Israeli Pilot tells 60 Minutes: I kill Palestinian children
We are a terrible murderous country just like other countries that you learn about in history lessons, only in smaller numbers. But it’s a growing number. I truly wonder what I’m doing in a country where children are killed, where the killing are announced out in the open, and the world takes it in its stride as usual and everyone moves on with it.
It wasn’t only my heart that trembled in shock when I heard my Sister-in-Arms explaining, in beautiful English [on 60 Minutes] how she was willing to kill children for Gantz but not for Bibi.
Sometimes it seems to me that we have been tossed powerfully by the centrifugal force of the human value system, the value of being human. We have been thrown away from being part of a developed society that puts the human being at the centre and children in the inner chamber of the heart, to the far edge of the road.
How do we proceed as if nothing happened, when the most prestigious television program in the United States speaks of “the best of our daughters” as an automaton operating a joystick that launches missiles that “on their path” kill children only because whoever heads her government sees the law in the State of Israel as she would like it to be, and not as [Yariv] Levin or [Simcha] Rothman would like it to be.
If Smotrich and Ben-Gvir give her an order to kill children on her path, it’s illegitimate, you could even say murderous, but if Gantz or Lapid give her an order, that’s totally fine. I mean, maybe not the nicest, but you can live with it in peace. What do a few dead Gazan children matter? Nothing.
My stomach aches when I read this. My heart hurts, my body hurts. Since I returned to Israel, I haven’t gone out to the demonstrations. The images that come from the West Bank, the images of violence against children, women and men, finish me off every day. I’m paralysed. I’ve reached a point where I can no longer see the photos and videos that Adi Ronen Argov and Meir Bruchin and others upload. I just can’t. I immediately skip to the next item. I can’t face seeing women being humiliated and beaten by women Border Guard troops, I can’t face seeing children being arrested in their homes by Kfir Brigade combatants, I can’t face seeing accursed settlers beating human rights activists in the [Occupied] Territories under the protection of soldiers, I can’t face seeing the suffering of workers in the Territories who cross the checkpoint, who don’t have transport to work and wheelers and dealers risk the workers’ safety in shutting them on the roads, and they just want to get to work safely and return home safely. I’m not able anymore. We are a terrible murderous country just like other countries that you learn about in history lessons, only in smaller numbers. But it’s a growing number. It did not begin during the term of the current government. It’s been over fifty years now and we’ve putting up with it. We got used to it. It’s terrible.
I truly wonder what I’m doing in a country where children are killed, where the killing are announced out in the open, and the world takes it in its stride as usual and everyone moves on with it.
It seems as if the path to ending the nightmare of the murder, killing and torturing of Palestinians must pass through the international legal institutions, The Hague. I don’t see any way to educate a generation of boys and girls to understand that the pilot Shira Etting is not a cultural heroine — an object of admiration to be proud of, but a pilot who declares that she kills children but only on condition that the person who gives her authorisation to do so is the one for whom she also votes for at the ballot box.