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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yom Kipur War’

Suspicious Family Illegally Opens Mt. Herzl Grave – Finds It Empty

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

For 40 years, the family of Tzion Tayib have been fighting for proof their son was killed in the Yom Kippur war and it is his body that is buried in the Har Herzl military cemetery, according to a report on Galei Tzahal (Army Radio).

Tayib’s position on the Hermon mountain was overrun in the first days of the Yom Kippur war by Syrian commandos, where Tayib served as a communications specialist, according to a detailed report on Walla.

From that position, a number of soldiers were declared missing, and 11 months later the IDF declared them dead.

According to the court papers released by the Supreme Court, the IDF claimed that they learned from captured Syrian soldiers the location of Tayib’s body, and they recovered it, confirmed his identity, and buried it.

The body of Tzion Tayib was buried without the family being present, and they were later informed that he had been buried.

The family, from the beginning claimed the IDF did not do enough to positively confirm the identify of Tayib, and it was lying to them. They felt there were discrepancies in the versions told to them.

The IDF said it had 100% confirmed that Tayib was dead and buried in his grave.

Twenty years ago, when DNA testing became reliable, the family asked that the body be exhumed to confirm that it was Tayib who was buried in the Har Herzl military cemetery, but the IDF refused.

Three months ago, the family turned to the Bagatz (Israel’s Supreme Court) for permission to exhume and test the body.

In February, the Supreme Court responded that the IDF’s presented sufficient proof that it was Tzion Tayib who was buried there, and did not grant permission to the family.

The family then decided to take action on their own.

On Friday, when the cemetery was busy with preparations for Memorial Day, the family entered the cemetery with two doctors, one of them a pathologist, as well as a tombstone maker. They carefully removed the tombstone and began digging.

They did not find the body of Tzion Tayib. They did not find any body at all in the grave.

They videoed all the evidence, and then restored the grave and tombstone so that no one visiting their lost ones during the day would be disturbed by the site of an open grave.

As can be expected, this has caused a major scandal in Israel.

During the Yom Kippur war, when many soldiers were killed in terrible battles, sometimes, such as in the case of burnt out tanks, there was very little, if anything left to bury. But in those cases, the IDF privately informed the families that they were burying an empty coffin, or were burying a tank unit together, whose parts weren’t individually identifiable.

In this case, the IDF fought the family for 40 years, claiming it did bury the Tzion Tayib’s body.

What happens next remains to be seen.

From the Ministry of Defense Yizkor site:

Online Marker for Tzion Tayib

Online Marker for Tzion Tayib

Ketzaleh: I Hate What Sharon Did but He Saved My Life; I Love Him

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

No two politicians could have more of a love-hate relationship than Ariel Sharon and Yaakov Katz.

Sharon is barely holding on to life, and Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz, whose life Sharon saved in war and who worked hand in hand with Sharon to bring Jews to Gaza, Judea and Samaria, recalls how Sharon jilted the nationalist movement, expelled Jews and destroyed their homes and synagogues.

Ketzaleh is a former Knesset Member who stood by his nationalist ideology rather than compromise, no matter the political cost. He founded the Arutz Sheva radio station in 1986 and later its Hebrew language Internet site during the dark days of a single-minded Israel media that ignored terrorist attacks and vilified Jews like him who live in Judea and Samaria.

Katz and Sharon knew each other as IDF officers, but in the Yom Kippur War, they met on the battlefield in the worst possible circumstance, when Katz was left for dead after suffering severe wounds.

Katz had been second in command of an elite 12-officer squad that operated under Sharon’s command and was sent behind enemy lines to locate and destroy Egyptian commandos who were trying to keep Israel from crossing the Suez Canal.

An RPG missile struck Katz, almost cutting his body into two parts.

There were so many casualties that medics decided to let Katz die after concluding it was more urgent to give medical to attention to others than to him, whose wounds were so critical they figured he would not live. A request for a helicopter to evacuate Katz was turned down because they were too close to the fighting with Egyptians.

