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A Resisting Pilot & A Poem By Hanoch Levin

[Gradually one chilling fact after the other is seeping into the international mainstream media. We decided to send you today the unusual news found in the ultra-nationalist Hebrew paper Hatzofeh - about a case of conscientious disobedience inside the Air Force - and a catching poem for the occasion of Independence Day (starting tonight) by the late playwright and poet Chanoch Levin.]

The pilot of an Israeli helicopter gunship reportedly refused an order to shoot a missile at a Palestinian home. It happened on the early hours of Tuesday, April 9 - when an Israeli army regiment, supported by tanks and helicopter gunships, captured the Palestinian town of Dura, near Hebron in the southern West Bank.

During several hours of fighting when the army overcame the resistance of local Palestinian militias, the regimental commander ordered the pilot of a helicopter gunship to shoot a missile at a Palestinian home, in which five alleged terrorists were hiding, in order to "liquidate them" (sic).

The pilot refused, telling the regimental commander there might be civilians in the house. The radio debate continued for a long time, with the helicopter hovering over the house. The commander told the pilot that the five terrorists could be exactly pin-pointed in the house and again ordered him to shoot.

The pilot again refused, and at a certain point left the vicinity of the house and cycled the town. When he got back to the point above the house, the commander told him that the terrorists had disappeared, but ordered him to shoot at the house nevertheless. The pilot again refused. After two hours, he finally shot one burst from the helicopter's cannon, but near the house rather than at it. Soldiers nearby on the ground described the shot as "perfunctory, meant to hit nothing".

The story is published today (Monday, April 15) by Haggai Huberman of the extreme-right paper Hatzofeh. Huberman's account is clearly the regiment commander's version, accusing the pilot of "helping five terrorists escape" and dismissing the possibility that there had been civilians inside the house in question; the pilot's viewpoint is not given.

The Classic Recipe for Independence / Hanoch Levin

The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then make ceremonies, sew flags,
Sign a long charter with many words.
Feel how the back becomes erect,
Even though the hunchbacks remain crooked.

The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then open offices, eat watermelons, make love,
Shed sweat, feel in your mouth a light sense of disappointment.
Suddenly discover next to you another small nation, wretched and
oppressed.
Let its buzz bother you like that of a fly.

The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then crush the nation next to you, oppress it to dust.
It wants what you wanted - don’t give it anything.
It points a pistol - reply with a canon, it threatens - you murder.
Let the living shout, let the dead rot away, let the undertaker win.

The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then shake hands, visit the tomb of the unknown soldier, open an
embassy.
Hold speeches on friendship, eternity, fraternity, commercial and cultural
ties.
Sit comfortably in an armchair, open an evening paper, read with wonder:
Somewhere on earth, somebody is sending people to die.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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