Op-Ed: To My Soldiers and the Jewish People: We Have Won!

Words written as the fighting ceases. Officer Shechter adds: “Hope you will all have the patience to read to the end. Send this to everyone and tell all the Jewish People that we must realize that we have won!”

Lt. Col. (Res.) Uri Shechter, INN
The writer is Dep. Commander (Res.) of the IDF Nachal Brigade.

These words are dedicated to the wonderful officers and soldiers of the Nachal Brigade, to the bereaved families, wounded soldiers and their families, to all the IDF soldiers and to our wonderful Jewish People.

As we end a month’s battle in Gaza, and I hear questioning noises about its outcome, it is important to me to tell all of the Jewish People that we have won. Victory is ours from both a military and a civilian point of view.

As far as the military results are concerned, we can be holding victory celebrations. Hamas is on the rocks, at best he can stick his head out of his hiding places for a second and signal a “V” with his hands – until he gets a welll-aimed rocket, that is.

Hamas cannot bring in more missiles via the Egyptian border, as it did freely during the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule.

It took years for Hamas to build tens of tunnels to attack from within our communities and we have destroyed them all.

Everything they attempted to do to fight us has failed, from the air, land and sea.

So why are we giving Hamas the feeling that it won? Every contact with the enemy in this Operation ended with a decisive victory for us. Every town we wished to conquer was in our hands within hours, with the help of the IAF and artillery units.

In the Yom Kippur War, we were at a terrible disadvantage and managed to regroup and achieve victory at the price of 2,656 of our soldiers. We won – but, sadly, in our national consciousness there was created a sense of defeat. In this war, fighters and the commanders who led them, as opposed to our enemies where the commanders stay behind, went out to battle filled with motivation that cannot be contained. Wounded soldiers refused to leave the battleground so their friends would not go on without them. Our soldiers fought with bravery and although we lost tens of our best sons, the army returned to its real objective: defending Israel’s citizens.

Some of the soldiers and commanders feel that we have not completed our mission, and they want to continue to lay it in to the terrorists. That’s how fighters and commanders should always feel, it’s great that they feel that way. It would be a grave misconception for them to have left with a feeling of satisfaction and finality. I also do not accept the expression “the IDF retreated.” The upper levels of decision making have a broader picture of the situation than we, and not everyone who writes a hysterical blog or article understands them.

The IDF continues to fire without restraint at the places it needs to reach and is located in places where it should be.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are on the run to Egypt to beg for a ceasefire agreement and we haven’t sent a single delegate to the talks.

Not only have they accomplished nothing in the present fighting, they have also lost a great deal. The people of Gaza will return to their no-houses without seeing rhyme or reason for their destruction nor can they point to any results.

But no less important than the military achievements, is what happened to the Jewish people during this period. The citizenry, all sectors of it, stood strong and gave the fighters and their officers the backing they so needed – this is how a nation’s victory looks!

A terrorist organization’s goal is not to conquer land, but to frighten the society it is attacking and crumble its foundations. About a month and a half ago, before our three sweet and wonderful boys were kidnapped, our people were divided and falling apart as they had not been for a long time. The spoken flames rose higher than every before: the hareidim termed the religious Zionists Amalekites, and the rest of the nation saw them as extremist “settlers”. The hareidim were seen as corrupt parasites, the secular were considered heretics, Judaism-haters and assimilationists.

Just look at what has happened to us in the last month and a half. The Jewish people and the IDF have become one solid body, filled with power and deeply connected with tradition. Even the media, which sometimes pulled us in other directions, were mostly swept along with the massive tidal wave of the Jewish people and its armed forces.

I saw the Jewish People at home standing strong: tens of trucks kept coming from all over the country bringing equipment and treats for the soldiers. A bereaved father came with a truckload and said that his son had been killed, so he is busy taking care of his other sons – the IDF soldiers. My children found it funny that I had never before heard of the singer Muki, but he and other performers came to appear before us, even if only ten of us were free to listen. People got together to help all the wives whose husbands were called up to duty, doing shopping and babysitting and more. The owners of a hi tech company gave every wounded soldier a tablet. Restaurant owners and caterers came down to run barbecues for thousands of soldiers who came out of Gaza for a break, with totally non-observant ones carefully keeping to kosher restrictions in choice of food, dishes and utensils.

