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Breaking the Silence report details soldiers humiliating and torturing Palestinian children and using them as human shields

30 israel2 AFP
 Israeli soldiers accuse Palestinian boy of stone throwing  Photo AFP

The Israeli veterans’ organization Breaking the Silence released a shocking new report this morning on the abuse of Palestinian children in the occupied territories.

Here is the link to download the 70-odd page booklet. Here are some of the testimonies.

The UK’s Guardian and Independent both published damning reports on the booklet, which details “beatings, intimidation, humiliation, verbal abuse, night-time arrests and injury.”

The Independent’s report includes many testimonies, devastating stories of incomprehensible humiliation. They open featuring one young man, Hafez Rajabi, 21, who was taken hostage by Israeli soldiers in 2007 when he was a teen.

30 israel3 QuiqueKierszenba
Hafez Rajabi, 21, was beaten in 2007 by soldiers

Beaten into submission fearing for his life he succumbed to confessing to ‘stone throwing’.

The report also features a soldier from Breaking the Silence describing the same episode although Hafez had never heard the soldier’s account.

Sitting beneath the photograph of his late father, the slightly built 21-year-old in jeans and trainers points to the scar above his right eye where he was hit with the magazine of a soldier’s assault rifle after the patrol came for him at his grandmother’s house before 6am on 28 August 2007. He lifts his black Boss T-shirt to show another scar running some three inches down his back from the left shoulder when he says he was violently pushed – twice – against a sharp point of the cast-iron balustrade beside the steps leading up to the front door. And all that before he says he was dragged 300m to another house by a unit commander who threatened to kill him if he did not confess to throwing stones at troops, had started to beat him again, and at one point held a gun to his head. “He was so angry,” says Hafez. “I was certain that he was going to kill me.”


“We had a commander, never mind his name, who was a bit on the edge,” the soldier, a first sergeant, testifies. “He beat the boy to a pulp, really knocked him around. He said: ‘Just wait, now we’re taking you.’ Showed him all kinds of potholes on the way, asked him: ‘Want to die? Want to die right here?’ and the kid goes: ‘No, no…’ He was taken into a building under construction. The commander took a stick, broke it on him, boom boom. That commander had no mercy. Anyway the kid could no longer stand on his feet and was already crying. He couldn’t take it any more. He cried. The commander shouted: ‘Stand up!’ Tried to make him stand, but from so much beating he just couldn’t. The commander goes: ‘Don’t put on a show,’ and kicks him some more.”


Both Hafez – who has never read or heard the soldier’s account – and the soldier recall the commander forcing him at one point during his ordeal to throw a stone at them, and that the boy did so as feebly as possible. Then, in the soldier’s words “the commander said: ‘Of course you throw stones at a soldier.’ Boom, banged him up even more”.

Weiss response to the report:

I’m most of the way through the new Breaking the Silence testimonies and my response is similar to what I’ve felt on earlier BTS statements, sheer horror, and anger at the prospect of the American media once again ignoring this evidence of the tyranny of the occupation.

The testimonies involve the abuse of children, over the last eight years or so, and they document:

–the use of children as human shields, either to go into houses where Israeli soldiers believe a wanted Palestinian is barricaded (the “neighbor procedure”), or, dangled in front of Israeli soldiers, to protect them from stones.

–routine cruelty inflicted on Palestinian children because the Israeli soldiers are bored—beatings typically, but in at least one instance, tightening plastic handcuffs so as to cut off the kids’ circulation and turn their hands blue after a few hours. This is surely torture.

–a policy of scaring children so as to control villages that are protesting the occupation. This includes harassment-style detentions, routine beatings, some vicious.

–the words “beat to a pulp” are a litany throughout the anonymous reports. Apparently beating a child to a pulp is a routine event in the occupied territories

–dehumanization and humiliation. The report teems with instances of teenagers, some 14 and 15, held till they foul themselves. They soil themselves because of beatings or because they are manacled and not allowed to go to a bathroom overnight. Other forms of humiliation include slapping children in the face, making them take off their pants to be searched, and stepping on their testicles.

