Changing direction: toward peace, away from war? Further Israeli opposition to the status quo


Haaretz reports that a public letter has been sent to the chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces and the head of military intelligence, signed by reservist members of the ‘prestigious’ Israeli Defence Force’s Intelligence Unit 8200. Like Britain’s GCHQ, the unit intercepts electronic communications including email, phone calls and social media, in addition to targeting military and diplomatic traffic.

israel unit 8200Unit 8200: “arguably the best military intelligence gathering apparatus in the world”

The signatories of the letter are refusing to serve in operations involving the occupied Palestinian territories, alleging that the widespread surveillance of innocent residents is used for “political persecution” and to create divisions in Palestinian society; they say that this activity is designed to perpetuate the occupation by infiltrating all aspects of Palestinian life, deepening the military control over the occupied territories.

The Guardian adds that, accompanying the letter, are a series of testimonies provided by the signatories to Yedioth Ahronoth, organised several months before the recent Gaza war.

tel aviv peace rally

This letter gives further weight to hope for beneficial change, added to the earlier public demonstrations in August: kibbutzim anger building against the Israeli government and military – followed by ten thousand demonstrators gathering for a pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv (above) under the slogan, “Changing direction: toward peace, away from war”.


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