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A Message to the brave Israeli Airmen

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A Message to the brave Israeli Airmen
by Jeremy Salt

Hello brave Israeli airman. What?s it like, firing missiles at people you can?t see? Does that help, that you cannot see who you are killing, does it ease your conscience that you are not deliberately targeting civilians, as your government keeps saying, when you know perfectly well that they are going to die as the result of your actions.
How does this sit on your conscience? Do you sleep well at night or do you have nightmares of the women and children you killed, in their homes, in their beds, in their kitchens and living rooms, in their schools and mosques?
Do you actually believe what you are being told, that Israel is under threat from homemade rockets, so seriously threatened that you have to go out and take part in the aerial massacre of civilians?
What do you feel when the mission is over?
That you did a good job?
Do you and your air force buddies slap each other on the back before going off for a beer?
Would you still think that you did a good job if you saw the dead and dismembered bodies you have created, not of fighting men but of women and children, the bodies that are your particular contribution to the Middle East ?peace process??
Would you still regard your mission as a success, the word used by your political leaders, your media and your government and military spokesmen and women?
How would you personally apply the word ?success? to the killing of civilians?
Does it cross your mind that people around the world regard you not as a success story but as a war criminal who should be prosecuted if your identity is ever revealed and you step out of your own country and expose yourself to arrest?
The number of your countrymen in this category is increasing by the day.
You can exchange notes with Dan Halutz, your former air force commander, who said when asked what he felt when he bombed an apartment building in Gaza that he felt the wings of his plane tremble as the bomb was released.
Did you think that was funny at the time? Do you still think it is funny? Do you think it was a pity about the 18 people who were killed. Now the political leaders who gave you your orders have taken their place in the overcrowded pantheon of Israeli war criminals.
They told you that you were only defending your country. Actually, it?s someone else?s country. Do you know that or you have swallowed the propaganda about the Palestinians running away and your state surrounded by a ring of steel and facing extinction?
Are you a liberal who believes in two ??

. . . but you are never going to admit that even if inside you know deep down that it is true. You can?t admit the truth because the game would be up for you and other brave young men and women like, sent out to kill in the name of protecting the homeland from attack.
Well, sixty years ago, the homeland was attacked by your father and your grandfather and the fathers and grandfathers of your friends. So, what you are actually doing is defending your right to hold stolen property, and that?s nonsense isn?t it.
If someone steals your property, does that mean you only have to wait ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years for it to become yours? It will still be theirs in a hundred years, won?t it.

What do your parents say when you get home? Does your mother bustle around you, spoiling you, ruffling your hair, making you a cup of tea, relieved that her darling boy is home safe and sound. She won?t have any idea, will she, of what you actually did today, and you aren?t going to be the one to tell her.
In fact you don?t even know and you don?t want to know because you could not live with yourself if you faced up to the detail of what you did today.
You just fired your missile at a target didn?t you. No doubt she will say well done. Yes, it was well done, wasn?t it. You killed civilians very efficiently and effectively.
No possibility of them ever getting to their feet again. No chance of those children growing up or of their dead mothers giving birth to more children. No likelihood that those limbs you severed can be reattached, no way of rejoining the head to the body you decapitated.

In all likelihood you are a nice young from a good family, proud that you go into the air force academy. The kind of nice young man who would not hesitate to rush to the defence of a old man or a child being beaten in the streets.
But isn?t that what you are doing?
What possibility do the old men and women and children have of defending themselves against your aerial mugging ? not that the actions of a back alley bully applies to you. Oh no.
What you are doing is much worse. Infinitely worse. You are not just killing innocent people. You are murdering them. Is this is what you were trained to do in the air force academy? Good heavens, no! What an insult to the air force!!
You were trained to attack and destroy the enemy, weren?t you. To protect the stolen homeland, and if civilians get in the way, as they do when the target area is the most overcrowded piece of earth on the planet, it?s not your fault.
It is the fault of the enemy. After all, they started this and so they are responsible for you having to kill civilians in defence of your stolen country.
And you were not deliberately targeting them anyway, were you. Is it is your fault if the enemy uses schools, mosques, apartment blocks, university campuses, government ministries and the parliament building to stockpile weapons?
So you are not the murderer
? it is the enemy.
Is that the way you justify your behavior? Is that what enables to sleep peacefully at night? But what will you say if all of this catches up with you, not in the middle of the night when you are staring up at the ceiling and wondering what you have done, but in the court of law where you are being tried for war crimes?
?I was only obeying orders?.
Surely even you have heard that somewhere before.
____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________
Jeremy Salt teaches in the Department of Political Science, Bilkent
University, Ankara, and is the author of the recently published The Unmaking
of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 2008).
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calm down.... yes what he did was bad but its not like he was the one who would take a plane and go do it himself without being ordered to do so. maybe he had an objection to it, but when you are in the military you are not allowed to disobey orders. does he want to kill innocent women and children? i would bet my life savings that he doesn't. so please calm down. what im more worried about is the terrorists that kill innocent women and children everyday and think that it's alright because they were told allah said it was good to do. everyday dozens upon dozens of innocent people get killed by a psycho wearing a bomb belt that thinks he will go to heaven. to be honest with you, that is what i am more worried about right now.
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Israel,u are never win.
Quran have told about ur lost !!!!!