Much Ado About Nothing — Farewell to a Wannabe Pogromnik

Some Israeli Prime Ministers and their Ministers of Defense have a flawed record of letting 18-21-year-old soldiers pay the price and shouldering the responsibility for their own shortcomings. I remember this most vividly during the first Intifada when the then Minister of Defense, Yitzhak Rabin, issued conflicting orders to the young soldiers on how to deal with rock throwers, Molotov cocktail hurlers, knife wielders, and shooters. If Rabin was confused you can imagine our young soldier’s predicament, none of whom were either mind readers or wizards. Catering to the foreign media and governments, he allowed our soldiers to be court-martialed and imprisoned, two of whom committed suicide while in a military stockade.

I know how hard it is to send children to serve under the best of circumstances, but if their own leaders are prone to use them as pawns in cheap public relations stunts, the morale of the soldiers as well as their families is deeply affected.

Unfortunately, Israel’s “moralistic left” is by deed and fact the worst culprit. It is the most hypocritical and racist element in the political spectrum because what they are basically saying is that if we (Jews) behave like them (Arabs) we will be as bad as they are. From what we have seen on television for over a decade, there isn’t behavior more barbaric. Common sense dictates that from what our eyes see them do to each other on television, we could only imagine what they would do to us just given the chance.

Actually, we don’t have to use our imagination, but only our memory. Remember the first suicide bombing at a teenage disco in Tel Aviv that killed 20 youngsters and mangled more than 100 others?  Remember the blowing up of a bus full of women and children on their way to pray at the Wailing Wall? Remember the carnage as a suicide bomber at a Passover in Netanya turned it into a scene from hell? Remember the Palestinian Arabs washing their hands in the blood of two captured Israeli soldiers? Remember the slaughter of the Fogel family in Itamar?  Remember this atrocity, remember that one; until you only want to forget them to preserve your own sanity. Taking advantage of this, the left is trying to replace these realities with slogans based on ideology and conceptualism, which may find a prominent place on bumper stickers but not in any definition of logic. They never miss an opportunity to run fact through their narrow ideological prism until it emerges as a sanitized form of fiction.

Thus, in judging this young soldier’s action in Hebron in 2016, they are conveniently able to overlook what happened in Kfar Kassem in 1956. It was there that 48 innocent Israeli Arab citizens were gunned down when they attempted to return to their homes during a curfew that was imposed without their knowledge after they left their village in the morning. The ensuing military tribunal was a sham, and those officers responsible were never indicted, while the small fry pulling the triggers never served more than a year. The then left-wing government, including David Ben Gurion, for all intents and purposes, dictated the results of the ensuing military tribunal.

Therefore, even the slightest notion that an Israeli military tribunal was and is lily white, and not influenced by party politics is an absurdity. The Prime Minister picks the Minister of Defense as well as his cabinet based on the relative strength of his coalition partners. The Chief of Staff is chosen by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense. He, in turn, appoints his deputies representing him and all (meaning all, including the Chief Military Prosecutor) the military services. This state of affairs is further affected by the extent the Prime Minister allows himself to be influenced by the US State Department. In Levy Eshkol’s case, it resulted in the miracle of the Six Day War. In Golda Meir’s case, it “enabled” us to almost bleed to death in the Yom Kippur War.

Thus, the military tribunal sitting in judgment of this young soldier’s action in the Hebron shooting will be influenced by far more than the actual facts of the case. So why are they complaining about the mass demonstrations in favor of the soldier’s exoneration?

Recently two commanders were driven from the army because one struck a foreign protestor whose very presence at the scene was illegal and whose objective was to provoke such a reaction. The other broke a camera of a foreign correspondent during a patrol of his unit wearing full combat gear. The actions and presence of this photographer and crew put our soldiers in danger. We, unfortunately, know what happened to the officers, but what happened to the foreign instigators?  What we do know is that Israel has 3 defenders less. It also has a nationwide eruption of resentment against the misinterpretation of the Israeli Army’s Rules of Engagement, which is shaking the Knesset (you know, it’s the building that is too small for a jail, and not big enough for a brothel and where many of its members are more influenced by Bernie Madoff than by Theodore Herzl.)

Thankfully I am not a racist and honestly believe that I am not better than them, and more importantly just thankful that I can’t be any worse. I believe in freedom of religion and would not deprive any of them of martyrdom. I feel truly grateful that this murderer in Hebron came with only a knife and not his mother’s whole service for twelve. I am also content to know that Kerry and his European counterparts have taken so much time off from “protecting” their own citizens in order to instruct us on how to safeguard ours.  I cannot tell you how grateful I am that this young soldier only wasted one bullet on this wannabe Pogromnik.

If the discipline, honor and popularity of the Israeli Army are to be maintained, it must truly be a people’s army, representing the national aspirations of the Jewish People for their own safe haven. For this goal, the people have to send and sometimes sacrifice their children. These parents and children must have the feeling that all the nation’s resources are being invested in this endeavor and not on erroneous notions and needless commotion. This military tribunal should ask itself, when was the last time the PLO of Hamas court-martialed one of their pogromniks for even attacking a Jew?

About the Author
Daniel Levinson is a U.S. Navy veteran, veteran of the Yom Kippur War, combatant in the terrorist raid of Nahariya, and the father of two reserve officers in the Israeli Army.
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