Their message was very clear: we are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land," he said.
The account by Ram, a pseudonym to shield the soldier's identity, was published by the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper in the second day of revelations that have rocked the Israeli military. [The pieces are posted below - Ed.]
They were leaked from a Feb 13 meeting of armed forces members to share their Gaza experiences.
Some veterans, alumni of an Israel Defence Force (IDF) military academy, told of the killing of civilians and their impression that deep contempt for Palestinians pervaded the ranks of the Israeli forces.
Haaretz and the daily Maariv, which also published the accounts, quoted over half a dozen soldiers and airmen. The institution's director, Danny Zamir, confirmed that Thursday's published accounts were authentic.
In longer excerpts in its Friday "Week's End" edition [See "Shooting and Crying," below - Ed.], the daily quoted 'Ram' as saying his impression of the 22-day operation was "the feeling of an almost religious mission"....