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(en) Israel, MEDIA, The following two letters about the appeal to

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 19 Aug 2004 09:41:10 +0200 (CEST)

12th graders first appeared in
the anarchist fanzine `War of Words', No 5, November, 1996.
Sender: worker-a-infos-en@ainfos.ca
Precedence: list
Reply-To: a-infos-en

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1) A Letter to 12th Graders, Yosi Sarid; 2) Responce of Santiago Gomez
The author of the response to Yosi Sarid's-Knesset
member and head of "Meretz party- appeal to 12th graders
to enter the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] which appeared in
`Yediot Akhronot', the largest circulation newspaper in
Israel, was Santiago Gomez. Given the present seemingly
insurmountable impasse between the Sharon
administration and the Palestinian Authority, we find
Gomez's response thought-provoking and challenging in
its wisdom applied to an agonizing problem facing young
people throughout the world community. It is wholly
consistent with the one world and one humanity
viewpoint. Do we have a budding, latter-day prophet in the
"Holy Land"?)

In "A Letter to 12th Graders," Yosi Sarid:

In the end of the school year that is starting now, you are
about to conscript to IDF. I'm allowing myself to turn to
you in a request to be ready for a contributive and useful
military service in which there is readiness for investment
and a full use of your skills.

I know all the reasons that may bring you to a trouble in
making decision, and out of it- to a wrong conclusion. I
know the reasons, as I said, but I don't accept them. Some
say that Peace is already at our door and so there's no
need for the same measure of volunteering as in the past,
and some say, that the new government is leaving the
way-of-peace and may bring a war on us, and there's no
will to serve under such a government,. And some say that
the evasion of the ultra-orthodox is too much, and no one
is their sucker, that will go and volunteer and be in danger
of them, while they are celebrating on our money, and
deciding there in the government upon our fate.

All these claims, however heavy and justifiable they may
be, doesn't justify "small-head" and "close-to-home" or
"profile 210" (a complete release from military service due
to permanent health problems) Government comes and
government goes, and the country (literally "state") always
remains, and our country is still threatened, and the
country is you. And the country is the life of you and your

A strong army is still, regretfully, forced by reality (maybe
now more than ever)., and even anyone who has strong
and right criticism over the policy, shouldn't confuse
between the policy and the country, which is always we,
which is always ours, in good and in bad. This country is
our land, our homeland, our home, and it's too important
to us that we will leave the military service alone and give
it to others. It is not right to do; it is not wise; it is not
responsible and it's not even fair.

It's very important that people with values, who obey only
their commanders and their personal conscience, will
make the tune in IDF, because the tune makes the music,
and the music in the army makes the march.

If our army will be weakened, if it will not feel self
confident, it will also not inspire security, With an
embarrassed IDF, which spreads embarrassment,, it will
be more difficult to make peace, because making peace is
always accompanied with making compromises and only
the strong is able and allowed to compromise.

Now they start a committee, another committee, to check
the "decreasing of motivation." You don't need this
committee to know the true reasons for the decreasing of
motivation and the ways to raise it anew, You know
yourselves and your friends better than any committee in
the world, even better than the Prime Minister and the
Minister of Security together, and who except you can
prove that even out of feeling of criticism and frustration,
of repulsiveness and bad feeling, there's enough
responsibility in you to fulfill a duty. No one will raise your
moral nor your motivation- only you will raise and go up,
if you want.

I thank you for your attention.
Yosi Sarid

Santiago Gomez's response (translated from the Hebrew)

Hello Mr. Sarid:

I have read your letter to 12 graders, and I couldn't fail to

I managed to read beyond your clean language, beyond
your "father's advise" language, far beyond the
enlightened, nice appearance that you show. And I didn't
like what I saw. Your message is too simple: mobilize in
the army. That's all - two words. But the view behind
them - however common here in Israel - is one of the
most terrible and hateful views toward human beings,
their liberty, and their basic right to live.

Mr. Sarid, you may be seen in your letter as the left winger
humanist who already has a monopoly on conscience, and
thus the ability to "judge" our morality, our claims. Please,
Mr. Sarid, let me know what is your real motivation when
you declare that you already know all our doubts and fears,
because I don't believe you're interested in our good, and
because I have the feeling that you're doing it so you
could, actually think and decide instead of us, from an
`authoritative' position, to eliminate those doubts and fears
before they grow, and to do it out of so-called `empathy"
and "understanding," without showing the fact that your
concern is actually for the `national interest." Do you
know what is the definition of a "Fascist," Mr. Sarid? A
Fascist is a man who thinks that the citizen should serve
the state and not the opposite; that the state is more
important than man is. I would like to hear from you
where do you stand according to this definition?

