Major Peter Lerner is the spokesman for the Central Command. During this week (April 2-9, 2011), Maj. Lerner will be blogging his experiences from the “Witnesses in Uniform” program, a special program run by the IDF as a way to contribute to commemorating the Holocaust and heroism in the army.
After a quiet weekend, with only a few minor incidents in my AOR I spent the majority of the day with family. I packed my uniforms, my sports gear and camera.
After contemplating what books to take with me I decided on two. The first, recommended by the “Witness in Uniform” staff, If This Is a Man by Primo Levi. This is a book about the daily life in Auschwitz concentration camp translated from Italian in to Hebrew. The other book I am taking is “Israel against Iran” by two colleagues and friends of mine Yaakov Katz & Yoaz Hendel, also in Hebrew (yet to be translated). I have also begun reading this book and I can’t help connecting between the two. The life under those that wished to erase all Jews from the face of the earth on one hand, and on the other the Israeli determination and steadfastness to stand up to those that wish harm on our nation.
Earlier today Former South African Judge Richard Goldstone published an op-ed in the Washington Post. In his article he wrote numerous points that are all noteworthy, but the bottom line is that Hamas is a terrorist organization which shuns off its responsibility as the government of the Gaza Strip. Goldstone concluded that “If I (Goldstone P.L.) had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document”. And indeed blaming Israel with the plight of the people of Gaza without holding Hamas accountable is just the same old blood libel all over again. Goldstone should therefore retract his report and I would suggest that he clarify what exactly he expected from a terrorist organization whose main mission is to remove Israel from the face of the earth (sounds familiar vis-à-vis “Witness in Uniform”).
My final thoughts though before I embark on this journey are with the brave soldiers of the Israeli mission to Japan. Keeping in mind where Israel was less than seventy years ago and where we are now helping human beings worldwide survive natural disasters. Today is a good day to be Israeli. Bon voyage.
Peter, 2 April 2011