Wednesday, March 23, 2005


“We’re talking about life over there now. We’re no longer in the days of
an attack [a Palestinian terrorist attack] every day. Even I was
surprised. I thought we would be a bit more moderate. It’s a quiet
sector, in relatively quiet times. But no. What I'm talking about
happened a few days ago, maybe a week. A Molotov cocktail was thrown at
the entrance to one of the quiet villages. The bottle was thrown onto
the pavement, nobody knew who was responsible.”

“Within about half an hour, the sector commander gave the order to go
from house to house in the whole village, to take out all the men, from
11-12-year-old boys to the old men. When the order came down – it
already seemed shocking. “Pick up all the men in the village.” That
doesn't sound good. Bring all the men out. What does that mean, bring
them all out? We took them out. I'm not from yesterday in these matters;
I'm a veteran, but this time it was different, because this was a clear
case of collective punishment. There was nothing else here, no
operational dimension. A curfew is a collective punishment too, but at
least it can be explained by operational necessity. Here, no.”

I thought I was beyond shock. I thought nothing could hit me in the
stomach any more. Were I've been, what I've seen. And then this. First,
the text - "the order to go from house to house in the whole village, to
take out all the men". I hate analogies, but it just stood there -
staring me in the face. couldn't chase it away.
Then the context. I've seen angry, desperate young men take their
anguish out in rage on whoever they happened to get their hands on. This
is different. This is a professional commander in the cool of his
bureau, planing and ordering an action which has nothing to do with
security. It isn't even revenge, its taking an opportunity to administer
evil. If ever I saw a command which has "a black flag waving over it".
How far is this from Dir Yasin?

In winter 2002 Palestinian militants attacked a patrol of the desert
brigade and killed three of its soldiers. The army retaliated by
levelling 60 houses in Rafah. That incident was the seed of my decision
to refuse. And I could still relate to it emotionally, as much as I
resented it morally.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I liked the quote at the top of this page:

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who
are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it "

Too bad they forgot to give proper credit: Albert Einstein.