Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 5th, 2011

Israel “Breaking the Silence” movement: Soldiers serving in occupied Palestinian territories

The collectivity Shovrim Shtika (Breaking the silence) was founded in 2004 by Israeli soldiers who were serving in Hebron and needed to expose the reality of occupation from a different point of view.

Testimonies of Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied Palestinian territories between 2000-2010 were gathered in the book “Occupation of the Territories” (of the West Bank and Gaza).  It is estimated that around 60,000 Israeli soldiers served in the occupied territories since the second Intifada of 2000; 750 soldiers were interviewed.

A soldier returned from the front, during the Gaza preemptive war of 2008, and told his family his story: “I was in my dug out and a few Palestinian kids, of no more than 12 year-old, threw stones on us. We had order to shoot if the distance is close to a stone throw: Kids might throw hand grenades for example.  I want to believe that I aimed at his feet, so that I could sleep at night.  My parents considered my actions as emanating from a hero and told my story at the synagogue.  I flipped since I was still in state of chock.

“Occupation of the Territories” is the most complete testimony of Israel modus operandi in the occupied territories.

Soldiers revealed that they shot on civilian Palestinians out of peer pressure; they executed Palestinian police officers in retaliation for an activity in a nearby checkpoint; orders were to approach a dying Palestinian and shoot through his mouth; scenes of rapes, vandalism, and stealing were common behaviors...

Avihai Stoler said: “It was not a casual horror show acted by Tsahal: It is the story of a generation of Israelis of our own generation.  The last three decades after the preemptive war of 1967, most of the debates focused on whether it was necessary to occupy or occupation was a monstrosity to avoid like the plague.

The irony is that nobody in Israel mention the word “occupation” anymore.  The State preferred to substitute the terms of Judea and Samaria, but never occupied territories.

For example, during a television emission someone said: “I can confirm that the increase of crime and violence in Israel is the cause of our occupation“.  Orders came to demand from the invited person to apologize for mentioning the term “occupation” and recant.

Since the second Intifada, control exercised over Palestinians is methodical, systematic, and “scientifically” applied:  It is as if all the ancient and modern control and humiliation tactics and methods have been synthesized and tried for efficiency rating.

For example, the military institution uses jargon such as:

1. “Prevention measures against terrorism” to mean propagating fear and terror amid the civilian population;

2. “separation zones” to mean appropriation and annexation;

3. “life fabric” of constructing special routes for the colonies to mean controlling all the aspect of Palestinian life.

Our mission was to perturb and harass the life of citizens. I think the formula is still applicable even today.  Destabilization activities in the occupied land were not due to negligence, but the main tool to administer the occupied land.  If a village produces activities, then it is time to creating insomnia in the village.

For example, Stoler stayed in the Hebron district for three years and witnessed events such as soldiers coming in mass to the center of the city and detonating bombs so that the “Palestinians remember that we are here“.

Loud manifestations of soldiers and colons accompanied with random ransacking of houses, installing checkpoints for several hours… “We were ordered to instill a feeling of persecution so that Palestinians never fell at ease...”

Note 1: Article inspired from a piece published in the French monthly “Le Monde Diplomatic” by Meron Rapoport

Note 2: In June 2014, 3 Israeli soldiers disappeared in Hebron. Nobody claimed anything, and nobody know if they were kidnapped.

And yet, Israel has been ransacking villages, detaining administratively over 300 Palestinians (many of them who have been released recently after a brokered deal) and many Palestinian youth killed by live bullet and many injured.

Linking Prozac to Mass Media?  How thinking can be so painful?

I read recently that research has demonstrated that the potential of recalling our past is not totally accomplished until we reach maturity.  And I am wondering “How come it is the youth category that suffer the most from recalling?  Is it because thoughts are very fresh, lively, and tainted with acute imagination?”  I am wondering “How come the youth category is the highest consumer of Mass Media products?  How come their brain structure is so capable of comprehending new discoveries related to Mass Media products?”

What happens when you forget your headphone at home and you have to go through the day?  The pain of living with your thoughts? Do you think that “thought pains” are the best catalyst or motivator to discovering the potential and versatility of the latest Mass Media products?

