Letter From Missing IDF Soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin Read on Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah), observed this year in Israel on April 24, is a day filled with mixed emotions. While the Holocaust is one of the world’s most tragic historical events, it is also commonly credited with leading to the creation of the State of Israel.

“Many of Israel’s original fighters were Holocaust survivors,” noted Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, the official welfare fund of the Israeli Army (IDF). “It is incumbent upon all of us to both honor those who went through the Holocaust as well as to recognize their contribution to the State of Israel.”

To that end, in a moving addition to the International March of the Living ceremony, to be held next week in the Auschwitz death camp, the parents of missing IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin will read a letter their son wrote while on a high school Holocaust memorial trip to Poland before he entered the army. The Goldins will join a delegation from the IDF for the ceremony.

“The Israeli army recognizes the importance of educating soldiers, both about their heritage and about their history,” continued Grossman. “Part of the LIBI USA budget goes towards Holocaust awareness programs and trips which help to develop a deeper appreciation about where the Jewish people have been, where we are today and the clarity to know that we have to fight for a safe and secure future.”

Goldin’s letter is particularly moving given the circumstances of his death. During the Gaza war in 2014, called Operation Protective Edge, Hamas orchestrated a deadly ambush two hours into a humanitarian ceasefire. They killed Goldin along with Sgt. Oron Shaul. Their bodies have never been returned to Israel and are believed to be held by Hamas as a future negotiation tool in exchange for terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails.

In his letter, Goldin wrote that he had the strength to give “above and beyond” for his country. He wrote, “I am sitting in a freight car in Poland, in the corner. I don’t know how many children like me and people similar and different to me passed through here – and they were all Jews. They were torn from their homes, their families, their parents and children and did not know where they were being sent and where they were going. But I want to tell you that because of you, I know where I am going.

“I am going to the State of Israel. My country and ours. And I understand, thanks to you, what my country gives me, but mainly – what I need to give of myself to the country. To represent and defend my country in the IDF.”

In addition to the participation of the IDF in the March of the Living, the army is expanding its Holocaust education initiative through a project called Zikaron BaSalon (Memory in the Living Room). Survivors and their children will visit 120 army bases to tell their stories about surviving the Holocaust.

“With the passing of each day, the number of survivors who can share their personal accounts of the Holocaust rapidly declines,” expressed Grossman. “We have an obligation to honor and remember those who passed through that time in history and make known their part in the miraculous creation of the Jewish state. Who, in those years, could have imagined that Israel would have a strong and proud army?”

 

First Selfie with OnePlus 2 is now Online from OnePlus Headquarters

OnePlus 2 is the upcoming flagship device by China-based company OnePlus which get a huge response in India with its flagship killer device OnePlus One. OnePlus 2 is all set for a July 27 VR unveil, but before that happens, the company is revealing features of its next flagship in compartments. First, it let us know that the OnePlus 2 will have a Snapdragon 810 processor, then we got to know that the Smartphone will be one of the first to sport a USB-C Port, and now the company has revealed that the OnePlus 2 will come with a Fingerprint Scanner that’s “faster than Touch ID”.

As mentioned above,  the company has been revealing information in the form of regular teasers. The employees just posted their first selfie from the OnePlus 2 on Twitter, creating more buzz. Recommended Site http://www.switchgeek.com/. Now First Selfie with OnePlus 2 is now Online and it looks amazing. So here take a look at a first Selfie which was taken by OnePlus 2 device at OnePlus Headquarters.

One plus 2 will feature 5.5 inches 1080 x 1920 Full HD Display which have the pixel density of 401 ppi, it will have Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which is going to be tough enough to protect your device. OnePlus 2 going to have Snapdragon Octacore Processor with 3 GB of Ram with 16/64 GB internal support.

The OnePlus 2 will be one of the first smartphones to be launched via Virtual Reality. OnePlus will officially unveil its new phone at the end of the month on July 27 and that it may be slightly pricier than the OnePlus One. OnePlus has even made its own cardboard VR headset, which it will start selling for free but it seems consumers will have to pay for shipping.

In Army First, IDF Tests Women for Grueling Armored Corps

As the Israel Defense Force (IDF) strives to increase gender integration in combat units, 15 female soldiers have been recruited into the Armored Corps to test their suitability. These recruits are being heavily supervised by tank commanders, IDF Medical Corps personnel, nutritionists and combat fitness experts in order to track their progress, their physical abilities and to protect their health.

