Just International

Dissertations and refusal to serve Israeli army mounting

Israeli troops are taking their own lives and the numbers are growing every day. This is no new phenomenon. It is learned that between 1973 and 2024, 1,227 Israeli soldiers committed suicide based although unofficial sources that the real numbers are far greater. The increasing number of suicides emanate from serious psychological problems and low morale. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also a major issue.

The army has apparently opened an investigation into the phenomenon of suicide among its soldiers. It is unclear what the investigation will come up with. The writing is on the wall.  If Israel continues to send young people to war without a cause, it is likely to be thrilling for the first weeks or months to have a gun and wield power over a helpless populace.

The Lior Tsfaty Centre for Suicide and Mental Pain Studies has, from its studies, claimed that, the issue is extremely astounding because they are not accustomed to it during combat. They report that, even though it includes those who suffer from PTSD, who wake up every morning to various sights, sounds and feelings of guilt. The names of victims and other details are highly guarded secrets. The fact that this occurrence is happening among high ranked officers too is causing alarm.

War fatigue has set in. The motivational narratives that first sent young people as eager fighters to kill and maim have ceased to poison many young minds. They simply don’t understand the political narratives that are thrust on them. The will to fight has collapsed, despite the destruction being carried out in Gaza. Morale is low. The army has begun to falter between a deteriorating military spirit and the desire to desert. With more unwilling to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza, Israel faces the imminent collapse of its reserve forces. Frustration and anxiety are spreading among soldiers, leading to the loss of combat readiness, low morale and a deep sense of fear and despair.

Upon completion of their compulsory armed service, former combatants go to far away exotic destinations where they indulge in drugs, alcohol, and just about any evil which keeps their minds from the horrific acts they had committed against innocent populations.

Israel’s future is self-handicapped with a new generation of people with mental disorders due to cruelties they were forced to inflict upon innocents – including small children. Doctors say that these images are fixated in their minds and they often wake up to nightmares of the worst kind.They can be counseled and treated as much as medical personnel are able to. But as long as Israel indulges in the occupation, plants notions of racism in young minds, sows seeds of hate, there will be a boomerang effect on the entire people. In an article by Aziz Mustapha he says: “Israeli soldiers have found in Gaza that despite their superior equipment and intense training, they have become easy targets for the resistance fighters. It is clear from the percentage of soldiers killed in action that their lives in tanks have become an unbearable hell.”

The ball is clearly in Israel’s court to end the pain and self-imposed horrors as well as sever harm to the Palestinians. Israel may imagine it is exterminating the brutes; but in actuality, it is exterminating its own humanity.

In solidarity

Ranjan Solomon
On behalf of MLN Palestine Updates

1 July 2024

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