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      A Soldier’s Mother
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      One mother’s journey through the Israeli army with her sons

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      Paula R. Stern is CEO and founder of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company offering documentation services and training seminars. She made aliyah in 1993 when her oldest son was 6 years old. In March 2007, her son Elie entered the Artillery Division of the Israeli army and Paula began writing about her experiences as A Soldier’s Mother. The blog continues as Elie begins Reserve Duty and her son Shmulik is now a soldier. She recently opened a publishing house, helping other authors fulfill their dream to publish.

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      Sivan 29, 5771, 7/1/2011

      Personal Message to Hedy Epstein Aboard the Flotilla


      My message to Hedy Epstein as she sails to Gaza:

      Your participation, in the flotilla brings shame to you and worse is a betrayal of your family, those that died in Auschwitz. It is hard to comprehend how distorted your view of life, of Judaism, and of Israel must be to bring you to the point that you sail against your own people. Yes, you’ll say you sail for human rights, for humanity and some such nonsense but last year’s flotilla – and very likely this one, displayed the worst of humanity.

      There is no humanitarian crisis – so says the Red Cross just two months ago. What arrogance you have to think you know better. You, who make your life in America, dare to tell us how we should live in this land, in this area.
      Had there been an Israel when your family was taken to Auschwitz, Israel would have saved them – as we have saved Jews all over the world. No, we are not going to be victims ever again, nor are we interested in making the Palestinians victims.

      We have offered peace time and time again, only to be met with violence. You are not interested in the 14,000 rockets fired at Israel, that’s fine. Clearly, you only use your earlier association with the Jewish people to get yourself headlines and attention. You use your label as “survivor” to betray those who died, while you were blessed enough to survive.

      I believe that there is a “next life,” a time that we answer for what we have done in this life – for the good and for the bad. At the gates of this next life, your parents, grandparents, all those you left behind in Auschwitz will stand there.

      As a Jew, as an Israeli, I am deeply ashamed of you and believe you have betrayed all that they died for. I have little doubt you will rationalize this away as something honorable, it isn’t; as something brave, it isn’t. There was a reason why your parents worked so hard to get you on that children’s transport that saved your life…whatever that reason was – it was not so you could betray the people they were, the religion they held.

      Shame on you, Hedy Epstein and may your parents find comfort not in you, but in so many of the other children who survived as you did – but who came to live in Israel to build it, not to destroy it; to honor it, not to betray it. Indeed, Hedy Epstein – shame on you.

      Background information on Hedy Epstein

      According to her website, Hedy Epstein calls herself a "Holocaust survivor and a speaker." She was born in 1924 in Germany; she was an only child. She was lucky - she was one of those fortunate enough to be part of the children's transport - she escaped Nazi Germany among the 500 children that managed to get out.

      Her parents were killed by the Nazis. The last message she got from her mother was in 1942 - it said, "Traveling to the east...sending you a final goodbye." How Hedy got from that child to where she is now, is hard to explain but where she is now is on the Flotilla heading towards Gaza to show her support.

      She is the perfect prop for the flotilla organizers - the Jew...no, better, the Holocaust survivor. She abuses the memory of her parents and all who died by comparing Israeli soldiers to the Nazis.

      There are no gas chambers in Gaza, Hedy Epstein; there are no concentration camps. Palestinians are not rounded up and shot simply for being born Palestinians. I recall no instances of Jewish children being taken into Nazi hospitals for treatment as Palestinian children are regularly assisted.

      Hedy Epstein was lucky enough to escape, while 6 million did not. Sadly, she uses and abuses that "title" of survivor to her personal advantage - again and again.