Here is a guest post by Yossi Tanuri, Director General, United Israel Appeal of Canada, who is based in Jerusalem:
April 15, 2010
Tonight, at 8:00 PM Israel time a siren will cut through the thoughts, actions and movements of every single Israeli, as memorial day for fallen soldiers commences.
For me, Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers is a “civil Yom Kippur” as well. A time to reflect deeply upon where we stand as people and as a nation.
Two weeks ago Miriam Peretz escorted her (second) son, Eliraz to his grave. Maj. Eliraz Peretz, z”l, Deputy Commander of the Golani Brigade was killed in battle, 12 years after his older brother Lt. Uriel Peretz, was killed by a Hizbullah bomb in south Lebanon. Both brothers were in the Golani Brigade. Another son is currently serving in the same unit.
From the time of the death of her first son, Miriam knew what she was meant to do. She went from school to school explaining the importance of the Israel Defense Force. Importance – not just in serving in the military, but in commanding and leading it. She preaches it and she lives it.
Miriam Peretz is part if the myth of this country – a country where a small and brave nation fights for its right to live in peace “under his vine and under his fig tree”. Miriam does not come with complaints to God or to people. She does whatever she can to strengthen the Jewish people and nation. Her son Eliraz, z”l was killed on the outskirts of Sderot, where there is no “Israeli occupation”. A front on which we fight for our right to a peaceful life, fighting both the Palestinian terrorists and the Goldstone Report.
Along with Eliraz, St.-Sgt. Maj. Ilan Sviatkovsky –-was killed. Ilan, a Russian immigrant, served as a fighter in the Barak battalion of the Golani Brigade out of true love for the Land of Israel. He was a young man, a new immigrant, who volunteered for combat service and served as a prime example of morals and responsibility.
And then we have Dr. Degani, the principle of the First Hebrew Gymnasia in Herzliya – who closes its doors to IDF officers who wish to expound the importance of serving and commanding in the Israel Defense Force. Degani explains that the military’s role is in borders and bases and not in schools !! and nobody beeps !!!
People like Eliraz and Ilan represent the better aspect of modern Israeli society. A society that will shortly come to the point that it will have to clarify where it stands;
- with Miriam Peretz and what she represents
- or Dr. Degani – and what he represents.
This is the real and bitter conflict that confronts the Jewish people in our homeland and in our future.