דני שם טוב, נועם מוסקוביץ
MK Evgeny Sova, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and co-chair of the Caucus for Enhancing Awareness of the Israeli Victory
Every year, at the beginning of May, the entire world marks VictoryDay to commemorate the victory over Nazi Germany.
This year will be the 77th anniversary of the Allies’ greatvictory. As the grandson of a Holocaust survivor and of an officer in the Red Army,I grew up on stories of bravery. Nazi Germany was defeated by the civilizedworld, of which the Jewish people is a part. We paid the heaviest price of alland lost more than 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, but we paid a further price:300,000 Jewish soldiers were killed in battles against the Nazi Germans, out of1.5 million Jews who fought in the Allied forces. This is the story that I telland this is the story that my grandfather commanded me to tell my children andin the future to my grandchildren.
In 2019, in the Knesset, I founded the Caucus for Commemoratingthe Legacy of Jewish Heroism During World War Two. In its very first meeting, Ipresented the view that I want to promote and to apply to Israel’s wars. Allwars end sometime, even the war taking place now in Europe will end, thequestion is only – how? The Second World War ended with the signing of thesurrender agreement by the German army and admission of defeat in war. Theirdefeat and the victory of the civilized world.
For 77 years, no-one doubted who had won the war. Among otherthings, because of the signing of the surrender agreement. If there is such aconcept – this “awareness of victory” is the example – when the losing sideadmits to losing, history does not question the results of the battle.
Israel has won many wars: the War of Independence when the statewas established, the Six Day War, the terrible Yom Kippur War (aka the OctoberWar). The IDF and the security forces can be proud of their achievements. Butthere is still doubt in the world. Every time the results of the wars betweenIsrael and the Arab countries or the terror organizations that surround us arediscussed, we always encounter the question – did we really win the war?
Can it be said that Israel won the first Lebanon War? Or thesecond? We hear the concepts: “deterrence,” or “a severe blow to the enemy,”but not the concept of “victory.” In most cases, it is not because we did notachieve a decisive win on the battlefield, but because we did not fight the battlefor awareness of victory. The battle for awareness is no less important thanwar in the battlefield. It is not enough to vanquish the enemy; it is alsoimportant to convince the world that you have won the war. It is certainly easyto do so when you really achieve victory and are not forced to convince thosewho fought for you.
In the Israel of recent years, terminology that does not includethe words “victory” or “decisive win” has come into use, and instead the words“deterrence,” “painful blow” and “containment” have taken root. The discoursemust change, and accordingly also the goals – every IDF soldier who goes intobattle and fights for the country has to know that he has been sent to win a battle,to vanquish the enemy. We must fight wars only if we want to win them andvanquish the enemy. In this way our soldiers and our officers and Israel’scitizens will know that Israel sends its finest sons to battle in order toachieve a better future for the coming generations.