Shmuel Lavi, father of Captain Liad Lavi who was killed in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, participated on Wednesday at the discussion of the Knesset State Control Committee, which turned emotional when the mother of Hadar Goldin, whose body is held by Hamas in Gaza, burst into tears.
"It was a very difficult discussion. I entered the discussion with the hope that the Prime Minister would come and say that he is taking responsibility for the State Comptroller’s report on Operation Protective Edge and will commit to correcting the flaws. Instead, we heard the Prime Minister talking about his strengths and weaknesses. He did not focus on the Comptroller's report,” Lavi told Arutz Sheva.
"The Chief of Staff said that he studied the report and is working on correcting the flaws very quickly, but the government and the Prime Minister have their own considerations and their own politics. I trust the State Comptroller and he has no political interest in attacking the Prime Minister, and neither do I. I do not want him to be replaced but I do want him to take responsibility and correct the flaws," he added.
"I'm sure there are many things that we do not know and the Prime Minister does know; I just expect him to respect the State Comptroller and the report he wrote and respond to it," continued Lavi.
Do you feel that your son fell because of failures by the political or military echelons?
"No, my son fell while performing his duty - and it has nothing to do with the report. The goal is to study and correct ahead of the next war. That we will draw conclusions from each operation. Just as the army learns, so must the government learn as well. If my son had not fallen, I would probably have ignored the report just as most of the public does. But when it personally affects you, you cannot just sit at home and do nothing.”
Do you think government policy should be managed while considering the issue of bereaved parents?
“Of course not. There will be victims in every war. Does that mean we shouldn’t go to war? But when we do go to war, we as parents who send our children to the battlefield, want to know that the government has an orderly process of decision-making and that the Cabinet holds discussions as if they themselves are sending their sons to the battle.”
Relating to his own personal story, Lavi said, "We move on, grandchildren are born, we dedicate a Torah scroll in memory of our son, and we are strengthened because that’s the legacy he left behind. We will not be turned into softhearted people who will be afraid to send our children to future wars."