GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Israel's Memorial Day....

Israel marks the 22,000+ soldiers lost in combat...
Israel paused as air raid sirens wailed Monday evening, marking the beginning of the nation's annual Memorial Day for fallen soldiers, and leaders warned that the Jewish state still faces threats to its existence.

The widow of the last Israeli soldier to die in combat lit the memorial flame at a ceremony at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, the holiest place where Jews are allowed to pray.

The soldier, Capt. Yehonatan Netanel, was killed Jan. 6 during Israel's offensive in Gaza when Israeli forces mistakenly opened fire on his unit. Netanel, 27, left his widow, Tziona, and a 5-month-old daughter, Maayan.

The Israeli government said that since 1860, when the first Jewish neighborhood was established outside the walls of Jerusalem, 22,570 people have been killed in wars and attacks. Since last year, 133 have been added to the list, including 10 soldiers killed during the Gaza offensive that killed more than 1,100 Palestinians.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak noted in a statement that the Middle East is not North America or Europe. "It is an environment without charity to the weak, and there are no second chances to those who don't know how to protect themselves," he said.

Addressing a gathering earlier Monday at Ammunition Hill, site of a bloody Jerusalem battle in the 1967 Mideast war, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "The price we have paid, and the price we are still paying, is unbearable, I know." Netanyahu's brother Yonatan was killed during Israel's dramatic rescue of hostages from a hijacked plane in Uganda in 1976.

Netanyahu said Israel must maintain strong military and security forces to fend off threats, but added, "In spite of the difficulties, we will continue our efforts to complete the circle of peace with our neighbors."

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