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Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers'…
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Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied…

by Breaking the Silence

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The problem with books like "Our Harsh Logic" is that they're fuel for the fire. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been going on for generations and the presentation of these testimonies without adequate context only enrages those who know little about what's going on in the Middle East or have a stake in playing the 'victimhood' card. There is little doubt that Israel sits in a position few, if any, find enviable. Their policies often make more enemies than friends, but to rashly judge all their positions and put them in the camp of 'imperialists' or 'zionists' is too easy and accommodating for those with ulterior motives. This is a book that is solely based on testimony from soldiers who more often than not participated in the activities they are describing and only after felt remorse. This says more about the culture of the military than it does about Israel. Imagine a book based on the US intervention/occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Soviet invasion/occupation of Afghanistan, or the US war in Vietnam told solely from those who witnessed abuse and atrocities. Would that be a fair depiction of the actions of any of these nations in their respective war zones? Hardly. And while the previously mentioned conflicts lasted for around a decade, Israeli soldiers have lived with terror and violence for generations, as have their Palestinian neighbors. There's no question that abuse takes place on a daily basis when you give teenagers and young adults weapons that can readily be used to kill and maim, especially as they're growing up in an environment where each side demonizes the other. Highlighting that abuse is pointless without adequate context and analysis. Thus there is nothing new or original among the pages of this book for those familiar with the institution of the military (which seems to cover things up on a regular basis, only to be discovered for their lies sooner or later) or the situation in the Middle East as it stands today. It's a tragic situation that few have the patience to attempt to understand, where generational animosities plays themselves out on a regular basis and perpetuate violence and hatred. ( )
  Kunikov | May 7, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I already revieded this book. It was put up and then REMOVED !!!!! ( )
  oracle | Dec 28, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This collection of first hand accounts in Palestinian territory is frightening and sober. This of course makes for a depressing read throughout, but its all worth knowing the tactics and daily life that happens to these mostly young men. As one reviewer notes, "It testifies to dehumanization and worse, but it testifies also to courage: firstly to the courage of the soldiers who faced what they had done and witnessed, who in many cases faced truthfully their own dehumanization and wrong doing; and secondly to members of Breaking the Silence."
I would highly recommend it to those working on Israeli occupation studies as it gives some perspective that is often lost and untruthful. ( )
  KropotkinsLeftFoot | Nov 6, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This well-meaning book by former members of the Israeli "Defense" Forces (IDF) reminds me of the Winter Soldier hearings, but I call this book "well-meaning" (and only "well-meaning") because -- unlike VVAW and IVAW, both of which question the underlying legitimacy of imperialist wars -- Breaking the Silence criticizes IDF "excesses" (if you will) but does not seem to question the underlying legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. And, of course, it does not in any way consider the legitimacy of Zionism's theocratic regime that exists throughout occupied Palestine, from the river to the sea.

I give this book 2** for its "well-meaning" intent, and I'll also give it an additional star for its educational value to an American public that believes that Israel can do no wrong, but it's woefully incomplete. Three***, but I'd hope that readers would come away with a desire to learn more -- for example, to read the novel Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa, Philadelphia-based founder of Playgrounds for Palestine. ( )
  CurrerBell | Oct 14, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I won this book from the Early Reviewers group. This book is by a group called Breaking the Silence. The group was started by a group of retired IDF ( Israelie Defense Force) men to shed light on the situtation that we are all too familiar with between Israel and The Palistinians, but they share insight from an insiders perspective. The stories are told in an interview form, which after about two hundred pages you wish the format would have been different. The stories range from changing checkponit rules, this makes it harder and more aggravating to get through them, to stories of revenge by the IDF on Palestinian poloicemen for the death of a soldier, by the way the policemen are unarmed, and are chased down, shot then left to die, after a bullet has been placed in the head to make sure they're dead. After one hundred and fifty pages the stories start getting repetitive, and it's hard to finish. Some will look at these stories as IDF bullying, some will see it as IDF anti terrorist moves. I'll leave that up to you. It is a difficult read, due to some of the stories, and the format. ( )
  abide01 | Sep 18, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805095373, Hardcover)

Israeli soldiers speak out for the first time about the truth of the Palestinian occupation, in "one of the most important books on Israel/Palestine in this generation" (The New York Review of Books)

The very name of the Israel Defense Forces—which many Israelis speak of as "the most moral army in the world"—suggests that its primary mission is the defense of the country's territory. Indeed, both internationally and within Israel, support for the occupation of Palestinian territory rests on the belief that the army's actions and presence in the West Bank and Gaza are essentially defensive and responsive, aimed at protecting the country from terror.

But Israeli soldiers themselves tell a profoundly different story. In this landmark work, which includes hundreds of soldiers' testimonies collected over a decade, what emerges is a broad policy that is anything but defensive. In their own words, the soldiers reveal in human and vivid detail how the key planks of the army's ostensibly protective program—"prevention of terror," "separation of populations," "preservation of the fabric of life," and "law enforcement"—have in fact served to accelerate acquisition of Palestinian land, cripple all normal political and social life, and ultimately thwart the possibility of independence.

The many soldiers who have spoken out have taken aim at a silence of complicity, both within Israel and in the wider world, that perpetuates the justification for occupation. In the process, they have created a gripping and immediate record of oppression. Powerful and incontrovertible, Our Harsh Logic is a supremely significant contribution to one of the world's most vexed conflicts.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:50 -0400)

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers speak out about the Palestinian occupation, revealing that their presence is not merely for defense, but also to accelerate the acquisition of Palestinian land and work against an independent Palestinian nation.

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