raised and nurtured
within you, whom you nursed, your son who, on Saturday morning, at
11:30, murdered. Because that is what he did. Not a drop of blood on his
hands – streams, rivers of blood.
To the mother of the pilot who, in the night between Sunday and Monday
morning, December 29th 2008, murdered three children in Rafah refugee
camp: several hours earlier, there had been shooting from helicopters,
and the family decided to move over to the home of relatives. They
stayed until midnight and then went back home. The children had been
afraid of the shooting earlier so they all went to sleep together in the
parents' bedroom, to give the children a sense of safety. While they
slept, your son dropped a missile that hit this bedroom, and murdered
eleven-year old Ahmad احمد, ten-year old Muhammad محمد, and five-year
old Sidqi صدقي . The father was wounded by shrapnel, and the mother
sustained a severe head wound. As did three other children.
Your son sat in his air-conditioned cockpit. Facing a screen. He
targeted the hit by moving coordinates on the screen. And he fired. He
knew they would die and he fired.
Well, not specifically those. He did not know that 11-year old Ahmad,
and 10-year old Muhammad, and 5-year old Sidqi would die, but he knew
Palestinians would die. He did know that. But it didn't matter to your
son, apparently. Perhaps because a Palestinian, for your son, is not a
particular human being but a generic entity. Not a 'who' but a 'what',
like a table and a tree.
These are his borders, his identity, his doom.
He does not cry when stabbed, does not bleed when shot, is not murdered
Not when your pilot son is the one murdering him. Then he 'finds his
death', mostly holding a 'Molotov cocktail', in hindsight, even when not
older than two years of age, or because a Hamas member was hiding under
his crib, or more precisely because he is Palestinian and his blood is
for the taking.
That is more or less the whole story.
To the mother of the pilot who, on Thursday 1.1.09, bombed the home of
Nizar Ryan نزار ريان, senior member of Hamas, in Jabalya refugee camp.
And murdered Ryan, his four wives and their eleven children, one- to
Want to know their names?
According to the Israeli army spokesperson, the house served as a large
weapons storeroom as well as communications war-room. And under the
house was a tunnel that was used for the escape of Hamas terrorists.
Perhaps as far as you're concerned this is quite enough to justify the
murder of 15 persons, who are not guilty of anything even by Israel's
criteria. But know that by universal international conventions, this is
a grave violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime. But
even without these fancy words, it is murder. The murder of a family.
Fiften human beings. Children and babies. That is what your son did.
You said you wanted to hear their names? Perhaps only the name of the
To the mother of the pilot who on January 6th, 2009, bombed a four-story
house that is home to thirty persons of the A-Daaya الداية family, and
murdered 21 family members: the sixty-year old father Fayez فايز, fifty
five-year old mother Kawkab كوكب, and their two single daughters,
thirty-year old Raida رائدة and twenty six-year old Sabreen صابرين. And
Izal ايزال, the twenty six-year old wife of their son Muhammad محمد ,
who was nine-months pregnant. And their four children whom he murdered
as well – seven-year old Amani أماني, five-year old Qamar قمر,
three-year old Areej أريج, and two-year old Yusuf يوسف. And thirty
five-year old son Iyad اياد, his twenty eight-year old wife Rauda روضة,
and their children: ten-year old Ali علي, nine-year old Khataam ختام,
eight-year old Alaa’ علاء, six-year old Doha ضحى, five-year old Sharaf
a-Deen شرف الدين, and one-year old Muhammad محمد. And twenty five-year
old son Ramez رامز, his wife twenty-year old Safaa’ صفاء, and their
children: three-year old Baraa’ براء and four-month Salsabil سلسبيل.
One of the brothers who does not live with their parents said the house
was a total wreck. Only some pillars. And a large pit. And pieces of
bodies scattered everywhere.
Perhaps you say that indeed not everything's pleasant and innocents get
killed, but Hamas is at fault for this, not Israel, for they take
advantage of civilians and live amongst them. And those who let them do
this – why, it's their fault too. And Hamas do this especially because
they know how moral the Israelis are, but what can you do, all those
armed militants are there nearly in every home, and if civilians die
it's only because of Hamas, who've turned them into human shields.
