Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Fundamental Truth About Israel's Soldiers

On the worst days, comes the need to remember the greatest blessings. That is my thought as this difficult day fades away and we look to tomorrow.

I'm angry, I'm sad. I can't believe the idiocy of punishing a soldier for shooting a terrorist and I'm terrified of the time I know is coming - when a soldier will hesitate and, God forbid, pay the ultimate price. The "victim" in this incident was no victim. He was a confirmed terrorist who had just stabbed a soldier.

And as Israel stood braced and waiting for the verdict, the media and the police were made to look like fools. As the morning dragged on and elements of the verdict were announced, the nation of Israel, once again, stood in unity. As we do for all times we are hit, though usually the strikes come from our enemies, not from our own judges.

Reporters stood outside the building where the verdict predicting that violence would rage...not even close. Some of the commentators even said, "they're just singing and dancing."

The police tore down a sign that they said promoted incitement. The sign said, "We love you, Elor". What incitement? What violence? More importantly, why? Why would you want to stop our sons from defending themselves? Why do you value a terrorist's life over the danger of a soldier's death?

Yesterday, the Chief of Staff said this young man was not a boy, but a soldier and he was not "everyone's son." By and large, Israel rejected that notion, which speaks more about how little Gadi Eisenkot knows about Israel, than about the feelings of our nation.

What Eisenkot and the reporters missed is that one of the reasons that the army is so strong is because of the motivation of our soldiers and the loyalty and dedication of the commanders. A soldier must have absolute faith in his commanding officer - and today, that faith was shaken. Our soldiers don't have the luxuty of fighting in some war thousands of miles from where they live. In every sense of the word, they are defending their families, their homes.

On the day Elie was called to leave his wife and mobilize with his unit to fight in Operation Pillar of Defense, as he was quickly packing his things, our city was attacked. Sirens wailed as we rushed to the bomb shelter and a few days later, it happened again and we heard the explosion of the Iron Dome knocking a missile out of the sky.

It was my son,Elie, that day and on many other days who stood on Israel's border. Then it was Shmulik. And now it is my son, David, every day and for the next year. And even after David returns to civilian life, to be called up occasionally, like his brothers, even then, it will be my sons (and daughers) on the borders of Israel. All of them. Every one of them, mine. That is the foundation upon which this country is built. The collective soul of our people, our land.

Anyone who does not feel this intense connection with our soldiers is, to my mind, missing the essence of what it is to be an Israeli. Elor Azarya is a soldier of Israel. Ten months ago, we sent him into battle. His friend was stabbed in that battle. And he raised his gun and shot a terrorist in that battle. It wasn't murder. It wasn't even manslaughter. Slaughter is what the Arabs did when they went into a synagogue in Har Nof and cut men down as they prayed. Slaughter is what the Arabs did when they opened fire on children in Maalot. Slaugther is what Arabs did in Itamar when they butchered five members of the Fogel family, in Jerusalem when they blew up the Sbarro pizzeria

I won't rehash why I think the accusations against Elor Azarya were unfounded, the trial speedy and unfair. I won't repeat the slanted publicity and the vicious ways he and his family were treated. I also won't readily forget how quickly some judged him and how those same people condemn others for being judgmental.

Despite the accusation that Azarya is a murderer, that charge never made it through even the first round of accusations. Quickly, the lawyers were informed that the courts would not accept such an indictment and so it was never made. Azarya did not murder the Palestinian terrorist. At best, the judges warned, an accusation of manslaughter would be entertained by the courts. Even that was wrong.

There will be an appeal; hopefully one that will balance the evidence with the action. And hopefully those who are responsible for setting the stage for Azarya's actions will be held accountable.

There will perhaps, come a time when the so-called journalists are held accountable. After all, I firmly believe that the media in the United States and around the world had a strong role in handing Donald Trump the presidency. I think America was fed up with listening to the media tell them what they think and I can only hope the same feeling is coming to Israel.

