The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Israeli reservists protest government's attack on Gaza

Aug 26, 2002

Outrage and protest against Israel's F-16 missile attack on Gaza City came not only from Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. It also came from inside Israel itself, within the "belly" of the Israeli Defense Forces.

This attack, which caused the destruction of an entire block of apartment buildings and small houses, came in the middle of the night. Missiles rained down, killing 15 civilians, including 10 children, and injuring 150 more residents.

A group of Israeli reservists, mostly young men who have refused military duty in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, took out an ad in a major Israeli newspaper to condemn the attack.

The ad symbolically addressed the F-16 pilot who dropped the bomb: "Are you familiar with the term, 'A patently illegal order?' Will you recognize such an order if you encounter one? Is the death of children and babies justified by their father's acts, with you being the executioner?"But it was effectively a condemnation of Israeli top policy makers. "Almost without noticing, the state of Israel is turning into a state that does not recoil from any means to achieve its political goals. We hide the faces of our soldiers due to fear of the International Court for War Crimes, just as criminals hide their faces due to fear of the police."

These courageous men took the risk of standing up for their convictions and against the brutal policies of the Sharon government, policies which work against the interests of the Palestinian people and the ordinary Israeli people.