Photo Credit: Roi Hadi - Samaria Regional Council
Head of Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan leads the renovation of Joseph’s tomb, April 13, 2022.

Just prior to Passover, IDF forces entered Nablus. Their alibi was to guard the construction team repairing Joseph’s Tomb – which had been vandalized by Arab rioters. Before the forces entered, the commander of the IDF’s Samaria Brigade briefed his troops thusly: “This is where our land was promised to our forefather Abraham. We act today with a steady hand, not as thieves in the night but as the children of angels. We have the privilege of restoring the honor of the land and people of Israel.”

The criticism from the Left was quick to follow. “Peace Now” demanded the officer’s dismissal, and former Meretz MK Zehava Galon said his words were “the rhetoric of Hezbollah” – no less. To the chagrin of Galon and her cohort, however, it seems the problem didn’t start with Col. Roi Zweig, rather is far deeper and ancient.


“The fate of Israel is in your hands. The eyes of the entire nation are upon you in your hour of destiny, praying for your victory and safety. May God be with you,” GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yeshayahu Gavish told his troops on the first day of the Six-Day War in 1967. Yes, even back then we used Hezbollah rhetoric. A day later, Col. Uri Ben-Ari summarized the first day of fighting as commander of the Harel Brigade by quoting Psalm 144: “Praise be to the Lord my rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. From the ridgetop you have captured, the Prophet Samuel descended to pummel the Philistine camp. From here we will strike down our bloodthirsty and murderous enemy, we will pulverize him and defeat him. Soldiers! Our mission is to liberate all of Jerusalem.” I suspect that he, too, would be on the chopping block, with zero tolerance for a leader who expresses himself in such a manner.

Why stop here though? Let’s immediately fire and publicly flog Moshe Dayan as well, who read David Ben-Gurion’s letter at the end of the Sinai Campaign: “We can once again sing the song of Moses and the ancient people of Israel… Eilat will again be the main Hebrew port in the south, and Yotvat, known as Tiran, will return to being part of the third kingdom of Israel.” And as long as we’re firing people, then former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz should also hand in his dog tags for quoting Psalm 99 in a letter to combat troops after Operation Pillar of Defense.

You’ve may have noticed that I didn’t quote former Big. Gen. Ofer Winter; rather only those who are or were completely secular – leftists even – believe it or not.

Ever since receiving our first command as a nation, from Moses, who said when we left Egypt: “Keep silence, and hear, O Israel; this day thou art become a people unto the LORD thy God” (Deuteronomy 27:9) – the most effective speeches are those that evoke our belonging and identity. These not only determine what must be done but also why it must be done. What is legitimate in every army, in every country, is not legitimate in the eyes of the Israeli left. To survive, however, and for our survival to have meaning, in this life, we must denounce the denouncers. Because when we return the stones to Joseph’s Tomb, we also restore our control, our kingdom, and our desecrated symbols. Take strength in them. And those who don’t believe in the importance of these symbols, it cannot be explained to them. They probably suffer from impairment and their lives are devoid of meaning, and we have only to pity them.

{Reposted from the IsraelHayom site}

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Karni Eldad is a journalist, columnist, and editor.