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>PD
>Israel Faxx
>JN April 24, 1998, Vol. 6, N0. 77

Yom HaShoah Celebrated Worldwide

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel marked "Holocaust Remembrance Day" with a series of solemn events, including two minutes of nationwide silence, marked by the sounding of air raid sirens at mid-morning.

Pedestrians stopped in their tracks, motorists stood at attention by their vehicles, people lounging in a central Jerusalem park got up off the grass and bowed their heads.

It is an extraordinary expression of solidarity in respect for the victims and heroes of the World War 2 Nazi Holocaust, in which 6 Million Jews and 6 million other people were killed in prisons, ghettos and death camps across Europe.

Places of entertainment were closed throughout Israel for 24 hours, and special ceremonies were held at schools, offices and particularly at the Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem.

In speeches at Yad Vashem marking the start of the holiday Wednesday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials spoke of what they said are the under-appreciated contributions of Holocaust survivors in building the State of Israel, which is approaching its 50th anniversary.

Thursday morning, Netanyahu flew to Poland to lead a memorial march at the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. He was joined there by Israel's Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who is himself a Holocaust survivor, and who spoke in Hebrew, Yiddish and English.

"I want to tell you, that even 50 years since the State of Israel was established, and 53 years after World War 2 ended, it's not a time and it will never be a time to forget or even to forgive. We have maybe a mandate to take a revenge. But what is the revenge we can offer? The revenge is only one, our continuity."

Meanwhile, back in Israel, as Holocaust Day drew to a close, more and more cars began the annual ritual of sporting Israeli flags on plastic sticks stuck on their windows -- signaling the approach of Israel Independence Day next week.


Israeli Arabs Complain of 50 Years of Racism

Israel Faxx Staff Report

Israel's 50th anniversary is no cause for celebration for its Arab citizens. "For us it is a day of mourning, when we revive the memory of the 1948 Palestinian holocaust," said an Arab student leader at Haifa University. While Israelis celebrate the jubilee, millions of Palestinians throughout the world bitterly recall the "Naqba," or great catastrophe of 1948 when Israel fought its war of independence.


63-Year-Old Dies on Way Home from Hospital

By IINS News Service

"The hospital was in a big hurry to get my mother out and send her home, and this is the result," stated the daughter of 63-year-old Sima Biton, who died on her way home from Beersheva's Soroka Hospital. Biton, who had diabetes mellitus for many years, was in the hospital last month, and had some of the digits of her hands and feet surgically removed due to complications resulting from her diabetes.

According to the daughter, Chana Binyamin, during the days preceding her discharge, the hospital "pushed" the family to take Biton home. "We told them she is not herself and since our father died, she has lost the will to live. We pleaded that she undergo a psychiatric exam. They refused."

Wednesday, when the family came to visit, they were startled to see Biton dressed, ready to go, with a discharge letter in hand. She died in the taxi on her way home.

Professor Dan Atar, the hospital's medical director, stated the unfortunate incident was a compilation of several rare factors, all of which together contributed to her death. "It is chutzpa to point the finger of blame at the hospital. She came with an acute problem related to her diabetes, was treated, admitted for over one month, and then when she was ready, discharged from the hospital."

The hospital called upon the family to order an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, but the family rejected the idea.


Doctorate Planned for Clinton

By IINS News Service

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has announced its decision to bestow an honorary title of Doctor of Philosophy on President Bill Clinton. The ceremony will take place in the White House Monday, as part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel. A decision is expected by the university's leaders in the coming days, regarding the bestowing of the same honorary title on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


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