Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ceremony to Honor Soldiers who refused to participate in Hebron Pogrom


OK, two things here:

First, the story as reported in JPost about how the municipality refuses the ceremony and how, in their hubris, Peace Now wants the organization hosting the ceremony to be investigated for sedition (tell me, when will Peace Now be charged--they are certainly more deserving of a charge of treason against the state!!).

Second, I included the new invitation to the ceremony, in case anyone in Israel wants to attend and support these brave soldiers.

Aug 29, 2007 9:51 | Updated Aug 29, 2007 9:51
Beit Horon refuses to host refusenik ceremony

The municipality of Beit Horon, initially the site in which an ultra right wing organization was planning to conduct a ceremony to hand out medals to soldiers who refused to participate in the evacuation of two families from Hebron earlier this month, said today that it would not allow the ceremony to take place in its community center, Israel Radio reported.

Family members at the first ceremony commemorating the Second Lebanon War, Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Monday.

The World Headquarters for Saving the Nation and the Land intended to hand out the alternative military decorations on Sunday, in a ceremony that was scheduled to coincide with the official military ceremony awarding citations to soldiers who fought in the Second Lebanon War, it was reported on Wednesday.

The soldiers in the alternative ceremony were also to receive cash rewards worth thousands of shekels, courtesy of Jewish donors in the US.

The right-wing organization's leader, Rabbi Shalom Dovber Wolpo, told Army Radio on Wednesday morning that "we need to consider that if there hadn't been a criminal order at the time of the disengagement, there would not have been a Second Lebanon War, and we wouldn't be in this situation today. If [soldiers] like these had refused this expressly illegal order then, we wouldn't need [to hand out] these prizes."

He stressed that his group in no way meant to demean those who truly deserved awards for their dedication and sacrifice in the Second Lebanon War, but that "we also need to show respect for those who refused to follow orders [to evacuate Jews] and sat in jail" for their insubordination.

A group of 12 Orthodox soldiers - including two squad commanders - were sentenced to 28 days in prison and were discharged from their combat units for refusing to participate in the Hebron evacuation.

Following the report, IDF war hero Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avigdor Kahalani denounced the alternative ceremony, saying it was reinforcing harmful behavior.

"How much cynicism can there be in the state of Israel - particularly among those who are supposed to be worrying about the future of Israel, but who are at the same time, in practice, trying to undermine the entire foundation of future generations' education?," he lamented.

"We are trying to raise a new generation of conscientious objectors. Where will we end up?" he demanded.

Peace Now, meanwhile, responded by calling on Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz to investigate World Headquarters for Saving the Nation and the Land for alleged sedition and funding illegal activities.

Matthew Wagner contributed to this report.


You are cordially invited to a festive (albeit modest) dinner in honor of the brave soldiers who refused to turn the 14 children from Hebron out of their homes in the Hebron Pogrom a few weeks ago.

This lovely event is the brainchild of the gentle and dedicated Rabbi of Bet Horon, Rabbi Michah Peled (and not managed by Beit-Horon's Municipality).

* Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba and Professor Ezra Zohar will speak.

The dinner will take place THIS SUNDAY, 2 September (Ellul 19), at 8 PM, in the Beit Kehilla of Bet Horon (on Rd 443, between Modi'in and Giv'at-Ze'ev).

Rabbi Peled asks that you call him URGENTLY to register 0503-827.660, 02-536.3273 or , to enable the right number of place-settings to be ordered.

Rabbi Peled says that the Beit Horon activists will be paying 35 NIS per person (even this is of course less than the cost of the meal). He does not want to charge guests from outside Bet Horon because he is extremely anxious not to discourage anyone from attending: he wants to have as many people as possible so as to honor and encourage our brave boys as much as possible.

However, we do not want to take advantage of our brothers and sisters in Beit Horon, so common sense dictates that anyone who can pay his costs (35 NIS or even 50 NIS if you can afford it) should do so.


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