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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jewish kids hiking in the Golan a 'political provocation'

One of the problems Israel has is that many of our own youth don't appreciate what we have and how hard their parents' generation fought to liberate and retain it. In the last fifteen years, Israel has become a wealthy country and given the high costs of hotels and other amenities here, many Israelis vacation in nearby Turkey and Cyprus rather than Israel. Not to mention that there was a period of time where every time you left this country, you felt like the steam was being let out of a pressure cooker!

The Defense Ministry has started a program called In Fighters' Footsteps, which is trying to give Israeli kids who are approaching draft age a greater appreciation for the battles that went on in the Golan Heights in the 1967 and 1973 wars. Unless one has sat in a bunker on the Golan Heights looking down at the Jewish towns around the Kineret (Sea of Galilee - see top left for view from bunker), it is difficult to imagine how easy it was for the Syrians to harass the Jews with constant gunfire. But the moonbat left is upset about this program. A group called the 'Peace with Syria' movement, headed by former Foreign Ministry director general (you wonder why our hasbara (public relations) is so bad - now you know why) Alon Liel sent a letter to Comrade Yuli, our moonbat education minister, objecting to the program.
Former Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Liel, who heads the movement, sent a letter Wednesday to Education Minister Yuli Tamir, urging her to prevent the participation of high schools in the project.

Copies of the letter were also sent to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i.

“This type of operation creates a fundamental contradiction between the government’s foreign policy, which declares a desire for peace with Syria, and its education policy, which is actively undermining the foundation of peace,” the letter said.

The letter also said the tours of the Golan were being used as “political propaganda sponsored by the education ministry”.

“We believe that as the minister of education, who has so far been recognized as being part of Israel’s peace camp, you must prevent the organized participation of high schools in this type of political provocation,” the letter said.

Due to the high school teachers’ strike, the teachers association prohibited the 45,000 students to take part in the “In Fighters' Footsteps” project.

However, some 2,000 students from 23 different schools have already visited the Golan Heights as part of the project, and a similar number of students each day are expected to do the same over the next two weeks.

The project was initiated by Avigdor Kahalani, head of the Defense Ministry’s Social-Defense Department. [Kahalani - a former MK - was a heroic tank commander in the 1973 Yom Kippur War on the Golan Heights. He is a legend here. CiJ]

“This is just an attempt to turn our blessed initiative into a provocation against the Syrians. Children hiking are a provocation? What, did we send up tanks, planes, cannons? We’re talking about a few kids hiking,” Kahalani said in response to Liel’s letter.

“We aren’t dealing with politics, we’re dealing with the legacy of battle,” Kahalani continued. “The central idea behind the ‘In Fighters' Footsteps’ initiative is to prepare the youth for the IDF through visits to the battle zones.

“Through these trips, we are connecting the students to the roots of the country, and passing the baton from one generation to the next. We have no doubt that this plan will make students want to be a part of the IDF,” Kahalani concluded.
And that, my dear readers, is exactly the thing to which the left objects. They are tired of fighting wars, so they don't want Israeli kids to want to be part of the IDF - unless those kids are national religious and ultra-Orthodox kids who would otherwise be studying in yeshiva.

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