Tuesday, June 21, 2011


"The dark soul of the Bible has come alive among the sons of Nahalal and 'Ein Harod." Moshe Sharett

"Meanwhile, in the country as a whole, there developed around Unit 101 [1953-54] the aura of heroic legend. Its centrepiece was the Arab-fighter extraordinary, Meir Har-Zion. Two or three nights a week, for months on end, this young commando took part in reprisal raids, 'laconically killing Arab soldiers, peasants, and townspeople in a kind of fury without hatred'. He would introduce variations into a monotonous routine. Once, he and his comrades crossed the frontier, seized 6 Arabs, killed 5 of them with a knife as the others watched, and left the sixth alive so that he could tell. His private exploits revealed the same natural bent. On leave, and bored, he once made a daredevil foray deep into enemy territory; on his way back to Jerusalem he shot an Arab soldier on the main highway. Later his sister was killed by a bedouin on one of her own sorties into enemy territory. Har-Zion revenged her by killing two bedouins whom he deemed to be connected to her death. Eventually he was critically wounded in action; his life was saved by a battlefield tracheotomy performed with a penknife. His memoirs and numerous press interviews are the story of a man who can describe, with dry relish, what it is like to stab an Arab shepherd in the back - and who recommends that anyone who wishes for the 'marvellous, sublime feeling' of 'knowing that you are a male' should kill with a knife rather than a gun." (The Gun & the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East, David Hirst, 1977, p 183)

"Undercover Israeli intelligence officers appeared on national television Saturday to talk about assassinating Palestinians in a program broadcast on Israel's Channel 10. Oren Beaton presented a photo album of Palestinians he killed during his time as a commander of an undercover Israeli unit operating in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Beaton explained that he kept photos of his victims. 'This is a photo of a young Palestinian man called Basim Subeih who I killed. This is another young man. I shredded his body, and the photo shows the remnants of his body', he said. The TV program also featured an undercover agent referred to as 'D', who openly admitted killing 'wanted Palestinians'. He complained of suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and said that the state had rejected his demands for compensation. The Channel 10 presenter appealed to the Israeli government to meet the agent's demands. 'Those are the Shin Bet agents we only hear about and never see, and thanks to them we live safely', she said... Agent 'D' said officers would... 'seize the target and wait until the commander arrives to confirm his identity. Then we shoot him'." (Israeli undercover agents boast of killing Palestinians on TV, maannews.net)


Anonymous said...

Isn't this lovely story reminding you of Har-Zion forefathers, the Sicarii, the "freedom fighters", "heroes" of the Jewish War of yore? Remarkable continuity.

MERC said...

You've jogged my memory. See Dov Yirmiya's 'The End of Sicarii Zionism' (18/6/10) at zope.gush-shalom.org.