I consider the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, that is, between a Western, constitutional, pro-freedom nation and a pack of slavering hyenas dedicated to its destruction, as merely another front in the battle between civilization and those would see us revert back to the Dark Ages. Thus, I found this touching and worth a read: “We Jews love life: A tribute to Dvir Emanuelof”:

Daniel Polisar is president of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. Today he has circulated the following reflections occasioned by the death of the first IDF soldier to fall in the current offensive:

Israel is a small country, but when it goes to war, the front is extraordinarily broad. On Sunday of last week, it reached “Gan Dalia,” the kindergarten my five-year-old son David attends in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem. That morning, officers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) came looking for veteran head teacher Dalia Emanuelof. She was off that day, so they continued searching elsewhere, ultimately waiting outside her home in the nearby suburb of Givat Ze’ev until she returned that afternoon.

The news the officers brought was unbearable: Her 22-year-old son, Dvir, had been killed in Jabalya, making him the first Israeli casualty of the ground campaign in Gaza. Fighting there as a staff sergeant in his infantry unit, the elite Golani brigade, he was felled by Hamas mortar fire. Though Israel has a conscript army, Dvir did not have to be in Gaza, as he had received high marks as instructor of a squad leader course, was asked to go to officer school, and would still have been in training had he accepted; he deferred, however, saying he would not be fit to command until he had first fought alongside his comrades. In fact, Dvir did not have to be in any front-line position: His father Netanel had died of cancer at age 46, shortly before Dvir’s service began; as an only son in a single-parent family, Dvir was exempt under IDF rules from combat duty. Before accepting him to Golani, his commanding officer visited Dalia and asked if she acquiesced in her son’s opting for a dangerous path he was not obligated to choose. Her answer: “If this is how Dvir wants to serve his country, then this is what he will do.” Two days before entering Gaza, Dvir had called home and said: “Mom, I have to fight. I have to be there.” He went, and he fought–and was buried on Sunday night in the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.

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