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November 11, 2013

Breaking the Facade of Breaking the Silence

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In the past, we have noted that the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence proclaims that it " demands accountability regarding Israel's military actions in the Occupied territories perpetrated by us and in our name," and yet it refuses "to report the alleged incidents to the proper authorities, and hide[s] behind a cloak of anonymity, withholding their own identities, the identities of other individuals involved, and the specifics that would enable authorities to corroborate their testimonies."

A Ha'aretz article last week unwittingly made painfully obvious yet another contradiction between Breaking the Silence's stated goals and its actual activity. About a lecture given by two Breaking the Silence members at Harvard Law School, Dina Kraft reported:

. . . two young men, Avner Gvaryahu and Dotan Greenvald, members of Breaking the Silence, veterans who served in combat units of the Israeli army who have now taken on a new mission: to expose the Israeli public to the ugly underside of what their service as soldiers in the Israeli army interacting with Palestinians looks like, in hopes of sparking a public debate and change.

The pair were speaking towards the end of the East Coast leg of a North American tour to promote the group’s book of soldier testimonies, "Our Harsh Logic," a plainspoken but often harrowing recounting of their experiences as soldiers. A West Coast tour starts next week. (Emphases added.)

The pair hope to spark debate in the Israeli public, so they visit American college campuses? Israelis hoping to find the pairs' book in Hebrew should not waste their time. If the book, Our Harsh Logic, published by the American publisher Picador, exists in Hebrew, it has not left so much as a trace on the Internet. So much for sparking public debate among the Israeli public.

Posted by TS at November 11, 2013 07:39 AM

Comments

I went through their site and read the "testimonies" most of them are along the lines " I couldn't actually see them, I was too far away" "we collected IDs like playing cards. Oh, I wasn't there, I was in the operations room" "A child was attacked with an axe in Beit zayin, so we went into the village" "Shots were fired at us, so our soldiers emptied their magazines"

This whole thing is political garbage a la +972

Posted by: Naftali at November 11, 2013 11:13 AM

They don't only tour the West Coast. Avner is planning to be at the Limmud conference in England later this year.

He recently lead a Yachad trip to Hebron where he made a string of accusations against the IDF, some of which I established in conversation that he knew to be false. He also completely whitewashed the Palestine Authority.

Even as they were calling on Palestinians to murder Jews on their media and Abbas was embracing convicted murderers he said that the PA had done nothing more provocative than a speech at the UN.

The Yachad trip to Hebron was just a piece of pro PA anti Israel government progaganda, and that propaganda was being spouted by Avner of Breaking the Silence.

Posted by: Stephen Franklin at November 14, 2013 12:07 PM

Doesn't the Israeli public also know first hand what it's like to be in the army and what is going on, since most citizens serve in the army themselves or know people who are soldiers? No wonder they don't seem to need a Hebrew edition.

Posted by: Corrie at November 14, 2013 06:31 PM

This is what is so hard to stomach about Limmud. The present debate seems to be more concerned with the Orthodox staying away from Limmud when it should be about the anti-Israel hate rhetoric spouted at Limmud. Breaking The Silence are regular attenders at Limmud. Their rhetoric inspires hate for Israel amongst the Limmud audience. Yet, they are invited back to speak again and again.

Posted by: richard millett at November 17, 2013 08:03 AM

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