By Hajer Naili
Monday, June 17, 2013
As part of a campaign called Breaking the Silence the women talk on vide about the violent behavior they felt forced to adopt. "I turned into a monster," says one soldier.
Credit: Breaking the Silence
NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)-- To prove yourself as a female soldier means being "more manly than a man." Often, to become "one of the guys," you must use violence and show force in everyday tasks.
These are some of the comments of Israeli female soldiers who served in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and speak in videos that are part of a "women's testimonies" campaign launched online on June 10, by Breaking the Silence.
In their testimonies, the women say that violence and abuse against the Palestinians is the only way to exist in the male-dominated military.
"I didn't even want to enlist," says Gil Hillel, "When I enlisted, I said to myself : 'Okay, I have to do this, so I will go to the most combat-focused unit there is and I will give it my touches of humanity.' And I turned into a monster and I can't look myself in the eyes."
In the following video, Tal Wasser recalls how one of the female soldiers used to walk around with her dog to "see the fear in the eyes" of Palestinians who were standing on the line at a roadblock.
In addition to denouncing the Israeli occupation, the women of Breaking the Silence said they seek to take this "opportunity to face up to our actions and take responsibility for them."
Hajer Naili is a New York-based reporter for Women's eNews. She has worked for several radio stations and publications in France and North Africa and specializes in Middle East and North Africa.
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