Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm sure most of you have already seen this news, but 27 pilots including a brigadier general and two colonels, nine in active duty, signed a letter saying that the Israeli air strikes were "illegal and immoral" and that they refused to take part in such missions.

Israel Reels at Pilots' Refusal to Go on Mission

An F-15 pilot who signed the letter, identified only as Captain Alef, told Israel's Channel Two television: "If dropping a bomb on a seven-storey building only to find out 14 innocent civilians were killed, of them nine children and two women, if that is not an illegal order, then what is?" Israel drew international condemnation last year when 16 civilians died after an F-16 warplane dropped a one-ton bomb on a residential neighborhood in Gaza City to kill Salah Shehada, a top commander in the militant Islamic group Hamas.

This is truly a significant issue. If upstanding members the Israeli military feel that the justification of the attacks on the Palestinians is weak, it's clear that the extremists who are pushing for the continued attacks are on fairly weak moral ground.

This reminds me of the work that Peaceworks is doing to try to amplify the voice of the silent majority in Israel and Palestine who are against the continued conflict.


I work with one of the guys who was a planner and a part of the air raid on Libia in the early 80s. Sure it was in responce to terrorist attacks but it killed Qudaffi's family including his wife and daughters. I don't really bring it up with him.

With all of the bad news these days, the report about the Israeli pilots came as a refreshing surprise.

Last year I wrote letters to companies that have significant economic interests in the region asking if they were trying to influence matters. The only response I had was a note from Intel that appeared to be a form letter they give to people who are boycotting them about this issue (they export about $2 billion a year from their plants in Israel). It was disappointing.

It is difficult for individuals to make an impact, but I've increased my giving to Amnesty International and am not buying product with "Intel Inside" .. (my new PowerBook is just fine that you..)

There are many of us that feel this fighting needs to stop. Many of us feel our leaders have lied and sacrificed to many lives in the name of "peace." This is how it will have to start. People will have to refuse to make bombs, drop bombs, and elect the officials that ask us to spend our hard earned dollars doing these things. I am talking about this very topic on my blog. Change has to start small and start somewhere. I applaud these people!

Then again I am reminded of the ethical debate of Hiroshima. If the atomic bomb was not used in 1945 the war would have continued years with the invasion of Japan costing millions of more lives on both sides. There are no easy solutions when it comes to war peace and bombing.

> Then again I am reminded of the ethical debate of Hiroshima.
>If the atomic bomb was not used in 1945 the war would have continued
>years with the invasion of Japan costing millions of more lives on both sides.

That is the official version. We can't reconstruct history. And I don't trust the old saying: "the end justifies the means".

This is good news. It would be even better if we saw some reciprocal public gesture by Palestinian counterparts. It needn't be prominent Palestinians. Any old guy on the street will do. I won't hold my breath waiting though.

Compare and contrast.

P.S. I don't doubt that the majority of Palestinians desire peace. But their society is oppressed by their militants and militants don't allow people to speak against them. Any one who does can be killed as a collaborator. This is the textbook case study of tyranny. The Israelis can and will vote out Sharon when the intifada is over. But the Palestinians can't toss their corrupt thug leaders. The day they do will be the first real hope for real peace.

Israel grounded the 9 active pilots who signed the letter and didn't want to participate in the raids...

When Palestinians in the West Bank voice opposition to the militants there, they are generally hung in the town square by the militants...

Some responsibility has to be taken by those who use (abuse) the shelter of civilian populations...

Actually Joi there is a whole refusenik movement. According to the Refuser Solidarity Network there are 1148 refuseniks. They are actually organizing a fall tour of the U.S.

You can read some letters from refusniks at this site.

thanks for posting this - those pilots were corageous, this act changed the course of their lives (of course, they were previously murderous, but nevertheless...). but the israeli people are crucial to halting this madness. the route sharon's wall has taken pretty much ensures that 2-state solutions are dead; someday these peoples will have to live together. this is the key to peace in the middle east,and if it sounds unlikely (or well, fucking absurd) it's what we've got and nothing can change that

It is sad that things like this happen in the world

a subordinate refuse to join new project due to far away
from home. write a letter to subordinate to join new project as project manager.