News Digest — 1/27/23

Netanyahu: ‘As Premier I Vow That We Won’t Let Another Holocaust Happen’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a message Friday morning (27th) for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

In his statement, Netanyahu alluded to the Iranian government, condemning “evil deniers of the Holocaust,” and vowing as prime minister to prevent those “who still call for our destruction” from accomplishing a second Holocaust.

“Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and exactly 78 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.  We in Israel mark this event by honoring the sacred memory of those who perished at the hands of a murderous Nazi regime.  And we vow that this will never, ever, happen again to our people.”

“The difference now is that the Jewish people have the State of Israel.  Israel protects itself by itself.  We are a strong and vibrant nation and we have built up a powerful state that will not allow our enemies to inflict the very pain, suffering and devastating loss our people experienced during the Holocaust.”

“And there are those who still call for our destruction, day in and day out.  We will not cower in fear nor will we allow the threats of these tyrants to intimidate us.”

“For this enemy knows that at the end of the day, if needed, we can and will defend ourselves, and we will not allow our enemies to possess an ability to carry out its murderous agenda.  We see them on their steady march towards obtaining the most lethal of weapons and I say to them here and now – we will stop you from obtaining them.”

“And we do not forget or forgive the evil deniers of the Holocaust, which for them, one Holocaust was not enough.”

“On behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, on behalf of the survivors and those who perished, I vow to you as Prime Minister of the one and only Jewish state, that we will remain vigilant, strong, and never allow the Holocaust to happen again.  Never.”



Herzog Urges EU To Fight Antisemitism ‘At All Costs’ In Address To EU Parliament

President Isaac Herzog addressed on Thursday (26th) the European Parliament in the Belgian capital, ahead of International Holocaust Memorial Day traditionally marked on January 27th.

The Israeli president was invited  as the keynote-speaker for the special commemoration event, organized annually by the Parliament.  Several Holocaust survivors and leaders of the local Jewish community were also present for the ceremony.

Arriving at the European Parliament building, Herzog was welcomed by its President Roberta Mestola.

Addressing the European parliamentarians Herzog started his speech by telling the story of his grandfather, Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel, Rabbi Dr. Yitzhak Isaac Halevi Herzog, who arrived in Europe in 1946 in a quest to relocate and rescue Jews across the ravaged continent.  Reaching Warsaw, the rabbi rewrote the words of “El Malei Rachemin,” in memory of all the Jews who perished.  President Herzog then recited the prayer of Kadis, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

“Today we see movements on the extremes of European and world politics, which proudly raise the ugly banner of anti-Semitism, which once more threatens to turn democratic and civilized societies into ones that devour their own people.  Unfortunately, the picture is disturbing – deeply disturbing,” said Herzog.  The Israeli president warned that “Jew hatred still exists.  The latest reports point to new records of hatred, as anti-Semitism continues to don new guises, and this time it is active on virtual platforms as well – fueled by them, striking roots in them, thriving, spreading poison.  Throughout the internet, viral anti-Semitism is spreading at a record pace, at the click of a button.  The distance between a viral video and a physical attack hardly exists at all.”

Addressing the European legislators directly, Herzog said they must not stand by.  “You must read the warning signs, detect the symptoms of the pandemic of antisemitism, and fight it at all costs.  You must ensure that every Jew wanting to live a full Jewish life in your countries may do so safely and fearlessly,” noted Herzog.

Warning against the Tehran regime, Herzog said, “we must work together as a single community, determined and cohesive, against the forces of darkness and hatred that threatens to destroy us.  As President of the State of Israel, I speak first and foremost of the Iranian regime, which not only publicly calls for the complete annihilation of my country but is also murdering its own countrymen and women, who are demanding liberty and human and civil rights.  Iran is stoking civil wars throughout the Middle East, playing an active and lethal role in the war in Ukraine, and developing weapons of mass destruction on the way to dramatically threatening the stability of the entire globe.”

Herzog’s speech was followed by a moment of silence, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and then by a musical piece titled “Kadish,” played by Israeli clarinetist Chen Levy and Hungarian cimbalom Jeno Lisztes.

