A Soldier’s Mother Wins Battle to Write ‘lebanon War’ on Stone

The bereaved mother of a soldier killed in the Lebanon war has won a six-year battle with the Israel Defense Force to revise the inscription on his headstone.

The standard inscription on the graves of Lebanon war dead states that the soldier fell in “Operation Peace for Galilee,” the official name given to the June 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

But Ofra Spiegel, 58, of Ramat Gan, has repeatedly petitioned the Defense Ministry to change the wording on the grave of her younger son, Lt. Yoav Spiegel, killed in 1983 when his jeep overturned in Lebanon’s Shouf Mountains.

She asked that “Lebanon War” be substituted for the official nomenclature, saying she could not live with “lying words” on the grave.

“It was not an ‘operation’ but a prolonged war, in which 650 boys died,” Spiegel told reporters Monday. “It was not peace but exactly the opposite. And my son did not fall in Galilee. He fell in another country, a country they sent him to, Lebanon.”

The Defense Ministry agreed to change the wording just hours before the High Court of Justice was to consider her petition. It will inscribe the words “fell in Lebanon” but not “Lebanon War.” Spiegel approved the compromise.

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