Daily Israel Report

'Son, Don't Listen to Stupid Orders'

A father writes his son following the IDF's about-face in the case of David, the soldier who stood his ground.
By Yizhar Shai
First Publish: 5/4/2014, 9:05 PM

IDF soldiers
IDF soldiers
Flash 90

Arutz Sheva has decided to publish a letter from a father to his son, who is serving in a combat unit. The father, Yizhar Shai, a hi-tech man who serves as an officer in the reserves, penned the missive in the wake of the “David the Nahlawi” protest – a first-of-its-kind Facebook protest in which a huge number of Israelis, including thousands of soldiers, expressed support for a soldier who refused to back down from a confrontation with Palestinian Arab provocateurs.

This is the text of the letter:

“Lior, my dear son,

“Don't listen to the stupid instructions that allow a hostile young Palestinian man with brass knuckles in his hand come within arm's length of an IDF soldier. Raise your weapon and threaten, with toughness, whoever dares come close to you or to the soldiers under your command, and make threatening gestures.

“The IDF Spokesman said yesterday that 'the soldier's behavior was anomalous and out of line with what is expected of him.'

“I am telling you, Lior, that the IDF Spokesman's behavior was anomalous and out of line with what is expected of him.

"I would expect the IDF Spokesman not to issue such a ridiculous announcement, which mocks the imposible situation that the state of Israel sends our boys to face every day and every hour. I would expect that the Israeli government and IDF commanders would give full backing to the soldier on the ground – in this case, a combat soldier carrying out fuzzy orders in an impossible situation. But predictably, they did not do so.

"This outrageous story proves, again, the absurd, dangerous and impossible nature of the situation we've put our heads into, in controlling a hositle civilian population.

“If you should find yourself in such a dangerous predicament, in which Palestinian youths approach you to within touching distance, I – your father – command you to do the right thing. I was in similar situations many times, in the past, and I know how dangerous they can be, I trust you and the values you were brought up on, and which you have adopted as your own, never to hurt the innocent, never to exhibit cruelty, never to humiliate a man. But I also trust you to take care of yourself and of your soldiers.

"And if, G-d forbid, you have to do what needs to be done, I swear that I will defend you against whoever fails to give you backing, whoever evades responsibility, all of those who won't stand up for the soldiers that they themselves send to defend a bad policy that makes no sense.

"My dear Lior, I prefer to see you cock your gun and maybe even shoot, rather than see a single hair fall from your head.

"Love you, Dad.”