Israeli Soldiers

Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection. Israeli soldiers discuss their moral difficulties with being a part of the fighting in Gaza.

0:00Copy video clip URL The tape opens with shots of soldiers fighting, children throwing stones, and the injured being carried away, with a voiceover explaining, “We must try to show, for America, maybe not for the Middle East, but for America, that the Israeli army is filled with human beings who have feelings and are in conflict. (Which I’m sure they are.) And to be put into such a position must be agonizing.”

0:17Copy video clip URL One soldier explains that he is constantly thinking of his own children while he is fighting – “How can a soldier even aim at a child, with rifle in hand?” He is asked “How do you protect yourself?” “It’s nothing to do with protect yourself. First of all, we don’t have anything to do here. I think that many Israelis, not the majority, but the big part, would happily have given it back to Egypt.”

1:16Copy video clip URL An officer is asked, “Have you ever killed anyone?” “I never killed. And I don’t want to be in a situation that I will have to give an order to my people, to my soldiers, to shoot. To shoot opponent.”

1:33Copy video clip URL One soldier points out the difficulty of the situation, asking the cameraman if his neighbor came to his house with a knife and was going to kill him, what would he do. “What would you do? Have you thought about that?”

2:12Copy video clip URL Another soldier: “I don’t want to kill anybody. And if somebody wants to kill me – maybe it’s wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t be angry. Maybe if someone wants to kill me, I should kill him and feel good with it. Not good. But I should feel even, or I should feel indifferent. Because maybe it’s a natural thing to do. Maybe being angry is being over-sensitive, too sensitive. Maybe I’m too sensitive.” “Don’t worry about it.” “I’m worried!” “Why are you worried about being too sensitive?” “Because it’s not easy.”

 

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