Thursday, December 04, 2003

Israel's Refuseniks: 'We're Air Force Pilots, not Mafia. We Don't Take Revenge': "'Our government's policy is to maintain fear in the public,' Capt Assaf L said. 'We're not weak. It's not 1967 or 1973, with the Syrian army on the border waiting to attack us. This is maintaining a war to maintain the occupation. 'We've the strongest nation in the Middle East. The terrorists are bastards, but we must fight to not become terrorists ourselves.'

"Many who poured scorn on the pilots accused them of wading into politics for going beyond questions about the legality of their orders and challenging the occupation. 'We cannot separate the two,' Capt Jonathon S said. 'We are not pacifists. We don't think we should sit back and let suicide bombers attack us. But all this is a direct result of our being in the [occupied] territories. 'Our fight to keep the settlements and suppress the Palestinian people is killing us. It is killing our right to live safely in the country of Israel. A very small group of radical Israelis is leading the sane majority to catastrophe.'"

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