Israel Political Brief November 22, 2012: Israeli military arrests 50 ‘terror operatives’ in West Bank




Israeli military arrests 50 ‘terror operatives’ in West Bank

Source: JTA, 11-23-12

Israeli soldiers arrested more than 50 Palestinians in the West Bank in the hours after a cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza went into effect…..READ MORE


Israel Political Brief April 25, 2012: Yom Hazikaron: PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery: Terrorists Kill, We Build



Netanyahu on Mt. Herzl: Terrorists Kill, We Build

Terrorists kill, and we build,” Prime Minister Netanyahu told relatives of terror victims at the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery Wednesday.
Netanyahu at military cemetery

Netanyahu at military cemetery Reuters

“Terrorist kills, and we build,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told relatives of terror victims at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery Wednesday.

“The atrocities of terror against our people know no moral bounds or political borders,” said on Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims.

“The cruelty and hate of terrorists is insatiable,” he added.” If there is one thing that is common to all of these terrorists, it is that they want to erase the People of Israel from the earth and want to uproot our people from our land, the Land of Israel. They will not succeed.:”

The military cemetery is located in Jerusalem, which the Prime Minister said is “our united city and is the holy city of the People of Israel for generations.”

“We will not stop building and developing, and we will continue…to live, grow and let our children and grandchildren reside here,” he continued.

History will overtake our enemies. I know the price has been heavy for you, and I express my appreciation of the people of Israel for your steadfastness and for the heroism of your loved ones.”

Noting that “determination is rooted in our people,” Prime Minister Netanyahu mentioned the victims of terrorists who killed the five Fogel family members last year in Itamar in Samaria and a rabbi and three Jews in Toulouse earlier this year.

Yossi Mendelevich, whose 13-year-old son Yuval was killed in a bus terror attack in Haifa, took the occasion to criticize the government for freeing more than 1,000 terrorists and security prisoners for the return of soldier Gilad Shalit from captivity after ore than five years.

He said the exchange divided the public. “Is it reasonable that a terrorist responsible for the murder of an entire family will be goes free?” he asked. “Is it reasonable that the terrorist responsible for the atrocious slaughter in a hotel can celebrate with his family?”

Full Text Israel Political Brief April 25, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech at the Yom Hazikaron Memorial Service for IDF Fallen Soldiers on Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery



PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the Memorial Service for IDF Fallen Soldiers

Photo by GPO

Source: PMO, 4-24-12

We bow our heads and fly our flag at half-mast in honor of our loved ones, in commemoration of the members of the underground organizations, security forces, intelligence, police, and the IDF who fell in Israel’s campaigns.

Not far from here, Rachel the Matriarch wept for her children. Today, some 4,000 years later, we weep for our sons and daughters who fell for our right to be a free people in our country.

My fellow members of the family of bereavement, I am familiar with what you experience today, and on every day. I am one of you. How does one contain the torment of parents who have lost their son or daughter, the tragedy of children never knowing their fathers, the sensation of severed limbs felt by bereaved siblings, the never-ending longing of a young widow for adolescent love, never to be experienced again?

My brothers and sisters, I stand here today on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, as the Prime Minister of Israel and as a bereaved brother. Two days ago I came here with my family and I stood by the grave of my older brother, Yoni. Yoni, I miss you; I miss you today and every single day. I feel your absence at big events and little occurrences, at happy occasions and sad moments.

My brothers and sisters in the family of bereavement, we all feel that way. Memorial Days come and go, and suddenly we realize that the number of years without our loved ones exceeds the number of years we had them by our sides. As time goes on, when we face difficult moments we search for shreds of new memories, any mark of our fallen loved ones. When anyone says: “I knew him,” we immediately ask if they have a photograph with him, or a scrap of paper, a memory, a letter? We seek any anecdote that might breathe life into the lifeless, who are alive inside of us.

I know, time is supposed to heal everything. That is not true. The years pass and the ache remains. But in time, that flash of sharp pain is dulled by other instances filled with memories of the good times we had with our beloved.

Dear families, we feel that pain day in and day out. But today, on Memorial Day, our private pain becomes national grief. As we stand here by the graves of our fallen family members in cemeteries all over Israel, the entire nation stands with us. It stands in silence, bows its head and cherishes the memories of the fallen and their families. Today we are one big family, because our people, well versed in sorrow, knows that its independence exacted the price of the courage of our finest; it knows that it is thanks to those who fell that we are alive today.