The most grotesque incidents in the report involve the oppression of entire villages and cities. Soldiers are so bored in Hebron that they provoke riots. They stop people’s movements entirely for hours on end till someone at last lashes out and then the soldiers retaliate and soon there is a full-fledged riot. The soldiers and commanders seem to regard this as a form of entertainment. Shocking.

Of course settlers never come in for any of this treatment in the occupied territories. “The Jew is free to do whatever he likes,” states one soldier with caustic irony, after a settler beats a Palestinian, and walks away past the soldiers.

That testimony speaks to the bias inherent in these reports. They are obviously the statements of whistleblower types, the sensitive or politicized. The overwhelming percentage of occupying soldiers evidently have no problem with what is going on. “Nazis,” an Israeli photographer arrested at a demonstration shouts at them as they destroy his equipment.

Of course it is well known throughout the Middle East that Israel is abusing Palestinian children. Israel killed over 300 children in the Gaza slaughter and routinely detains Palestinian children, sometimes to get them to squeal on their demonstrator relatives. Why this isn’t a big story in the US press I have no idea. It is because the west treats Israel like a spoiled child, as Turkey’s Erdogan said.

Don’t miss Harriet Sherwood full report from Jerusalem for the Guardian, including the video below. Here’s just a snatch:

One of the ex-soldiers describes serving in Hebron in 2010: “You never know their names, you never talk with them, they always cry, shit in their pants … There are those annoying moments when you’re on an arrest mission, and there’s no room in the police station, so you just take the kid back with you, blindfold him, put him in a room and wait for the police to come and pick him up in the morning. He sits there like a dog …”

Children frequently soiled themselves, according to the testimonies. “I remember hearing him shitting his pants … I also remember some other time when someone pissed in his pants. I just became so indifferent to it, I couldn’t care less. I heard him do it, I witnessed his embarrassment. I also smelled it. But I didn’t care,” said another.


“That specific kid who actually lay there on the ground, begging for his life, was actually nine years old. I think of our kids, nine years old, and a kid handling this kind of situation, I mean, a kid has to beg for his life? A loaded gun is pointed at him and he has to plead for mercy? This is something that scars him for life. But I think if we hadn’t entered the village at that point, then stones would be thrown the next day and perhaps the next time someone would be wounded or killed as a result.”

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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84 Responses

  1. Susie Kneedler
    Susie Kneedler
    August 26, 2012, 2:52 pm

    Thank you, Phil and Annie: thanks for your conscience, letting us know the unbearable.

    Whereas you, “The Independent,” and “The Guardian” report these horrors, NPR failed. Instead, NPR aired Daniel Estrin’s story praising Israel for “briefly” opening Occupied East Jerusalem to Palestinians. NPR and Estrin, rather than explore the injustice of barring the people of Palestine from their own land and holy sites, claimed that “Palestinians Flood Into Israel” and even denoted the Palestinian Old City as “Israel.”

  2. Sheldonrichman
    August 26, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Truly sickening. Thanks, Phil and Annie.

  3. radii
    August 26, 2012, 3:53 pm

    there will come a day – too far off I’m afraid – when jews the world over must look back in horror as to what monsters they let some of their population become – the zionist contingent (and their supporters) – this is a cancer burning hot within the zionist body politic and it cannot sustain … such systematic programmatic evil burns itself out and the perpetrators are left with just dying embers of their hate and then forced to reflect upon just how they let it go so far … er, much like the average German after WWII

  4. seafoid
    August 26, 2012, 4:01 pm

    But her uncle turned to her and said “Jews wouldn’t do that”

  5. justicewillprevail
    August 26, 2012, 4:17 pm

    It’s so brutal, than any country’s government reading these accounts should immediately call in the Israeli diplomats and call off all agreements and relations with them. Of course they will hold their noses until the smell passes, but what would they do with headlines around the world about this activity with any other country? It is totally beyond the pale to carry on treating Israel with kid gloves, and allow them to continually lie and cover up this behaviour. And Geller and co have the nerve to talk about ‘savages’ – well, here are some. Put them on your bus ads.

