Speaking Out: Testimonial Rhetoric in Israeli Soldiers’ Dissent
in Versus n. 116, Politiche della memoria. Uno sguardo semiotico, pp.81-105
Probing the interface between activism and memory-work, this study explores the sociocultural conditions, genre characteristics and action potential of speaking out as enacted by the Israeli veteran organization Breaking the Silence [BTS]. BTS testimonial project combines chronologies of factual reports with narratives of “moral shock” in producing a localized version of authentic “flesh witnessing”. This move locates Israeli soldiers in the position of victimized-victimizers, who call for an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories while reshaping Israeli future collective memory through the testimonial edifice they create.
BTS activists blend the voices of perpetrator and victim in a self-reflexive and highly troubled enunciation. This open-ended, unresolved speech-centered project is a discursive battle against
politically cultivated hegemonic forgetfulness and silence.