Our Harsh Logic
Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2010-2010

Breaking the Silence
Publisher:  Picador
Year Published:  2012
Pages:  377pp   ISBN:  978-1-250-03773-2
Library of Congress Number:  DS119.76.O82 2012   Dewey:  956.05'4-dc23
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX15210

Testimonies from more than 100 soldiers detailing the viciousness of Israel's military in the occupied Palestinian territories.


Table of Contents

A Note on Breaking the Silence
A Note on Our Harsh Logic

Part I: Prevention: Intimidating the Palestinian Population
An Overview and Map
1. Stun grenades at three in the morning
2. To stop the village from sleeping
3. They came to a house and just demolished it
4. The deputy brigade commander beat up a restrained detainee
5. They kicked a cuffed man in his stomach and head
6. He's hitting an Arab, and I'm doing nothing
7. We would send their neighbours to disarm explosives
8. I couldn't believe how an order to kill could be carried out in a minute
9. Death sentence for a man who wasn't armed
10. The battalion commander gave an order to shoot at people trying to recover the bodies
11. He took down an eleven-year-old boy
12. Her limbs were smeared on the wall
13. A well-known procedure
14. You want to kill him but he's crying
15. The brigade commander explained, "You go up to the body, put the barrel between the teeth, and shoot"
16. They told the force to shoot anyone in the street
17. Any kid you see with a stone, you can shoot
18. We collected all the men in the stadium
19. Disrupting the residents' everyday life
20. Slapping, shoving, all kinds of stuff like that. Every day
21. Pointless arrests
22. The guys pissed into the courtyard
23. Taking control of some family
24. A moving human shield
25. We were waving the gun, showing the boy what to do
26. You could do whatever you like and no one asked any questions
27. They threw a grenade at him, then they put a bullet in his head
28. The commander said, "I want all bodies full of bullets"
29. The division commander said, "You're ranked by the number of people you kill"
30. We only killed four children
31. They'd deliberately wreck the house
32. We go into the homes of innocent people. Every day, all the time
33. Stun grenades in central places
34. Going in festive with stun grenades
35. They came, set the explosives, blew up the house
36. We killed police who weren't armed
37. Aim for the eyes to take out an eye
38. A patrol to beat up Arabs
39. We went into the house for filming for television
40. Watching soccer in Nablus
41. The World Cup finals in a refugee camp
42. You can seize a house for years
43. It brings out the madness in you
44. You just put it all in your backpack

Part II: Separation, Control, Expropriation and Annexation
An Overview and Map
45. I didn't know there were roads just for Jews
46. The checkpoint wrecks lives
47. The city's hermetically sealed
48. What is it if not a ghetto?
49. The commander said to block the road
50. A sterile road
51. Hebron, a stinging slap
52. The protesters were getting beaten, the officers were cracking sunflower seeds
53. They'd close the stores as collective punishment
54. "You really think I'm going to wait behind an Arab?"
55. I'm ashamed of what I did there
56. You don't know what you're doing there
57. The soldiers played a prank, the workers' permits disappeared
58. A bone in their throats
59. They aim their weapons at students
60. Guard duty in the Palestinian village
61. Every Friday: a closed military zone
62. They closed the road for a month
63. We played at Tom and Jerry
64. We got conflicting orders
65. It's like totally arbitrary
66. Incoherent information
67. The orders weren't clear
68. It's all up to individual interpretation
69. The great wisdom of the IDF
70. Aren't there people who just want to work?
71. Some products it's forbidden to bring into the West Bank
72. Don't let ambulances through the checkpoint
73. Going to the Jordan Valley? You need special permission
74. A truck entering Ramallah? You need a permit
75. How many permits does a person need?
76. Two villages, two different DCLs
77. It's called 'segregation'
78. There's nothing to be done, anyone who's late can't cross
79. We blocked access to his livelihood
80. The farmers burst into tears
81. He said: "I live in a prison"

Part III: The Fabric of Life: Administering Palestinian Civilian Life
An Overview and Map
82. Tipping out crates to set an example
83. I didn't understand the point of these mappings
84. The mission: to disrupt and harass
85. Every incident resulted in 'limiting civilian movement'
86. Do you know what a naval blockade means?
87. How can you impose so many curfews and expect people to live?
88. Three thousand Palestinians at five posts
89. Restricted hours for crossing the checkpoint
90. The line wasn't straight, so the officer shot in the air
91. They told us, 'Dry them out'
92. You take a man and take control of his life
93. I made him crap his pants
94. We had a kind of temporary prison camp
95. He mumbled a bit, I hit him in the face
96. You want the keys? Clean the checkpoint
97. The roads open for four hours every two days
98. Villages with no water
99. A kind of humanitarian environment
100. One of the workers was crushed to death
101. We shot at fishermen, cut their nets
102. Training the middle of the village, in the middle of the night
103. They file the complaint and move on
104. Inefficiency and indifference
105. Anyone raised his voice, we'd tie him up
106. One of the veteran soldiers decided to humiliate him
107. It's the power that you have
108. The checkpoint commander called himself 'the doctor'
109. You're undermining my authority
110. You feel like one more second and you'll spray them with bullets
111. What's the thing with closing the parking lot?
112. We confiscated keys and vehicles
113. Closing roads? It's political
114. You give Muhammad money
115. Some of the detainees weren't medically fit

Part IV: Law Enforcement: A Dual Regime
An Overview
116. The mission: providing security for the settlers' rampages
117. We shot in the air to chase the farmers away
118. The settlement security coordinator told us what is allowed and what isn't
119. He's basically a civilian, and he's telling the army what the law is
120. A settler transportation service
121. The settlers are touring the casbah, so get the Palestinians out of the way
122. Three or four soldiers guarding a shack
123. Things that don't make it to the media
124. An elderly woman … the guys beat her up
125. The cute boy took a brick and smashed the girl's head
126. Settlers' homes are inside the army base
127. You hate everyone
128. We confiscated cars, and the settlers vandalized them
129. The settlers went into the casbah, killed a little girl
130. The settlers put a hold in his wall
131. Stopping the settlers? The army can't do anything
132. The brigade commander didn't want to get involved
133. They close Palestinian places even without an injunction
134. Each time they went to evacuate the place, an order came from the minister of defense
135. They spat on me and cursed me
136. They stomp on the mitzvot and morals
137. The settlers in the administration do whatever they want
138. Evacuating an outpost? It takes years
139. It wasn't clear where the settlement begins
140. It was his settlement, and, the fact was, we were under him
141. The settlement security coordinator got angry, kicked him
142. The settlement security coordinators think of themselves as our commanders
143. The checkpoint's not for Israel's security
144. A settlement forbidden to soldiers
145. The political ranks are very close the settlements


Subject Headings

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