Thursday, August 03, 2006

Musings from a Land at War

During the last two weeks of fighting up North, Staff Sergeant Yonatan Vlasyuk (Ukraine), Sergeant Assaf Namer (Australia) and Staff Sergeant Michael Levin (USA) have all been killed while fighting Hezbollah terrorists. All three boys, despite being from different countries, had one thing in common. They were all chayalim bodedim, soldiers serving in the IDF while their families were living abroad. When one makes Aliyah (immigrates to Israel), it oftentimes ensures that he sacrifice the comfort of his family and home; joining the IDF (and especially the upper echelons of our infantry brigades like these boys did) on the other hand is a declaration that one is willing to sacrifice oneself for his beliefs and love of Israel. The embodiment of Zionism has always been the readiness to do all for the Jewish State - and sadly, these boys paid the ultimate price for their love of Israel ... May Hashem bless their memories ...

Since I started following Liverpool, my dream was to always watch them live. While I've managed to watch some of the giants of the game (AC Milan, Real Madrid & AS Roma), getting to see Liverpool has somehow always eluded me. Which brings me to last Friday ... The draw for the 3rd round of the Champions League qualifiers: Liverpool and the reigning Israeli champions, Maccabi Haifa, were paired up. Obviously I was ecstatic; my first 'real' chance (I could have made my way to Istanbul to watch the classic final in 2005 - but missed the last package by a few minutes) to watch a team I've been following since the mid 80s. However, due to the current situation, Liverpool have pushed hard to have the fixture moved away from Israel. Sadly, I cannot see the tickets I've reserved through my friend being used. A real shame ...

Last but not least, I cannot understand what on earth led Ehud Olmert to say what he said two days ago. The prime minister of Israel, during one of his speeches, declared:
"I'll surprise you, I genuinely believe the outcome of the present [conflict] and the emergence of a new order that will provide more stability and will defeat the forces of terror will help create the necessary environment that will allow me ... to create a new momentum between us and the Palestinians."

It seems quite clear to me that this war has become more of a 'political' tool for Olmert to push his realignment plan, a plan that will lead to the expulsion of 200,000 Jews from the 'West Bank'. Dear me, what was Olmert thinking? For the first time since Operation Defensive Shield (April 2002), the country is practically united (except the usual nuts on the fringes of the Left and the majority of Israel's Arabs). We have Bibi Netanyahu, the opposition speaker in the Knesset (Parliament), standing by Olmert even as world pressure begins to drastically increase. Our soldiers' motivation hasn't been this high in years (Countless of stories about injured soldiers 'sneaking out' of hospitals to return to their units and continue the fight) and the country as a whole is behind them. Why jeopardize that? Why create cracks in a united front? To put it bluntly, these idiotic comments are perhaps the first bits of evidence at why this war has been handled so poorly, being totally monopolized by two clueless politicians (Olmert and Amir Peretz, the Defense Minister) to further goals that will only strain our country's shaky internal unity.

1 comment:

Daniel_R said...

I guess this is a good way to find you. I enjoy your mix of soccer and war journalism. Hadassah and I talk about you almost daily.

I have no idea what I am doing anymore in the USA. I guess it has something to do with money, but I am not quite sure what.