Veterans Day question

I don’t want to offend anyone on this Veterans Day. I have a simple question.

Members of my family have served in the military, recently and in the past.  My Uncle, a Quaker, refused to carry a gun in WWII and so he was assigned to drive an ambulance in the Sinai. I learned last year that the Quakers were the first people to offer aid to the Palestinians in 1947-1948 during the Nakba. See here.

So my question.

What is the difference between these three pictures?

Remembering the Americans who served in the military

Remembering the Americans who served in the military

Israeli soldier

Israeli soldier

Palestinian freedom fighter

Palestinian freedom fighter





Filed under Israel Defense Forces

10 responses to “Veterans Day question

  1. Linda Moscarella

    I don’t believe that members of our military are responsible for policies that have sent them to war. Civilians are in charge of policy in both Israel and the U.S. Our elected leaders, in both countries, are responsible for our participation in wars, which they claim is for our good. Like what parents say when they punish a child “I’m doing this for your own good.” People in the military pay a high price for going to war and a higher one for refusing to go. Today is the day we thank them for going to war, ostensibly for us. Would a majority in the U.S. vote for war today? The recent reaction to the possibility entering the conflict in Syria would seem to say no. But the ship of state is hard to turn around. It’s time to start, right now.

    • Linda,
      My point with this question about the three pictures (US soldiers, Israeli soldiers, and Palestinian freedom fighters) was to ponder the similarities of all three fighters. Two of them might have considerable more $$ and more PR media to support them, but all three fight for a cause they believe in.

  2. jerry T. Lawler

    OK, a lot of the people who served are heroes but I can’t help looking at a bigger picture here on Veterans Day. Young and mainly poor underclass have always fought the wars and risk their lives for the rich and established and always under the pretense of honor and patriotism. And the society generally aids and abets the process by pretending that it is honorable and “service” and having holidays like this and graveyards like Arlington when in reality it is frequently the only choice these young people have.

  3. Uniform. Means you’re in a chain of command, obliged to the laws of war and know you’ll be prosecuted if you misconduct. At least, some uniforms mean that. Like the Israeli one. That’s my opinion, but I suspect you have a different one.

    • War and warriors have changed in the 21st century.

      Israeli soldiers and Palestinian freedom fighters are both fighting for a cause they believe in. Their weapons and uniforms may be different, but the nature of their actions is the same.

      International law and rules of war? Both sides have violated international law and rules of war, according to the Goldstone Report.

      • The rules of war take into account the intention of the actions. While its never Israel’s intention to harm civilians, the actions by the “freedom fighters” intentionally and knowingly target civilians. But of course, according to them, all Israelis are considered soldiers, so it’s OK to cut off a baby’s head as it would grow up to be a soldier some day. Kinda like weeding your garden. You’d know gardening, Lora, would you?

        Even Goldstone himself withdrew his ridiculous accusations of Israel:

        On 1 April 2011, Goldstone published a piece in The Washington Post titled ‘Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes’. Goldstone noted that the subsequent investigations by Israel and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report “indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy” while “the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying.”

      • Check out the testimony of some IDF soldiers at Breaking the Silence.

        Goldstone came under intense criticism as a self-hating Jew before he issued his statement which some people call a retraction. I think I remember that he was even prevented from attending a family Bar Mitzvah.

        Important to note that the other two people on the commission stood firmly behind the report and it’s findings.

        Michael: Your reference to my garden and weeding is an example of the attitude and style of discourse that I find annoying. Masalama! Peace! Shalom!

      • Goldstone also praised Israel for investigating claims of war crimes while faulting Hamas for its failure to launch any investigations of its own forces.

        The Israeli military opened about 100 internal investigations into its actions during the conflict, of which about 20 were criminal. How many investigations did Hamas conduct? For example, into the use of children as human shields?

        And on this note, I will say goodbye. I know when I’m not welcome. But I think by now you have enough to think of when you’re weeding your garden.

      • Michael: the biggest difference between us is that you are wedded to one side (Israel) and against the other (Palestine) to such an extent that you must glorify the first and demonize the second to justify the status quo.

        I hope you can tell by my comments that I don’t demonize either side. I think both sides are perpetuating a cycle of violence, and neither is capable of finding a just and lasting peace on their own.

        The future for every person in the region requires that people end this demonization. I’ve met Palestinians and internationals who demonize Israelis, and they justify their demonization based on being the victim of oppressors, colonizers, occupiers.

        The occupation must end. But even more importantly, perhaps, people must break out of the mental prisons in which we put ourselves.


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