04/13/21: Sirens sounded across Israel tonight at 8.00 p.m. in remembrance of 23,928 soldiers and terror victims killed since 1948, when the Jewish state was founded.
This year, 43 IDF soldiers were killed in action in defence of Israel. Yom Ha'zikaron (Remembrance Day) affects most Israeli families. It is the day we consider the heroism and valour of Israel's soldiers who have sacrificed everything so Israel can remain free.
As someone who has lost a family member (Emile Azoulay zl) - the pain and suffering of each grieving family is all too real. We remember our loved ones today and every day. We thank them for their courage. We honour their memory.
For this reason, I was delighted to establish a Scholarship Fund in National Security" at Haifa University, that would specifically assist IDF soldiers in strengthening their education.
Speaking at a memorial ceremony at the Western Wall, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin said: “From here, I want to speak to you, the commanders, the soldiers, those soon to enlist, the young generation. I grew up as a child at a time when we did not have a state. For me, for those of my generation, the State of Israel is not something to be taken for granted,”
Yom Ha'zikaron is followed by Yom Ha'atzmout, Israel's Independence Day (Thursday). This year, Israel will be marking its 73rd anniversary to much fanfare. One of the highlights of the day includes an incredible display of strength by the Israeli Air Force on Tel Aviv beach.
While Israel may be celebrating its 73rd anniversary as a modern state, the Jewish people have lived on the land for more than 3,000 years.
Today, we honour Israel's soldiers and terror victims and we celebrate the realization of the Zionist dream - the modern founding of the State of Israel.
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About: Avi Abraham Benlolo has been described as the nation's most prominent and noted expert in Holocaust studies, in countering Antisemitism and promoting human rights. He has dedicated nearly three decades in executive capacities in the Jewish community and as a leading voice in Canada. His academic research, graduate degree, Ph.D. coursework and nearly three decades of professional work has focused on these arenas in addition to peace and security in the Middle East. He has published hundreds of articles in these areas. In recognition of his national and international leadership in this area, he has received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate from a prestigious Israeli university for his work in Holocaust studies and combating antisemitism; an Order of Vaughan for his distinguished contribution to anti-racism, equity and diversity; the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to Canada and a race relations award for best practice, based on distinguished service in promoting human rights. As a supporter of Israel, he is proud to have established "The Avi Benlolo Scholarship Fund in National Security" at Haifa University.