Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 22, 2009


Dead babies, mothers weeping on their children's graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques - these are a few examples of the images Israel Defense Forces soldiers design these days to print on shirts they order to mark the end of training, or of field duty.
Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009


"Rules of Engagement: Open fire also upon rescue," was handwritten in Hebrew on a sheet of paper found in one of the Palestinian homes the Israel Defense Forces took over during Operation Cast Lead.
The other side of the "Situational Assessment" sheet shows that it was written on a letter sent to the troops by a child. "To the Golani soldiers, good luck in the war," the letter reads in the hand of a young child. In the middle of the page there is a drawing of an armed soldier. "Love, the S. family."
IDF soldiers ordered to shoot at Gaza rescuers, note says


"At first the specified action was to go into a house. We were supposed to go in with an armored personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally, Cruel] to burst through the lower door, to start shooting inside and then ... I call this murder ... in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified - we were supposed to shoot."
'Shooting and crying'


On Saturday, Channel 10 showed a documentary that included a security briefing by a company commander on the eve of the Gaza invasion.

"We're going to war," he told his soldiers. "We're not doing routine security work or anything like that. I want aggressiveness - if there's someone suspicious on the upper floor of a house, we'll shell it. If we have suspicions about a house, we'll take it down."
Testimonies on IDF misconduct in Gaza keep rolling in


We came to annihilate you; Death to the Arabs; Kahane was right; No tolerance, we came to liquidate. This is a selection of graffiti Israeli soldiers left on the walls of Palestinians' homes in Gaza, which they turned into bivouacs and firing positions during Operation Cast Lead.
The writing on the wall


Another squad leader from the same brigade told of an incident where the company commander ordered that an elderly Palestinian woman be shot and killed; she was walking on a road about 100 meters from a house the company had commandeered.
IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement


The rabbinate brought in a lot of booklets and articles, and ... their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land. This was the main message, and the whole sense many soldiers had in this operation was of a religious war.
'Shooting and crying'


[T]he defense minister was quick to respond that "the IDF is the most moral army in the world," and the military advocate general said the IDF would investigate.

All these propagandistic and ridiculous responses are meant not only to deceive the public, but also to offer shameless lies. The IDF knew very well what its soldiers did in Gaza. It has long ceased to be the most moral army in the world.
IDF ceased long ago being 'most moral army in the world'

Posted by b on March 22, 2009 at 8:53 UTC | Permalink


Truly horrific. Sickening. Depraved. During my 30 years of closely observing the Islamic Republic I never once heard of a single incident in which civilians were purposely targeted by the Revolutionary Guards or the Baseej. They always fought like men. The Israelis are barbarians and cowards supplied by the "shining light on the hill" U.S.A.. The true Axis of Evil is not Iran and Syria but the United States and Israel.

When I see and read such articles (which are now a daily occurrence) I can sometimes understand the views of Debs and others that the Iranian people should continue suffering eternally under our religio-Fascist police state just in order to prevent the Israelis from annexing the whole of Palestine.

It´s a horrific choice for us Iranians: a) independence and poverty, or b) dependence and prosperity.

What are the American people prepared to sacrifice?

Posted by: Parviz | Mar 22 2009 9:13 utc | 1

One of the remarkable aspects of Dante's descent through hell is that as he witnesses worse and worse evil his language coarsens. It seems that this effect is present among the Israelis, as they have been present at greater and greater degradations, their own souls have been degraded.

Posted by: jlcg | Mar 22 2009 9:16 utc | 2

Has the world has become so bloodthirsty as to be able to dismiss these horrors so easily? How come the western media, the western politicians aren't screaming bloody murder? Yeah, I know the answer, but still one must ask.

I read the linked articles, and I can't believe that such atrocities are documented (in the Israeli press) and there isn't a cry to try the entire IDF with war crimes in a world court.

It's heartbreaking to see each new generation born in Israel full of a bloodlust and desire for killing. It must change a human into something else to snipe women and children at 200 meters like they were coyotes stalking sheep... What does a person dream of at night after such an event? I don't think I want to know. Worse yet would be to find their sleep doesn't suffer any dark shadows of memory.

I suppose I shouldn't judge until I've walked a mile in that sniper's shoes; people can be trained to overcome their revulsion at committing about any hideous act imaginable... Yes, it's amazing how adaptable the human animal is. Unfortunately we adapt quicker to killing others than we do to respecting others.

b-remember how dangerous the truth is... You're a brave man!

Posted by: d.13 | Mar 22 2009 9:37 utc | 3

Parviz-glad to see a post from you.

I hate to break it to ya' but in the new world order, "No choice is the New Choice."

