One song our soldiers won't be marching to


Songs have been banned before on the IDF''s radio station, Galatz.  Like HaSela Ha''Adom in the 1950s which was thought to attract youngsters to cross the border into Jordan and reach the "Red Rock", Petra, where, more enough than not, they would be murdered by either Beduin or Jordanian soldiers.  Then there was, for example, Chava Alberstein''s "Chad Gadya".


Now, there''s a new song. It is entitled, "It''s A Matter of Habit", by Yizhar Ashdot, written by his partner, Alona Kimchi.


And it besmirches IDF soldiers.




The official press release by the station''s commander, Yaron Dekel, was that
"due to the song''s content, it was decided that there is no place at the IDF radio station to celebrate a song that despises IDF soldiers and those who sacrificed their lives for the country''s security and who defend it"
The song''s message is it is all our fault, we are the corrupted and ignore the enemy, and, as a result, we are losing human values.
And these words caught my attention:-
They translate as
"Hey, what here is ours and what belongs to you?"
Who is he singing to?
Who is the "we" and who the "you"?
Is the Arabic-styled font intended to suggest Arabs are the "you"?
Is this a political song?
But to the point: IDF soldiers learn to defend and to do that, they must be trained in warfare and how to kill.  There is no room for pacificism here.
The IDF soldiers defend us against our enemies, those who seek to kill us, who terrorize us, who use their own children as shields and who attack almost exclusively civilians and most usually schoolchildren.  Ot kids on buses or in restaurants or movie theaters.  Or Bar-Mitzva parties.
Where I live at Shiloh, they try to kidnap women drivers who are alone in their cars at night.
They use axes and knives to kill and the killers, both Arab men and Arab women, blow themselves up even in their hatred of us.
They terrorized us before we liberated Shchem and Hevron and Shiloh in 1967.  They killed us at Tel Chai in 1920, at the Immigrants'' Hostel in Jaffa in 1921, at Tzfat and Hevron in 1929 and the Hadassah Convy in Jerusalem in 1948.  They threw a grenade into a school at Kfar Chabad in 1956.
If you think either I or Yaron Dekel is a bit harsh, here  are excerpts from the lyrics by Alona Kimchi, my translation:-
To learn to kill
is a matter of momentum
you start small and afterwards, it comes
You patrol all night
in the Casba of Shchem
Hey, what here is ours
and what is yours
At the beginning just an exercise
a rifle butt smashing on a door
Shocked children
Unnerved family
And after, the closure
This is already danger
Death lies in ambush
Behind every corner
He cocks the rifle
The arm shakes
The finger stiffens
Close on the trigger
The heart goes wild
Beating nervously
He knows next time
It''ll be easier
They are not a man or a woman
They are but objects, just a shadow
To learn to kill
Is a matter of habit
To learn to fear
Is a matter of momentum
You start small
And afterwards it comes…
We are but a small group
And they so many
A small state
Eaten by enemies
In their hearts only hate
An evil urge and darkness
To learn to fear
Is a matter of habit
To learn cruelty
Is a matter of momentum
It starts small and afterwards comes…
The cousin (the Arab) is an animal
Already used to seeing blood
He does not feel the suffering
Is not human
In field uniform and a skin rash
Exhaustion and regular action
From idiocy to evil
The path is short
Only for us, only for us
Is the Land of Israel
To learn cruelty
Is a matter of habit
...Come home, child
Come home
To learn to love
Is a matter of softness
With a careful step
In a cloud of grace
To be for just a minute
Just now, only today,
On the other side
Of that checkpoint
But our hearts are hard
And the skin so thick
Deaf and blind
In the bubble of the present
In amazement we''ll see
The falling angel
To be a caring human
Is a matter of habit…
And do not forget, the IDF''s Galatz budget comes from the taxpayers.
And a P.S.:-
In 2010, Ashdot and the members of Tislam were involved in another politically-based incident, when the band members cancelled an appearance by Israeli singer Ariel Zilber at their show simply because of his rightist views.  In August, Dekel ordered a live broadcast on Army Radio from Susya, near Hevron, to go on as scheduled despite attempts by leftist anarchists to stop it.  Prior to the broadcast, the anarchists protested outside the station’s studios in Yafo in an attempt to get the station to cancel it.