(photo credit: AP and IDF)
On Friday, prominent Israeli author and peace activist David Grossman attended a left-wing rally in Tel Aviv, urging the government to end the war in Lebanon. Publicly criticizing the government's decision to expand ground operations in Lebanon, Grossman said that for Israel to get bogged down in Lebanon served only Hizbullah's interests.
"We can stop this disaster at this very moment," he said at the rally.
On Sunday, the war brought disaster home to Grossman when his son Uri, a 20-year-old staff-sergeant, was killed by an anti-tank missile that hit his tank. The younger Grossman was taking part in a major military offensive in the southern Lebanon village of Hirbat Kasif, aimed at sweeping the area clear of Hizbullah fighters ahead of Monday's expected cease-fire. Two other soldiers and an officer were killed in the same incident.
Uri Grossman, who was two weeks shy of his 21st birthday, served as a tank commander, and was due to complete his military service in November. He had planned to travel abroad after his army service, and then to study theater.
In his last conversation with his parents, Uri expressed his happiness over the cease-fire and said that he would have Friday night dinner at home.
He is survived by his parents and two siblings.
David Grossman, the author of such internationally recognized novels as Someone to Run With, The Yellow Wind and The Zig-Zag Kid, has long been an outspoken left-wing activist. In his 2003 book Death as a Way of Life, Grossman presented a sobered but still resiliently liberal view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In early 2005, he said at a literary fair: "Everyone knows that the conflict will end. The writing has been on the wall for a number of years. This is our chance to write history, and not be victims of it."
Of Israel's struggle to live in peace, he said, "We hope to become a story like any other story. But for God's sake, not a larger-than-life story, just a story of life."