And on the same subject...Naomi Ragen, an American-born Israeli writer, sends out a regular email. Here's an excerpt from a recent column:
My son is in the army. He is not the type at all, believe me. Quiet, studious, a writer, a lover of Jewish history,Talmud, ethics. He spent two years in a pre-army program inthe Galilee called Karmei Chayil. He made many good friendsthere from all over the country, and now he and all his friends are in the army. One of them I know well. A bit chubby, with payot, and a great laugh. He and my son havebecome like brothers. While both of them tried out for the elite paratroopers unit, only he made it in. He and his unit are the ones in Lebanon.
They were there over a week, fighting under horrific conditions, running out of food andwater. Even though the Israeli airforce dropped tons ofleaflets warning civilians to flee because they were interrorist territory and likely to be injured, they still encountered civilians. My son spoke to his friendyesterday,and this is how he described it:
"The village looked empty, and then we heard noises comingfrom one of the houses, so we opened fire. But when wewent inside, we found two women and a child huddled in thecorner of the room. We were so relieved we hadn't hurtthem. We took up base in one of the empty houses. And thenall of a sudden, we came under intense fire. Three rocketswere fired at the house we were in. Only one managed todestroy a wall, which fell on one of us, covering him inwhite dust, but otherwise not hurting him. I spent thewhole time feeding bullets to my friend who was shootingnon-stop. We managed to killed 26 terrorists. Not one ofus was hurt.
Our commanding officer kept walking around,touching everybody on the shoulder, smiling and encouragingus: "We're are better than they are. Don't worry." Itcalmed us all down.
And really, we were much better thenthem. They are a lousy army. They only win when they hidebehind baby carriages."
Please remember this when you hear about the "atrocity" ofthe Israeli bomb dropped on Kfar Cana, killing manycivilians, a place from which Hezbollah has fired hundredsof rockets at Israel. Unlike previous administrations, Mr.Olmert has my respect when he says: "They were warned toleave. It is the responsibility of Hezbollah for firingrockets amidst civilians." Terrorists and their supporters have lost the right tocomplain about civilian casualties, since all they have donethis entire war is target civilians. Every single one of themore than 2,500 rockets launched into Israel, is launchedinto populated towns filled with women and children. Justtoday, another suicide belt meant to kill civilians inIsrael was detonated harmlessly by our forces in Nablus. So don't cry to me about civilian casualties. Cry to those using your babies and wives and mothers; cry to those whostore weapons in mosques, ambulances, hospitals, and privatehomes. Cry to those launching deadly rockets from the backyards of your kindergartens and schools. Cry to the heartless men who love death, and however many of theirtroops or civilians die, consider themselves victorious aslong as they can keep on firing rockets at our women and children. Save your sympathy for the mothers and sisters andgirlfriends of our young soldiers who would rather besitting in study halls learning Torah, but have no choicebut to risk their precious lives full of hope, goodness andendless potential, to wipe out the cancerous terrorist cellsthat threaten their people and all mankind. Make yourchoice, and save your tears. That terrorists have been unsuccessful in killing more ofour women and children is due to our army, God and prayers,not to any lack of motivation or intention on their part.
If you hide behind your baby to shoot at my baby, you are responsible for getting children killed. You and you alone.