  6. Blake
    August 26, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Agence France Presse also covered the story. From veteranstoday:

    Israel ex-soldiers say troops abused Palestinian kids

    Agence France Presse

    JERUSALEM – Agence France-Presse – An October 23, 2010 file photo shows Palestinian youth is arrested by Israeli soldiers for throwing stones during a protest. AFP Photo

    Former Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied territories say that mistreatment of Palestinian children by troops is “routine” and occurs even at times of relative calm. A collection of over 30 testimonies published on Sunday by Breaking the Silence, a group of ex-servicemen critical of army practices, says physical violence, often arbitrary, is used against very young children.

    “The testifiers depict a routine in which Palestinian minors, often under 10 years of age, are treated in a manner that ignores their young age,” says the 72-page booklet.

    Entitled “Children and Youth: Soldiers’ Testimonies 2005-2011,” it covers a period after the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, of 2000-2005.

    “Although the events described here took place after the peak of the second intifada, at a time perceived as calm and uneventful from a ‘security’ standpoint, the reality that emerges from the testimonies shows that harsh treatment of Palestinian children continues unabated,” it says.

    In one example, a former staff-sergeant, unidentified like most who give testimony, describes a punitive raid on a neighbourhood in the Ramallah area following earlier clashes with Palestinians.

    He said a dozen soldiers with wooden clubs “beat people to a pulp. Finally the children who remained on the ground were arrested. The order was to run, make people fall to the ground,” he said. “A slow runner was beaten, that was the rule,” he said.

    Another former staff-sergeant describes an operation against the West Bank village of Azzun, where stones had been thrown from a curve in the road at motorists from the nearby Israeli settlement of Maale Shomron.

    “We got to the village, drove up to the houses closest to the curve, and then saw a group of children, 9-10 years old, running away,” he said.

    “First they ran, went onto the balcony of some house, and then the commander took a stun grenade and hurled it into that balcony. It blew up. I don’t think it hurt them or anything, but it made them run out of the balcony.” He describes a chase after the children during which his commander cocked his firearm and aimed in the face of one of them from close range.

    “The kid was just freaking out, certain he was going to be killed, and begged and pleaded for his life,” the soldier said. “A kid has to beg for his life? A loaded gun is pointed at him and he has to plead for mercy? This is something that scars him for life.

    “The Israeli military said in response that Breaking the Silence had not provided it with sufficient background material to enable it to investigate specific claims.

    “By compiling testimonies over long periods of times and refusing to provide additional details, the organisation proves its true intentions — rather than facilitating proper investigation, the organisation seeks to generate negative publicity regarding the IDF and its soldiers,” it said in a statement.

  7. American
    August 26, 2012, 4:47 pm

    The Israeli sickness is shown and reported all over the world except in the US.
    Europeans see it, Arabs see it, everyone sees it.
    As Dulles said long ago during Eisenhower’s fight to contain Israel…..quote… ”the non Jewish community better make themselves heard or there’s going to be disaster for US and the world”.

  8. subconscious
    August 26, 2012, 5:21 pm

    Dunno if this set of videos have been earlier linked to at this site or not, but it’s from Defence for Children International:

  9. ColinWright
    August 26, 2012, 5:53 pm

    I’ve always hated cops.

    I think this has a lot to do with when I was six or seven, and was falsely accused of stealing a bicycle seat. A patrolman held me and interrogated me for hours. There were threats of bread and water, etc. Funny now — not so funny then. Eventually, his sergeant showed up, talked to me for five minutes, and took me home.

    The point isn’t to try to equate my experience to these kids’. The point is to consider the degree of dislike I feel (close to fifty years later), at least partly as a result, and then to think about how these kids must feel about Israelis.

    …and then people turn around and expect the Palestinians to just hug the Israelis with love if they are ever given the chance.

    I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. The Zionists have blown it. The only thing to do is to try to organize a tidy evacuation. When the Jews take that boot off the Palestinian neck, they’d better have their exit route all mapped out.

    • ColinWright
      August 26, 2012, 9:17 pm

      “…I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. The Zionists have blown it. The only thing to do is to try to organize a tidy evacuation. When the Jews take that boot off the Palestinian neck, they’d better have their exit route all mapped out.”

      There is a certain historical irony here. Among other things, Israel was supposed to be the solution to Jews’ historical problems — of always being vulnerable to persecution at the hands of the gentile.

      And yet, in Palestine, they’ve at least partially recreated the situation they were in that led to perhaps the second most horrific of those persecutions — in the Polish Ukraine before Khmelnitsky. They’re the hated oppressor.

