Book Released: Occupation of the Territories-Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010

January 23, 2011 by
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Marking the tenth anniversary since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Breaking the Silence releases a new publication: “Occupation of the Territories – Israeli Soldier Testimonies 2000-2010”

Breaking the Silence is releasing a new publication, titled “Occupation of the Territories – Israeli Soldier Testimonies 2000-2010”, as part of the organization’s wider goal of increasing access to information on the daily reality in the Occupied Territories. The 431-page volume is made up of testimonies from 101 male and female soldiers who served in the Territories over the past decade, and is organized according to four fundamental terms used by the Israeli military, which serve as a framework through which Israeli policy in the Territories is conducted. The soldier testimonies serve as a window into each of these terms and their significance as enacted on the ground.

“Prevention”, “Separation”, “Fabric of Life”, and “Law Enforcement” are the terms that Israeli authorities have used to describe various aspects of the Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories. Instead of describing policy, however, these terms encode military actions by clothing them in defensive language. Israeli control of the Occupied Territories does not only serve the security interests of the Israeli population living within the Green Line. The testimonies illustrate how, through its activities in the Territories, Israel does not preserve the status quo, but instead works to change it. As Israel dispossesses more and more Palestinians of their land, its military superiority also serves to control more aspects of Palestinian life. Contrary to the impression Israeli officials attempt to create, according to which Israel is withdrawing from the Palestinian Territories slowly and with the proper security precautions, IDF soldiers describe a relentless attempt to tighten Israel’s hold on the Territories and the Palestinian population within them.

The first chapter of the book describes how the term “prevention”– which conjures notions of defensive actions intended to prevent terror – in actuality translates into an aggressive policy which removes the need to distinguish between terrorists and innocent civilians. Under the guise of this term, the army disrupts the normal life of the Palestinian population in order to intimidate and create a “sense of persecution”. Under this heading, testimonies in the chapter describe actions such as house searches, mock arrests of innocent Palestinian civilians as exercises for young soldiers, patrols to demonstrate presence, harassment at checkpoints, and collective punishment.

Dana Golan, Executive Director of Breaking the Silence: “For six years, Breaking the Silence has collected testimonies from more than 700 soldiers, both men and women, who have served in the Occupied Territories. This comprehensive cache of information enables a sharper understanding of IDF policy in the Territories, most of which is hidden from the Israeli public. Examination of the last decade of Israeli presence in the Territories demonstrates the moral deterioration of Israeli society as a whole – not just that of its actors on the ground, the soldiers. We hope that the book ‘Occupation of the Territories – Israeli Soldier Testimonies 2000-2010’ will stimulate a frank public debate on the moral price of ongoing control of another people.”

via Breaking The Silence – Israeli soldiers talk about the occupied territories – Book Released: Occupation of the Territories-Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010.


One Comment on Book Released: Occupation of the Territories-Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010

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