Breaking Ranks: Refusing to Serve in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

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Other Press, LLC, 2003 - History - 176 pages
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In a series of moving and provocative conversations, nine members of the Israeli Defense Force tell why they refused to serve in the West Bank and Gaza. The "Refuseniks" describe their risky moral decision against the background of what is perhaps the most volatile conflict in the world today: the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. Their individual choices and their collective activism have generated intense debate in Israel and the international community, from the leading Israeli newspaper Ha'Aretz to a segment on 60 Minutes.

In a sociocultural mosaic of the Refusenik movement and the political context in which it arose, these men describe their individual family backgrounds and beliefs. Dedicated to the welfare of their country and its cultural heritage, they outline their concerns for the future of Israel. As they tell their stories of personal struggle, they also raise the disturbing and highly controversial issue of human rights abuses in the occupied territories.

These personal accounts offer new perspectives on some entrenched ideas about the situation in the Middle East. The testimony in Breaking Ranks is essential background for a full understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this time of grave crisis in the Middle East, with no solution in sight to repair the utter collapse of the peace process, these voices offer a message of hope in their commitment to their society and nation.

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Breaking ranks: refusing to serve in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

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Why would an Israeli soldier refuse to serve Israel in the occupied territories or, more incredibly, instead protect Palestinians? By considering this question, Chacham, an Israeli cultural critic ... Read full review

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Sergeant First Class Res Assaf Oron
Major Res Rami Kaplan
Lieutenant Res Yaniv Iczkovitz
Staff Sergeant Res Tal Belo
Lieutenant Res Guy Grossman
Staff Sergeant Res Shamai Leibowitz
Lieutenant Res Yuval Lotem
Staff Sergeant Res Ishay RosenZvi
Private David ChachamHerson

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Page 2 - ... were the first to carry out any mission, light or heavy, in order to protect the State of Israel and strengthen it. We, combat officers and soldiers who have served the State of Israel for long weeks every year, in spite of the dear cost to our personal lives, have been on reserve duty all over the Occupied Territories, and were issued commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian...
Page 2 - IDF's human character and the corruption of the entire Israeli society. We, who know that the Territories are not Israel, and that all settlements are bound to be evacuated in the end. We hereby declare that we shall not continue to fight this War of the Settlements. We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people.
Page 2 - ... Occupied Territories, and were issued commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people. We, whose eyes have seen the bloody toll this Occupation exacts from both sides. We, who sensed how the commands issued to us in the Territories, destroy all the values we had absorbed while growing up in this country. "We, who understand now that the price of Occupation is the loss of IDF's...

About the author (2003)

Ronit Chacham

Ronit Chacham, a native of Israel currently living in Jerusalem, is a widely published cultural critic who contributes regularly to news magazines in Israel. She is also the author of numerous works of fiction, including children's books, short stories, and plays.

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