Dov Yermiya died on Saturday at 101 at the kibbutz in northern Israel where he lived. Yermiya was a leading Israeli dissident who had fought in Israel’s war of independence but renounced Zionism in 2009, in the wake of the “crimes” of the assault on Gaza. From Ronnie Barkan’s Facebook page:
Dov Yermiya, a Zionist founder turned into dissident, passed away at the ripe age of 101. may he rest in peace…
Yermiya was [a] founder of the Zionist state and held many key roles to that effect. He was born in Palestine and had tried to create a moral kind of Zionism, an attempt which he later admitted to have failed miserably. At the ripe age of 95 he had officially renounced Zionism and its crimes.
Yermiya became famous for an antiwar book he published in 1982 called My War Diary, and today he is remembered for a letter he wrote in 2009, quoted by Uri Avnery.
I, a 95 year old Sabra (native born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel,
Declare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions, that I shall not sing anymore its nationalist anthem, that I shall stand at attention only on the days of mourning for those fallen on both sides in the wars, and that I look with a broken heart at an Israel that is committing suicide and at the three generations of offspring that I have bred and raised in it.
…[F]or 42 years, Israel turned what should have been Palestine into a giant detention camp, and is holding a whole people captive under an oppressive and cruel regime, with the sole aim of taking away their country, come what may!!!
The IDF eagerly suppresses their efforts at rebellion, with the active assistance of the settlement thugs, by the brutal means of a sophisticated Apartheid and a choking blockade, inhuman harassment of the sick and of women in labor, the destruction of their economy and the theft of their best land and water.
Over all this there is waving the black flag of the frightening contempt for the life and blood of the Palestinians. Israel will never be forgiven for the terrible toll of blood spilt, and especially the blood of children, in hair-raising quantities… ”
As a veteran of the 1948 war, who was already wounded in face to face combat two weeks before the Declaration of the State, I feel obliged herewith to return the invitation to you, as Minister of Defence. I do so regretfully but see this as my duty.
I consider you, Ehud Barak, as one of the top military commanders and prominent political leaders who were responsible for converting the army from ‘the Israeli Defence Force’ to an army of occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people and defender of the criminal settlements in their country.
Forty years of occupation have utterly corrupted the Israeli army and all strata of Israeli society.They are both characterized by the nationalist ‘east wind’ [the east wind brings the chamsin and locusts ]which blows and kindles conflagrations of endless wars, which threaten our people and land with the third and final destruction. Your share in the responsibility for all this is enormous, and therefore I return your invitation to you, without thanks…
Here’s a trailer from a documentary about Yermiya, published five years ago by Avi Dabach, in which the charming nonagenarian says that Israel will not exist in another 50-100 years.