Sharon overruled the instructions and ordered a helicopter, under Egyptian fire, to evacuate Katz to the hospital.

While he laid in the field, Katz vowed that if would survive, he would dedicate his life to education and to building Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Six months later, Katz walked out of the hospital on crutches and carried out his vow.

In an  interview on Thursday with the nationalist religious Galei Yisrael radio station, Katz recalled his and Sharon’s past that took them sometimes on the same path and eventually on two different streets going in different directions.

Among several comments in the radio interview:

 

Sharon brought us into the heart of Gaza for two years in order to eliminate 1,500 terrorists. He was a man of action; he knew how to read the map….

In violation of orders, Sharon ordered a helicopter that was under Egyptian fire to save me. I owe him my life….

I served as his aide in the settlement program when he was Minister of Agriculture and afterwards as Housing Minster in the Shamir government when then was a huge wave of aliyah from Russia. We split up [our work]: I built with Zambish [Ze’ev Zambish, another pioneer in the settlement movement], and Uri Ariel [now Netanyahu’s Housing Minister] 60,000 residential units in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

Arik built 60,000 units in Be’er Sheva, Afula, on the southern end of the Galilee) and Nazereth Illit, located in the Lower Galilee.

With God’s help, we tripled the number of Jews in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights….

Aril was like a father for me. I was closer to him than to anyone else and he was similarly close to me….

He was a man of revolutions, of changes, with the strength of a bulldozer to do the best. His home was my home. My home was his home….

Immediately after I built for him the position of Minister of Infrastructure in the Netanyahu government in 1996, he made a strategic decision to disconnect with us [the settlement movement]. Arik was pulled in by the “clubhouse” to separate himself from settlements in order to sit in the chair as head of the government.

I always told him, “Stay away from … [these] people who will corrupt and ruin you. I did not succeed in keeping him from being drawn to them…

Omri [one of Sharon’s sons] blocked me from reaching him. I also did not try any more, even when I was struggling for Arutz Sheva [which was broadcasting from a boat on the Mediterranean Sea and eventually was shut down by the government]….

After he announced he was going to destroy Gush Katif and [four Jewish communities in] northern Samaria, he once left his office and saw me. He suddenly moved aside, with all of his bodyguards around him, and started to explain to me, “Listen, Katzelah. There are constraints and limitations.”

After listening for a long time, I told him, “Arik, we got over Pharaoh and we will get over you.” He looked at me and laughed….

Arik never explained how he could say “The law for Netzarim [a Jewish community he encouraged in Gush Katif] is the same as the law for Tel Aviv” and then do the damage he did.

During the years that we were together a lot, Arik always asked me, “Katzelah, how is it that you love me so much and don’t believe one word of mine?”

Historians will not forget the last chapter of his life, when he committed crimes against the Jewish People, destroyed their homes, demolished their communities and burned their synagogues. Jews have never done anything like that in our history.

Go East

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The anniversary of the Yom Kipur War always reminds one of Israeli fallibility, arrogance, and overconfidence, yet at the same time of its capacity to defy the odds and come back from the brink. It was another example of our bringing disaster upon ourselves and then fighting back to survive. After all, that is what the name “Israel” means in the Bible: “to struggle with man and God and survive”.

If I were to listen to the voices, Jewish and non-Jewish, that I hear in such examples as The New York Times, in The New York Review of Books, the intellectual and leftwing talking heads of Europe and the USA, or indeed popular left wing opinion, I would have a depressing sense of impending catastrophe. This week Peter Beinart, in The New York Review of Books, tells us that we Jews neither know, nor understand, nor feel the suffering of the Palestinians, whether under Hamas or the PLO. Ian S. Lustick goes on at length in a one-sided peroration typical of The New York Times that the lays the blame on Israel for making the Two State Solution irrelevant. They are not entirely wrong. But I tell you I am bloody fed up with people lumping all Israelis, all Jews together in their simplistic apportioning of blame, seeing things in black and white rather than in greys. Palestinians are good victims. Israelis are bad oppressors. In fact, both are both. That’s what humans are, a mixture of good and bad.

