IDF intelligence soldiers refuse to serve: We won’t work against innocent Palestinians
Letter to the prime minister signed by 43 intelligence soldiers accuses military of immoral practices against Palestinian community.
Ed, Note MP-I used this image from the promotional poster of this movie. Because one of the Refusniks cited it as the inspiration for no longer following orders in intercepting signals intelligence. (Listening in on phone calls, reading over phone texts etc.) I have also seen this movie and can understand how he might feel that way. After seeing it myself I consider it a great film.
It is sometimes way too discouraging reading how Israel is this inhuman monster to the Palestinians. Yet sometimes (not often enough though) a human voice does cry out from the occupying body of the Beast that is Israel.
Israel News 09/12/2014
Officers and soldiers in the IDF’s largest, and most elite intelligence unit, known as 8200, addressed a letter to the prime minister Friday, in which the 43 signatories said that they refuse to take part in action against Palestinians or, “to be tools to deepen the military regime in the occupied territories.”
It was unclear in the letter if the soldiers were refusing to follow specific orders they felt to be immoral, or if they intended not to appear for duty at all. Either action could potentially result in court martial and time in military jail.
Five of the intelligence soldiers who signed the letter to the prime minister.
Unit 8200 is the IDF’s central intelligence gathering body and the largest unity in the Israeli military. Soldiers in 8200 are responsible for collecting and intercepting signals intelligence (SIGINT) including telephone calls, texts, e-mails and faxes among various populations.
“The Palestinian population is subject to military rule, completely exposed to espionage and to being tracked by Israeli intelligence,” continued the letter. “Contrary to Israeli citizens or citizens of other countries, there’s no oversight on methods of intelligence or tracking and the use of intelligence information against the Palestinians, regardless if they are connected to violence or not.”
The reservists claimed in their letter that information that was gathered and stored harmed innocent Palestinians and was used in the political persecution and creation of division in Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and turning parts of the population against themselves.
According to the soldiers, there are many cases in which IDF intelligence prevents just trials for defendants in military courts without ever showing them evidence from the prosecution.
“The intelligence allows for the continued control of millions of people and in-depth inspection that’s invasive to most areas of life. None of this allows for a normal life, fueling more violence and putting an end to the conflict further away.”
The letter finishes by calling on current and past intelligence soldiers, “to make your voices heard against these injustices and act to bring them to an end. We believe that even Israel’s future depends on it.”
The IDF spokesperson responded to the letter saying, “Unit 8200 has been collecting intelligence since its creation, allowing the IDF and other security forces to complete their missions and aid them every day in protecting Israeli civilians. The unit takes various actions in many different arenas, applying methods and rules aimed at fulfilling intelligence needs and intelligence needs only.”
“Those serving in the unit are trained after a rigorous identification process. Their training is unparalleled in the intelligence community in Israel and abroad while much of the content puts special emphasis on the areas of ethics, morality and work practices.”
“These are implemented in practice during the service of both soldiers and officers in the unit and they are constantly monitored by commanders of different ranks,” said the spokesperson. “Over the years, the last few in particular, the unit has received daily assessment, which often results in citations and security awards.”
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