21 March 2009

1 Shot, 2 Kills; The Moral Degeneration of the Gangster State

The world has been shown the moral degeneration of Israel's storm troopers. Hitler would be proud of them and just imagine the propaganda that would have been generated in the world's press if it had been Palestinians or indeed any Muslims with similar T-shirts about Israeli women and unborn babies. One could be forgiven for thinking that it might just be a few 'rotten apples', but no, this streak runs through the majority of Israeli society, showing just what a sick society it has become. On 14 January 2009 The Jerusalem Post reported a "whopping 94% of the public support or strongly support the operation while 92% think it benefits Israel's security, according to the Tel Aviv University survey".

End of story.

This from Sky News:

The revelations centre on t-shirt designs made for soldiers that make light of shooting pregnant Palestinian mothers and children and include images of dead babies and destroyed mosques.

The t-shirts were printed for Israeli soldiers at the end of periods of deployment or training courses and were discovered by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

One, printed for a platoon of Israeli snipers depicts an armed Palestinian pregnant women caught in the crosshairs of a rifle, with the disturbing caption in English: "1 shot 2 kills".

Another depicts a child carrying a gun also in the centre of a target.

"The smaller, the harder," read the words on the t-shirt.

According to a soldier interviewed by the newspaper, the message has a double meaning: "It's a kid, so you've got a little more of a problem, morally and also the target is smaller."

Another shows an Israeli soldier blowing up a mosque and reads "Only God forgives".

Above a ninja figure, yet another shirt bears the slogan "Won't chill until I confirm a kill".

The revelations, coming so soon after Israel's offensive in Gaza in which hundreds of civilians were killed - many of them women and children - are causing outrage.

Perhaps the most shocking design shows a Palestinian mother weeping next to her dead baby's grave, also in the crosshairs of a rifle.

It suggests it would have been better if the child had never been born, with the slogan "Better use Durex".

The controversy follows more revelations by other soldiers about abuses and the shooting of civilians during Israel's offensive during the Gaza offensive.

Ex-soldier and campaigner with Breaking The Silence, Michael Maniken, told Sky News Online this week's revelations suggest a pattern of immoral conduct in the army.

"The army keeps on saying we're talking about a few rotten apples but it seems the army doesn't understand there's a norm in this kind of action," he explained.

"We're hearing about this time and time again and the army seems disconnected from reality."

A spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) told Sky News Online, the t-shirts were printed on the private initiative of the soldiers and their designs "are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless. This type of humour is unacceptable and should be condemned".

The different models of the T-shirt can be seen here.


Update 22/3/09:

The Israeli military has, as was to be expected, condemned this as "unacceptable" and said the T-shirts "are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless. This type of humour is unacceptable. Commanders are instructed to use disciplinary tools against those who produce T-shirts of this type."

So they consider this to be only a matter of bad taste(!) and "not in accordance with IDF values" yet we read today that it was the high command that gave the orders to kill anyone in certain zones, including women or children.

This testimony from Haaretz' story 'Shooting and crying' :

"Toward the end of the operation there was a plan to go into a very densely populated area inside Gaza City itself. In the briefings they started to talk to us about orders for opening fire inside the city, because as you know they used a huge amount of firepower and killed a huge number of people along the way, so that we wouldn't get hurt and they wouldn't fire on us.

"At first the specified action was to go into a house. We were supposed to go in with an armored personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally, Cruel] to burst through the lower door, to start shooting inside and then ... I call this murder ... in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified - we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself: Where is the logic in this?

"From above they said it was permissible, because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City was in effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn't fled. I didn't really understand: On the one hand they don't really have anywhere to flee to, but on the other hand they're telling us they hadn't fled so it's their fault ...
One of our officers, a company commander, saw someone coming on some road, a woman, an old woman. She was walking along pretty far away, but close enough so you could take out someone you saw there. If she were suspicious, not suspicious - I don't know. In the end, he sent people up to the roof, to take her out with their weapons."
"Gilad: "Even before we went in, the battalion commander made it clear to everyone that a very important lesson from the Second Lebanon War was the way the IDF goes in - with a lot of fire. The intention was to protect soldiers' lives by means of firepower. In the operation the IDF's losses really were light and the price was that a lot of Palestinians got killed."

IDF soldiers ordered to shoot at Gaza rescuers, note says

Testimonies on IDF misconduct in Gaza keep rolling in

IDF ceased long ago being 'most moral army in the world'

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