What are the American people prepared to sacrifice?

As much personal freedom as possible; our entire economy; the ideals (if not the practice) of how America was founded; our integrity.

I guess I misread your question, I thought you were asking what we have sacrificed not would sacrifice.

What would Americans give-up for peace in the Middle East? I suppose politicians, we'd have to be willing to get rid of the current mess of politicians infecting washington before we'll ever know peace and to do that we'd have to give up television and Americans will give up their guns before they give up their TVs.


Posted by: d.13 | Mar 22 2009 9:53 utc | 4

Hey, Parviz --

I don't share your pessimism for Iran's choices.

I would say: they should suffer, for now, the indignities of their most dedicated ideologues. Use these men to repel the barbarians, and keep their independence. That they should remain stalwart, and though the good people of the land may see their position as one of sacrifice at the hands of unjust leaders, yet as Iran's might grows, so also will these memories give good direction as the power is channeled.

Because the occupiers and aggressors will not long remain in power. They are teetering at the edge of collapse, stumbling forward with drunken gait and bloated belly. They are laughing and bragging, but with no thought for the lean young wolves who are already drawing their knives.

Iran will remain, and it will be prosperous; but better for that prosperity to arrive for all Iranis than to be negotiated at the point of a gun, over the gaping maw of renditions and prisons.

What are the American people prepared to sacrifice?

Their leaders are prepared to sacrifice nothing; but i have faith that, soon, they will sacrifice nearly all.

That will be the time when i'll be truly frightened. Short-order nukes by Jimbob Jones, end-days advisor to Queen Palin --

Ugh. I don't wanna think about it.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Mar 22 2009 11:18 utc | 5

Thank you for that succinct summary.

Israel's behavior today is making me re-consider the fabled suffering of the Jewish people. Pogroms? The Weimar Republic and the Holocaust? The Inquisition? 1848? The Russian Revolution?

I don't understand any of these well enough to comment one way or the other, and I'm astute enough to discern between ideological or racist bullshit and realio, trulio historical analysis. What worries me, however, is that most people don't share that skill -- and the U.S. has a history of violence against its own inhabitants (Amerindians/Latinos, slaves, organized labor...).

Neo-nazis have built up a formidable online presence; their beliefs are disgusting, but if theirs is the only alternative to a mythologized Jewish victimhood, then i worry what the future may hold.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Mar 22 2009 11:58 utc | 6

Israel police ban Arab culture day in Jerusalem

At one event, teenage girls at an east Jerusalem Catholic school released a few dozen balloons in the red, white, green and black colors of the Palestinian flag over the walled Old City. Israeli military police and soldiers quickly moved into the schoolyard and popped the remaining balloons, students said.

Zein, an 18-year-old student, said the police popped them with their hands and told them they weren't allowed to release them into the air. She asked not to use her last name, fearing further problems with the police.

An Israeli intelligence official at the school who refused to give his name said the balloons were burst "because they are Palestinian."

Posted by: b | Mar 22 2009 12:27 utc | 7

What else is new?

Posted by: beq | Mar 22 2009 13:07 utc | 8

d.13, I guess what I meant to convey was the hopelesness of it all, which you seem to confirm.

China_hand2, I like your scenario but it´s too cute. The Mullahs won´t relinquish power as easily as the Soviet Nomenclatura did, because the soviets imploded economically while Iran is so rich that even an idiot can run the country and guarantee the people the minimum subsistence level needed to prevent a rebellion or even a general strike. Our wealth is our curse: Without it the Brits/Americans would have left us alone for the past 150 years, and without it Iranians would have chosen competent leaders and technocrats capable of improving living standards and prosperity. Without our unimaginable wealth the regime wouldn´t have been able to silence the opposition and buy off the military/security apparatus through bribes.

Posted by: Parviz | Mar 22 2009 16:10 utc | 9

thanks b

Posted by: annie | Mar 22 2009 17:04 utc | 10

what can it be possible to say

other than the idf are the depraved inheritors of the tradition commenced by the einnsatzgruppen & the police battalions & the milice in the mast weeks of german occupation of france

their most recent comrades are those in the death squads that made of latin america an abbatoir or the killing squads of apartheid south africa that prolonged the sufferin of the people

& it is true the more debased these people become so too their language is debased & so too their apologists

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 22 2009 17:30 utc | 11

Israel and the US do not have ‘racism’ laws that would pronto send designer, promoter, seller, and wearer of T shirt to jail for a short spell. (..Or a hefty fine.)

The have ‘free speech’...true nobility!

Being imprisoned is reserved for the anti - semites.

