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Israeli Soldiers: ‘When the Cannons Fire, No Criticism May Be Heard’
Posted on Jul 25, 2014
Fifty reservists in the Israeli military—the majority of them women—have written an open letter expressing opposition to the institution’s discriminatory culture and policies, the current operation in Gaza, and the militarization of their society.
“Whenever the Israeli army drafts the reserves—which are made up of ex-soldiers—there are dissenters, resisters, and AWOLers among the troops called to war,” the letter begins. “Now that Israel has sent troops to Gaza again and reserves are being summoned to service, dozens are refusing to take part.”
The current campaign against Gaza, which began July 8, is “inseparable” from the way “militarization affects Israeli society,” they continue. “In Israel, war is not merely politics by other means—it replaces politics. Israel is no longer able to think about a solution to a political conflict except in terms of physical might; no wonder it is prone to never-ending cycles of mortal violence. And when the cannons fire, no criticism may be heard.”
The tone of the letter is that of regret for performing a service that the authors, who held a “wide variety” of positions in the forces, once thought to be relatively harmless. “In truth, the entire military is implicated,” they write. “[I]n our service, we found that troops who operate in the occupied territories aren’t the only ones enforcing the mechanisms of control over Palestinian lives.” Hence, they say they refuse to participate in the current operation.
In one of the letter’s most inspired sections, the authors state:
Furthermore, rather than being “an institution that enables social mobility” insisted upon by its leaders, the military “perpetuates segregation”:
Read the rest of the letter and see the authors’ names at AlterNet.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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