Exclusive Interview with A Former Israeli Defence Force: I am An Anti-Zionist

Ronen Skaletzky (60), is a Jews, a former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) who served for three years (1979-1982). He was also involved in the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Now, he is actively promoting human rights, peace and justice.

Skaletzky is an anomaly when compared to the average Israeli Jew. He rejects Zionism and opposes the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries. Thus, he also supports the official position of the Indonesian Government which will never open diplomatic relations with Israel until the Palestinian State achieves an independent, peaceful and obtains its rights.

Skaletzky emphasized that several Muslim-majority countries have had diplomatic relations with Israel in decades, such as Turkey and other Arab Muslim countries.

“Solidarity from all countries in the world towards Palestine including the Arab Muslim countries is just words, yes only words,” said Skaletzky in an exclusive interview with a senior journalist at MINA News Agency, Rifa Berliana Arifin, via Whatsapp on Saturday, May 22 2021.

The following is an excerpt from the interview:

MINA: What is your position (job) in Israeli army and is there any interesting experiances which you can share in MINA?

Skaletzky: I was serving in the IDF artillery from 1979 till 1982. My job was to calculate the firing parameters using geophysical data. Nothing special. 38 years had passed since then. The modern army of Israel is not relying on primitive cannons anymore.

I personally think that to use nowadays cannons in urban war is a war crime, especially when there are much more accurate weapons, available. Those with modern army who use cannons on cities, do not really care for civilian lives.

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I hope ICC will put on trial all the war criminals from Israel, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. I hope the international community will find way to force Israeli regime into 1 or 2 state solution based on human rights, and international law.

MINA: As an Israelis, what do you about Israeli-Gaza war which killed many from both parties. Are Israelis agree with this desicion?

Skaletzky: I am 60 years old. During the last 35 years I dedicated much of my free time to promote human rights, justice and peace.

My opinion is not representing the Israeli public opinion. My view is taken from a trans-national and trans-religious view.

Like most people around the world, most Israeli Jews focused on their own problems and ignore the problems of the rest of the world, including the problems of Palestinians which can not be separated from the existence of Israel.

Even those who care for Palestinians knows that organizations like Hamas want to create an Islamic state on all of Brittish mandate’s Palestine, which include Israel too.

Hence, almost all Israeli Jews support the Israeli government of the treatment of Hamas.

There is small minority who differentiate between Hamas and the Gazan population and feel pity for the civilian population.

MINA: From your point of view as an Israeli army, what do you think about Israeli-Palestinian crisis which has been ongonging for years?

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Skaletzky: I am anti-Zionist. I do not share same views with most Israelis. I served in IDF during the first Lebanese War (1982) and refused passively to support any military activity during the war.

Later, my views were changed totally from the view I got from education at ultra-Zionist Religious institutions.

Most Israeli Jews think that Israel could conquer Gaza Strip and get rid of Hamas, but it will cost too many Israeli soldiers’ lives, and current Iron Dome can do a good job, so they have no problem to have few years silence between wars.

MINA: How does strong Zionism controll the govt and do you (your self) agree with zoinist movement?

Skaletzky: Except of very small number of Anti-Zionist Ultra religious Jews all the rest of Israeli Jews have no problem with Zionism. They believe Israel is their ancient homeland. Religious Jews prayed for 2000 years 3 times a day to God that God will return them back to their homeland as promised in the Jewish Bible. Zionism try to materialized this dream without relying on God. Hence, most Zionists are not religious Jews.

Anti-Zionist Jews or secular non-Zionists are almost not existed in Israel.

MINA: What do you think about the movement of Israeli capital city to Jerusalem?

Skaletzky: Israel from 1948 claimed its capital is Jerusalem. Recently trump recognized it.

MINA: Israel continously attack Syaikh Jarrah complex? What do you think about it?

Skaletzky: According to Israeli law Jews can ask court to get back any property he had before 1948 which was taken by Arabs.

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Israel do not let Palestinians do the same. This injustice is behind the anger of the Palestinians and the riots there. The Palestinians who live in the controversial houses were refugees from the area of Israel, and the Jordanians gave them property of escaping Jews. The Jews who claim the houses are racist Jewish organization that get the ownership from an ancient Jewish Waqf and want to have less Arabs and more Jews in Jerusalem.

MINA: What do you think about Arab countries’ normalization with Israel and is Indonesia might to join that normalization?

Skaletzky: Turkey had diplomatic relationship with Israel for many decades.

Anyway, it seems that solidarity with Palestinians around the world is mostly by words only. I believe the international community could do much more for Palestine by supporting BDS and pressuring other countries to diverse their businesses from Israel or at least from Israeli businesses in the Occupied Territories.

I believe that without international active support there will be no end to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

I wish to see all the people around the world who has empathy for suffering of other people to act for Palestine and also for those who suffer in other places from injustice, including Yamenite and West Papuans, Shia Muslims, Ahmediyya sect in Indonesia.

I support the Indonesian government’s traditional position that normalisation with Israel will come after the materialization of a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. (TW/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)