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Editor's Note: Because of computer hard drive crashes (plural is correct); Israel Faxx was not able to publish a May 4th issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Israel Observes Holocaust Remembrance Day

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem) &

The nation observes Holocaust Remembrance Day today. Sirens wailed across Israel, and people everywhere observed two minutes of silence in memory of the six million Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II. Traffic came to a standstill, and Israelis got out of their cars and stood reverently on the streets. Radio and TV broadcasts focused on Holocaust Remembrance Day and places of entertainment were closed.

The main ceremony was at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Six torches were lit by Holocaust survivors, in memory of the six million victims, as a cantor chanted the mournful prayer God Full of Mercy. Pop singer Sarit Hadad sang the moving song Shmah Yisrael, Hear O Israel.

Unidentified culprits spray-painted swastikas and graffiti reading "Sharon is continuing Hitler's way" on the road leading into the Yad Vashem Museum Thursday. The vandalism occurred only minutes before the opening of the ceremony. Similar designs were painted on the Central Zionist Archives building, also in Jerusalem.

Holocaust memorial ceremonies were also held at schools, army bases and in the Knesset, where the names of the victims were read, one by one. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the state of Israel is the answer to the Holocaust. "The Jewish people have learned their lesson, " Sharon said. "Jews will never again be homeless and defenseless, never again.

However, some people ignored the siren, however. One bystander at a busy Jerusalem intersection saw many Arab cars whizzing around stopped Jewish cars, purposefully ignoring the poignant human experience going on around them.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu explained what this day stands for. He wrote that though according to Jewish tradition, the month of Nissan is not a time for sad commemorations, and though Israel's Chief Rabbinate has set aside the Fast of the Tenth of Tevet as a day to mourn for Holocaust victims, there is a difference between the two days: "The Tenth of Tevet is a day of remembering the Holocaust and the Day for General Kaddish [a memorial prayer], while the 27th of Nissan [today] is a day for remembering the heroism shown by the Jews during the Holocaust."

He recounted the following anecdote. The Head of the Ponevezh Yeshiva once arrived in Rome and stood at the triumphal arch erected by the Emperor Titus over 1,900 years ago in celebration of his victory over the Jews. The rabbi called out, "Titus, Titus! Where are you today? All that's left of you is this gate, while the People of Israel still lives eternally and forever!"

Annual March of the Living Being Held at Site of Auschwitz

By VOA News &

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrived in Poland for the annual March of the Living at the site of two Nazi death camps.

Top Polish officials are expected to join the Israeli leader and about 20,000 others in the three-kilometer walk from the Auschwitz to the Birkenau camps, as the world marks the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII. Holocaust survivors are joining the march between the camps were the Nazis killed more than one million Jews during the war.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said Wednesday evening in Poland that the meaning of revenge for the Holocaust is the establishment of the State of Israel. The former Chief Rabbi of Israel, now rabbi of Tel Aviv, said throwing a stone and killing is not revenge. "Revenge is that we are here, in our own home on our own land with Jewish soldiers."

He told the crowd of 18,000 participating in the March of the Living, that Jews have died together but "must learn to live together." The lesson of the Holocaust can be learned in the fact the "the people of Israel live (Am Yisrael Chai."

The Holocaust Claims Fund announced it is giving an additional $1 million to the March of the Living to cover the expenses of this year's march.

Israel Freezes More Security Transfers in West Bank

By VOA News

Israel has frozen the planned handover of more West Bank towns to Palestinian security forces because it said Palestinian forces have failed to disarm militants.

The Israeli security cabinet made the decision Wednesday. Israel had recently pledged to transfer control of five West Bank towns after Palestinians agreed to end attacks on Israeli targets. But Israel has so far only handed over control of Jericho and Tulkarem.

Earlier Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority said again it did not intend to disarm militants in the occupied territories. But Palestinian security chief Rashid Abu Shbak said militants must still honor their February pledge to abide by the ongoing cease-fire.

Near-Lynch Averted, IDF Commander Suspended


An IDF commander and his five troops were almost lynched by an angry Arab mob Wednesday. The commander has been temporarily suspended, after using live bullets to save his and his troops' lives.

Three hundred PA Arabs attacked six IDF soldiers guarding equipment near Highway 443, one of the two main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. The equipment is being used in building the separation fence. Two Arabs were killed in the confrontation.

The mob of Arabs came from the village of Beit Likiya, southwest of Ramallah, and approached the soldiers near the Jewish town of Mevo Horon. The Arabs began by hurling large rocks at the soldiers, who responded by using non-lethal means to disperse the riot.

The soldiers fired tear-gas and then began using rubber bullets, but the crowd kept throwing rocks, wounding the force's commanding officer. The commander then fired into the air, but when the attackers still failed to disperse, the commander fired at one of the rioters' legs and then at a rocky area near the crowd. Three Arabs were wounded and two later died.

Central Command O.C. Maj.Gen. Ya'ir Naveh announced the suspension of the commander in charge of the force from operational activity until the full inquiry into the incident is completed.

"The company commander was suspended in light of errors both in the way he conducted himself and in the way in which he commanded his force," an IDF spokesman said. Asked to elaborate, an IDF spokesperson told Arutz-7 that he may have fired too quickly, and that he should have been aware that shooting at rocks would cause the bullets to ricochet unpredictably. She acknowledged, however, that the soldiers "faced a very scary situation" and that the commander would likely be reinstated after the investigation is completed.

Border Guard police arrested an Arab who possessed the gun used in the murder of a guard several months ago several miles north of Be'er Sheva. He was arrested near a village between Beit Guvrin, where the guard was murdered, and Kiryat Arba.

Also Wednesday, terrorists shot at IDF soldiers patrolling the Philadelphi Route on the Israel-Egyptian border. Defense officials also announced they neutralized a 40-kilogram (88-pound) bomb that was discovered several days ago.

Soldier Suspected of Neo-Nazi Ties


Police Thursday arrested a solider from Ariel, in Samaria, on suspicion of belonging to a neo-Nazi group. The soldier, a new immigrant, was found with a Swastika tattooed on his arm.

Authorities found hard drugs in the soldier's car and house, where his computer indicated he was connected with anti-Semitic groups. Both he and his mother, with whom he lives, said they hate the State of Israel.

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