And that’s not all: the mother of a hareidi soldier wounded in the stomach by a bullet asked me to make sure he returns to fight with his friends when he recovers. A truck came from the Mir Yeshiva with food and equipment for the soldiers, Rav Shteinman, the leading Torah Sage in the hareidi community today, cried at his grandson’s bar mitzva, saying: “There are soldiers at the front who are being wounded and killed and I am expected to be happy?”

(Just for the record, it is told that when his beloved wife died, he told the paramedic who came where she was and returned to learning Torah.)

A joint dance of hundreds of soldiers from all “the tribes of Israel” on Friday night. Kiddush for 1500 soldiers whose “Amen” made the heavens tremble. A wounded company commander who shouts to us to count his soldiers, his children, to make sure we haven’t forgotten any of them by mistake – as he is being evacuated. I can add hundreds of examples of the power that emanated from our soldiers, commanders and the wonderful people I met this past month.

Let’s all come out of this skewed and unfounded feeling that we have lost and Hamas has won. Let us change the atmosphere together, when talking to our families and colleagues at work.

Let us inject our national consciousness with the understanding that this is what real victory looks like!

Translated from the Commander’s Hebrew Facebook page by Rochel Sylvetsky

August 6, 2014 | 46 Comments »

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46 Comments / 46 Comments

  1. Aitzaz Said:

    You should go back to Europe, its safe now as HITLER is not there anymore

    that can come later, but first there are jew killers in the ME that need some killing.

  2. Aitzaz Said:

    won against whom? school children? this is not a war, this is GENOCIDE.

    YOu should address yuor complaint to hamas.
    it is this simple:

    If you fire ONE rocket at my children, even if unsuccessful, I will intentionally kill ALL your children

    weeping, moaning, whining, whinging, running to the UN, etc will not change that simple fact. If you want live children do not try to kill the children of others.
    I feel the same about those who spread lies and libels on the Jews and Israel, just like the Euro/christian blood libels. Like those libels of old they cause pogroms which lead to dead Jews and Jewish genocide. I view these libelers the same as Hamas who fires rockets. They are seeking dead Jewish children and therefore their children should also die.

    as for dead gazans and their children I suggest NOT to try and kill Jewish children.
    If you do, then dont whine and whinge in the morning after.
    If you want to fire rockets then expect the inevitable reply AND dead children.

  3. Aitzaz Said:

    won against whom? school children? this is not a war, this is GENOCIDE.

    When Hamas and other Muslim terrorists place fire arms in the hands of their own children its THEY, not Israel, who are committing genocide and genocide against their own. Islam is a death cult.

  4. Aitzaz Said:

    won against whom? school children? this is not a war, this is GENOCIDE????.

    Are you kidding you stupid Muslim!!!!

    Genocide is the systematic destruction of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group via the (a) Killing of members of the group; (b) Causing of serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberate inflicting on the group’s conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing of measures intended to prevent births within the group; or (e) Forcible transferring of children of the group to another group. Genocide entails also the Conspiracy to commit genocide; Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; Attempt to commit genocide; and Complicity in genocide.

    The Torah explicitly establishes the principle that the Jewish people’s enemies are, by Divine Definition, G-d’s enemies. G-d initially declared to Abraham that: “‘I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you, I will curse …'” (Genesis 12:3); and the Gentile prophet Balaam, speaking in G-d’s Name, later confirmed that this Declaration had been made for the benefit of the Jewish people by declaring about us: “‘… Those who bless you are blessed, and those who curse you are cursed. ‘” (Numbers 24:9). Subsequently, Moses internalized this principle during the war against Midian when: “HaShem spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take Vengeance for the Children of Israel against the Midianites …'”, but “Moses spoke to the people, saying, ‘… inflict HaShem’s Vengeance against Midian'” (Numbers 31:2-3).

    As Mohammed is the enemy of the Jewish people, he is, by Divine Definition, also the enemy of G-d. Accordingly, the Koran — authored by the enemy of G-d — cannot be considered to embody the Word of G-d

    “… [‘Muslims’ are] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He has been angry, [consequently] transforming them into apes and pigs, and [into] those who serve Satan.” — Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 60;

    “You will see many among them [the Muslims] competing with each other in sin and wickedness and in practicing that which is unlawful. Evil is what they do. Why do their Imans and leaders not forbid them to blaspheme and practice that which is unlawful? Evil indeed are their doings.

