Published on Jun 7, 2013Follow @BtSIsrael
Breaking the Silence: Testimonies of female soldiers.
These testimonies seek to tell the Israeli public and international community what it means to be a woman serving in the territories. In order to prove oneself as a woman soldier, one needs to be “more manly than a man”.
Often, for female soldiers to become “one of the guys,” it means that they must use violence and show force in their everyday tasks. The testimonies paint a difficult picture, whereby whoever isn’t willing to be violent and abusive finds herself socially ostracized.
As female soldiers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), we also had to beat, detain, humiliate and intimidate Palestinians. We weren’t supposed to tell our families and friends what we did and what it means to serve in the territories.
As women, exposing our identities through these testimonies is especially complex and difficult. We have less legitimacy to talk about what is happening in the OPT and our involvement in implementing the occupation.
This is an opportunity to have our voices heard both as soldiers and women, and to take part in opposing the Israeli control over Palestinians. This is also an opportunity for us to face up to our actions and take responsibility for them.
We hope that our choice to testify and speak publicly will encourage other women who served in the OPT to join us and speak openly about their military service.