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Why so shy, Lieutenant T?

Lieutenant T
Lieutenant T
Lieutenant R
Lieutenant R

In the last couple of days, the Israeli army p.r. office published two stirring posters suitable to taped to your child’s wall– that is, if your child speaks English– of Israeli Air Force pilots.

But neither ace has a name. Just Lieutenant R and Lieutenant T.    

Max Blumenthal suggested at Twitter that the IDF did not reveal full names for fear of prosecution or retribution. He points that the Israeli soldiers who come to US campuses on hasbara tours don’t fully identify. This pro-Israel presentation at San Jose State last year featured soldiers “Ran” and “Rania”– no last names.

And no last names this year for two soldiers who spoke at Cornell, hosted by StandWithUs, the rightwing lobby group, with predictable results:

Two experienced combat soldiers, Yishai and Sharon, spoke openly about their time serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)…

To Yishai’s dismay, the base told him not to shoot. They said it was too risky, for women and children were near the man. Protecting them was more important to the IDF at this moment of crises.

Blumenthal also points to Richard Silverstein’s post, “Dirty 200” on a list said to be soldiers who served in Cast Lead (since taken down).

Many of you have either already seen or heard of a list of 200 IDF officers who served in Operation Cast Lead. It is being circulated samizdat/Wikileaks-style around the internet as a starting point for criminal investigations of possible war crimes charges against those who served in the massacre. It appears the list was prepared by an Israeli Jew who served/s in the army. He or she explains his or her actions as follows:

“Underlining the following people is an act of retribution and affront. They are the direct perpetrators, agents for the state of Israel that in Dec.- Jan. 2008- 2009 attacked scores of people in the besieged Gaza. The people listed here held positions of command at the time of the attack therefore not only did they perform on behalf of a murderous state mechanism but actively encouraged other people to do the same. They bear a distinctive personal responsibility.”

(h/t Scott Roth on twitter)

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17 Responses

  1. Citizen
    July 1, 2013, 4:38 pm

    Heroic Lt R & Lt T get some help on the ground, like discussed here:

    “Light onto the world.”

    Your US tax money at work.

  2. Helena Cobban
    Helena Cobban
    July 1, 2013, 4:50 pm

    The only place an Israeli living in Israel can go to “carve up the slopes” as a snowboarder is in the occupied Golan. Should definitely be noted.

    • OlegR
      July 1, 2013, 6:34 pm

      We do go ans ski in Europe quite often. The Hermon resort is far to small..

      • amigo
        July 2, 2013, 5:53 am

        “The Hermon resort is far to small..”o-leg.

        Keep your hands in your pockets o-leg.European ski resorts will be far more difficult to annex, (steal).

        And don,t let the door hit you on your way out.

  3. Carllarc
    July 1, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Richard Silverstein had a had excellent article(s) on the colonel charged w/ war crimes, promptly cleared by an idf investigation and then promptly promoted to general — check out

    “The IDF likes to reverse the old saying: “Let no good deed go unpunished.” It likes to ensure that no war crime goes unrewarded. Col. Ilan Malka, who was named by the Goldstone Report as possibly responsible for two sets of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead (one of them was the murder of the al-Samouni family, resulting in the deaths of 20 civilians including women and children), just received a promotion from the IDF chief of staff. He will be the new chief of staff of the Central Command, assigned to protect settlements and provide the security necessary for expanding the settler enterprise in the West Bank. He will rise in rank from Colonel to Brigadier General.

    Malka was one of only two officers who were ever investigated for their murder of civilians during the war. The worst punishment he received was to have further promotions put on hold since 2010. Now, Brig. Gen. Gantz has freed him from this military Purgatory and he can continue to work his way up the ranks to his own level of incompetence. Or should I say “competence,” since the IDF appears to view soldiers who kill civilians as being supremely competent. How else to explain this promotion?”

  4. Carllarc
    July 1, 2013, 5:54 pm

    got to also say that what can be seen of these very covered faces (some religious thing?) look exactly alike — don’t suppose it’s a model?

