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Friday, May 14, 2004

"May Gd avenge the blood of this Jewish hero"

Yaakvo 'Jericho' Marvizi will be laid to rest in Yugoslavia
Arutz Sheva: 25-year-old Yaakov Marvizi will not be buried in Israel, but is being transported back to his old hometown in Yugoslavia.

Two friends of Marvizi approached IsraelNationalNews.com separately, each requesting that Marvizi’s heroism be written about. “There have been so many soldiers killed in this war – and they are all heroes who died defending the Jewish people – but I just want to give a glimpse of what a great person was taken from us Tuesday,” Ben Simons told Arutz-7’s Ezra HaLevi.

“Yaakov, or ‘Jericho’ as his friends called him, was born on an island in the Adriatic Sea to a Jewish-Serbian mother and a Christian-Croatian father who died when he was ten,” said Simons. “He excelled at whatever he did, serving in an elite unit in the Serbian army and becoming the national judo champion.”

Despite a successful life in Serbia, Marvizi yearned to defend the Jewish people by joining the IDF. “’Jericho’ made Aliyah (immigration to Israel) about two years ago with the intention of volunteering for an Israeli Special-Forces unit,” said Simons. “Though he passed all the physical, psychological and intelligence tests with flying colors he was not accepted to any of the special units because he had a low security clearance as a result of having served in the Serbian army.”

Marvizi was not deterred; he hounded various IDF officials until he got placed in basic training with the Paratroopers. “After basic training, I met ‘Jericho’ for the first time in a four-month combat-medic course. We were both new immigrants struggling with the advanced Hebrew,” recalled Simons. “I remember him play-wrestling two or three other soldiers at once and winning hands-down because he was so strong – he simply would succeed at whatever he put his mind to.”

Despite the intensive combat medic training, Marvizi never lost sight of his ultimate goal. “Both of us passed the course, but he didn’t give up his dream of joining an elite combat unit for a second. I had never seen anything like his determination – he wanted to be in the best unit in the Israeli army and continued to apply for these units, taking the grueling physical tests over and over again,” said Simons.

Simons kept tabs on Marvizi through common friends as he went on to serve in the all-religious Netzach Yehuda ‘Nachal Hareidi’ unit. “I heard Jericho had been turned down from yet another commando unit and was now serving a non-combat role in the army,” said Simons. “I kept thinking of how disappointed he must be, because he was more than capable of serving anywhere in the army and dreamt of standing on the front lines of the war to defend Israel.”

Two months ago – nearly a year later – Simons ran into Marvizi in the Tel Aviv bus station. “He was ecstatic,” recalled Simons, “he had finally been accepted into an elite unit of the Givati Brigade and was on his way back from the anti-terror course, one of the most difficult parts of advanced training – he said he was almost ready to begin operations with his unit.”

Moshe Levy, a new immigrant from Columbia shared a room with Marvizi when he first arrived in Israel. Levy described the same intensity and purpose in his friend Yaakov. “He came to kibbutz Maagan Michael where we studied Hebrew together in Ulpan (Hebrew immersion course) and volunteered,” recalled Levy. “He did not know a word of Hebrew, but after a week and a half of intense study he requested to move up a level. He was just unstoppable in his quest to master the Hebrew language.”

Levy describes his friend Yaakov as a kind, passionate person. “He had a very good voice and he would sing while I played the guitar, always talking about how much he loved his girlfriend Maayan – who I never got to meet.”

Simons, back in England to finish the paperwork for his own official Aliyah, heard about Marvizi’s death soon after the armored personnel carrier was blown up. “I was devastated,” said Simons. “He had only been in Israel for two years and had absolutely no obligation to serve in the army [because of IDF policy regarding one who has served in a foreign army] ,doing so out of a true desire to defend the Jewish people.”

Contrary to claims by far-left politicians, Simons believes that Marvizi did not die in vain. “He was a strong and brave soldier, a real proud Jew, and he was my friend,” concluded Simons. “May his willingness to sacrifice for our people be an inspiration to those who refuse to surrender, and may God avenge the blood of this Jewish hero.”

Tzvika Levi is responsible for soldiers like Yaakov Marvizi who live on Kibbutzim during their army service because they have no family in Israel. He said Marvizi called him last Tuesday saying, "Tzvika, if something happens to me, tell my girlfriend Maayan that I want to be buried in Jerusalem, the holy city. And if not in Jerusalem, then I want to be buried in the kibbutz."

Yaakov ‘Jericho’ Marvizi will not be laid to rest in either Jerusalem or his kibbutz, but in the city of Novisad, back in Yugoslavia, in accordance with the wishes of his mother.



“I am certain his soul will remain in Jerusalem,” said Levy, “when he sets his mind to something, nothing could stand in his way.”

We speak in the post below about the over-reporting on Israel. This over-reporting is however, agenda-driven; the "interest" in Israel does not extend to the spilling of Israeli or Jewish blood. Thus, Jacob Richman does a great mitzvah by providing us with his "We Should Not Forget" pages.