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Speaking about Torture$
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Julie A. Carlson and Elisabeth Weber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242245

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242245.001.0001

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Reasonable Torture, or the Sanctities

Reasonable Torture, or the Sanctities

Chapter:
(p.273) Chapter16 Reasonable Torture, or the Sanctities
Source:
Speaking about Torture
Author(s):

Colin Dayan

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823242245.003.0017

A memoir-style reflection on a trip to Gaza in winter 2008-09, this chapter calls for a redefinition of torture that moves beyond strictly judicial forms in order to encompass the reality of daily life in an environment designed to engineer the collapse of personality. It details how the logic of terror suffuses life in Gaza, where the very land functions as a prison and the inconspicuous rituals of daily life become sites of irreparable damage, and argues that this lethal magic of state power is less susceptible to critique because it is infused with claims of "reasonable" necessity. Even the names of Israeli campaigns in Gaza, like Operation Cast Lead, are read as providing cover for catastrophic violence in biblical fulfillment, effective re-castings whose logic can be seen in the dismissal in the U.S. and Israel of the Gladstone Commission Report that characterized proceedings against Hamas as war crimes and crimes against humanity. In such a context, the chapter argues for a moral and sentimental as well as a legal definition of torture.

Keywords:   Gaza, Terror, Operation Cast Lead, Gladstone Commission Report, PCATI, Crimes against humanity, Dredyl

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