Skip to comments.Meir Har-Tzion "Greatest Israeli War Hero' Dies
Posted on 03/14/2014 3:32:52 PM PDT by robowombat
Deceased Israeli War Hero Meir Har-Tzion Praised: From Bar Kochba Until Har-Tzion No Warrior Came Close
Meir Har-Tzion, one of the greatest warriors in Israels history is gone from Bar Kochba until Har-Tzion no warrior came close, said Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett in an online eulogy of his childhood hero, who passed away at 80 on Friday.
Generations of warriors grew up on his books, on completing every mission no matter the cost, solitary navigation in the middle of the night, retaliation missions, non-abandonment of a friend in the field, uncompromising demands, and the love of the Land of Israel, Bennett wrote on Facebook on Friday. May your memory be blessed, hero of Israel.
Har-Tzion was a leader in Israels first commando force, Unit 101, which later merged with the IDFs Paratroopers Brigade, but its exploits and Har-Tzions bravery in the unit and on his own has became the stuff of legend.
He was born in Herzliya, where as a teenager living in Kibbutz Ein Harod, he set out for a hike into Syrian territory with his sister Shoshana, and the pair were kidnapped by Bedouin and jailed in Damascus for several weeks.
In the early 1950s, Har-Tzion trekked into Jordan to visit the ancient Nabataean city of Petra. Several hikers followed in his footsteps and were killed in the process, the Times of Israel said on Friday.
On December 23, 1954, his sister Shoshana and Oded Weigmeister were killed while hiking in the Judean Desert. Har-Tzion retired from the army, and set out with weapons and three paratroopers to avenge her death. They snuck into Jordan, caught five men from the tribe that had killed the two Israelis, and killed four of them, leaving the fifth one alive to tell the tale.
Upon his return to Israel, Har-Tzion was arrested, jailed for 20 days and suspended from the military for six months.
In 1956, Har-Tzion was wounded, suffering a shot in the throat during a cross-border raid on the police station in Rahawa, but an emergency field tracheotomy saved his life.
Har-Tzion later helped found the IDFs elite reconnaissance unit Sayeret Matkal and fought in Israels Six-Day War against Arab armies in 1967.
Other Israeli leaders also remembered Har-Tzion on Friday.
He was one of the greatest warriors in the history of the IDF an audacious, distinctive commander whose influence in molding generations of fighters and units was pivotal, said Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him one of our greatest heroes, a man who was steeped in love for the nation and the land.
There was no one braver than he was, Israeli President Shimon Peres said. He was a legend already in his own time, and if not in his own eyes, then in the eyes of all those who knew his bravery.
Moshe Dayan, the legendary Israeli military leader, once called Har-Tzion the greatest Jewish warrior since Bar Kochba, a sentiment that was echoed by Bennett on Facebook.
And what is the Sayeret you say? Here is some background:
And here are some comments from 2005 from the late hero who seemed to have a pretty firm grip on things:
Legendary Fighter Har-Tzion Calls for Refusal
Meir Har-Tzion, the legendary fighter and close friend of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has broken his silence, calling upon IDF soldiers to refuse orders to expel Jews from their homes.
First Publish: 2/23/2005, 3:34 PM / Last Update: 2/23/2005, 3:22 PM
Har-Tzion, who was a founding member of the famous counter-terror Paratrooper Unit 101 together with Sharon in the 1950s, has been a close personal friend of Sharon for decades. In a rare interview with Maariv he now claims that Sharon has gone crazy.
In the interview, Har-Tzion tries to understand what caused Sharon to pursue his disengagement plan, which Har-Tzion refers to as a holocaust. His conclusions are not complimentary of the Prime Minister. Arik Sharon is crazy - the great fighter is running away. He has become a very dangerous man.
Har-Tzion, who refrained from granting interviews for many years, said he broke his silence to join the call for IDF soldiers and officers to refuse the uprooting of Jewish towns. He says that soldiers should willingly go to jail rather than fulfill such orders, which he deems illegal.
If a Palestinian state is established here it will be the beginning of the end for us, he warned. The Palestinians, in their territory will be unable to do anything besides terrorize us until we leave altogether. If, G-d forbid, this should occur [a PA state] it would be the beginning of the end.
Har-Tzion also attacked the left and the media, decrying the decline in social responsibility in Israeli society. He also had harsh words for the Kibbutz movement in which he was raised.
Moshe Dayan referred to the famed fighter, Har-Tzion as the bravest Jewish warrior since Bar Kochba—the heroic warrior who fought against Roman oppression along with Rabbi Akiva after the destruction of the Second Temple.
The 70 year-old Har-Tzion retired from the IDF after being seriously injured in 1956. A number of years later he founded Ahuzat Shoshana, an agricultural ranch in Kochav HaYarden near Lake Kinneret. Har-Tzion recently organized a protest movement against the
Although Bar Kokhba may have been a great leader and warrior, causing high losses among the Romans, his rebellion led to the total distruction and genocide of Israel (Judaea). Meanwhile the Christian Jews at the time took no part in it, but were equally punished. I’d think a little Roman oppression would have been better than the population sold off into the slave markets.
That said, the situation today is completely different. Israel is already fighting for its life against an enemy mericlessly bent on doing the same thing. They need all the war heros they can get.