And what about your soldier son, I ask, armed too, who comes home to
spend his weekend leave among civilians, and goes with his civilian
buddies to their civilian pub, and hangs out in the civilian streets of
civilian neighborhoods, and picks up his little civilian brothers, and
sleeps in his civilian bed inside his civilian parents' home and makes
everyone around him killable targets for whoever wishes to hit only
militants. Is it alright to bomb your home and kill you just because
you're harboring a soldier, armed to the teeth? Because you let him be
with you? Because he turned you into human shields? Do you deserve to
No way, you tell me, mother of the pilot who murdered 21 people of the
A-Daaya family. It's not the same thing. My son is not a militant. He is
a soldier. He is an Israeli army combatant. The Israeli army is not a
militia. And it does not jeopardize civilians, no way. It's his home.
Where is he to go. And it's not even similar, no way. Because he's my
son and they're Palestinians. And it's not the same thing.
And he is not against the Palestinian people, only against Hamas. And he
is not willing to be a murdered. Unlike them. It's not the same thing.
Say your son is instructed to bomb a 14-story building in Ramat Gan that
is, by the way, much less crowded than Gaza, because there's a horrible,
dangerous serial killer
there who's a ticking bomb. Would he then, too, pull the trigger and
release the missile or bomb and destroy the house where the militant is
staying and bury him in the rubble with all the other people and
children and memories?
Would you say then, too, that he has nothing against the Ramat Gan
nation, and that he is not willing to be a murderer, that he is acting
only against the serial killer? That it is not your problem nor his if
that terrible criminal lives among civilians?
No, you say? He wouldn't drop his bomb on Ramat Gan? Why not? Perhaps
because in Ramat Gan, inside that building along with that criminal – in
Ramat Gan, unlike Gaza – the innocent civilians are Jews? And you don't
target innocent people no matter what?
So you are still saying that he has nothing against the Palestinians as
a people, only against Hamas?
And I tell you that even if he has nothing against them, their lives are
but dust as far as he is concerned. For if their lives had any value, no
matter how terrible a killer would be present among them, your son would
not have jeopardized and sacrificed them all. And your son, like any
racist anywhere in this world, thinks that Palestinians – apparently –
are not really human. For if he thought they were, he would not have
To the mother of the pilot who, on Friday, January 2nd 2009, at 2:15
p.m., near Al Umda restaurant, operated a drone and murdered three
children, of the Al Astal الاسطل family. What happened was that four
children were playing with a stray dog outside and chased it. One of the
adults of the family yelled at them that they would not be able to sit
down to a meal with him later on if they play with the dog, for a dog is
an unclean untouchable animal according to the laws of Islam. In the
meantime other children joined the game. Cousins Muhammad محمد –
eleven years-old, Abed Rabu عبد ربو – nine years-old, and their other
cousin Abed A-Satar عبد الستار – nine years-old. Once again their
uncle yelled at them not to touch that dog. Suddenly there was a
powerful blast. The air was filled with white smoke and dust. When the
dust and smoke began to clear one could see the three children lying on
the ground, next to each other, not moving. The bomb targeted them
directly. Muhammad and Abed Rabbu lay facing the ground about one meter
from each other. Abed A-Satar was about three meters away. Abed did not
move. He had wounds and burns in the frontal part of his head, above his
left eye, and below his left ear. His left leg had been torn off and
only the skin still attached to the body. He was not moving, not
breathing, and had no pulse. He was dead. Muhammad had not died yet, he
was still dying, and Abed A-Satar had no head.
He was beheaded by the bomb.
Is that why your son was admitted to that training course? Because he
posses a sheepish-enough, obedient-enough mind to be able to push the
button and crush a building upon its inhabitants? To murder children
only because they or a neighboring house had been marked for him as a
target, or some other nameless target? Was he admitted because he knows
no empathy? Because he is blunt? Are these are real prerequisites to be
admitted to that course?
For who is a pilot? A death clerk. He was admitted, then, because his
mind had been proven flat enough, and simple enough, to be able to push
the obedience button without the shadow of a scruple.
An executioner in the system's service.
Are you proud of him, your son, sitting up there and pushing the button
of death, even for a nobler cause?
To the mother of the pilot who, on Monday, December 29th 2008, around
11:50 p.m., bombed a mosque, following which other houses in the area
collapsed including the home of thirty six-year old Samira Ba’alusha
سميرة بعلوشة whose entire family was buried under slabs of concrete and
stone and sand, and murdered the five girls who were sleeping in one
room – seventeen-year old Tahreer تحرير, fourteen-year old Akraam اكرام,
twelve-year old Samar سمر, seven-year old Dunya دنيا, and four-year old
Jawaaher جواهر , who were all buried under the concrete.
That right. It's fun to drop bombs, and to fly, like a game, and men are
somewhat like children, and you mothers are also guilty of not always
helping them leave that eternal child place that they love so much… And
it's so manly, and so admirable… Pilots are the cream of the crop, so
people have always said.
And it was so hard to be admitted. Only the best of the best were
admitted. The cream of the crop. And how long can one go on simulating?
He's young, his hormones are on fire, and he's a man. And what can you,
boys will be boys and need action. Otherwise, what's all that training
And if there had not been a good reason for all of this, he would not
have been sent there. Obviously, he would not be sent to bomb just like
that for no good reason, and they started this anyway, they want to
throw us into the sea.
Who does? 17-year old Tahreer? 14-year old Akraam? 12-year old Samar?
7-year old Dunya? 4-year old Jawaaher? They want to throw you into the
That's why your son murdered them?
The mother of the pilot who on January 5th 2009 murdered 30
Palestinians. On January 4th, Israeli infantrymen removed about 110
Palestinians (more than half of them children) into one residential
building in Gaza's Zeitun neighborhood and warned them to stay indoors.
24 hours later, while these people obeyed orders and did not go out at
all, your son bombed this building again and again, murdering 30 people.
Thirty civilians. The few who survived had to walk two kilometers,
before being driven to hospital in private cars because the bombed house
could not be approached by vehicle to evacuate them, for fear of the
The youngest of the victims, five-months old, was dead upon arrival to
He murdered 30 people. Thirty in one blow. Are you proud?
Goodness gracious, you might be saying, he did not murder, no way.
So what did he do, kill? Alright. He killed.
No, not killed. He did not kill anyone. He was defending. Protecting.
Defending you against 3-year old Muhammad who went to feed the chickens,
and that's why he dropped a bomb on him? Or perhaps because it was he
who protected you from the daughters of Samira, all five girls whom he
did not murder, and did not kill, only protected Israel from them?
It's true that he was sent and told he was defending the Israeli
communities around the Gaza Strip and that it's the militants' fault, as
they hide in normal residences and are not to be believed, and that we
have tried everything and our hands are always held out for peace and
that Israel has nothing against the Palestinian people.
It's true, your son is not the one to determine his targets and he was
obeying orders. And it's true what he says that he has nothing against
the Palestinian people, only against Hamas, and that he is not willing
to be a murderer.
So I ask you, if he is not against the Palestinian people why is he
dropping bombs from the sky and murdering them as if they were a flock
Because he told to do so?
Should I remind you of the not-so-distant past? Remind you who else said
they were 'just obeying orders'?
Tell me, mother of the murderer who on January 6th 2009 at 3:30 p.m.
dropped a bomb on the UNRWA school where dozens of escapees from other
bombings had fled to find refuge, and murdered 45 people there, among
them at least 14 children, and when others tried to escape this inferno,
they were shot by him or other soldiers as they ran.
Tell me, what will happen if the world would do its duty and prevent
soldiers who perpetrated war crimes (that is how these acts are seen
outside of Israel) during their military service, and when he finishes
his term of duty, he will not be allowed to go study in England and
travel in France and in Thailand, to sniff stuff in Amsterdam. What will
you say then?
This is not fair, you'll say, and be angry?
And you'll protest not because of what he did as a pilot, a tank driver,
a gunner who was obliged to murder, you'll protest only because he would
not be allowed to travel freely?
