Tel Aviv, Israel (TFC) – After an Israeli soldier was stopped from holding a child with a broken arm in a headlock by a group of Palestinian women, Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev suggests a new policy: murder. She is demanding the Israeli Army change its live fire policy so soldiers don’t have to experience the “humiliation” of being slapped and beat by women. She said:
“We need to decide immediately that a soldier that is attacked is permitted to return fire. Period. I call on the minister of security to put an end to the humiliation and change the open fire regulations immediately!”
The use of the term “return fire” is interesting because the soldiers weren’t fired upon. There are two versions of events surrounding the attack she is referencing. In one version of events, a 12-year-old boy threw at least two rocks at Israeli soldiers. In the other, the Israeli soldiers were inside of an armored vehicle at the time. Either way, the Israeli minister is advocating killing a 12-year-old boy for throwing rocks.
TFC’s Justin King wrote a response that is being mailed to Miri Regev. The letter is being published here in it’s entirety.
Minister Miri Regev,
Your recent remarks about the incident at Nabi Saleh are troubling for a number of reasons. As I’m sure you know, the Israeli soldiers were not fired upon, so your call to allow them to “return fire” is disingenuous. Let’s be blunt, it’s a lie. It’s the same type of propaganda you spewed when you worked as an IDF spokesperson. However, what worries me most is your categorization of the Israeli soldier’s “humiliation.” Perhaps we were watching different videos, or perhaps you were too engrossed in finding a way to capitalize on the incident for political purposes to understand what happened. So allow me to explain what the world saw.
An Israeli soldier, like so many others, was “just following orders” as he chased a 12-year-old boy across a field for throwing rocks. He captured the boy and held him. While waiting for the rest of his team, he was slapped, kicked, and bit by Palestinians who were attempting to free the boy. At this point, under current practice, he could have opened fire with live ammunition. Isn’t that what your forces did in the exact same scenario in Qalandia refugee camp in 2013? The soldiers in Nabi Saleh were faced with two options: they could open fire on a crowd of unarmed women and children, or they could let the boy go. The soldiers elected to let the boy go and withdraw. You call that act a “humiliation.” I call it honor.
The actions of the soldiers on that day are not a source of humiliation. They chose the righteous path. They properly weighed the benefits of arresting a 12-year-old boy for throwing a rock and the costs of opening fire on a crowd of unarmed women and children. Somehow you have the nerve to call not engaging in a war crime a “humiliation.” The soldiers are certainly facing humiliation, but it isn’t because of their actions that day. When the time came to make the choice, they acted with honor, which is something we don’t see much of from your side anymore. Their humiliation is caused by you.
A member of their government and former IDF Colonel is openly calling to kill children and unarmed people. That is humiliating. No person of honor wants to serve for a military or a government that wants to kill unarmed kids. Slowly but surely, the world and your own troops are waking up the fact that when the battle cry of “Never again!” was chanted after the Holocaust, it didn’t mean that Jews should engage in the same behavior. It meant that no genocide was acceptable. You, ma’am, are no different than those that advocated the killing of Jews after the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. You have taken an ethnic minority, walled them up, controlled every aspect of their life, and when they resist, you advocate wholesale slaughter. You once publicly referred to immigrants to Israel as a cancer. We can assume you view the Palestinians with the same eyes.
If you want to engage in ethnic cleansing, go pick up a rifle and shoot a child. Don’t insult troops that made a morally correct decision. You say they were humiliated because they didn’t kill as many as they could. Lead by example. Go get the blood on your hands. Show the world how noble and honorable it is to avoid “humiliation” by gunning down a group of unarmed women and children. That’s what you’re saying should have happened. So be bold. Show the world the true nature of Israel’s government today. Don’t just sit at your desk and order it done. Shoot unarmed children yourself. If that doesn’t work fast enough or is too much work, I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with a final solution to the issue.
I repeat, you are no different than Joseph Goebbels. You’re a propagandist and a genocidal lunatic. At the end of the last regime that behaved in this manner, the leaders were arrested and tried in a city called Nuremberg. They were hung. If there is any justice in the world, you will eventually be tried and executed for your participation in the apartheid and genocide that you so willingly advocate.
If I misread you and this was just some stunt to help cement your position with right-wing voters in Israel, allow me to suggest that you remember that your statements reach a global audience. If you want to know why people have ceased supporting Israel, it’s because of officials like you. The people behind the walls and checkpoints that separate Israel from its occupied lands are not pawns to be used to boost your polling numbers. Those in the refugee camps are not props to be used for political purposes anymore than the people of Auschwitz were.
This war has been going on for more than sixty years. It’s intractable and seems as though it will never end. In large part, it’s because of you and your ilk. You’re so concerned with maintaining power that you forget that people die because of your words and decisions.
To sum up this entire letter: Unless you plan on being part of the solution, pretty please with a cherry on top, sit down and shut the hell up.
Love and kisses,