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Holocaust Remembrance Day Observance Begins with Yad Vashen Ceremony

By DEBKAfile &

Israel's observance of Holocaust memorial day began on Wednesday evening with a ceremony at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem attended by President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

On Thursday morning at 10 a.m., sirens will go off around the country for two minutes, followed by official ceremonies marking the occasion. Ministers, members of the Knesset, and a delegation from the IDF and the Israel Police will participate in the annual "March of the Living" during the day in Poland.

Each year, Israel stops for one day to remember the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and to tell the stories of the survivors. On Wednesday evening, a state memorial ceremony took place at Warsaw Ghetto Square at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both spoke the ceremony and Holocaust survivors lit six torches as part of the memorial service.

A Knesset memorial ceremony titled "Every Person Has a Name" is set for Thursday. During the ceremony, which will be held in the Chagall Lounge, Knesset members will read out the names of the Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. Rivlin, Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Supreme Court President Justice Miriam Naor will all be present for the ceremony.

Meanwhile, dozens of delegations from around the world are now touring through the remnants of Jewish life in Krakow, Poland, which was once home to one of the most vital Jewish communities in Europe.

At the Nuremberg Symposium in Krakow on Wednesday, marking 70 years since the Nuremberg Trials, participants discussed what lessons, if any, were learned in the years since and what steps can be taken to prevent genocide. The conference was organized by the March of the Living organization and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights. Legal specialists from around the world participated.

At the same time, ahead of the March of the Living participants' memorial ceremony at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday, a delegation of Knesset members arrived in Warsaw Tuesday to lay a wreath at the Ghetto Heroes Monument. There, Habayit Hayehudi MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli read Professor Asa Kasher's poem "Bakashot," which was originally written following the 1997 Israeli helicopter disaster.

Netanyahu told the survivors that lit the menorah: "I have one mission: One Yad Vashem is enough. One time. There will be no second time.". The meeting with the survivors was the first of its kind and was organized by Sara Netanyahu.

The prime minister went on to say that "the hatred of Jews has not disappeared in 70 years, and it is now directed at the Jewish state. But the state is very, very strong -- and its strength is your strength."

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin opened his address Wednesday evening with a story from the Bergen Belsen concentration camp during the first night of Passover in 1944. "In barrack 18, a group of Jewish prisoners gathered, determined not to eat leavened bread. Rabbi Aharon Bernard (Yisachar) Davids, the rabbi of Rotterdam and a leader in the religious Zionist movement, who decided not to escape with his family but rather was sent with his community to Bergen Belsen, explained to them that it was their obligation to do what was necessary to stay alive."

"In order to convince them, he picked up a piece of bread, and before eating it on that Seder night, he read a special prayer which he had penned together with Rabbi Simon Dasberg, and other Rabbis from Holland, which read; 'Our Father in Heaven! It is known to You that we desire to fulfill Your will and observe the Passover holiday by eating Matzah and safeguarding against bread. But our hearts are pained at the captivity which prevents us, and we find ourselves in danger of our lives. We are hereby ready to fulfill Your commandments "And you shall live by them (the commandments)" and not die by them, and to observe the caution of "guard yourself and watch your life greatly."

Therefore our prayer to You is that You keep us alive, and sustain us, and redeem us speedily." The President noted that, tragically, Rabbi Davids perished just months before the camp was liberated.

"I stand here, amid the mountains of the Israeli city of Jerusalem," said Rivlin, "on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, between the days of Passover 'the festival of freedom,' and Israel's Independence Day, and give thanks in the name of Rabbi Davids and his community who did not merit to see this moment, and in the name of all our brothers and sisters, our loved ones who perished in the Holocaust, I give thanks to He who brought us to this moment, to these days of revival. Am Yisrael Chai, the people of Israel lives."

Rivlin highlighted the importance of the remembering the Holocaust, noting that this would be the last generation to meet with survivors. "In another generation, there will not be anyone left living among us who survived that hell, and who could say, 'I was there, I saw the horror with my own eyes'. The Holocaust survivors living among us become fewer and fewer.

"It is time to conduct some soul-searching before you. We must admit that we were wrong. Holocaust survivors have never received the respect they deserved. Even to the present day, the State of Israel does not take every measure it can in order to take care of the Holocaust survivors. My brothers and sisters, survivors, the heroes of Israel's revival, I came here today on my behalf, and on behalf of the people of Israel, on behalf of the State of Israel, and I ask each one of you, before it is too late, for forgiveness.

"We did not understand, we did not want to understand, and we have not done enough. Our brothers and sisters, Holocaust survivors. These are the years in which we should take the opportunity to try to clarify along with you, how you want to shape the memory of the Holocaust and its lessons for future generations. How do you wish to charge the torch of remembrance, which will be passed from generation to generation? The number which was tattooed onto your flesh is etched into the hearts of this nation for generations, and has become the living will of the Jewish people."

