Stories from the Battlefield: Yesterday In Israel And Gaza
By Mordechai Ben-Menachem
One of the units leading the ground operation in the Gaza Strip is the Golani Brigade. Remember, Israel does not have “infantry,” all our units have (each, its own) specialized training, meaning they are all Special Forces. Golani is always one of the leading units with a long-standing tradition of exemplary action, kindness to enemy civilians and heroism. In Israel, a hero is someone who knows how to act morally while a creep is someone who acts belligerently for no good reason. These latter are thrown out.
Yesterday, we lost thirteen young men killed from Galani, one of whom was from the Yeshiva in which I study, but that is not this story. That one may yet be told.
There are many injured, many tens. One of those wounded yesterday was the Commander of Golani, Colonel Rasaan Elian. Those ‘sensitised’ to such things may notice from his name that he is not Jewish. Many Golani and indeed, many commanders, are not. He is Israeli in 100% of his bones and sinews. He was injured with shrapnel, fortunately, not badly wounded, but sufficient for him to be replaced (temporarily, very, very temporarily, as you shall see below) and rushed to Sorocca Hospital in Beer Sheva for treatment.
Already yesterday, with his loving family come from his village, at his bedside, he was demanding to be released immediately and to return to his soldiers in the field. “Allow me to return to fight with my soldiers!”
“He is wounded, but his morale is high. He only speaks about returning to his soldiers,” one of his relatives says.
He strongly demands to be released right now (the same day). The doctors will not hear of it. They are demanding that he remain an additional week, they are concerned about his long-term health.
This is a genuine Israeli hero.
In parallel, IDF has set up a field hospital at Erez, that is the crossing where thousands of tons of food, medical supplies and other necessities are supplied to Gaza every day; yes, including while the war rages on. The field hospital is specifically to treat Gazan wounded. That is just the way IDF works. Nothing new here, of course, we also have one of the world’s largest field hospitals on the Golan Heights to treat Syrian wounded from that former country’s war (we are not otherwise involved there).
While all this is going on, Hamas yesterday fired over a hundred rockets at Israel. Question: Of the approximately 1,600 rockets fired by them at Israel, how many of them have been fired at military or strategic targets and how many have been fired at strictly civilian targets? Answer: ALL 1,600 rockets have only at civilian targets. Yesterday, one hit a kindergarten in the city of Rishon Lezion. Thank heaven, all the children were in the shelter (yes, by law, all Israeli kindergartens and schools must have shelters – we live in a neighborhood where murdering children is considered normal). No one was hurt; they were all happily busy.
If you take home one item from this, remember: Anyone who uses the word “apartheid” concerning Israel is a racist. Not simply a liar and certainly not ignorant. Those excuses are long ago bare and exposed. They are simply racists.
Mordechai Ben-Menachem is a former researcher/lecturer at Ben-Gurion University and an author of 30 book ranging from engineering to poetry. He is also an ordained clergyman.