This deserves to be heard. The cynical manipulation and deception happening will blow your mind. This talk by ex-Israeli Defence Force soldier Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talk about his experiences in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism.
Eran Efrati, 28, was born and raised in Jerusalem. After graduating high school he enlisted in the IDF, where he served as a combat soldier and company sergeant in Battalion 50 of the Nachal Division. He spent most of his service in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. In 2009, he was discharged and joined Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers working to raise awareness about the daily reality in the Occupied Territories.
He worked as the chief investigator of the organization, collecting testimonies from IDF soldiers about their activities. He also guided political tours and to the West Bank and worked to educate Israeli youth about the reality of being a soldier in an occupying army. His collected testimonies appear in the booklet “Operation Cast Lead” and their most recent release “Our Harsh Logic”.
Since leaving Breaking the Silence, his investigative reports appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian. Today he is active with the Israeli groups Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott from Within.
Q: Lizza, did you paint this from a photo? I want to post these on Fleurmach and include context if there is some.
A: The likenesses are so bad there’s not much point referring to the originals… which I guess is a good thing, because I don’t feel like I’m violating anyone’s privacy. I’ve been working in a way where I strive for immediacy by going straight into paint with no pencil work underneath, so it’s pot luck how it turns out. The subjects are Palestinian though, I can say that much! I wanted to be sure to get a mood which is realistic. I want to do more of people in Palestine being human.
I feel with some passion that what we truly are is private, and almost infinitely complex, and ambiguous, and both external and internal, and double- or triple- or multiply natured, and largely mysterious even to ourselves; and furthermore that what we are is only part of us, because identity, unlike “identity”, must include what we do.
And I think that to find oneself and every aspect of this complexity reduced in the public mind to one property that apparently subsumes all the rest (“gay”, “black”, “Muslim”, whatever) is to be the victim of a piece of extraordinary intellectual vulgarity. Literally vulgar: from vulgus. It’s crowd-thought.
– Philip Pullman