Chilly Reminder of Israel's Fight for Survival
November 03, 2007
|Ehud Efrati||Ehud Efratis' Casket|
The Israeli community of Zichron Yaacov buried one of their young men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the survival of the Jewish nation. First Sergeant Major Ehud Efrati, 34, was entombed Tuesday along side of other family members who had given their lives in the defense of the nation of Israel. One funeral attendee said that his death during an IDF raid in Gaza on Monday evening was "a chilly reminder of Israel's fight for survival".
|Beginning Funeral Procession||Funeral Procession|
Ehud Efrati was from a well respected Jewish family that had been one of the Zionist pioneering families which founded the now modern town of Zichron Yaacov. The vast majority of the population of Zichron Yaacov turned out in large numbers to honor the fallen grandson of Aaron Aaronsohn.
|Attendees at Funeral||Aaronsohn Museum at Zichron Yaacov|
Aaron Aaronsohn was the leader of a Jewish resistance movement, Nili, during World War I. He and his family provided the British troops with detailed intelligence reports about the movements and whereabouts of the Turkish troops. Using any means available to smuggle information to the British, Aaron Aaronsohn and Nili succeeded in assisting the British victory in Beersheva and other key engagements during the war. Nili was discovered when a carrier pigeon landed to rest in the coastal city of Caesarea. The message the pigeon was carrying was decoded by the Turks and the headquarters of Nili, in Zichron Yaacov, was raided and key members of the group were captured. Sarah Aaronsohn, Aaron's sister, was an active member of the group and after four hours of torture committed suicide in order to resist revealing any critical secrets to the Turks. She and her family are considered Zionist heroes and now her own nephew has been buried in the same graveyard as a result of his defense of the Jewish state.
|Reenactment at Beersheva|
Only two days after the funeral of Ehud Efrati, Beersheva celebrated the defeat of the Turks 90 years earlier by a reenactment of the famous cavalry charge led by the Australian Light Horse Brigade and General Allenby. The defeat of Turkish troops in Beersheva allowed the British to surge northward conquering Gaza and Jerusalem in 1917. Many of General Allenby's superiors were initially skeptical of his daring tactics against the Turks during the war, yet in 1919 Chief of Military Intelligence for the British, Major General George MacDonough, is quoted as saying: "Someone who is looking from the side lines, lacking knowledge about the situation, is likely to think that Allenby took unwarranted risks. That is not true. For Allenby knew with certainty from his intelligence of all the preparations and all the movements of his enemy. All the cards of his enemy were revealed to him, and so he could play his hand with complete confidence. Under these conditions, victory was certain before he began". That intelligence was provided mainly by Aaron Aaronsohn and Nili.
|Israeli Stamp of Sarah Aaronsohn|
Zichron Yaacov has a long history of sacrificing their best sons and daughters to the defense of the nation of Israel. Whether providing intelligence to the British or raiding a terrorist cell in Gaza, Israelis continue to fight for survival and pay the ultimate price for their nation's defense.