Monday, September 29, 2003

Reeling? Hardly
I'd say: slightly irritated at the media for giving this issue (a fringe phenomenon) such a lot of unnecessary exposure, better describes my feelings. I am referring to the so-called IAF pilots' letter, of course. It doesn't seem like a very serious endeavor. 27 ex-pilots and reservists aren't very impressive. What about the hundreds (I'm not aware of IAF data, and if I was I wouldn't be writing it here, but it could very well be thousands for all I know) who didn't sign? It seems one of them has already changed his mind (Hebrew link).

Bish has pointed out some interesting things with regard to the letter (they are all apparently ex-IAF pilots, a few of them still do reserve duty, although I've read that hardly any (Thank you, Allison for the link) were actually called to do any of the missions they are objecting to, so their refusal is actually academic). I still have to do some research, organize my thoughts about some of the information he has uncovered and find relevant links, but the one thing that stands out is that one of the ringleaders is none other than Yigal Shohat, husband of the infamous Orit Shohat, the far left wing pain in the neck that writes in Haaretz and its Tel Aviv local rag Ha'ir. I've discussed her before. Her husband is a known refusenik (Hebrew link, don't be sorry, it's a rather uninspiring and uninteresting speech given by him in Tel Aviv on 9th January 2002 about the merits of refusing). This couple's well-publicized sentiments emboldened Orit's mother, famous Israeli singer of old, eighty-something-year-old Yaffa Yarkoni, into making a fool of herself by taking a public stand in favor of the refuseniks a while ago. This provoked much mirth and merriment at the time, because Ms. Yarkoni is not famous for her brains or for her common sense. Or for her voice, for that matter. Every time I hear Shlomo Gronich sing Bab-el-Wad I cry. I just can't help it. Her rendition, on the other hand, (the original, sadly) makes me cringe. Oh well, they say she was pretty when she was young.

Yigal Shohat's F-4E Phantom II was apparently felled by an Egyptian SAM (scroll down and down and down) on 3rd August 1970 during the War of Attrition. The crew was taken prisoner and Shohat's co—pilot, Moshe Goldwasser, was killed in captivity. Bish says Shohat lost a leg, but I can't find a link.