I was a member of the Israeli military from 1972 to 1975 and took part in the illegal Zionist occupations of Palestine, Egypt and Syria as well as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. I have witnessed firsthand the steadfastness and resistance of the Palestinian people along with their allies from other Arab communities.
While the mostly U.S.-financed and U.S.-supplied weapons systems have been updated over the years, and the Israeli military has withdrawn from Egypt, much remains the same. Palestine and Syria continue to be occupied by Israeli combat units and settlers. Egypt remains occupied — by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the more than 690 U.S. troops that are part of the larger Multinational Force and Observers set up by the so-called 1981 Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel.
The current Israeli assault on the people of Gaza is one more phase of the Zionist colonization and occupation of Palestine, whose roots go back to the 19th century. And this occupation — with all its bloodshed now resulting in 21st century war crimes — could only be carried out by an Israeli military fueled by racism and the dehumanization of their Palestinian neighbors.
Veterans For Peace, in a statement approved at its just-concluded 2014 National Convention, “encourages all Israeli soldiers to avoid becoming party to war crimes against innocent Palestinian civilians, and to consider all their options for standing on the side of humanity.”
Israeli anti-war activists, military reservists who refuse call-up orders and conscientious objectors should get the full support and assistance of peace and justice activists in the U.S. And the civilian and military leaders of Israel who planned and carried out this genocidal campaign should be sent to The Hague and put on trial as war criminals.