by: David Harris-Gershon on September 1st, 2014 | 4 Comments »
Nahum Barnea, perhaps the greatest political writer in Israel today, is composing a five-part series looking back at Israel’s recent Gaza operation. His first installment, “Bitter Tears of Victory,” is remarkable.
While the entire piece is worth reading, one moment of dialogue stands out as a stark representation of the tensions and oppositional forces at play within Israel today. This dialogue is between Barnea and an Israeli pilot (represented as A.), a reservist, who flew many sorties over Gaza during the fifty-day operation.
After discussing Israel’s attempts to minimize civilian casualties, and the pilot’s anger at those who claim Israeli pilots disregarded civilian lives, the following moment takes place. The dialogue below occurs just after the pilot expresses that he is at peace with the efforts he saw military personnel take to limit civilian casualties:
Nonetheless, I say, many children and women were killed.
“When you chop wood, chips fly,” A. says.
“Do you know who said that before you?” I ask.
“No,” he says.
He is shocked. “Delete that, delete that I said that,” the pilot asks.
I didn’t delete it. These pilots are wonderful people, but there is a limit to what I can do for the sake of their image.