Fed up with the government's indecisiveness over choosing an official name for the second Lebanon war, a forum of parents of soldiers killed last summer have decided to take matters into their own hands. They plan to go grave-to-grave installing plaques with the phrase: "Fell in the War in Southern Lebanon." Due to the government's decision not to recognize the monthlong fight against Hizbullah as a war, the tombstones of the 117 soldiers killed in the campaign were inscribed with the words: "Fell in Lebanon." In comparison, soldiers who were killed during the Six Day War or the Yom Kippur War have the name of the war inscribed on their tombstones.
Who will name last summer's war?
"Our children were killed in a war," declared David Einhorn of Moshav Gimzo, whose son Yonaton - from Paratrooper Battalion 101 - was killed by an antitank missile in the southern Lebanese village of Ayta A-Shaab on August 1. "No one else - not a defense minister or a government committee on symbols and ceremonies - will decide otherwise."
Einhorn was referring to Defense Minister Amir Peretz's decision earlier this week to set up a panel to choose a name for the war. Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ya'acov Edri is also working on a name and plans to bring his recommendation - "Northern Operation" - to the Ministerial Committee for Ceremonies and Symbols next week.
Einhorn slammed Peretz and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, saying that the "dragging of feet" over naming the war - eight months after it ended - was another indication that Israel lacked genuine and responsible leadership.
The families plan to begin installing the plaques in the coming days. One of the parents at Wednesday's meeting will design the plaque and another will produce them.
The forum of bereaved parents also decided to send a letter to the Winograd Committee examining the war's decision-making process, demanding it draw conclusions that remove Peretz and Olmert from power.
"The Winograd Committee needs to accept upon itself a national responsibility and draw the conclusion that the current leadership is not worthy to lead the Jewish nation," Einhorn said.