Parents of fallen soldiers call for Yishai's firing

Interior minister apologizes after sparking furor by saying negative results of 2006 Lebanon War due to lack of religious observance.

January 18, 2012 12:29
2 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai

Eli Yishai 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Eli Yishai is a stupid man who should be fired from his position as Interior Minister, the father of an IDF soldier killed in the Second Lebanon War said on Wednesday, hours after Yishai said that the negative results of the war were due to soldiers not being as religiously observant as in wars past.

"He's not worth responding to, but if he was a smart man he would know that over half of the fallen soldiers were from settlements or were religious and wouldn't say something like this," said Yisrael Klauzner.

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Klauzner's son Ohad served in the Golani Brigade's 51st Battalion. He was 20-years-old when he was killed in fighting in the south Lebanon village of Bint Jbeil on July 26th, 2006.

Klauzner told The Jerusalem Post that he and the parents of other fallen soldiers from the Second Lebanon War are putting together a letter to send to Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in which they will demand that he remove Yishai from his cabinet.

Klauzner said that while it isn't the point, his son Ohed did observe Jewish mitzvot and studied in a religious school in the moshav of Beit Horon outside Jerusalem, where he grew up.

Klauzner also called on the government not to resign the Tal Law, which affords a draft deferral for yeshiva students, arguing that they should be sent to fight in lieu of secular soldiers.

"If so many religious soldiers don’t go to the army and the secular soldiers who go instead of them are the ones who die I say they shouldn't go. Either they shouldn't enlist or the state should just draft the religious and they can fight and ensure a victory."

On Wednesday, Yishai issued an apology for his statements, in which he said "I apologize to all of the bereaved families whose sons gave their lives for the people and the land [of Israel]. The families of the fallen are sacred to the people of Israel."

Eli Ben-Shem, Chairman of "Yad Labanim", the nationwide organization that memorializes fallen soldiers and provides assistance to bereaved families, said Wednesday that he was pleased that Yishai apologized for his remarks which "are better not said by the leaders of our society, its representatives, or religious leaders."

Ben-Shem added that at the military cemeteries across Israel "Druze, Jews, Arabs, Circassians, Beduin, and Christians who fought side-by-side and fell in battle together are buried next to one another. Death doesn't distinguish between one type of blood or another or one level of belief or another."

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