Back in the West Bank (part I)
The Promised Land blog is written by Noam Sheizaf:
“I’m a journalist in “Maariv” daily paper. I was born in Ramat-Gan; now I live and work in Tel Aviv. ”
As I write this, I still have 10 days until the end of my reserve service in the West Bank. It is my first service in the Palestinian territories in nine years. Until then I was a platoon commander in an infantry unit, and served on a regular basis in the West Bank and on Gaza strip, both during mandatory duty and on reserve. Seven years ago I decided I will not take part in the occupation anymore, and refused to enlist to my yearly service. I was sentenced to 28 days in army prison no. 6, and later removed from my commanding post. When the next call came, I was transferred to a civil defense unit (again, as platoon commander), which usually doesn’t carry out such missions. But lately the army changed its policy, and my unit was called for a 26 days service in the Jordan Vally area. Not “hardcore occupation” like the things I used to do in Hebron or Ramallah, but still, inside the West Bank…
Some comments on the blog:
“Being a non-conformist requires a great deal of mental and emotional energy investment, just to keep oneself standing up to one’s principals. Sometimes, as you said, we get tired. Than we think that we have let down or lied to ourselves and to our friends. You didn’t.”
“Allow me to be a tad dramatic here, but having been on the wrong end of that rifle you’re holding, I am tempted to find that going back on your position to serve in the Territories because you “did not want to go through the process of explaining your position all over again” is a, hmm, rather lame excuse.
My respect for you isn’t lessened of course, but to put it bluntly, for the next 10 days, you have chosen to be the enemy, and have given in to what you once fought against.”
“There are no easy answers..
How can you tell a person they should do something like that when the moral benefit, if any, is so questionable? Of course, if there were real benefits you could make a stronger argument in favor of resistance…”