By Gideon Levy
March 09, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" -
They’re the best of
our boys. One is a “musician from a good high
school,” another a “boy scout” who majored in
theater.” They’re the snipers who have shot
thousands of unarmed protesters along the Gaza
the Gaza Strip there are 8,000 permanently
disabled young men as a result of the snipers’
actions. Some are leg amputees, and the shooters are
very proud of that. None of the snipers interviewed
Hilo Glazer’s frightening story in Haaretz (March 6)
has any regrets. If they are feeling at all
apologetic it’s because they didn’t spill more
blood. One was mocked in his battalion with “here
comes the killer.”
They all act like murderers. If their actions
don’t show it – more than 200 dead as a result of
them – then their statements prove that these young
men have lost their moral compass. They are lost.
They will go on to study, to have careers and to
raise families – and will never recover from their
blindness. They disabled their victims physically,
but their own disabilities are more severe. Their
souls were completely twisted. They will never again
be moral individuals. They are a danger to society.
They lost their humanity, if they ever had it, on
the shooting berms facing the Gaza Strip. They are
the sons of our friends and the friends of our sons,
the young people from the apartment across the hall.
Look how they talk.
The soldiers’ talk we once knew – the collection
of testimonies on the Six-Day War published in
English as “The Seventh Day” – turned into the talk
of butchers. Perhaps that’s for the best – we have
spared ourselves some hypocrisy – but it’s hard not
to be shocked at the depths to which we have sunk.
They recalled the number of knees they shot. “I
brought in seven-eight knees in one day. Within a
few hours, I almost broke his record.” “He got
around 28 knees.” They shot at unarmed young men and
women who were trying in vain to struggle for their
freedom, an issue that couldn’t be more just. “The
regular scenario is supposed to be that you hit,
break a bone – in the best case, break the kneecap –
within a minute an ambulance comes to evacuate him,
and after a week he gets a disability pension.”
Not enough for you?
“The objective is to cause the inciter
minimal damage, so he will stop doing what
he’s doing. So I, at least, would try to aim
at a fattier place, in the muscle region.”
Still not enough? “If you mistakenly hit the
main artery of the thigh instead of the
ankle, then either you intended to make a
mistake or you shouldn’t be a sniper. There
are snipers, not many, who ‘choose’ to make
They knew who they were
facing. They don’t even refer to their victims as
“terrorists,” only “inciters.” One compared them to
members of a youth movement.
“Even if you don’t know their
precise ‘ranks,’ you can tell by the charisma who
the group leader is.”
They chose their victims by
their charisma, with a sniper’s precision. Their
“leadership aura” has destined young men to a life
of disability in the cage that is Gaza. But that was
not enough. They become bloodthirsty as only young
incited people can be. They wanted more blood, not
just blood, a child’s blood. Not just a child’s
blood, but in front of his family.
“‘Let me just once take down
a kid of 16, even 14, but not with a bullet in the
leg – let me blow his head open in front of his
whole family and his whole village. Let him spurt
blood. And then maybe for a month I won’t have to
take off another 20 knees.”
They wanted blood from a
boy’s head only to spare themselves the need to take
down 20 more knees. They identified their victims’
age by their shirts: Dress shirts for the older
ones, T-shirts for the youngest.
None was court-martialed.
Correction: One got seven days in military jail for
shooting a sheep. Soldiers in the world’s most moral
army don’t shoot sheep. With 200 dead and 8,000
wounded, they think “the restraints on us are
shameful.” That is their shame. They are our shame.
They, and their commanders. They and the army that
orders them to shoot at protesters as if they were
“ducks who chose to cross the line.”
People who shoot ducks aren’t
snipers. They’re hunters.
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