Shlomit Peretz, the widow of Golani Brigade Maj. Eliraz Peretz, did not ask Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin to save her home from imminent demolition, when he sat in her living room on Thursday, in the unauthorized Givat Hayovel outpost on the outskirts of the Eli settlement.
On the wall was a large Israel flag that the couple had used as their wedding canopy.
To ward off the chill, she wore a green fleece jacket. She grasped a plastic cup filled with water.
Her husband, 31, was killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip on March 26, along with St.-Sgt. Ilan Sviatkovsky, 21. On Thursday, politicians made their way to her two-story stone home to speak with her and her four young children.
Of her husband, Shlomit told Rivlin, “He was willing to pay the price and what happened, happened.”
What was important now was to “continue in his path,” she said. “I have to be a vessel to his memory.
“He can not work physically in this world, but I am here to be a vessel for all the things that he wanted to do.”
Among these, she noted, was his desire to have 12 children of his own and to adopt a child.
“There is one thing that I will ask of you,” she told the Likud lawmaker.
“One of the ethics that was very strong for Eliraz was not to leave people behind on the battlefield,” said Shlomit who described how he had helped evacuate his wounded friends from areas under fire.
“The state has left someone in the field for 25 years. If we could return him home, it would be a form of comfort for us,” she said.
She did not specify his name, but a spokesman later confirmed that she had referred to Jonathan Pollard, a dual American-Israeli citizen who is serving his 25th year of an unlimited life sentence in an American prison for passing classified American documents to Israel.
Rivlin responded by agreeing that it was important not to leave people behind, because all of Israel had a responsibility one to another.
He added that it was important also to worry about her home.
“I don’t have any worry any more for my private home, but rather for the fate of the nation of Israel,” said Shlomit.
Outside, Rivlin told reporters he believed that the home in the outpost, along with that of the widow of Maj. Roi Klein, who jumped on a hand grenade to protect his men during the Second Lebanon War, should be legalized.
“I am coming here to ask, to beg and also to demand that the defense minister will consider once again the possibility, and there are possibilities, to give license to this settlement because it was built on state land. There is nothing that could force us to destroy those buildings,” Rivlin said.
He is the second senior politician to call for the authorization of the homes.
On Tuesday, National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau (Israel Beiteinu) spoke out in defense of 12 homes in Givat Hayovel, as well as six in the Haresha outpost.
In 2005, Peace Now asked the High Court of Justice to order the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria to implement the demolition orders it had issued against the homes.
The state has to give the court a time table for the demolition of the 18 homes in the two outposts in early May.
Rivlin said his statements only referred to Givat Hayovel.
But he denied that he was turning to the Defense Ministry out of sympathy for the two windows.
“That is not the only reason why a solution should be found” for
Givat Hayovel, he said. These people received mortgages and came here
with the support of the state, Rivlin said.
“It is possible to authorize these homes,” he said.
A few hours later, MKs Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor) also came to sit with Peretz.
They first spent a hour with Peretz’s neighbors, who told them why, historically and biblically, the homes should be authorized.
While Orlev believes the outpost should be legalized, Ben-Simon refused to state his opinion.