Reservists on protest march in Jerusalem
Photo: Gil Yochanan

Paratroopers demand fewer casualties

Dozens of reserve paratroopers, members of Movement for Quality Government in Israel march in Jerusalem, demand inquiry commission be set up to probe war

The public protest which has followed the war in south Lebanon reached one of the most symbolic sites associated with IDF bravery –Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem.


A few dozen members of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel and reserve paratrooper soldiers held a march from the Hill to the Supreme Court, demanding the formation of an official inquiry commission.


Unlike other protest movements, which also came to Jerusalem to protest against failures during war time, organizers of the march believe that there is no alternative other than forming an inquiry commission.


"Everyone who claims otherwise should prove what would be better," said Ziv Bigun, a participant.


Chairman of the Movement of Quality Government, Attorney Eliad Shraga, said that calls for an investigation was not attempt to eject leaders.


"We had the ability and readiness to leave our families and go to the battlefield, but we returned without deciding the battle. We learned that there only truth and transparency will bring the next government. We don't want blood, just to check ourselves. So that we are better ready for the next round," said Shraga.


Marching to prevent casualties (Photo: Gil Yochanan)


The choice of Ammunition Hill as a point of origin for the march was not a coincidence, said Shraga. "When we want to be strengthened we choose this place to start the march. When you are confused and embarrassed you go to the paratroopers cliff, here in Jerusalem," he said.


'Power is still there'


Colonel Amnon Nahmias said that as a paratrooper commander in the battle for Ammunition Hill during the Six Day War, during which he lost 36 of his fighters, he was asked how to cope. He replied: "It's hard, but you get through." According to Nahmias, "the power and spirit are still here in the army and we must safeguard them."


Among the marchers was David Einhoren, of the village of Gimzo. Einhoren's son, Yonatan, was killed last month in the south Lebanese village of Aita al-Sha'ab. He said it was important for him to take part in the march so that "there be less killed in the next war like Yonatan."


Regarding reports of errors on the military commanding and political level, Einhoren said: "I am sure that if they would finish the war with a large victory the political leadership would be crowing itself, so it must also investigate and clarify with itself what the mistakes were."


As a soldier Einhoren served in the Air Force under the command of current Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Dan Halutz. "He always demanded an investigation after finishing the missions, whether they were successes or failures. I'm just wondering why this logic doesn't apply to him, why doesn't he also investigate himself?" asked Einhoren.


The bereaved father believes every citizen has the responsibility to call for a commission of inquiry.


"Everyone must ask himself what he can do so that there will be less casualties. The answer: Come and demand an investigation committee, that will make things more efficient and improve the situation."


פרסום ראשון: 08.24.06, 21:14
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Paratroopers demand fewer casualties"
This will delete your current comment