    “You will see many among them [the Muslims] competing with each other in sin and wickedness and in practicing that which is unlawful. Evil is what they do. Why do their Iman’s and leaders not forbid them to blaspheme and practice that which is unlawful? Evil indeed are their doings. The Muslims say, ‘Allah’s Hand is chained.’ May their own hands be chained! May they be cursed for what they say. …” — Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 62-64;

    “You will find that the most implacable of men in their hostility to the faithful [followers of Allah] are the Muslims and the pagans; and that the nearest in affection to the faithful [followers of Allah] are those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ …” — Koran, Sura 5 “The Dinner Table” at 82;

    “The Resurrection of the Dead will not come until the Muslims will war with the Jews, and the Muslims will kill them; … the trees and rocks will say, ‘O Muslim, O Servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.'” (see Hadith compilations of Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176 as narrated by Abdullah bin Umar, and Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177 as narrated by Abu Huraira).

    During the time of God’s Judgment upon Humankind, Dajjal (the Anti-Christ) will begin to dominate the Earth together with his army of 70,000 (Muslims) until Isa (Jesus) is resurrected and thereafter destroys Dajjal as well as his Muslim minions.

  5. @ Aitzaz:

    “won against whom? school children? this is not a war, this is GENOCIDE.”

    Your lament is misdirected. It should be addressed not to the people or government of Israel, but rather, to the source of those 3500 civilian-targeted rockets coming from Gaza over the past few weeks: HAMAS. (The letters could stand for “Hiding Among Mosques And Schools.”)

    Of course, you should take care not to do your complaining in person, as that could be hazardous to your health: Two weeks ago, 20 Gaza Palestinian civilians in Shejaia conducted a peaceable protest against Hamas’ having brought retaliatory destruction from Israel upon their neighborhood. They were “executed,” shot on-the-spot; problem solved.

    If she WERE really interested in killing civilians, Israel could have carpet-bombed the entire Gaza Strip in a matter of hours, and left not a single creature breathing. It would’ve been a fait accompli—over & done with before anybody could do a thing to stop it, and the boys would even be home in time for supper; no fuss, no muss.

    The reality is that the IDF bends over backwards to prevent noncombatant deaths, often at the greatly compounded risk of increased casualties to their own forces. However, not only does every country have the right to defend its citizenry, but, moreover, NO government of any country has an obligation to PREFER the protection of an enemy’s civilians to that of its own. You cannot simply give immunity to avowed, proven, inveterate terrorists merely because they operate from populated areas while they attack your people.

    When the brave, Hamas fighters do their version of combat in street clothes, while hiding behind their women & children (their dramatic black uniforms being strictly for parades, demonstrations, and other public posturings), it stands to reason that no matter WHAT precautions Tzahal takes, some of those innocents are going to get hurt. [Du-uh!] Yet have you EVER heard of Hamas (or any of the other Palestinian terror organizations) killing Jewish civilians by accident??? (What a concept.)

    The only civilians Hamas ever kills by accident are their own, when their rockets — roughly 10 percent of them — wind up landing in Gaza. But Hamas never gets blamed for that, as they simply inform the lapdog media that the IDF was at fault—and reporters do have families to get home to when this is over.

    Since Hamas brazenly intimidates locally embedded reporters, don’t expect to read the objective facts from most of the media on the ground in Gaza at any time before they’ve left the area for good. They know their news stories are read and viewed by Hamas operatives — and reporters (even the occasional honest one) like are as fond of staying alive as anybody else.

    It is Hamas, not Israel, which targets civilians — they’re so much easier to kill than soldiers. Read the Hamas Charter; you’ll get an education (in distilled malevolence & undisguised judeopathy).

  6. yamit82 Said:

    Arab successful start up cottage Industry: Grave digging

    “Sow the wind, reap the Whirlwind” I live by that. Made Lemon Bars with limes yesterday. I was going to make Key Lime pie, but made bars instead. If you had had my Lemon bars at your bakery you would be rich [ and fat] as Midas.
    Govt. spokes person said today that bombing Isis would be difficult because the fighters hide among the civilian population. DUH

    You and Dagmar stay safe, did you receive the poem I sent, “Pete the Piddle ling Pup” I though you two would enjoy reading it together.

  7. honeybee Said:

    A good omen.

    A better Omen:

    Arab successful start up cottage Industry: Grave digging

    Palestinians prepare graves ahead of the funeral of 18 members of Al Batsh family who were killed the previous night in Israeli strikes that hit their house as they were targeting Hamas police chief Tayseer Al Batsh Sunday in Gaza City

    Israel should invest heavily in this enterprise by supplying them raw materials.


