Hallandale Beach Stands With Israel
By Ira Liebowitz
October 19, 2023
City Officials Held A Vigil At City Hall On October 10th To Show - We Are United
A heterogeneous mix of humanity attended an emotional vigil in staunch solidarity for Israel after atrocities had been committed by Islamic Terrorists against innocent civilians of the Jewish state.
The event, which took place outside Hallandale Beach City Hall, had been coordinated remarkably in just the 48 hours prior to the event by Vice Mayor Anabelle Lima-Taub and Mayor Joy Cooper. Residents of Hallandale Beach had been contacted by telephone the day before, alerting them to the impromptu vigil to inform the public as well as to pray for the nation of Israel amid suffering brought on by unprovoked aggression by the militant group, Hamas.
Perhaps 300 people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds attended the vigil on Tuesday, October 10th, which began at 6:30 p.m. and ended past 9:00 p.m. Members of the City Commission, Police Force, the Religious Community - some Orthodox, others “Reformed” - attended. A hodgepodge of people gathered to represent the best of homo sapiens and promote peace and unity. The motorcyclists, Rolling Thunder, held a placard as they expressed solidarity as well as kind hearts.
Present were several of the rabbinical community. Speakers took to a microphone, many speaking spontaneously from the heart with great compassion and feeling—eloquently. All virtually touched upon the same subjects regarding unity and the need to obliterate purveyors of Terror. They were angered with the mentioning of the unimaginable crimes that were perpetrated, reminiscent of the carnage against humanity during the Holocaust more than three quarters of a century ago.
Never Again! — The cry expressed regarding the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Also, the axiom of history, if forgotten, may repeat itself, was expressed at the Vigil. It is all but forgotten that as Concentration Camps were liberated as WWII ended, then General Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered that the German townsfolk neighboring outside must witness the barbarity carried out inside. This future U.S. President instructed a film crew to record this horrid tableau to serve as a warning for posterity.
The size of the nation of Israel has been compared to that of New Jersey. It is surrounded by enemies, some whose doctrine is to wipe the Jewish state - and its people - off the map. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu therefore resolutely declared war on Iranian-Proxy Hamas.
It is estimated that the present Israeli casualty count, if extrapolated for the difference in population to that of the U.S., would amount to more than 35,000 deaths. This adds up to more than ten times the casualties of America’s tragedy on September 11th, 2001, during the attack on the Twin Towers.
After the unprovoked incursion, Israel virtually has been forced to retaliate in self-defense and as a deterrent to stem further aggression.
Notably, as “collateral damage,” a great many Palestinian lives also have been lost. It is widely acknowledged that ALL lives are precious, and that kindness and compassion must counter evil.
It was mentioned that the atrocities had begun on a Saturday, a Jewish time of Sabbath and also during the end of Sukkot, a festival commemorating Moses leading the Israelites away from bondage. It is no coincidence that the Islamic incursion during this time of reflection was intended to take the Jewish state by surprise.
The Siddur, a Jewish prayer book, cites that the good will be held up and wicked will be vanquished:
• “He is the G-d who exacts vengeance for us from our foes and Who brings just retribution upon the enemies of our soul.”
• "Who delivers us from the grip of all the tyrants; the benevolent G-d Who avenges us against our persecutors, and brings retribution on all our mortal enemies."
• "As for all those who plot evil against me, hasten to annul their counsel and frustrate their design."
Many adjectives regarding the marauders - the murderers - were expressed. Monsters, Creatures, etc. Crimes noted included abominable abuse of babies and seniors. It was said that the crimes committed were so barbaric as could hardly be imagined, lest in a grisly horror movie. That this had occurred in real-life made the heinous acts all the more detestable. Last Friday 13th, Broadcast Announcers Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity aired these words respectively:
"These terrorists are below the animals.”
"This rabid, virulent Anti-Semitism worldwide--where is this coming from?”
A distinction was made regarding killing of combatants during wartime and the indiscriminate brutal slayings of civilians. At one point, during the vigil, a wartime siren blared, likely sending chills to many on this otherwise balmy South Florida evening.
North Miami Beach Resident Rivkah, had attended and commented, “The speakers did a wonderful job at inspiring the public to show and to give support to Israel. The beautiful choir, the sound of the Shofar, and the recored air raid siren all created feelings of unity and solidarity. May the City of Hallandale, along with all who befriend Israel be blessed with the blessing given by G-d to Abraham,” I will bless those who bless you.”
Conveniently, City Hall is located next to the Hallandale Beach Police Station. The presence of Police Officers no doubt afforded solace and security at the Vigil which ran without incident. Mayor Cooper warned to be vigilant when at upcoming rallies as insurgents bent on mischief might be present. A yellow medical vehicle from the Jewish Community’s Hatzalah was on hand.
By the way, another Vigil ran concurrently in Hollywood, Florida, hosted by Mayor Josh Levy. He commented, “It was important to have the Vigil. People needed a way to mourn and not be alone. This is a very tough time for everyone.”
Finally, after some two hours and more than a dozen speakers, the Hallandale Beach Mayor and Vice-Mayor emotively thanked the audience for attending. At times, led by a Rabbi, joyous singing helped lighten this special evening.
It was mentioned that Vice-Mayor Anabelle Lima-Taub had burned the proverbial midnight oil to organize the event. And, to the Mayor, City Commission, patrol and eloquent speakers, the diverse attendees can tip their occasional cowboy hats and more-prominent yarmulkes to the Hallandale Beach Officials who, in a flash of two days, orchestrated a memorable, heartwarming, event.
The day after the Vigil, City Hall provided a press release including this message:
“The City of Hallandale Beach stands united with Israel and its people in the face of recent tragic events that have inflicted loss, suffering and instability... We reaffirm our dedication to peace, security, and stability at this critical juncture. We call for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflicts.”
Furthermore, were shared resources made available by the U.S. State Department to assist U.S. Citizens seeking to contact the U.S. Embassy in Israel, travel to and from the country and enroll contact information for U.S. Travelers.
"In response to these challenging circumstances, the City of Hallandale Beach has taken progressive actions to support and protect our community in solidarity with Israel. We have worked closely with the Hallandale Beach Police Department to maximize police presence at synagogues and other houses of worship, ensuring all residents' and visitors' safety and security."
"May the values of peace and solidarity prevail, ending the suffering and leading to a brighter, more peaceful future for all. Our thoughts and prayers are with Israel, and we hope for a swift and just resolution to the current crisis." City of Hallandale Beach