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Candidate Bat-Adam Levitan’s Letter to her Soldier Son

Published on: December 12, 2012

Likud-Beytenu candidate Smadar Bat-Adam Levitan’s letter to her paratrooper son  during the Second Intifada

Shalom my son,

You are the heart of our Inferno, my child, a paratrooper during the Intifada. Maybe right now, at this very moment, you are walking narrow streets with your eyes wide open and  your head held high just in time to see the hand upraised to kill you. And when you see such a hand raised, shoot.

I really do not know the latest IDF instructions on when to open fire, and I hear they have changed now.  But, I, as your mother, ask you to obey the Jewish dictum: “If someone comes to kill you, kill him first.” This teaching, my son, precedes all other IDF orders.

I hear about what you need to do: arrests, beatings, interrogations.  I look at you and do not believe it.   I do not want to think of you hitting someone helpless. And yet, I say  to you at the same time: “kill him.”

So many tragic incidents make it to the headlines.  Do you hear about them?  Another Palestinian child killed. Citizens stabbed in city streets. A soldier kidnapped and murdered. Two soldiers killed in Lebanon. Three people killed at the bus station. And I think of you.

I’m afraid that all these words, all these discussions among journalists and politicians may make you hesitate. My son, do not let the people whom we taught you to respect make you hesitate at the crucial moment.

My son, we protected our right to live in this country. Grandpa was in the Underground. Dad was fought on the frontlines of the terrible Yom Kippur War, during which you were born. We talked about hope, about the need to co-exist and the desire for peace. We are against concessions, but we are also in favor of concessions under certain circumstances.  It may be confusing.  But it is difficult to be decisive and unambiguous in this country.  But always remember, my son, that if the enemy is about to kill you, you must kill him first. The values of human love and tolerance come second to that.

Your father and I, you know, stand by you even if God forbid, you have to kill or hurt someone whose hand is raised against you (Please God, save us from this sorrow).  Fight for your life, and we will fight for your right to do so.

We do know that stones can kill even if thrown by a young boy.  Not to mention a Molotov cocktail. Not to mention bullets. It is legitimate to want the death of those who want you dead. Of course I want you to be a sensitive, empathic person.  But above all, I want you alive.

I pray that none of us has to kill.  I pray for an end to this deadly conflict. I pray for you.  You are my son and I wish you a long healthy life.


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