Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Our own role in the resistance

Guest: Yonatan Shapira, former Israeli air force pilot, co-founder of the Israeli-Palestinian Combatants for Peace, BDS activist, and sailor on the Jewish Boat to Gaza when it was attacked for breaking the siege of Gaza, talks about his career as a singer and how his songs express the hope for a free Palestine.

Yonatan Shapira is hero of human rights, a man of integrity who changed his mind once he faced the irrefutable facts about Israel's long term occupation of Palestine. How he changed his mind is his story, going from a pilot in the Israeli Defense Force, to an outspoken critic of Israeli apartheid.

He makes the journey with humility and not without pain. If Israel ever recovers its place in the human race, it will come as a result of following a person like Yonatan.

One of his stories involves a German commander during World War II who wrote of his ethical misgivings while fighting for the Third Reich. To Yonatan, what one man writes in his diary does not absolve him from blame. And the day of reckoning comes, of course, when Yonatan sees himself in the very same position. Doubts are not enough; one must actively oppose genocide and ethnic cleansing. He is as unsparing of himself as he is of anyone else.

Yonatan's songs in Hebrew are the emotional culmination of his very personal stories. His deep and compelling voice brings the listener closer to a self realization about activism and courage. Singing along in Hebrew takes us to a new understanding of our own role in the resistance.

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