      And if they take their foot off the neck of their victim, he’s very likely to rise up.

      • Mooser
        August 26, 2012, 10:37 pm

        Colin, you’re letting your imagination run away with you, and while it’s satisfying in a sort of “Inglorious Basterds” kind of way, I’m not sure it does any good to ignore the reality.
        The Israels are armed, and mechanised, and military technologies to the brim. They have a disciplined and motivated population and Army and Navy and Air Force. Palestinians do not, as far as I know, even have an army, let alone two generations of trained soldiers at the ready.
        The Palestinians are isolated in many ways, and Israel has the backing of the world’s present superpowers.
        I don’t think that even if they wanted to (which I’m not convinced they do) mete out a violent and final revenge on the Israelis, the Palestinians don’t have a chance of doing so, unless things drastically change. There are others who know much more than me, but I think that’s about the size of it.
        Everybody is hoping for a non-violent solution, or at least some progress.

      • ColinWright
        August 26, 2012, 11:43 pm

        It won’t happen now.

        It’ll happen when the Israelis are on the ropes, and trying to compromise their way to staying in power. It’ll happen when half the secular Jews have already left the country. It’ll happen when the IDF has already had to agree to accept Arab enlistments.

        This scenario played out at closing in a dozen former colonial states. On a number of scores, I generally object to the analogy between colonial states and Israel — but in terms of what’s likely to happen once the Zionists no longer appear invulnerable — well, it’s happened before.

        People are people. What they have done in the past, if the circumstances appear again, they will do again.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 11:14 am

        “What they have done in the past, if the circumstances appear again, they will do again.”

        Gosh, and I’m naive enough to take the Palestinians at their words and actions. So there you go, Colin, I’m just a sucker for the latest lefty love-affair. But you’re here to warn us about the Palestinians propensity for atrocious revenge, so perhaps that will balance my Rebecca-of-Sunnybrook Settlement views.

        The thought does occur to me, being a concerned person and all: Do you think the ethical thing to do is withdraw solidarity from the Palestinians, not support them, in the name of preventing an atrocity which might wipe out a significant portion of the world’s Jews?

      • yourstruly
        August 26, 2012, 11:55 pm

        according to the wikipedia entry on khmelnitsky, the only mention of anything that hints even remotely of the jew as oppressor has to do with traders who ran polish estates for their owners. how many traders I don’t know but weren’t the vast majority of the tens of thousands of jews slaughtered by the khmelnitsky’s kossack warriors innocent peasants? wikipedia infers that jews were scapegoated by both sides in the struggle (the polish catholic and the ukranian/kossack/orthodox). so unless wikipedia is wrong on this, sounds more like the jews back then were the hated victims of collective punishment (as are the palestinians today, of course), rather than the “hated oppressors.”

    • OlegR
      August 27, 2012, 5:53 am

      /I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. The Zionists have blown it. The only thing to do is to try to organize a tidy evacuation./

      Some new speak for ethnic cleansing ,
      And then the (factually incorrect) justification of the Khmelnitsky pogroms?
      Jeez Colin you really have a thing for Jews.

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2012, 9:11 am

        The eviction of violent squatter ain’t “ethnic cleansign” mister Russian Oleg.

      • seanmcbride
        August 27, 2012, 9:15 am

        OlegR wrote:

        “Jeez Colin you really have a thing for Jews.”

        in response to Colin: “The Zionists have blown it. The only thing to do is to try to organize a tidy evacuation.”

        Colin doesn’t believe that Israelis have the means to defend themselves (he dismisses the Samson Option as a pipe dream) — I think he is radically mistaken. Israelis are capable of holding their ground to the bitter end.

        Regarding his attitude towards Jews: perhaps a bit problematic. One could understand why some people (certainly many Jews) might detect Judeophobia in some of his hostile comments towards Israelis — and I am the last person to throw around the antisemitism smear.

        I think this is a true statement: Colin intensely hates Israelis and wishes them harm. Most of us don’t hate Israelis and don’t wish them harm. Some part of me still believes that the Zionist experiment could succeed with a few policy adjustments — mainly dump most of the settlements and work out an arrangement with NATO to defend Israel from its hostile neighbors. But that is probably not going to happen. What is actually going to happen is probably something apocalyptic in the literally biblical sense — there are too many crazy memes floating around in “the holy land.” The cultural brew in that neck of the woods is much too combustible.