  8. @ yamit82:

    This is the song I was lookihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR7tvPeiYJEng for :

    On the way to the Flea Market I listen to a gospel program called ” Jammin with Jesus”. My Father use to sit on the steps of a black church every Sunday. as a kid, to listen to the music. He loved it, so I was raised on Gospel music.

    Obamas dropping humanitarian aid on parts of Iraq.

  9. Israeli math team take top prize for the first time at International Mathematics Competition

    The team, students from Tel Aviv University and the Technion, beat out 72 other teams from around the world.

    For the first time ever, an Israeli mathematics team has won first prize in the International Mathematics Competition, held this year in Bulgaria. The team, consisting of four Tel Aviv University and two Technion math bachelor’s degree students, received 355 points — 38 more than the second-place group, Eötvös Loránd of Budapest.

  10. Aitzaz Said:

    I learnt already that you are just a bullshit@

    No one, but no one, can insult Max on the pundit but myself !!!!!!!!!!! Max is correct, your English is gibberish.

  11. Aitzaz Said:

    you are droning your own babies (or old BOY FRIENDS) of afghan/russia war time 🙂 @ Max:

    Huh? Sounds like gibberish. Go back to Propaganda school and ask them to teach you better English.
    It doesn’t matter what you say – you are a waste of time looking to try to waste someone else’s time and emotion (ie get a rise out of them). You level of discussion is at the level of mudslinging.

    I expect your shrift will be short here.

    You could try to redeem yourself , save yourself – the path you are taking is dark and hollow – what you do to others is nothing because you can do nothing here – – but what you do to yourself – what you do to yourself here seriously damages your well-being.
    In the end , what will you be left with when you realize you lived a spiritually barren life.?

  12. Aitzaz Said:

    FYI, i am from Pakistan, just nuking here would be too costly 🙂 @ Max:
    @ Max:

    India may save us the trouble.

    How the drones lately?
    Look up. waaay up.

  13. @ NormanF:
    I tend to think the safest place for Jews is Israel…second best pale Hollywood?
    But if there is no Israel there is no safe place.

    I think a Hamas has been caught tunneling into Israpundit but one should remember the Geneva Convention on POW … maybe.

  14. Aitzaz Said:

    won against whom? school children? this is not a war, this is GENOCIDE.

    Ah, a Hamas propagandist! Long time no see on Israpundit.

    Please don’t give him a warning Ted – everyone has seen the movie over and over again – we know how it ends – there are no civilians there – just nuke.

  15. Aitzaz Said:

    Phoenix, This sentence is suitable for you guys. You should go back to Europe, its safe now as HITLER is not there anymore

    Hilarious! Your Hamas freaks there are shouting “Death to the Jews” and you want them to return to Europe. I just have to say the irony of anti-Semites and Israel haters ability to hold two opposite points of view is underwhelming. While you at it, go f*ck a goat and more importantly – get lost!

  16. @ Aitzaz:

    Israel has a right to defend itself. Whether you and you and your fellow Jew-hating garbage agree or not, it exists. And if it makes you upset, deal with it. Israel isn’t going anywhere.

  17. @ yamit82:

    I’m being presumptuous. For what – for not believing G-d is dead? We all have to do what is right. Feel free to mock it as a view of Christianity. But moral accountability began with the Jews.

  18. i am very old reader of isra pundit, i am sure they will have this much tolerance to atleast listen to others. I answered you like this only because you are not respecting my opinion but personally attacking me.@ the phoenix:

  19. @ Ted Belman:
    NOT via an email, but for all to see:
    I hope you are planning to take the trash out

    You should go back to Europe, its safe now as HITLER is not there anymore

  20. NormanF Said:

    you offend G-d!

    That is very presumptuous on your part. You have no idea what is offensive to G-d.

    Can G-d be offended???? If he can, is he G-d???

    I think you are mixing your crazy christian fundamentalist craziness in your rants.

    Get a grip and keep your critiques of BB to facts and politics where they belong.

  21. @ yamit82:

    I would have said to Netanyahu: what kind of man are you? Your brave brother killed terrorists who were about to murder Jews! And you’re the opposite of him! You protect them and are doing nothing to hunt them down and kill them. Even the Americans killed Bin Laden – but you cringe at the thought of killing Hamas leaders, who want every Jew in Israel dead! Your own brother would disown you if he were alive. You’re a disgrace to his memory and like King Shaul, you offend G-d!

