Archive for April 2009

Israel Independence Day Roundup

April 30, 2009

Independence Day posts of interest:

1. Some statistics on Israel at 61 are at The Situation Room.

2. How does an American in Israel connect to Memorial Day and Independence Day?

3. “I love that my friend overheard his bus driver telling Talmudic stories with morals and relating them to current events. Only in Israel.” This is one of the 61 things that Benji Lovitt loves about Israel.


Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day)

April 28, 2009

Ceremonies were held last night all over Israel to commemorate the fallen soldiers and victims of terror from the days of the Haganah until today. Every city, town and kibbutz in Israel has lost both soldiers and civilians and each community remembers its own losses as well as all of Israel’s.

This year the losses of the Gaza War have joined the list of those being mourned. Both soldiers and civilians lost their lives in the defense of Israel’s southern border. For their families and friends, Yom HaZikaron is no different than all the other days of the year in which their loss is fresh and painful. For those of us who didn’t know them personally, today is a time to reflect upon the great sacrifice of these men and women for the good of the Jewish State.

Yom HaZikaron honors sacrifice but is also a time to yearn for the day when sacrifices of this kind will no longer be necessary. When Israel’s existence will not be questioned by anyone, its borders secure and its focus not on military prowess, but on technology, culture and spirituality.

Read about a personal experience of the official ceremony at the Kotel last night at What War Zone?
Bryna Levy’s new blog has an interesting post on the connection between war and the land.
Read about the destruction and exile from the Jewish Quarter in 1948 on the COJS website: The Exodus, Zion Gate, 7:00 PM, May 28, 1948. and Eyewitness Account of the Destruction of the Jewish Quarter, May 29, 1948.

Haganah Archive

April 27, 2009

In honor of the upcoming celebration of Israel Independence Day and the commemoration of Memorial Day which precedes it, Israelity has pulled a few historic photos from the Haganah Archive. The Haganah Archive site itself is in Hebrew and a bit hard to navigate. Israelity has chosen photos which represent pivotal moments in the war leading to the establishment of the State of Israel. For instance, a picture of mortar shells being fired at Jerusalem.

For more pictures from 1948, see Towards Statehood, 1946-1948

Aftermath of the Holocaust

April 26, 2009

Faith and Fate has posted a video clip from its movie, “The Miracle of Israel.” The clip is not easy to watch as it includes footage of the liberation of  Auschwitz, but it is an extremely important film. It shows Eisenhower visiting the camp and describes how he invited photographers and journalists to document the horrors in order to prevent Holocaust denial. It also includes interviews with American soldiers who took part in the liberation and shows footage from the Nuremberg trials. Worth watching and sharing the link.

One State, Two States: A Review

April 26, 2009

The Jerusalem Post reviews Benny Morris’ new book about the history of the bi-national movement. His main thesis is that although the concept of two states in the Land of Israel has been endorsed by many Israelis and the international community, the Arabs have consistently objected to this solution. That was certainly true in 1948 when the Jews accepted the partition plan and the Arabs immediately attacked them. Morris quotes the leadership of the PLO, Fatah and Hamas to show that the Arabs are still unwilling to settle for a two-state solution. Morris proposes a solution of his own; the reader can judge for him/herself whether it is any better than any of the solutions currently on the table.

The Holocaust and the UN Conference on Racism

April 21, 2009

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  called for the destruction of Israel yesterday in his speech at the UN conference on racism. He said, “Governments must be encouraged and supported in their fights at eradicating this barbaric racism. Efforts must be made to put an end to Zionism.” Although some representatives left the room in protest, many others stayed and applauded.

An editorial in The Jerusalem Post talks about the connection between Holocaust denial and anti-Zionism, the new anti-Semitism. Since today is Holocaust Remembrance Day Ahmadinejad’s speech is even more galling than usual.

This conference was a farce in the first place and the countries which boycotted it made the right decision. The very idea of letting one of the biggest racists in the world get up to speak about racism is ridiculous. Ahmadinejad said exactly what everyone expected him to say, what the conference organizers were aware he would say. It doesn’t sound as if anything will be gained from this conference and the UN has once again damaged its reputation as a fair-minded neutral body.

The Final Solution

April 21, 2009

A memo to Adolf Eichmann from an SS major in Poland
L Hö/S


Reich Security Main Office

Office IV B4

Attention SS-Lt. Col. Eichmann


July 16, 1941
Dear Comrade Eichmann,

Enclosed is a memorandum on the results of various discussions held locally in the office of the Reich Governor. I would be grateful to have your reactions sometime. These things sound in part fantastic, but in my view are thoroughly feasible.
1 enclosure

L Hö/S

Poznan July 16,1941


Subject: Solution of the Jewish question
During discussions in the office of the Reich Governor various groups broached the solution of the Jewish question in Warthe province. The following solution is being proposed.

1. All the Jews of the Warthe province will be taken to a camp for 300,000 Jews which will be erected in barrack form as close as possible to the coal precincts and which will contain barracks-like installations for economic enterprises, tailor shops, shoe manufacturing plants, etc.

2. All Jews of Warthe province will be brought into this camp. Jews capable of labor may be constituted into labor columns as needed and drawn from the camp.

3. In my view, a camp of this type may be guarded by SS-Brig. Gen. Albert with substantially fewer police forces than are required now. Furthermore, the danger of epidemics, which always exists in the Lodz and other ghettos for the surrounding population, will be minimized.

4. This winter there is a danger that not all of the Jews can be fed anymore. One should weigh honestly, if the most humane solution might not be to finish off those of the Jews who are not employable by means of some quick-working device. At any rate, that would be more pleasant than to let them starve to death.

5. For the rest, the proposal was made that in this camp all the Jewish women, from whom one could still expect children, should be sterilized so that the Jewish problem may actually be solved completely with this generation.

6. The Reich Governor has not yet expressed an opinion in this matter. There is an impression that Government President Ubelhor does not wish to see the ghetto in Lodz disappear since he [his office] seems to profit quite well with it. As an example of how one can profit from the Jews, I was told that the Reich Labor Ministry pays 6 Reichsmark from a special fund for each employed Jew, but that the Jew costs only 80 Pfennige.

To learn more about the Holocaust, especially today – Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) see The Holocaust at COJS.