Israeli Defence Forces ceased long ago being 'most moral army in the world' (Haaretz)

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.

IDF ceased long ago being ‘most moral army in the world’ (By Gideon Levy in Haaretz)

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.

The lead is cast (By Haaretz Editorial)

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…

An Army of Extremists – ExtremistsHow some military rabbis are trying to radicalize Israeli soldiers (By Christopher Hitchens in Slate/ICH)

UN envoy: Israeli Gaza offensive seems to be war crime of greatest magnitude (Haaretz)


4 thoughts on “Israeli Defence Forces ceased long ago being 'most moral army in the world' (Haaretz)

  1. Geachte redactie,
    Protest tegen de dienstplicht, de bezetting, de oorlogen en de heersende cultuur en het optreden van het leger in al deze en meer is in Israel al heel lang en fel aan de gang.
    Maar hier houden we ons daar doof voor.
    HaAretz schrijft het al jaren: Niets nieuws onder de zon voor wie het nieuws bijhoudt, met name HaAretz zelf maar ook het nieuws uit andere bronnen en op het net.
    Conclusie: De Volkskrant loopt achter.
    Complimenten aan HaAretz zijn te laat en gratuit.
    Excuses van De Volkskrant zouden beter zijn.
    Voor VNCcc en Jewish Voice for Peace,
    VHJM van Neerven, hoofdredacteur VNC
    AmsterdamReactie is geredigeerd

  2. JVP statement on Gaza attacks
    December 28, 2008
    Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world, including the 1,000 Israelis who protested in the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in condemning ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli.
    Israel’s slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade has caused widespread suffering to the 1.5 million people of Gaza due to lack of food, electricity, water treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the world.
    In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, directly targeting civilians, which is also a war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis since 2004.
    Every country, Israel included, has the right and obligation to protect its citizens. The recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza shows that diplomatic agreements are the best protection for civilian life.
    Moreover, massive Israeli air strikes have proven an indiscriminate and brutal weapon. In just two days, the known death toll is close to 300, and the attacks are continuing. By targeting the infrastructure of a poor and densely populated area, Israel has ensured widespread civilian casualties among this already suffering and vulnerable population.
    This massive destruction of Palestinian life will not protect the citizens of Israel. It is illegal and immoral and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. And it threatens to ignite the West Bank and add flames to the other fires burning in the Middle East and beyond for years to come.
    The timing of this attack, during the waning days of a US administration that has undertaken a catastrophic policy toward the Middle East and during the run-up to an Israeli election, suggests an opportunistic agenda for short-term political gain at an immense cost in Palestinian lives. In the long run this policy will benefit no-one except those who always profit from war and exploitation. Only a just and lasting peace, achieved through a negotiated agreement, can provide both Palestinians and Israelis the security they want and deserve.

  3. Voice for Peace Statement
    Contact: Sydney Levy, cell: 415-994-4854
    American Jewish group with 65,000 online supporters opposes war on Gaza, calls for immediate ceasefire
    Almost three weeks into "Operation Cast Lead," American group Jewish Voice for Peace continues to condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza, and calls on Jews and others of conscience to speak out against the siege.
    We echo the report
    issued several days ago by 9 Israeli human rights organizations: Israel’s military operations in Gaza pose a "clear and present danger to the lives and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians." In Gaza, "the level of harm to the civilian population is unprecedented" while "military forces are making wanton use of lethal force." We support their call for investigations into suspected war crimes by Israeli officials.
    As of yesterday, more than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli assault, including 335 children and many more civilians. Nearly 5,000 have been wounded, many paralyzed for life. Tens of thousands have fled their homes – but Gaza is entirely sealed off, so there is nowhere to hide, no safe haven for civilians, no escape corridor for civilians to flee the air, sea and land attacks. Electricity and running water are scarce, the health system has collapsed and sewage is running through the streets in some areas. Inside of Israel, rockets continue to rain down, hitting population centers like Beer Sheba and Ashkelon and causing widespread fear.
    We condemn these ongoing rocket attacks, which indiscriminately target civilians. 13 Israelis have been killed, 3 of them civilians, with over 82 civilians injured.
    Jewish Voice for Peace:
    * Calls on all Americans to support Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s resolution calling for an "immediate and unconditional ceasefire" and "unrestricted humanitarian access" to Gaza. Call your congressperson [
    12384741] or write them [
    * Joins the call from Human Rights Watch (and others) for Israel to stop using white phosphorous, an incendiary tool permissible in the laws of war as an "obscurant" – but when used in densely populated Gaza, causes widespread, horrific burning of the skin.
    * Demands an end to the vicious siege on Gaza, which brought the population to the brink of humanitarian disaster with extreme shortages of food, water, fuel and medical supplies.
    * Calls for an end to the 41 years of occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, including an immediate end to the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
    Only when Palestinians and Israelis are both equally free to decide their own sovereignty will there be peace.
    One bright spot in the midst of this terrible darkness is the explosion of dissent in all corners of the globe. We are especially moved by the Israelis who refuse to fall in line with the drumbeat of war: those like Nomika Zion in southern Gaza who, despite living terrified under rocket fire, stand up to say "Not in my name…The bloodbath in Gaza is not in my name nor for my security." made up of Israelis living under the threat of qassams, who call for Israel to end the attack and strike a truce with Hamas
    We are inspired by those Israeli soldiers who refuse to fight this civilian population, some of whom are already in jail for their refusal; those Israelis who
    gather every week to demand their country halt its assault and end the siege (photos here:, video here: ), or protest everyday at countless intersections throughout the country; and especially those Israelis who stand outside Sde Dov air force base in Tel Aviv every morning to remind the pilots that they every day they drop their bombs on civilians
    In North America, we are inspired by the thousands of people who have gone into the streets for protests, like in New York , Los Angeles ( ), San Francisco, and especially the Jewish women who held a sit-in the Israeli consulate in Toronto, telling the Israeli authorities that "we’ll end our occupation when you end yours." (
    JVP supporters, now numbering 65,000, have sent tens of thousands of letters to Congress, Israel’s Minister of Defense, and even Jon Stewart, thanking him for his coverage of Gaza on the Daily Show ( ).
    We are hopeful that more journalists and op-ed page editors will tell the truth about Gaza and Israel. (like the Washington Post:
    and the Wall Street Journal: ).
    And we are grateful to our friends at Jewish Peace News (http:// ) for bringing us insightful analysis and timely reports on dissent against the war.
    About Jewish Voice for Peace: Jewish Voice for Peace is one of America’s largest national grassroots groups dedicated to reaching a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on the principles of international human rights law.
    Our advisory board includes some of America’s top artists and thinkers including Tony Kushner, Adrienne Rich and Howard Zinn.
    We work with activists in Palestine and Israel, and in broad coalition with other Jewish, Arab-American, faith-based, and peace and social justice organizations to support the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for justice, security and self-determination.
    # # # #

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