Posted by: Tangerine | Mar 22 2009 18:20 utc | 12

Zionists are psychically sick their women will never look like this: Vandi ... and they're never gonna get anything more than warm
motza ball soup in bed.

Posted by: | Mar 22 2009 18:46 utc | 13

Thanks b. One sad thing is that they can print these articles in Israel. Here in the US it would be unthinkable. There would be a huge outcry over the "antisemitism" and the senate would quickly pass a resolution condemning the paper.

Posted by: Sgt Dan | Mar 22 2009 20:04 utc | 14


I'm sure that, should the threats to Iran's sovereignty ever dry up, the Mullahs will find it very hard to maintain power during a peaceful prosperity. They'll need to find some way to justify keeping the thugs around, and once that process begins their continued domination will be that much harder to justify.

Peace and wealth are the best means to weakening ideological reactionaries, no?

Posted by: china_hand2 | Mar 23 2009 0:09 utc | 15

Rights group: IDF violated medical ethics in Gaza op

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR) described alleged incidents that "reveal that not only did the [military] not evacuate besieged and wounded families, it also prevented Palestinian [medical] teams from reaching the wounded."
PHR quoted figures issued by the World Health Organization, which showed 16 Palestinian medical personnel were killed by Israeli fire during the offensive and that 25 were wounded while performing their duties.

It said Israel attacked 34 medical care facilities, including eight hospitals.

PHR described incidents in which it alleged that the IDF "did not allow the evacuation of injured civilians who were besieged for days at a time and left the civilians without food or water for considerable periods."

In its conclusion, PHR said "on the basis of earlier reports published by PHR-Israel, a dangerous and retrograde trend can be identified of an increasing disregard for the obligation to protect medical personnel during operations".

Posted by: b | Mar 23 2009 7:26 utc | 16

china_hand2, you´re half correct, peace would force the Mullahs to accept responsibility for their actions instead of blaming everything on the U.S. and Israel. However, as long as there´s enough money (which Iran has in abundance) to pay off the thugs, political change will be difficult. You have no idea how ruthless the regime is. Remember Thianamen Square? Well, that´s basically the Iranian regime minus the positive economic management. This means we have the worst of both worlds.

We Iranians have the Chinese political model minus the Chinese economic model, which is why 200,000 of our top students (many of them geniuses who gain scholarships to MIT and already have hundreds of patents to their names) leave the country every year rather than tolerate the stifling religious indoctrination and suppression of their basic freedoms.

I believe regime change will occur only when the nation goes bankrupt, which is a miserable prospect either way.

Posted by: Parviz | Mar 23 2009 8:04 utc | 17

As if the homicidal and vicious culture within the IOF wouldn’t be shocking enough, Israel’s Jewish civilian population isn’t">">isn’t far behind.

1000% rise in Jew attacks on Palestinians

A research by an Arab human rights group shows a ten-fold increase in Jewish attacks on the Arab population in Israel over the last year.

On Saturday, the Mossawa Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens reported the 1000 percent rise in 2008 crime rates compared with 2007, citing the recent Israeli war on Gaza and the Israeli elections in February as a reason, said Israeli website Ynetnews.

The report said that the Israeli-occupied western Jerusalem (Al-Quds) in the West Bank witnessed the highest rate of racist crimes with 32 counts of anti-Arab violence. Akka [Akko] in northern Israel came second with 22 instances of such crimes. […]

And all the while, settlements increased">">increased by 173% in 20 years:

A field study conducted by the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ) reported that the Israeli state had significantly increased the illegal construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank with a percentage that reached 173%.

ARIJ reported that the number of settlers currently living in the occupied West Bank is more than 500.000 compared to 240.000 in 1990. This number is a 109% increase in the number of settlers living there.

There are 2.5 Million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank which represents 8537 persons living in each kilometer.

ARIJ reported that after the Oslo accord of 1994, the West Bank was divided into three sections; A (17.8%) from the West Bank and is under Palestinian security and administrative control, Area B, 18.2% of the West Bank, under administrative Palestinian control and under Israeli security control, Area C, 61% of the West Bank, under full Israeli security and administrative control, in addition to additional 3% that are supposed to be under Palestinian control.

The Oslo agreement states that Israel should declare area B as Area A, and was supposed to declare area C as part of area A by 1999, except for the settlements and Jerusalem.

But once again, the occupation refused to implement the agreement and started changing facts on the ground in order to build and expand Israeli settlements, in addition to refusing to give up areas that contain natural resources.

