Although they are not primarily profit-seeking mercenaries (already banned under international law), the term “foreign fighter” carries an implication of illegitimacy because they are dangerous fanatics. And this phenomenon is far wider than just Islamists. Are IDF foreign soldiers comparable to al-Qaeda and ISIS jihadists? The answer is YES:
Israel may call their foreign fighters "lone soldiers" to romanticize their crimes, but in fact, they are what they are, young Jewish jihadistes who leave their parents, families, countries and comfortable lives behind in places like Sydney, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere to join the IDF - Israeli Occupation Forces, becoming Palestinians jailers, abusers and killers in the name of a foreign country.
In 2014, during the brutal Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that some 800 to 1,000 foreigners join the Israeli military every yea according to the IDF spokesman’s unit. There are currently 6.300 foreign lone soldiers serving in the IDF.
For Jews who left Israel before the age of 15 or who never lived there, their service is voluntary. For many, it is a response to a well organized "calling". Most of them don't even have dual citizenship and peak little to no Hebrew and have only recently been to Israel.
A lone soldier’s monthly salary is twice of what a regular soldier in their unit would receive and a they are a kind of star in Israel. For Israeli kids, army service is a rite of passage to become an occupationist zionist. But because it is a choice for young foreign Jews who re-direct their own moral life paths to defend unlawful Israel's zionist Project of erasing Palestine from the map, "those enlistees are given a hero's welcome — and a lifetime of Shabbat dinner invitations from their fellow soldiers, who become their surrogate families", explain one of their sites.
These Israeli jihadistes are nothing like ISIS'. They don't run away from poor homes to become killers, they come from structured privileged families that support and encourage their child's enterprise to lose his soul in a dirty fight of ethnical cleansing.
And it all began with the recruitment drive launched in 1945 by David Ben Gurion, later Israel’s first prime minister, to obtain the assistance of zionist Jews to rapidly build militias to submit the native Palestinians. In order to assure yishuv (zionist immigrants) supremacy, Ben Gurion turned to North American donors to equip and field experienced World War II combat vétérans. And of course, the hasbara (propaganda) worked perfectly because their pitch was not the opportunity for a Jewish state, but "to avoid the inevitable resumption of the Holocaust" without foreign help; as if they were victims and not brutal invaders. At the time, over 5,000 volunteers came from over 40 countries and they, particularly the pilots, were subsequently credited by Israeli leaders from Benjamin Netanyahu to Yitzhak Rabin as having played a decisive role in the outcome of the occupation.
Over the next 50 years, foreign Jews, including Chicago Mayor and former Barack Obama's White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel were both IDF jihadists. In the late 1990s, the Mahal2000 program encouraged Jewish youth from abroad to serve in combat units for stints of 14 months. The IDF today incorporates this successor program as one option for service by non-citizens. Thousands of Western Jews have now volunteered, sought by the IDF to fill manpower gaps left by the Shministim, good Israeli born conscicence objectors who refuse to serve in the IDF.
This new generation of young Israeli kids is standing up to the government. The Shministim are all about ages 17, 18, 19 and in the 12th grade - are taking a stand. They believe in a better, more peaceful future for themselves and for Israelis and Palestinians, and they are refusing to join the Israeli army. They’re in jail, holding strong against immense pressure from family, friends and the Israeli government.
The most famous of all is Omer Goldmen, the daughter of a former chief of the Mossad - Israeli secret services. In her own words in 2009: “ We refuse to do military service for the Israeli army. I grew up with the army. My father was deputy head of Mossad and I saw my sister, who is eight years older than me, do her military service. As a young girl, I wanted to be a soldier. The military was such a part of my life that I never even questioned it. Earlier this year, I went to a peace demonstration in Palestine. I had always been told that the Israeli army was there to defend me, but during that demonstration Israeli soldiers opened fire on me and my friends with rubber bullets and tear-gas grenades. I was shocked and scared. I saw the truth. I saw the reality. I saw for the first time that the most dangerous thing in Palestine is the Israeli soldiers, the very people who are supposed to be on my side. When I came back to Israel, I knew I had changed. And so, I have joined with a number of other young people who are refusing to serve - they call us the Shministim. On December 18th, we are holding a Day of Action in Israel, and we are determined to show Israelis and the world that there is wide support for stopping a culture of war. Will you join us? Please, just sign a letter. That’s all it takes.” There you go. And she is not the only one. If you are a Jew, instead of becoming a killer, join Jewish Voice for Peace. Here’s the link.
