Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Gadi Eisenkot - You're Fired

No, sadly, I don't have the right to fire him. I wish I did. I'm "only" the mother of one of his soldiers, perhaps three, perhaps six. But if I could, he'd be gone tomorrow.

Gadi Eisenkot made a mistake yesterday - he got out of bed. Then he compounded it by getting in the car and worse, going on stage to make a speech...a political speech that violates the spirit of our democracy, if not the law itself.

In what can be nothing less than an intentional attempt to influence the judge's decision, expected to be delivered shortly, in the case of Elor Azariya, a young soldier accused of manslaughter for shooting a terrorist.

Yes, the terrorist was on the ground. Azariya had no evidence the terrorist was neutralized; medics nearby called out a warning; a commanding officer had ordered another soldier to guard the wounded terrorist with explicit orders to shoot him if he moved. The terrorist did move, and Azariya shot him.

And killed him...a terrorist who had just stabbed a soldier.

And a left-wing, anti-Israel organization was conveniently there to film this...and Israel's left wing raised the battle, not for the wounded soldier, but for the dead terrorist. Go figure.

And Israel's Defense Minister and former Chief of Staff jumped, not to defend Azariya, but to defend the dead terrorist. Go figure.

A military trial was convened; its outcome to be announced today. The government suggested the charge be murder; the military judge who ordered the trial immediately told them that would not fly; perhaps manslaughter.

But yesterday, Eizenkot felt it important and proper to stand before the cameras. He began with the utterly superfluous explanation of what the army's role is. This is, said Eisenkot, "to protect the country, ensure its existence and to win wars." Wow, that's brilliant. Who knew?

Sadly, Eisenkot continued. He attacked the very core of Israel's society - our love for our soldiers. Back in July, Eisenkot said, "The greatest threat to the IDF is losing the public's trust”. But yesterday, he had to try, one last time, to influence the verdict by stating something that is factually accurate but emotionally incorrect. Worse, it flies in the face of all that we Israelis believe.

He is worried, apparently, that we might have pity on Elor Azariya, might see the 18 year old as the boy he is and not the man he is becoming. Eizenkot would have you believe that an "18-year-old man who joins Zahal [the Israel Defense Forces] is a soldier, not everyone's son."

What sets Israel apart, what fuels the army is very much the attitude that all the soldiers belong to all of us. 

Elor Azariya IS everyone's son. IF he made a mistake, it is a mistake any one of our newly drafted sons could have made. IF he made a mistake, the fault lies in the lack of training, the lack of preparation for the situation in which the army put him.

He was 18-years-old when this happened. And the army should be ashamed of how they have treated this boy who now, finally, has been forced to become a man - not in pride, not slowly under the guidance of more experienced commanding officers, but because he was betrayed - first by the moronic media, second by the self-serving commanders who didn't want to accept their own guilt, by the Chief of Staff and his running mouth (former and present), and by the former Defense Minister.

The army feeds on the very notion that the IDF IS the people's army when it requests and receives millions of dollars in donations to buy necessary equipment such as fleeces, water bags, warm socks, etc. Even military equipment such as flashlights for guns, are often donated. Air conditioners for bases located in the desert that experience the extreme heat and in the north on the Golan in the bitter winter months.

Then, we are told, encouraged to believe that the IDF is the people's army and each soldier is a precious son to all. Now, when it is convenient for him, Eizenkot is concerned that our love for our soldiers might prevent the verdict he wants.

Elor Azariya may or may not have acted against military protocol. It depends on many factors. We know that despite the incorrect first announcements and the ongoing attempt to influence us by the media, that the terrorist was NOT neutralized. We know that a commander had ordered another soldier to shoot the terrorist if he moved. The terrorist moved - where was that soldier? Where was that commanding officer? Why were they not brought to the military courts?

Years ago, my oldest son had a commanding officer who had been climbing that ranks when a horrible tragedy occurred during training. An APC turned over and a soldier was killed. According to protocol, the track through which the APC would travel was checked during the day, though the APC would travel at night. 

Before it came to a military court, which found it to be a tragic accident, the head of the division resigned. He took full responsibility - as the commanding officer on the scene in Hebron that day should have. Protocol was not followed - perhaps not by Azariya, but most definitely not by the commanding officers onsite that day. Why have they not been demoted?

Ultimately, our army is one of discipline and discipline is established at the highest levels. Follow me, is our way. We are not like armies in which commanding officers stand back and tell their soldiers - go there and do that. Rather, the commanding officers are in the front, turning to their men and telling them to follow.

That is what is missing - Follow Me. It is the Israeli way. Up to the very top of the chain of command. And so, Gadi Eisenkot - are fired. 

You are fired because your soldiers didn't follow protocol and now would stand by while an 18 year old becomes your "fall guy".

You are fired because you speak out just hours before a military court is to convene and in this land, still, you are innocent until proven guilty - especially, when you are a fresh, young 18 year old on the brink of manhood.

If you think an 18 year old is a man, you are an idiot, Gadi Eisenkot. Yes, you might argue that Azariya is a man today, after all you have put him through, but on that day in Hebron, he stood there on the brink. On that day, he was naive enough to believe that behind him stood the people of Israel and more, the army of Israel.

My son is now 20 years old and serving as a combat soldier. If you won't stand behind him, either you have to leave or he does. Since he is actually following the law and protocol, it should be you.

You have broken faith. It is YOU who don't have the people's trust. Leave, Gadi - you're fired.


Theo Isaacson said...

Oy such a drastic case ,the rules of war ?? Yisrael is not fighting a regular war army to army these are terrorists who do not abide by the Geneva convention ,therefore our young men face a huge challenge ,one of his comrades was stabbed that was certain the commanding officer said shoot him if he moves that is an order if which he obeyed did the terrorist hide a bomb under his clothing a weapon ?? The doubt is there the world is facing terrorists who don't care about who they kill wound or maime in my book it is kill or be killed am yisrael chai forever I hope he gets off

The Blogging Safta said...

Paula, you are a mother of a chayal, I am a safta of a chayal. I agree with every word you posted. Today, our chayalim were attacked, murdered and injured..these chayalim are our children..our country's children, how dare anyone say anything different.

Go home Gadi!

Netivotgirl said...

I sit here with tears in my eyes. Every word you wrote is true. Today we lost 4 soldiers in a terror attack. Why did they run away instead of opening fire? Could it be perhaps they feared being put on trial as the NEXT Elor Azaria?? Bravo on another superb post.

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