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Confirmed and Confessed

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B. Michael

Between September 29th and October 15th, fifteen days in all, I killed thirty children. Two children per day.

Two dead children per day is more or less four bereaved parents per day. Why more or less? Because some of them were brothers. So, two dead children for one pair of bereaved parents. Perhaps that’s better, because these parents are bereaved anyway, so they are just bereaved twice, and another pair of parents is released from being bereaved. But perhaps it is less good, because to be bereaved is worse than being dead, and being twice bereaved is twice worse than being dead. So I don’t really know what to decide.

A Palestinian mother and her two babies lay together in the Beit Hanun hospital as morgue workers prepare the bodies for burial.

A Palestinian mother and her two babies lay together in the Beit Hanun hospital as morgue workers prepare the bodies for burial.

All these children I killed in the Gaza Strip, and all of them I killed by mistake. That is, I knew that there were children there, and I knew I would kill some of them, but since I knew it would be by mistake I did not feel so pressured about it. Because everybody makes mistakes. Only the one who does nothing does not make mistakes. Mistakes happen, we are all human beings. That is what I think is so nice about my mistakes, they make me so human and fallible, is it not so?

The 30 children I killed by all kind of mistakes. Each child with his special mistake. There was one about whom I thought by mistake that he was not a child. And there was one which I hit because he insisted on standing exactly on the spot at which I decided to shoot. And there was one who threw stones and did not at all look six years old. And there was one who from the air looked like a wanted terrorist. Or like a Qassam rocket. Or like a terrorist holding a Qassam rocket. And there were some children who by mistake got into their heads some of the shrapnel from the shell I shot into their house. And there was one who by mistake hid under her bed exactly when I blew up the bed in order to expel the terrorist squad which was hiding there. But this does not count, it was her mistake, not mine.

I remember it was the most hard with my first mistake. I shot and shot and shot, then they told me I had killed a child. I became pale, and my mouth was dry, and my knees were shaking, and in general I did not sleep very well that night. But with the passing of time, and of mistakes, it became much easier. Now I make mistakes with hardly any side-effects. It was very helpful that my friends, my environment, everybody, did not make so much fuss over every small mistake.

Here, just last week, when I killed by mistake one girl, I shot two more mistakes into her head, just to make sure that I was making a mistake. And then the rest of my magazine, full of mistakes. Once, I would not have been able to do that.

True, some people tell me that I am making a mistake in making this confession. They tell me I have not been in Gaza at all, and did not shoot any bullet, and did not bomb, and did not shell, and did not snipe. That’s true, I did not. But who paid for the bullets? Me. And who bought the gun? And financed the shell? And the missile? Me. Me. Me. Also me.

And also, who is not growing pale any more with every new mistake? Whose mouth is not getting dry when one more child is laid in the earth? Whose knees do not grow weak when another nameless baby lies dead in a bloody cradle? Who goes on sleeping soundly even when the number of mistakes reaches thirty in two weeks? Me. Also me. So, don’t tell me I didn’t kill.


Published Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004 - 04:52pm GMT
Article courtesy of Yediot Aharonot Translated from the original Hebrew by The Other Israel
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