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Text testimonies So how do you see Arabs?
catalog number: 131683
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Engineering, 603 Battalion
Area: Nablus area
period: 2001 - 2002
856  views    1  comments
So how do you see Arabs?
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Engineering, 603 Battalion
Area: Nablus area
period: 2001 - 2002

We knew that not all Arabs are terrorists, but when the intifada developed into a mini-war, with terror attacks here, the baggage you carry, it becomes more and more – these things grow.

So how do you see Arabs?The Arabs disappear, it's not individuals anymore, it's us and them. A total dichotomy. You’re not there to get to know anyone. If I'm not mistaken, I know Border Police guys are into this competition of how nasty you can be. We were nasty too. I was nasty once, and I felt bad about it.  But it was really funny, so I had to do it.

What happened?I was at a checkpoint, pissed off, I think it was while I was still in regular service, cut off from my company, standing in the rain with no basic conditions, no nothing, pulling 8/8 (8 hours on duty and 8 hours off), something horrible. You’re fed up, after a month you’re climbing the walls, you’re going nuts. You’re hungry and it’s everything together. All of a sudden, a car drove up, a Palestinian family trying to cross the checkpoint. He tried to be funny or nice or be a smart ass, and I took it as being a smart ass.  He opened the window and says to me, “It’s wet, huh?” And I took it as an insult. I went nuts and I don't remember how it continued, but we started talking to each other in tones that were getting worse and worse, it got hostile, one thing led to another and finally I found myself saying to him, “take all the wheels off the car,” there in the rain, just because he laughed at me.

And what did he do?He did it. He left the car on blocks. He took off two wheels until we stopped him.

Where was the family? In the raised car.

Where did you get the idea?Creativity. I wanted him to see what wet in the rain meant.

What did you think afterwards?I thought it wasn't okay, and then I caught myself saying to myself that if at first I thought it was okay and I did something bad, and I’m responsible and listened to my conscience, so what goes on in the heads of soldiers who do this stuff like, like in a joint decision? To be disgusting, the norm was to be disgusting at the checkpoint, Border Police, Golani soldiers, whoever. Us too.