Mario Kaiser (2016) will work on his deeply reported story about Israeli soldiers who question their mission in the occupied Palestinian territories. Over the past five years, he has followed the paths of two young Israelis—one female, one male; one from a liberal, the other from a conservative family—who served as soldiers in one of the most complicated places in West Bank: Hebron. In a biblically charged city where a few hundred Israeli settlers are surrounded by more than 170,000 Palestinians, the story’s protagonists became troubled by the orders they had to execute as soldiers. After their military service, they joined Breaking the Silence, a group of former soldiers that documents the occupation by taking testimonies from soldiers – and whose members are viewed by the Israeli government as enemies of the state. Kaiser will write the kind of longform reportage that is the signature of his work as a writer of narrative nonfiction: the portrait of a generation of Israelis who are willing to break ranks, and pay a high price, both personally and professionally, for opposing the very occupation they enforced as soldiers.
Works in Progress is a podcast dedicated to advancing deeply rooted longform nonfiction about the most pressing issues of the day. In this series, fellows of the Carey Institute Nonfiction Program talk with our host Dennis Winslow about the work they are doing to advance social, political, health, environmental, human rights and justice topics throughout the world. At the Carey Institute we believe an informed, educated and engaged citizenry is essential to the functioning of democratic society. We invite you to listen and be a part of it.