On Memorial Day, Israel mourns, reflects on vets’ trauma – Times of India

JERUSALEM: Israel marked its nationwide Memorial Day for fallen troopers on Wednesday, in a yr when nationwide consideration has been centered on the plight of veterans affected by psychological trauma.
Memorial Day is probably the most solemn day on Israel’s nationwide calendar. Bereaved households go to cemeteries and attend memorial ceremonies, and tv and radio shift programming to somber music, broadcasts of memorials companies and documentaries about slain troopers.
The sounding of a two-minute siren across the nation introduced folks to a momentary halt, with pedestrians standing nonetheless on the street and motorists stopping on the freeway and standing with heads bowed.
Israel has fought half a dozen wars with neighboring Arab nations, battled two Palestinian uprisings and endured scores of lethal militant assaults since its institution in 1948. On Memorial Day, Israel honors 23,928 fallen troopers and over 3,100 folks killed in militant assaults.
At sunset on Wednesday, the nation will transition from remembrance to joyous celebration, kicking off its 73rd Independence Day.
Speaking at a memorial service at Jerusalem‘s Mount Herzl army cemetery, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel “must never remain apathetic to the threats of war and extermination of those who seek to eliminate us.” His remarks got here within the midst of heightened tensions between Israel and regional arch-enemy Iran, following an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility earlier this week. Iran has blamed Israel for the incident.
“For the State of Israel not to be a passing episode in the history of our people, we must hold onto our land with all our might and determination,” he stated.
This yr’s observances have been marked by nationwide dialogue about remedy for veterans affected by psychological trauma, after a former soldier was hospitalized after setting himself on fireplace earlier this week.
Itzik Saidian, 26, served within the Israeli army throughout the 2014 battle in opposition to Hamas militants within the Gaza Strip, collaborating in some of the fiercest preventing throughout the month-lengthy battle. His household stated he suffered extreme despair from the trauma of the battle, however struggled to obtain monetary help from the Defense Ministry.
On Monday, Saidian set himself on fireplace at a veteran rehabilitation workplace in central Israel. The Sheba Medical Center stated Tuesday that Saidian was in vital situation with burns throughout his physique.
Saidian’s brother, Avi, informed reporters that the authorities “neglected him. He saw terrible things and nobody cared. Everyone thought he was just talking.” His sister-in-legislation informed Israeli information web site Ynet that “the state forgot the soldiers that fought for it and has neglected them. When they need help, the door is slammed in their faces.”
Israel’s president, prime minister, and protection minister issued statements wishing Saidian a speedy restoration and expressing help for veterans affected by trauma.
The military chief of employees, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, stated in a press release that the Israel “owes a great debt to those who risk their lives and their souls for the defense of the country and we must do everything to fight for their sake.”
But Edan Kleiman, director of Israel’s disabled veterans affiliation, informed Israeli public radio on Tuesday that Saidian’s case factors to main shortcomings within the authorities’s veteran’s affairs bureau. He accused the Defense Ministry’s medical committees, which decide incapacity in veterans, of abuse, saying they “treating them like swindlers, and treatment of their cases sometimes drags out for a decade.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated he held an pressing dialogue with senior officers and opened an investigation.
“In the last few months, we have taken a number of actions to promote the treatment of post-trauma injuries and mental injuries in general – but the system is still lacking and there is a lot of work ahead of us,” he stated.

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