Staff Sergeant Amit Bonzel OBM
Staff Sergeant Amit Bonzel OBMIDF Spokesperson

Itzik Bonzel, the father of StaffSergeantAmit Bonzel, who fell in battle in the Gaza Strip, told Arutz Sheva-Israel National News about the growing information about his son’s heroism and his call to the public, which has become his banner: to stop consuming the media, which according to him has become divisive and expands the rift in the nation.

Among those who come to pay their condolences are many young people - soldiers from Amit’s unit, and “little by little, the word ‘heroism’ has taken on other strengths. We are getting information about the battle itself and from what happened during those very moments in Gaza, and we understand that it was the heroism of warriors, not only Amit but the best of our sons in this land, who went on the one and only mission to defeat Hamas and avenge the indescribable acts.”

“The motivated soldiers come here with a light in their eyes,” Itzik recounts. “I have not seen a soldier here that was tired. I have not seen a soldier here who was despondent or asking when their service would end or when they’d send them home from reserve duty. Everyone is unbelievably motivated, which could calm us civilians down. Our emissaries are goal-driven and do not intend to stop until the matter is completed and security is restored to the south.”

Itzik recalls how, at 16, Amit had already set a goal to join an elite unit. “He didn’t look right or left and gave his all to reach his goal, to reach Sayeret Matkal. He did the elite unit testing day three times, he got recommendations, and units wanted him, but he saw his goal of going to Sayeret Matkal. After three times he was summoned to Sayeret Matkal, he began the test, and after four days, he fainted. They told him he wasn’t disqualified, but since it was a medical episode, he could try the test again the next time, which was in a year. He decided to wait a year and, during that year, instead of wasting time, to study in a military preparatory academy.”

During his additional year at the academy, Amit assisted first-year students in preparing for the elite unit tests, trained them, and invested in them. In his second attempt, he managed to finish the test days, but he failed the examination that was carried out afterward. “We thought he would break at that point, but he didn’t break since the goal was to fight for the land and people of Israel. He was summonsed to the unit, passed an interview, and was told that this was the place for him.”

Amit was appointed to replace the team commander whose brother was killed and had to take leave for the funeral. “They told me that things like that don’t usually happen. He didn’t undergo officers’ training, and it’s happening in the middle of a battle, and to lead an entire team through battle is not a regular thing. But they were aware of his professionalism, and he was appointed, and that same morning, he was killed.”

Itzik was present at the funeral for the brother of the commander who his son replaced. As he watched the funeral, Itzik turned to G-d: “I say to G-d in tears, ‘Don’t try me. I have sons in the battles. Don’t try me. I won’t survive this test.’ And that’s what we got, and with this decision of God’s, I must live. I got home from the funeral, and two bereavement officers were waiting for me at the door. I asked which one of my sons, Nadav or Amit. They said that Amit was wounded and killed on the spot when he was leading the team, and since then, we’re here living this event. Our sun has gone dark.”

“We haven’t managed to light Hanukkah candles; we haven’t managed to sing Hanukkah songs. I hope that in future years, our Hanukkah won’t look like this. This is an unexplainable event. Our sun has gone dark,” the bereaved father says and emphasizes that his other children are also great lights to the household, but their suns have also gone dark. “Amit was the leader in the house; he was the sun, with so much light and power. The first to help and assist, his respect for his parents was unbelievable, and his connection with his siblings was amazing. And this Hanukkah is very difficult, and I imagine that this Hanukkah is being marked in all homes with many questions and a difficult atmosphere.”

Regarding his harsh remarks about the media, Itzik says he does not care about right or left and is not leading a political campaign, “but I understood that my mission is to disconnect between the people and the media. For the deaths of the martyrs not to be for naught, we need to create a situation after the war where we are unified and the deep hatred that exists today stops. The ones who are totally at fault for the hatred and division are the media outlets who do everything to crumble the nation; the media harms us. Every night, people come home, and they are given one poison after the next, and it works. They bring commentators who weren’t given a position or who are bored; they have no real information, they don’t sit in the IDF headquarters, and they don’t see plans. Anyone who was a general once upon a time already knows everything, and we listen and listen because we want to know what’s going on in the war, and they take advantage of this. In no news studio is there an Israeli flag on the desk, and we just get drops of poison.”

In this regard, Itzik mentions the difficult meeting between the families of the hostages and the War Cabinet, which digressed into an exchange of cursing and physical violence. “How did we get to such a situation? We got here because they give us this poison every day and every hour; they constantly deal with yes Bibi – no Bibi. In press conferences, the Prime Minister is asked stupid and demeaning questions. Why are they asking the Prime Minister where his children are? What does it matter to me as a parent whose two sons are in battle where his children are? Ask tactical questions, questions that will strengthen the nation. What interests them is if Gantz hugs and kisses the defense minister. It’s unbelievable.”

“There are a million people here who are afraid of getting that knock on the door or that phone call; a million people sit and tremble and search for any piece of information because they have no contact with the soldiers and watch TV because maybe the contact would come from there. And all the studios with the commentators who know nothing see that they know nothing and only bad-mouth the right and the left. There are studios that are already building gallows for the politicians when our children are killed there. There is a real war there. When I try to imagine the bullets that hit my son and what happened there, I hear the discussions about the budget. G-d almighty, wake up! The people don’t want you. We’re sick of you and the studios that deal with the budget. These impudent people sit and deal with dividing between one another.”

Bonzel adds: “The State of Israel provides a platform for the terrorists who sit in the Knesset. They go on stage and are not willing to condemn what happened in Gaza. We watch them because our TV is on. We need to turn off the TV - all channels. We will shut their TV. They won’t advertise with them, they won’t have money, and they will shut down because they aren’t wanted. People want a news edition once an hour or three that says what’s going on in the battle, where the IDF advanced and where it didn’t, and what’s happening with the hostages. They bring these hundred-year-olds, they listen to them, and they ramble. I don’t understand how they don’t respect themselves; they don’t know the system. How do they agree to come to the studios and tell tall tales. I request: turn off the TV, shut them down from the inside. They will see that no one listens to them, and it will stop.”