Saturday, October 14, 2006

The sorrows of young Itai

By Aviva Lori

It was a matter of friendship, says Eva Schwartz. Too many friendships and personal relations between the army and the settlers led to disaster. Colonel Yuval Bazak, who recently completed his term as commander of the Samaria Brigade, takes the same view. "Many times, the army, in the name of such friendship, did not fully carry out its responsibilities, such as in the case of the illegal settler outposts," he said in an interview with the Ynet Internet site.

"Too many times, we turned a blind eye. It was convenient not to deal with issues having to do with law and order. The evacuation of Amona was the peak, the radicalization of the fringes, which expanded. This is the most dangerous phenomenon. We saw many cases of breaches of order and of violence that we did not see previously, certainly not with this intensity and this frequency."

The name Amona and the events surrounding the army's evacuation of the illegal Samaria outpost last February will always draw a reaction of outrage from Eva Schwartz. Just thinking about it is enough to set her on edge. She responded furiously to the interview with Bazak: "My son was a soldier in Nahal," she wrote in talkback number 172. "His company took part in the evacuation of the access road to Amona the night before. There was an extremely violent clash between the soldiers and the settlers. My son underwent atrocities, a terrible trauma, because of the settlers. They spat on his beard and called him a Nazi. A kid who is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor. They cursed him, beat him, knocked him down. The word atrocity can hardly convey what he went through there. The settlers and that battle, which was really a civil war, generated a mental collapse from which he never recovered.

"A month and a half later he killed himself on his base in Samaria. In the note he left he said that he saw the hatred in their eyes. He did not want to be in this kind of world, in which brothers trade blows. Because of those settlers I do not have a son today. I will never forgive them. Accursed may they be. You think that you can do whatever you want. For how long?"

Read the rest of this truly harrowing story


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