And here, on September 3, I receive this link on It reads:

” I am in my studio… irritated, frustrated, angry, and bored. I’m constantly agitated, looking to entertain myself. I cook, check my email (without replying), chat with my brother, cook, email, and finally I’m boiling some potatoes.

While waiting for the potatoes, I sit in an isolated room in the house. It’s quiet, without electronics. I’m just sitting. And without delay my thoughts start flowing in. Just like molecules coming together and bonding, my thoughts start creating links. They generate other thoughts, which generate new links, and thus, new thoughts. One of these thoughts happens to be a realization.

I think to myself: “Am I constantly trying to distract myself so that I shut away my thoughts?” Why would I shut away my thoughts? “Because they reveal a painful reality”, my mind answers back. And then it hit me again.

I realize that when I was little, I used to daydream. I realize that there’s a difference between daydreaming and sitting with my thoughts. When I daydream, I invent things. My mind is pre-occupied and focused on one purpose, “My invention”. 

In contrast, when I grew a bit older, I used to run away from home because of family problems. I used to go to a forest and sit on a rock for eight hours or more. And now I realize, that even then, I didn’t sit with my thoughts. I didn’t invent either. What I did do is watch the trees move in the wind, the multitude of smells, my dog moving about, the ants laboring, etc.

In short I was living in the present, being aware of the present (Years later, I find out that what I was doing was some sort of meditation, with being present as its ultimate aim.) But even then, sitting on that rock, I wasn’t sitting with my thoughts. Although I did, unknowingly, develop the ability to live in the present. Yet when sitting on that rock, the thoughts of my current life are so painful, that I had to shut them away.

And now sitting in that isolated room in my house, I’m still doing it. Yet now, I realize that even when I distract myself from these thoughts, I’m still aware of them.  I still experience their painful effects. And to think that I’m protecting myself from pain by constantly distracting myself.

Now I know that this constant distraction leaves the painful thoughts as is, unresolved, un-diffused, unprocessed. The thoughts are sitting there, in the back of my head, causing constant pain. And until now, I wasn’t aware of the source of this pain.

I’m basically under the false illusion that sitting down with my thoughts is painful. Yet, I’m constantly living with the pain these thoughts bring in.  And thinking about them, and resolving them, isn’t more painful. It’s actually liberating. From now on, I’ll try to create the time to sit with my thoughts, go through them, and break out of my pain. resumes: “More and more people are finding it hard to live with their thoughts. They are constantly looking for ways to distract themselves; from their thoughts.

Maybe it’s because their thoughts bring them pain? Are they hiding from the realization that they are not living the lives they hope to live?

Maybe it’s when we start living with our thoughts —when we accept to experience the pain these thoughts bring us— that we really start to live.

Isn’t it obvious that when we constantly avoid something, it probably means that there must be pain in that something? A lot of people know that this pain could hold the secret to their happiness. Yet they are such cowards, that they refuse to accept this pain. Maybe this secret is simply a realization…

The realization that this is not the life they want to live. The realization that they’d have to start all over.

Maybe the only way out of the pain, to find out is to sit with your thoughts, go through your thoughts.

Why is Mass Media such a success?  Everything we’re bombarded with all the time, and everywhere: Television, Movies, Radios, Music, Billboards, and so on… The list is endless. And I realize that Mass Media is such a success because it capitalizes on a most basic human instinct: Our “away-from-pain” instinct. How does Mass Media do that?

Most of the time our thoughts bring us pain. We’re unsatisfied with our lives. We haven’t met the expectations of others. Our lives are crowded with all sorts of problems. We deal with large amounts of stress, anxiety…. All of these are sources of pain — unless we distract ourselves from them. But for this to work, we have to constantly be distracted, because the moment we allow our thoughts to seep in, pain immediately follows. And that’s why Mass Media is such a success. We welcome it, unknowingly, as the best way to treat the symptoms; Just like Prozac.

Why don’t we treat the cause for a change?  Listen to your thoughts.” (End of quote)

How modern ascetics go through life? Those 4 billion of mankind who cannot afford to purchase a single Mass Media product?  How mankind a century ago managed to navigate through the pain of thoughts bombarding their wretched living?  Is it time to re-analyse the life-stories of authors who published their books and memoirs a little over a century ago?  Is it why “ancient” manuscript are ever so current and more so when we read them?




September 2011

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