Rivlin added, "The Holocaust whether we like it or not has become a factor in shaping the standards of our understanding of ourselves, of understanding our relationship with other nations, and our role in the world. The Holocaust places the Jewish people in front of the basic principles, as a people and as a nation gazing inward at ourselves and outward toward all of humanity. It is these basic principles that should unite us all, regardless of our political outlooks, ideologies, or ethnic origin."

"I believe that the memory of the Holocaust for future generations, should meet three basic principles. Firstly, we should always be able to defend ourselves – we should not privatize our security. The State of Israel is not, under any circumstances, compensation of the Holocaust. However, the Holocaust put into perspective the necessity and crucial need of the Jewish people to return to its historical roots, as a nation that takes its fate in its hands."

"Anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are not a fad, or one that can be taken lightly. It is a difficult chronic disease that penetrates deep into the heart and history of nations. We find it today in the voices that can be heard in the heart of a different Europe – from the British left and the extreme right in Eastern Europe and in Europe as a whole, and in areas across of the Arab world. The State of Israel will deal with this anti-Semitism by ensuring, first and foremost, a national home and a Jewish army that protects the nation of survival. We will never be ashamed that we are willing to fight."

"The second point is the shared Jewish fate. In Auschwitz and Babi Yar, in the darkness and in great fear, an alliance was forged - the Covenant of the Pieces. Our Jewishness descended upon us all equally and culminated, as Jean Amery said harshly, in the realities and the possibilities inherent in the number engraved on our arms."

"All of us, the Jewish people, those of faith, and those without, those who believe in Zionism and those who don't believe in Zionism, from the East and from the West, and anywhere in the world are as one number."

"We will forever pursue the blood of our brothers and sisters, individuals and communities, which screams at us from within the earth. We will continue to pursue the deniers, those who want to forget and those who want to blur history. In the present and the future, whatever our faith, above and beyond any estrangement or divisions within us – we will always recognize the invisible thread that connects us to the Jewish people as one."

"The third point, beloved is man created in God's image. This is a Jewish truth, the most fundamental human truth and the deepest antibody to the horrors of the Holocaust, where our people and all of us were turned to dust, to ants, to un-human beings. Beloved is man created in God's image. Whether we want or not, the Holocaust imposes a hard and terrible duty on the Jewish nation and its conduct. The Holocaust will forever place us, the Jewish people, as eternal prosecutors on the stage of humanity, prosecutor against anti-Semitism, racism and ultra-nationalism. Prosecutors against pacts with the devil that trade human dignity and life for interests. Prosecutors against indifference, against the relativism of evil. Beloved is man, every person, created in the image of God. This is a holy duty from which the Jewish people cannot and should not want to escape at any time, under any circumstances."

Arab Terrorists learn Lucrative Trade While in Israeli Prison

By & AFP

Inspired by their time working in an Israeli prison canteen, two Palestinian terrorists have launched a lucrative food truck in Ramallah in Samaria, in a first for the region ruled by the Palestinian Authority. It's not quite the captive audience they were used to, but Khaldun al-Barghuti and Abderrahman al-Bibi's brightly colored van is drawing attention - and hungry patrons - on the pavements and in the parks of the PA's political center.

Barghuti, who spent eight years in an Israeli prison, and Bibi, who spent nine, served food to fellow inmates during their time in jail. They said they served time for "resisting the Israeli occupation," but refused to provide further details regarding the terrorist activities that landed them in jail.

Barghuti, who was freed at the beginning of this year, said it was no coincidence that he decided to open a mobile business - dubbed the "Food Train" - following his release. "I had to get on the move after so much time spent in a small cell, I was tired of the long hours of boredom and I wanted to move all the time, like a train," he said, filling a baguette with grilled chicken and diced onions. He also said the psychedelic paint job of the van in red, blue, orange, purple and yellow came in response to the monotone colors of jail life.

In Israeli jails, Palestinian terrorists have been revealed to be enjoying numerous perks, and even benefit from university degree study programs.

Street stalls flogging falafel, grilled corncobs or Turkish coffee are a common part of any Arab street, but a restaurant in a truck with two fridges and a stove, powered by four huge solar panels, was unheard of before the Food Train.

Although such food trucks are all the rage in cities from New York to Paris, the two terrorists had to ask the PA ministry of transport to issue its first license for their mobile restaurant, which was inspired by their time in Israeli jail. Serving Middle Eastern street food alongside hot dogs and sandwiches, the truck has proven surprisingly popular. "We didn't expect to have so many customers this fast," said Barghuthi.

Since opening the truck three weeks ago, the two men take turns at the stove from 8 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week.

Barghuti, sporting a neatly trimmed black beard and an apron tied around his neck, said that in general they park next to "universities or public gardens, and sometimes employees ask us to come in to their industrial zone."

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