Posted by: Lister | August 16, 2009

Dov Yermiya

Yermiya is a former IDF lieutenant-colonel who became famous when he published his Lebanon war diary.

He’s written a letter to various friends, including Uri Avnery. It ends with:

“Therefore I, a 95 year old Sabra (native born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel,

Declare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions, that I shall not sing anymore its nationalist anthem, that I shall stand at attention only on the days of mourning for those fallen on both sides in the wars, and that I look with a broken heart at an Israel that is committing suicide and at the three generations of offspring that I have bred and raised in it.”

Avnery goes through some other parts of the letter. I’ll quote these bits of Avnery’s response:

My aim is not to start a discussion with you about the fundamentals of Zionism, both positive and negative. We might not agree. Nor shall I enter into the question of whether everything really started in 1967, with the intoxicating and corruptive victory, or whether the seeds of disaster were sown earlier. On one thing I agree with you entirely: that the fatal step was taken then, on the morrow of that war, when we had the choice between the shining gold of peace and the base metal of annexation, and stretched our hands out towards the latter.

My personal conscience is clean. I am proud that I was one of the few in the country, and the sole voice in the Knesset, who proposed even during the war to turn over the occupied territories to the Palestinian people, so as to enable them to set up their state. This unique opportunity was missed, as you point out in your letter, because of the greed of the founders of the settlement movement, the champions of a Greater Israel.

[…] You, Dov, have invested in this state much too much to turn your back on it in a gesture of anger and despair. The most hackneyed and worn-out slogan in Israel is also true: “We don’t have another state!”

Other states in the world have sunk to the depths of depravity and committed unspeakable crimes, far beyond our worst sins, and still brought themselves back to the family of nations and redeemed their souls.

[…] Even at your respectable age, and precisely because of it and because of what you represent, you must be a compass for the young and tell them: This state belongs to you, you can change it, don’t allow the nationalist wreckers to steal it from you!

True, 61 years ago we had another state in mind. Now, after our state has tumbled to where it is today, we must remember that other state, and remind everybody, every day, what the state should have been like, what it can be like, and not allow our vision to disappear like a dream. Let’s lend our shoulders to every effort to repair and heal!



  1. This very much settles an issue: ISRAEL FOR THE ISRAELIS!

    A lot of unfairness in the creation of the state….but the state is there..the Israeli state!

    Now, though a lot of having one’s cake and eating it too type Zionists who run for Knesset or US Congress, should they lose in the former, or vice versa, is nothing but a personal use of TWO nations. My eye is on the SABRAS with no place else to go and I feel for how the “Israeli” officials with two passports– one Israeli and the other American or European– are deciding the fate of Sabras with only one place to go, just like the Palestinians. The issue is no longer borders as Palestinians hark back to their homes and to a hopeful future, not to a govt of their own run by crooks as in other Arab states. Israelis and Palestinians have one thing in common: ONE LAND ON WHICH TO MAKE A FUTURE FOR THEIR CHILDREN. So, whatever flag flies over whatever building is not so much an issue as is a secure future in an ancestral home or the same in the land where one was born, somehow accepted, no longer a refugee or merely a Holocaust survivor. Zionism and Arabism are harpings to an imaginary past that in really was marked by blood, thirst, hunger and hateful abuse for both people. Make those born in Palestine– whether Israeli or Palestinians– feel like there’s a future for them. Whatever language, flag or borders are designated, let the needs that all share be met TOGETHER. Netanyahu once wanted this kind of two states but one economy. But those Stalinists from Russia crushed his daring. Now they ride him instead of he riding them. Israel and Palestine can draw all sorts of crazy borders but the people will never see those as anything real as for them cooperation in modernization means a lot more. Thus HAMAS is a singer who lost his voice. It is an outlet for those abused by IDF, those who segregate by religious dogma and those who want to go out in a flashing bang. Similarly, the IDF elan is faded and as soon as a couple of casualties occur “Israel’s finest” withdraw. There’s no shame in that as the Sabras are doing all the fighting and working, just like the Palestinians, while the Stalinists are stocking their EastEuro bank accounts. 000000save 0israel and save Palestine by FIRST saving the people….politics leave for later but never leave it to the invading Stalinists from the north. If Netanyahu again grows cohones, maybe he can try again to do what in his heart h knows is right: SAVE THE SABRAS/PALESTINIANS FIRST and worry about politics later. The peace dividend will be the leadership he seeks for Israel– NOT DOMINATION OF MIDDLE EAST THROUGH NUKES BUT RESPECTED LEADERSHIP BY SHOWING THE WAY TO MODERNITY to desperate Sabras and Palestinians!

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