May the memory of the fallen, the memory of our dearly loved ones, be forever cherished in the national memory.

דברי ראש הממשלה נתניהו בטקס יום הזיכרון הממלכתי לחללי מערכות ישראל בהר הרצל

יום רביעי ג’ אייר תשע”ב

– הטקסט עבר התאמת עריכה –

מכובדי נשיא המדינה,

מכובדיי כולם,

בני המשפחות היקרים,

אנחנו מרכינים עתה ראש ודגל לכבודם, לזכרם של יקירינו, חללי מערכות ישראל שנפלו במחתרות, בזרועות הביטחון, המודיעין והמשטרה, ובצבא ההגנה לישראל. לא הרחק מכאן בכתה רחל אימנו על בניה. והיום, כמעט 4,000 שנים לאחר מכן, אנו מבכים את בנינו ובנותינו שנפלו על זכותנו להיות עם חופשי במולדתנו.

אחיי ואחיותיי למשפחת השכול, אני יודע מה עובר עליכם ביום הזה ובכל יום, אני אחד מכם. איך ניתן להכיל את הייסורים של הורים שאיבדו את בנם או בתם, את הטרגדיה של ילדים קטנים שלא יכירו לעולם את אביהם, את גדיעת האיברים שחשים אחים ואחיות שכולים, את הגעגוע האינסופי של אלמנה צעירה לאהבת נעורים שלא תשוב לעולם?

אחיי ואחיותיי, אני עומד כאן היום בהר הרצל בירושלים כראש ממשלת ישראל וכאח שכול. שלשום עליתי להר הזה עם משפחתי ועמדתי ליד קברו של אחי הבכור, יוני. יוני, אני מתגעגע אליך, אני מתגעגע אליך היום ואני מתגעגע אליך בכל יום. אתה חסר לי ברגעים הגדולים וברגעים הקטנים, ברגעים השמחים וברגעים העצובים.

אחיי ואחיותיי למשפחת השכול, כך כולנו מרגישים. יום זיכרון רודף יום זיכרון ופתאום אנחנו מגלים שמניין השנים שיקירינו כבר אינם איתנו גדול ממניין השנים שהם היו לצידנו. עם חלוף הזמן בצר לנו אנחנו מחפשים כל בדל של זיכרון חדש, כל סימן ליקירנו שנפלו. כשמישהו ניגש אלינו ואומר – הכרתי אותו, אנחנו מיד שואלים – יש לך צילום משותף? אולי איזו פיסת נייר? זיכרון כלשהו? אולי איזה מכתב? אנחנו מחפשים את הסיפור הקטן ביותר שיפיח חיים במתים שחיים בתוכנו.

אני יודע, אומרים שהזמן מרפא הכל. זה איננו נכון. השנים חולפות והכאב נשאר. אבל עם השנים נמהל אותו רגע של כאב חד ברגעים אחרים של זיכרון הימים הטובים שידענו במחיצת היקרים לנו מכל.

משפחות יקרות, זהו הכאב שאנחנו חשים יום יום, אבל ביום הזה, יום הזיכרון, הכאב הפרטי שלנו הופך ליגון לאומי. בעומדנו כאן, ליד קברי יקירינו בבית העלמין ברחבי הארץ העם כולו עומד סביבנו. עומד בדממה, מרכין ראש ומאמץ לליבו את הנופלים ומשפחותיהם. והיום כולנו משפחה אחת גדולה. כי עמנו למוד הסבל יודע שחירותו הושגה במחיר גבורתם של טובי בנינו, יודע שבזכות הנופלים אנו חיים.

יהי זכרם של הנופלים, זכרם של יקירינו, נצור בזיכרון האומה לעד

Israel Political Brief October 18, 2011: Bereaved Families File Suit to Stop Terrorist Release



Bereaved Families File Suit to Stop Terrorist Release

Source: Virtual Jerusalem, 10-18-11
shalitRelatives of victims of terrorist attacks have filed an emergency lawsuit against the release of terrorists in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The suit was filed with the help of the Almagor organization for victims of terror.
The government has agreed to release more than 1,000 terrorists in exchange for Shalit, including murderers and those who took part in previous kidnappings of IDF soldiers. The release deal has been controversial, with some warning that it will cause a wave of terrorism, while others argue that the state has an obligation to return kidnapped soldiers.

The families of those murdered in the Sbarro spearheaded a suit against the release and have launched a campaign to remove the Sbarro murderess who drove the bomber to the site from the list of those to be released.. Fifteen people lost their lives in the suicide bombing. The number to call to join the campaign is 0524239870.