“In July of 2015, the IDF shortened mandatory service from 36 months to 32 months,” explained Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA , the official welfare fund of the IDF. “This change has led to a need to increase recruitment, including of women, who are more and more seeking to serve in combat positions.”
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Though approximately 90 percent of IDF positions are open to women, including combat roles in the Navy, Home Front Command, Artillery Corps, Military Police in the West Bank, fighter and cargo pilots, operator of the Spike (Tammuz) missile and the hand launched Skylark UAV, women still account for only 5 percent of front line troops.

Passing the rigorous demands of combat is often not realistic for many women. In fact, the army has reduced their requirements for women to be in combat, to the chagrin of many who feel that women in combat are generally weakening the IDF. For example, women in combat must carry 20 percent of their weight for 10 kilometers while men must carry 40 percent of their weight for 30 kilometers.

The IDF Medical Corps has previously noted that female combat soldiers suffer dramatically higher rates of stress fractures and other injuries than males. Yet women continue to fight for equal opportunities in the army.

“Though in May of 2015, the army decided that women were not appropriate for the Armored Corps because of the extended time these soldiers spend in tanks, which would be uncomfortable for both men and women and also because of the physical obstacles, such as loading shells into a tank’s gun, dealing with a tank’s tracks coming off and even pressing the pedals, which takes great strength, we are waiting to see the results of this trial,” continued Grossman.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, the Armored Corps has become one of the least popular units for IDF recruits. Perhaps this will be an opportunity for both the IDF and women seeking more combat positions.”

The Armored Corps notoriously has the worst service conditions and fewer weekends off than other corps. However, if women are found to be capable of handling the tanks, they will receive special considerations. For example, female tank crews will not operate in enemy territory, but would be deployed only to the Jordanian and Egyptian borders. In addition, because of the close-quarters of serving in tanks, the IDF has made creating all-female units a priority. There have also been developments for using an electric system to lift the massive weight of a tank observation mast.

The pilot program will officially end March 2018. Israel’s military will review the results and decide if the Armored Corps are appropriate for female recruits. “In the meantime, LIBI USA, as always, remains neutral in these matters,” concluded Grossman. “It is our obligation to provide for the welfare of all of Israel’s soldiers. It is the army’s responsibility to decide how best to protect the Holy Land and her citizens.”

 

LIBI USA Programs Help Lone IDF Soldiers to Stay in Israel Post-Service

At any given time, the Israeli army has over 6,000 lone soldiers in attendance. A lone soldier is someone who has left his family and homeland to protect the Land of Israel by serving in its army. He or she can be a new immigrant, a volunteer from abroad, an orphan or someone from a broken home.

However, without proper guidance through Israel’s bureaucracy, help with Hebrew or homes to go to during off-time for warm meals or to do laundry, many of these idealistic soldiers find themselves struggling to stay in the Holy Land after they finish their service.

Recognizing the importance of helping lone soldiers succeed in Israel, a significant part of donations received by LIBI USA, the official fund of the IDF established in 1980 to provide Israeli soldiers with their educational, religious, and recreational needs, goes towards easing these challenges.

“It is estimated by the Immigration and Absorption Ministry that nearly half of all lone soldiers leave Israel immediately after completing their military serve and of those who stay, another third leave shortly thereafter,” said Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA. “We know part of this attrition is caused by the daunting task of adjusting to a new life, language, and culture in Israel as well as the struggle to receive a degree in higher education so that one can make a proper living.”

While most lone soldiers state that they joined the Israeli army because “protecting the Holy Land should not fall solely on those who live there” or “both praying and doing for the State of Israel must go hand-in-hand” or “I felt an obligation to contribute to Israel’s safety”, the reality of this altruism is not simple.

“Just as lone soldiers feel dedicated to protecting Israel, LIBI USA feels dedicated to helping these brave men and women succeed at their goals, whether that means finishing their army service or receiving an education from an Israeli college in order to spend the rest of their lives in Israel,” stated Grossman.

While serving, LIBI USA contributes towards lone soldiers learning Hebrew and Jewish history. The organization sponsors tours of the Holy Land as well as rest and relaxation retreats, Passover holiday seders, money for groceries, gift cards on holidays, special lone soldier housing which includes meals and laundry services, flights to visit family back home, tools and training for entering civilian life and more.

LIBI USA is also integrally involved with the army’s latest mission, a program called “Uniform to University”. The goal of this program is to give every soldier a full college or vocational training scholarship to ensure the successful future of both soldiers and the Land of Israel.

“When we hear lone soldiers say that they have chosen to dedicate the best years of their lives to protect Israel and her citizens, we are jolted to give to them as well,” smiled Grossman. “First and foremost, we feel that giving to Israel is means providing for her safety and that means supporting her army.”

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