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November 10, 2015 1:51 pm

Elderly Former Palmach Fighters Volunteer to Help Police Fight Palestinian Terrorists

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Sapir. Photo: Family photo provided to nrg.

Shaul Sapir, a Palmachnik who asked Israel Police if he and his comrades could help combat terror wave. Photo: Provided by subject to nrg.

A group of Israeli octogenarians contacted the Israel Police and volunteered to help combat the current terror wave, Israeli news site nrg reported on Tuesday.

The 25 senior citizens had all served in the Palmach – the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground, pre-state Israeli army during the British Mandate – and wanted to share their knowledge and experience with the younger generation now confronting a surge in Palestinian attacks across the country.

The initiative was spearheaded by 87-year-old Shaul Sapir. He told nrg that he got the idea while sitting with his “gang, all youngsters 85 and older …  I decided to ask the police if they would give us a month to restore order in the Old City of Jerusalem.”

Sapir described the reaction he received from the district police commander.

“He was stunned,” Sapir told nrg. “He said that, first of all, he salutes us, but cannot recruit people of our age.”

Sapir also recalled humorously how his friends were disappointed that they could not complete their mission successfully.

Asked by nrg why he and his friends wanted to volunteer for such a task in the first place, Sapir explained, “A man remains a Palmachnik from the day he is born until the day that he dies.”

Not happy about having to give up on their wish to help the police with its workload, Sapir and his former comrades-in-arms tried again. “I called the district commander again today and told him that we could teach the undercover counterterrorism units how to operate in the field, since we were all excellent undercover counterterrorism fighters … But he again refused, assuring me we had already done our part for the country. I told him that until we die – or there is peace – we will continue to contribute.”

Sapir, who said he joined the Palmach when he was 14, was among the founders of the “Negev Animals,” the first pre-state Israeli undercover commando unit.

That was 73 years ago, and he and his compatriots are still raring to go.

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  • David Weinberg

    They should definitely be heard out. Why presume you know everything?

  • Reform School

    Is this only Is it only about Political Correctness?

    Isn’t it also about Pride of Authorship?

    Is the Chief of Police a political appointee?

    Is he afraid of becoming the former Chief?

  • It is everybody’s war; none should be exempt who wish to contribute in any way they can, in harmony with the rest.

  • Janis

    They certainly have what to contribute! Meet with them and see how their ideas could be applied to today’s situation, and look into what each individual is able to do. Different viewpoint can lead to some creative solutions, and these are people with a lot of experience who are still capable, despite stereotypes about aging.

  • Richard Wahl

    A wonderful idea from a true hero of Israel. If.Abbas can send childern and old people to kill Jews it’s time Israel uses all its assets to combat them. Stop being politically correct and start doing what Israel did in 1948 to survive.

  • Lou VanDelman

    If they are able to help, we should accept all the help we can get. The terror seems to be increasing, we should use everything or everyone to eliminate this threat to our people – we suffered enough !!

  • Atilla

    It is because of people like Shaul Sapir that Israel will survive and prevail.

    The police commander who turned down their offer is a ******* idiot; these are the gentlemen who wrote the book on counterterrorism tactics and have forgotten more than some of the current ” youth ” have ever known.

  • ………I want to work. I need a job. I have so much energy it’s not fair. I want back in the game !!

  • I sent a letter to Bibi with much the same suggestion. I am 69, of excellent health and would be a great volunteer on any Base so that a young soldier is freed up for a more important job.

    I can still do so much. It’s wrong not to use us.

  • fantastic people. my late aunt & uncle served in the palmach by the dead sea early 40’s. Remember the stories!! kol tov to them & beat our enemies !!

  • G M Ben-Nathan

    Brilliant !

  • Sonia Willats

    A story to warm the heart in these hard days!

    כל הכבוד!

  • This is why Israel will never go under. Thank you, men of Palmach!

  • Myron Slater

    Good for them! Give them a chance to contribute! They may not be able to physically take part, but their knowledge and experience can help the younger generation!

  • ESLombard

    Thanks for all you’ve done and you are a reminder of the unselfish dedication that built this country. Anyone with imagination could help you figure out what you could do.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    It is truly heart warming to read this article. The willingness to sacrifice for this country among the founding generation is a precious commodity to say the least. It makes me feel honoured to just live in an environment with people who love this country–the good, the bad, the ugly. Israel is lucky to have such decent, committed residents as the twenty-five former Palmachniks cited in this article!

  • Edna

    Why not give them a chance, as there is something that might be gained? Experience, and wisdom are on their side!

    Something the younger generation very frequently lack!

  • Asher Sapir

    WOW!!!!! THAT IS COMMITMENT !!!! I salute them.