I’m not quite sure what to make of this, but two young Israeli fighter pilots are about to lose their careers over some poor judgement. The pair were part of a sponsored trip for IAF pilots to travel to Poland to see a death camp. I guess the purpose was to provide these pilots with a deeper understanding of what happened to European Jewry. It’s also probably no accident that these trips are taking place while the son of survivors, General Shakedi, is the head of the IAF.

Apparently all the pilots were warned to behave appropriately on the trip and to arrive in their hotel rooms by a certain hour. On the final night of the trip, this pair of pilots returned late to the room, each with a Polish woman with him. Some suspected they were hookers while the pilots claimed they were university students whom they met at a bar.

This is one of those instances where an evening of pleasure is going to be very costly. They caused grave offense to some, including Shakedi. This was exacerbated by their violation of strict rules which is not something you want to be caught doing openly in the Air Force, especially as a pilot. They have been given some days in jail and will now face further sanctions, including the possibility of being kicked out of the Air Force altogether. I think that’s a bit of a harsh overreaction and would hope they will be given another chance, but who knows.

I think it’s a little weird that the Air Force is seeking to motivate its pilots by sending them to see death camps. I understand the logic, but why is it necessary? These are intelligent people who are already highly motivated and usually quite patriotic. What do these visits contribute?

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themiddle

9 Comments

  • In “post Zionist” Israel, the visits are necessary to give secularized soldiers some justification for their country’s existence – since these young people came of age during the Oslo years, when their own government and media trashed any notion of positive Israeli patriotism.

  • I wrote a whole shpiel which got shmiced by the farkachte server.

    Happens all the time, these guys got caught. Some kids had a stripper in their room once from the Misrad Hachinuch.

    They send 10,000 kids to poland a year.

  • These weren’t kids, Y, these were adults who had made it through one of the most rigorous pilot training programs in the world. But I am surprised to hear that it happens with some of the kids, I usually hear stories about how moved they were.

    By the way, you should train yourself to do a cntl C before you hit the send or say it button because, as we’ve all noted, the site runs pretty poorly these days. ck, ayeka?

  • “These are intelligent people”

    Um, yeah. Someone should tell these intelligent people that picking up Polish hookers is not such a good thing to do.

  • I dunno, it seems pretty stupid career-wise, and sorta insensitive and tacky and all, but in a way, what better way to say “we’re not dead, Hitler!” than schtupping at Auschwitz? A celebration of life in the midst of death. A big, uprasied middle finger to the doom-and-gloomers.

    And a pretty obvious display of the fact that these guys are not obsessing about the whole anti-Semitism thing that Auschwitz represents. In really, really bad taste, but I can kind of understand it in a perverse sort of way.

    And it really brings up a difficult but important question: is it ever proper to “get over” the Shoah? These guys seem to have done so, in their own way. The Polish hookers angle is kind of a drag, though.

    And they fly F-16s for the Israeli Air Force, man.

    To Life!

  • Folks, it doesn’t matter what anybody here thinks, the commander of the IAF is the son of survivors and he was personally notified and became very angry with these two. Let’s hope he shows some leniency.

    Great comment, Ephraim.

  • Well, to a child of survivors, people having sex at Auschwitz is like finding somebody schtupping on top of their parents’ headstone for anyone else.

    I can totally understand his point. Like it or not, Auschwitz has taken on aspects of kedusha, in a really perverse way. It is separate, not something of this world, and we’re supposed to bow our heads in silence at what it represents. So schtupping at Auschwitz is something of a chutzpah.

    I can also totally understand theirs. Although it was prety dumb to disobey direct orders, if I were them, I might be thinking:’

    “Dude, chill. We fly F-16s, ready to blow to smithereens anyone who dares to threaten the Jewish country. I think we’re doing our bit for the Am, you know?”

    So, anyway, the best way for Jews to get past Auschwitz is to schtup.

    Preferably Jewish women, though, so there will be Jewish kids, absolutely the only thing that will prove once and for all that Hitler failed.

  • Obviously, none of you have visited Poland on such a trip. As the granddaughter of a survivor, I have taken this trip, and though it may seem that one is obsessed with the Holocaust for the whole trip, you must realize that when you get back to the hotel, all you want to do is unwind and have fun. Spending the day at death camps is powerful and an important experience every Jew has the duty to undertake. However, using the evenings to enjoy oneself in a foreign country is not a sin. In fact, it is what keeps the traveler from completely collapsing from the emotional burden of the trip.

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