  5. OlegR
    July 1, 2013, 6:33 pm

    /Max Blumenthal suggested at Twitter that the IDF did not reveal full names for fear of prosecution or retribution./

    Max and you Phil once again show complete ignorance.
    Israeli pilots identities (faces and names) are considered state secret and are always hidden.
    The reasoning is that pilots being elite force are considered prime targets
    both by terrorist organizations and foreign intelligence services.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      July 1, 2013, 9:25 pm

      So, why show these pilots at all if they must remain hidden? It could be anyone behind those Foster Grants.

      And if the terrorist menace is so high why don’t the soldiers wear masks when they give their hasbarist pep talks abroad?

      • OlegR
        July 2, 2013, 9:35 am

        /So, why show these pilots at all if they must remain hidden? It could be anyone behind those Foster Grants./

        Indeed :)
        /And if the terrorist menace is so high why don’t the soldiers wear masks when they give their hasbarist pep talks abroad?/
        It’s not high but for pilots it greater.And again those pesky foreign intelligence services.

  6. LanceThruster
    July 1, 2013, 6:36 pm

    I’m in the process of reading Antony Loewenstein’s book “My Israel Question” on the train into work. I had a youngish foreigner (25-30?) ask me directions on the commuter rail. I asked if he was German and he said Israeli. I said “IDF?” He said yes. I pulled out my copy of your book to show him what I was reading. He asked if it was “left or right.” To save time I said “left.” He muttered how he supports the “right” version. I said I thought the conflict should be discussed much more, but that it requires both sides to address the facts of the conflict honestly. He said that it should be discussed from the present situation forward and not dwell on the past, to which I said that is not an honest approach to resolving the issues.

    • piotr
      July 1, 2013, 8:28 pm

      Beginning of Gaza war of 2008-2009: “At 11:30 am on December 27, 2008, Israel launched the campaign titled Operation Cast Lead. It began with an opening wave of airstrikes in which F-16 fighter jets and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters[112] simultaneously struck 100 preplanned targets within a span of 220 seconds. There was a 95% success rate with zero misses in the opening attack according to the Israeli Air Force.[113] Thirty minutes later, a second wave of 60 jets and helicopters struck at an additional 60 targets.”

      Most of 220 killed in these “precision strikes” were police, which were not combatant and not legitimate targets. Arguably, from the very beginning the operation was a war crime.

      The whole operation was a gigantic piece of misdirection: ostensibly it was to remove “terror infrastructure including terror organizations” but in actuality it was anything but. Massive damage was inflicted on easy to identify non-terror targets, in the first wave police stations and government buildings, then residential building, schools, chicken farms and so on. Conspicuously absent were any larger concentrations of Hamas fighters who went into hiding.

      Israel has very good intelligence in Gaza because of the high degree of control over people movement that result in blackmail opportunities. Thus IDF had to have idea where the leaders and fighters were hiding. The command had a choice: send troops to those bunkers and fight, which would lead to some units getting into traps and so on, or concentrate on two goals: (a) protecting own soldiers (b) inflicting maximum damage. In other words, it was high tech medieval warfare: warriors spare each other and concentrate on bringing fire and sword to villages.

      • Don
        July 2, 2013, 9:36 am

        Piotr, no offense intended…but are you honestly trying to suggest chicken farms pose no threat to the state of Israel?

      • LanceThruster
        July 2, 2013, 4:14 pm

        2008? I guess according to the Israeli I talked to, that would be ancient history.


  7. Parity
    July 1, 2013, 10:42 pm

    Could Lt. R and Lt. T be the same model? They sure look alike.

    • yrn
      July 2, 2013, 7:00 am

      All Israelis are the same
      As Amigo wrote
      “Those Jews with Blond Hair and blue eyes”

  8. joer
    July 2, 2013, 4:57 am

    They used to make Golda Meir type statements about how much they hate being forced to kill their enemies…now they don’t even pay that type of rhetoric lip service. These guys are nothing but happy to be dropping bombs on people. My one question is: We know how Lt. R learned he enjoyed heights and adventure-carving up the slopes on snowboard…but when did he discover he enjoyed killing people?

  9. just
    July 2, 2013, 10:15 am

    It is curious that it’s in English. Who is being ‘recruited’?

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