'Spirit of cowardice has taken over State leadership'

Prof. Simcha Goldin at memorial marking 5 years since fall and abduction of son Lt. Hadar Goldin.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Goldin at memorial today
Goldin at memorial today
Sraya Diamant/TPS

In the military cemetery in Kfar Saba today the annual memorial service for IDF officer Lieutenant Hadar Goldin took place. Goldin's body remains held by Hamas in Gaza.

The ceremony was attended by Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz, former Defense Minister and Labor Chairman MK Amir Peretz, former Defense Minister MK Moshe Boogie Ya'alon, former Education Minister MK Gideon Sa'ar, MK Idit Silman, IDF Southern Commander Gen. Hertzie Halevi, IDF Manpower Division head Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz, former Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan, and POW and Missing Coordinator Yaron Blum.

Prof. Simcha Goldin, Hadar's father, attacked the Israeli leadership, saying, "We're here to defeat the spirit of cowardice that's taken over the leadership in all its political, security, and rabbinic forms.

"We've come to say: Hadar - we won't abandon you or the spirit you left us. We've come to say that even if the leadership is weak, cowardly, and has lost its way - we're here marching in your heritage. We'll make the change and begin with the uncompromising demand - bring the boys home."

He added, "Hadar Goldin was abandoned three times by a cowardly leader: Once on the battlefield when they stopped his commander from entering the Hamas hospital where Hadar was apparently located, lying wounded. It was a cowardly decision that halted the proper, natural, and healthy course of things. The required move that is enacted and sacred to IDF values in the IDF spirit - the value of brotherhood - is that the soldier will act out of camaraderie and dedication to his comrades-in-arms, and will always seek to help when they need or depend on him despite any danger and difficulty, to the extreme. They harmed the value of comradeship.

"The second time, Hadar was abandoned at the end of Operation Protective Edge when the country's leadership sat with Hamas leadership in Cairo and didn't demand its two outstanding soldiers, Sgt. Oron Shaul of Golani and Lieutenant Hadar Goldin from Givati who are held by the enemy. Cowards. You compromised the value of mutual responsibility.

"The third time, Hadar's been abandoned over the last five years, and values have been replaced with interest, initiative with doubt, and daring with excuses and a mission of risk management. We, the Goldin family and Shaul family together with Hadar and Oron have turned into hostages to the enemy, we and all the residents of the South. The proud and stubborn people protecting Israel: The Israeli government knowingly made us all hostages to Hamas," he added.

Prof. Goldin noted, "For five years you've compromised the security of Israel. In the south, along the Israeli border, there's now a 'lull'. This lull smells. Quiet. 'Quiet,' Jabotinsky said, 'is mire, bloodless and soulless.' When the silence is a quagmire, you give up your blood and soul. This lull means that a Hamas operative is allowed to kill a Givati ​​soldier whenever he feels like it. This isn't quiet, it's mire and it's bloodless and soulless. Lull means Hamas is allowed to fire a missile at Kfar Saba civilian as he sits in his vehicle. This isn't quiet, it's mire and it's abandonment of blood and soul. A lull means you can shoot 690 rockets on one Saturday and kill four civilians. It's not quiet. It's bloodless and soulless. Lull means we're hostage. The crisis is about to break, it's taken control of the leadership who speak Hamas language and in Hamas' terms, gripped as they are with fear and trembling.

"I speak on behalf of Hadar. I speak on behalf of those buried in this military cemetery established a century ago. I speak on behalf of the sons. On behalf of those who were promised that you would not abandon them on the battlefield, not as prisoners, neither as wounded nor as corpses. I speak in the name of Hadar; I speak in the name of restoration," the father emphasized.

"Restoration will come with leadership, because we're looking for leaders. Leaders who know how to make decisions and do not engage in risk management. Restoration will begin to bring the fighters home. You've been hesitant enough, had enough compassion. You terrified us enough. The restoration will begin when the spirit that led Hadar will guide our leadership. Mutual responsibility, comradeship, values. That's what we have. Values ​​will lead to interests and needs and not vice versa. Leadership will speak in terms of values ​​and not in Hamas' language. Do not abandon fighters on the battlefield; when the battle is over, bring them home. We set the enemy the price he must pay and not the opposite. The enemy understands our language. Simple, sharp, and clear. You have two choices in life, to be involved with yourself or to do great things. Choose," concluded Prof. Goldin.

Ayelet Goldin, Hadar's sister said in tears, "I miss being an anonymous and simple family. Time means longing. Has your face remained the same in the damned refrigerator in Gaza where you're being held? Where Hadar was abandoned, that's where my heart remains."



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