Thursday, 31 July 2014

Letters to Israeli Ambassador No 4

Sent to: Israeli Ambassador in Ireland
25 July 2014 
Dear Boaz

I read in the Irish Times that you said “I don’t feel even a bit of shame; I feel a lot of pride being part of this country. I was also in the Israeli army, the most moral army in the world.”

You feel "a lot of pride" being part of Israel.  Most people feel pride in their country - until their country shames them.  Your country has shamed you yet again but you feel pride?  Then you are part of the shame.

You were in the Israeli army.  Most people who are unfortunate enough to go into killing armies are taught that their own armies are wonderful.  Most thinking people realize in time that they have been lied to.  Thinking soldiers in Israel have recognized this.  Many brave young people have refused to take part in the bloody deeds of your bloody Army and have gone on record to say that they refuse to work in an army that acts immorally throughout Palestine.

Listen to one of them: "I regard it my moral duty to refuse serving in the army. My conscience does not allow me to join an organization that demolishes, by fiat of the state, the homes of innocent people, kills children who are not part of the armed fighting, and which prevents sick people from getting due treatment. The army interferes with the freedom of movement, undermines human rights and robs people of their land because they are not Jews. Implementing government orders, the Israeli army brings oppression and terror upon three and a half million Palestinians."

Listen to another: "I have witnessed this army demolishing, shooting and humiliating people whom I did not know, but have learnt to respect for their ability to go on dealing with these horrors on a daily basis. There’s supposed to be a good reason for all of this. This reason is supposed to be my defense. I feel like screaming: ‘This does not defend me! It hurts me!’ It hurts me when people, Palestinians, are being so brutally assaulted, and it hurts me when they later turn their hatred towards me because of it"

And another: "I don’t think there is any justification for terrorism.  The cynical use of the phrase “self-defense”, widespread in Israel, is disgraceful in my opinion. No one should have the right – just because they wear a uniform and have signed up as members of a certain organization – to mess up or even destroy the lives of others, whatever their background or nationality. No one has the right to do such things. Occupation is not the same as self-defense. When emergency laws are activated in order to do things that run counter to Israel’s professed democratic principles (the Nazis, too, by the way, used such laws in order to gain access to power) – this is not self-defense. Such acts are the outcome of the economic/personal interests of those who are financially and otherwise powerful. They are a choice and not dictated by necessity. We can always choose against violence and for peace."

And yet another: “I refuse to enlist in the Israeli military. I shall not be part of an army that needlessly implements a violent policy and violates the most basic human rights on a daily basis.

Like most of my peers, I too have not dared to question the ethics of the Israeli military. But when I visited the Occupied Territories I realized I see a completely different reality, a violent, oppressive, extreme reality that must be ended.

I believe in service to the society I am part of, and that is precisely why I refuse to take part in the war crimes committed by my country. Violence will not bring any kind of solution, and I shall not commit violence, come what may. “

These are the testimonials of great young people that any nation could be proud of.  You reject them and when you do you reject decency, you reject greatness, you reject morals.

These testimonials don't even touch on the crimes against humanity during three holocausts in Gaza.

Boaz, Don't give us any more guff about the IDF's "morals".  We know it is an immoral army.  We know from the mouths of your own rejected and jailed sons and daughters  who have rejected it  precisely because of its immorality. 

In utter disbelief at the inhumanity of your words and actions.
Justin Morahan
pacifist, human rights activist

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