MSNBC's Hayes Hails 'Gutsy' Israeli Reservist Who Refuses to Serve if Called Up

MSNBC All In host Chris Hayes -- who once infamously felt "uncomfortable" calling American servicemen "heroes" -- complimented as "gutsy" one Yael Even Or, an Israeli reservist who explained in a Washington Post op-ed why she refuses to serve in Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip should she be called up for service.

The comment came at the beginning of his July 23 interview with Ms. Or live in MSNBC's New York City studios. Video follows the page break and you can listen to the MP3 here. You can read the relevant transcript below the page break. 


CHRIS HAYES, host: So this was a pretty gutsy thing to do. I mean, I think a lot of your fellow Israelis, a lot of Americans who are supporters of Israel, whether they are Jewish, Christian, or otherwise, say your country's under attack, you signed on to be a citizen and to serve in the armed forces and you're abandoning your country in your time of need?

YAEL EVEN OR: Yes. So, well, to be accurate, the army didn't call me right now, I stopped going there, a few years ago, but I'm still in the reserves and that we were looking for an opportunity to declare our refusal in terms that are political. Because if you want to refuse going in to the army, you have to do it in another way usually. So we wanted to say it is political.

Later in the interview, perhaps to underscore how "gutsy" Ms. Or was, Hayes asked her what would happen if and when she returns home to Israel:

HAYES: What's going to happen to you when you go back to Israel?

OR: To me? I think I'll be fine.

HAYES: People will be angry at you?

OR: Yes, people are already angry.

HAYES: Very angry. 

OR: Some people. Yes, but the message was more important to us.  

You know what would be truly "gutsy," Chris Hayes? If you found a young Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who came out publicly to denounce Hamas, explaining why he refuses to join their ranks, and how he believes peace would only be possible when the Palestinians truly want to achieve peace by honestly-brokered diplomacy rather than a terroristic war. 

That would be gutsy because it would be signing that young man or woman's death warrant.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters