October 20, 2000
What is a leech? A leech is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a bloodsucker. A worm. A leech is a type of parasite, sucking the blood of another being, living off of his blood, sucking his life, without giving anything in return.
For example, the Prime Minister of Israel. Ehud Barak prides himself on being a soldier. He served for decades and concluded his career as Commander of the IDF. Barak seems to have forgotten that he removed his uniform and is now a civilian. According to all reports, he runs the Prime Minister’s office as if it were a military division. He has surrounded himself with former warriors, whose chief, if not only trait, is loyalty to the boss.
As a soldier, Barak is (was) (perhaps) familiar one of the tenets of the Israeli army, that being “moreshet krav,” an expression meaning “battle ethics.” One of the elements of ‘moreshet krav’ is behavior when a fellow combatant has been wounded on the battlefield. Many soldiers and officers have been wounded and killed while attempting to save an injured fellow soldier, or recover the body of a comrade killed in action. This is a vital aspect of a soldier’s education: he knows that should he be lying on the battlefield, he will not be abandoned, whether he is still alive, or whether he has given his life for his country. He knows that all will be done to insure his medical recovery or, G-d forbid, he will be brought to ‘kever Yisrael’ and will be properly interred. He knows that he will not be left as fodder for the enemy.
Having come up through the ranks, Barak should be familiar with ‘moreshet krav’ – with these battle ethics.
That is why it is so difficult to understand why Barak left an Israeli soldier to bleed to death at Kever Yosef, at Joseph’s Tomb. That is why it so so difficult to understand why Barak did not respond when three soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah. That is why it is so difficult to understand why Barak allowed Rabbi Binyamin Herling to bleed to death after having been shot by Arab terrorists from the Askar village, outside Shechem.
One of those injured yesterday is a 19-year old named Shmuel. Shmuel was hit in the chest when the shooting began. He was left bleeding, with a hole in his chest, for over five hours. Only after nightfall was he removed. He is still alive today only due to a Divine miracle. The bullet that hit Shmuel went through him, from front to back. It didn’t hit his heart, his lungs, or any other vital organs. And Shmuel didn’t bleed to death, in spite of his being abandoned behind a boulder for hours. A genuine miracle. Today Shmuel is recovering in Tel HaShomer hospital, and will hopefully be released early next week. Shmuel is one of the lucky ones.
Another miracle is a 27-year old man named Barak. Barak was hit in the thigh, and too, bled for hours before being evacuated. He, together with Shmuel, had to crawl up the Aival hillside under the cover of darkness, with bullets still whizzing by them. These two men were in a group further down the hill, where the rocks were larger, and where they had a better chance to take cover.
Rabbi Binyamin Herling, the 64-year old father of eight from Kedumim wasn’t so lucky. He was in a group of people further up the hill. He didn’t have anywhere to hide. Rather than try to save him, the IDF let him bleed to death.
Of course, Barak isn’t the only one responsible. There are others, including the present Chief of Staff, General Shaul Mufaz and the commander of the central region, General Yitzik Eitan. These two men have direct responsibility for the catastrophic death of Rabbi Herling. These are the officers who could have, and who should have given the orders to bomb the source of terrorist gunfire. The shooting would have stopped immediately and Rabbi Herling would still be alive. But they didn’t give those orders. They preferred to have mercy on the Arab terrorists and those giving them cover, rather than have mercy on the Israeli civilians who had come under attack. The political repercussions simply weren’t worth Rabbi Herling’s life.
So much for ‘moreshet krav’ – so much for those antiquated battle ethics.
These two generals have to go – no soldier will ever be able to look to them, viewing them as an example of what they should be. A soldier who abandons his comrade on the battlefield will never be an officer. An officer who abandons a soldier on the battlefield must be court-martialed. When the very heads of the IDF abandon anyone – be they soldiers or civilians, the time has come for them to take off their uniforms in disgrace. They have no right to continue serving their country, because they are doing their country and their people a disservice.
However, the brunt of the responsibility lies at the top, with the Defense Minister, with the Prime Minister. Barak thinks so much of himself that he holds both these offices, not willing to trust anyone else’s judgment. Ehud Barak is, quite clearly, a parasitic leech. Ehud Barak is living off the blood of an Israeli soldier abandoned in Joseph Tomb, left to bleed to death. Barak is living off the blood of Rabbi Binyamin Herling, abandoned on the battlefield to bleed to death. Barak is living off the blood of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.
Because he is sitting on top, where ‘the buck stops,’ Barak should be THE EXAMPLE -THE TEACHER – THE PROFESSOR: to his citizens, to his government, to his officers, to his soldiers. And so he is. Ehud Barak, the parasite, Ehud Barak, the bloodsucker, Ehud Barak, Professor Leech. A year and a half of Professor Leech sucking and abandoning our blood is enough. With the next elections, with G-d’s help very soon, the Israeli people will wrench the leech off our sore-ridden body, cast it aside, and choose anew.