Today certainly, Israelis were, for the most part, wondering why the police sent 300 security forces and a helicopter to guard against 200 non-violent protesters; why a sign that said "We love you, Elor" was considered incitement and why that idiot blonde reporter kept shivering and speaking about how at any moment violence was going to break out.

Maybe it's a day for blondes (no offense, really I know some very smart blondes...some of my best friends are blonde) but by far, the stupidest post I saw today was the one by a "noted" blogger/journalist, well know for her radical left-wing posts.

"He is not my son," she posted. Sadly, that statement says more about her than it does about Azarya. It says that while she may call herself an Israeli, she really has no clue what it means to be Israeli. Sure, she has a son who is like...7 or 8 years old...and the army is a distant and far off thing, if she even remains in Israel...and IF he even enters the army...

If all those things happen, though I doubt that they will, she will learn that even on the worst days in Israel, our greatest strength is that our soldiers ARE our sons. IF her son ever becomes a soldier, he will become part of one of the most loved armies in the world. No, not by the world, but by the people who he will promise to defend...if.

If she will choose to deny her son the love of a nation, that makes her a fool. If she would deny that our sons are hers, that just makes her pathetic.

On the worst of day, our greatest blessing is our children and our greatest truth and that which separates us from our enemies, is the collective soul of the Jewish people.

They are all our sons and daughters - when they are little and they fall in the playground and a dozen mothers rush to pick up the child, when they stand at their first army ceremony and promise to serve in honor, and even when they are called to raise a gun against our enemies. They ARE our sons. Azarya is ours.


Miriam Kresh said...

Exactly and well said.

Leora Hyman said...

Many Israelis disagreed with the terms of Gilat Shalit's release. But Everyone cried when they saw him come walk onto Israeli soil. He came home because he was every Israeli's son.

Leora Hyman said...

Many Israelis did no agree with the terms of Gilad Shalit's return. But everyone cried when they saw him walk on Israeli soil. He would never have come home if he hadn't been everyone's son.

BE"h this travesty will get fixed.

Laya in Tzfat said...

I'm with you. I'm sick of the blah, blah, blah of the people who can talk theory but haven't felt the impact of a ketusha, or prayed their hearts out during wartime. Or been to a funeral of a "son" who fell. Not a son from my womb, and not even a son that I ever met. But a thousand members of my tribe came and cried--green uniforms, black hats, knit kippahs, no kippah, standing together to face the ultimate sacrifice. My son, my son-in-law, my nephews, my benai bayit, my neighbors, and your sons, and Azariya. They are all mine. May H' protect them and keep them strong and safe.

sandra said...

Yes, indeed, everyone one of them...Our sons. We have reached a low and it isn't over. But, the Jewush soul is strong because Hashem is on our side. How will we respond......To be continued. I, for one, am looking for a dress to wear when Moshiach reveals himself;life is getting crazier and crazier and certainly he is getting ready to "come out".

Netivotgirl said...

70% of the population is in favor of an instant pardon, as am I. (I believe even more than that percentage, but the media won't publicize such numbers.) . Bless you Paula for expressing what so many of us feel. My heart goes out to Elor and his family, as well as every combat soldier now on duty. "To shoot (the terrorist) or not to shoot; that is the question!"

Anonymous said...

I absolutely consider every one of Israel's soldiers my family. I love each and every one of them, and thank and bless them for keeping Israel and the Jewish people safe. Jan

Anonymous said...

I couldn't stop crying reading this letter which I absolutely 100% agree with. I am Israeli leaving abroad and don't have sons in IDF but all soldiers of IDF ARE my sons!

SafeNSharp said...

Israel has to decide once and for all of terrorists are enemy combatants, or common criminals. If they are only criminals, then a case may be made that, once wounded, they should be apprehended. IF they are enemy combatants, than all this anguished hand-wringing is for naught... It is correct to kill them. By keeping their status in limbo, there is bound to be more confusion, and sadly, more unnecessary Jewish deaths. Brochie

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