day, June 1st, highlighted by the award ceremony for the Jerusalem Unity Prize at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

In his comments at the ceremony, President Rivlin said, “The Jerusalem Unity Prize and Unity Day allow us to salute the togetherness which exists in society- both out of choice and out of tragedy.” The award salutes the accomplishments of individuals and initiatives who have prioritized unity within the Jewish community.

This year’s winners include the Global Schools Twinning Project, an initiative of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Together, Hapoel Katamon Sports Club which uses athletics to bring together diverse groups within Jerusalem society, Kesher Yehudi (The Jewish Connection), which works to bridge social gaps between Israel’s secular and haredi populations and the youth programs of Bnei Akiva together with the Noar Haoved V’Halomed and Dror Yisrael, which unite youth of diverse backgrounds in cultural and social programming.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, the Chair of the Prize Committee said, “The Jerusalem Unity Prize was created to promote the value of togetherness among the Jewish people. The 2016 winners of the Jerusalem Unity Prize demonstrate the very best of Jewish unity through their work to bridge gaps and strengthen ties among the Jewish people. I am confident that each of this year’s winners will continue their impressive work as ambassadors for Jerusalem and the Jewish world and will create a brighter future for the Jewish people.”

The families of the three boys said, “We are deeply appreciate of the level of support that we have received in enabling unity to become the lasting legacy of our sons. While the tragedy of their deaths can never be lessened, the fact that their memories are helping to build a better and strong Jewish world is deeply inspiring.”

Hana Levi Julian

Families of 3 Martyred Yeshiva Teens Meet With Netanyahu, Barkat for Unity Day Preparations

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The families of three Jewish teens who were kidnapped and murdered on June 12, 2014 by Hamas terrorists two years ago, met Monday (May 30) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The gathering came in advance of the Day of Unity organized by the families to commemorate the lives of their sons and their unity that coalesced around the families during the days of the desperate search to find them.

Although the search ended in tragedy, the families decided to mark the day with an everlasting memorial to the unity of Jews coming together for good, in a Day of Unity.

Each year the families present an award to those whose lives and actions best demonstrate these characteristics in Israel and around the world.

Hana Levi Julian

Special Event to Mark Hamas Kidnap-Murder of 3 Israeli Teens on June 3

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

In slightly over a month, at least one million Jews will mark a horrifying event that became the straw that broke the camel’s back in Israel, igniting another war on terror in Gaza.

June 3 corresponds with the date on the Hebrew calendar that marks the abduction of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gilad Sha’ar, 16.

The event is being organized by the families of the three boys, together with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the Gesher organization.

The three families also recently celebrated the launching of the Jerusalem Unity Prize, to be awarded for the first time on June 3 as well.

Together with the Jerusalem municipality, Gesher and Israel President Reuven Rivlin, the three families celebrated the launch of the Jerusalem Unity Prize several months ago. It is intended to commemorate and further the Jewish unity that was seen when the entire nation of Israel came together to pray and help search for the missing boys.

The three boys were kidnapped on June 12 by Hamas terrorists while hitchiking home from yeshiva in Gush Etzion on a Thursday evening. They were murdered in cold blood shortly after they were grabbed; a shooting that was heard on a recording made by Israel Police when one of them managed to dial the emergency dispatcher in a desperate cry for help.

It took nearly three weeks for search and rescue teams and volunteers to locate their bodies in a shallow grave, hastily dug in a field in Halhul. During that time, Jews in Israel and around the world came together in an unprecedented show of unity to pray, demonstrate and otherwise show their support for the families and other Jews.

The bodies of the three boys were found on June 30.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli AG: Anti-Israel NGO Can Utilize National Service Volunteers

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

B’tselem, funded largely by leftist European organizations and governments and the far left New Israel Fund, was created in 1989 by Israeli leftist academics, journalist and politicians from Meretz and Labor. It’s stated goal is to “to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.”

In other words, in deed and in intent, B’tselem seeks to shame the Israeli government and public into ignoring the self-defense of the Jewish State.

