For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA
19 October '11
I received a lot of angry mail when I wrote earlier in the week that thanks to the very lopsided prisoner swaps, the IDF policy today is to do everything possible to kill IDF soldiers who appear to be in the process of being captured by terrorists.
Many couldn’t believe that this was indeed the policy of the IDF.
So I put up a video on YouTube of a Battalion 51 commander briefing his Golani troops on the eve of their entry into Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
"The strategic weapon, the 'Judgment Day Weapon' that Hamas wants to acquire, is to capture a soldier. But no soldier in Battalion 51 will be kidnapped at any price. At any price. Under any condition. Even if it means that he blows himself with his own grenade together with those trying to capture him. Also even if it means that now his unit has to fire a barrage at the car that they are trying to take him away in. There is no situation. No situation that they will have this weapon.”
This was not some faked video. I copied from a video report broadcast on Israel Television Channel 2 News 16 October 2011
You can see the full report for yourself:
Now what does this all mean?
Am I saying that the Hannibal Protocol is wrong?
No. Not under the circumstances.
All I am saying is that we have to address the decisions we make with mature honesty.
The reason that we trade a thousand terrorists for a single soldier is not because of our commitment to do everything in our power to get our soldiers back home alive.
We do it because, as indicated by the polls, we don’t have the stomach to see soldiers as POWs once we know who they are.
And since a key element of the equation is that this feeling only goes into play when we see their name, faces, etc., we as a society have a very different attitude about soldiers being killed before we see their name, faces, etc.
And that is why we would rather kill a soldier being taken captive then have him sit somewhere being held by terrorists.
That is where we are.
And we have to deal with it.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"