“Do you know what it means to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories?” With these words, Breaking the Silence has released stunning new testimonies from former soldiers, six Israeli women.
Very upsetting. Raw brutalization and debasement. Who cannot weep when they hear these women’s stories of degradation? This society has lost its soul, and these brave witnesses are open about the damage, so as to try and save Israel and Palestine– the politics are irrelevant to this work.
Full testimonies here. In the video excerpts above, the women describe the brutalization of the Palestinians, enforced by debasing peer pressure among the soldiers:
“You can’t think that they’re good hardworking people trying to survive in a closed, place.”“Later I realized that in order to be there you have to break them, break their spirit. Breaking them means making them wait, blindfolding them, treating them badly, writing ‘Death to Arabs’ on their vests.”“Putting cigarettes out on them.”
One describes a smiling girl who transforms into the “roadblock queen,” a tyrant adored by Israeli soldiers.
Several describe routine thefts from Palestinians: of prayer beads, pottery, food. What is wrong with taking gifts? one said to herself.
Another: We could do whatever we wanted.
And the psychic damage of oppression is foremost in these women’s minds. That’s why they’re coming forward. One says she paid a high high price for her service, and so has her entire society.
“People don’t know what’s going on there.”
Here is a link to all the new women’s testimonies. See the ghastly headlines: “Slap,” “Collective Punishment,” “Flak Jackets with ‘Death to Arabs Written on Them'” “Throwing them into the sewage pit,” “Because I’m bored,” “Settler violence.”
on our database: