Breaking the Silence (an Israeli soldier testifies to the Vets organisation)


“People at the school sat –
hours in the sun.

They could get water
once in a while,

but let’s say some kid asked for water

five times,

a soldier could come to him and slap him
just like that.
I saw many soldiers using their knees
to hit them,

just out of boredom.

you’re standing around for 10 hours doing nothing,
you’re bored,

so you hit them.

At the bathroom, there was this ‘demons’ dance’
as it was called.
Anyone who brought a Palestinian there –
it was catastrophic.

Not bleeding beatings –
they stayed dry –

but still beatings.”


12 thoughts on “Breaking the Silence (an Israeli soldier testifies to the Vets organisation)

  1. That numbness that comes with this kind of abuse of humans…you’ve caught it well here. That picture makes my heart hurt.

    • The whole article in the Independent really choked me up, I felt it made sense to use the actual words of an Israeli soldier to testify to the brutality which is taking place in the name of State Power…

  2. A ‘found’ poem that absolutely needs expression in this way. May it be widely read! Horrifying in the extreme, in the very casualness of the words.

  3. Very effective–almost too much so–even the speaker seems to not feel the gravity of his words as he prosaically makes a statement about the violence–he also is blurred into it. You did an exceelent job of making this read as poetry, and very seering and scathing poetry, too.

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