Paratroopers Concerned about Israel’s Future – by Amos Goren

Paratroopers Concerned about Israel’s Future
Delivered at a Reunion on 2.15.2014
Amos Goren

We are gathered here today 50 years after our first training as soldiers and commanders of the Paratroopers of Company B Battalion 890. When we first volunteered as paratroopers we took it upon ourselves to fight and defend our country and we did it with some guiding principles: to never leave a solider behind, to be the first as commanders to lead our soldiers, to work as a team, to follow moral values even while fighting, to be innovative, to practice humility, voluntarism, and professionalism.

Over 50 years and through numerous wars and battles we held on to these principles. We did it when we fought in the Six Day War, when we participated in the liberation of Jerusalem and during the Yom Kippur War repelling the Egyptians and as we battled the Syrians on the Golan Heights. And between wars and battles we participated in the peace process with Egypt and Jordan and all along we contributed to the economy, to education, to culture and various aspects of social life. Our group of fighters includes our friends who died in battles and those who were wounded and scarred. Together we have received appreciation, praise and accolades; I am so honored to be part of this group.

Today after 50 years of commitment and contributions to our country can we really sit peacefully under our own vines and fig trees? To our dismay we watch as our best efforts are drowning in a sea of corruption: shady politicians who care only about themselves, judges, legal advisers and pundits who are blinded, police officers who betray their positions by cavorting with rabbis who are deceitful and false messiahs, religious extremists who are racists and parasites, and business tycoons who loot

our savings. We witness government officials taking bribes and watch the flood

of stupid and humiliating reality shows.

This is a good time to recall the words of the prophet Deborah:
When uncertainties are inflicted on Israel
The people dedicate themselves—
Bless Adonai
But in the indecision of Reuben there was great deceit
Why did you remain sitting on the sidelines, listening to the bleating of the flocks?
And Dan why did he load his valuables on his ships,
And Asher was just sitting on the shores of the seas.

Here is Deborah demanding that all the tribes of Israel rise and defend the nation.
We, paratroopers, must face yet one more battle at this current historic juncture when Secretary Kerry’s peace negotiations will face the nation’s judgment. And much has yet to be faced: the inequality in national responsibilities, a healthcare system in need of repair, an antiquated educational system, enormous social and economic disparities, displays of violence and waves of blatant racism.

Here is the question before us: Can we gather our comrades in arms, our sons and daughters, the young generation and the media to stand up with us against the disaster we face and can we restore national sanity and return to the values on which we were raised?

Translated by Yonathan Shapir and Ayala Emmett