Photo Credit: Ofer Zidon/Flash90
Ground crew man salutes a pilot before takeoff at Ramat David Air Force base, February 02 2010.

Another large group of Air Force ground crews on Tuesday sent a letter sharing their feelings about the recent events in Israel to Air Force Commander General Tomer Bar, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, to “share our heart’s feelings.”

The letter went (see original below):


Our beloved pilots,

To make your aircraft useable, we work day and night, at every hour, on Shabbat and holidays. We turn on, fuel, remove pins, close panels, and so much more drudgery.

When you climb into the aircraft with your flight gloves, our hands are wounded and freeze to death from the aircraft’s cold metal.

All these years, we carried with pride the maintenance and arming of the aircraft. And we were the best soldiers we could be, even if we didn’t, like you, pass the flight school selections. But we always felt first-class [grade], together, for the people of Israel and the State of Israel.

Today, after you have clarified that our vote is not equal to your vote, we are feeling second-class [grade]. We are feeling a real emotional difficulty strapping you to your ejection seat in case you would have to abandon the plane, God forbid. The hand that salutes you before you exit the underground bunker and drive to the takeoff post – no longer has the energy to rise.

And we’ll tell you a secret, our beloved pilots, each time we readied your aircraft it wasn’t really for you. It was for the people of Israel, the security of the State of Israel. Because we felt together, we thought we were one nation. We knew we were serving and loving the nation, unconditionally.

And that’s the reason we will not be insubordinate like you, will not rebel or call for a military coup. We will maintain the necessary nobility of spirit and won’t allow political disagreements to enter our holiest sanctuary, the Israel Defense Forces.

But we are calling on you to reverse your position at once, beg our forgiveness, save the drop of lost honor we still retain, and give us back the enormous motivation we once possessed.

And please, don’t tell us that with your insubordination you are saving democracy and defending the wholeness of the nation and the country because with your action you burned our votes. The army with all its soldiers must be kept at all costs outside any argument and dispute.

And as to you, our dear commander, we call on you to be in charge of this begging for our forgiveness and to hastily create a fitting mechanism of deterrence and punishment, to guarantee that such things will never again happen for political reasons.

As to those who refuse to end their insubordination and will not beg our forgiveness, we demand categorically that their flight wings be removed – they are not fit to serve with us, the soldiers of the Air Force technical array, to the benefit of the State of Israel.

Air Force ground crews’ demand for an apology, March 29, 2023.

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