After the ceremony, Herzog and Metsola inaugurated a replica of an artwork titled “The Refugee,” painted by Felix Nusbaum, who was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944.  The replica was placed at the entrance of the European Parliament hemicycle, for all legislators to see and remember daily as they enter the plenum.



After Jenin Operation: Rocket Barrage Fired From Gaza, Sirens Sounded In Ashkelon

Terrorists on Thursday night (26th) fired a barrage of rockets towards southern Israel.

Shortly before midnight, sirens were sounded in the city of Ashkelon and in Kibbutz Zikim and Karmia.  The IDF confirmed that two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip and were intercepted by the IDF Aerial Defense Array.

There were no initial reports of physical injuries or damages.

The rockets were fired in response to the IDF’s counterterrorism operation in Jenin early Thursday morning (26th), in which eight Palestinian Arabs were killed, the majority of them Islamic Jihad terrorists who were planning attacks against Israelis.

Earlier on Thursday (26th), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, and senior defense officials held a situation assessment in which they ordered “increased preparedness” for any scenario.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Netanyahu’s office said that the Prime Minister made it clear that Israel was not looking to escalate the situation, but that he instructed the security forces to prepare for any scenario in the various arenas, in order to protect the citizens of Israel.

Meanwhile on Thursday evening (26th), the Palestinian Authority announced it was halting security coordination with Israel over the raid.

The move was announced by the PA’s deputy cabinet leader, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, who said that “security coordination with the occupation government no longer exists, as of now,” in the light of the “repeated aggression against our people, and the undermining of signed agreements.”

Abu Rudeineh also said that the PA intended to file another complaint with the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court over Thursday’s (26th) morning raid.



IDF Publishes Aerial Video Of Terrorists Shooting From Rooftop

The IDF on Thursday evening (26th) published aerial footage taken by the Air Force’s 100th Squadron and Military Intelligence’s Unit 9900 showing Arab terrorists firing weapons and throwing Molotov Cocktails from a rooftop in Jenin at Israeli troops during the IDF raid Thursday morning (26th).

An Israeli soldier can be heard in the video stating: “There are ten people here who are constantly shooting and throwing Molotov Cocktails.”

During the Thursday morning (26th) operation, IDF, Border Police, and Shabak forces thwarted a large-scale terrorist attack which was being planned – and eliminated about eight terrorists from the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization who were also involved in previous attacks.



IAF Targets Hamas Sites In Gaza In Response To Rockets

The IAF targeted an underground rocket production facility and a “significant” military camp belonging to Hamas in the central and northern Gaza Strip early Friday morning (27th) after rockets were fired from Gaza towards southern Israel.

The rocket fire came hours after an IDF raid in Jenin which resulted in 8 Palestinian deaths.

The Iron Dome intercepted two rockets fired Thursday evening (26th) from Gaza.  During the IAF overnight strikes, additional rockets were fired towards southern Israel – in total, there were seven.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated on Friday morning (27th) that he had instructed the defense establishment to “prepare for action with a variety of offensive measures and high-quality targets, in case it is necessary to continue to act until peace is restored to the citizens of Israel.”



Jewish Passenger Saves Woman Aboard JetBlue Flight After She Collapses

A Jewish passenger on a JetBlue flight from New York to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is being hailed as a hero after he saved the life of a fellow passenger who collapsed mid-flight.

Naftoli Schischa, a Hassidic Jew and longtime EMT with the Williamsburg Hatzolah, rushed to the woman’s aid.

According to Fox News, the emergency unfolded when the woman suddenly fainted in the aisle as flight attendants were handing out drinks about an hour into the flight.

The pilot was getting ready to make an emergency landing when Schischa succeeded in stabilizing the woman’s condition.  The plane resumed its course and landed an hour and a half after its scheduled arrival time.

Photos of the emergency show Schischa aiding the woman who is lying on the floor of the plane with an oxygen mask.  Using his EMT background, he was able to stabilize her condition and the flight resumed.

The woman had regained consciousness and was able to talk by the time the plane landed – she was escorted off the plane by paramedics.