Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Weekly column by Vic Rosenthal

Losses are part of war. There’s no escaping it. The tragedy is immense. A person has precisely one chance at life, to love, to have children, to learn, to have a profession, to do all the things that a person aspires to do, and to have it all taken away when it has barely begun is catastrophic.

Whenever a life is lost, especially a young life, families and friends grieve painfully. In Israel, which has been at war without a break since her establishment in 1948, there is a phenomenon of national grief, which I haven’t seen elsewhere. Funerals of soldiers, police, and terror victims are sometimes attended by thousands of people, many of whom did not know the deceased. The media devote much time and space to each case. Memorial day in Israel is full of ceremonies, all across the country, to remember and honor the fallen.

Jewish Israelis (with some exceptions) understand that they have an obligation to pay a price for the existence of the state, and that part of that price is that some of our children will lose their lives. Nothing demonstrates more conclusively how important the state is to the Jewish people.

So you can imagine the anger when a young life ends because somebody in authority was incompetent or lazy. War is war and soldiers die, but one of the things a good military organization does is analyze its defeats and failures, learn lessons from them, and make changes so that future outcomes will be better. When a preventable casualty occurs, it is because someone failed to do their job.

There are micro- and macro-failures. For example, if a soldier dies because his weapon wasn’t properly maintained, that is a micro-failure. If many lives are lost because an enemy that could be defeated is allowed to continue to re-arm, over and over, and the result is an unnecessary war, that is a macro-failure. They are both the result of someone not doing their job.

The tragic death of Border Police 1st Sgt. Barel Hadaria Shmueli, z”l, traumatized the entire nation, because it was unnecessary, a combination of micro- and macro-failures. Shmueli, a sniper, was placed at a slit in a wall that forms part of the border between Israel and Gaza. The slit was improperly located (too low) and inadequately surveilled by cameras on the Gaza side. The location was known to be dangerous. Sniper weapons are carefully adjusted to fit the individual, and for some reason he was not using his personal weapon. It jammed several times at critical moments. There is a buffer zone along the border that is supposed to be clear of Arab “demonstrators” (i.e., Hamas fighters and human shields), and somehow a number of them were allowed to enter it and come up against the wall, where they could not be seen by the defenders. They attempted to grab Shmueli’s weapon from outside, and in the struggle one of them placed a pistol up to the slit and fired; the bullet struck Shmueli’s head (information from a Hebrew article in Israel Hayom, 1 September).

These are some of the micro-failures, which the IDF promises to deal with. There is also an ongoing macro-failure.

Consider the overall situation. The “demonstrations” orchestrated by Hamas and other terrorist factions in Gaza are not demonstrations; they are attempted human wave attacks against Israel’s border. IDF Soldiers and Border Police defend it; they try to use non-lethal weapons to control the crowds, as well as “less-than lethal” live fire from .22 caliber Ruger rifles, and more deadly weapons if necessary to prevent a breach of the border. Such a breach could result in a disastrous terrorist attack against the numerous small communities in the area.

Hamas and its allied factions, who are supported and financed by Israel’s enemies in Iran, Turkey, and Qatar, are constantly working on ways to attack us. They dig tunnels, release incendiary balloons, stage “demonstrations” to penetrate our border, produce and launch rockets, try to land terrorists on the beaches north of Gaza, shoot antitank missiles at vehicles on our roads, teach their kindergarteners to hate us (so this will go on forever), and more. They are creative and proactive.

On the other hand, the IDF – which has the power to scrape the entire 365 km2 of Gaza into the sea – does not even hunt down the few dozen top leaders of Hamas and other factions and kill them. When rockets are fired at random into Israel’s cities in the hope of creating mass casualties, we prefer to intercept the rockets, and only shoot back when absolutely necessary, and with great care to kill as few people as possible. When incendiary balloons burn hundreds of acres of cultivated lands and nature preserves, the Air Force bombs empty enemy installations. And when a young soldier is killed protecting the border, the IDF prefers to improve procedures and shore up the border – that is, to deal only with the micro-failures.

It’s almost as if we are afraid to fight back, because then we might make them mad. We are satisfied to merely push them away. God forbid that we should hurt somebody.

But it’s far, far worse than just that. Yesterday, the day Sgt. Barel Shmueli was buried, Israel allowed “dozens of truckloads” of building materials into Gaza for the first time since the last mini-war. Today the government announced further loosening of restrictions. If I weren’t too embarrassed by the idea, I might say we are paying them for “protection.” Nice border you have there, we wouldn’t want it to experience a violent "demonstration.”

I have heard the argument that if we did respond more aggressively, then our soldiers and leaders would have to face charges in the International Criminal Court. Perhaps – but what came first? Maybe we have trained the world to think that attacks on Jews are the normal order of things, and Jewish self-defense is the true crime. Somehow the Russians and the Iranians don’t seem to worry about the ICC. Why do we?

Sgt. Shmueli gave his life fighting for the State of Israel. Why doesn’t the State of Israel want to fight for herself?


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive