IDF widow's gravestone engraving request denied
Yael Weissman, widow of Serg. First Class Tuvia Yanai Weissman killed in a terrorist attack in Binyamin, asked to have the words “killed in battle during a terror attack” engraved on his tombstone. Her request was denied, leading to an emotional public outcry.
“My beloved Yanai – who would have believed that just a little more than two weeks after the day you fell in heroic battle, during those seconds in which you stormed those terrorists with your hands empty, I would have to contend with systemic inflexibility at its finest. Instead of dealing with how and in what way to commemorate you, I have to deal with making sure the circumstances of your death are accurately stated. I don’t have any complaints regarding our great people and the military, which is embracing us, who made sure to appreciate and honor your brave actions.”
She continued, “So this is how it works – the writing on the gravestones of fallen IDF soldiers has several pre-selected wordings, there’s the wording ‘fell in battle,’ and there’s also the wording ‘fell in a terror attack.’ An investigation was held; according to its conclusions that were given to the soldier commemoration unit at the Defense Ministry it was decided that the writing on your gravestone would say ‘fell in a terror attack.’ Yes, just a terror attack. Because that’s what was determined, because that’s what was investigated.”
Mrs. Weissman is requesting that her husband’s gravestone bare the writing “fell in battle during a terror attack,” since he stormed at the two knife-wielding terrorists inside the supermarket. The Defense Ministry has so far rejected her requests, apparently unwilling to acknowledge that Sergeant First Class Weissman’s actions constitute taking part in a battle.
The Ministry of Defense responded, saying, “The Ministry of Defense shares the heavy grief of the Weissman family. The soldier commemoration unit works according to the regulations of gravestone writing, and determines the circumstances of death according to information it receives from different security bodies.”