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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe LevantVoicing the Silence: The Naturalization of Violence Under the Rule of Occupation

Voicing the Silence: The Naturalization of Violence Under the Rule of Occupation

Author: Aide Esu

Affiliation: University of Cagliari/Italy

Organization/Publisher: International Review of Sociology

Date/Place: January 7, 2021/Italy

Type of Literature: Research Article

Number of Pages: 24


Keywords: Violence Naturalization, Palestine, Israel, Occupation, Force


This article identifies how the Israeli military occupation of Palestine has evolved into a cultural naturalization of violence, generating new figures of intractability. Sociologist Uri Ben-Eliezer (University of Haifa) emphasizes that militarism is a hallmark for Israel. In his view, militarism is a cultural phenomenon, impacting the decision-making process, in which organized violence or war becomes the usual response to every political problem. Over the years, military practices have become part of the social and national ethos, attesting to the legitimacy of military solutions to national problems. Militarism is integrated in the formulation of National Policy. The article analyses accounts collected by the NGO BtS (Breaking the Silence) from Israeli Soldiers who operated in the West Bank and Gaza. The soldiers’ testimonies challenge the Israeli master narrative. They offer chronicles that portray the reality of occupation based on personal experience, and they choose to speak publicly in favour of building a different future. BtS accounts show how daily abuses of power and dehumanizing actions are, in reality, individual practices performed under a chain of command to normalize the force. Soldiers’ narratives demonstrate that violence is structural, organized by the ruling military power and justified by the hegemonic public discourse on security.

By: Saima Rashid, CIGA Research Assistant



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