"His sentiments are reflected by the Israeli novelist and playwright AB Yehoshua, who gets on the stage to read a comment piece he had written the day before to mark the event. "The great danger to Israeli society," Yehoshua explains, "is the danger of weariness and repression. We no longer have the energy and patience to hear about another act of injustice."
A man appears holding a handwritten sign that condemns Breaking the Silence as "traitors". Some of those attending try to usher him away while others try to engage him in conversation. A journalist asks Shaul if the man is "pro-army". "I'm pro-army," Shaul answers immediately. "I'm not a pacifist, although some of our members have become pacifists. I'm not anti-army, I am anti-occupation.""
At one point in this article the author opines that all military occupations of a defeated country result in brutalization of the occupiers and abuse of the occupied,
That is not really true. The conduct of British and US occupation authorites and troops in Austria, Germany and Japan was not like that. There were instances of violence and theft against the occupied (and the reverse) but these were few and were dealt with severely by the occupying powers. The US command in Germany did not hesitate to court-martial offenders in its ranks. As a result these occupations were bloodless and the Austrians, Germans and Japanese accepted what had to be an unpleasant experience coming after a horribly lost war.
In Germany where I lived during the occupation, the US Army went to a lot of trouble ensuring that people did not starve, that the schools were open and that economic activity was resurrected. There was an inital period just after the war in which a policy of deprivation was in place in Washongton, but Lucius Clay got that changed and the situation improved rapidly. As a result little children like me could walk the streets of cities like Bremen and Frankfurt am Main in 1947 and 1948 without there being any fear for us. I got lost once at eight years old in Frankfurt. I went to a German cop who was directing traffic. The polizei put me in a car and took me home. Many Americans married German women. Some never left.
The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is nothing like that. It is a brutal, savagely racial thing run by adolescents commanded by officers scarcely older than their "men."
The Israeli soldiers who have found the courage to speak of this are "bound for glory" when the day comes that their country accepts the awfulness of its actions. pl