Monday, December 29, 2003

Let there be peace on Earth - and let it begin with me

Almost unknown to Americans, there has been a continuing undercurrent of nonviolent resistance among Israeli soldiers to the military occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Much of this opposition is not pacifist in the strict sense of the term but is devoted to a refusal to engage in military actions beyond the "Green Line," the pre-1967 borders of Israel. A recent development, as reported by the BBC on December 22:
Thirteen reservists from the elite Sayeret Matkal unit wrote to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon saying they would not be part of a "rule of oppression". ...

In their letter, the soldiers said they would no longer participate in the defence of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"We will no longer corrupt the stamp of humanity in us through carrying out the missions of an occupation army ... In the past, we fought for a justified cause [but today] we have reached the boundary of oppressing another people," the letter said. ...

In September, a group of 27 pilots signed a letter refusing to carry out targeted killings or other operations in the West Bank and Gaza because they considered them "immoral and illegal".

Several hundred reserve soldiers have been sent to prison for refusing to serve in the West Bank and Gaza, but the statements from pilots and commandos carry special weight because of their elite status.
There are organizations in Israel providing support for resisters. Among the better-known ones is Yesh Gvul ("There is a limit"), which was established in 1982 in the wake of Israel's invasion of Lebanon. Its motto is "There are things decent people don't do."

All praise to the peacemakers.

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');