Pundit Blames Bennett for 102 Lebanese Deaths in 1996

January 4, 2015  

Jewish Home Chairman and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett lashed out Sunday against the journalists and other leftists who have been demanding that criminal investigations be launched against officers and soldiers who took part in the summer’s war in Gaza. He added that he, himself, is now being blamed for the deaths of 102 civilians during Operation Grapes of Wrath in Lebanon, 18 years ago, by a journalist in Yediot Aharonot

“In recent days, there has been a relentless attack on the fighters from Givati Brigade, those brave warriors who were in Gaza after Hamas terrorists broke the ceasefire and abducted Hadar Goldin,” Bennett wrote on Facebook.

The soldiers, who fought in the battle at Rafah after the abduction of 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin hy”d, are being blamed for supposedly “firing indiscriminately,” Bennett noted. “This is what they are saying about soldiers who went out to risk their lives in the search for their comrade, who had been abducted by barbaric terrorists in the course of the ceasefire.”

‘I am under attack’

Bennett has said that while an internal IDF inquiry is possible, under no circumstances must criminal proceedings be launched. “No sooner had I spoken my mind than the archives were opened,” he went on. “From Friday, I have been under attack for supposedly being ‘responsible for the massacre at Kafr Kana’ as a company commander in the Maglan unit, when I was the commander of an operation for eliminating rockets in southern Lebanon in ’96(!). They have been digging 20 years into the past.”

The civilian deaths at Kafr Kana, caused by a single errant shell, led to pressure on Israel that forced it to abort that counter-terror operation earlier than planned.

Bennett told his followers that supposedly, “’I ignored orders because the echelon above me was not courageous enough’ and ‘I changed plans without coordinating with the echelon above me’ – until we came upon a Hizbullah ambush and we required a rescue that led to the fire on Kafr Kana.”

“In other words – they are saying that I, too, should have been investigated over Grapes of Wrath.”

Bennett’s post featured a clipping from the press item, written by Yigal Sarna.

‘Shame on you, keyboard tappers’

Bennett added, however, that after the events at Kafr Kana, then-Head of Northern Command, Major General Amiram Levine, “came especially to the unit’s base at Julis in order to tell me: ‘I am giving you all of the backing in the world. You went on a mission. You defended the northern communities. I am behind you.”

“What Amiram Levine told me – that is what needs to be done today with Givati,” he stated. “And to all those keyboard tappers who sit in their comfortable homes and dare to dispense advice to the soldiers spitting blood on the front, shame on you.”

“As long as your home is not being hit by rockets, thanks to those soldiers – pray for their well-being, say thank you every moment of your lives to these heroes, and leave your learned comments to yourselves.

“If you want to attack me, go ahead,” Bennett concluded. “My shoulders are broad enough. I am a public figure, even a politician (what can you do?). I am responsible for my actions during my military service and so help me, I do not apologize for them.”

“There will be no investigation against courage. And now – keep on searching the archives. My military file at the Adjutantcy awaits you.”


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