Israel must focus on the prize, insists IDF reservist

Outspoken sergeant says it’s time to praise Israel’s soldiers and hold their arms aloft as they do “holy work” on a challenging battlefield.

By Ryan Jones | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
Israeli troops in central Gaza. Photo: IDF Spokesman
Israeli troops in central Gaza. Photo: IDF Spokesman

Israel’s enemies have a singular focus, and they allow little else to interfere with achieving their agenda. Would that Israel took a similar approach in these fateful days, lamented Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Oded Harush in an appearance this week on Channel 14 News.

“I was in maybe 30 houses in Jabaliya, Khan Yunis and Rafah. I did not enter a single house that did not have an image of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Mosque. I wish we [Israelis] had this kind of focused clarity” regarding what we are fighting for, said Harush. “Because when you have that kind of clarity, you have no patience” for distractions.

 

Egyptian complicity

In something of a bombshell revelation, Harush went on to suggest that the Egyptian army had at the very least turned a blind eye to Hamas terrorist activity on the Gaza-Egypt border.

“During my two weeks in Rafah, just in our zone of operation, we found five shafts of tunnels that crossed the border into Gaza, and these tunnels were located under Egyptian army positions,” he explained.

 

We are winning

After more than eight months of war and unbearable international pressure, the home front is starting to become weary and divided. But Harush stressed that the media can change that by focusing more on the IDF’s many successes and lifting up the heroic deeds of Israel’s soldiers.

“We dismantled [the terrorist infrastructure] in one Rafah neighborhood in just five hours,” he said. “In the first house we entered, there was hot food still on the table, and guns and communications equipment scattered about. The terrorists had decided not to fight us and to flee. That’s our enemy. The moment he hears us coming, he flees.”

“We need to start lifting up our successes, to start lifting up our soldiers, who are doing holy work in one of the most difficult battlefields on earth, both above ground and below, and they are winning,” Harush continued.

 

The privilege to serve

Oded Harush made a name for himself over a year ago, months before the savage Hamas invasion of Oct. 7 and ensuing Gaza war.

In early 2023, Harush and another reservist started a petition stating that they would continue to report for duty no matter the circumstances, in contrast to the many reservists who were threatening not to serve in protest over the government’s proposed judicial reforms.

Thousands of reservists quickly signed Harush’s petition.

“The statement is very simple: Leave the army out of the conversation. It’s a matter of the basic security of every citizen in this country, it cannot operate according to an agenda. Without the army, we cannot live, and security is the basis of everything. … Otherwise, no one will be left here,” Harush told Channel 12 News at the time.