I never thought I would ever express anything but praise and respect for anyone serving in the IDF, whether now or as a veteran of past wars. But this week I am utterly sickened by the letter written by 43 reservists of an elite intelligence unit to PM Netanyahu and the Chief of Staff.
“We, veterans of Unit 8200, reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories,” the letter begins.
It goes on to say: “ … our military service has taught us that intelligence is an integral part of Israel’s military occupation over the territories”
Noting that intelligence surveillance of Israeli citizens was strictly limited, they lament that “the Palestinians are not afforded this protection.”
They claim that the information gathered in the military’s computers “harms innocent people. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself.”
Referring to ‘millions of Palestinians that have been living under Israeli military rule for more than 47 years’ they have the gall to refer to Israel as “this regime” which they accuse of denying basic rights and expropriating land for settlement activity which they claim has nothing to do with national security.
They accuse this “regime” of economic exploitation and collective punishment in the “West Bank”, Gaza and by means of the “separation barrier”.
Where have these reservists been training lately?
With the people of Haaretz? Maybe Peace-Now, or B’tslem?
What jobs are they doing in civilian life? Are they perhaps on contracts funded by George Soros and his Open Society Foundations?
This letter could easily have been drafted by any one of the dozens of anti-Israel NGOs who are funded by foreigners seeking to undermine and undo the Jewish state. The key phrases are as good as any handwriting analysis:Occupied Territories, Military Occupation, West Bank and Separation Barrierinstead of the security fence which it really is.
This is the language of our enemies.
Such NGOs are dangerous parasites which live off the host body of Israel with tax-exempt status and total freedom to undermine the Jewish state from within. In recent years they’ve targeted such reservists as the best means of infecting the most vital organ of our national security.
This egregious letter is proof that lawmakers need to get tough on these seditious groups. Last year, bills were proposed to outlaw the worst offenders and to tax the foreign incomes of others. Unfortunately these reforms were blocked by leftists on the legislation approvals committee.
This letter is a serious wake-up call and should spur those bill sponsors, like Miri Regev, to try again with all pressure and urgency before this virus of self-loathing takes serious hold in the army ranks.
Perhaps the most shocking part of the letter is the reference to surveillance. Equating the surveillance of ‘Palestinians’ to monitoring of ordinary Israelis is the height of absurdity. Can this stuff really have been believed by people working in “intelligence”? Surely not. Instead it smacks of the same treachery of Edward Snowden who tried to justify the leaking of America’s vital surveillance secrets with the same bizarre relativism.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has rightly lambasted the 43 signatories of this disgraceful letter and the IDF chiefs are considering punishment options.
In my view these guys should be brought before a military tribunal to investigate who they’ve been associating with and who incited them to write this poisonous letter. They should be dishonorably discharged from the army with cancellation of all pension rights. Their retirement needs will surely be taken care of by the grateful NGOs who might even name streets after them.
The good news is that, so far, more than 200 veterans of the intelligence unit have publicly disowned these guys and their views.