How You Salute

I’ve never considered this before, but maybe I should have. How you salute seems to tell a lot about who you are, what you are, what you dream of being. This salute has haunted me for days. I stare at the picture, at the people in it.

It is the moment that Gilad Shalit stepped out of the helicopter to find Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu waiting to greet him. As he would for a most a president or most honored visitor, Bibi is waiting there. I don’t know if everyone can tell, but if you know the contours of Bibi’s face, you can see, there on the right side, the line of his cheeks.

You know, even from this angle, that he is smiling, almost grinning with happiness and relief. There, the man behind Gilad, there too, there is such joy, such relief, such happiness.

And there is Gilad. Quiet. Hesitant. Not quite believing he is home. His eyes are slightly lowered but the movement is clear. A salute to the prime minister of Israel. His Commander in Chief. The movement is voluntary and a recognition that Netanyahu is the leader of his country.

Today, I saw another salute. I don’t know where the picture came from – it was on someone’s Facebook page. I followed the link but didn’t come to a real site. Maybe it isn’t real. I can hope it is Photoshopped. Not real. It seems to be a unit of Palestinians and they seem to be saluting…the very same salute the Nazis used.

I hope someone can tell me this is false. That Palestinians don’t salute this way. That is the Palestinian flag on the uniform, I believe. What more can I say…a salute tells so much.

Last night, again, Israel was hit with rockets and today, our foreign minister announced we were donating 30 boats, 187 life vests and 1,000 sets of medical supplies to Thailand to help with the devastating floods there. I would rather live in a land that saluted as Gilad did, than in a land that would fire rockets and salute as the Palestinians are saluting in this picture. Any day, every day, for the rest of my life.

12 Comments on How You Salute

  1. Try Googling palestine army salute in Google images and I regret that you will find the your fears are real

  2. Paula, I don’t know if this picture is Photoshopped or not, but I do see it several times when I use Google’s image search. As for the Nazi-style salute (a variation of the Roman salute or the Bellamy salute) — well that seems to be well documented.

    Just use Google’s image search and enter “Hamas salute” or “Hezbollah salute” and you’re get dozens of results showing similar photos.

  3. That isn’t the only picture with Fakistinians saluting with the Nazi salute. It is their salute. As it is the salute of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc…

    It is amazing how they have adopted the salute of the Nazis who lost WW2, while the Israelis have adopted the salute of the victors, the US.

  4. Frankly, I always felt the British/US/Israeli salute was a show of respect whereas the Nazi salute is a sign of servitude. But that’s just me…

  5. I have seen the nazi salute many of times by the terrorist gangs like Hamas,Hezbollah,and the so called *moderate* terrorists of the Fatah PLO. Sometimes reality is very harsh to face.

    But the tragic reality is the Palestinians not all[there’s always exceptions thank God].
    But many of the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians are just really evil people not alot different than the Germans who supported the Nazis.

    Why else do you think so many of them celebrated when mass murderers were released from Israeli jails recently in exchage for Gilad Shalit?

    Why else are there posters of suicide bombers and other terrorists who murdered Israeli babies,women,and children plastered all over the West Bank and Gaza where they are referred to as martyrs and heroes?

    Why else do you think they danced in the streets and handed out candy after the brutal murders of the Fogel family,and after every suicide bombing?

    Why else did a high school in the West Bank celebrate the bombing at the Sbarro Pizza cafe,and even put on a gruesome play where they reenacted the massacre?

    Why else were the murderers of the Hatuel family hailed as heroic martyrs,by PA radio, and the pregnant mother and her small daughters called terrorists?

    And why did no one in the Palestinian society stand up and protest this evil?

    Maybe it is because the Palestinians by and large are an evil people. The fact that most of the world supports them just goes to show we are living in evil,dark days, when people call good evil and evil good.

  6. so if you don’t know if it’s real and if you hope its photoshopped, why are you posting it? that’s stupid.

    as for shalit and saluting, give me a break… this photo makes me sick, israel really looks like a total military country. he was sick and tired, he should go straight to bed and not wasting time for such propaganda with bibi… just my 2 cents. 😉

  7. Dear Anonymous with the 2 cents…

    I googled, as did others, and was relatively certain that this is indeed the Palestinian salute. Would you feel better if I erased the first comment that I wasn’t sure. Will that change the fact, the disgusting nature of the salute? Doubtful, so let’s move on to your next comment.

    THIS picture – of Gilad makes you sick, but not the one of the Palestinian unit giving the Nazi salute? Isn’t that telling an awful lot about you?

    You worry about Gilad being sick and tired – I agree…he was. He was sick and tired for the last 5 years – did you lead the fight to get him free, as we did here in Israel? As Bibi did…in his own way? Did you demand that the Egyptians fire that horrible journalist who interviewed Gilad for so long when he looked so much sicker and much more tired?

    No – I’m guessing it is THIS picture, of Gilad finally coming home…and in the uniform of the State of Israel that truly sickens you. Yes, he should have gone straight to bed – but long before he saw Bibi, the doctors checked him out and knew that not only did he have the strength for this moment, but he had earned it, he needed it.

    Gilad came home to Israel and for all those who worried that the Palestinian propaganda machine had taken over his mind, one look at this moment assured that all the way home, all of Israel was with Gilad.

    Israel looks like a total military country? What utter nonsense. Do you know a single other country in which the Prime Minister, the Commander-in-Chief, the Defense Minister – all broke formation and hugged a simple soldier?

    I had two friends visiting from the States. They were shocked that my son calls his commanding officers by their first names, that they regularly hug and slap each other on the shoulder. Israel a “total military country” – what nonsense!

    You’ll note that 440 Palestinian prisoners were paraded for hours in front of the media, interviewed, and greeted in a long line. Of course, they had been held by Israel in decent conditions and so they were not sick and tired.

    You don’t write anything about that – isn’t that interesting? You don’t comment about the inhumane treatment Gilad received at the hands of Hamas…no, your complaint is that Gilad willingly donned the uniform of his country and chose to return, to stand on his own feet and salute the country that never forgot him for a single moment.

    Is there shame…there certainly is – and most of it, dear Anonymous, belongs to you.

  8. @ Anonymous

    This shows the difference between a nation of terrorists and a nation of CITIZEN SOLDIERS.

    A difference that your limited intelligence cannot tell the difference.

  9. ok, so the picture was real. If it makes me sick or not is not really important right now (but i see you’re already making your own conclusion about it again).:) Would erasing your the first comment (that you weren’t sure) change the nature of that salute? Surely not, i never said that! But that wasn’t the case. See, my point was that you posted something you didn’t know (at that time) it was real (even though it was, as we see now), but were making your own conclusions and compare it to some photo (that you knew was real). That’s all. I don’t see it as a fair play.

    Btw, i’m glad Shalit is alive and finally back at home; he’s not to be blamed for anything in this conflict. I was also not happy to see the egyptain journalist interviewing him for that long, but i understand it was a part of the deal, at least they said it was.

    Right, so the doctors checked him out and thought that he had the strength for this moment. I can agree with this part, but I disagree that “he had earned it, he needed it”. It was more like Bibi needed this moment for his extra points…i bet you’ll see it time and time again in the next elections campaign. I’m also glad those palestinian prisoners – especially women – were set free.

    “Do you know a single other country in which the Prime Minister, the Commander-in-Chief, the Defense Minister – all broke formation and hugged a simple soldier?” – ok maybe you’re right about that, maybe it’s just me not getting used to those scenes. Still, i heard Israel is the only country in the world with a mandatory military service requirement for women. Plus someone from israel told me you can go walking around on a saturday night after Shabbat and see scores of regularly dressed young men walking up and down Ben Yehuda St with M16’s strapped to their back… And what about those armed settlers? yeah, sounds a bit militant to me. Not to mention those horrible photos from a few years ago (of Israeli children signing israeli missiles ‘with love’ before being fired to lebanon).

    You can trust me i read a lot of different reports about Shalit release and i mostly didn’t find any real complaining about “inhumane treatment” he “received at the hands of Hamas”, as you said. I think it was in Hamas’ interested to keep him in good shape and health. Don’t you agree? Btw, i also read some Human Rights organization reports about conditions in israeli prisons, and no, there was no mentioning of “decent conditions” there. Quite the opposite. Sorry.

    Again, just my 2 cents. 🙂 🙂

  10. @ Findalis : please, there’s no need for insults. Btw, i tried to respond to Solidier’s Mother earlier but obviously she wasn’t brave enough to post it… what a shame. On the other hand, she posted your response insulting me… that tells a lot.


  11. @ Anonymous

    I don’t see how calling those who willingly attack women and children while standing behind their own women and children (as a coward) terrorists would be insulting? It is the truth.

    Israeli soldiers ARE Citizen Soldiers. For they serve their time of service then return to their civilian life.

    If you are offended by the term terrorist then change your ways. Until you do, you and yours will remain terrorists.

  12. @Soldier’s Mother: I appreciate your posting my response now, so I take my word (about you) back. No hard feelings.

    @ Findalis: First you insult my intelligence, now you call me a terrorist? Why? Because my opinion is different than yours? Read my posts again. I’m not a terrorist nor I support terrorism. I don’t however agree with your term “nation of terrorists”, I think it’s totally incorrect if not stupid to say that. Let’s take a look at Israel, for instance. Israeli collective punishments of the Palestinian people are illegal and violate the human rights. Some people are calling it a “despicable form of terrorism” and even “state terrorism”. I don’t like this term either, but for me it’s the same logic as your “nation of terrorists”.


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