According to the well-respected NGO-Monitor’s entry on B’tselem, the NGO “has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research and skewed statistics,” and that it “accuses Israel of apartheid, perpetrating war crimes, beating and abusing Palestinians, demolition of Palestinian Arab houses as punishment and forced deportations.”

Sar-Shalom Jerbi, the director of Israel’s National Civilian Service Administration, informed B’tselem in mid-August that it could no longer avail itself of free labor in the form of Israelis who choose national service instead of enlisting in the Israel Defense Force. The reason he gave was the refusal by B’tselem to designate Hamas a terrorist organization and its activities denigrating the Israel Defense Force, especially during Operation Protective Edge.

One of the activities B’tselem engaged in during the summer of 2014 followed the kidnapping of the three teenage Israeli boys, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel. The far leftist NGO initiated a slick media campaign dubbed “Hitching a Ride,” which ridiculed Israel’s efforts to find the three boys who were abducted from a hitchhiking post near Allon Shvut, south of Jerusalem.

B’tselem’s campaign accused Israel of “cynically exploiting the deep concern for the abducted teens,” and using it to “implement sweeping actions which intensify harm to the human rights of Palestinians.”

Jerbi informed B’tselem that the NGO is a party to the international smear campaign against the IDF, which includes “gross incitement” against what he called the “most ethical military in the world,” and stripped the NGO of its certification as an “operating organization” for the NCSA.

According to the NCSA director, B’tselem’s incitement gives fodder and encouragement to Israel’s enemies throughout the world and also contributes to the rising tide of anti-Semitic attack against Jews.

That decision was appealed by B’tselem and on Tuesday, Sept. 30, Israel’s Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber rescinded Jerbi’s decision and reinstated B’tselem in the national service registry, according to Haaretz.

Zilber stated that Jerbi had failed to sufficiently prove that B’tselem “rejects Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state, incites to violence, terror or racism, or supports terrorism or armed struggle against Israel.” Those are the only grounds for delisting an organization of the right to receive national service volunteers.

The assistant attorney general also expressed concern that Jerbi’s action could open the door to politicization of the National Civilian Service Administration, which could then “use its authority to deny recognition only to certain groups, thereby imposing an economic and public price tag on them, only because of statements that are controversial on one side of the political spectrum.”

The director of the NCSA said he would honor Zilber’s decision. Concurrent with following this directive, Jerbi said he plans to explore other ways “to prevent the absurd situation in which the State of Israel,” via its provision of national service volunteers, “continues financing an organization that accused Israel Defense Forces soldiers and the State of Israel of committing war crimes during Operation Protective Edge and libeled it around the world.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Mother of Naftali Frenkel With Rosh HaShana Request for Jewish Unity [video]

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

The mother of slain Israeli teen Naftali Frenkel, Rachelle Frenkel, speaks about the loss of her son, but even more about the outpouring of love and unity from the Jewish people.

In this video produced by Aish.com, Frenkel once again acts as the conscience of the best of the Jewish people.

She says: “Cain asks, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ I think the answer came out loud and clear. We are one family and I am my brother’s keeper.”

Rachelle Frenkel also has a request of us, the Jewish people.

“Rosh HaShana is coming. Let’s all choose an act, large or small, to keep the spirit of those days alive,” she says, speaking, even smiling, into the camera. “We went out searching for the boys and we discovered ourselves.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Home of Alleged Kidnapper/Murderer of ‘Our Boys’ Surrounded

Monday, August 18th, 2014

SEE UPDATE AT END OF ARTICLE

Sunday evening, August 17 – 18, the home of Marwan Kawasme was surrounded by Israeli security and military personnel, as were neighboring homes. The activity is taking place in Daerat alser, which is in the Hebron vicinity.

It is anticipated that Kawasme’s home is about to be demolished.

Kawasme and Amir abu Aisha are believed to be the kidnappers and murderers of the three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel. The boys were kidnapped at the Gush Etzion Junction on June 12.

The orders for the kidnapping were allegedly given by Kawasme’s relative, Hussam Kawasme. Hussam was arrested on July 11, as he was attempting to flee into Jordan.

On Aug. 5 it was revealed by the Israeli prosecution that while in custody, Kawasme admitted giving orders to kidnap Israelis this past June.

