Demonstrations in support of the IDF
Photo: Shai Vaknin

You are our children

People known as ‘IDF troops’ are our children, the sum of our hopes, dreams

It was my child who was grabbed by his legs and thrown off the upper deck of the ship; who was brutally beaten up; who had a stun grenade hurled at him; who was stabbed in the stomach; who had his arm broken.


It was my child who was stunned to discover that the peace activists, the cool youngsters on board the ship – the ones who must be wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and listening to Bob Marley music – are in fact a bunch of wolves posing as little red riding hood.


It was my child who was willing to put himself through demanding physical training starting in 10th grade already in order to become a Navy commando; who was as happy as can be when he completed a course that only few manage to survive through. It is my child who arrives home on Fridays just to hug and kiss me because I remembered to make the schnitzel he loves so much.


It was my child who found himself attacked with bats and stun grenades, after he was equipped with a paintball gun and was told a thousand times to be gentle with the peace sailors, lest everything get out of control and the whole world will rise up against us.


It was my child, the one I gave birth to, educated, and sent to the IDF, who truly felt this is an important national mission, and that he should be doing everything in order not to disappoint his commanders, his friends, his army chief, his defense minister, and his mother.


Just like an unexpected slap to the face of a passerby at a dark alley came this recognition. Just like the first rain after a year of drought. These people we got used to referring to as “IDF soldiers” are our children. We gave birth to them in our image, and they’re us.


They are the sum of all our hopes, aspirations, and dreams. This is exactly what we wanted, this is what we prayed for, and they are the people who made us so proud.


So what now? Now we need to hug them and love them and reassure them. We need to tell them we shall always be by their side. We need to remind them that their uniforms and ranks make no impression on us, that we are not intimidated by their hands, which have grown rough because of all the effort, and that we’re not excited by the paint spread on their faces before they head out on a mission.


We need to explain to them time and again that what’s happening in the UN today, in global news channels, and in closed-door cabinet sessions has nothing to do with them whatsoever. We need to look at them and tell them, just like we did when they were four years old and dropped a glass that broke: “No matter what, we love you; you are our children.”


פרסום ראשון: 06.03.10, 18:45
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