My brother, Beduin tracker

Of the 132 Israeli soldiers who fell in battle last year, one is an "Unknown Soldier."

By
May 14, 2008 19:51
2 minute read.
My brother, Beduin tracker

beduin tracker 298. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Last Wednesday, Remembrance Day, I had the honor of speaking on behalf of the UJC at a memorial ceremony in Jerusalem for Israel's 22,437 fallen. I would like to share those words with you: It is a sad reality in our region that the wars do not stop for one moment. Sometimes they are at a higher intensity, sometimes at a lower one, but soldiers fall all the time, and the pain and grief are deep. Since last Remembrance Day another 132 families have joined the "bereaved family" of the State of Israel. Among the soldiers who fell over the past year were three non-Jewish soldiers: First Sgt. Sayef Bisan from the Druse village of Jatt, Sgt. Menhash Albaniat, from the Beduin settlement of Kuseife, and a third soldier, whose name we do not know and whose picture we have never seen. All that appeared in the newspaper was a silhouette. The Beduin tracker fell in a terrorist ambush next to the fence dividing Gaza and Israel, alongside his Jewish comrades; he had volunteered for service in the IDF. We do not differentiate between the blood of fallen soldiers, whether Jews or non-Jews, but it struck me that although it is known who this soldier is and where he came from, for the Israeli public, he is an Unknown Soldier. His family requested that neither his name, nor his picture, nor even where he lived be published. All we know is that he left behind two wives and seven children, and that on the day he fell he was supposed to become engaged for the third time. No doubt, his family feared that they may be harmed in some way. BEDUIN TRACKERS go ahead of patrols. They are the first out there, and they are the first to be injured or killed. They are aware of the danger; but nonetheless, they serve - voluntarily. No one can replace them. No one can identify the tracks and signs over the hundreds of kilometers of dirt roads along Israel's borders the way they do. It takes trained and experienced eyes, and this is what the Beduin trackers have been doing better than anyone else, generation after generation. We frequently speak of the "covenant" between us, the Jews, and them, the Druse and Beduin. It is a pledge between those who are destined to live together in this country and give up their lives for it. But these people hear very little from us about the covenant of life, the covenant between people who are supposed to build their lives alongside one another. The Beduin tracker who fell on the Israel-Gaza border lived in an unrecognized village. Tomorrow, bulldozers could come to demolish his house, leaving his two wives and seven children homeless. On this day, we must think of him, of his friends and also of ourselves, and we must promise to cultivate solidarity and mutual commitment - ours and theirs - not just in order to die for our country, but to live for it, together. Thank you my brother, Beduin tracker. The writer is senior vice president and director-general of UJC Israel and a former IDF spokesman.

Related Content

Letters
August 21, 2018
Letters to the Editor: August 21, 2018.

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR