The book you are holding or reading on a computer screen is an idea - guns2guitars - a brotherhood turning the tide of destructive militarism to constructive creation. Weapons of war will become musical instruments. Isiah’s prophecy. A message from 2072. 24 A4 pages to print out. Do you want peace in your life?.........................read on.
Writing can’t be banned. To unlock its power you must be able to read English, to think and
to act. Disarmament, non-violence, literacy, anti-militarism and peace in action.
English is the key! ....………………………………………WHY ENGLISH?!!!
Why is this book- whose purpose is- by using words - to turn weapons of war to musical instruments and armies into relief organizations - in English? Since it is directed at the Israeli army! Why not in Hebrew or Arabic - the official languages of Israel? Reasons:
1. Hebrew distinguishes between male and female. Solved in English unisexuality.
2. The book appears in e-mails and on CDs. Every computer supports English fonts while (relatively) few support Hebrew or Arabic fonts.
3. Fewer people read Hebrew (whose letters are the computer code of creation) than Dutch
(4 example). But... I (personally) met many Europeans with a gamut of national languages who would shelter deserters from the Israeli army. The book’s intent is that these grow and thrive as a network. Deserters need shelter. They read English. English is one of the unifying forces of the EU. Linking Poles to Portuguese and Swedes to Italians.
4. India, Australia, South Africa, America, Canada, Jethro Tull, Lenny Bruce, that girl with
the guitar. The general and the very specific.
5. An opportunity to improve your English. Good advice to Palestinians as well as Israelis. Translators are the artillery of the peace corps shelling words to bring understanding. The web addresses where this appears will be accused of working for Palestine. Palestinians will realize that using words is more effective than armed struggle and translate and disseminate a Hebrew version. The Israeli army will translate and disseminate in Arabic. Hebrew and Arabic writers proficient in translating English are the winners.
6. There is lots of time in prison to read. The book will reach conscientious objectors and pacifists in prisons. Take a dictionary. Prepare for freedom.
7. The internet - the majority of flying craft - cross continental business - university level studies - Tom Waits and waits. Why is six afraid of seven?
8. There is a big demand for English teachers in China
9. The first division into US & THEM - a hurdle one must overcome in the first steps on this path- is that of language. Us are those that speak my language. Them- those that don’t. To gain freedom-from-nationalism : learn another language. The book is about ways to heal the disease-of-nationalism and its symptoms - armies and armed conflict. Diagnosed as severe in Israel/Palestine (want a bibliography?)
10. If you can think of 9 more reasons than you are inventive. One of the elite I seek as my readers. Thinking of irrelevant, paradoxical, and humorous alternatives to situations-which-seemingly-have-only-two-possible-outcomes is one of the skills you will continuously exercise. The ability to articulate these is a step toward getting a discharge. The pen and microphone are mightier than the Kalachnikov and Uzi.
11. I don’t know what I know - or: 11 lies that pull you into the military
Lie #1: no-one-wants-war. The truth: Paid soldiers and a host of groups, companies and organizations would stand to lose were there no armed conflict. War is profitable! It provides power and money to some at the expense of others. War-is-good-for-the-economy. Cynic sez "invest your son". Israelis add "your daughter too". The price of a cluster bomb with its guaranteed sale to a government that gets a loan guarantee from the country that produced it is a secure profit. Got it?
A continuous war - even one fought somewhere far away- keeps production going and the population in constant fear obedience. Balance between a ruling class and a ruled class. (Emmanuel Goldstein). Potential war keeps the production of weapons in gear and fits lie #2: Whoever wants peace should prepare for war. From a politician’s viewpoint humans are pliable and can be taught to doublethink. U2 are not immune from selling and buying. There is more certainty in weapons sales that are government decisions than in furniture sales, CD sales or fashion sales which are in the hands of advertisers and consumers. RPG’s are purchased in multiples of 10,000. Oboes are made, sold and taught one by one. Want quantity? Earthly power? War rules! Weapons sell!! Governments buy!!! Full employment. War is state sanctioned killing and no country jails its patriots. Want to sell weapons? Make sure there are buyers and a potential conflict.
It matters not what a war is about as long as it continues. Preferably out of sight... in someone else’s backyard.
We must be made to believe war is necessary and that without it the social order would topple. Chaos and anarchy - we fear them. Buying and selling -these are familiar. To keep a population from overthrowing an incompetent or despotic government, direct that energy against an external (real or contrived) enemy. Groups relinquish internal conflict when faced with an outside threat. This is dictatorship basics. Politicians who need unity or want to silence their opposition will contrive a war. When invaders are at the door (3 of them can be made to seem like 30,000) dissent can be silenced. WAR IS PEACE. The stability of discontent. The masters of war are the masters of the economy. (Dylan).
Just make sure you are one of the party. The ruling class. The buyers and sellers of arms. The road there leads through..………..... you guessed it! The army. Generals become politicians. Not only in Israel but disproportionately so there. They are used to getting things done, issuing orders and expropriating funds. War is good for politicians. For generals, paid soldiers, workers in the defense ministry, the defense industry, the fence builders, mine sellers, contractors, sub-contractors, uniform manufacturers, industrialists and investors. Good business for 700.000 Israelis and as many Palestinians. Not good for your sister.
So war is good for some! You may not have seen it that way before. Wake up! That’s what this is about: enlightenment. Lets pose a question: Would you send your son if he was a pain and you would get a pension if he dies? If you think it would increase his chances to get a good job!? If it made a man of him!!? If it gave your family a good name!!!? Let’s exempt your son for the sake of biology. Would you send someone else to a war if it meant more wealth for you and your family? Don’t be so sure you wouldn’t. Most people would! You are with the majority. Hypocrisy is human. I’ve been there. Are you more righteous?
Right! Righteous?. .Lie #3.. righteous anger! Directed at them it can be used to the advantage of our group. Anger isn’t primary (instinctual). Fear is! (fight or flight). The Course in Miracles teaches that only love and fear exist. We hate what we fear. We can be made to fear them and to believe that they are not like us. We are literate - they are bloodthirsty. We love our children - they produce lots of children and are willing to sacrifice them. We have Jewish blood - they have blood on their hands. Politicians are there to convince us that they are a threat and we need to defend ourselves from them. (Pink Floyd - Sting - Hanna Arndt). Question this and you need to retreat to biology. Us and them, a basic human division, is based not on biology but on sociology. The study of outgroups / ingroups and group dynamics. Politics or academia- choose. I’m registered to study sociology in the UK next year - a way out of the military. Want to overcome the us/them division? read on......
Is soldiering inherent in human nature? Ask: Is smoking inherent in human nature!? We know smoking is bad for our health. Still we smoke. I do! don’t you? We are the consumers. Ask: Who is it good for? Answer: The tobacco growers. The cigarette and cigar manufacturers. The distributors and vendors. The advertisers and duty free shops. Around the world. Lots of revenue (money) and jobs depend on some convincing others that incremental death is cool. Would it continue if death was sudden? If cigarettes brought instant death. It would not do well for sales. One puff - one buyer less. Do I need to explain the analogy?
Nah- you explain it.
Lie #4:How do they (sorry-we) do it? Create a myth - link smoking with sex, food, status and.... Advertise! - choose a target group and ADVERTISE! That’s marketing. In politics its called propaganda. Indoctrination is what they do. They teach hate. Education is what we do. We teach fear. Doesn’t sound good? Use honor, courage, bravery, manliness, manifest destiny, chosen people, racial superiority and patriotism. Love of our country. Your country. Fatherland. Motherland .Homeland. Pour it on! People eat it up! Our nationally defined us with flags, hymns and quality editing. This needs a background of a them. And a malicious evil threatening them who want to drive us from our homes, rape our women, steal our cars and eat our ice cream - an enemy. One that doesn’t shave. It will make you puke!
This rhetoric appeals more to men than women. So does football. And football is big! Is there a country without a football team? Why does a football match between England and France look like a military invasion with the logistics of troop movement to cross the channel? It’s our boys against their boys. Its a man kinda thang and if you tune in brother you will be screaming and waving flags and painting your face too / Its just too human in this zoo. Tactic: "I’m not a real man, no cigarettes, no football"
But you are a real man! Aren’t you? Are you? Prove it! Use Lie #5 Here’s how.
A gun! It shoots! It gives you power. Here in your hand. You’re feared. Respected. Listened to. And you can get better at it. You can be captain of your squad! Your platoon! Your brigade! And the bigger you get - the more girls you’ll have. It works! In football like in the army.
Bringing the dynamic from the collective subconscious into the light and ridiculing it will not stop it. Only place you outside as an academic intellectual which that same myth says is shunned by women. Not true. Watch enough television and you’ll see it. Tactic: no television- already puts you outside the norm (23). The real man dynamic (like the cigarette vignette) still works. Boys will be boys and will want toys and will want to conquer (girls or hills). Seek, chase, destroy, shoot, penetrate, goooooooooooooooaaaal. And then a cigarette to celebrate. IMA MAN!
Muddy Waters got 6 up on you. Dat challenge is da best I can do. Be a musician!
It takes 300 times more skill to play a saxophone than to operate an M-16. The economic difference is that the sale of 30,000 M-16s is guaranteed and you can not use fear to get anyone to play Saxophone.
Its money vs. art. and myth is our weapon.
The scholar was the alternative myth of the ideal man for the Jews until they got their homeland (army, football team, flag, hymn) and became a nation like all others nations. The book appeals to the myth of the gypsy, the artist, the traveler, the musician. Jimi Hendrix was a paratrooper but he woke up and left the army when his parents sent him a guitar. You were not born to be a soldier - you were born to be an individual. An artist! A revolutionary!! A leader!!! So..... lets appeal to your sense of elitism. The need to impress girls. The peacock in Rabbi Cohen’s Story of Isaac.
A critique of the book is that it is blatantly elitist while trying to achieve a universal goal (universal disarmament). The party’s opening shot. We need masses - political change comes through group action. Revolution isn’t for individuals. Counter-argument : Internal change is no less real than external. If you have saved one soul - you have saved a whole universe. In a brotherhood like Sayeret Tzaddikim you only know two or three others.
Revolution happens in twos and threes.
Sayeret Tzaddikim is for the finest, the brightest and best (men too) and you are already past the first selection. You read English and you read this far. Playing soldiers is for 9-year-old boys and you’re beyond that now.
Refusing to join the army because "it’s a game for immature boys" will incite enough insult to have you sent to a psychiatrist. Want masses? This isn’t the way to go! Want enlightenment? Grow up and put a foot on the path! That’s the difference between mystic brotherhoods where knowledge is transmitted in small groups and organized religion with its temples, budgets, priesthood, ranks and cadres.
Truth: No one is in the army if he does not want to be or is afraid the price for refusing is too high. There is a price and like the joke, we are haggling over it.
Tactic: 15 shekels (2.5 euros) a day!!!! You are joking. And insulting me.
What is the price? What will I get when I join the army? What will I lose if I don’t? What are the alternatives?
Depends on place and time. National Socialist Germany’s price for refusal was hanging, exile (running away to Switzerland) or laying low with a non-combat job in the Wehrmacht. No glory, no girls, no nice uniform. A clean conscience in retrospect. In 21st century Germany alternative service is possible (www.dfk-vg) and even offers travel but no nice uniform (sorry). In Belgium alternative service was 2 years (less manly than 1 year in the Belgian military). They got over that by now as did most western countries. Exceptions: Spain, Greece, Switzerland! Finland. These have anti-militarist movements. After WWII, within 40 years (no such thing as revolution –it’s got another name its called evolution –go slow-Shawn Phillips & revolution is revelation-Ofer Golany) military service became voluntary rather than mandatory.
Voluntary service means: by choice. Soldiers are paid and will be the less educated lower class. Mandatory: your name and birthday match state records (see how to jam records). Your number is up. If you don’t come to them they’ll come looking for you. 10% of the military are those who keep records and come looking for you. Advertising? Lennon’s inner sleeve for Sometime in NYC - a British Army recruitment poster. Haggai studied with Reb Lennon. He can imagine.
Holland, France, England and America pay their soldiers money. The glory, girls and nice uniforms we will call PRIDE. Pride and a salary. The price is choice. Choice (existentialism) is high on a scale of values. Use a dictionary. Like Meir Ariel and Noam Chomsky we are interested in the power of words and how they mean different things to different people. Choice includes knowledge, consciousness and other abstracts but it boils (and simmers) down to what you do with your time, where, with whom and at what price. Once you sign up for the military you hand over these choices to someone else. Immature. Working for any company you sign a contract for a set length of time and an agreed upon pay. You can always choose to resign or quit, the loss being your salary.
In the Israeli army you agree to give yourself totally for 3 years for 15 shekels a day. You wouldn’t think of accepting such terms with a civilian employer. But... duty, bravery, Fatherland, Motherland, hero, uniform and rank...the coins of politicians....these are worth something! They are worth alot! They are worth the employment of those who sell you / their value.
The education system and media have a stake in giving a high price to patriotism. They are the sellers and they are paying you with gratitude to defend them from ‘the enemy’ and their jobs from redundancy.
The choice presented 300 words earlier is extreme: Serve the Wehrmacht or hang. Eichman with his desk job can’t be blamed for wanting to stay alive. He can be blamed (and was) for being overzealous, and competent beyond doing the minimum. He did not just do what he was told but aimed to please and be more efficient. Eichman rose in rank. Rank, pay, a state pension, glory, the gratitude of the state for offering yourself and the promise of a political post with more pay, glory and power is what you will get when you join the army.
What can an Israeli who didn’t serve the military lose?.....Lie #6
A government job. Work as one of those who question you on every flight going to Israel. Higher pay for the same job in the Ministry of Education. What Arab Israelis do not get. Although Israel doesn’t publicize it- 20%-of-Israel’s- citizens-are-Arab. 1 out of 5. Arabs are not called to serve in the Israeli army. Arabs do not get the housing subsidies that are based on military service. Arabs do not get the Jewish Agency help given to (Jewish!) new immigrants. Arabs do not get vocational training or education grants given to army veterans and Arabs do not get hired for jobs that advertise ‘for army veterans’. In this "democratic" manner they have the right to vote but remain fourth class citizens. A boy who didn’t serve in the military will be a third class citizen. Second class if female. Not fourth class if he or she is Jewish. Third class! Fourth class is for Arabs. This only applies if you live the rest of your life in Israel but is useful intimidation if you are young. Who at 17 knows that they will be first cello in the Sydney Philharmonic?
Most job applications ask what one did in the military. Israel, like most societies, is a class society but the main distinction (religion? sex? age? ethnicity?) is army service. Army service is the entrance ticket to be one of us (manager, homeowner, government employee). "What did you do in the army?" is the most common question after "how much did you pay for that?" in Israeli society. The assumption that you served the army is basic until you meet Israeli Arabs who live in another reality. One of my teachers is such an Israeli Arab - a Christian from Nazareth. Tactic for a discharge: show a group of friends made of Arabs.
12. Lie #7 "everybody has to". Not everybody. Israeli Arabs are exempt. New immigrants over 40- exempt. They were not when I was a lieutenant. I taught 50-year-old Russian immigrants that to be part of Israeli society they need to learn to use a gun.
Married women - exempt. Religious students - exempt. The blind, deaf, insane, mentally deficient, crippled, over 50 (years old) or under 40 (kilos) - exempt!
Everyone deemed defective by society - exempt.
But you are not defective! Are you? You are able bodied, educated, young, strong, (crescendo) fit and willing. Achtung!!! Not willing? (long silence) A failure of the education system. A new immigrant who doesn’t understand how things work. Or.... a new breed.... an enlightened elitist artist who is not ‘not good enough’ but ‘too good’ to waste 3 years. The 3 years of peak physical condition. 18 to 21. The 3 years when most fashion models and football players are hired. The 3 years when college students finally leave home.
That what the state is asking you to give to its army.
Not interested!? They will call you an egoist who thinks only about himself. They already called you elitist. So.....? If that kind of rhetoric doesn’t faze you and the "fact" that ‘everyone has to’ is exposed as a lie than the army can create a new category "motivationally deficient" or something like that.
...3 years.......are you serious? From 18 to 21? For 15 shekels a day!? I make that much in 10 minutes as a street musician! You’re putting me on!
Putting you on? On what?
It’s an expression in British English meaning: "you must be joking".
Answer the military with laughter: "you are insulting my intelligence". Act indignant and amused. It will throw the recruiters off. In countries where there is voluntary service and recruiters seek recruits this is enough to get a recruiter to seek others who are less intelligent. (Fahrenheit 9/11). Step outside the box for a year. India shows how ludicrous life in Israel has become. Post-army escapee: "How could I, for 3 years, allow men with the IQ of morons to shout at me and tell me what to do? And I did what they told me! I must have been young and stupid." It takes 3 years for the smart ones to get it. Than they are already 21 - chewed up and spit out.
Ah India - land of enlightenment! This is why recruitment age is 18. 17 if you’re willing. 16 in some countries. Even 12 in others. As young as possible and still able to hold a gun. You don’t see recruiters looking for 30-year-olds. By that age you should have woken up. But that’s what the military is counting on - most people are sleepwalking. Stay a child another 3 years.
No, I’m not putting you on. You are not guilty if the world is imperfect. You are guilty if you do nothing to change it. The book’s goal is to change the reality of child soldiers- to recruit only above the age of 30. To shorten military service to 2 years by 2006, to 1 year by 2012.
But.... for the non-Israeli reader.....
In Israel basic military service is 3 years (36 months) for boys. 2 years (24 months) for girls. To non-Israelis this may be news. In Israel this is the norm. You knew that.
There are songs about it. Newspapers are full of "our boys" (and girls!!! - in uniform). The army has its own radio station. The best station for traffic reports. With interviews of proud parents. Guns and uniforms are part and parcel of the Israeli experience.
Israel is a militaristic society with 17% of the population in defense related industries. A military of 350,000 in a population of 6 million. 24% of GNP spent on "defense". American loans given to Israel are given on condition that they are used to buy American weapons. Most states have a military. In Israel the military has a state. Everyone knows it. No one speaks openly against it. Well, not exactly nobody - www.newprofile.com does. They are part of Sayeret Tzaddikim.
Albert Einstein said: Nationalism-is-a-childhood-disease : the smallpox of the human race.
The disease is so common that Israelis don’t even realize they are sick. More than that, military service continues till one’s 40's with a month of reserve duty – Miluim-once a year. Indefinite reserve duty in a declared emergency. That’s the price of Israeli citizenship. ( lie! - go back a page) Only once out of Israel - with no security and not a gun in sight for months does one realize that that is normal and Israel is a large insane asylum. You are 17. How to survive the madness?
That was a kind of introduction. Are you still with me? We are 1/4 of the way through
or, being in it, how to get out.
Perhaps at this point stop and think for yourself (what the state does not want you to do but can not prevent you from doing) why guns are evil and armies immoral. Make a list. Write it down. Making a list of points is good preparation for the various stations and interviews you will go through.
This is the WORKSHOP FOR A DISCHARGE
Did you find enough reasons? Did you write them down? No punishment awaits you if you didn’t. Once inside the army you will have plenty of time to think why it was a mistake to step in but less opportunity to step out so use it now. Carpe your diem.
Here goes: reasons: (also a 24 page pink booklet called
HASADNA LEPTOR METZAHAL -an obscure underground collectors item)
13. A moral reason - based on a definition of good and evil. An army may be justified in defending (good) life and property. One talks of the Ministry of Defense. A defense budget. These will become the ministry of welfare and the development budget or are we becoming prophetic too soon. Down boy! back to reality.
Most armies are offensive (evil). Participation in an offensive (evil) is immoral. A distinction can be made on a geographical basis: the German army will not leave German territory (an evil it committed in ‘38 and learned the lesson at the price of a very bad name). Defensive armies are small. To conquer you need a big army.
Distinction can be made by the nature of the equipment used. A sandbag, bandage or gasmask are defensive (good). They don’t explode or wound. A cruise missile is offensive (bad). So are machine guns, cannons, tanks (go on with the list). These do not provide food or water. Giving: food, water, shelter, medical care, is good. Taking these away is bad. To become moral armies will become relief organizations. This is happening already.
An alternative civil defense which has no offensive capability is where energy will flow. Hey …………………….you’re slipping into prophecy again.
The army will try to label you a political refusenik (www.refuz.org) who doesn’t understand that the best defense is a good offense (a military mantra- also not true). The ratio (which the army taught me) needed to defend a position is one defender for ten attackers. Reviewing history, armies generally brought more misery than good and so have a bad name which you do not want to be associated with.
Another tactic: break down ‘political refusenik’. You are not political by a definition of political as a group effort. You’re an individual - you simply have other things more relevant than army service. This worked well for D: "political? Nah! I’m not interested in politics! I have a wife and two daughters. That is much more important than whatever it is you (his laison-recruiting officer) are calling me about."
Second point: you are not refusing. Refusal is confrontative. It points a finger at the army and accuses them of wrongdoing. You are just not interested in joining their project or game. Refer to army service as a game. You want to learn the rules and have a printed copy of the rulebook before joining. You read a bit about it and it sounds like a bad game.
Someone who is content and happy has little reason to join a group of malcontents. Describe your happiness. Give examples of unhappiness in the army. Sane thinking will not allow you to exchange a good situation for a worse one. Malcontents are the target group for recruitment. Those who don’t have three meals, enough clothes and friends will join an army to have these. Show the army that they can not give you anything you don’t already have and that what they are offering you don’t really need.
2sum: the army does bad things. It uses guns, which my mother (who is always right) says are bad and I have read that soldiers hurt people and make them cry and: "I... I don’t want to be a soldier mama... I don’t want to die " (Lennon and 17). Childish? "unless you become as little children you cannot ...." ....you know the rest.
14. systems view. Democracy is a system. So are communism, dictatorship, the education system, the health care system and the family unit. Each system operates on a set of principles. Democracy operates on a principal that through dialogue, consensus, and process
decisions are reached and the rights of minorities are protected. Don’t forget that second half though it begs a definition of rights and minorities. The military has neither consensus, nor dialogue. The military process: decisions are reached by a small group or one power-obsessed leader (not elected) and passed on as commands through a chain of command. Obedience is the norm and punishment (expulsion in the best case) is the reaction to disobedience. An army - by its nature - can not operate otherwise.
To someone used to having an active part in decision making; arriving at decisions by dialogue, persuasion and consensus; one who is used to requests with rewards- someone like you- trading Democracy for the harsh autocracy of "do as I say - because I rank above you" and "no one asked what you think" -is an act of self-immolation. Consensual slavery. Psychiatrists agree that a healthy person would not willingly enter such an unhealthy system. Key word: willingly. Many have traded freedom for slavery. This is why the angels doing the proofreading cry all the time. Humans who have choice (18) disappoint them.
Compare systems....if you disagree with their principles (obedience, commands, rank) than offer alternative principles (mutual agreement, consensus, virtue) and alternative systems. An argument: a dictatorship and an army are effective in. Counterarguement: the greatest good for the greatest number is a higher principle than efficiency.
14a. Don’t enter a place, organization or vehicle which you may not be able to leave. Ask at the induction center: "can we have a week trial and than you will accept my resignation if I see it’s not for me? Can we agree to this in writing?" Now you made them laugh: "you must be joking. This is not a job interview" Truth: it is easier not to enter the army than once inside ,and realizing that it is not as good as your life was before, to get out. The army gives no written guarantees. Will not give you a manual with your rights unless you demand it. Such a manual exists- it is called פקודות מטכ"ל. It specifies the minimum hours of sleep you are entitled to, the conditions of your vacation, the dress code and more. Demand a copy and read through it before joining.
The army does not appreciate individuals who know their rights and demand them. They do not want you to complain. The army has a complaint procedure. Use it from the first contact. If shouted at - demand the full name rank and number - walk out - close the phone and file a complaint. Remember that as a citizen you have many more rights than as a soldier. In all aspects of life. Are you willing to give up these rights? Two examples:
A civilian telling another civilian that they are speaking BULLSHIT is insulting. Not great for human relations. Consequences: they will avoid you. A soldier insulting someone above him in rank will be punished and tried. Believe me- I have been accused of having Chutzpa and tried by the military for speaking my mind. Tactic: while still a civilian at the induction center, point out that you can insult a soldier and at worst he will ask you to leave. The moment you are enlisted, yourself a soldier, you can (in this new system) be punished simply for having a big mouth. A big mouth is a liability in this system. Demand to have your profile (18) lowered because you have chutzpa. 24.
Second example: As a soldier your-body-is-army-property.
Read that again: your-body-is-army-property. Not only your uniform and belongings (duffel bag, shaving kit, sewing kit, armor, gun, bullets etc.) which if you damage, lose or alter you can be fined for but your body. Make a piercing, a tattoo, use drugs, shoot yourself in the foot or mix ashes in your tea and you will be put on trial for ‘damaging army property’. Refuse to give urine in the routine urine checks the army conducts to see that ‘its property’ is not using drugs and you can be tried for refusing to give your pee which is ‘army property’. Prison. Military prison.
Summery: conscription is a form of slavery. Reach for a dictionary. Look up ‘conscription’, ‘consent’ and ‘slavery’. A majority of volunteers does not mean freedom. It means they chose consensual slavery.
Further reading: the bill of human rights which your government promised to provide you a copy of in a language you understand.
15. ALTERNATIVES It’s easier to say no to something when you have something else you are saying yes to. Would you refuse 3 years of doing something you like doing, or have always wanted to do? Always wanted to be a soldier or is it something you were told you need to do before getting on with life and doing what you really want. "What do you really want?" Big question. It will return throughout life. Always wanted to fly airplanes? The army gives you an opportunity. The price is 12 years of your life. Unless you are Arab and then they will laugh at your naiveté. You can study flying in Belgium 10 years later. All Israelis travel after their army service. Using their discharge bonus, a 5000 shekel carrot the army holds out so you complete your service. Something no Arab gets. A round trip ticket to India. The 450 shekels (100$) per month (800 for combat) you get in the army is enough for a month’s room and meals in India. One needs above average maturity, English and self- confidence to leave home for a foreign country at 17.
Hey.………….. it is these above average types I am writing for.
The music or film academy you apply for will not reject your application because you are 17. Outside Israel you aren’t asked if you completed your military service. Most art schools in Israel don’t ask either. The state funded ones will give you a bonus. A way to keep Arabs out. England has programs for young people willing to serve humanity in a foreign country (www.projectrust.org.uk) as do Holland and Belgium. Germany even created a structure of civil service which extends as far as working with the handicapped and elderly in Israel. Humanity is much bigger than Israel. You already read it: English is a key.
Israeli girls can do alternative service. Where once this was limited to religious girls there is now an organization www.shlomit.org.il which offers this to non-religious girls as well.
guns2guitars’ goals: have Israel follow the German example and recognize the status of ‘pacifist’ and ‘conscientious objector’ for boys as well as girls: provide a structure of alternative civil service for its Arab citizens who want to contribute to the society.
Don’t wait for the Israeli government. Take the initiatives. From the outside. The world outside Israel will help you. Look at the links: www.antenna.nl. Guns2guitars helps direct to music. Specifically, traveling musicians in Europe. Are you in? Would you rather learn to play Celtic harp or a 50mm gun? Would you rather learn belly dancing or grenade production? There are many alternatives. As many as you can imagine. imagination is your weapon. Imagination and self-confidence. Tell the army you have something planned for next year. You won’t put it off for 3 years for the benefit of any officer’s career. The psychiatrist agrees that self-development trumps national commitment. He agrees that arranging a scholarship to study takes more word skills than basic training. More independent and autonomous decisions and responsibility - measures of both sanity and maturity are needed for a month of travel than the decisions and responsibility one will have in basic training.
Convince the psychiatrist. It’s your alternative.
Self-confidence. In order to not become intimidated by the psychiatrist prepare definitions of autonomy, responsibility, decisions, maturity, self-development and other terms which are his working tools. The army’s assumption is that you are not familiar with these at 17. Speak his language. Tell him you want to be the best you can be and the army offers no challenge you consider worthy. How many of the musicians you know were trained as musicians by the army? The army offers travel to places where you will be unwanted, study of how to most effectively subjugate, dry exercise, live-fire exercise, intimidation and commands. guns2guitars offers travel to places where you are welcome, study of how to help and give, recording, performing, prayer and networking as alternatives.
prayer and study: The Israeli army discharges Religious students studying torah in a recognized Yeshiva. Only for Jews. No Muslims, Christians, Buddhists or Tantric yoga students. The book challenges recruitment on the basis of two words: ‘recognized’ and ‘torah’. ‘torah’ literally means body of knowledge: biology, astronomy, psychology, flower arranging, numbers; any body of knowledge. In common usage it means the five books of Moses.19. use these to get a discharge.
Sex-teen FEMINISM Armed Conflict is a man’s game. Male bonding. Male camaraderie. Dominance and submission. Armies are hierarchical, not co-operative. Men are hierarchical. Women are co-operative.
Guns do not produce food. They take it away by force. Grenades do not give milk which is basic to life. Life can continue without guns but mammals can not without milk. The plan for mammals is: give milk. Society could exist with 10% males and 90% females but not the other way around. In the Old Testament wars were conducted to capture slaves. Male slaves are cheap labor and female slaves are both cheap labor and child producers.
That was the past. The Third Reich’s Lebensborn program and the systematic rape - as army policy- in Bosnia are examples of how armies can act on the basis of a sexual us/them. But... in the future armies will be relief organizations, flying doctors (the future soldiers) and bakers to areas hit by earthquakes, floods, or famine. Women are already in that future. Biologically and ideologically. Why put off eventuality? Why wait until 2072 when invasions will be invasions of goodwill rather than destruction? Make it happen in 2012!
A militaristic society admires the soldier as the man to have children with. But a soldier is often away from home leaving childcare to... women. Change priorities from power to caregiving and education. Higher salaries for those who work with young children than to professional soldiers is a step in the right direction.
Lizostrata - a Greek heroine who locked herself with a group of women in a temple, withholding sex and childcare till the men quit their war games was successful. Today men still go to war (and football games) together coming back wounded to be taken in by women who see this as the natural order. This is not natural. When children bury their parents - it is natural. When parents bury their children - it isn’t. Society has glorified the fighting man. It will disown him. Not impressed by uniforms and guns but by acts of kindness? You are on the path! ‘Not impressed’ pulls the rug out from under the posturing that is meant to impress women. I know....it worked for me.
Feminism has many sides. One is women gaining access to jobs only offered to men. Fighter pilots. Gunboat commanders. Combat soldiers. Women are allowed to also participate but it’s still a man’s game. A game of taking not giving.
Another approach: turn the tables on the concepts of hierarchy and domination replacing them by consent and common good. Still others are open to you in a flood of books, courses, groups and workshops that will improve the lot of humanity as a whole and probably diminish the role of men in the balance. The balance is at present so lopsided that it is better to just turn your back - as men or women - on the institution where inequality and subservience are greatest- the army. Any army. Every army.
And specifically in Israel - one of the only countries with conscription for women.
Israeli women are exempt from military service if they are married. Cynic sez: they are free to produce more little fighters in the Kinder, Kuche Kirche scheme. There is no Civil marriage in Israel. Jews can only marry Jews. Moslems can only marry Moslems. Christians can only marry Christians. No civil ceremonies. There are many ways around this. Marriage outside Israel which Israel must recognize. Cyprus. Marriage to a Palestinian (orange identity card) by an Israeli (blue identity card) makes a case for the Palestinian receiving an Israeli passport. The authorities shudder at this possibility of ‘marrying the enemy’. I shudder at how rarely it is done though there are places in Portugal and Germany that would help with the process. Find them....use the book. Use the internet. Improve your English.
Many women are exempt simply because the army has no need for so many backline supportive jobs. It can only feed so many slaves. It is not uncommon to receive a discharge simply because the army is over quota for that year. A simple fact hidden by the army. No publicity beyond a small circle of manpower planning teams and the girls who get the notice.
A positive alternative: National Service. There is an organized, state sanctioned, placement agency which places women in hospitals, day care centers and teaching positions without weapons but with definite time and duty commitments. BRAVO!!! these are examples of positive service to the state. www.amutat-alon.org.il after the discharge.
There’s a catch...the girls have to declare (and bring a statement from a rabbi) that they are religious and will be prosecuted if they are not truly religious. Religious leaders recognize that the army’s boy-meets-girl-away-from-home ethos is not conducive to keeping religious girls in the dark. I will not describe the folly of those who follow girls suspected of lying to the army about their degree of religious observance, take their pictures in trousers (or worse in bikinis!) and bring them to the army. Even the slow-thinking army realized that it is a waste of energy to punish those it really doesn’t need and so has been lenient in extending National Service and its placement beaurocracy to secular girls.
Only Jewish girls serving in Jewish schools and day care centers. Arab girls and boys who want to contribute to Israeli society through service in hospitals, schools, day care centers or elderly care are not placed by the National Service agency. Its service and rewards are for Jews only.
Sound familiar? Es klingt besser auf Deutsch!
Germans, boys and girls, can do all these jobs in Israel through their alternative service placement. The Israeli state is happy to take.
A change in Israel this book is setting in motion (be humble!... helping promote) is extending National Service to all: Arabs and Jews, boys and girls. Without the need to declare pacifism or religious observance. The will to help society’s weakest is healthy and good. A symptom of Israeli society’s sickness is that the army is the only option to serve. This will change. This is already changing. Too slow for me and too fast for the army. Hey.... why dwell on inequality or speed when it’s a step in the right direction.
Summery: Many feminists (some even male) could write this better than I did. Find them. Read them. They are the wave of the future. Male-dominated hierarchies are the prisons of the past. Wouldn’t you rather dance in light than crawl in darkness? Hey gypsy girl where do you come from? She smiled and said "I come from the land of the new rising sun" - "hey gypsy girl where do you go to" - she said "I’m gonna spread all my love and peace of mind too" - may I come along - chorus . When you meet someone who knows about Lizostrata, the 5 mothers and who wrote this song - give them the sign and come along. www.stichting-come.info
17. HEALTH - a utilitarian argument. The army (all armies- any army) is unhealthy, physically, mentally, developmentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Since armies deal with instruments of destruction they are dangerous. Stay away from them for a better and longer life. That’s a summary and now in detail:
True... car crashes and crossing the street are potentially dangerous. More people have been killed and wounded in traffic accidents than in all the wars and terrorist actions in Israel. Especially in Israel. Danger is everywhere. But….this is no argument. Traffic accidents are accidents. Armies do not use cars to run over enemies. They use bulldozers for that. Guns of all calibers are designed and built with the intent to kill. Actually, the change from 7.6 mm bullets to 5.6 mm bullets is the ideology that 5 mm bullets wound but do not kill. A wounded soldier is a bigger burden to your opponent than a dead one. I taught this to generations of recruits. How to kill, wound and maim most efficiently, while sustaining the least casualties in the process, is the goal of most military operations. Opposite from Christ’s teaching or the goals of music ensembles. Teaching and exercising how to hurt without being hurt is what the army does in preparation for the day when those skills are exercised in battle. With live ammunition. A simple solution is to stay away from places where guns, grenades and bombs are stored and used. Get away from the battlefield. Even when not used against an enemy guns will fire and misfire. Training accidents are very prevalent. Come to the induction center with newspaper clippings of the last 50 such ‘accidents’. He who plays with firecrackers can lose his fingers or eyes. One who plays with grenades can have them explode on him. Explode is what grenades do.
Using a gun - any gun - is bad for your ears. Why do you think firing ranges issue ear plugs? Plugs and mufflers only minimize the damage. They do not prevent it. If you are a musician your ears are your working tools. Would you willingly damage them? A simple argument why a musician will not use a gun. Not being able to close one eye is a simple tactic to avoid shooting a gun. I heard of this tactic from many women who also argued that they will never need to use it and so would rather not have anything to do with "that thing".
"But..." says the corporal "...you don’t have to shoot it. Just carry it."
What harm is there if you only carry it - for the deterrent effect?
There is harm!
On many levels. First, it puts you in the company of others who carry guns. They may fire them at you. If you desert during battle these are their orders. Who knows if in the "moment of truth" you won’t run away? Officers, Lieutenant and above, are told to shoot someone who runs away from battle as a deterrent to the rest turning their back. This makes your fear of being shot in the back greater than your fear of shooting forward.
Second, carrying a gun makes you a target.
In both military and police situations the identification of someone as armed means you may shoot him. Before he shoots you. This is why humans raise open hands above their head to show they are unarmed. So they will not be shot by those who are. It is also why it is illegal to shoot someone who is unarmed. In not carrying a gun you are declaring that you do not wish to be shot at. By the corporal’s reasoning, carrying a gun means you believe in its use as a means to ‘communicate’. You have taken the mark of the beast. You are saying "it’s fair to shoot at me because I can shoot at you. I have a gun!". You have put your faith in guns. You have tainted your soul.
But... you can redeem your soul...I am redeeming mine by writing... you can stop earlier than I did....read on. Reading is an act of redemption. Exercising your powers of forgiveness. Training for Sayeret Tzaddikim. The test you face is not how many you killed but saying "I never killed anyone!". If you do....kill someone..... by intent or by mistake it will come back to haunt you. More so if it was a child. If not during the day than in dreams which will become nightmares. If you see the face of the one you killed it will be worse for you. Don’t think you can shoot at someone and forget it. This is part of being human. This is what the army will program you to disregard.
It may take such a pathetic biblically-tinged warning to awaken your conscience but - like it or not - you have one and the army of psychiatrists trying to heal you from such an experience will not be able to tell you that it was worth it. That it was either him or you. Prevent all that by not putting yourself in the situation. Don’t take that gun!
The Israeli Infantry spends a lot of words teaching you that your gun is dear to you. Dearer than your wife. You aren’t even married!. Well...here’s the gun and.... now you are. If an enemy manages to take away your gun in the game than he can shoot at you. Even a 10 year old can do it. Clip in, safety off and press the trigger.
If you lose your gun..... "lose your GUN!!!". In the infantry this is as bad as betraying your wife! You are up for trial. How could you! Military Prison.
You are a prisoner of your gun.
Tactics: the 3 nos - no guns - no uniform - no commands
Price bargaining: 3 years and the 3 nos
Bargain for a lower price - 3 years of nameless drudgery in a 9 to 5 prison: never refuse but carry out every order so_slowly_and_ever_so_incompetently that you will be demoted to minimal service (watering the garden once a day) without direct confrontation. Play stupid. You must be smart (and a talent at acting) to play stupid for the first 2 months of forced service. Other tactics: desk job with computers, the army radio station, airplane maintenance or medicine will keep you away from danger, guns and live fire. 90% of a military is non-combat. The price of the other 10% can be one of your limbs. You won’t have a chance to step on any landmines. A minimal accomplice. Wehrmacht... not SS.
No guns- a 30% reduction in price. Non-combat. You can still say you served but never shot anyone or were shot at. "and I would like to keep it that way".
No Uniform. Another 30%.
Even without a gun, wearing a uniform identifies you as a combatant. A member of the armed forces. A legitimate target. They call themselves ‘freedom fighters’ or ‘martyrs’. To you they will be ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’. They –and you -are de facto combatants. Players in the game and you are dressed in game clothes - a uniform.
Yossarian’s tactic: take off your uniform. Remain in your underwear. Catch 22.
Tactic: wear an alternative uniform unacceptable to the army. A pink tutu or clownsuit - these are the uniforms of those who bring laughter. A mohawk haircut got N discharged. She wouldn’t give it up. Offer to serve as a clown.
An army can’t operate as a collection of individuals. It needs to operate as a group. A single unit dedicated to a common cause. This is why in English we say an army of ants. (a herd of cows, a school of fish, a swarm of bees). That’s what a uniform and your first month in the army or first day in a concentration camp is about. Giving up your individuality.
Mentally, the army is unhealthy because it does not want you to think too much. Others will decide for you what you do during any given hour. You will sleep a minimum of hours so that just carrying out orders and your next meal can fill your thoughts. What isn’t relevant to your mission or duty interferes with carrying it out as quickly and efficiently as possible. If there is nothing that needs to be done (more than half the time) than something will be contrived.
‘Keep em busy’ is one of the lessons taught officers. Why? Thought control goes through body control. What one hears while in physical hardship makes a deeper impact on your consciousness. And you will constantly hear shouting. As an officer I learned that you must play a role, project your sentences and act as if you are angry. Even if you are not.
This is emotionally unhealthy for everybody involved. These principles are what is called ‘brain washing, ‘re-education’, ‘indoctrination’ and ‘team-spirit’. Alot of what you will hear is hateful. You are taught to hate. This is the repeated testimony of soldiers from various armies. Take away the hate and you lower the motivation to fight.
The concepts of mercy, forgiveness and universalism are absent. If brought up they are dismissed. Try it. Ask for a definition of forgiveness. In uniform. Talking back or pointing out that whatever you heard is not healthy are not allowed. The command to "shut up" is one of the most common but also one of the easiest to break because it can only be enforced by force or separating the ‘talker’ from the group. The use of the group to silence and discipline the one who challenges the commander is a dynamic that is taught at the level of corporal who has to have his orders obeyed (otherwise he is not functioning). A corporal however, can not officially bring you to trial. You can only be tried by an officer.
Intimidation, whether by beating, or threatening physical force is the way to show leadership when it is questioned.
Everyone is always shouting because a command needs to be ‘loud and clear’. Smiling is not encouraged. Neither is whistling, singing or dancing spontaneously and these have been found to be very healthy. In studies done outside the military. A simple argument is: "I can not be in a group that forbids me to sing, whistle or dance. I know enough about the military that it is such a group. Therefore: 24"
18 (life). The army violates the sacred principle of CHOICE. Earlier we examined the everyone in "everyone has to" let’s take apart "has to". You, the reader, are human. You have to breathe, eat, sleep, drink, kaki and peepee. Bodily functions. No choice. The rest is choice. Small choices, large choices. Choices to avoid pain. Choices to gain points. Choices made in fear or in love. Not reflexes or bodily functions but choices for which you are responsible.
The modus operandi of the army: a hierarchical structure with a chain of command, obedience as the norm and power and action as operating forces makes it not a nice place for autonomous, healthy, emotionally balanced individuals. This would not be so bad if weapons were not part of the army and it would be used to put out forest fires, distribute ice cream and evacuate flood areas. Perhaps a way to jump into the future is to join organizations that do these. The army, like every organization is more concerned with its continued existence than with the welfare of the individuals serving in it. The army supplies their basic needs (food clothing, shelter) promises compensation if they lose their limbs, burial and compensation to their family if they die. Beyond that it offers the unspoken and unwritten benefits of being part the society. When you enlist you are voluntarily giving yourself over to serve these principles in that army for pay. Giving up the freedom of decision how to spend your time, where and with whom. You can violate the contract and be discharged but once you are inside you are manipulated to think of yourself as part of a group. In a conscription army the only choice is: join or refuse to join. There are ways to avoid joining without the direct confrontation of refusal.
A hidden truth about the Israeli army is that military-service-is-not-mandatory. Hityazvut- showing up at the induction center- is . Mandatory for those born between certain dates. This information is periodically posted on billboards and in newspapers. This assumes you can read Hebrew. Even if you don’t the army will send you a letter calling you to come to the induction center in one of the major cities to determine your profile. The army will teach you to read (Hebrew) or may - at its discretion or indiscretion - decide that you are unfit for psychological reasons 21, unfit for organizational/structural reasons 24 or unfit for physical reasons. Any physical infirmity lowers your profile from an ideal 100. Circumcised? 97 Poor eyesight 89, no eyesight 30. Ask to see the list. Above a profile of 70 you are combat material. In English - cannon fodder. You can hide an infirmity in order to get in. Create a temporary infirmity (diabetes will exempt you), describe an allergy to machoism, or a physical reaction to some aspect of military service (makes you puke). If you can get them to lose their temper and shout at you than you can argue that you are sensitive to being addressed by shouting and walk out.
G cited the use of power in all its forms, verbal, organizational and actual as something he couldn’t stand. Every word you say can lower your profile. "Am I at 24 yet?" If they tell you to shut up use - say you can’t. Keep talking - till you get to 24 and ask for it in writing.
One concentrated effort will buy you 3 years of life and get you into acting school if you can repeat the monologue. Point out that "it’s not personal" but you are determined to be discharged. They can help you by directing what else you need to say to get 24.
A basic principal of human behavior: people will not do what they don’t want to do unless they are rewarded or threatened with a consequence more unpleasant than the thing they did not want to do. As the military prosecutor of the 5 heroic conscientious objectors (Haggai, Noam, Matan, Adam, Shimri) put it: "what they will not do out of love they will do out of fear". The mask is off. If you don’t want to wear a uniform we’ll jail you till you say "I do". Insanity, real or feigned, is the easy way out of this. As is leaving the country. The army will not send its recruiters to Portugal www.tamera.org and you can send the army letters asking for....24.
When your will is set, only coercion works and than the true face of the army shows. It is not about agreement. It is about power. Don’t try to convince the army that the occupation is immoral. The officers who will cajole, intimidate, threaten and try to bribe you with non-combat options may have their doubts about whether what the military is doing is right or wrong but they also have their salaries and families. They will not turn around and cry "I sold my soul for 6000 shekels a month, I am living a lie!" and throw off their uniform. That is just too much cognitive dissonance for someone who invested five or more years of his life in an organization (that will retire him with a half pension at 42). Better to say that you have a concept of good and evil and the fact that you choose what is right does not mean they have to make the same choice.
You won’t force your choices upon them and they won’t force theirs upon you. Not everyone has to be like you. You choose to not serve. They can not take that choice away from you. Now go back to Alternatives and see what you choose to do. Say yes to something. Offer the alternatives of human service.
19. Third NO - No commands- another 30%. RELIGIOUS reasons. I believe you the reader believe in something. Gravity. Safe sex. Fairies. A non-random universe though not necessarily a creator. Universalism: the belief that ultimately the precepts of all religions are basically the same. All religions have a universalist message….. Some religions also carry a nationalist message.
The Old Testament: a large and varied piece of literature. Its status as the book carried the Jews as the literate of peoples through history albeit with texts tied to a definite geography. Also true for Christianity and Islam. Less so for Buddhists and even less so for Bahais and New Agers. Bahais are clean of this and their insistence on non-hierarchy means that power seeking individuals will gravitate away.
The Old Testament, noticeably without the New Testament, is standard Israeli army issue and a swearing in ceremony at the end of basic training incorporates it. As it contains so many stories, parables and truths, everyone will be able to find in it whatever he or she is looking for. From extreme altruistic humanism, to rabid nationalism. Deceit, adultery, revenge and all human foibles as well as hospitality, mercy, forgiveness and all human virtues. How can one tell which are absolute moral values and which are additions made by priests and attributed to a dictating God to make them palatable?
Example: the five shekel tax given to the Kohanim as redemption of the firstborn- Pidyon Haben is obviously the work of the Kohanim themselves.
This points out three different tensions:
a. Tension between priests and prophets. Priests will take up arms. The priestly class was created after a slaughter of those who had worshipped the Golden Calf by the Levites who were then given the appointment of a priestly dynasty with a long list of benefits and no territory. Significantly it was Levy and Reuven who were denied Jacob’s blessing for knowingly deceiving the people of Schem, killing them after offering them circumcision as part of a peace treaty. The prophets-on the other hand- received their calling not by lineage but by direct contact with God and were not interested in consolidating power or personal gain. Samuel, when asked by the people to anoint a king, asks why would they want to become a nation like all nations and suffer the exploitation a monarch would impose when they had an active and present God? Also Isiah, Micha, Amos, Yesha and ,,,,(don’t get upset) Jesus of Nazareth.
b. Tension between belief and religion. Belief is alive. It is direct experience. As valid in the present for those who experience it as in the past. Religion is scriptures describing the experience, rituals retelling the experience and a priesthood and temples which interpret and house the experience. In the text that speaks most to me (Judges) God tells Gideon that he will not make miracles with 10,000 men "lest they say our might has saved us". Priesthood married to a state sent soldiers off to the crusades. The voice of the church masquerading as the voice of God. Not Christ but the Pope. The Chief Rabbi does not speak for God - God speaks for herself. Directly. To individuals. Not to groups. To reach groups one has to speak and write what he or she has experienced. So we come to....
c. Tension between literate and illiterate. The priests are literate: they tell the illiterate- "this is the word of God". This corrupts - as power will - priests with personal and group gain. This so angered Luther that he advocated literacy as a path. The Hasidic movement gave status to illiterate Jews by putting intent on equal footing with learning giving salvation to the common man and not only the scholar. The 19th century revolution of public schools turned the ratio from 10% literate holding sway over 90% illiterate. When you can not read you trust those who can to tell you what the signs say. Aren’t you glad to be able to read this?
When the voice says - "take vengeance"- it isn’t the voice of God. God will avenge herself. A voice saying: "tax the people" isn’t God. When the voice says "take" it is not God. God would say "receive". This is Kabbala in an M&M.
If there isn’t a God then whose is the voice?
The state with its institutions has replaced religion as the organizing farce of human matters.
Where before the law was given through a church who made a mutual deal with a monarchy to keep the population ignorant and obedient, in the post-French-Revolution-world there is another model. Abuse of this model created the-false-god-of-patriotism.
A state is not a moral entity. Its concern is with rule and power. Loyalty and willingness to sacrifice personal goals and welfare for group goals and welfare. The Torah or the Land of Israel. Worshiped but not the incorporeal, imageless, absolute creator of the universe. Substitution of lesser Gods, with distinctions between an us and them is used by the state to pit one group against another over questions of language and territory or (hiding behind these) power and economics. Are you some kind of anarchist? Read Bakunin or Kropotkin if you already know Ezekial and Jeremiah.
Remember: thou (that’s-you-bub-singular-responsible) shall make no graven image, (flag, currency, Golany tree, calf or tank) thou shall not worship them, salute them or sing songs of praise to them or serve them.
Thou shall not kill. Not state sanctioned killing. Not killing in defense (run away) not killing in the interest of your people nor by command. A vegetarian can easily get discharged if he plays the not kill card.
Thou shall not steal - nor make the organized state sanctioned taking of land and houses the veil that it is- like in the story of Achav - stealing in the name of the state.
Thou shall not even covet - your neighbor’s territory or possessions- field, ass, wife.
Difficult: us humans are very connected to property, possession and wanting: covetousness.
Hey... that’s the price of having a body. That’s part of living in this world. Dylan sez "you gotta serve somebody." So serve the highest. Don’t stop on the way to that absolute at serving your people, or your land, or your state, or your tribe, or even the revolutionary Christ who asks not to stop at your family and love your enemy.
The worship of the state, its flag and currency, its rituals and institutions are stopping far short of a worship of the universal principle that the whole physical universe (beyond national borders) is the domain of the creator and that all humans (beyond cultural distinctions) are her children made in his image.
Even this his/her is a limit of language and human imagination which can not easily grasp a faceless, formless, infinite energy. But it is possible; to achieve an experience of such a presence. You will find it in the mystical, small group traditions of all religions. You will find it in the brotherhood which does not want to become a religion. Just a path to freedom. Freedom through truth. The truth will set you free. Free from ignorance. Psychology can also be a religion.
When I met the military psychiatrist who recommended my discharge I met a religious Jew. Dressed in the black/white uniform and sidecurls of a religious Jew. The uniform of the Army-of-the-Lord. He was also there to get discharged. I used the psychiatrist’s religion: psychology. A set of priorities, an understanding of their relative price and the ability to prioritize are indications not only of sanity but of maturity. I knew what I would gain by service, what I would lose by not serving and made a conscious and informed choice.
Time with family rather than time as a reservist.
The religious Jew would argue: serve the Lord - not the State.
To continue: The state of Israel has done the religion of Judaism (institutions not ideals) a dis-service on two counts. Through Zionism by making a spiritual movement into a nationalist movement connected to a piece of territory, it put the value territory above truth; making Jews a nation like all nations. No longer- "a holy nation"- pursuers of justice- but pursuers of power. By purporting to speak for the Jewish people - through a government using a religion, it has both kept other religious-ethnic groups in the same territory from equality and Jews outside Israel from having a voice which differs from the Israeli state line.
On both these counts things are improving: Non-Jewish Israelis are demanding equal rights within the Israeli state and Jews outside Israel do not see their Judaism as less valid than Zionism. Judaism existed for centuries before Zionism. It is not replaceable by Zionism.
I do not represent the state of Israel but I have a voice as a non-nationalistic Jew with a clarinet which is as clear as that as of a nationalistic Jew with a gun.
To draw Jews to Israel the state propagates the belief that they (the Gentiles) hate us (Jews). Attacks on Jews are not portrayed as anti-Israeli but anti Semitic and are main item news on Israeli TV. An attack of a reformed synagogue in Israel perpetrated by Jews is not anti-Semitic. An attack on any synagogue in America is. Q:Why are synagogues attacked and not Israeli embassies? A: Embassies have armed personnel.
They always hated us - a mantra for Jews. There is proof in history’s greatest crime - the holocaust. Our holocaust! Not the Armenian one not taught in Israeli schools. Nor the Cambodian holocaust - these are not our history. We are the 6 million. Argue for your fears - and you gets to keep ’em.
The holocaust is a trump card in many political arguments in Israel. Hitler lives on in consciousness. The bogeyman justifying a strong Israeli army. "They will always hate us" is both a lack of imagination and a self-fulfilling prophecy the Israeli army is working to insure. A choice to live in the past. It is always 1943 and the Germans you do not meet are always guilty. You are the victim and you will remain the victim. Even flattening houses in Rafiah in a tank you are still the victim. The state line. If you do not believe that they hate us then you are not serious. A simpleton with no understanding of what it means to be a Jew. Insane. 21.
The two main forces in Israeli society are religion and the military. They can be set to mutually destroy each other through other forces present in all societies: economics, art, and sex.
Prophecy is not dead. The bible is full of figures to whom God speaks directly. During the Talmudic era interpretations of what God said earlier and interpretations of interpretations have kept generations of stateless Jews busy. Anyone who today says that God has spoken to him is seen as a lunatic. But why, if God indeed spoke, is she now silent? She isn’t! All nature speaks her presence. The stars are her handwriting. Music is her language and pop texts are prophecy. This is heresy!!!! Did you stop reading at that point. Have I gone too far?
There is a demographic change in the Israeli army. Through the 50's 60's and 70's most of the officers came from Socialist Kibbutzim and Moshavim. Although these made up less than 10% of Israel’s population in the army’s leadership they were the majority. Today the majority of officers are religious nationalists. Not extreme in their orthodoxy and except for the kippa - taking on the regular army uniform. They worship the land of Israel. You will probably be faced with a kippa on a head the shoulders beneath which carry the bars of an officer. Use your knowledge of the bible. Speak his language. No one gets shot in a rabbinical dispute. This is dialogue. Not a forced conversion. The inquisition was 500 years ago.
It’s been said that the moral test of the Jews will come when they become the ruling majority in a country. How will they treat minorities after decades of being a minority? That day has come and the Jews as a people are failing the test. As a people. A group. Not as individuals. Righteousness is not for groups. Righteousness is for individuals. This text speaks to individuals. A nation can not be righteous. An individual can. There is, I believe, Hashgacha Pratit Individual attention. Not limited to Jews. God is not so puny. No collective action nor collective punishment. Individuals not groups……………. Sayeret Tzaddikim.
Summery: God is speaking all the time. I can distinguish the voice of the state with its group rhetoric from the voice of God which speaks directly and individually and calls me by first name, not by a number or as part of a group. God never asks to harm another human, and tells me that carrying a gun is fear and not love. God does not command what to do -Mitzvat Asiya- but requests and waits. There are commandments of what not to do. Kill, steal, covet, serve. These are done in the name of the state. They are state sanctioned. These are done by the military. The state is not God. A scheme is not a vision (Cohen- The prophet). The military is no altar on which to sacrifice your children or yourself. Al tishlach yadcha el hanaar – sez the angel.
20. The army is not RECIPROCAL. Human relations are based on reciprocity. Do not do onto another what is hateful onto you (Hillel). A step further: Do onto others as you would have others do onto you. Guidelines for human behavior. The law of Karma. The Golden Rule -Love your neighbor as yourself. The one commandment if you need only one. A step beyond: love your enemy as yourself (Abu-Nicola). As you do to any of my brothers you do onto me (J.C.).
A common argument is: "what if everyone was like you? We wouldn’t have a country". Confront this reasoning. "Like you"- a pacifist 1.83 tall with size 44 shoes and no interest in football. A world of only women……all called Betty.
If everyone was a pacifist? A world of pacifists! Traumatic for weapons manufacturers but a nicer world with needs for job readjustments. What is meant is by we is: if all Jews were like you. We-the Jews. The ones who are threatened. You are challenged to accept- or reject- the us/them division . Be one of us. If all Jews were unwilling to take up arms the threat to ‘the country’ would diminish because on the other side.....This is for the translators..... there is someone who believes, with plenty of historical examples, that ever since we (they) Jews have gotten a state they (we) have become aggressive and invasive. One tale of misery against another. A balance of suffering based on country. We may not have a country. We may have a different country. Is a country necessary? Does it really serve its citizens……….. or only its ruling class?
Israel has a military of 350,000 soldiers. It could exist with only 70,000 soldiers. In a state of peace with 32,000 like El Salvador - another country with 6 million.
Someone who posed the "what if everyone were like you" stopped for a moment and thought. Breaking the usual rhetoricy with which the question is presented. He returned from his thread of thought with "there would be no wars”.
Don’t panic. Everyone will not become like me in the next two hours while you read. That’s a large scale miracle. If I pull off a barnstorm effect (Vonnegut) type ‘miracle’ and turn guns to saxophones or make all נוקרים (firing cocks) disappear it would speed up the process but not leave room for free will or persuasion. Also: remember the concept of choice. You don’t have to be like me. Continue being like you as long as it serves you. I can not and will not demand of you (armed and in uniform) to become like me. BUT!!!! I demand that you do not force me to be like you. To take a gun. To wear a uniform. To obey commands…… rather than honor requests. Lets get reciprocal. You live in your fantasy . I’ll live in mine. Tell me yours - I’ll tell you mine. Show me yours - I’ll show you mine. We’re both insane and the real questions are who eats which chocolate and did you brush your teeth. Our real enemies are Carius and Bactus.
