The New Yorker: “Means of Suppressing Demonstrations” by Shani Boianjiu

June 25, 2012: “Means of Suppressing Demonstrations” by Shani Boianjiu

Good news and more good news. This story is available for free on the website and it’s a really good story, in my opinion.

It’s about Lea, a young woman nearing the completion of her service in the Israeli Army. She doesn’t feel, though, and she doesn’t want, and that makes her, ironically, vulnerable. She’s having sex with one of the younger soldiers at the remote outpost where they’re both stationed, trying to feel something. She has him read tragic stories from the newspaper, but still she feels nothing.

And then some Palestinian demonstrators show up, begging to be “dispersed.” Lea gets out the instructions for the means of suppressing demonstrations and tries each of the means out: first shock grenades, then tear gas, then rubber bullets. The last option is live fire, and the demonstrators return to beg her to shoot them—and miss—so that they’ll be written about in the paper.

They want this desperately; she wants nothing. And this, finally moves her. For more, read the Q&A with Shani Boianjiu, which reveals that the character of Lea is from the author’s novel (although whether this story is an excerpt or is independent isn’t clear).

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