My article “Infamy” has been widely circulated. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive. But what I would like to do is speak not to those who were “shocked and disgusted” by my admission that I was ashamed to be an Israeli after the release of Sami Kuntar, the baby-killer Hezbollah is so proud of who says he can’t wait to kill again- but to those who disagree for reasons I can respect. In an article entitled: “Some Mistakes are Worth Making,” Daniel Gordis quotes me without using my name and says that – unlike me – he feels proud of what Israel did.
He says that he can now face his sons, one of whom is about to be drafted, with the firm belief that while the country he lives in demands much of its soldiers, it is also a country that “owes [them] everything in return and getting them home is part of that.”
I also have a son who is in the army. And as far as I see it, a soldier is sent to the front to defend the citizens of his homeland. All the risks, the injuries, the loss of life that come to soldiers and their families, are based on the premise that the citizens of that country are worth defending, and that those who rise up to murder them must be stopped and punished, or at least put somewhere they can do no harm. What I think Israel owes its soldiers and their families is the vow that their sacrifices of life and limb will not have been in vain.
By returning the bodies of soldiers who died to protect Israel’s people at the cost of turning loose a murderer who has declared he can’t wait for his next opportunity to kill, the State of Israel is spitting in the face of that sacrifice. Now that Hamas has openly declared the Kuntar trade has given them the determination to keep Gilad Shalit prisoner until hundreds of Palestinian murderers are let loose, I can only say this: How many soldiers died and suffered permanent injuries to apprehend those murderers? What of their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their families?
And what of the families of the victims? As Ehud Olmert hugged Karnit Goldwasser, weeping with her, he turned his back on 82 year-old Nina Karen, the mother of Danny Haran and grandmother of the two babies Kuntar was physically and morally responsible for murdering. Karnit lost her husband because he was a soldier in the Israeli army. He gave his life to defend us . And Ehud Olmert turned that sacrifice into an empty gesture, a photo-op.
I was in a terror attack. It is known as the Passover Massacre.
A terrorist blew himself up in Netanya hotel just as people were sitting down to the Seder. Most of them were elderly Holocaust survivors and their children and grandchildren.
We were lucky. We were upstairs. What we didn’t know, is that a second bomber was scheduled to blow himself up upstairs, and would have killed my entire family. He was apprehended by Israeli soldiers at great personal risk soon after, and now sits in an Israeli prison until another corrupt Israeli politician decides to take the easy way out and let him and hundreds more like him out into the streets to kill again, so that our soldiers will have to risk their lives again.
This is not a mistake worth making. It’s a mistake we are risking the lives of our soldiers to prevent. Let us respect that and stop kidding ourselves that we can make something heroic out of something despicably wrong. Let us get rid of the men and women whose brainless approach to leadership has already cost us a price we, and no nation, can afford to pay.