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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Zichron Yaakov’

Brotherhood of Murdered Kin Protest Release of Arab Israelis (VIDEO)

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Zichron Yaakov is a picturesque Israeli town near the coast, situated between Haifa and Netanya.  It is one of the oldest settled areas in modern Israel, and its quaint stone-paved streets, combined with wineries and stores displaying local artists’ wares and Israeli fashion makes it a favorite destination.

It is in the town of Zichron Yaakov that two families lived, nearly as neighbors, although they never met each other until common tragedies united them – the first tragedy being when each family lost a member to terrorist murders by Arab Israelis.  And now another tragedy looms: the potential release of those murderers in a political deal with no reciprocity at all from the other side.

In November, 1980 Corporal Avraham Bromberg was 10 minutes outside of Hadera on his way home to Zichron Yaakov, when he took a ride from the wrong Israelis.  These two, Israeli Arabs, members of Fatah, kidnapped Bromberg and later shot him at point blank range.  Then they dumped him out by the side of the road to die.

It took three years, but the Israeli Defense Forces and the Shabak captured Bromberg’s two murderers: Karim and Mahir Younis.  Karim was a student at Ben Gurion University when he was arrested.

The Younis men were brought to trial.  All three judges imposed the death penalty for all three defendants.

But, as Avi Bromberg, the nephew born one year after Avraham’s murder told The Jewish Press, the death penalty has rarely been carried out in Israel’s history. On appeal, the death sentences for Mahir and Karim Younis were commuted to life imprisonment.

But the commutation was not enough for the Younis family, which has been disappointed by Israel’s treatment of Karim and Mahir.  You see, the family hoped that their relatives would be part of the Shalit prisoner exchange.

“My brother has been in jail for 26 years. Even a life sentence has its limits – it’s like that all over the world. It’s only here that we’re treated differently… if this is a democracy than the law should apply to everyone equally,” is what Nadim Younis said at the time the Shalit exchange was first being discussed.

While it is unlikely that anyone in the Israeli government was persuaded by Nadim Younis’s twisted reasoning, perhaps someone had noticed that at least one Israeli was sympathetic to the murdering Younis mishpocha.

Writing in Haartetz in October, 2011, Gideon Levy wrote   movingly about an “Israeli Arab, Karim Younis, who provided transportation to Maher Younis who in turn killed a soldier, has been sitting in jail for 29 years without a single furlough, without a single phone call, even without any reduction in his sentence.” Levy was castigating Israel for only expressing joy at the release of Gilad Shalit and his reunification with his family, yet failing to rejoice with the families in Gaza whose sons were returning home to them.

Speaking with The Jewish Press on Monday, Avi Bromberg revealed something that had not been discussed before.  His uncle, Avraham, and one of the Younis murderers, were in high school together in Hadera.

Avi was speaking by telephone with The Jewish Press while sitting with a brother of another Zichron Yaakov family member who had been murdered by Israeli Arabs – also three cousins from the Arara Valley – ten years after Avi Bromberg’s murder.

NIGHT OF THE PITCHFORKS

When Guy Friedman entered the IDF in 1990, his original unit was with the Navy SEALs, but due to a leg injury he was subsequently transferred to a regular combat unit.  Late in the night of February 14, 1992, as he slept, three Israeli Arabs infiltrated the base near Mt. Carmel at which Friedman’s Nahal unit was conducting training exercises.

The infiltrators used axes and pitchforks to hack to death Friedman and two fellow soldiers, Yakov Duvinsky and Yuri Perda.  This attack shocked Israel both because of the brutality of the murders, but also because the killers were Israeli citizens.  All three were members of the terrorist group Islamic Jihad.

These Arab Israeli murderers, also from the infamous Arara Valley, were tried and convicted.  The judges hearing the trial found all three deserved three consecutive life sentences.

Sarah Aaronson: The Heroine of NILI

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Nearly eighty-five years have passed since Sarah Aaronson shot herself in the head, putting an end to the torture her Turkish interrogators inflicted upon her for refusing to disclose information about her associates in the NILI, an anti-Turkish spying organization that supplied the British with intelligence.

NILI stands for “Netzach Yisrael Lo Yeshaker” (the eternity of Israel will not deceive, Shmuel 1 15:28). It was founded in 1916 by Sarah’s brother Aaron, who believed that only liberation from the cruel and corrupt Ottoman Turks could advance Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisrael. In order to achieve Jewish settlement, the group assisted British command by supplying information about Turkish and German positions, thereby advancing the British campaign in Palestine.

Sarah was born in Zichron Yaakov, Palestine, which at the time was a province of the Turkish-ruled Ottoman Empire. She lived briefly in Istanbul until 1915, when she returned home to Zichron Yaakov.

On her way from Istanbul, Sarah witnessed the Armenian Genocide. In her testimony, she described seeing hundreds of bodies, men, women and babies, being loaded onto trains and a massacre of up to 5,000 Armenians who were bound to a pyramid of thorns and set alight.

When Aaron sought to enlist her into NILI’s intelligence activities against the Germans and the Turks, Sarah unhesitatingly complied. She shared Aaron’s concern over the fate of the Jewish settlers under Turkish occupation.

Sarah and Her Husband Haim

At that time Sarah was twenty-six year old. Her family members were pioneers in Eretz Yisrael. Her father and mother, Efrayim Fishel and Malkah, came to Eretz Yisrael from Falticeni, Rumania in 1882 and were among the founders of Zichron Yaakov.

Malkah and Efrayim Fishel Aaronsohn brought up their four sons and three daughters with a fierce love of the land and the people of Israel.

Aaron, the eldest, followed in his father’s footsteps in every way. He became an agronomist and natural historian with a professional reputation in scientific circles. In 1909 he was invited to the States by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and when WWI broke out, he was one of the three members of a central committee appointed to allot the financial aid sent to Eretz Yisrael.

Later, Aaron sent large sums of money through the NILI organization to help the Jewish settlers in Eretz Yisrael.

In her brother’s absence Sarah was to administer these funds. She was also in charge of the NILI agents’ operations and of relaying information to the British in Egypt. In April 1917 Sarah secretly visited Egypt to consult with Aaron and the British Command. As news had reached Egypt about Turkish suspicions relating to the Aaronsons’ activities, Sarah was advised to remain in Egypt. She, however, concerned that her absence might substantiate rumors and endanger the lives of her associates in the organization, returned to Eretz Yisrael. Upon learning that the NILI espionage network had been uncovered, Sarah ordered her agents to go into hiding in different parts of the country while she herself remained at Zichron Yaakov in order to facilitate their escape.

In September 1917, the Ottomans caught Sarah’s carrier pigeon which was carring a message to the British and decrypted the Nili code. She was arrested at her home and subjected to brutal torture for four days, during which she lapsed into a coma – yet she revealed nothing. When she regained consciousness Sarah managed to slip by her guards, get hold of a gun and put an end to the life she had dedicated to her country.

Sarah Aaronson’s grave in Zichron Yaakov is a site of pilgrimage, especially for Israeli youth. They flock to the tomb to remember the heroine whose commitment to the idea of a Jewish State was a link in the chain of events that made it possible.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/sarah-aaronson-the-heroine-of-nili/2012/01/05/

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