Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000–2010

Breaking the Silence, Author
Compiled by Breaking the Silence. Metropolitan, $32 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9537-1
Reviewed on: 07/23/2012
Release date: 09/18/2012
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-250-03773-2
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-8050-9538-8
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Random brutality, Kafkaesque bureaucracy, hatred, and dehumanization: that’s the face of Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza as described by disaffected soldiers in this troubling oral history. These interviews with 106 anonymous IDF veterans who served in the occupied territories, gathered by the Israeli human rights group Breaking the Silence, tell of indiscriminate mass arrests and beatings; of random searches, trashings, and seizures of Palestinian homes; of arbitrary military regulations, permits, and checkpoints that make everyday life for Palestinians a gauntlet of harassment and humiliation. Interviewees describe farmers weeping as their orchards are bulldozed to accommodate separation barriers and IDF troops taking potshots at passersby, blowing a woman to bits to gain entry into her home, and murdering unarmed Palestinian policemen in cold blood. It’s a tapestry of chaos, but the editors see in it the “harsh logic” of an Israeli policy designed to intimidate and dispossess the Palestinians. The book is a hard read in every way; the barely edited interviews are confusing and are presented without journalistic context or verification. Still, it conveys a truth about the inescapable ugliness of Israel’s military rule over its neighbors. 20 photos, 3 maps. Agent: Geri Thoma, Markson Thoma Literary Agency. (Sept.)
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