‘Just say no’ to Iran strike, petition urges pilots (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By AARON KALMAN 08/15/12)
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More than 400 people, including a number of professors, signed a
petition calling upon Israel Air Force pilots to refuse to obey if
they are ordered to bomb Iran. Such an act would harm Israel, and the
pilots could be captured, the petition stated.
The petition, circulated online, addresses the pilots “out of a deep
sense of concern” regarding the situation Israel faces in Iran. “We
don’t know your names,” the document states. “We do know one thing —
at this moment our fate, our very future, lies very much in your
The list of signatories includes professors Menachem Mautner, the
former dean of law at Tel Aviv University; Anat Biletzki, the former
head of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem; and Nurith Gertz of
The petition warns the pilots could receive “the fateful order” very
soon, possibly in the next few weeks. “You also have the option of
saying no,” it insists.
Pilots who refuse orders could face serious consequences, the
petition acknowledges. But they need to consider whether carrying out
an attack order serves the country’s interests. Saying no “would be
infinitely more important than blind obedience to this particular
order,” the petition argues.
Among reasons to not attack Iran, the writers of the document cite
potential retaliation against Israeli cities, the possibility of
radioactive materials leaking and harming Iranians, global financial
disaster and the danger of a plane being downed and a pilot captured.
A development such as the latter would cause “moral and political
dilemmas dwarfing those involved in the case of Gilad Shalit” — the
soldier kidnapped in 2006 by Hamas from inside the southern border,
held hostage for five years in Gaza, and brought home in a complex
and controversial prisoner exchange last October.
Finally, the writers assert that a strike against Iran’s nuclear
program would not terminate it but only, in the best-case scenario,
Mautner, the former law school dean who is one of the signatories,
told the Makor Rishon newspaper he didn’t want to address the pilots
and would rather the decision makers not order a military strike.
However, he said, “I will sign anything that could avert the greatest
disaster Israel faces since it was founded.”
Mautner said it would be in Israel’s national interest to let the US
lead such an attack, which he saw as a legal and legitimate course of
action. It was a unilateral strike with no US backing that worried
him, he explained.
While there were over 400 signatures, not all of them were by people
who took the petition seriously. Adolf Hitler’s name was on the list,
as were those of Sara Netanyahu and Yasser Arafat. (© 2012 THE TIMES
OF ISRAEL 08/15/12)
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