Some Israelis, some Jews are indeed intolerable racists. It is as true as is the fact that in South Africa under Apartheid there were Jews who acquiesced, who remained silent and failed their moral duty. But it is equally true that many Jews fought long and hard and at great cost to themselves, to oppose Apartheid and to promote freedom for the black population. That the ANC finally triumphed has not replaced immorality with morality, discrimination with equality. Sadly, too often those who suffer respond not by continuing the drive towards greater freedom but by grabbing all they can for themselves. This is the usual consequence of most struggles for freedom. Similarly, in Zimbabwe the relatively benign but overtly racial regime of Ian Smith was replaced by the much more evil and murderous regime of black Mugabe. Good fighters for freedom turn into very bad governors of countries. But that is the price of the struggle. And politics is dirty and messy everywhere.

The role of government is to protect its citizens and the vision of its founders. Israel was created as a state with a Jewish heritage, just as much as Muslim states were established to preserve and propagate Muslim heritage. Most of us would like to see both as tolerant and democratic societies. Israel is imperfect indeed, but it is our homeland. If we care for it we should fight to protect it and to improve it, not to undermine it. We should focus just as much on those who are working hard on reconciliation, on doing good, not just on the bad, on Syrians treated in Israeli hospitals, on Israel providing for Gaza what Egypt is not. But don’t expect this from the anti-Israel amen chorus.

So how are we expected to relate to a dysfunctional Middle East that is constantly stirred up against us by a distorted Western mentality? Surely not by capitulating to its mental diseases. I suggest we try to ignore its pathologies as best we can. But I must stress, I do not advocate cutting ourselves off from the Muslim world. The Middle East is not the only Muslim location. I do not think the divide between Judaism and Islam is either inevitable or healthy. We have far more in common with each other than we do with Western religions. To both of us, religion is not a series of theological propositions but a way of life. However if we want to heal the breach we must look further east.

It always surprises Jews to learn that the Muslims of the Far East, from India to Indonesia, from Cambodia to China, see the Arab jihadis of the Middle East in much the same way that non-Orthodox Jews view Charedim. They regard the Salafists and the Wahhabis as over the top extremists. It’s true in both cases that guilt often leads them to support the pious at arm’s length. The Far East also has its extreme and violent Islamic movements and terrorists, but the general mood of Islam is far more benign the further you get from the Middle East. It is more tolerant, less anti-West, and less fixated on blaming everyone else, especially the Jews, for their own ills. Yes, you can quote me that nasty former Malayan premier Mahathir bin Mohamad, who blamed the Jews for everything. But, thank goodness, he was not typical. I believe Israel should reduce its links with Europe with is ghastly legacy and history. It should be cultivating relations and economic involvements with India, China, Korea, and other emerging powers out in the Far East.

Daniel Goldhagen, the controversial and outspoken American historian who wrote Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, has stirred things up with his latest book about Western anti-Semitism, The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism. Anthony Julius wrote a dismissive review in the Wall Street Journal accusing Goldhagen of sloppy research and unreliable statistics, even if he agrees with the core of his thesis. But even if Goldhagen exaggerates when he says 200 million Europeans compare Israelis to Nazis, let us reduce it by half. The fact is that huge swathes of opinion in Europe and the USA are venomously opposed to Israel’s existence on principle. So who is Israel to rely on? We knew Europe would never go to war to defend the Jews. Now we have seen all too clearly that the USA cannot be relied upon to fight. It is war weary. Israel must defend it itself as best it can, both socially and militarily. It is time to look for friends elsewhere.

In addition, I believe Judaism has more in common with and is more appreciated by the religion and mysticism of the East than of the West. The West is fixated on pain, suffering, guilt, and negativity. The East has much more positive religious energy. We have been identified with the Western religious tradition for too long. We have adopted too much of this guilt and pain. We could well redress the balance. It is time to think about a new alliance, a new love affair, with the Far East for Israel and Jews in general. I only hope our present leaders, secular and religious, will not be as myopic as those of the past.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/go-east/2013/09/24/

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