< < <
Date Index
> > >
Re: FW: A Report from WITHIN the Jenin Refugee Camp
by Paul
25 April 2002 21:08 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >

        "Slightly different"? Besides being nothing but unverifiable hearsay, it
evades the primary question:  what were IDF forces doing in Palestinian
territory in the first place? These "battles" or "massacres" all took place
in Palestinian civilian neighborhoods, not in Israeli territory, and there
was no legal or international authority to authorize or condone their
occupation. They stand condemned by Amnesty International, Human Rights
Watch, and several nations, and they bar UN investigation and journalists.
Under international law, those people had every legal right to defend
themselves, their homes and families. No, the reason for the destruction is
too well known for us to swallow that propaganda. Israel needs and gets
large supplies of fresh water from Palestinian territory, and Israel needs
"living room" just like Germany in the 1930's. That is what's behind
Israel's ongoing illegal expansion of its borders beyond the 1948 partition
by the UN. 

--paul, webmaster http://globalcircle.net
peace and liberty, sustainability and justice
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 4/25/2002 at 1:14 PM FRISCH_DENNIS wrote:

>Here is another report on recent evens in Israel.  A slightly different
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Eitan Ginsburg [mailto:eginsburg@lahillel.org]
>Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2002 8:21 AM
>To: Chaim Shapiro; Debbie Shapiro; Jeff Posner; Jeffrey Rips; Marc
>Abrams; Matt Davidson; Mya Akerling; Mychal Rosenbaum; Rick Lupert;
>Robert Haas; Robin Levine; Robyn Amster; Sabra Rahel; Shelly
>Rothschild-Sherwin; Shoshana Kapnek
>Subject: FW: A Report from WITHIN the Jenin Refugee Camp
>Dear Friends,
>I don't forward emails very often, but I found the personal story of an
>Israeli reserve officer told here absolutely wrenching and compelling.
>writer, Moshe Chertoff, an L.A. native who has lived on Kibbutz Shomrat in
>Israel since the early/mid 1970's.  He has approved the distribution and
>even publication of this letter, provided that it is sent in its entirety.
>I know him from my days in Hashomer Hatzair and while I disagree with some
>of his conclusions, I have the highest respect and regard for his
>and opinion.
>Eitan Ginsburg
> -----Original Message-----
>From:   Moshe Chertoff [mailto:chertoff@shomrat.com]
>Sent:   Friday, April 19, 2002 5:45 PM
>Subject:    [ShomerNet] A Report from WITHIN the Jenin Refugee Camp
>Hello to all,
>My close colleague came back into the office on Thursday afternoon, the
>of our work week, still in uniform with his M-16 and pistol on him. This
>the day that the IDF left the Jenin refugee camp to reassemble in the
>returning to the status quo that existed before the Passover Eve Massacre
>(in which so many at the Park Hotel in Netanyia we murdered by a suicide
>He was called up for emergency reserve duty (they call it an Order-8, or
>tzav shmonae) and is the officer in charge of the military field
>assigned to the reserve unit who lost the nine soldiers in that one
>last week. So what I'm passing on here was told directly to me, just hours
>after he left the Jenin area, while in Yokne'am--19 kilometers from Jenin
>(where we both work and he lives). I didn't record his exact words, but am
>using the exact expressions, emphasis and am remaining true to his
>These are not pleasant stories, so you might want to stop here, if you
>your "stomach" won't be able to handle it. I'm purposely not going to
>amplify or soften his words. I'm going to try to give you the feeling that
>your sitting in my office listening to him.
>I was looking at a battered soul. Unshaven, you could see both relief and
>shock on his face. Having served on the border (and beyond) for 22 years
>the IDF, I immediately recognized his expression and I was having a hard
>time holding back MY tears and realizing (generally) what he had been
>After inquiring as to his own state, the inevetable question arose, "So?"
>That was enough to set him in motion. It was obvious that he needed
>"on the outside" to spill to. He emphatically started with, "This was not
>slaughter! It was not a massacre!" The soldiers were hearing the reports
>what the press was publicizing. "The Nazis would go into an area or town
>puposefully pull out the women and children and either murder them or send
>them off to death camps. The men got only the first option, murdered on
>spot. That is massacre. This was not the case in Jenin. You can't believe
>what you see. I saw it with my own two eyes."
>Let me clarify that although he is a trained infantry soldier, his job is
>the commanding officer of the field infirmary that was established
>specifically for this operation on the outskirts of the town and refugee
>camp of Jenin. He, and his men, would only go into the area to either
>the injured or "retrieve" the dead Israelis. Although they were assigned
>the reserve unit that took part, they treated all the injured of all the
>units in the fighting-as well as any Palestinians who would allow
>to be taken for treatment. (I''ll relate to that problem 3 paragraphs
>in the body of his words.)
>"First, we didn't think we were going into 'war.' We weren't ready for
>we found there. The whole place was one big booby trap with secret tunnels
>and enough explosives to blow up all of Israel twice. Don't forget, this
>a place (specifically the Jenin Refugee Camp) that not even the
>Authority could go into. This was the undispuuted territory of the Islamic
>Jihad and the Hamas.
>"Our guys were getting picked off like sitting ducks. I saw our dead as
>were brought back to the infirmary. Each was hit by one bullet to the head
>or neck. They had sharpshooters at every strategic location possible and
>were well trained and their rifles were exactly calibrated. One snipper
>would shoot from atop of some home, and the same guy would pop up a minute
>or two later from on top of another home on the other side of the street.
>found that they had an elaborate system of tunnels in which to get around
>in. We were paying the price for our policy of deliberately not attacking
>non-fighters in the midst of close conflict. We could have saved a lot of
>our guys had we just used the missles or bombs of the F-16s to demolish
