A People Who Refuse to Forget Celebrate the Recapture of Jerusalem

Tonight begins Yom Yerushalayim, the anniversary on the Jewish calendar of the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. On that day in 1967, an IDF commander selected a young soldier named Dov Gruner to be the first to reach the Western Wall. He did so in recognition of another man with the same name, who had died for the Zionist cause after serving in the British army during World War II. Meir Soloveichik reflects on the legacy of the two Dov Gruners:

Captured during an Irgun raid on a Ramat Gan police station, [the first] Gruner was sentenced to death. Given his wartime service, an international campaign sought the commutation of Gruner’s sentence. But the British, in an act that horrified even Menachem Begin’s opponents in the Zionist movement, hanged Dov Gruner in the middle of the night in the Acre prison, denying him the right to see a rabbi before his execution.

It has been noted by scholars such as the historian Yosef Hayyim Yerushalmi and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks that while others speak of their connection to the past as “history,” Jews instead tend to speak of “memory.” The difference between the two terms is profound. History rightly records the great figures who oversaw the events that changed the world. Jewish memory insists on the debt we owe to all those who sacrificed in the past, and our obligation to remember them.

This month, after celebrating Israel’s 75th anniversary, the Jewish world will mark Jerusalem Day, remembering one of the most miraculous moments in Jewish history. Jews will remember, and rightly so, the commanders who helped bring about this remarkable achievement. But it is right to remember the men who captured a mount and touched the stones of the ancient wall, men who remembered Dov Gruner, expressing thereby what it means to be part of a people who refuse to forget.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Irgun, Jerusalem, Six-Day War, Western Wall


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security