Grassiani, Erella. Soldiering under Occupation. Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada. New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2013.
Often, violent behavior or harassment from a soldier is dismissed by the military as unacceptable acts by individuals termed, “rotten apples.” In this study, the author argues that this dismissal is unsatisfactory and that there is an urgent need to look at the (mis)behavior of soldiers from a structural point of view. When soldiers serve as an occupational force, they find themselves in a particular situation influenced by structural circumstances that heavily influence their behavior and moral decision-making. This study focuses on young Israeli men and their experiences as combat soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), particularly those who served in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” (OPT) during the “Al Aqsa Intifada,” which broke out in 2000. In describing the soldiers’ circumstances, especially focusing on space, the study shows how processes of numbing on different levels influence the (moral) behavior of these soldiers.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Studying Soldiers
Chapter 3. Checkpoints, Arrests and Patrols: Spaces of Occupation
Chapter 4. Performing as Occupiers: Operational Dynamics
Chapter 5. Tired, Bored and Scared: Emotional, Physical and Cognitive Numbing
Chapter 6. Blurring morals: the numbed moral competence of soldiers
Chapter 7. Morality in Speech: Discursive Strategies of Soldiers
Chapter 8. Conclusion