European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 05.05.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 05.05.2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day

The State of Israel is marking Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday with ceremonies and events across the country, honouring the memory of six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The opening ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day took place in Warsaw Ghetto Square in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening. The central theme for this year's ceremony is "The struggle to maintain the human spirit during the Holocaust."

President Reuven Rivlin in his remarks addressed survivors saying: "I came here today, to ask each one of you for forgiveness. We did not understand, we did not want to understand, and we have not done enough. Antisemitism and the persecution of the Jews are not a fad. It is a difficult chronic disease that penetrates deep into the heart and history of nations. We find it today in the voices that can be heard in the heart of a different Europe – from the British left and the extreme right in Eastern Europe and in Europe as a whole, and in areas across the Arab world." 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated: "It is our duty to allow you, all the survivors, to continue to live your life in comfort and dignity. Mr. President, you're right - over the years we have not done enough. But in recent years we have added resources and will add more for one simple reason: you deserve it, out of merit, not benevolence."

Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, kindled the Memorial Torch and Zahava Roth, who survived the Holocaust after her mother smuggled her out of the ghetto near Kraków in Poland, spoke on behalf of the survivors.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • IDF general says Israel shows signs of 1930s Germany

The Israeli army’s deputy chief of staff ignited controversy on Wednesday drew parallels with the levels of intolerance and hatred between present-day Israel and 1930s Germany, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Maj. Gen. Yair Golan made the comments during a Holocaust Remembrance Day address at Tel Yitzhak.

"It's frightening to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here," the general said.

The comments unleashed a torrent of criticism against Golan on social media, with Twitter users accusing the deputy chief of staff of "forgetting the lessons of the Holocaust."

"The Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, it must lead anyone who is capable of taking public responsibility to do so," Golan said. "Because if there is one thing that is frightening in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here among us in the year 2016."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett was in the audience during the remarks, according to Hebrew-language media.

"The Holocaust, in my view, must lead us to deep soul-searching about the nature of man," Golan said. "It must bring us to conduct some soul-searching as to the responsibility of leadership and the quality of our society. It must lead us to fundamentally rethink how we, here and now, behave towards the other."

"There is nothing easier and simpler than in chasing the foreigner," the officer said. "There is nothing easier and simpler than fear-mongering and threatening. There is nothing easier and simpler than in behaving like beasts, becoming morally corrupt, and sanctimoniousness."

"On Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is worthwhile to ponder our capacity to uproot the first signs of intolerance, violence, and self-destruction that arise on the path to moral degradation," Golan said.

Golan made reference to the Hebron incident in which an IDF infantryman shot dead a Palestinian assailant who was on the ground and subdued.

"On Holocaust Remembrance Day, as we remember the six million of our people who were slaughtered in Europe, it is incumbent upon us to remember the 6.5 million, those living now, and to ask ourselves what is the purpose of our return to our land, what is appropriate to sanctify and what is not, what is proper to praise and what is not," the officer said.

"Most of all, we should ask how it is that we are to realize our purpose as a light unto the nations and a model society," he said. "Only this kind of remembrance can serve as a living and breathing tombstone for our people – a worthy tombstone, a tombstone of truth."

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Hamas says truce reached to end fighting along Gaza border

The Gaza-based terror group Hamas said on Wednesday that it has reached understandings with the Israeli military regarding a cessation of hostilities on the Gaza frontier, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The Palestinian Islamist group claimed that Egypt mediated a truce with Israel after 24 hours of escalation and tit-for-tat attacks, Arab press reports said. 

According to the terms of the understandings, the IDF will withdraw some of its troops while halting all operations along the security fence that separates Gaza from Israel.

In exchange, Hamas will adhere to the cease-fire that has been in effect since the end of Operation Protective Edge.

Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior official in Hamas' political bureau, posted a notice on his Facebook page which read: "What happened on the Gaza border was a Zionist attempt to impose a new reality there. This demanded that Hamas rise up in order to prevent the Israeli army from taking action. We spoke with our brothers in Egypt who are overseeing the recent cease-fire, and they reacted quickly, which led to a return to the status quo ante."

Hamas carried out a series of mortar attacks targeting IDF units on the border with northern and southern Gaza on Wednesday, prompting the IDF to respond with tank fire and later five air strikes on Hamas targets in the Strip’s south.

The escalation – the most significant since the August 2014 cease-fire that ended a two-month conflict – came as Hamas sought to disrupt IDF work to detect its attack tunnels.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Thursday, May 05, 2016
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President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism