|The reason: She lives in a neighborhood in Eli, in Samaria (Yesha), that has been targeted by Peace Now - the same radical left-wing group that brought about the destruction of nine Jewish homes in Amona earlier this year.
Maj. Klein (pictured), the Deputy Commander of Golani Brigade 51, was killed on Wednesday while leading his soldiers in an attempt to take over the Hizbullah stronghold of Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon. A massive Hizbullah ambush killed him and seven other soldiers; the evacuation of the dead and wounded took hours because of the ongoing onslaught of anti-tank missiles and other heavy gunfire.
Klein, who grew up in Raanana and later studied in the pre-military yeshiva academy in Eli, lived with his wife Sarah and two small sons - Gilad (3) and Yoav (1.5) - in the Yovel neighborhood of Eli. The family lives in one of the dozen permanent homes in Yovel, just north of Shilo.
Nearly a year ago, Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman reports, Peace Now appealed to the Supreme Court with a demand that the Civil Administration destroy the 12 homes, claiming they were built "without a permit on land that is partially Arab-owned." The organization's website does not elaborate what it means by "partially." The Civil Administration has, in fact, issued demolition orders.
A similar court suit by Peace Now last year led to the violent demolition of nine homes in Amona, just outside Ofrah, this past January. Hundreds of protestors were injured in the ensuing clash with police.
Another of the eight victims in Wednesday's battle in Lebanon was Capt. Amichai Merhavya, 24, also of Eli. The second of ten children, his full name was Yaakov Shimshon Amichai - an acronym for Yesha (Judea and Samaria), as appropriate for his father's long-time work in the Gush Emunim settlement organization. Amichai's father Moshe, who was on reserve duty himself when he heard the bitter news, told Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine,
"G-d be blessed, I merited to have two sons fighting during these difficult hours. One of them in Golani, Amichai who just fell, and the second one is fighting in Gaza in the Givati Brigade. We are at war and we must all be strong... Amichai believed in what he did, Amichai well knew what he was fighting for, he did not hesitate. This is how he also trained and taught his soldiers - he was a platoon commander - whom he so loved." Moshe said that his son was the embodiment of "simplicity and good-heartedness... a person who always sought the truth. He also loved the Land of Israel, and hiked often all over the country."
Just over a year ago, prior to the expulsion of the Jews of Gush Katif and northern Shomron, Amichai - who had studied for two years in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook - was serving as a young commander. He wrote a personal letter to the Chief of Staff, in which he explained to Lt.-Gen. Halutz why he objected to the expulsion of Jews from their homes in the Land of Israel. His father said Amichai was disappointed at not having been summoned for a talk on the matter. Instead, Halutz wanted to dismiss him from his unit - though in the end, he was merely suspended for several weeks and later returned to his unit, in which framework he fought his last battle.
Among the wounded soldiers in Wednesday's battle were four soldiers from the Hesder Yeshiva in Sderot, and a new immigrant officer from Brazil. The latter lives in an outpost community named Sde Boaz in Gush Etzion. Though he was grazed by a bullet, and though his wife is eight months pregnant, he wishes to rejoin his unit in Lebanon as quickly as possible. His wife's family, residents of Haifa, are currently living with the young family in their hilltop home, taking refuge from the Katyusha rockets in the north.
MIM: Call or email Americans for Peace Now to protest their activities and demand they stop aiding and abetting the enemy by targetting Israeli civilians by expelling them from their homes, and express outrage over Peace Now's legal moves aimed at demolishing the home of Major Klein's widow and 2 children together with 11 other residents of Eli.
Why Israel will win: Soldier who jumped on grenade to save comrades buried with friend as town vows "deaths will not be in vain"
July 27, 2006
Eli mourns two brave sons
by Jenny Merkin
Maj. Ro'i Klein and Lt. Amihai Merhavia of Battalion 51 used to drive together to their Golani Brigade unit from their respective houses in Eli. On Thursday, they were buried in their West Bank settlement, a day after they and six other soldiers were killed in a battle in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbail.
Klein, 31, jumped on a grenade during the course of the battle, giving his life to protect his soldiers.
"First he said the 'Shema' prayer and then he jumped on a grenade. That's why some of the soldiers who were with him survived," said Yechiel Leiter, a resident of Eli.
That commitment to leadership was a major source of the respect in which his soldiers held him.
"The one thing I always heard him described as was 'admired.' He had a very powerful personality and he was so modest, quiet, and gentle," said Natanel Elyashiv, Klein's life-long friend.
Klein is survived by his wife and two sons.
Merhavia, 24, was born in Eli, the second of 10 children. He was described as a serious young man who was constantly asking questions about Israeli society, diplomacy, and way of life.
"Amihai was always looking for answers to questions. He never took things for granted," relayed Leiter. "He was a great man with a baby face who accomplished in a short life what many people don't accomplish in a lifetime."
For both men, their time studying Torah and Judaic texts left great impressions on the rest of their lives.
Klein was born in Ra'aanna but moved to Eli after studying in the Bnei David Mechina (preparatory yeshiva) there.
"The most important year in Ro'i's life was his year in mechina and it was there that he got his direction for his whole life," said Elyashiv, also a close friend of Klein.
His priorities - Torah guiding his life and making the Jewish people and the state of Israel an important part of it - led Klein to move to Eli and join the Golani Brigade because he felt that it was the best way to achieve these standards.
"What he learned in mechina was his source of power and motivation and spirit, and he wanted to be close to it like a well that he would draw from," said Elyashiv.
Merhavia, in contrast to his commanding officer, originally never felt any drive to join the Golani Brigade. Merhavia studied at the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem for three years and felt that army service was necessary in order to fulfill his duty to protect the State of Israel. He was perfectly prepared to do his army service in any infantry unit until his close friend, Shmuel Weiss from Eli, who served in the Golani Brigade was killed in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.
Both men had their qualms about how the army was used by the government.
About a year ago, at the beginning of his service, Merhavia wrote a letter to the chief of General Staff in which he questioned the wisdom and legitimacy of using the army to remove Jews from Gush Katif. The chief of General Staff responded by issuing an order for Merhavia to be removed from his position as an officer.
"The top officers in Golani were very against [the order] and fought on his behalf. After six months of suspension, he was allowed back," recalled Leiter. "He was loved by his soldiers and he fought so hard to get back into his position because he felt his service was part of his Zionist and ideological duties."
Klein was dissatisfied with how the army dealt with the pullout from Lebanon in 2000. He was part of the last unit to leave.
"After the last soldier was photographed and the army said it was out of Lebanon, Ro'i and his unit were still there doing a stakeout," said Elyashiv.
After a few hours, the army remembered that Klein and his unit were still deep in Lebanon. Klein "thought it was very irresponsible."
"He was distressed about how they left Lebanon. This is particularly sad because Ro'i personally paid the price," said Elyashiv.
Residents of Eli are steadfast in their support of the current war and they believe "it is a war for our survival," stated Leiter. "We will be satisfied with nothing short of complete victory. Then, the deaths of Ro'i and Amihai will not be in vain."
'It was all so very fast - the shooting, the shouting'
|ANSHEL PFEFFER, THE JERUSALEM POST
||Jul. 28, 2006|
The thing that most impressed Capt. Yisrael Friedler, commander of A Company in the Golani Brigade's Battalion 51, during the bloody battle in Bint Jbail on Wednesday, was the way the junior commanders conducted themselves after their officers had been hit by Hizbullah gunfire.
"The moment their officers went down," he told The Jerusalem Post Thursday, "the sergeants took their radios and began reporting in and managing the battle, while at the same time taking charge of evacuating the wounded. It was the height of professionalism," he said.
The firefight began early in the morning when two companies, A and C, began advancing down one of Bint Jbail's streets on parallel routes. Contrary to previous reports, Friedler said, the Hizbullah fighters were not lying in ambush. "Both sides were unaware of each other and it was actually one of our soldiers who saw them first and opened fire."
But the Hizbullah men were in upper stories of buildings and had a commanding view of the IDF force. In the initial firing, 30 members of C Company, a third of its total strength, were hit, as was the battalion's deputy commander, Maj. Roi Klein.
Eight soldiers were killed and 22 were wounded in the battle. "It was all so very fast," remembered Friedler, "the shooting, the shouting, cries of the wounded and the warnings over the radio sets."
Most of the fighting took place at extremely short-range, sometimes only a few meters, with both sides using hand grenades and anti-tank missiles.
Friedler's company began laying down supporting fire to enable the remaining soldiers of C Company to evacuate their wounded while continuing to shoot at the enemy. Two additional Golani companies were rushed in to help with the evacuation.
"The real heroism was that of the stretcher-bearers who went in to the killing zone no less than six times to carry the wounded out to the building where we began treating them," said Friedler.
Hours later, IAF Blackhawk helicopters managed to land under heavy fire and fly the wounded to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.
The commanders decided not to risk helicopters to evacuate the dead; they were carried out under cover of darkness by a company from the Golani's Brigade 12.
Five soldiers from A Company were also wounded in the fighting, including Friedler: A bullet went right through his hand. He continued commanding the force and was only evacuated the next day to hospital, where he underwent surgery.
"The battle began to their advantage. They were in a much better position, but we won and killed at least 20 Hizbullah fighters. None of the soldiers panicked, they were professional throughout, and that's our advantage over Hizbullah," Friedler said.
As part of their standard exercises, Golani soldiers practice scenarios where all the commanders and half of the soldiers are wounded, "but nothing can really prepare you for it when it really happens," he said.
A Company was has been in action for the entire last month, ever since the capture of Cpl. Gilad Shalit at Kerem Shalom on June 25. For two weeks, the company took part in the battalion's offensive against Kassam missile crews near Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, and they were sent north shortly after the battle against Hizbullah began on July 12.
Friedler will be 27 in a week. He grew up in Jerusalem after emigrating from Brazil at the age of 11. Before his army service he studied at the Ma'aleh Gilboa Yeshiva.
His first child is expected to be born in a month's time. His has spent his entire military career in the Golani, mostly with its elite antitank Orev unit, where he was a team commander and the deputy commander of the unit. He took command of A Company nine months ago.
|A Sister´s Eulogy: ´Time For Anti-Expulsion Refusal´ |
15:06 Aug 09, '06 / 15 Av 5766
by Ezra HaLevi
||At the funeral of Yehuda Greenfeld, one of the reservists killed by a Katyusha on Sunday, his sister eulogized him by calling on soldiers to refuse to die in the "War for a Peaceful Realignment." |
|Greenfeld, a 27-year-old father of two, was called up for reserve duty despite an injured shoulder. His family now faces the prospect of being forcibly removed from its home due to their location "behind" the Partition Wall - the third bereaved family in such a position since the start of the Re-Engagement War.|
|From left, Yehuda's mother-in-law, mother, wife Gavriella, sister-in-law and sister, Shoshi.|
|The Greenfelds weep over the box holding their beloved son, grandson, husband and brother.|
|Yehuda's father recites kaddish as an honor guard stands by.|
Yehuda's sister, an outspoken Land of Israel activist and one of the founders of the Ta Katom (Orange Cell) anti-expulsion student movement, began her outburst at the very start of the funeral, demanding the departure of IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, who oversaw the exhumation of the bodies in Gush Katif's cemetery and remained at his post as IDF Chief Rabbi despite calls from his teachers to resign.
She later took the podium and, with eyes red from tears, delivered the following address:
Click "play" below to watch a video clip of Shoshi Greenfeld delivering her eulogy (Hebrew).
click here if video does not appear
"Yehuda'leh, my dear, loving, innocent brother, with your large azure eyes, your sweet disposition and your delicate soul. I will yet tell the story of your life, of your beauty. But at this time, I am choosing to tell the story of your death.
"In our final telephone conversation I said to you: 'Don't go to be cannon fodder. Olmert said that the operation is a preparation for his ‘Realignment' Plan [to destroy most of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria unilaterally, as was done in Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron one year ago -ed.]. Come home. You have a historic opportunity to refuse, so that the pogrom of Gush Katif will not return upon your own home in Michmas [the Binyamin-region community where Yehuda lived -ed.].
"Come home!' I said to you, 'so that the retreats from Lebanon and from Gush Katif that brought us all this death, will end. So that the pogromchiks in the black uniforms that reminded our grandmother of Auschwitz - those who banished us from Gush Katif and cracked our skulls in Amona - won't arrive at your sweet home in Michmas as well, after the fighting ends with some sham cease-fire, and throw you and your family out of your home, and the remains of your garden be transformed into a training ground for murderers – leading to more murder and more killing.'
|Yehuda and Shoshi's grandmother
"You listened to me in your usual sensitive manner. And I added: 'This is a war for the sake of nothing. For the sake of the elites who rule the country. They are carrying out a crime,' I told you. 'Please don't go,' I begged. 'This war is because of that expulsion [from Gaza and northern Samaria -ed.]. They expel us, and then send us to fight a war that they created - in order to expel us again - because we always return and we fight and die for them.'
|Outgoing IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss stands next to Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yonah Metzger as the coffin is being unloaded from an IDF transport vehicle.|
"'I agree with you,' you said to me, 'but I can't. It isn't me. I don't like to be in the center of matters, to create a scene.'
"And you went, my beloved, sweet brother.
"For those in the black uniforms who came to expel Gush Katif, they built orderly camps with the best facilities, because there is a new war in Israel, the war on the settlers. But you, my dear brother, they abandoned under the sky, exposed to the barrage of Katyushas.
"And what does Olmert care? Or the dictators? They know that they won't pay the price for their crimes. Their children refuse to serve in the army. They won't pay for their crimes – we pay!
"In the end, you came home, my dear brother, cannon fodder in a coffin, in the war for the sake of nothing, the War for a Peaceful ‘Realignment'...
"I am pleading, before all your friends and before all of the orange fighters: Come home now, before you come back in a box, and then will come those with the black uniforms to evict your widows and children. Don't fool yourselves into thinking they will protect them because you were killed. I was in Gush Katif and in Amona.
"I have no illusions that the pogromchiks will spare Gavriella, your widow, or sweet Raaya and Ron, your orphans...
|Yehuda's mother and widow|
"Return home, soldiers – I am begging you. Before those in the black uniforms turn your house, too, into a pile of rubble and a base for the next murderers.
"It pains me, my beloved brother. They will say that this is a cynical use of tragedy - but the truth is that they are making cynical use of your death, for the next pogrom. Rest in peace, I am certain you are beneath G-d's throne of glory. My good brother. Shake the throne of glory so that there will be no more needless deaths, so that this dictatorship won't bring us more widows and orphans! So that they will open their eyes, my dear brother with the azure eyes. So your rabbis will open their eyes and say ‘We will lead' – to prevent the expulsion of your widow.
"This is an unnecessary death! There was Operation Defensive Shield, which was just a prelude to the Gaza expulsion, and now there is this war, a prelude to the next expulsion. We must wake up! Refuse! Refuse! Come home before you are sent home in a box!"
|Yehuda's fellow soldiers carry him to his final resting place on Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl military cemetery.|
|Jewish Leadership founder Moshe Feiglin expresses his support to Shoshi for her actions.|
|Yehuda was active in helping new immigrants from Ethiopia with their acclimation upon arrival in the Holy Land. Many who benefited from his warmth were present at the funeral.|
The call for refusal in the current war has thus far not gained much popularity, despite PM Olmert's statements saying it would give "momentum" for his convergence plan. Only Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and Women in Green have supported it. The Yesha Rabbinic Council issued a statement saying that the current war falls under the rubric of "If one comes to slay you, slay him first," and should not be a subject of refusal.
|Avi Abelow, a resident of Efrat who picked up and left his reserve unit following Prime Minister Olmert's statements, s[eaks with fellow reservists after the funeral.|
(Photos: Ezra HaLevi)
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Published: 15:33 August 08, 2006
Last Update: 15:06 August 09, 2006