Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror, serves as a reminder that national freedom is a precious commodity that must be vigorously defended.
By: Daniel Krygier, Political Analyst, World Israel News
Seventy years after its rebirth, the State of Israel continues to face enemies committed to its destruction, first and foremost Iran and its Islamist allies. On Yom Hazikaron, which is observed this year on Wednesday evening and Thursday, the Jewish state commemorates over 23,500 IDF soldiers who have fallen in the line of duty and 3,800 Israeli civilians murdered by Muslim Arab terrorists.
This is a tremendous sacrifice for the tiny State of Israel and proportionally corresponds to over one million Americans. Nevertheless, it is a price worth paying when considering the fact that six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust when the Jewish People was homeless and defenseless.
David Ben-Gurion, modern Israel’s founding father, had no illusions about anti-Semitism disappearing anytime soon. Quite the opposite. The epicenter of Jew-hatred has moved from post-Christian Europe to the neo-Islamist Middle East. Israel’s first prime minister also realized that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not territorial, but driven by an Arab opposition to Israel’s existence within any borders. Building a formidable military and intelligence force for Israel therefore became a top priority for the leaders of the reborn Jewish state.
The vast Middle East and North African regions are home to diverse ethnic and religious minorities, such as the Berbers, Kurds and Christian Copts. They are all threatened by Arab imperialism and Islamist extremism. The reason is simple: these minorities are homeless, defenseless and they face a largely indifferent international community. Millions of oppressed Christians have fled from the Middle East, which is rapidly becoming ethnically cleansed of ancient, pre-Islamic ethnic and religious communities. Once again, the Western world has turned its back on the Kurds and looks the other way when Turkey mercilessly attacks the Kurdish people and denies them national freedom.
Israel stands out as the only non-Arab, non-Muslim nation in the region capable of defending its national independence and repelling aggression. In fact, the Jewish state has become a source of inspiration for other nations seeking national freedom, like the Kurds. As far as the world is concerned, “Never Again” became ever again. Genocides and massacres from Rwanda to Sudan to Bosnia to Syria make it evidently clear that the international community has not learned from the Holocaust.
The message is very clear for Jews and other threatened peoples: Only those nations capable of defending their national freedom will survive and thrive.