Those who are familiar with Israeli holidays know that this week marks the most intense week of holidays in the State of Israel – and no – it’s not the Jewish High Holidays yet. In the span of just one week, the country memorializes Holocaust survivors and victims, fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, all followed by the jubilant Israeli Independence Day.
This year, each of the holidays carries a different weight in the context of the past week’s violence.
Last Thursday, the world said “Never Again” to the indiscriminate murder of 6 million Jews. And yet, the people of Israel are once again under attack – this time ahead of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Day of Remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terror.
Since Saturday morning, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists have launched 700 rockets into southern and central Israel, killing four Israelis and leaving numerous injured. Bomb shelters have been opened across Israel and the IDF has responded with hundreds of forceful, targeted attacks against Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
Although a ceasefire seemed to be reached by Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned that the “Gaza campaign is not over” and “We are preparing to continue.” A spokesperson for Hamas similarly said, in response to the prime minister’s statement, that although the recent flare-up in violence had come to an end, the wider conflict would continue.
On Tuesday until Wednesday evening, May 7-8, marks Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Day of Remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terror. In the context of the recent rocket attacks – attacks on the very Israeli sovereignty that IDF soldiers fight for day in and day out, this Yom HaZikaron will be even more meaningful.
“The recent violence has highlighted the great significance and burden that IDF soldiers must carry on their shoulders,” said Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of the official welfare fund of the IDF, LIBI USA.
“This Yom HaZikaron, we will have in mind the latest four victims of Hamas terror: Moshe Agadi, Moshe Feder, Ziad Alhamamda and Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, who were all tragically killed in week’s rocket attacks,” said Grossman. “We pray for their families, and for the complete and quick recovery of those injured.”
Following the day of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s sadness will turn to joy, as Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, begins.
“The symbolism of this transition is clear,” noted Grossman. “The soldiers who have given their lives for the State of Israel have allowed for Israeli independence and sovereignty. We understand the great cost of living in the Jewish homeland. Therefore, as much as we celebrate, we must thank and support soldiers who continue to ensure the survival of Israel.”
Grossman posed that “Israel and the IDF have every right to defend itself against the nonstop terrorism on its borders,” adding, “As we memorialized Yom HaShoah, we know exactly what is at stake. No other country would accept constant rockets targeting civilian populations and neither should Israel.”
As IDF soldiers continue to protect Israel and the Jewish people by defending the borders and deterring rocket fire, LIBI USA continues to provide Israel’s soldiers with support, education and assistance to help ease the burden of their service.
“As the week of holidays commence in Israel,” Grossman concluded, “we remember that our freedoms today are inextricably tied with the blood of our ancestors before us, as well as our soldiers who have given their lives to Israel. And finally, we hope that peace will come before the week of holidays next year.”