In an exhilarating, powerful speech addressed to IDF soldiers on Hanukkah eve, Olmert has proven that he is willing to be just as forceful in war as he is in his struggle for peace.
Olmert spoke to troops who are training in the Judean hills for their next, unavoidable mission. Olmert spoke to the soldiers directly, reminding them of their proud heritage and urging them to be merciless in their pursuit of the enemy:
"As you know," Olmert said, "We are faced with a fierce, inhuman enemy, an enemy that opposes all our values and our very way of life. This enemy has no mercy and it will show you none, if given but half a chance. Always keep in mind what the Midrash said: 'He who is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.'
You must remember this when you fight. War is not as neat as we would like it to be. Civilians casualties are expected and regretful. But remember that they are also necessary. In this case there really are no innocent civilians. Their children can and will be used against you. Their mothers and fathers are openly educating them to hate us and everything we stand for. Know full well that unarmed civilians support the enemy and are just as dangerous as a gun pointed at your head.
"This not the first time that we are going to battle against this particular enemy, as you well know," Olmert continued, "But we are hoping that perhaps, if we are bold enough, determined enough and unwavering in our resolve – this will be the last battle – for a very long time.
"But it is up to you –the rank and file of the people's army.
If you believe in this fateful mission like your forefathers, the Maccabim did, you will prevail. The Maccabim believed in a proud, independent Jew who bows to no one and they were fiercely patriotic. The Maccabim were also tolerant, just as we are, but up to a point. When they saw that their very way of life was threatened by foreign agents they did not hesitate to take up their arms and fight to the death for their beliefs. And that is what you must do today as well. Together with all the people of Israel, and in the name of our forefathers, I wish you success in your sacred mission. Remember, you are fighting for your very lives as well your way of life.
"So now go forth," said Olmert, " Take away the settler's weapons, and kick them out of their homes. Ruin their lives and destroy their communities and be victorious over your enemy - just like the Maccabim!"
Olmert, always getting everything confused and upside-down. Maybe the teachers were on strike at the time and that's why Olmert never learned the Hanukka story?
“He Who is Compassionate to the Cruel Will Ultimately Become Cruel to the Compassionate” – More than you ever thought possible to know about this midrash by Eliav Shochetman from Nativ.
The original articles from INN: Olmert Compares IDF to Maccabees of Yore and Judea and Samaria: IDF Rounding Up Jews' Weapons.
And some more on this from Boker Tov Boulder.