      • seanmcbride
        August 27, 2012, 10:07 am

        Regarding the homicidal lunacy and dementia permeating “holy land” politics and Abrahamic cults:

        RUSSIA, IRAN AND SYRIA WILL SOON BE NO MORE, TOTALLY OBLITERATED! JEHOVAH GOD IS GOING TO BE KNOWN BY THE WORLD AND, ESPECIALLY, BY THE ENEMIES OF ISRAEL. The configuration of the nations in the Middle East will be forever changed. Russia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, plus all their allies will no longer exist as government entities. There is the possibility that as many as twenty-five or thirty nations will be utterly destroyed. The full extent of this cataclysmic war has never been fully declared or understood. The Bible makes it clear that the nations which have determined to destroy Israel will be decimated. The Holy Spirit said,“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalam.” (Zechariah 12:9)
        END QUOTE

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 11:24 am

        “(he dismisses the Samson Option as a pipe dream)”

        I don’t know about the rest of the world, but the Israelis wouldn’t need to go all Samson to eradicate the Palestinians. The most conventional of military and “administrative” techniques would do. Correct me if I am wrong, but do the Palestinisns have tanks, or aircraft, or any kind of heavy guns or real rockets or helicopters? And really, do they have to kill them all, or just run them off and leave circumstances to do the rest, not that a whole lot would be required.

      • evets
        August 27, 2012, 11:39 am

        Sean –

        In his Chielmenitski post he’s taken that hatred of Israelis and rolled it back through Jewish history. His Israeli problem has obviously morphed into something darker and more grandiose.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 11:59 am

        “His Israeli problem has obviously morphed into something darker and more grandiose.”

        You shouldn’t say this, evets. Are you not aware of Colin’s “background”?

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2012, 12:53 pm


        I don’t believe your assessment of Colin is accurate. Sour grapes is what I read from your post about him – with a dash of pandering to vile colonialism.

        Sorry mate, I like you, but you’re wrong on this one.

      • seanmcbride
        August 27, 2012, 1:43 pm


        Hasn’t Colin on several occasions anticipated with considerable relish (and venom) the eradication of Israel? — and not just the removal of the settlements.

        Perhaps someone with the motivation to do so can pull up the quotes in question — they’re in the archives. I am sure I read them as they passed by.

        I don’t think I am the only here who has acquired the impression that Colin harbors intense hatred towards Israelis that sometimes seems to spill over into something even more disturbing. And I am not at all impressed by his knowledge of Mideast politics — I don’t think it is a subject that he knows much about. He’s not interested in the established scholarship and he hasn’t done his homework. But he detests Israelis with a passion — that much is clear — and for reasons that may have little to do with a commitment to universal justice, international law or compassion for Palestinians.

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2012, 2:48 pm

        “… obviously morphed into something darker and more grandoise”.

        Paranoid much?

      • Fredblogs
        August 27, 2012, 3:25 pm

        Nope, if the Israelis wanted them dead, they’d be dead in a month of conventional warfare.

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2012, 3:42 pm


        In context of the original and ongoing Nakba, would the returning of the land to it’s indigenous inhabitants, and reparations paid, constitute an act of antisemitism or an act of justice?

        Perhaps you’re not seeing the fine line between the happiness of movie-goers when the villain is finally killed, and senseless lascivious hate.

        Sure Colin can be a real pain in the jaxi, but an inverted antisemite, as you infer, is simply wrong and a tad vindictive – unless you can provide proof for this inference, of course. Granted I haven’t read all his postings, but I think I’ve read enough to say that approximately 50% of his writings are indulgent ramblings, 30% fixations on minutiae and trivia, and 20% gem and torch.

        I ain’t saying that Colin is Snow White, but I also don’t think that Colin’s heart is black as satan’s underpants either.

      • American
        August 27, 2012, 6:18 pm

        @ sean

        “”and I am the last person to throw around the antisemitism smear.”‘

        No you arent’. We just went through this a few weeks ago when you denounced someone, I forget who, as a anti semite based on your impressions.
        Your impressions could be wrong you know and others are perfectly capable of forming their own judgements of other commenters.

