Russian Bombs Hit Babi Yar

On Tuesday, a Russian strike on a TV tower in Kyiv also damaged the Babi Yar (in Ukrainian, Babyn Yar) memorial site, which marks the mass grave of tens of thousands of Jews, murdered there in 1941. JNS reports:

Natan Sharansky, chair of the advisory board of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, confirmed the damage. “[That] Putin seeks to distort and manipulate the Holocaust to justify an illegal invasion of a sovereign democratic country is utterly abhorrent. It is symbolic that he starts attacking Kyiv by bombing the site of Babyn Yar, the biggest of Nazi massacre[s],” Sharansky wrote.

On Twitter, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky lamented the irony of the memorial being hit. “What is the point of saying ‘never again’ for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar?” he wrote. . . .

Yad Vashem also “vehemently condemned” the strike by Russian forces and urged the international community to take action, stating, “We call on the international community to take concerted measures to safeguard civilian lives as well as these historical sites because of their irreplaceable value for research, education, and commemoration of the Holocaust. . . . Sacred sites like Babi Yar must be protected.”

Read more at JNS

More about: Holocaust, Holocaust memorial, War in Ukraine

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7