Israel then started to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank to impose its own version of what the Palestinian can and can’t have. […]

Adding 1 and 1 together you get ethnic cleansing, carried out on all levels, all methods, all the time. Full spectrum military oppression for maximum displacement, allowed to be committed if not helped along by the hypocrites we choose to elect every couple of years. It is the sheepish mentality so prevalent in our societies that is giving silent consent to the hellish treatment Israelis are unleashing to suffocate what’s left of Palestine. It is us who will have to stop Apartheid Israel, our governments wont.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Mar 23 2009 11:26 utc | 18

Via the Angry Arab:

Someone even managed to defecate into the photocopier

The IDF soldiers who moved into West Bank cities left behind destruction and degradation, Amira Hass reports.

No one deluded himself that the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, which takes up five of the eight floors of a new building in the center of El Bireh, would be spared the fate of other Palestinian Authority offices in Ramallah and other cities - that is, the nearly total destruction of its contents and particularly its high-tech equipment.

After all, Israel Defense Forces troops were deployed in the building for about a month.

Armed vehicles were always parked in front of the building, around which the familiar pictures of destruction accumulated; crushed cars, banks of earth, deep ditches in the roads, broken pavements, dismantled stone fences, toppling electricity poles, loose cables and clouds of dust and dirt enveloping every vehicle, tree and roof in thickening layers. [...]

One night the neighborhood awoke to the sound of barking: They saw that someone had attached a speaker to a tape recorder and was playing a recording of barking dogs. Within a few minutes all the dogs in the neighborhood woke up and joined the racket. Very soon the barking reached more distant neighborhoods. A night's sleep down the drain. [...]

In every room of the various departments - literature, film, culture for children and youth books, discs, pamphlets and documents were piled up, soiled with urine and excrement.

There are two toilets on every floor, but the soldiers urinated and defecated everywhere else in the building, in several rooms of which they had lived for about a month. They did their business on the floors, in emptied flowerpots, even in drawers they had pulled out of desks.

They defecated into plastic bags, and these were scattered in several places. Some of them had burst. Someone even managed to defecate into a photocopier.

The soldiers urinated into empty mineral water bottles. These were scattered by the dozen in all the rooms of the building, in cardboard boxes, among the piles of rubbish and rubble, on desks, under desks, next to the furniture the solders had smashed, among the children's books that had been thrown down. [...]

Now the Palestinian Ministry of Culture is considering leaving the building the way it is. A memorial.

Without words.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Mar 23 2009 12:13 utc | 19

Well, it took a few days but the US media are now reporting the t-shirt story.

Posted by: Ensley | Mar 23 2009 18:33 utc | 20

Israel's very own Comical Gabi:

The head of the Israeli Defence Force has defended his soldiers' actions in Gaza during the recent offensive, saying he does not believe they acted in cold blood.

Israeli media has been reporting transcripts of conversations between Israeli soldiers detailing the killing of civilians and the vandalising of houses in Gaza. [...]

But the Israeli military chief of staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, says the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) is the most moral in the world, adding any soldier found violating the law would be prosecuted.

Medics 'targeted'

At the same time, a new report from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) details what it says was a pattern of attacks aimed at medical staff in Gaza.

When the sirens were wailing and the injured needed urgent care, PHR say Israeli forces treated medical workers as though they were combatants.

The group says 16 medical workers were killed and 25 injured, while 35 medical centres were fired on.

"The main message that we try to convey is a trigger of soldiers of the army towards medical teams, medical personnel, medical institutions, without distinguishing them from other elements of the war - actually putting them in the same category as fighting soldiers or fighting elements," PHR's Professor Zvi Bentwich said.

The Israeli Defence Force says it is investigating these latest accusations.

"We know when we can say today for a fact that the IDF soldiers were instructed to take very good care of the different medical facilities and medical vehicles in the area in Gaza," Israeli army spokeswoman Major Avital Leibovitch said. [...]

The most moral military in the world, roger that.

"As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: You liberate a city by destroying it. Words are used to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests."
— Gore Vidal, Imperial America, 2004

Posted by: Juan Moment | Mar 24 2009 3:55 utc | 22

Israel used boy as human shield, says UN report

Israeli soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield during the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, UN human rights experts said Monday.

The Israeli Defence force ordered the boy to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in the Gaza neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa and enter buildings before them, said the UN Secretary-General's envoy for protecting children in armed conflict.

The boy also was told to open the bags of Palestinians — presumably to protect the soldiers from possible explosives — before being released at the entrance to a hospital, Radhika Coomaraswamy said.

Posted by: b | Mar 24 2009 5:58 utc | 23

b, following your guardian video link i found palestinian brothers, used as human shields in gaza. video includes your #23, plus another horrific account. also on this page is the drone attacks, worth watching.

Posted by: annie | Mar 24 2009 12:28 utc | 24

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