Grapes of Wrath 2007

Winograd committee (standard!) which investigated the Second Lebanon War published its first official report today.

It is generating a lot media attention, but i wanted to point out two little things.

First – Retired Justice Eliyahu Winograd is the head of the committee. Winograd means grape in Russian. Thought you’d like to know.

Second – i like epigraphs and opening phrases. Great opening phrases, such as “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (which is probably an incorrect translation, but who cares), “On the twelfth of June, 1812, the forces of Western Europe crossed the Russian frontier and war began, that is, an event took place opposed to human reason and to human nature”, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”, “Perl is a language for getting your job done”.

The Winograd report doesn’t have a great opening line.

But it does have an epigraph: “Weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country” (Jeremiah 22:10). And the explanation: “This report is dedicated to the memory of beautiful flowers, the soldiers of IDF, that were cut down before their time in the second Lebanon war. They left after them a crying mother, a worrying father, a sad brother and a baby”.

The epigraph is taken out of context. The verse is incomplete. The full verse is “Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.”

As far as i understand the passage in the Bible refers to captive people. It is related to the war, because it started after soldiers were captured; but the explanation to the epigraph refers to soldiers who died in the war itself.

Israeli judges usually seem to write very good Hebrew in their reports and verdicts. I think that they slipped a little this time.

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