>buildings at a distance. We tried all we could to hit only those who were
>shooting at us.
>"When we'd get to a building from which we were being constantly shot at,
>we'd try returning fire when we could. But they knew the camp to its
>millimeter, and realized exactly where they could pin us down. We'd use
>bullhorns to call for anyone in the building to come out before we would
>raise the level of our response. Again, this was out of concern for
>lives. One time, and I saw this right before my eyes, a couple of families
>came out. There was a man, a woman, some boys, girls and even babies.
>Another family of more or less the same makeup also emerged. Now, we're in
>our armoured vehicles. We couldn't open the hatches or step out cause
>time we tried, we'd be shot in the first second. We called for them to
>their shirts so that we could be sure that they weren't "wearing" any
>explosives. Only the men raised their shirts. When we called for everyone
>do the same, the second the women raised their garments...B O O M.
>standing there was blown all over the place. They exploded
>families! It was horrific. It was also obvious that we would be blamed for
>having slaughtered them. It was insane.
>"Sometimes, when all else failed, we'd call in an Apache helicopter that
>would fire its rapid fire gun into the window from where the fire was
>coming. Within seconds, the shots continued down at us. The Apache would
>then fire an exact hit of a missile into that same window. It wouldn't
>help-the fire continued down on us. Too many soldiers were injured or
>when they tried to enter a house, only to find it booby trapped or see the
>fighters firing from behind the family who lived in the house. Many died
>because they wouldn't fire into innocent civilian shields. When nothing
>would end the standoff, a new vehicle was called in to take out the fire.
>When nothing else would end the standoff, a D-9" (a new vehicle, modeled
>from a Caterpillar construction chain-tractor, but armored so that almost
>nothing can damage it) "was called in to take out the fire. Again, as in
>other instances, we called a few times for everyone to come out and that,
>necessary, we would destroy the building. When no one did, the D-9 nudged
>corner of the building to give them a warning. Again we gave a verbal
>warning over the loudspeaker. Again, no response. The D-9 would take out a
>corner pillar of the building and we would wait for some response. Again,
>the verbal warning would go out. And so on till the the assasin would fall
>with the building. Only afterward can one accurately find out who was in
>building. Horrific.
>"A commander I knew went into one of the houses from where there was
>He found a Kalatch (AK-47 Kalatchnikov automatic rifle) on the table and
>picked it up. It was booby trapped and exploded. The explosion detonated a
>grenade on his belt and blew away the lower half of his body. Horrible
>stuff. You can't imagine. I was carrying soldiers out, under fire, on my
>back. The rain was relentless, creating waist deep mud from the hashed
>where the tanks had passed. I was filthy with my uniform and face black
>mud. When I was out of the rain for a while, I still felt that my back was
>wet. When I took off my shirt, I saw that it was soaked in the blood of
>soldiers who I'd carried. A young Nachal soldier, a kid; we worked on him
>for an hour and a half. When we finally got a helicopter down to take him
>hospital, the copter doctor checked him and said, 'Sorry-too late.' I'd
>stroking his forehead for an hour and a half. And he was gone. Just a kid.
>What can I tell his mother?"
>I asked him how he was dealing with it all. He told me that he went many
>hours without sleep and was exhausted. He might be able to sleep "well"
>a few nights, but having gone through what he's gone through, he'll never
>the same.
>While he was still in Jenin, the IDF pulled out of Tulkarem. It wasn't
>after that pullout when a suicide bomber suceeded in getting on a bus to
>Jerusalem and exploding himself, 15 minutes in front of me on my daily
>to work. You cannot give in to terror. Yet the ineffectiveness of this
>mini-war was clarified this evening on the Friday Night News (the most
>watched news program of the week-other than by the religious) when it was
>stated that only 10-15% of the list of most wanted terrorists given to
>Tennat were either arrested or killed. So, another 85% of them are still
>there; now with greater impetus, waiting for the opportunity to send some
>other martyr-to-be to strike another blow to Israelis. They kill Jews,
>Arabs, Druze and whoever is in the unlucky proximity. The main reason that
>they haven't succeeded in taking out a few thousand in one operation (as
>the attack on the World Trade Center) is our constant security effort.
>We have not stopped terror. In many ways, we have actually spilled fuel on
>their fires. It's a horrific dilemna. I support and protest for an
>pull out from the occupied territories. I do have a plan. But most
>are still hurting from one terror attack or another. They tell all good
>Americans, "Go sit and make peace with Bin Laden-11,000 miles away from
>closest city. It may take a while. More innocent civilians may die in the
>meantime. Then, you can tell us how to 'exercise restraint,' 10 miles
>As the owner of an Israeli hi-tech company just wrote the Danish prime
>minister (after the deal to sell his company to a Danish one was aborted
>protest to Israel's policies), "If I have to chose between my daughter's
>safety and life and your money, keep it!"
>We must get out of the territories. But we also must stop terror. I said,
>a message 3 days before the terror attacks on America-immediately
>the suicide bombing in Nahariya-terror is terror. It is not limited by
>boundries. If it can thrive somewhere, it can hit anywhere. Even in
>And guess what, baseball fans...it ain't over. D-9s and B-52s can't take
>Please act responsibly in your protests and actions. But do act. Try not
>add fuel to anybody else's fire. (That's easy-blame someone or something.
>Simplify the conflict into one solution. SORRY! Doesn't work.) There are
>easy solutions and we must all become active in working to solve the many
>complex problems. It will take time. I hope we have it.
>Moshe Chertoff
>Kibbutz Shomrat

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >