The Importance of Reflection and Community
Defense Ministry Reports 59 Soldiers Killed & EU Delegation Pays Tribute to Holocaust Victims: Get the latest news from Israel with updates on Defense Ministry reports, EU delegation’s tribute to Holocaust victims, Israeli Prime Minister’s vow to prevent nuclear Iran, Auschwitz-Birkenau march on National Day of mourning, Israeli police busting sex trafficking ring, pro-Hamas banner removal from Temple Mount, and the US offering a reward for the arrest of senior Hezbollah member Ibrahim Aqil.
Yom Hazikaron — Remembering Israel’s Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror: Dear Readers, on this year’s Yom Hazikaron that dawned on Tuesday, let us all remember the brave soldiers that sacrificed their lives for our country, as well as the victims of terror attacks. As we spend this day honoring their memory, may we cherish their sacrifice which bought our freedom and safety to live in the land of Israel. We would also like to wish you all a happy Yom Ha’atzma’ut on Wednesday. May you have a day filled with love and festivities while celebrating freedom and independence.
59 Soldiers Added to List of Israel’s Fallen Since Last Memorial Day: Fifty-nine soldiers were killed during their military service since Israel’s last Memorial Day, according to figures released by the Defense Ministry on Friday, April 21.
Another 86 disabled veterans died due to complications from injuries sustained during their service. The numbers brought the total to 24,213 of those who have died during service to the country since 1860.
The annual figures include all soldiers and police who died in the past year, whether in the line of duty, or as a result of an accident, illness, or suicide.
Thirty-one names were also added to the list of terror victims who perished in attacks in the past year. Another two disabled victims died due to complications from serious injuries they sustained in attacks, bringing the total to 4,255 since 1851, according to Israel’s National Insurance Institute.
The most recent Israelis who were murdered in terror attacks are the members of the Dee family, mother Lucy and daughters Rina and Maia.
The terrorist and hate attacks have left 3,420 orphans, of which 118 lost both parents, 800 widows, 851 bereaved parents, and 250 families who suffered multiple losses of more than one person per family. (TOI / VFI News)
The articles included in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Vision for Israel. We try to provide accurate reporting on news pertinent to Israel, the Middle East, the diaspora, and Jewish issues around the world—and we hope that you find it both informative and useful for intercessory prayer.
Israel’s 75th Birthday – 6 Israeli Women to Know: Israel’s 75th birthday is almost here and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate our state’s birth with you. In this article, we showcase 6 amazing Israeli women who have left a lasting and unforgettable mark on our history.
#6 – Dr. Nili Cohen, the first female President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a legal scholar whose groundbreaking work in civil rights and constitutional law has helped shape Israeli society.
#5 – Dvora Baron, a literary pioneer who paved the way for a new generation of Hebrew writers and intellectuals, is remembered for her contributions to Israeli literature and her impact on shaping the cultural heritage of the country.
#4 – Miriam Peretz, a symbol of hope and perseverance who has inspired many with her story of resilience in the face of tragedy, is one of Israel’s most beloved public figures. After losing two sons in the Israeli army, she became an advocate for love and unity among the oft-divided Israeli people, touching the hearts of people around the world.
#3 – Hannah Senesh. A remarkable young woman whose bravery and resilience during World War II continues to inspire, Hannah Senesh’s determination to fight against the Nazis and save innocent lives led her to join the British Army and embark on a dangerous mission to rescue Jews facing certain death.
#2 – Ada Yonath. A pioneering biochemist who made history as the first woman from the Middle East to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Ada Yonath’s groundbreaking work on the structure of ribosomes has revolutionized our understanding of how cells work and has opened up new avenues for drug development.
#1 – Golda Meir. A trailblazing leader who shattered the glass ceiling for women in politics, Golda Meir was Israel’s first and only female prime minister. Known to everyone as “Golda,” she left an indelible mark on Israel’s history, becoming a hero to many young women around the world. (I365N / VFI News)
“God, we thank You for assisting our women to excel, and for enabling them to unlock their full potential. We are extremely grateful for the brilliant Israelis that continue to make us proud worldwide with their significant achievements in every professional and humanitarian sector.”
EU Ambassadors: ‘We Won’t Stand Idly When Israel’s Right to Exist is Questioned’: The Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel on Monday, April 17, paid tribute to those who perished in the Holocaust and those who fought the Nazis.
In the statement, the delegation said, “We, representatives of the European Union and of the 26 Embassies of EU Member States present in Israel, are bowing our heads today in memory of the six million Jewish men, women and children who were brutally slaughtered during the Holocaust.”
“The history of the Holocaust constantly reminds us that we cannot remain indifferent to violence fuelled by hatred of any nation or group. Any ideology that deprives certain individuals of their human dignity and rights must be met with our unanimous condemnation.”
The statement added, “We pledge to speak out forcefully whenever and wherever antisemitism rises. It is unacceptable that today the hatred of Jews is once again on the march. We will not stand idly by when Jews are being attacked or harassed, when false conspiracy theories and stereotypes are spread, when the Holocaust is denied or distorted, when the State of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security is questioned. ”
“Words are not enough. The European Union’s Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030) lists 95 concrete actions we will take. More than half have already been set in motion.” (INN / VFI News)
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.” – Lamentations 3:19
“Never again” means that Israel must ensure that Iran will not be allowed to produce nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Yad Vashem on Monday evening, April 17.
Israel’s enemies such as Iran should not be thinking that internal division has weakened the country to such an extent that they can annihilate the Jewish people, he emphasized, “The Jewish people live”.
“New oppressors may think that we do not have the determination and internal cohesion to stand up to them. They are very wrong. We will defend ourselves, and together we will repel any threat to our existence,” Netanyahu stated.
“Our enemies will find us standing together, shoulder-to-shoulder,” he exclaimed.