Shame on you, his mother. Shame.
So what if he's being told that there are armed militants inside? He
knows there must also be other people there, normal civilians. Doesn't
he realize that Gaza is the most crowded place on this planet? And that
these armed militants he is so eager to kill are soldiers like himself?
Not that I would disagree with you if you say that Hamas target
civilians and must be denounced. And that even if they suffer abuse and
starvation and institutionalized terrorism at the hands of the Israeli
people, that does not justify hurting an Israeli just because he/she
belongs to the same people who send out their abusers. For the Qassam
rocket is not targeted at the soldier who killed the mother of that
Qassam launcher operator. Or the soldier at the checkpoint who blocked
him from reaching medical aid.
And what if for years now Israel has turned Gaza into the world's
largest prison? And that it's under siege, and there's not enough food,
that there's hardly any electricity because Israel imposes power cuts as
a means of collective punishment of the Palestinians for having elected
Hamas, and whoever is seriously ill simply dies for no medication is
allowed in, because Israel forbids it, and it also prevents traveling
anywhere else outside to get medical treatment, unless Palestinians
collaborate with it against their own people, and whoever refuse are
sent back to their almost certain death. Still it is not right and not
just to target the symbolic representative of the perpetrator, who did
nothing in a personal sense, be it Israeli or Hamas.
To every one of the mothers of the different pilots who took part in the
massacre in Gaza, in the genocide in Gaza, in the cold, horrific,
institutionalized murder in Gaza – whether you rejoiced with him and
were proud of him and wanted him to go, and did not tell him not to go,
or would not rejoice if he went, and did not provide him with a
different, other space of sympathy, and whether you go on blessing him
and being proud of him and wanting for him to carry on – the blood he
spills is upon your own head, too, his mother.
And if your son comes back in a coffin, and your life will be cut in
half, and you'll know that it was not he who went but you, and that your
life will never be whole again, and that nothing ever prepared you for
this, and nothing will ever sooth the wound, that not at all
symbolically mediated wound in your body, in your soul that will be torn
and split and burst for ever, for you are a mother. You will then cry
out aloud or still, perhaps to do something with that wound that has no
solace – why, why did you send him? Why did you not protect him? Why did
you kill him? And why and why and why… And you'll blame Livni and Barak
and Olmert and you'll say that other ways should have been taken so that
he would not die, for you'll discover that one should have left a day
earlier, and that if all who live around there had been killed and not
left a single shelter to hide in and hit him from, first and foremost
the Palestinians, these beasts, the heartless Hamas, and especially the
killer of your own son, this non-human, the terrorist.
Know, then, that the Palestinian who killed him did not kill your
particular son, whom you named, but that he killed a soldier. He killed
a soldier who came to butcher him and his people and his family,
regardless for what reason. A soldier who came and murdered or was about
to murder, because that was his mission.
And even when you complain to politicians and blame them for having sent
him on his mission and to his death, you will not be right. They were
not committed to your son's life. For your son is a soldier to them. His
name is soldier, they have no other name for him and never have. And as
a soldier he was sent to carry out policy in the service of his state as
such. For that is what being a soldier means. His own life is not more
important that the general idea which he serves. Even if he did go in
the name of a less murderous idea, a more just one. If his own personal
life were important, he could not be a soldier.
The only ones who sent him, under his own name, in his own individual
identity, not a soldier, were you, his own parents. You, his own mother.
And if you sent him to the army proudly, with your blessing, to carry
out what the army carries out, if you did not tell him otherwise, did
not try to influence him not to go, and did not show him that you would
rejoice in his being different, if you gave your blessing and were
proud, and thought this was right, and did not want him not to go, and
did not try to prevent his going, overtly or implicitly, then you too
are responsible for the death he sowed in another people. And only you
are responsible for his own death.
One is told that this, too, is defense, but it isn't. To fly an airplane
at the altitude of 20,000 meters and bomb a city is no defense. It is
900 people, at least, as of this moment, have been murdered in Gaza
since December 27th 2008. Some are still buried under the rubble of
their homes. Dead and dying.