Tomer Weinberg
Tomer WeinbergPhoto: PR

Tomer Weinberg, the soldier who survived the incident during which Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hezbollah and which sparked the Second Lebanon War, talked for the first time about the documentary for which he was unknowingly interviewed for Hezbollah TV.

"Anybody that knows me can testify that I stay away from the press, and knows how bad this makes me feel. An impostor masquerading as an Italian journalist badgered me for months for an interview that was presumably to be broadcast in Italy as a commemoration of the Second Lebanon War on its tenth anniversary. He even offered me money 2,000 shekels or dollars - I don't remember. Obviously, I refused.

"I said that my conscience wouldn't allow me to take money for such a thing. So he tried a different strategy: he told me that the Italian people must understand the suffering of the nation of Israel, that that side of the story must also be heard. I think that, here, he succeeding in trapping me.

"When I was being interviewed, I felt somewhat like an ambassador for Israel," Weinberg explained. "I talked about how thirsty we were for quiet and how much we want peace and, of course, about the incident itself. He drained me emotionally. I couldn't function for several days after that. He made we watch a video of the kidnapping, filming my reactions at the same time. That broke me and I couldn't continue. I didn't imagine that it was all a big lie and all the footage was going to Hezbollah."

Weinberg relates that he has suffered intense criticism in recent days on social media: "I think that anyone with any sense will understand that, with all the trauma I have suffered, I would never let a writer for Hezbollah or its ilk into my home. [I can't even stand] the mere thought that someone related to Hezbollah was in my house.

He noted, however, that he was not the only one to fall for the ruse: "People higher on the chain than I am fell for it. If Tzipi Livni and Amir Peretz, with all their communications advisers, fell for it, then I feel a little less foolish."

He concluded with a message to his detractors: "To all those that attacked me for giving an interview to Hezbollah, to all those that accused me of abandoning my friends, that I didn't take care of my friends, this post is mainly for you. Think twice before you rush to blame; there is a man behind every story, and [your hate] has the ability to damage his heart and empty him of the energy that propels him forward."