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Katyusha rocket in Safed Photo: Niv Calderon
Katyusha rocket in Safed Photo: Niv Calderon
 
 

Homefront is strong. What about the government?

We citizens don't mind sacrificing when country forced to go to war. But let it not be in vain

Naomi Ragen
Published: 07.19.06, 11:04 / Israel Opinion

As we sit in our homes glued to our television screens, listening and watching as our little country fights a war we have no choice but to win, we are being warned, courted, informed, praised, and admonished. Minute by minute, television newsmen shove microphones in

our mouths, and stick headphones in our ears, urging us to reveal if we are afraid, in despair, planning to run, or angry at the government.

 

Who can forget Gadi Sukenic, who asked a policeman who came home to find his house bombed and his two babies in their mother’s arms: “Are you planning to leave? Are you terrified?” And when the policeman said in a steady voice that although he was understandably upset, he had no plans to leave, Sukenic turned to the woman standing next to him: “I understand you are terrified and planning to leave.”

 

Heaven forbid, we might miss an opportunity to lose heart and run.

 

Weak journalists, politicians

 

And when the mayor of Safed, with great bravery and patriotism, spoke about his full backing for our soldiers, there was the gallant television journalist who kept asking him: “But what are your complaints about the government? What are you missing? What are you angry about?”

 

And then there is the direct, real time broadcasting of Hezbollah attacks, allowing the enemy not only to rejoice, but to adjust their sights and send a few more rockets in the same direction. In which country in the world does the military spokesperson have to beg the press, on live TV during a war, not to do such things? Where are the military censors?

 

And then there are the MK’s who again and again tell the public “to be strong. That “victory in this war depends on the public’s stamina, it’s steadfastness.”

 

Home front is fine. What about gov't?

 

I am not worried about the home front's stamina, thank you very much. But I do worry about the stamina and steadfastness of the government. Look at Ami Ayalon, a former head of the Shin Bet, who in his secret service wisdom convinced us that leaving Gaza would “improve Israel’s security.”

 

Now, he's on TV, only four days into a war, already saying that the Israeli government should get international bodies to rescue us. Thanks very much for sharing your far-reaching and proven wisdom, Mr. MK, for showing us, the home front, just how strong a stance our government is taking.

 

The other worrisome reports are that the IDF is not taking out Beirut's electricity grid that allows Hizbullah to aim and direct their rocket attacks, because of the Israeli government’s slavish desire not to put out President Bush. I sincerely hope that is not the case.

 

A word to the government

 

I have this to say to my government. You made the right, the only, decision. We are proud of your stance, and we support your actions. We have no choice but to defend ourselves and respond to an act of war with a war.

 

This decision, however, asks many of us to put our lives and families in peril. If we uncomplainingly stay in our shelters, suffer the horror of rocket attacks, bury our dead, then let it be for a reason. Let us feel at the end that our sacrifice wasn’t in vain, and that our government is also strong, also patient, also steadfast. And let our journalists and our MK’s exercise the same stamina that they are asking of the public.

 

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