Sunday, June 19, 2011

Israeli soldiers reveal army brutalities

Israeli soldiers reveal army brutalities*

Mon Jun 13, 2011

Interview with Richard Morris, playwright, London

A number of Israeli soldiers have revealed the brutalities they witnessed during the army's attacks on Palestinian territories.

Press TV interviewed Richard Morris Richard Morris, a playwright in London, to give a sneak peek on his latest work which is based on the testimonials of former Israel soldiers.

Press TV: Can you give us a flavor of the change that the soldiers went through that brought them out as they were?

Morris: Yea, well, the first thing, I congratulate them for their bravery, I mean it is an extraordinary doing in the militaristic society. But what it has been, it permeates my life now, because the more you read, the more you go through them. Like I said, I am trying to turn it into something that can be presented on the stage, but there are 414 pages and there are hundreds of soldiers. So I have picked out 30, and even now I'm irksome before I came in here today. I'm still shocked at the depravity and disorganization of the Israeli army.

The commanding officer, so often, sort of wink at anything they think is bad and a young soldier will say we shouldn't be doing this. I mean an example of that is a man on a roof top and the news comes through that he is unarmed and the commanding officer says, oh, but he's a spy, and the soldier says well how do you know, he says well I don't, shoot him, and the soldier says but he is unarmed, he says I don't care, shoot him.

And he knows it's wrong, the soldier, but he does it and time and time again these young soldiers come through, I presume they are nearly all young because it's a conscript army in a way, [and] they seem to be saying that I can't be doing anything about this, this is shocking.

I mean, there is one terrifying scene where a mother won't come out of the house, and they put what they call a FOX[-7] which is an explosive next to the door, she opens the door and she is blown up, and she is smeared, literally, her body against the wall, and her children are crying and everything. And the soldiers go back to the base and they find it funny, they discuss it as an amusing incident in their day's work.

Press TV: These young soldiers have to go through deprogramming almost. So they are told one set of truths from Israeli media perhaps or their commanding officers and when they go through the towns and villages they see people behaving differently. Tell me is that the sort of thing that comes through the report?

Morris: Very much so. I mean the settlers, especially, are a menace. The settlers have no respect for the soldiers whatsoever, the whole section where they discussed this aspect of the war, and the settlers say to a commanding officer [or] anyone, you can't tell me what to do, and they go in and they hit young kids, they hit people, they beat them.

I mean there is one example of a 70-year-old man who is tied up and left in the shop, and the soldiers say I know he hasn't done anything wrong, but we don't know what to do with him. Yes a Palestinian man, they left him in there for four hours.

I just say, you could go incident after incident, but some are particularly shocking, where even a soldier admits, he says when we go into the houses and we start to smash it up, [but] there is no reason for them to smash the house but they do, and they say the girls in the house are peeing themselves.

And there is a another shocking example of a soldier being told that they can shoot these stone throwers, these young kids, but not above the knees, but of course they can make mistakes as they keep saying. And then the officer might get fined, whoever shoots them, 100 shekels. So, it's ILS 100 for the price of a dead 15-year-old.

I mean it so inhumane that it's hard to believe and the more I read and the more I think it should really be out there in the mass media.

Press TV: And you say that there are hundreds of testimonies now out there?

Morris: On the site, yes, there are more than a hundred on the breakingthesilence site. On my blog I have chosen to have 30 soldiers.

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