An Israeli whose son died fighting Hezbollah did a stint of reserve
duty with the fallen soldier’s unit. Tzahi Nimer donned a reservist’s
uniform last week as he joined the Golani infantry brigade’s 51st Regiment
on routine guard duties. Nimer’s son Asaf was among eight of the
regiment’s soldiers who died in a battle for the Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil
during last year’s war between Israel and Hezbollah. Nimer wanted to join
the unit temporarily in a bid to commune with the memory of his son, who
returned to Israel for military service from Sydney, where he had spent
most of his life with his mother.
Nimer said in an interview published Sunday
that it was moving and difficult for him to see Asaf’s comrades in action.
“I see them and think of Asi, who instead of being in Australia wanted to
volunteer and serve his homeland,” Nimer told Yediot Achronot. “I said to
him, ‘Why do you need this?’ and he answered, ‘I want to give something
back to the country I was born in.’ “
Asaf Nimer was 25 when he was killed –
the “old man” of a conscript regiment where the average age is around 20.