'The army doesn't want to win, and it's maddening'

Fallen soldier's father slams army for 'not wanting to win,' says he hopes IDF and government will learn lessons.

Benny Tucker,

Tzvika Kaplan with his family
Tzvika Kaplan with his family
Family album

Yehuda Kaplan, the father of fallen IDF soldier Captain Tzvika Kaplan, commented on the State Comptroller's report published on Tuesday and called on Israel's leadership to learn the requisite lessons and figure out how to vanquish Israel's enemies in the next war.

"There are things in this report which are very difficult for us to read," Kaplan said. "What drives us berserk is not the battle in Shejaya, in which Tzvika and Tzafrir Bar-Or were killed. It's the fact that the army doesn't want to win. And it's maddening."

"We are a sovereign and democratic country, and if the IDF and the government learn the lessons [of the operation], I am sure these soldiers will not have fallen in vain. We lost people whose value is unfathomable. We are a Jewish country with a Jewish government, and this is not something which would have been taken for granted eighty years ago. So even though we have a lot of problems and a lot of heartache, there is room for optimism.

"We're not a lost cause, G-d forbid, but we have a bitter enemy whom we need to vanquish.

"It cannot be that two years after this war, we have the same trickling of rockets. And I don't care which terror organization is firing them. We simply need to eliminate them. They are exactly like the evil enemy who murdered six million Jews in Europe. Their purpose is to destroy the 'Zionist entity.'

"It cannot be that a country with such advanced weapons - weapons that the world wants to know how to make - does not fight its enemies properly. Enough with the mercy and the stupidity. We need to say: This is the enemy who is causing us problems. This is the enemy we have to kill.

"We had an opportunity to do this two and a half years ago - and we didn't do it."

"We've decided to turn Tzvika's death into positive action," Yehuda Kaplan continued. "We founded a fund named 'Tzvika's Strength,' which spreads Tzvika's message to IDF soldiers. We take a bus, take candies, and travel to army bases where we do educational evenings and command workshops based on Tzvika's unique message.

"Tzvika was an officer who trained Sayeret Golani (commando) soldiers, and he educated his soldiers in a way I can't even fathom. He know how to lift people up during their challenging and difficult Sayeret Golani service. Tzvika broke 13 Sayeret records over the years, and one of the things that was so special about him was his ability to take the most difficult and dangerous tasks and to relate them to our forefathers' sacrifices. Tzvika made his soldiers feel they were a part of a long, long chain. He made them feel they belonged, they were worthy, they were special.

"Tzvika was always connecting different sectors in our nation: students, soldiers, pensioners, family, friends. His uniqueness and his special ways will continue to strengthen all of Israel for many years to come," Kaplan concluded.