  22. @ yamit82:
    Hey buddy,
    very good info/analysis. I agree with every word and idea.
    please enlighten me, when will israelis wake up and realize they are being led by drek??? (80% believe BB was a good leader throughout the war)
    Yaalon, Ganz must go!!!
    Please help!!

  23. @ yamit82:
    I agree with your post. So many Israelis lifes lost because the PM does not have leadership.
    This spineless bastard put Israelis lifes in danger just for his political ambitions? Children never consider the result of their actions. The PM and company should know better. He lacks “bemoles” in Spanish. B—s in English. It is heartbreaking to see such a great effort and money invested plus the heart of all friends of Israel suffering from anxiety and nothing to show for it. The people in the kibbutz who were hearing noises coming from the ground should not go back to their homes. Cannot the military use bunker busting bombs? To put in danger our children is irresponsible. HB, I do not have the strength to pray anymore. I hope Gaza gets destroyed by some act o nature. The Oslo Accords is not good even as sanitary paper.
    Does anyone knows how are SHmuel boys? I hope a strong desert wind comes and blows the PM and company to other lands or better yet to the ocean. I hope BB and his partners loose the upcoming election.

  24. @ yamit82:
    Dear yamit,
    I join hb,’s sentiments.
    I posted a reply to Bernard Ross, which is as apropos here.
    Your comment is surely shared by others in Israel as well.
    A while back you replied to dweller that Israel is a quasi police state. I am desperately trying to understand this contradictory situation and how it could be changed.
    If any attempt for change will be crashed (successfully) by the police state and spun to be whatever they choose it to be, what is the alternative?

  25. The Israeli Government and cabinet were appraised by Military Intel that Hamas was planning a major terrorist attack in July, using the tunnels. Last week it was reported that the attack was planned for Rosh Hashana but I learned today that was false it was July. Yet the Government of Israel and the IDF did nothing to prevent the attack or act on it’s own Intel.

    BB accepted the Egyptian cease fire even though he knew about the tunnels and the plans of Hamas. If, Hamas had accepted the tunnels we destroyed would still exist. Quiet for Quiet will still be in force.

    We the government gave the order to the IDF to attack Gaza for a full week it was only by air not ground forces. A wasted week. The IDF knew Hamas was dug in and underground and air power would be non effective. Most of the Rockets are also under ground and could not be attacked from the air.

    The rocket factories are also underground and were not touched.

    The war aim of destroying the Tunnels was never an initial war aim or mandate given to the IDF.

    Two or three attacks by Hamas using the tunnels changed the scope and mission of the IDF from Hamas and their command control and leadership and the stopping of rocket attacks to only the destruction of the Tunnels.

    We destroyed 32 tunnels known to us but not those we never discovered and everyone knows that there are many more some completed and others in various stages of construction.

    We lost some 63 or 64 of our best for what? So BB can award Hamas with a new lease on life and legitimacy? To make it easy for Abbas to get control of Gaza???

    Until this conflict BB refused to deal with the PA because of their unity agreement with Hamas now he wants Abbas to be given Gaza on the dead of Israel???

    BB could have avoided this war by recognizing the PA/Hamas unity government and by giving them long begore then what he is giving them now or prepared to give.

    Israel’s problem is not the IDF up to colonel. They are great and probably the best we ever produced and they are highly motivated.

    Our problem is our political leadership and the senior Oslo officer corps. They should all be fired and be replaced by non political professionals. Their idea of war is to fight for political points never victory never defeating an enemy…

    Politically they are more afraid of losing soldiers than winning. Are willing to sacrifice civilians but not their men. They are overly cautious instead of daring. They always think within their narrow box but never out of it.

    BB has wrapped himself in the cloak of the DM, Yaalon and Beeny Ganz and they expect BB to protect them in turn.

    BB is already making victory speeches lauding with praise Yaalon and Ganz. Sickening sight.

    Little by little the dirt will emerge from the fog of war and the people will be able to assess just how devious, corrupt and hapless are our political and military leaders.

  26. Uplifting? There is nothing uplifting about betrayal!

    And it was Israel’s leaders who decided to leave Hamas untouched. Keep that in mind the next time Netanyahu tells people cynically to their face Hamas is the same as Al Qaeda.

    His own actions belie the words coming out of his own mouth.