Redemption

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Edna Yaghi’s Column

Henry Wadsworth Longellow from “A Psalm of Life”

My name is Amos. I am an Israeli soldier on duty in the Palestinian territories. Some of my fellow countrymen refused the draft and to serve on the battlefront because they objected to the methods my government has used to quell the restless natives.

My fellow co-soldiers and I have a different perspective. It is not only a matter of “them or us” or in putting down the rebellion of the people whose land we occupy. It is a matter of survival. Survival meaning that Jews like me hoard water supplies rightfully belonging to the natives so our green grass will continue to grow and our swimming pools cool us during the long summer months while we make sure our captives don’t have enough water to drink. It is a matter of taking more and more land away from the Palestinians and building more and more illegal settlements on the areas our government confiscates from the indigenous inhabitants. It is not even a matter of containing the people we loathe in the ghetto-concentration camps we force them to live in. It is something more comprehensive than all of this. It is a matter of either wiping out the natives or driving t hem completely out of what is left of their country.

Though my work is dangerous and demanding, I enjoy what I do. Though I am well aware that Jews no longer comprise a race of people, it is essential that the rest of the world continues to perceive us as such. The irony is that many young Jews like me are completely agnostic, making the idea of Israel as a haven for those who follow the Hebrew religion a mockery of the pretense for the Israeli war state in the first place.

Anyway, I am a firm believer in the theory that Jews, a race of people or not, are far superior to all other people in the world. I do my best to enact my belief every day of my service to my country.

I have been well trained to do my job to the best of my ability. I enjoy being sent to different locations to perform a myriad of jobs. Sometimes I stand guard at checkpoints between Palestinian towns. I take special delight in humiliating Palestinians who attempt to cross from one occupied area to another. Sometimes I shoot at civilians in cars just for the heck of it. I am not responsible if anyone dies and of course I am never punished. Those I hit are merely target practice and a means to increase my sharp shooting abilities.

It is entertaining to bar ambulances carrying emergency patients from crossing through our checkpoints to hospitals. I have personally witnessed people die from kidney failure, from heart attacks and women and infants in childbirth.

Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and mount a tank with some other young soldiers. We roll into Palestinians towns and villages before the break of dawn and shell Palestinian families sleeping in their homes. Sometimes I help in pre-dawn raids and barge into the homes of resistance fighters to either arrest them or kill them in front of their wives and children. Sometimes I man Israeli bulldozers that in a few seconds demolish the homes and dreams of their occupants and sometimes I uproot trees that took generations to grow. I love destroying farmland. It reminds me of how the North punished the South after the American Civil War ended.

Sometimes I shoot live bullets at peaceful demonstrators but the job I enjoy the most is shooting Palestinian children who dare to throw stones at me. I try to aim for the heads and hearts of these kids and am proud that I have killed many and permanently disabled more.

I firmly believe that the life of one Israeli is worth more than the lives of 1000 Palestinians. Every time Palestinian resistance fighters try to defend themselves or fight back, my comrades and I make sure that we collectively punish the entire Palestinian population.

Our Zionist propaganda is at its best. Israelis have convinced the world that we are fighting in defense of ourselves against an armed Palestinian enemy who only wants to drive us into the sea. Things are not what they seem. Little does the world know that it is the Israelis who are doing their best to exterminate the Palestinian people. We can easily do this thanks to our American friends who support us no matter what we do and give us $5 billion a year and supply us with the latest weapons, warplanes and helicopters. We do not want peace. We want more and more Arab land until we stretch our empire to the limits. We call the Palestinians terrorists and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat as not relevant and a person who harbors terrorism.

BUT,

I am Amos, the Israeli soldier. Terror is my game and murder is my name. I do not repent because my soul is dead and I know there is no redemption for me.

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