Eyal Press discusses his new book, Beautiful Souls, which tells of a young Israeli who struggles with the question of whether to serve in the occupied territories.

What makes some people refuse to serve in one of their society’s most revered institutions? For Avner Wishnitzer, a decorated soldier who grew up on a kibbutz, deciding not to serve in the occupied territories was difficult. But as Eyal Press explains in this Nation Conversation with Roane Carey, after learning about the way settlers harass Palestinians in the West Bank, Wishnitzer felt he had no other choice. As Press notes in Voices of Conscience in Israel, confronting his refusal meant also asking bigger questions about the meaning of Israeli democracy.

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Erin Schikowski