Breaking the Silence, Biographical Narrations of Violence Naturalization

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Aide ESU, University of Cagliari, Italy
Social studies of intractable conflicts has focused on how these enduring situations cast doubt on the likelihood of peaceful solutions, by their appealing to national unity, demand patriotism and self-sacrifice. In this regard, scholars of different disciplines consider the long lasting conflict between Israel and Palestine as a paradigmatic case. It has become a social laboratory of protracted conflict—conflict that is perceived as irresolvable, demanding extensive investment (military, technological, economic, psychological), perceived as zero sum in nature (neither side will consider compromise and/or concessions), and central for social actors (members of society are involved constantly and continuously with the conflict). This proposal questions how difficult it is for a society that is engulfed in an “ethos of conflict” to move beyond mutually reinforcing spirals of violence. In an asymmetric conflict, such as the Israeli-Palestinian, the acceptance of human rights violations and denial of responsibilities by members of the in-group is stronger than in a symmetrical conflict.

Since today the study on everyday life and conflict reproduction is underestimate on social science. We wish to approach the intractability by exploring the sociological key question of everyday life reproduction and experience, how human agency is expressed and regulate under the rule of occupation. We wish, also, to explore the relation between victim and victimizer by studying interaction between Palestinian residents, settlers and IDF soldiers. In order to better understand the process of violence naturalization, the proposal will investigate on the biographical narration of members of Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli soldiers who served in Hebron and emerged into the Israeli public sphere by telling about the harsh behavior of the Israeli Army in the Occupied Territories.