Sunday, March 22, 2009

A call to join the 'Enlightened' ones. - Part Two : Institutional Immorality of Gaza War 2009

(This is a collection of quotes relevant to Part One of this posting: A call to join the 'Enlightened' ones. Part 1: Chosen? Who knows. Arrogant? Absolutely.)

In part Two of this posting, I included few paragraphs and photos taken verbatim from: the Israeli Daily Haartz (by various authors), from New York Times article by NYT Jerusalem Bureau chief Ethan Bronner, and from Richard Silverstein's blog Tikun Olam. They include some opinions but are mostly quotations from Israeli military individuals who were fed up, to their credit, with the hypocrisy they were forced to live through : claiming moral high grounds, and behaving like criminals. So, let us hear it from horse's mouth.
- "Rules of Engagement: Open fire also upon rescue," was handwritten in Hebrew on a sheet of paper found in one of the Palestinian homes the Israel Defense Forces took over during Operation Cast Lead. A reservist officer who did not take part in the Gaza offensive believes that the note is part of orders a low-level commander wrote before giving his soldiers their daily briefing.

- To do this without any unnecessary moral qualms we have trained our soldiers to think that the lives and property of Palestinians have no value whatsoever.
It is part of a process of dehumanization that has endured for dozens of years, the fruits of the occupation. "That's what is so nice, as it were, about Gaza: You see a person on a road ... and you can just shoot him."

- After the orders were changed, the squad leader's soldiers complained that "we should kill everyone there [in the center of Gaza]. Everyone there is a terrorist."

- A sharpshooter's T-shirt from the Givati Brigade's Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull's-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, "1 shot, 2 kills." (see IDF Fashion 2009).

- "From above they said it was permissible, because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City was in effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn't fled. I didn't really understand: On the one hand they don't really have anywhere to flee to, but on the other hand they're telling us they hadn't fled so it's their fault ...

- "At first the specified action was to go into a house. We were supposed to go in with an armored personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally, Cruel] to burst through the lower door, to start shooting inside and then ... I call this murder ... in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified - we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself: Where is the logic in this?

- The last portion of the document is entitled "Operational Routine - Fighting Timeline," and includes things such as guard duty, responsibility for platoon equipment and briefings. Under "Operational Routine" a note is included whose title can be translated as "Shitting of Houses." [....] Many of the homes the IDF troops took over were left in particularly unsanitary conditions; the residents of Sami Dardone's home found their clothes in piles with obvious signs of human feces.

- The soldiers describe the killing of innocent civilians, pointless destruction, expulsions of families from homes seized as temporary outposts, disregard for human life and a tendency toward brutalization. [.....] 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.

- A soldier, identified by the pseudonym Ram, is quoted as saying that in Gaza, “the rabbinate brought in a lot of booklets and articles and their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.
Please read Part One here:

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