The lessons of the Holocaust that evil must be halted in its tracks must be applied here to prevent a nuclear Iran, Netanyahu said. “The victory of the past does not alone guarantee the victory of the future. That is why we firmly fight any nuclear agreement with Iran, which would pave its way to nuclear weapons.”
“For the same reason, we fight aggressively against Iran’s terrorist branches around us. Those who seek to wrap us in a stranglehold of terror will encounter an overwhelming response,” he added. (JPost / VFI News):
“God, we seek for help and courage as we continue to overtake enemies that believe Israel is weak and shouldn’t exist. We trust that we will be victorious and rise in unison, so that all Israelis can live in safety.”
True Faith. Incredible Hardship: Ambushed and stoned by terrorists. In self-defense, he responded by shooting at the ground to drive them away. A few years later, in 2002, Boaz tragically lost his wife and 3 of their children in a separate terror attack. Still, Boaz is such an inspiration to us—having lived through tragedies that most of us will never experience, yet keeping an optimistic and positive outlook on life.
At Auschwitz March of the Living, Displays of Jewish Unity in a Sea of Israeli Flags: As dozens of tourist buses, broadcasting vans and police-led motorcades flood the roads, residents of a small Polish city, Oświęcim, don’t even stop to look.
To them, it’s a biannual occurrence — on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and on Yom Hashoah. As regular and unfailing as a season change, the influx is taken as a matter of course in this town bordering the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the labor and death camp that the Nazis built near Krakow.
But it’s a deeply moving experience for many of the 9,000 people participating in this year’s March of the Living. The commemorative walk across the former death camp’s grounds brings delegations from multiple countries and Jewish communities on Israel’s national day of mourning for the victims of the genocide.
This year marks the 35th March of the Living and includes 40 Holocaust survivors and their children. Its theme, in a nod to Wednesday’s 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, is Holocaust-era heroism.
As in previous years, the first sight at Auschwitz for many delegations as they alighted from their buses was members of a group of Zionist Christians from Korea, who waved Israeli flags, blew shofars and sang Israeli folk songs. After a short walk, visitors encountered the iconic “Arbeit Macht Frei” (German for “Work Sets You Free”) metal sign at the entrance to the camp – a bone-chilling testament to how the Nazis used deception and the offer of false hope to ensure their prisoners’ obedience right up to their murder.
Also attending the 3-kilometer march through the camp were dozens of dignitaries and VIPs, including Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Israeli Education Minister Yoav Kisch, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau, United States Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides and his predecessor, David Friedman and Ahmed Al Mansoori who founded the UAE’s first Holocaust exhibition in Dubai. Young people from Morocco and Bahrain also participated in the March of the Living. (TOI / VFI News)
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:14
International Sex Trafficking Operation Broken Open by Israel Police: Israel Police on Wednesday, April 19, raided the homes of 15 people suspected of involvement in an international sex trafficking ring. Over NIS 400,000 in cash and foreign currencies was seized during the raid along with five vehicles that were allegedly used as part of the trafficking operation.
The suspects have been the target of an undercover investigation carried out by Lachish District police forces over the last few months along with the Israel Tax Authority and the Southern District Prosecutor’s Office after the suspicion arose that they were involved in the network.
The network uncovered by the investigation would allegedly operate to bring women into Israel from abroad, with a focus on women from the former USSR. Once in Israel, they would be pimped out for sexual services.
According to police, the network was headed by four suspects, men and women between the ages of 30 and 59, who employed other suspects in an organized manner, with positions such as financial management personnel, hotel owners to provide women housing, drivers to bring the women to their “clients,” and employees who would “market” the women and maintain relationships with criminal groups abroad to locate potential victims for their scheme.
As part of the investigation, the Lachish District officers said they uncovered the method by which women would be pimped out to clients. Upon their arrival in Israel, each woman would be professionally photographed, and she would be assigned a nickname and price tag for various services that clients could purchase. From there, her details would be distributed among the customer base through a variety of different platforms. (JPost / VFI News)
“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked.” – Proverbs 3:25
Police Remove Hamas Banner from Temple Mount: Police officers ascended the Temple Mount before dawn Wednesday, April 19, and removed a pro-Hamas banner inciting violence that had been hung at the holy site.
On Tuesday, Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) demanded police explain why the banner had not yet been removed. The banner read: “Our existence is meaningless if we do not seek out Al-Aqsa. The resistance has not yet had its final word.”
Early Wednesday morning, at Ben-Gvir’s request, police officers entered the Temple Mount and removed the banner, while hundreds of Arabs protested the move. Carrying the flag of Hamas or signs containing incitement to violence on the Temple Mount is illegal and can lead to the offender being arrested and barred from the mount.
However, police often refrain from arresting violators when tens or even hundreds of thousands of Muslim worshipers are on the Temple Mount at one time. (INN / VFI News)
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” – Genesis 4:7
US State Department Offers $7 Million Reward for Hezbollah Leader: The US State Department Tuesday, April 18, announced a $7 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Ibrahim Aqil, a senior member of the Hezbollah terrorist organization.
“Ibrahim Aqil, also known as Tahsin, serves on Hezbollah’s highest military body, the Jihad Council,” the State Department said in its announcement.
“During the 1980s, Aqil was a principal member of Islamic Jihad Organization—Hezbollah’s terrorist cell—that claimed the bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in April 1983, which killed 63 people, and the U.S. Marine barracks in October 1983, which killed 241 U.S. personnel.”
In 2021, the US Treasury Department stated that Aqil “played a vital role in Hezbollah’s military campaign in Syria by aiding Hezbollah fighters and pro-Syrian regime troops against Syrian opposition forces in battles inside Syria.”
Aqil has also been linked to the late Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani. (INN / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.