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Jul 12, 2007

abandoning our soldiers

The Second Lebanon War began exactly one year ago today. Two soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad regev, were kidnapped on the northern border by Hezbollah operatives. They covered their bases with a distraction by shooting some missiles into Israel. During the mission to kidnap these soldiers, they also killed three other soldiers.

Israel responded with airstrikes, and eventually a limited ground invasion. The soldiers have not, as of yet, been recovered. They are still in captivity, along with Gilad Shalit in Gaza, and the soldiers of the '80s - Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Zacharya Baumel, Ron Arad and Guy Hever who disappeared in August of 1997.

Are we doing enough to obtain the release of the captive soldiers? Until they are home, the answer has to be "no". We cannot say we are doing all we can until we achieve success.

It has to be the goal and discipline of every army and government to protect the soldiers they send out to battle. To not abandon them. In October 2000, when Joseph's Tomb was overrun by PA militants, Ehud Barak, then Prime Minister, pulled the troops out of the area, instead of defending it. In the process, he abandoned one Israeli soldier (Druze I think) in the tomb and decided not to go back to extract him. The result was a lynching of the soldier, which led to his brutal death.

The world was not outraged. The world does not care when a Jew is brutally murdered. The world does not care when an Israeli is brutally murdered. Nobody will defend us and nobody will protect us. Nobody will be outraged on our behalf. That is our job, with Hashems help, because nobody will do it for us.

We abandoned our soldier then, but we must learn our lesson from it. We have to be vigilant in defending our people, our land and our heritage.

Our government is in the process of making more concessions to Abu Mazen on the hope that it will strengthen him against his opponents in Hamas. We have been strengthening Abu Mazen for years already and we have never gotten anything in return, except for grief.

We need to be less concerned about who is strong on the PA side, and more concerned about strengthening ourselves and protecting ourselves. The soldiers need to know that we will not rest until they are all safe. they need to know they go out to fight to protect us, but we will do whatever we can to keep them safe and get them home safely from missions.

And we cannot abandon our soldiers. We have to remember them - in our thoughts, in our prayers, in our deeds.

I have noticed that in many shuls there are signs requesting people pray for the three missing soldiers - Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit - for their safety, health and quick return to their people.

These signs are abandoning our soldiers. There are no signs about the other missing soldiers. Are there suddenly only three missing soldiers? Were the other five returned to Israel? Were they declared dead and brought to a Jewish funeral? Did I miss that day?

We are missing eight soldiers. Yes, the loss of the most recent three is more acute, because of its freshness and the pain of the subsequent war. But that gives us no right to abandon any of the other soldiers.

We must do all we can to obtain the release of all the soldiers, and bring them back home.

6 comments:

  1. May Hashem protect the missing soldiers and restore them to their families!

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  2. Great Post Rafi, unfortunately it does seem that the Israeli government is ignoring the plight of these soldiers. The UN has betrayed Israel once again, next time they advocate a withdrawal of military action, we should remember the treachery we have faced.

    Mr Bagel

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  3. "The world was not outraged. The world does not care when a Jew is brutally murdered."

    What a tired old refrain. Don't you get it? The "world" doesn't care when anyone is brutally murdered. Jews are no better or worse. Does the world care about the ongoing holecaust in North Korea? or Sudan or Darfur or Liberia? Kids dying of starvation on the streets of India and throughout South America and on and on and on...
    A jew dying brings no world outrage because no one cares about anyone outside their own little group. It is not some conspiracy of jew hatred.

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  4. that is mostly true, but when a poor little palestinian kid gets killed in crossfire, then the world is outraged and Israel is pressured....

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  5. raf - I think that the world doesn't really care even about the PA kid. They just have a great PR machine right now. I think Danny is right, look at the Sudan, Darfur, hell, all of Africa. We invaded Iraq to protect the oil, not the kurds!

    On the other hand, we are all very angry with ourselves and each other and the gov't for forgetting them, for ignoring them, for abandoning the soldiers, but what about God? WHY is god allowing this to happen? I know there are no answers - although I know what Danny will say - yet the question still needs to be asked.


    We, as Jews, feel the loss because the soldiers are one of us. But the world could not care less.

    May Hashem to to change this zman to "kara alav MOED" and bring the soldiers home as well.

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  6. While the world may be indifferent, it is important that we not become indifferent as well.

    ReplyDelete

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