Our Harsh Logic Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010

Breaking the Silence




Trade Paperback

400 Pages



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Support for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory—both internationally and within Israel itself—rests on the belief that the Israeli army’s presence in the West Bank and Gaza is essentially protective, aimed at safeguarding the country from terror. But Israeli soldiers themselves tell a profoundly different story. In this landmark work, which includes more than a hundred soldiers’ testimonies collected over a decade, what emerges is a broad policy that is as much offensive as defensive. In their own words, the soldiers reveal in vivid detail how key planks of the army’s program have served to accelerate Israeli acquisition of Palestinian land, cripple all normal political and social life, and ultimately thwart the possibility of Palestinian independence.

Taking aim at a silence of complicity that perpetuates the justification for occupation, the soldiers who speak out here offer 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.


Praise for Our Harsh Logic

“One of the most important books on Israel/Palestine in this generation.”—David Shulman, The New York Review of Books

“The soldiers in Our Harsh Logic have come forward to rouse the conscience of their fellow citizens . . . Anyone who thinks the IDF limits itself to confiscating weapons and punishing terrorists when patrolling the occupied territories would do well to consider what its own members say.”—The Nation

“Humanitarian activists and opponents of illegal Israeli settlements will find much ammunition in these pages.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Random brutality, Kafkaesque bureaucracy, hatred, and dehumanization: that’s the face of Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza as described by disaffected soldiers in this troubling oral history . . . Our Harsh Logic conveys a truth about the inescapable ugliness of Israel’s military rule over its neighbors.”—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

1. Stun grenades at three in the morning

YEAR: 2003

We did all kinds of very sketchy work in Area A.* That could mean, for example, going into Tubas on a Friday, when the market is packed, to set up a surprise checkpoint in the middle of the village. One time, we arrived to set up a checkpoint like that on Friday morning, and we started to spread out: inspecting vehicles and every car that passed. Three hundred meters from us some kids start a small demonstration. They throw rocks at us, but they come maybe ten meters and don’t

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  • Breaking the Silence

  • Breaking the Silence, one of Israel's most internationally lauded NGOs, was established in Jerusalem in 2004 by Israel Defense Forces veterans to document the testimonies of Israeli soldiers who have served in the occupied territories.
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    Breaking the Silence