If you are in London this Fall, go to the Young Vic Theater to see:
A Palestinian father has just released a video of his home invaded by Israeli soldiers in the midlle of the night, which happens everyday all over the West Bank.
Um pai de familia palestino acabou de divulgar um video de soldados israelenses invadindo sua casa no meio da noite, abuso quotidiano que a IDF comete em toda a Cisjordania diariamente.
Amira Hass | Aug. 23, 2017
Let’s start from the end: Even if the Palestinians had a single, united, respected leadership that had a reputation for integrity, and even if its members excelled intellectually, were committed to their people and strategically capable, it would have been difficult for it to challenge the dispossessive/acquisitive enterprise that Israel keeps strengthening and enhancing. Difficult, but possible.
There is no single leadership, however, but several, and they are squabbling with each other even when they are from the same party (Fatah), organization (PLO) or institutional umbrella (two governments). It’s not because of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but because of a system and modus operandi, of which he is one of the creators and products at the same time.
The Palestinian public’s attitude toward the leadership is characterized by suspicion, disdain and contempt, along with fear. The milder accusations directed at the leadership in Ramallah speak of a lack of organization, inefficiency and laziness. The more serious accusations are of corruption and clinging to power for personal and sectarian motives. Similar accusations are somewhat less bluntly leveled at the Gazan government and at NGOs.
For many it’s clear that the Oslo framework, which expired in 1999, was a trap. The countries donating to the Palestinians continue to uphold it for fear of an even greater humanitarian disaster and loss of control, and because they are boundlessly loyal to Israel. The donations have decreased but remain a trap. They require obedience and maintenance of “calm,” or permit only low-intensity rage. But the Palestinians are captives who are convinced they could not manage without their donating captors.
The head spins and the heart aches, because facing them is a sophisticated, wicked, effective enemy who has no borders.
Visually, the image of an octopus might be appropriate, but there are two problems with using it to depict the Israeli regime. One is that it recalls anti-Semitic caricatures, but that’s the problem of a regime that imitates caricatures. The second is that Israel sends out far more than eight tentacles as it cooks up a mix of several traditions of domination – military occupation, colonialism (the removal of a people from its homeland to settle others there instead) and apartheid (since the expulsion wasn’t totally successful, there followed separation based on inequality). It should be clear that this refers to the situation on both sides of the Green Line. Israel was given a chance to change in 1993. It chose to miss it.
A better image would be that of a computer that spews out commands in every direction. Once programmed, it doesn’t stop. It sends official armed gangs to burst into people’s houses as they sleep and to confiscate money and property; destruction squads to crush kindergartens, homes and wells; and unofficial armed gangs to boot out shepherds and farmers. It also employs land thieves – the clerks, planners, architects and building contractors – who make sure that the Palestinians suffocate in their built-up areas. The space is all for Jews, says the supreme command. The computer also issues intellectual commands: Ignore everything by indulging in the depths of Jewish heritage. Nullify everything as unimportant through pride in our nation, which produces Nobel laureates. Declaim our suffering and heroism in Auschwitz.
Against the efficient and complex Israeli apparatuses stand the Palestinians with a host of competing leaders, conflicting strategies, uncoordinated government ministries, information that isn’t public knowledge and is not accurate, the tiresome duplication of institutions whose work overlaps, the empty slogans and despair. One expression of this despair is the declaration that Israel is the strong one, therefore change can and must come only from Israel. But no; Israelis have no interest in changing the situation. We benefit from it. The initial change can and must come from the Palestinians themselves, in their own home.
BRASIL - DIRETAS, JÁ!