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

Neta Bar, Eyal Ben-Ari
2005 Third World Quarterly  
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
more » ... humanising 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. Neta Bar is a doctoral student in the
doi:10.1080/0143659042000322955 fatcat:372tcj3orrgqfleb357ghykoye