There’s some law that it’s forbidden to hit a Palestinian when he’s hand- cuffed, when his hands are tied. When the Shabak guys take people from their homes in the middle of the night, they’d blindfold them and kick them in the stomach while they’re handcuffed. Three in the morning, they open the door, burst into the house. The mother’s hysterical, the whole family’s hysterical . . . the Shabak sends someone in to check, it’s not always a terrorist, but they grab him, they bring him out—you can’t imagine what’s going through the guy’s head—he’s blindfolded, there’s two soldiers holding him from behind, and other soldiers follow. These are standing army, fifteen people in the company who’re a problem, a minority. And they just, here’s this man hand- cuffed, and they kick him in the stomach and the head . . . those guys really liked doing it.
Was it reported to the staff?
This was an officer! A serious officer, part of the staff! During your regular service, you don’t understand what’s going . . . If this guy wasn’t allowed to do it, he wouldn’t do it! It’s just because that’s how it is. It’s the Wild West and everyone . . . does whatever they want.
And most of the soldiers, they just take it as given?
. . . The truth is, when I think about it, I should have done something. I really should have stopped it . . . but you don’t think like that . . . You say that’s the reality, it doesn’t have to be that way, they’re shits for doing it . . . but you don’t really know what to do. You don’t feel like there’s anyone to turn to.
You go back home. Did you tell your mother and father?
Are you kidding? You suppress it.
Your parents knew nothing at all?
What are you . . . ? You’re part of it. Really, there isn’t much you can do. Especially when they’re officers and you’re in the Tank Corps who they wouldn’t even piss on, so what? You’re going to fight? You’re going to stop it? You can’t start messing with company loyalty or the group like that, you can’t start fighting with people in the middle of it all. It wouldn’t happen now. I wouldn’t let it happen, but that’s not saying much because I’m in the reserves.