The appointment of Effi Eitam as Yad Vashem chair is a national issue

Underlying the efforts to thwart Eitam's appointment is an attempt to compare the Holocaust to the Purity of Arms ethic in Israel. Op-ed.

Tags: Effi Eitam
Meir Indor ,

Effi Eitam
Effi Eitam
Kobi Richter/TPS

During the Peace for Galilee Campaign in 1982 when Lt. Col. Effi Eitam camped in the eastern sector ranged against the Syrians with the infantry cadet battalion under his command, waiting for approval to advance, there was a conversation with us, the reserve officers. His leadership talk accompanied us throughout the war. Mainly the personal confession: "I enlisted to serve the country and the Israel Defense Forces(IDF) with the clear knowledge that this has a price that also includes personal risk. I am a soldier of the nation.''

Eitam's name is already synonymous with being a brave commander. As a young officer in the battles against the Syrians in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he stopped a column of tanks with only one Rocket Propelled Grenade and a machine gun and rescued the wounded.For this bravery he was awarded The IDF's Medal of Honor.

During that war he was a secular kibbutznik,a member of the Fein family, who were among the founders of Kibbutz Ein Gev on the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee. The bold and brilliant officer's path to promotion was paved, "the role of chief of staff" is already esting on his shoulders, they said of him,
until he became a newly religious Jew together with his wife Ilit from Kibbutz Sde Boker.

He did not think to prepare himself for the battle that awaited him in the media. As his beard grew, as a Givati ​​Brigadier General, the personal attacks against him by some military reporters grew, including a military reporter who said she could not stand his large, purple skullcap.

It was reported that a Palestinian had been beaten by him, even though that has never been proven.

Eitam has been falsely quoted about the expulsion of Arabs whereas he spoke only of the expulsion of inciters.

His promotion was suspended despite the fact that he had graduated with distinction from the prestiguous Sandhurst Military Academy near London in The United Kingdom where the IDF sends its best officers for training.

The media and the deepstate won!

When he was appointed commander of the elite Galilee Division on the Lebanese front against Hezbollah in 1997, it was too late for him,as the delay allowed others, like General Gabi Ashkenazi, to overtake him on the way to the position of IDF Chief of Staff.

This is reminiscent of the thwarting of the promotion of Givati's Brigadier General, Ofer Winter, because he wrote in the opening paragraph of a commander's message to his troops before going into battle at the start of Operation Protective Edge in 2014, ''With the help of The G-d of Israel''.

Now we have reached Chapter Two of Eitam's fight. The appointment of Eitam as Chairman of Yad Vashem is being thwarted, using the same base methods.

Leader of the Opposition,Yair Lapid MK opposes the appointment due to "extreme statements'' made by Eitam. although his father, Tommy Lapid, was appointed to the same position as Chairman of Yad Vashem, even though he spoke out routinely against Arabs and haredi Jews.

At the same time and as part of an orchestrated effort, Colette Avital, a former Member of Knesset from the Labor Party, joined the campaign against Eitam's appointment.She is currently the Chair of the ''Center for Holocaust Survivors' Organizations," and in the past was caught and punished for passing on lists of Holocaust survivors to be used in an election campaign by Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid Party.

Her argument against Eitam is unfounded and also false: "Eitam has no suitable background because he is not from a family of Holocaust survivors."

Tell this to Eitam's mother whose family was murdered in the Holocaust.

And who appointed Avital to speak on behalf of Holocaust survivors? Not my parents - the survivors of Auschwitz and the ghettos, whose whole humble lives passed by without them knowing either Ms. Avital or her organization.

She also does not speak for me and many of the second generation like me.

In general, what is the organization that is a "center" for 60 Holocaust survivors organizaation, with most of the survivors already deceased? And what money does Colette Avital's organization feed on? In the heat of the fight, even a "professor of the Holocaust" was recruited and explained that "Eitam does not understand the Holocaust."

And there is also a Jewish organization from abroad whose leaders vehemently opposed the then appointment of Brigadier General Eitam (res)to a Ministerial Cabinet position, but some of whose representatives went to the Muqata,in Ramallah to meet with Yasser Arafat.

Arafat,Yes but Eitam, No??

The appointment of the Chairman of Yad Vashem is not the private battle of Brigadier General (res.)Effi Eitam, but a national issue, because underlying the attempt to thwart the appointment of Eitam as Chairman of Yad Vashem is the attempt in some sectors of Israeli society to compare the Holocaust with the issue of Purity of Arms and Morality of War.

When the former IDF deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan "identifies processes just like those in Germany 70-80-90 years ago" in the IDF, this statement indicates processes that take place in certain sectors of Israeli society which should be uprooted.

When IDF soldiers receive questionaires from instructors at Yad Vashem where they are asked to answer if we too can degenerate into a situation similar to the Nazis and become murderers, it is a contribution to the Holocaust denial narrative that is gaining momentum worldwide.

A retreat from the fact that the Holocaust stemmed from anti-Semitism and the desire to exterminate our people, the innocent and unarmed Jewish people, to a kind of "universal mishap" that can happen to any nation and needs to be rectified now by apologizing for our actions in the ceaseless war against a real enemy,must be uprooted.

All this is another reason for the appointment of Effi Eitam as Chairman of Yad Vashem.

I am not sure that Eitam's appointment will stem this dangerous tide,but his non-appointment will definitely encourage this harmful trend.

The author, Meir Indor is a retired IDF Lieutenant Colonel and a second-generation Holocaust survivor.

Founder of the 'Almagor' organization for victims of terror.