Modest proposals for Yom HaShoah and Yom Hazikaron

by Maskil on May 1, 2008

JERUSALEM - MAY 06:  An Israeli soldier places...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Proposal 1 – the scope of Yom Hazikaron

My understanding is that Yom Hazikaron (Israel Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day) originally commemorated veterans and fallen members of the IDF and other uniformed/security services and paramilitary organisations since 1860. It was later expanded to also include Israeli civilians killed by acts of terrorism.

I would like to make a proposal that the scope of Yom Hazikaron be changed one more time, to also embrace the Jewish victims of radical Islamist terror worldwide. I believe this would be appropriate, not only because most victims were targeted as Jews, but also because many of the acts of terror were purported to be in response to Israeli acts or policies (or simply the existence of Israel or Zionism).

In the case of the worst single example of Islamist terror – the 9/11 World Trade Centre bombing – there seems to have been a strong belief on the part of the perpetrators that they were attacking a specifically Jewish target rather than simply an American one. In fact, it would appear that 4-500 of victims were in fact Jewish, somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of the almost 3,000 victims. This is almost half as many again as were killed during the entire Second Intifada.

While local Jewish and communities and national authorities no doubt commemorate the victims in a suitable manner, it would also be appropriate for them to be remembered in the state of the Jewish people as victims of this worldwide latter day war against the Jews.

Proposal 2 – A flower for the season

Flowers and floral wreaths are an integral part of the memorial ceremonies and acts of homage for both Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) and Yom Hazikaron (despite the sentiments of the Haredi Grinch). I would like to suggest that one of the beautiful flowers endemic or indigenous to Eretz Israel (perhaps a red Anemone?) be selected as the preferred flower for this time of remembrance. As with Poppy Day in Britain, the Commonwealth and elsewhere, paper lapel stickers with an image of the flower could be used in national fundraising initiatives, as well as showing solidarity with the spirit of the season. The lapel badges could then be worn for the +/-7 days from 27 Nisan through 5 Iyar (Yom HaAtzma-ut (Israel Independence Day)).

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