Change happens when the military does not treat the education system as a pre-army period.
Change happens when education doesn’t stop at 18 but continues throughout life. Change is happening! When Army service is not the default choice of what to do at 17. When other choices are offered 17 year-olds. When army recruitment stays out of the education system as Israel accuses Palestinians of doing what it does itself. When military service is a conscious choice the number of people who choose it will diminish to normal proportions in a society. There are always boys who need action. The Israeli army is much bigger than it needs to be and expands excess energy in retaining its size. The widespread belief that it protects the population allows it to draw so much of Israel’s energy. In reality it is mostly protecting its continued existence. A small organization intent on waging good deeds and bombing ‘them’ with clothes, food and medical supplies and chocolate would be much more cost effective. If Israel invested a fraction of what it spends in humiliating Palestinians in providing health care for them the future would be not as bitter.
The prohibition to bake a kid in its mother’s milk in its mystical meaning: never humiliate a parent in front of his or her children. You will have recruited at least two to hate you. If they do not know you personally they will hate the uniform and country you represent. The IDF presents Jews with dis-association. To say "not in my name." The pictures of pacifists are those of ones who can not be suspected of committing war crimes. Tzaddikim. You don’t have to be like them. You can choose /
Sayeret Tzaddikim or the war crimes blues.
If you could; what would you say to a 20-year old Palestinian recruited to put on a belt of explosives and sent to kill himself with as many Jews as possible? Cynic: "play by the rules of the game- go only for the ones in uniform." You and I: "don’t do it! You’re being used. There’s a life ahead of you. Tell the ones who recruit you to do it themselves." A Tzaddik: "I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t carry a gun. get reciprocal!". If you don’t want him to do it to you - don’t prepare to do it to him. Different weapons- same blood. A cycle of: you drop your gun first, no you first - is a dialogue of individuals. The prisoner’s dilemma one on one. What is the prisoner’s dilemma? Look it up. Go study psychology.
Inside the army....how to break distance.
The ethic of a commander leading his soldiers as a personal example is an argument for internal reciprocity. It goes like this: "I served therefore to also do your part and be my equal you have to serve as well." Many Israelis, now in their 40s, who served during the 80's are saying. "I served in vain. Fighting in Lebanon a war that defended no one but the army. You - my son - don’t have to believe the government as I did. Don’t serve" Enlightened fathers. Somehow I am surrounded by these here in Australia. In Israel fathers even drive their sons to the induction center. Another option:" I suffered therefore to appreciate my suffering and to become a man you too will suffer" Both of these use the reciprocity of "be a man like me."
Already inside? Use this dynamic to drive your commander to sending you home. Answer every order with: "you first - be a personal example!- that’s what they taught you in the officer’s course". Than turn the tables. You don’t need to prove you can do what he did - it’s enough he proved that he won’t ask you to do something he won’t do himself. Jiu Jitsu.
There are few recruits who don’t want or need to prove that they are "real men". The elite units have more candidates competing to shoot and be shot at than there are places. There are preparatory courses to toughen you up and increase your chances of getting into these elite units. 17-year-olds are just too eager to climb on the altar. There is no course to give you the option of not going.
Not true! You are reading it!!!
Summery: Be the change you want to see. Be vocal about it. Be militant in your pacifism. Print it and graffiti it but don’t expect others to be like you and don’t get discouraged if they aren’t. Don’t allow them to make you feel bad for not being like them. It’s their choice and you have the right to yours.
21. QUESTION! Ask questions. Question authority. Man is a question mark - life is the answer. And other slogans..... This approach: questioning, the need to understand, is basic to being human. It is the force which drives learning and growth.
The military as a hierarchical system using commands does not want you to question why: "ours is not to question why- ours is but to do or die". It wants you to deal only with how, when and where and then only the how when and where of its goals. Not the how when and where of your personal development. These may lead you to answers outside the army.
The basic human right to ask questions is antithetical to the military system. It can be used as a reason not to enter the army: "I can not be part of an organization where questions are not asked because it goes against my basic principles". It can also be used as a tactic to defeat the army when you are outside and to leave the army once you are inside.
When an army representative comes to your school prepare a list of questions.
Would I be shot in the back if I desert in battle?
If I step on a landmine how much compensation would I get for losing one leg? Two legs?
Why does the army pay only 15 shekels a day?
How much are you being paid to recruit me?
What is the quickest way to get discharged?
Such questions would make a recruiter cringe and leave.
When receiving a summons by mail ask (by mail) if you need to personally come to the induction center instead of communicating by mail or phone? All they know is your name and date of birth. They don’t know you as a person. If they did they would understand that this is a beurocratic mistake. You are asking to be taken off their list. Where do you un-subscribe to their mailings? What is it you need to tell them about yourself in order to be removed from their list of potential slaves? In how many words do you need to tell them that they are writing to the wrong woman? Send a change of address…. Give an address in the Sinai.
At the induction center you will fill forms. Your age: 972. Place of birth: in which incarnation? Mother’s name: Mama. Father’s name: Earthly Father or Heavenly Father? Be a wise guy! They can’t deal with it. You can jam records. You can ask questions. They will tell you that they, not you, are asking the questions. Insist that you can, indeed must, ask questions. That is your nature. See through the game and change the rules. In which unit do you want to serve? Civilian. Second preference - university. Third preference – סיירת הודו in India. Fourth preference - Sayeret Tzaddikim. On the motivation scale of 1 to 5 fill in 0.
Make it clear that eventually you will be discharged and ask them to help you make it quicker and easier for you and them.
You can use language to put a big stick in the spokes of the turning wheel. You only speak English. Their system operates on Hebrew. They will teach you enough Hebrew to function. You are not interested. One has to be motivated to learn. It worked for L!
At this point the army may already realize that you don’t fit the norm of eager recruits and need to be treated as unusual.
If not they will send you to step 2 – Tzav Sheni.
The next step in the induction process is to determine your KABA קבוצת איכות . Your quality group. Are you intelligent enough and motivated enough to become an officer?
Most potential recruits (they are not yet recruited- only being tested to see if they are willing and eager players) want to score as high as possible. The higher you score the better your chances of getting into a sayeret. The mark on this test is comprised of the number of years of school (write 17- all of life is a school), a written test of motivation (score as low as possible- write that you are highly motivated to get discharged, take this book) and an interview. The interview is with a professional, trained by the army to determine your self-image, self confidence, and motivation to serve. The interviewer is usually a girl. One who will later study psychology. My girlfriend had this job. She told me all about it.
For the interviewer you are not a person but a function. She has to classify you. For you she is not a person but a function. You have to convince her that you are very (very very) willing and are really (really really) one of the best. Or.....completely (absolutely, beyond question) unfit for an organization like the military (which is unfit for you).Whether you go to the top of the pile or out the exit door she is still a function. Not a real person. You are both caught in a game where you can not relate to each other as autonomous persons. Only as means to ends. Your classification for her - one more form in a day full of interviews. Your discharge for you- one more army slave to convince that you do not fit in such a machine. Turn the tables. Ask her questions. HASADNA LEPTOR METZAHAL page Hey.
Ask: "can you give me a discharge?" if not "who is authorized to give me a discharge?" "Can I talk to them?" "How soon can you refer me?"
Your second visit will be an interview with a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist can recommend a discharge. 24 is the profile that says you are physically and psychologically fit but will not function well in organizations. Ee Hataama. Non-compatibility.
Organizations: Small ones where the welfare of their members is a priority- there you will be called by name and big organizations (above a 1000 members) that need to assign numbers to their members (inmates) in order to make sure each one has gotten his immunization shots, clothes, blankets etc. (and returns these - they are the organization’s property). A prison, a large health care system (not your family doctor). The extreme example: a concentration camp. Organizations where you are not free to walk out (or in) when you choose. The army is such an organization. That is why you will receive a 24. A family, music ensemble, film crew, circus, ashram, workshop, art academy, university class, are not such organizations. You function well in groups of 60 people. It doesn’t matter to the psychiatrist. He will give you 24. How much more do you need to tell about yourself? Are we at 24 yet doctor? Where would you recommend I study psychology?
22. Use Humor as a weapon. Till now we (you mean there’s more than one of you?) gave tactics to not get into the military. But you are-gevalt!- already in and would like to get out without having to threaten suicide. The system knows how to deal with the regular, normative and standard. Something which breaks these boundaries can be laughed at (you get points in Rabbi Nachman’s world for getting others to laugh) or rejected. A Taoist path of least resistance. There is a Jewish sect where the angel advising God to create them male and female is a stand up comedian. Their kippa is a fool’s cap. Wear bright colored clothes. Write 24 on your forehead. Want to hear another? I did not get the צו-צב but I have enough of those I want a parakeet. Worked for Nir.
Practice: Go into a McDonalds and ask for just a slice of bread. It throws the system off. They can type in Big Mac but there is no key or price for plain bread. Try it! Ask for just a half cucumber or an unpeeled onion. They have plenty of these but need to break the standard to actually give it to you. This is called: thinking outside the box. Offer to pay with something other than money. A bottle of wine for a Happy Meal. A foot massage for a milkshake. A song for a portion of chips. Recognize the standard and than work outside it. The system does not know what to do with the unusual individual. It will either try to make him fit the standard or reject him. Or her. Or both. Him and her.
Turn the tables. The coveted elite unit you want to join- SAYERET TZADDIKIM - are those completely outside the army pyramid. Like the tossed coin with only two possibilities they are the four unusual possibilities. The coin stays on it’s edge, never comes down, comes down transformed into a marshmallow , becomes a bird and flies away. You are the best when you are outside. You are the lottery winner. You have gotten the discharge. You want a copy to show your friends and one more for your grandmother. If you served it would lower your chances to get a good job. You are proud to not serve. They want you to be serious. Be silly. . What is expected in this situation? Recognize it and do the unexpected.
Tactic: Use accents. French accents. German accents to repeat commands. Arabic accents. Heavily overdone accents. Make the next meeting with your commanding officer a stand-up routine he will not know how to deal with. Ask him if he uses drugs. Ask if he would like to. Drugs are an escape from reality but......... reality is escape from fantasy and you have noticed that there is just too much reality and not enough fantasy in your unit. Use the rejection as an advantage. The army does not want fools - especially those that point out that the king is not wearing any clothes.
Another tactic: Silence. N filled two clips with tracer bullets and shot them in the air. A syringe put him to sleep. After 2 hours he met the camp psychologist. Silence. After 5 hours the division psychologist. Silence. Finally the psychologist asked if he understands what the meaning of a discharge is. Silence. 6 hours later he was released.
A asked for different food than that given at mess.
P wanted to bring along his dog.
C cried for 5 hours and was sent home.
Y answered every shout with "say please".
T repeated one sentence for 2 days: "can you sign my release –
if you can’t send me to the one who can".
Tactic: when commanded to do something offer a riddle. If the one giving the command can’t solve it he has to send you home (or to one who can). What is as big as a dinosaur and weighs nothing? Offer a game of chess to decide whether to carry out the order or not. Your commanders may ignore you and let you sit in a corner till you break and ask for food. If you walk out the gates of the camp they may use force. If they do you will file a complaint against them. They would rather pass you on to another unit than have a complaint investigation.
"Its not that I don’t want to be in this unit. You don’t want someone like me in your unit. Let me tell you why......" . Transfer.
After two transfers you will find yourself spit out of the system. If you are in a combat unit or one where there are guns, make the case against guns for your first transfer and than no commands to get a total discharge. If you get transferred to a unit that is doing something positive like working with children you can stop there or ask to be paid for your services.
Laugh - don’t hate. Answer threats with "I forgive you". Understand that they would rather have you rejected from the system than question it themselves. Ask them to tell you jokes. See your discharge as a game in which you are collecting information and asking for help in getting a discharge. The SADNA offers this as a chess game- page Resh.
Drive your commanders to distraction by using biblical Hebrew or by correcting their every sentence.
Talk to the officer who shout at you as a social worker who is trying to help him develop his social skills or a psychologist who wants to help him overcome his aggressive tendencies. He is mistaken in thinking you someone who is intimidated. He is only 3 years older than you. Not wiser. You’ll meet again in 4 years when you interview him entering some learning institution where you will be a lecturer by the time he gets out. He will soon send you away and you would rather part as friends agreeing to play different games.
Talk as if it was a blind date that didn’t work out. "Its not about you. It’s me. I can’t be the man you want. This relationship will not work out. I’m not in love. I can’t stand your style of dressing, the decor is pathetic, and we never do anything fun." It works! It’s only that so few can say "I am a coward. A fool. I want my mommy" without feeling silly.
Don’t take anything I wrote as dogma. You are smarter then that. Question the book - this is a test of it’s honesty. The army, who will have confiscated copies, will change its tactics. Offer you to serve in a clown unit using humor in hospitals. Like Holland’s Cliniclowns. The book achieves its objectives. The army is transforming into a relief organization. It will create alternatives. It needs ideas. As a system not based on innovation nor doing good the army rewards mediocrity and obedience with a rise in rank. The Peter Principle working overtime. The army itself will not generate ideas to make itself obsolete. The forces of peace need to give a push. Alternatives need to be offered. Unemployed generals also need something to do. Help them find constructive alternatives in education.
Give them a copy of the book.
23. you are not alone - The army is interested that it does not become widely known how simple it is to avoid military service. The answer to the riddle. The dinosaur’s shadow. In light you see a shadow. From the outside. Obvious. Simple. Get a life. For every person willingly going into the army there is a gray refusenik who has gotten a life. 22,000 are discharged. Every year. Of the ones who are conscripted one third are released before the end of their service. There is a large support group who will tell you how and why to get on with your life without spending 3 years in an open prison. You will not hear their testimonies on Galei Tzahal but they are there. They are everywhere. 22,000 (multiply by years and you have half a million in the last 20 years) uncounted. They don’t wear signs saying "I didn’t serve". They don’t play with pride. They do not put stickers saying Naval Commando on their car. Maybe they do. Not everyone who didn’t serve would tell you. Half of the war stories you hear are made up. It is an insane society and the consensus is the lie. You will meet many Israelis outside Israel who just chose to leave it behind. They don’t shout in demonstrations nor call in to radio shows.
משתמט גאה has not yet caught on.
The shame/pride paradigm is shifting. Those who take pride in having served are public. They demand thanks and need to convince themselves that what they did was worthwhile. They are usually over 60. The Yom Kippur war, Israel’s atonement for its power drunkenness, pride, triumphalism and rejection of peace overtures in 1971. They don’t need to serve anymore. The occupation has eroded Israel’s morality as occupation will erode every nation’s morality. Power corrupts. Fire burns.
Since than there have been no defensive wars. Civilians dying in Israel die in auto accidents, from smoking or other illnesses and from the growing internal violence that the occupation has brought to Israeli society. You will not read about them in the foreign press nor will they have TV coverage. You will see civilians if they are victims of a bombing. You will see politicians talking security. They need those to keep the defense budget and their jobs. You owe them your security and insecurity. You owe them nothing. For politicians that’s a scary thought.
Finding yourself can heal the feeling that you owe something to the group. When politicians whine about the dying of the communal spirit it is because people need them less and less. Admittedly, individualism has its downsides but the ethic of togetherness that held many centralist societies was never truth. It was more indoctrination than faith in the brotherhood of man. It was based on a them to define the us.
So leave them aside. Leave us behind. Who are you? What is your self-definition? Are you a fighter or a lover? Are you first a father and than an Amsterdammer? Are you first a Jew and then a Mensch? Are you first human or Israeli? To find yourself define yourself. Nice rhyme. Conversely: to find who you really are, peel away what you have been taught and expected to be. What have you internalized? What have you rejected? What comes from fear? What comes from love? In what ways are you the same as everyone else? In what ways are you unique? And are you, without knowning, part of the brotherhood. Are you Mensch enough for Sayeret Tzaddikim. Are you kind? Really?
You are not alone. John Lennon is with you. Frank Zappa and Jesus too. The Baal Shem Tov and Einstein. Bob Dylan and Nina Hagen. Mahatma Gandi, Reinhardt Mei and Martin Luther. I can write a whole page of names and web addresses who will help you but I want to keep this to 24 pages and we are almost home.
What is undeniable, you can read English. You read this in two hours! Who do you want to share it with? Do you know someone who can use some freedom? Be infectious. Open your e-mail program. Select all. Copy. Paste. Send. The truth will set him or her free.
The ones who say they are enlightened are not enlightened. The ones who act publicly want recognition. gids@ who sent me this text wants his children to live in a better world than he did. This is how he thinks the world will change. Revolution through understanding. Understanding through words. Ideas have longer life spans than individual humans but they need to be transmitted. guns2guitars uses recording, performance, travel, study, prayer and networking. The 6 points of the star of David. There are many inside Israel/Palestine to whom this text is a letter of introduction. There are many more outside in Europe, America, India and Australia who are very involved in what is happening in Israel/Palestine. Politically and spiritually. This is your connection to them. You will find many open doors and hearts who admire pacifism and non-violence. Many more than you ever thought. Many more than the state would want you to believe. Who do you believe: Christ the Jew or the state? Your mother or a career officer for whom you are just a stepping stone?
Which company would you rather be in - musicians or soldiers? There are many more opportunities in the world of music than in the world of weapons. There is more to do in the future than in the past. If you are facing the light of the future. If you are walking with your back to it you will see the shadow on your footsteps. Stop living in the past. Turn around.
So why does gids@ feel such a need to shout wake up! What does he (who said he?- we assumed he- maybe it is she?) have to gain if you desert. Maybe she is really working for the other side and this will never be translated to Arabic because she believes the Israeli army will not give up guns for radio broadcasts. Maybe he is using reverse psychology. הפוך על הפוך על הפוך Maybe it is the truth. If you have been in the army you know it’s the truth. The army does not want others to know. Immoral deeds need the cover of darkness. Truth needs the light. There are no sides. Humanity is one beneath all the divisions. Would you rather look at the similarities or at the divisions? I just received an e-mail: U is teaching English to Bedouins. Welcome to Sayeret Tzaddikim U.
Prepare for the meeting- take a highlighter and highlight what you intend to read. Say it in your own words. You have the book - use it.
The army spokesman is lying. Pravda lied. There are lies in the book. Proof that there is truth as well. I am telling you, asking you, to challenge what I say. How do I know about U? Is there really an Israeli who would rather teach English to Bedouins than go to Miluim? Are there really so many who get discharged from the army? Did John Lennon really sing- "I hope someday you’ll join us"? Or was it a beer commercial? Question every rhetoric! Read!!! Study communications! Can a word file have more impact than a 109 mm shell? Use at least as many question marks as exclamation marks. Don’t count the dead. Drink to the living.
Get silly Billy.
Or perhaps he feels the need to evangelize because he can not be free till others are also free. Maybe he doesn’t feel content to have saved his own soul and leave Israel behind.
Maybe he really did come from the future and wants us to get there with less pain.
Maybe he is the psychiatrist and your internalization of these concepts is his experiment in memory and understanding. Maybe an angel is helping you. Not maybe. 4 sure. Are we there? Are we at 24?
Language is a virus and freedom is infectious.
Feel free to copy, re-write, translate, quote and send to anyone who seeks freedom. There are no copyrights. firstname.lastname@example.org is happy to quicken the time when weapons of war become musical instruments. That time will eventually arrive. It is coming. I am impatient. I may not be alive in 2072 when the process is complete. I want to see it in my lifetime. Even if I get no credit. So…”take this brother….may it serve you well”