        If you want to call out someone on something that appears anti semitic or question them on it, that’s one thing, address it to them and have it out.
        But you’re trying to be the decider of who is a anti semite and then convince the rest of us on the board to agree with your judgement.
        Anyway it’s not your responsibility. I imagine the moderators have a better sniff system for real anti semitism.

      • seanmcbride
        August 27, 2012, 7:02 pm


        Does one detect the tonalities, timbre and cadences of Rudyard Kipling’s British imperialist attitudes towards Jews in Colin’s comments? I don’t know. He sometimes gives the impression that he is no mood to take any lip from uppity Jews. His hatred for Israelis burns white hot (he makes no bones about it) and he relishes the day when they will be erased from the Book of Life. He provides no useful suggestions or analysis for solving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict — that subject doesn’t seem to interest him.

        Some antisemites do indeed use anti-Zionism as a convenient cover for venting their obsessive animus towards Jews in general.

        Is his heart as black as Satan’s underpants, the bear on Iskardoo or the tents of Kedar? That is for each reader to judge separately.

      • philweiss
        August 27, 2012, 7:26 pm

        wot is iskardoo?

      • seanmcbride
        August 27, 2012, 8:35 pm

        From a 19th century poem by Edwin Arnold, “The Rajah’s Ride, A Punjab Song”

        There came a steed from Toorkistan,
        Wah! God made him to match the hawk!
        Fast beside him the four grooms ran,
        To keep abreast of the Toorkman’s walk.

        Black as the bear on Iskardoo;
        Savage at heart as a tiger chained;
        Fleeter than hawk that ever flew,
        Never a Muslim could ride him reined.
        END QUOTE

      • seanmcbride
        August 27, 2012, 8:48 pm


        I very occasionally comment on instances of real antisemitism when I see them in controversies about Israel and Zionism. I make no claim that my opinions are authoritative — they are just my opinions. But I will always explain the rationale for those opinions if asked.

        Not all anti-Zionists are antisemites. Perhaps most aren’t. But some are. Some of them are honest about their antisemitism. Others play games.

        False accusations of antisemitism annoy me. Real antisemitism annoys me.

      • Mooser
        August 29, 2012, 1:10 am

        “I also don’t think that Colin’s heart is black as satan’s underpants either.”

        You lucky devil! He wouldn’t show me, but suggested there was something I could trade for a peek. But when I showed it to him he said it wasn’t worth it.
        So it is black! I was thinking red, but I was wrong, as usual.

      • Mooser
        August 29, 2012, 1:25 am

        “But he detests Israelis with a passion — that much is clear — and for reasons that may have little to do with a commitment to universal justice, international law or compassion for Palestinians.”

        Well, he has been reading Mondoweiss for a while. In fact, he might force himself to read through those very harrowing “Today in Palestine” newsletters. I can’t even get through them.
        Yes, I can see how a person who reads Mondoweiss could get a pretty much unqualified loathing going for Israel, and maybe even Israelis.
        I was certainly a lot less aware of just how severe, and exactly what the nature of the problems in Palestine until I started reading Mondoweiss. And I had a whole lot more silly ideas about the desire, and most of all, the capability of American Jews to do anything about Zionism before I started reading Mondoweiss. Phil’s personal posts had a lot to do with convincing me how silly those ideas were. He was very good at showing me just how powerless and unwilling we are to change anything, and how little we are willing to sacrifice in pursuit of a solution or even just progress, in Palestine. I mean, c’mon, we’re gonna get Israel to pull out of the Occupied Territories, but we’re afraid to kick them off the blog? For the sake of “dialog”?

      • justicewillprevail
        August 27, 2012, 9:17 am

        So you don’t have an opinion on the topic under discussion, oleg? Why so coy?

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2012, 10:41 am

        There is no topic under discussion.
        There is a mass shaking of heads and clicking of tongues over the revelations
        of the Breaking the Silence soldiers.

        I didn’t need them to open the blinds for me and i certainly don’t need to join
        into this conversation.

