A Study Day by PsychoActive Group 28.6.09
Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights
The Psychological Effects of Military Service in the Occupied Territories on Soldiers and on Israeli Society
Israeli society entrusts the task of controlling and administering another nation, the Palestinian people, to the soldiers who serve in its army. These soldiers constitute the more or less exclusive interface between Israeli society and Palestinian society in the Occupied Territories. Their encounter with Palestinian residents - at the military checkpoints, carrying out arrests, and while undermining freedom in diverse other forms – takes place from a position of power, authority and control and very often involves infringements of basic human rights.
This study day will offer an opportunity to consider the psychological effects of Israeli military service in the occupied Palestinian territories, from the point of view of the soldiers themselves, and from that of Jewish Israeli society as a whole, which, while avoiding any direct encounter with Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories, dispatches its conscripted sons and daughters to serve there . We shall also look into the question of the extent to which these effects are dealt with and discussed in Israeli society, within the army, and among mental health professionals.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Hall of Justice, the Trubowicz Law Faculty Building
Our activities have included:
• Protest against the manner in which Majid Kna’ane’s trial was conducted. Kna’ane, an intern in psychology at the Jaffa Mental Health clinic, was accused and found guilty of committing security violations.
• Writing up and distributing a petition during the war in Lebanon, calling for its immediate end, as well as explaining its consequences for the mental state of the citizens of Israel and Lebanon.
• Joining the coalition of organizations opposing the siege of Gaza.
• Organization of tutorials, workshops, and lectures for Palestinian professional teams from the West Bank and Gaza.
• Organization of academic conferences that deal with the psychological and socio-psychological aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
• Group members partake in yearly courses for agents of change of the School for Peace in Neve Shalom and the Hiwar organization for development and peace in Kalkilye.
• Co-organizing a public event during the Israeli offensive on Gaza: A Gathering to Mourn and to Protest: Grieve together & reject the massive killing of civilians.
• Gathering testimonies of current occurrences in Gaza and their distribution.