He also admitted collecting weapons and raising funds for the attack by the Hamas members who carried out the attack.

According to the Israeli prosecution, Hussam Kawasme also allegedly helped conceal the bodies of the murdered teenage boys, which were buried on land he had recently bought.

Hussam assisted Marwan in hiding the boys’ dead bodies by burying them on land he had bought in recent months, the state also said. Marwan Kawasme was a convict who was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.

The information was presented by the state to Israel’s High Court of Justice, as part of its justification for requesting the demolition of the residences of the three suspected terrorists.

The demolition request has been pending for some time.

UPDATE: The homes of two of those believed to have planned and kidnapped and murdered Our Boys were demolished last night, and the home of the third suspect was sealed off and will soon be demolished, according to IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

Hussam Kawasme, the suspect who was arrested on July 11 and confessed to being the mastermind of the kidnapping plot, and who helped his clan-mate, Marwan Kawasme, bury the three boys, was demolished, as was that of Amer abu Aisha. The home of Marwan Kawasme was raided and sealed off during the same operation.

 

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

An Israel Love Story With a Twist

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Nora Gold has written a book, Fields of Exile (2014 Dundurn), that is unique in many ways. It provide layer upon layer of insight into various conundrums, both within her novel and within herself as well.

I was asked to review her book. The one thing I was told – indeed, it was all I needed to be told to make me want to read and review it – was that it is the first novel that deals with the rising swell of anti-Israel hatred on western campuses.

And it does. It does that very well.

But the book does much more. It provides a glimpse into the hearts and minds of those whom many in the unconflicted pro-Israel world simply cannot fathom: the leftist Israelis and/or other Jews who, nonetheless, actually love Israel. I am not talking about the faux lovers of Israel, the ones who call themselves “pro-peace and pro-Israel.” I am also excluding all the others who only criticize Israel, never those with whom Israel is locked in combat, and only criticize Israel, never praise her unless she makes major concessions or appeases her enemies, and then only briefly, until the next sacrifice is demanded.

Nora Gold and her Fields of Exile protagonist – Judith Gallanter – both love Israel fervently. And both hate and protest against the “Occupation.”

Judith, an olah, has returned to Canada because her father is dying. Shortly after Judith made aliyah her mother died and Judith wasn’t there. She could not do the same thing to her father. Then, just before her father dies, she promises him she will stay in Canada and get her Master’s degree in social work, so that she can be ably employed and independent in Israel when she returns.

What happens at the social work school and the surprise and betrayal Judith feels when Israel is considered the single worst form of evil on the planet, is something many Israel supporters will understand.

What is different is that Judith also despises the “occupation.” And so does the author. But Judith and Gold really, truly love Israel, identify with Israel and only feel fully alive and connected to and in Israel.

That’s the part that is so hard for many to understand.

Here is where Judith reveals her visceral connection to the land of Israel. She speaks about it as one does a family member who has imperfections but nonetheless is beloved:

Because her love for Israel is something like that. Unconditional. The way many people love their family members. You know all their faults, but still you love them. There are things about Israel she can’t stand. At the top of the list, the occupation, and this government’s treatment of Palestinians. (another definition of domestic violence: domestic policies that are violent.) But it doesn’t matter: Israel is her love. I am my beloved’s and beloved is mine.

Judith explains how that feeling coursed through her, connecting her soul to the land:

In Canada she’d always found geography and history boring, scoring low on her high-school leaving exams in both these subjects. But in Israel she was fascinated by every mountain range, by every excavated tell or Biblical battlefield. Because it was hers. It was about her people, and it told the story of what had happened to them, and therefore to her.

The story in Fields of Exile is multi-layered. The characters are richly drawn, with subtleties in many of the minor characters that make you want to know not only how Judith’s life unfolds, but also that of her social work classmates and her Israeli friends.

Fields of Exile is, in addition to a love story between a woman and the Jewish state, a modern love story between the protagonist and her pragmatic lawyer significant other. One whose significance grows, despite his straight-forward refusal to move to Israel and that, in spite of his less ambiguous support for the Jewish state and the very policies Judith finds repugnant.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/an-israel-love-story-with-a-twist/2014/08/04/

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