        What i can do is what what i always did, try and make sure that i don’t have anything to break silence over when i am on reserve duty.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 11:07 am

        “I didn’t need them to open the blinds for me and i certainly don’t need to join into this conversation.”

        Oh, I see, you’re not really here. Your computer is typing these comments by itself.

        “What i can do is what what i always did, try and make sure that i don’t have anything to break silence over when i am on reserve duty.”

        Yup OlegR, plausible deniability is everything. So you would throw your IDF comrades into the jaws of Palestinian death, abandon them, so you can say “I’m not guilty”. I suppose you would probably snitch on them, too, if you saw a war crime or illegal action.
        What a punk, he can’t even be loyal to Israel. Why don’t you take my name, lose one “o” and use it for your nym?

      • justicewillprevail
        August 27, 2012, 1:44 pm

        So you agree with their assessment of IDF corruption and brutality then, and no doubt deplore the fact that they do it with impunity, and the tacit approval of the Israeli public.

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Pathetic that you can not say that what has taken place for some of these Palestinian children at the hands of the IDF shackling, blindfolded, kicked, beat to a pulp, humiliated, screamed at, shot etc etc is absolutely wrong. Human rights abuses. Oleg your inability to be able to admit that this is terribly wrong says so much about you

      • eljay
        August 27, 2012, 5:34 pm

        >> Oleg your inability to be able to admit that this is terribly wrong says so much about you

        OlegR is cold, detached and vile. He is, in a word, a Zio-supremacist. Just like Fraudblogs in this thread, where he condemns the actions of a peace activist but not those of the supremacist “Jewish State” that is busy destroying homes and lives.

  10. marc b.
    marc b.
    August 26, 2012, 6:10 pm

    i will have to read the whole report. what will be the public response of liberal jews like the editors of the forward and at j-street, if any? and please note that the issue of ‘human shields’ has been endlessly litigated in the israeli high court, where the IDF has admitted to its use of palestinian civilians as human shields, advocates for its effectiveness and continued use, and then promptly tells the court that it will not follow its ultimate ruling that the use of human shields is illegal.

    PS Annie, there is an interesting story that i have only read in the french press. apparently iran has agreed to exclude hamas as it hosts the upcoming conference of non-aligned nations, bowing to abbas:

    Ali Akbar Salehi a également défendu devant les délégués la position de l’Iran sur la question palestinienne, beaucoup plus dure que celle de la plupart des autres pays non alignés puisque Téhéran ne reconnaît pas l’existence d’Israël et appelle régulièrement à sa disparition.

    Toute solution “juste” du problème palestinien passe par “l’opposition au régime d’occupation illégitime”, a-t-il réaffirmé.

    Téhéran a toutefois fait une concession à la diplomatie en invitant au sommet le chef de l’Autorité palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas, qui reconnaît Israël, et en excluant le mouvement islamiste Hamas, son principal allié palestinien qui prône une lutte sans concession contre l’Etat hébreu.

    Le Premier ministre du gouvernement du Hamas à Gaza, Ismaïl Haniyeh, a renoncé à participer au sommet des Non-Alignés les 30 et 31 août à Téhéran, a annoncé dimanche un site internet d’information proche du mouvement islamiste palestinien.

    “A la suite de consultations intensives ces dernières heures, il a été décidé de ne pas prendre part au sommet des Non-Alignés”, a confirmé le Centre d’information palestinien (PIC) sur son site internet.

    Le président Abbas avait menacé de boycotter le sommet de Téhéran si la République islamique y invitait le chef du gouvernement du Hamas, le mouvement islamiste au pouvoir dans la bande de Gaza.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      August 26, 2012, 6:18 pm

      oh, never mind. it’s been published in english above.

    • Mooser
      August 27, 2012, 11:12 am

      “what will be the public response of liberal jews like the editors of the forward and at j-street, if any?”

      We should make a pool on it. Give varying odds and give the punters a chance to wager on anything starting from zero, up to 10,000 words of pilpul.

  11. yourstruly
    August 26, 2012, 6:11 pm

    the 2012 “yom kippur declaration* of one hundred jewish american men & women condemning zionism”

    modeled** after the 1942 “christmas declaration by men and women of german ancestry” condemning naziism, signed by 50 german-americans including journalist dorothy thompson and baseball great babe ruth (& which appeared in ten leading american daily newspapers), the 2012 yom kippur declaration heralded the end of an era in which zionists had dominated u.s. foreign policy. needless to say a just and peaceful world was about to be born.

