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Israeli snipers in the Al-Aqsa intifada: killing, humanity and lived experience

Israeli snipers in the Al-Aqsa intifada: killing, humanity and lived experience This article is an analysis of Israeli military snipers who served during the Al-Aqsa intifada. It takes issue with the scholarly consensus that, for such acts to take place, perpetrators have to somehow dehumanise their enemies. Based on interviews with 30 individuals, it shows that snipers do not always need to dehumanise their targets and that they experience killing in conflicting ways, both as pleasurable and as disturbing. The snipers simultaneously deploy distancing mechanisms aimed at dehumanising enemies and constantly recognise their basic humanity. The article ends on a cautionary note: violence should not be seen as only belonging to the realm of the pathological. Rather we must be aware of rules of legitimate violence, the culturally specific ideology of violence at work in specific cases. This kind of ideology may ‘humanse’ enemies but still classify them as opponents against which violence may be legitimately used. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Third World Quarterly Taylor & Francis

Israeli snipers in the Al-Aqsa intifada: killing, humanity and lived experience

Third World Quarterly , Volume 26 (1): 20 – Jan 1, 2005
20 pages

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References (33)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis
ISSN
1360-2241
eISSN
0143-6597
DOI
10.1080/0143659042000322955
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article is an analysis of Israeli military snipers who served during the Al-Aqsa intifada. It takes issue with the scholarly consensus that, for such acts to take place, perpetrators have to somehow dehumanise their enemies. Based on interviews with 30 individuals, it shows that snipers do not always need to dehumanise their targets and that they experience killing in conflicting ways, both as pleasurable and as disturbing. The snipers simultaneously deploy distancing mechanisms aimed at dehumanising enemies and constantly recognise their basic humanity. The article ends on a cautionary note: violence should not be seen as only belonging to the realm of the pathological. Rather we must be aware of rules of legitimate violence, the culturally specific ideology of violence at work in specific cases. This kind of ideology may ‘humanse’ enemies but still classify them as opponents against which violence may be legitimately used.

Journal

Third World QuarterlyTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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