Home Participants Released Yonatan Shapira (Israel)

Yonatan Shapira (Israel)


Yonatan has now been released from unlawful detention in Israel.

Read Yonatan’s posts about his experiences on the Freedom Flotilla here.

My name is Yonatan Shapira and I’m an Israeli citizen. I was a captain and a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the Israeli Air Force. I never shot anyone and was flying mostly rescue missions but nevertheless, I realized that I was part of a terrorist organization. 15 years ago in 2003 I organized a group of 27 air force pilots who publicly refused to continue to take part in the oppression of the Palestinian people.
Since then I’ve been active in different organizations that struggle against the Israeli occupation and apartheid. I am a member of Boycott from Within – Israeli citizens who support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
This is my 4th attempt to break the Gaza blockade from the sea.

My message to the Israeli soldiers who are now training and preparing to board our boats and arrest us:

“Think about what you will tell your grandchildren in many years from now and not about what your friends will say about you today. Refuse to take part in this ongoing war crime. Refuse to continue murdering people who are locked in the biggest prison in the world. I was once one of you and I know that among you there are some who can still think. Refuse to be the guards of the Gaza ghetto.”


  1. Dear Yonatan

    I was hoping I would live to hear an Israeli, a Jewish person say, this cannot go on. I am a cape Malay and I can never be anti-Jewish as we were very close. To the Jewish members in the ANC. In the area where I grew up our corner shops were Jewish and most people rented their homes and even their hawkers carts from them. During Apartheid the Jews were the only people who would have coloured people in their offices. I can tell you it is definitely worse than apartheid.
    What started this war was a pogrom of a different kind. But it was a
    pogrom. Jews harassing people in their homes because theY want to live there. Netanyahu fly his Jewishness like a flag but his heart is more like a German commandment. He is not afraid of anyone but every time he is in personal trouble he goes to war to reflect attention away from his criminal charges. But I still have faith in people like you.


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