Haaretz verdient waardering en zelfs bewondering voor de wijze waarop zij ruimte biedt aan opinies die kritisch zijn t.a.v. het zionistisch beleid van eigen land. In haar eigen hoofdartikel legt zij de verantwoordelijkheid voor het onmenselijk gedrag van militairen tijdens de barbaarse oorlog in Gaza bij de religieuze indoctrinatie door IDF-rabbi’s.
What shock, what consternation. Haaretz revealed grave accounts by officers and soldiers describing the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians during the war in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman was quick to respond that the IDF had no prior or supporting information about the events in question, the defense minister was quick to respond that "the IDF is the most moral army in the world," and the military advocate general said the IDF would investigate.
All these propagandistic and ridiculous responses are meant not only to deceive the public, but also to offer shameless lies. The IDF knew very well what its soldiers did in Gaza. It has long ceased to be the most moral army in the world. Far from it – it will not seriously investigate anything.
The testimonies from the graduates of the Oranim pre-military course were a bolt from the blue – accounts of soldiers butchering a woman and two of her children, shooting and killing an elderly Palestinian woman, how they felt when they murdered in cold blood, how they destroyed property and how there was not even fighting in this war that was not a war.
But this is neither a bolt nor blue skies. Everything has long been known by those who wanted to know, those who, for example, read Amira Hass’s dispatches from Gaza in this paper. Everything started long before the assault on Gaza.
The soldiers’ transgressions are an inevitable result of the orders given during this brutal operation, and they are the natural continuation of the last nine years, when soldiers killed nearly 5,000 Palestinians, at least half of them innocent civilians, nearly 1,000 of them children and teenagers…
he IDF is incapable of investigating the crimes of its soldiers and commanders, and it is ridiculous to expect it to do so. These are not instances of "errant fire," but of deliberate fire resulting from an order. These are not "a few bad apples," but rather the spirit of the commander, and this spirit has been bad and corrupt for quite some time.
Change will not come without a major change in mindset. Until we recognize the Palestinians as human beings, just as we are, nothing will change. But then, the occupation would collapse, God forbid. In the meantime, prepare for the next war and the horrific testimonies about the most moral army in the world.
Operation Cast Lead ended two months ago in a show of arrogance by Israeli leaders: Hamas had been dealt a crushing defeat that would deter it from firing rockets, and if it continued to smuggle weapons into Gaza the entire international community, from Washington to Cairo, would rally together to intercept them.
The price paid by Gaza’s civilian population – hundreds killed, in addition to the hundreds of armed men from Hamas and other organizations – was presented as an unfortunate, but necessary, result of the combat methods required to protect soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces.
With disappointment growing as the operation’s declared achievements dissipate, a second wave of evidence and revelations is being heard from the soldiers who were there, who saw what was happening and are sometimes even describing what they themselves did.
Amos Harel reports in Haaretz today and tomorrow about a discussion held a month ago among the graduates of the pre-army program at Oranim, who took part in the Gaza fighting as combat soldiers and junior officers.
This is a modern version of "The Seventh Day," the book published after the Six-Day War that highlighted the soul-searching of the generation that fought a justified defensive war, but found itself dragged afterward into acts that contradicted the moral values it prided itself on. The grandchildren of this same Six-Day War group are now teaching in their testimony that the situation is even more worrying than in 1967…
The IDF’s internal investigations, which are moving ahead very slowly, are not enough. The army is absorbing more and more religious extremism from the teachings of the IDF’s rabbinate. It would be appropriate to investigate the problems from outside the IDF and root them out before the rot destroys the IDF and Israeli society.
Recent reports of atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers in the course of the intervention in Gaza have described the incitement of conscripts and reservists by military rabbis who characterized the battle as a holy war for the expulsion of non-Jews from Jewish land. The secular Israeli academic Dany Zamir, who first brought the testimony of shocked Israeli soldiers to light, has been quoted as if the influence of such extremist clerical teachings was something new. This is not the case…