A System Madness

The incitement against the people the IDF didn’t want so much as soldiers (who are known, in the best tradition of the IDF spin machine, as “derelicts”, deriving from the phrase “dereliction of duty”) continues at full thrust. Yesterday, Israel’s usually taciturn Chief of Staff, called upon the discharged to “lower their gaze”’ ironically, he did so in an unusually controversial ceremony.

Never before has the IDF ladled out so many medals as after last summer’s screw-up in Lebanon. A medal usually testifies to the complete and utter failure of the battle plan; Lebanon, it would seem, saw more than 100 such failures.

It is appropriate to remind the reader that we are talking about the commander of an army which did not manage to deliver supplies five kilometers beyond its borders, which has the country to war without any preparations and with exceptional arrogance, and which sacrificed 33 soldiers on the last two days of the war – after there was agreement on a cease-fire – to the Moloch of “the photographic image of victory”.

There is reason to suspect that all of the noise about the discharged “derelicts”, is intended to divert the public’s gaze away from the fact that the army has been screwing up for the last 40 years (and as an aside – that the number of screw-ups only increased since the number of yarmulke-wearing officers increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty, and since the army became the bodyguard of said yarmulke-wearers), and, that despite of all the chatter, nothing much has been changed in the last year.

It is wrong to complain about General Ashkenazi. What else can a general do, if not verbally attack those who were not “men enough”? But now our adversaries enjoy an unexpected reinforcement from Yuli Tamir: philosophy professor, education lecturer, and Israeli Minister of Education.

She, who was supposed to the bulwark of those who cannot fit in the ranks, who was supposed to remind us that there is also a civilian Israel, preferred jumping on the bandwagon, to define the discharged “derelicts” as being beyond the pale, and to informed them that they are not wanted in the celebrations commemorating 60 years of Israeli independence, to be held in the course of the coming year. Apparently she knew precisely what she was doing when she complained, upon being appointed to her current cabinet position, that expectations of her were too high.

It should be noted that mistaken diagnoses by the IDF’s psychological officers cost Israel an annual toll in the suicide of about 30 of its boys, who cannot bear the service and are sacrificed on the altar to the myth of universal service. It should be noted these are IDF numbers; the IDF does its best to classify suicides as “accidents”, particularly, “weapon discharge accidents”, so it is reasonable to assume the true number is actually higher; and that, aside from times of war (and the Intifada uprisings are not war in this sense), suicide is the chief cause of death in the IDF, which is an issue never raised when the conscripted draft is discussed.

How clear, then, was the voice of the attorney general of the Prime Minister’s office, Shlomit Barne’a-Fergo, who noted that a “derelict” is someone designated as such by a legal instance; that when someone is recognized as such, he is punished; and that therefore, forbidding him to ply his trade is a double punishment, and as such is legally forbidden. Furthermore, they would be discriminated against while other criminals – for instance, drug abusers and wife beaters – are perfectly acceptable as performers, in our poisoned atmosphere, as long as they’ve wore khaki for 36 months.

Perhaps the next defeat will cause our mob to direct its rage away from the “derelicts” and to the real culprit for defeat, the IDF. Perhaps. I wouldn’t bet on it.

And aside from that, the Darfur genocide has to be stopped.

(Written today, and published in the Hebrew blog. Translation: Yossi Gurvitz)

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2 responses to “A System Madness

  1. Excoriating. And brilliant. I know I comment from the distant vantage of being an American. As I have noted in prior comments, while not Jewish, I have Jewish roots and family that live in Israel.

    The amount of heat and pressure to be in/of/for the IDF in Israel astounds me. And the fact that things have deteriorated as they have astounds me more.

    There is blood on many hands and you have duly revealed some of it here.

    My heart goes out to those who have died- either sacrificed last summer during that nightmare war, those who died by their own hand (weapons discharge, please!) and those who live on, but in pain and in shame.

    Thank you for your always thought provoking and stirring writing on such a powerful topic.

  2. Hi,

    Thank you for your kind words. I’m trying to post here as often as possible, and I’ll certainly try to keep it to more than two posts a month.

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