Among those filing suit is Hovev Nuriel, whose father Sasson was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in 2005. The terrorists who murdered Sasson are to be released in the exchange.

Nuriel spoke to Arutz Sheva on Friday and explained that his primary concern is not for his own family, but for future victims.

“This [prisoner exchange] deal will lead to the loss of hundreds of lives, and will create more bereaved families and add to the pain and loss suffered by thousands of Israelis,” he said. “The deal sends the message that it is possible to deal with Israel through kidnapping and murder of Israeli citizens.”

“I know my father is not coming back,” he continued, “I am not speaking from a place of revenge, but rather, from solidarity. I am concerned for every citizen of Israel who could be hurt, whether by these same murderers or by other terrorists who get the message that they can continue to murder – because that is the message that the state and the government are sending.”

Another issue is justice, he said. “Where is the meaning of the judges’ verdict? Where is the justice in the state of Israel?” Murderers sentenced to life in prison are to be released after serving fewer than five years in prison, he noted.

Sayeed Ibrahim Mohammed Shalada, who stabbed Sasson Nuriel to death while the latter’s hands were tied, was sentenced to life in prison in 2007. In their verdict, the judges wrote, “The perpetrator took a person’s life with his own hands, acting calmly and with great cruelty. His actions force us to put him behind bars for the rest of his life.”


Israel Political Brief October 17, 2011: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Letter to Families of Victims of Shalit-Deal Prisoners



Netanyahu writes to families of victims of Shalit-deal prisoners

Source: JTA, 10-17-11

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote to family members of the victims of attacks perpetrated by some of the 1,027 prisoners to be released in return for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

In the letters issued Monday, Netanyahu tells the families that he understands their “negative feelings” toward the deal because of the death of his brother Jonathan, who was the sole casualty of the 1976 Israeli operation to free hostages at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

“In my many deliberations throughout the negotiations, you were always on my mind,” he wrote, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. “The decision to release Gilad Shalit was one of the most difficult ones I have ever made. It’s difficult for me for the same reason it’s difficult for you, dear family members.

Dozens of those families and other protesters marched Monday morning to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, where a three-justice panel convened to hear petitions opposing the deal. The release of the Palestinian prisoners is scheduled to begin Tuesday; Shalit is to gain his freedom on the same day.

The petition was filed by the Almagor Terror Victims Assocation, which asked the court to cancel the prisoner swap deal. The association also asked the court to delay the releases to allow more time to study the list and make objections. Several families also have filed separate petitions against the release of particular prisoners.

Shalit’s father, Noam, also attended the proceedings and submitted his own response to the petitions, arguing that “any change in its delicate framework could torpedo the entire deal.”

The Prime Minister’s Office also announced Monday that Gilad Shalit will be promoted to the rank of sergeant-major in time for his release, which is expected to come Tuesday. He was a corporal when he was captured in a cross-border raid in June 2006, and since then has been promoted twice.


Letter from PM Benjamin Netanyahu to Bereaved Families

Source: PMO, 10-17-11

Dear Families,

I write to you with a heavy heart.  I understand and know your pain.

I belong to a bereaved family of the victims and fallen of terrorism.  By brother was killed in the operation to rescue the Entebbe hostages.

I know that you have a heavy heart and that your wounds have been opened anew these past days; that your thoughts are not at ease.

Numerous misgivings accompanied me throughout the negotiations on the agreement to return the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.  You were always in my thoughts.

The decision in the matter of the release of Gilad Shalit was among the most difficult that I have ever made.  It is difficult for me for the same reasons that it is difficult for you, dear families.

In the decision to return Gilad home, I was faced with the responsibility of the Prime Minister of Israel to bring home every soldier who is sent to protect our citizens.

I also, when I went off to fight in the name of the State of Israel, knew always: The State of Israel does not abandon its soldiers and citizens.

Opposite the strong desire to return home a captive soldier, was the need to limit the heavy price that the State of Israel would have to pay upon the abduction of Gilad Shalit over five years ago.

I know that the price is very heavy for you.  I understand the difficulty to countenance that the evil people who perpetrated the appalling crimes against your loved ones will not pay the full price that they deserve.

During these moments I hope that you will find solace that I and the entire nation of Israel embrace you and share your pain.

Your loved ones will forever be in my heart,

Yours in pain and deep sorrow for your loved ones,

Benjamin Netanyahu

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