But before you answer, I have a small mission for you that
can help you decide: stand and say before all your friends
in the Knesset, in front of the television cameras, aloud
and convincingly, that every man's life - every man's- is
more important than the state. Please say that the life of
the rag-wearied beggar, of the incurable patient grounded
to his bed, of the poor and foreign worker, of the prisoner
in his cell - that the life of every person you see on the
street, of any anonymous stranger, are more important
than the State of Israel, That the flag is nothing compared
to them. That the value of Zionism is a small comma
compared to their value., And I want you to say that about
me as well, about my life. I want you to say that my life is
a million times more important than the State, its
institutions, than its papers, than its laws. That we all are
"above the law." Can you say that honestly, without
hesitation or stuttering. No, I didn't think you could.

Mr. Sarid, you are a Fascist, perhaps not out of ideology.
Perhaps just out of stupidity, confusion or a narrow mind -
but, you're still a Fascist.

One moment, wait, don't hurry to defend yourself yet,
since I know what you're about to say. You're about to
claim that in your eyes, the IDF soldiers protect their lives
and the lives of other humans and not necessarily the
State, as a separate thing. I'm sorry, Mr. Sarid, but this
claim sounds to me, in a devalued language, ridiculous.

If, as you say, the State is we, then why instead of telling
people "defend yourselves, the humans" you're declaring
that it's needed to "defend the State"? And why, instead of
telling the young that "their life is in danger," you prefer
using a sentence like "Our State is still threatened"? And
tell me why, if, as you say, "the State is you," you don't
trust her and you don't trust him that their natural, free life
instinct will raise them to defend themselves and their
lives, and instead of that you're calling them to defend an
abstraction, an organization, the social concept called

And let me remind you, Mr Sarid, that in contradiction
with the "advising father" image you created for yourself,
you're not only "calling" or "advising" them to do that -
you are an active member and a partner in a governmental
staff that obligates them, according to law and under the
threat of arrest, to defend this "State." Explain to me why
you force these young - and along them myself as well - to
defend themselves only through "the defense of the State,"
to defend themselves only indirectly, through you, through
your organization, your planning, and your commanding.
Who benefits from this going around?" Is it possible that
the state - which you and you friends, the ministers and
the Knesset members are heading - is the one that feeds
and gets strong on it? Is it possible that this is what you're
actually interested in and not the protection of human life?
Is it possible that the will to power is causing you to take
our lives, the real ones, which are the most precious thing
we have, and that we could not live them again - and use
them for "humaning", a fiction that is call "a state"?

If it isn't so, then why do you force military service by law?
Aren't you aware of the simple fact which every child
knows, that people whose life is in danger defend
themselves out of their free will and without any need to
force them? Or maybe you just don't trust the young
correct thinking. It's an instinct, Mr. Sarid, `the instinct of
survival," and it's present in everyone of us, including 12

The truth is that you, as a politician, are interested in
creating a society where the government will have, always
and in any time, obedient citizens who will be ready (in the
name of democracy) to execute any policy that will be
decided by the government. You may hide it under the
cover of idealism, but the true reason for you appealing to
the youth and calling them to mobilize and to ignore the
current government's policy is not your respect for
democracy, not your "fair game" approach, not your
political politeness and not your political integrity, This
call of yours is coming out of a cold calculation, not out of
the knowledge that one day you nay be in the government
too and on that day you - the same like the present
government- will breed `cannon meat' slaves, with full
obedience to their government. The right wing is much
too stupid to use the sophistication of your methods,
much too self confident,, so it calls for obedience under its
government and to rejection and rebellion under left
governments. You, Mr Sarid, are smarter than they, less
hotheaded, more "civilized" - but no less a Fascist.

The facts are clear: when both the state and both the
humans inside it are endangered, you are willing to
sacrifice the humans for the existence of the state and not
the opposite, and this in spite of the fact that the state is a
fiction, a concept, it's nothing perceptible.

A "state" is just a headline, a name for a group of humans
organized in a certain way: in form of "a state."

You may think it's the most efficient way, that if you left
us, 12 graders and other young, to organize themselves in
order to protect their lives and their land, out of law's and
army's framework, there would be a great chaos, or that it
is totally unrealistic, and so you use nation, state and army
to unite and to organize us. It could be. But here, this is
another difference between you and me, Mr. Sarid,
because those things I see as vital, efficient, and the best
and even necessary for all the population - I am in no way
willing to force them on the rest of the humans, I don't
think it's moral to force on the citizens of Israel by police,
courts, "education," fines, laws and prisons, Truth,
Justice or efficiency as I see them, Because one who does
this, no matter what are his intentions or what is his world
view, is a dictator and not a humanist if using your words,
"It is not right to do, it is not wise, it is not responsible,
and it's not even fair."

Maybe you don't understand at all how it is possible to do
the opposite, that is, how it is possible to sacrifice the state
to save its citizens. If so, let me explain it to you:

The state, as I told you several times, is not an existent
thing that you could see; its borders are not a perceptible
thing that you could touch. The state hasn't a
`personality" that can `demand' things from you or to be
under `threat." There are only officials that pretend to
represent it, or citizens that pretend to obey it. And this is
actually both its existence, both the reason for its
existence and both the plane on which it exists. Actually,
what exists in reality is only "the belief in the state."

Humans, on the other side, like you and me, are flesh and
blood; they exist. We, not like the state, are a real thing.
The inhabitants of the State of Israel and the State of Israel
itself exist in different dimensions, in the two most far
poles of human perception: reality and imagination.

The way to actually execute the belief that human being
and their lives are more important then the state, or in
other words, the way to "sacrifice the state for the
salvation of its citizens," the only true Anti-Fascism- is
estrangement from the belief in the state. Simply that. The
"sacrifice" is done on the perceptual plane, on which only
there the state exists, and there's no need to destroy or to
break anything actually.

Your call for 12th graders to mobilize for the state's sake,
your contempt towards "small head," "close to home,"
and "profile 21" means that it's a duty for the young to be
in danger and even to die - in time of need or cause - for
the state's sake and even though you're surely not happy
with this version of your sayings, it's precise at a hundred

Your "moral" is the sacrifice of human beings, of their
lives, for a thing that is even not non- living, but
non-existent; a thing which, ironically, the only
justification for its existence is that it's supposed to save
lives! This position strengthens, of course, the belief in the
state the same way it's coming out of it: it advances the
belief in the state and (rejects) the belief in human beings,

The State of Israel, like the rest of the states in the world,
was established thanks to violence; they are its result.
Whether it was the aggression of tribes, kings and
emperors (Europe) war of independence (USA), or
voyages of conquest and enslavement (Third World states)
- violence always had a major role in their establishment,
The State of Israel is no different. It was established in a
violent struggle, in organized violence of terrorist groups
("freedom fighters," perhaps?) against the British,,
Palestinians and Arabs, and later on in war too. Except
from being the result of violence, states create violence as
well, every day - they strengthen and perpetuate it. In this
issue Israel is not different as well. The threat you talk
about, Mr. Sarid, the same threat hanging now over the
State of Israel, the same threat that requires the
mobilization of young, the "strong army" - what is it
actually? It seems strange to me that you don't mention it,
its reasons, its character or the origin of its creation.

The state created this threat, this problem, Mr. Sarid, and
so it can't be the solution., The State of Israel, the State of
Jordan, the State of Syria, the State of Iran - not one state
created this problem but the mere idea of a "state." The
direction (that you support with enthusiasm) to divide all
human beings in the world instead of uniting them, the
belief that the state is "we". Its "ours". And it's "our
home", if I quote you.

The only reason that in this moment there are people, who
I never met and they never met me, who are conspiring in
secret basements, and apartments to plan terrorist acts
and methods to murder me, personally, and the rest of the
people who live here, is because you forced is to represent
something which is actually yours and you force us to be
responsible for the `actions' of something that existed
before we were born and that we don't have real control
over its actions. The problem, the threat is aimed at this
thing, at `the state", and all your goal and the goal of your
friends in the Israeli politics is the creation of total
identification between us and it ("the State is always we"),
turning real human beings into a fiction, demography,
statistics, in order to create a human defense wall for the
power, the domination and the way in which you choose
to act. And of course one of the most efficient ways to turn
us into "the State of Israel" - is to put our lives too under
threat- is to encourage is to mobilize to the IDF with
propaganda that goes from the kindergarten to the mass
media - and includes such "letters" as yours.

On the the side of the state's border fence there are people
who want to murder me because they were too, like
myself, brainwashed by people like you, who created
parallelism between human life and states - only in their
case the brainwash worked, (while) I refuse to believe you
and listen to your `advises'.

Your call for the youth to mobilize is, both historically and
humanly, disconnected from its real context. And I would
like to return it to its original context by a small example:

Think about a man who goes, stupidly, to wash in a river
where there are whirlpools and very strong dragging
streams, After he entered the water, and already got stuck
in whirlpools and streams as well, he tries, of course, to
preserve body stability and control so he could keep his
head above the water. But this stability will not help him to
survive the river's steams, because sooner or later, his
body will be weakened and he will drown. Even a small
amount of air in his lungs is not the solution because very
soon it will end, and actually, his only solution is trying to
get to the river's bank in order to exit the water.

The State of Israel, like this man, is in a deadly whirlpool
from which we all are trying to be saved. Like that man,
Israel, it also could be said, shouldn't have gone into this
whirlpool, and that its entrance was the mistake which
brought upon us the danger and the threat we face today.
This, of course, is a very right thing to say, but this isn't
the solution, because the wheel can't be brought back.

The solution that you show in your letter to 12 graders,
Mr. Sarid, the mobilization to IDF, is the drowning man's
attempt to stabilize his body, The same way this man
sometimes manages to avoid one stream or another
whirlpool - so does a "strong army" manages sometimes
to stop one terrorist or to prevent another act of terror. But
it can't be done forever since our "body" will also be
weakened, the air in our lungs will run out, and this is
actually not a solution at all. Even your "peace process"
will not solve the problem because according to you,
during it and even after its conclusion we will need a
"strong army" perhaps even more than in the past, in
order to "inspire security."

The real solution is trying to reach the bank, to get out of
the river. The problem is that you, as most people, cancel
the will to "get out of the river" as dreamy, as utopian, as
non-realistic. And even though we're slowly being
weakened, air is running out, and we're about to drown -
you won't admit your mistake.

In order for the drowning man to understand that his only
way out is the land on the river's bank, he should first
understand that he made a mistake, and he shouldn't have
gone into the stormy river in the first place. If he won't
understand that, he won't have the will to be saved at all.
The same way you, Mr. Sarid, should abandon your
mistake, your belief in states, armies, nations, and the rest
of whirlpools drowning today's humanity and the State of
Israel. This is the first step (which I doubt you could do at

In order to be saved and to reach that river's bank, there's
no need that all the humans will smile and suddenly
become nice. There's no need that all the weapons in the
world will turn into flowers, and there's no need even for a
strong revolutionary uprising that will overthrow the
current order. It is only needed that you, yourself, will
understand and admit your mistake, and that you will have
the will to be saved. From there, the way to get to the
secured shore may be shorter and simpler than you think.

But the preservation of body stability, though not a
solution in itself, is still a necessary condition for being
saved from drowning, and you must ask yourself why, if I
admit that IDF is, in the existing reality, like an attempt to
stabilize the body, "forced by reality," I'm not joining it.

The answer is that., in my opinion, IDF is just a failing
attempt. It is the worst way of "stabilizing" the social
"body." since it is not aware of itself, of its real context and
of the fact that is it not a true solution. I, Mr. Sarid, am
working in my own way to keep our head above the water,
and I think that even though I'm not involved in the actual
capture of terrorist acts' comitters or the collecting of
intelligence information for the army - I work for the good
of society, and the damage I cause to human beings is
much smaller than the damage of the IDF's heros.

Your way, your "Letter to 12 graders." is a defeatist
attempt that only promotes the drowning and death of us
all, and my attempts - like this issue of "War on Words"
are positive , real attempts, without forcing lawmaking,
propagandistic.manipulation or political interests Only to
my regret my words reach must less people than your
letter in "Yediot Akhronot."

I thank you for your attention.

Yours hopefully that the motivation to serve to IDF will
keep going down.

S. Anti-Ego
(Aka Santiago Gomez)

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