The 20-year-old said he was part of an Israeli Defense Force special
mission looking for terrorists. The soldiers were returning to camp when
a bomb exploded, killing one and hospitalizing Naveh and others.
"I got fragments in my legs and in my eyes," he said in broken English.
"We had a long fight."
The sergeant spoke to a crowd of almost 300 people at an Israel Emergency
Campaign rally in Davie on Wednesday while a U.N.-imposed ceasefire in
Lebanon held steadfast after 34 days of fighting.
"The war affects everybody," Naveh said. "During the fight ... you think
about how you can get out from wherever you are and help your friends.
All the soldiers answer the same thing ... they want to fight for their
friends and for their country."
The fundraiser was part of a nationwide effort by the United Jewish
Community to raise $300 million for Israel. Thus far, $800,000 has been
raised by the Broward arm of the organization, according to its
president, Eric Stillman. All dollars donated go directly to Israelis,
including help for displaced families or the elderly, equipping bomb
shelters with food, or providing bulletproof vests for aid workers.
The UJC will funnel the money through two agencies it works with
overseas, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint
Stillman said as of Wednesday, 159 Israelis were reported killed and more
than 2,000 were injured in a war that has cost the country $11 billion.
Itzak Bed Gad, the Israeli consul general to Florida and Puerto Rico,
said Israel has won the war with Hezbollah. "Hezbollah is bleeding no
matter what they say. We want our kidnapped soldiers," he said.
One of those who attended, Judi Basskin, of Cooper City, said, "It's
really important as a Jew and American to support Israel and demonstrate
our solidarity. I feel it's my responsibility to support my people."
Another supporter, Vera Biro, of Plantation, said she wanted to let the
world know Israel is not alone.
"I'm very proud of the way they are fighting to preserve their country,"
she said. "They didn't let themselves be scared by the terrorists."
Samuel Freedman, of Hollywood, said the fighting is a global concern.
"We are as Jews and Americans fighting world terrorism, which is
unfortunately a global, fascist issue that Israelis are at the
forefront," he said.
Maura Possley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Copyright 2006, Sun-Sentinel Co. & South Florida Interactive Inc.