On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told AP: “…I genuinely believe that the determination that Israel manifests and the power that we project and the outcome of these operations both in the south and in the north will ultimately lay the foundations for movement in the framework of the realignment [The political program of the Prime Minister which promises further destruction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and ceding more land to the Palestinian Authority]”
Yisrael Klausner, whose son Ohad was killed during the fighting in Lebanon last week, was hurt by the prime minister’s statements.
“I was shocked by the statements of the prime minister, who could not restrain himself and gave us, the parents, the hardest feeling that bereaved parents can have: that my son was killed for nothing, that his sacrifice was unnecessary, that his death and the deaths of his comrades will advance Olmert’s plan to destroy our homes,” Klausner said. He was one of 34 reserve officers from the Binyamin Brigade who signed a letter of disobedience on the eve of disengagement and was afterwards discharged from the IDF by order of the chief of staff. Last night, a representative of the Prime Minister’s Bureau arrived at the family home for a condolence visit. Klausner gave him a letter and asked him to deliver it to the prime minister.
“Mr. Prime Minister,” Klausner wrote, “today I got up from sitting shiva [the seven days of mourning] for my son Ohad, a soldier of the Golani Brigade who fell in battle in Lebanon, feeling proud and encouraged.
“During the entire shiva period, I had the honor of meeting with his comrades from the unit and with his schoolmates, who turned out to be wonderful young people, with ideals and willingness to contribute to the people and the country. The president’s visit to my home provided me with the opportunity to give him a message of hope for the future, a message about the devotion and strength of the younger generation.
“I was astonished to hear your announcement regarding the continuation of the ‘realignment’ plan even as we were in the midst of a warlike struggle in that has claimed and continues to claim the lives of soldiers and civilians, a struggle for the existence and future of our country. In these moments, Ohad’s comrades are risking their lives in Lebanon, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice, as their parents fear for their fate. Your statements weakens their steadfast spirit.
“The spirit of the courageous fighters, not the spirit of the weak, is at the forefront of my thoughts and the thoughts of soldiers and civilians. Mr. Prime Minister, I would not have expected weakness of spirit from you, but rather demonstrations of determination, leadership, strength and faith, and that you allow our wonderful and courageous army to do its work and win the war. I believe that there is a time for the sword and a time for talk, and this is a time for the sword-to fight for our existence, our future and the democratic vision upon which our country was founded.
“Encourage your sons and do not weaken them, and we will pray for their safe return.