Uri Avnery on the Breaking the Silence testimonies from Gaza:
The generals went automatically into denial mode. Why don’t the
soldiers disclose their identity, they asked innocently. Why do they
obscure their faces in the video testimonies? Why do they hide their
names and units?
How can we be sure that they are not actors reading a text prepared
for them by the enemies of Israel? How do we know that this
organization is not manipulated by foreigners, who finance their
actions? And anyhow, how do we know that they are not lying out of
One can answer with a Hebrew adage: “It has the feel of Truth”.
Anyone who has ever been a combat soldier in war, whatever war,
recognizes at once the truth in these reports. Each of them has met a
soldier who is not ready to return home without an X on his gun showing
that he killed at least one enemy. (One such person appears in my book
“The Other Side of the Coin”, which was written 60 years ago and
published in English last year as the second part of “1948: A soldier’s
Tale”.) We have been there.
The testimonies about the use of phosphorus, about massive
bombardment of buildings, about “the neighbor procedure” (using
civilians as human shields), about killing “everything that moves”,
about the use of all methods to avoid casualties on our side – all
these corroborate earlier testimonies about the Gaza War, there can be
no reasonable doubt about their authenticity. I learned from the report
that the “neighbor procedure” is now called “Johnny procedure”, God
knows why Johnny and not Ahmad.