Thursday, April 11, 2002

From Naomi Ragen:


I received this letter from the mother of an IDF soldier, a medic now serving his country in the war against terror.

It was written early in the morning, with haste. There are typos. But it is a sincere window into the hearts of our soldiers and into what is really happening.

All the best,


Dear Friends;

It is five-forty in the morning and I have just spent the past hour speaking with Mordechai who is now with other soldiers awaiting entrance to the Jenin refugee camp, where he will be working for the next few hours , if not days, or weeks.

As a medic he will be treating both arabs and Jews who are injured. Mordechai has told me that many times, his position as a medic, has given him more opportunity to treat Arabs than his own people!

The Palestinians are lying about who is creating civilian casualties! Yesterday in Jenin, they had the job of checking three hundred prisoners. They check for injuries and medical problems. Seventy of these prisoners were kept incarcerated. The others were let go after questioning, either because they were not armed, were too young, or too old.

All were treted humanely, the same as Israeli soldiers. If an Israeli soldier is captured by the Palestinians, he is hung and dragged through the streets. Mordechai has orders not to shoot anyone who comes at him unarmed. This is the rule of the Israelis. Anyone who wants to go free, can. If they refuse to put down arms they are considered militants. Mordechai says that Israel is tired of fighting.

Israel wants peace, but who will they talk to? He is so angry at yesterdays massacre! He told me that the soldiers tripped a wire that set off a booby trapped building. At the same time a young person came forward with explosives strapped to him and calmly blew himself up. Eight militants were waiting on the roof of a nearby building and shot anyone who lived through the explosions.

He says it is very hard to understand why America want Israel to pull out before the job is done. As an American and an Israeli, he feels we are not really understanding what is happening on the West Bank.

Mordechai is worried that if the Israelies pull out now, some of these Islamic terrorists, a month from now, six months from now, will be blowing up another place in an American city, and it will be too late! Americans don't seem to understand that destroying the terroirist camps here, are protecting America!

The Israelies care greatly about world opinion. They have explicit orders not to hurt civilians unless they are challenged by them! Israelies have a code of honor!! The reason Mordechai says that they treat more arabs, is because they are always the first to arrive, and are willing to treat anyone who is injured in any way. They do not segregate arab from Jew!

In order to protect the Israeli people and America from future attacks they must be allowed to finish the job they have started. Mordechai worries that if this is not done, America will, unfortunately, later pay the price, as terrorism will raise its ugly head here!

I told Mordechai that I had just listened to the UN proposals, just prior to speaking with him. I suppose world condemnation could have been worse! I personally do not put much stock in UN anything!!

Both Mordechai and I agree that Yassar Arafat should not be recognized by the United States or anyone else, if peace is to be an option! We pray that G-D will give us a miracle and that someone, almost anyone, will arise that can bring peace to the region. The next hours will be difficult on all of us. I pray for Mordechai, for all our Israeli soldiers, and for peace.

On a personal note, I feel very strongly that we in the Jewish community have not yet done our best to bring attention to the immediate need for support of our people in Israel. We have little rallys every day, but no outpouring of support! The Israelies feel that we are not behind them, and this makes me angry!!

This situation does not call for a demonstration a week from now!! It calls for action now!!! Let us stop sympathizing, and do something , so that our government and Israel know that we, the Jewish people, are aware of Collin Powell's visit, we stand firm behind Israel, and that their fate is our fate! It matters!!!


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