Why I Only Observe Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) Privately, and Not Today

Today is the Israeli government’s day to give lip service to all the people that were killed fighting in a government uniform. It’s a very conflicting day, and though I do commemorate soldiers who died defending Jews, and give tzedaka (charity) in their memory, I do not do it today, davka.

I don’t want anyone accusing me of spitting on the memory of dead soldiers. I do not. I mourn them in my own way, so get off my back please and follow my reasoning.

The sad fact is – and many people on the left and right will agree factually speaking – that ever since 1967, nearly all soldiers who have been killed fighting have been killed not for defending Jews, but for keeping the regime in power. The 1973 Yom Kippur War was the last defensive and legitimate war, but even so the deaths in that war were unnecessary since Golda Meir, AKA the self-hating misogynist, refused to take preemptive action for the sake of playing the victim and 2000 Jews were killed as a result.

The purpose of Yom HaZikaron nowadays is to cynically exploit the deaths of soldiers to strengthen the political power of those who have it, and to retroactively legitimize needless casualties by making their meaningless deaths seem meaningful for broken families.

Soldiers killed because the government gave weapons to Arabs for money, the government’s fault, and I can’t stand politicians mourning the deaths of soldiers that they had killed. Soldiers killed occupying Lebanon in 1983 when there was no plan on how to stop the bombing of Kiryat Shmonah. Either conquer and allow Jews to homestead the area or get out. But the politicians just had the soldiers stand there like sitting ducks in Lebanon for decades for no reason. And now they self-righteously mourn their deaths. Soldiers killed capturing murderers who are then released in “a good will gesture”. Soldiers killed fighting tunnels that were dug in the aftermath of the Gaza expulsion ordered by politicians. Who then commemorate their deaths in self-righteous unctuous ceremonies and speak about how great their “sacrifices were” when they were nothing but cannon fodder.

A poll is published that one government or another is losing support and all the sudden a war breaks out. And those dead are commemorated in ceremonies.

I mourn them, but not together with the people who sent them to be killed for no reason, who are now using their deaths to get a few extra votes by showing up at government ceremonies.

Those who died in actual defensive wars are heroes. (This includes those who died in defensive operations like Operation Entebbe, which includes Yoni Netanyahu, who was a hero.)

Most of those who died since are not heroes. They’re just collateral damage from political schemes to stay in power.

I mourn both the heroes and the collateral damage deaths on fast days and Yizkor Days, and I will continue to give charity in their memories.

But not today. Today I have work to do.



2 thoughts on “Why I Only Observe Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) Privately, and Not Today

  1. It has always been the job of soldiers to die for political agendas of our leaders, That does not make their sacrifice any less. Soldiers have no say in what mission they are given and rarely have the info to know even what the true purpose of a particular mission is.
    The fact that we have idiotic leaders is not only irrelevant, it has always been the case.

    • This is why government should not control the defense industry. If politicians want to control an industry, let it be safety pins, or maybe straws. They can pass as many laws as they want about those.

      I know it doesn’t make their sacrifice any less in terms of the pain. In fact it makes it more painful, and they still deserve to be mourned and remembered whether they are true heroes or just obedient cannon fodder. I mourn them and give tzedaka in their memories regardless.

      But people do have a choice when in the army. They can either follow orders or go to prison. Sometimes going to prison rather than following suicidal orders is the heroic thing to do, rather than obey bad orders.

      I would just rather not see their deaths used in order to strengthen the political careers of the very people who had them killed, so I mourn them on fast days and yizkor days instead.

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