    *from the “encyclopedia of the 20th-21st centuries”

    **not that the bund had attained anywhere near the influence and power later wielded by israel firster zionists

    • ColinWright
      August 26, 2012, 11:15 pm

      “the 2012 “yom kippur declaration* of one hundred jewish american men & women condemning zionism”

      modeled** after the 1942 “christmas declaration by men and women of german ancestry” condemning naziism…”

      This is probably an excellent idea. Just mailing out the solicitations is likely to make a few people rethink their drink. They may object to the idea — but it’ll at least get a few people thinking…get them off that J Street ‘oh we support Israel but we…’ train.

    • Fredblogs
      August 27, 2012, 3:29 pm

      There are about 6 million of us in America, not hard to find one sixth of one percent of one percent willing to sell out their people to their enemies.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 27, 2012, 4:02 pm

        Interesting, Fredo, that you equate having a conscience and being opposed to ethno-religious supremecy to be selling out your people to their enemies. You really ARE a Klansman with a kippa, aren’t you?

  12. amigo
    August 26, 2012, 6:36 pm

    It really is time to start turning our disgust for Israel,s vile behavior into action.

    Support for BDS efforts.Contacting Newspapers who will not through ignorance or lack of interest provide their readers with balanced reporting .

    Enough is enough.

  13. DICKERSON3870
    August 26, 2012, 6:56 pm

    RE: “I’m most of the way through the new Breaking the Silence testimonies and my response is similar to what I’ve felt on earlier BTS statements, sheer horror, and anger at the prospect of the American media once again ignoring this evidence of the tyranny of the occupation.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: The American media has no choice but to ignore the new Breaking the Silence testimonies (just like they did earlier BTS statements, and other evidence of the “tyranny of the occupation”) because to report on it would jeopardize their primary goal of Manufacturing Consent (and maximizing profits).
    How can the corporate/mainstream media in the U.S. possibly cover something that reflects so badly on Israel when that very same Israel is for many of their readers/viewers/listeners a “much-loved surrogate homeland and ethnic status symbol” (to borrow from Howard Sachar)?

  14. Mondowise
    August 26, 2012, 10:05 pm

    and the world lets them…that is what appalls me most. they are too criminally sick to change themselves, it’s too deeply ingrained in their identity. but that the international community hides it, sweeps it under the rug, makes excuses for it, redirects it….flat out lets them get away with such torture and cruelty is blatantly unconscionable at best. i’m relieved to see it reported, but that alone won’t stop it. the world needs to come down hard on izrahell and any country (especially the US) who supports them…and i mean HARD. severe punitive sanctions, withdrawal of all aid, refusal to allow their participation, kick out their ambassadors & diplomats, ban them from international orgs, etc. etc. but…do you see anyone saying, “ok izrael, bye bye! you are done here in my country until you STOP behaving as the sociopathic nazis you’ve become.” uhh…nope! and so the izraeli abuse, torture and terrorism goes on and on and on and on….and on and on and on… and the world allows it.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2012, 8:06 am

      and the Chris Matthews, so called liberal Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Ed, CNN never even whisper about these horrific crimes committed by the IDF. Institutionalized human rights abuses

  15. Taxi
    August 27, 2012, 12:17 am

    Where’s Oleg to tell us these tortured Palestinian kids get kosher milk and cookies after a beating?

    • evets
      August 27, 2012, 11:44 am

      ‘Where’s Oleg to tell us these tortured Palestinian kids get kosher milk and cookies after a beating?’

      Hate to disappoint you, but from his post above at 10:41 it sounds like he’d say no such thing.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 12:06 pm

        “Hate to disappoint you, but from his post above at 10:41 it sounds like he’d say no such thing.”

        Sounds to me(see OlegR at 10:41) like he’s ready, willing and able to betray his IDF comrades, as long as he can retain some kind of plausible deniability.
        And gosh, doesn’t it sound just the least bit phony from a guy who has told us, how many times, that the Palestinians are “at war” to “destroy Israel”.
        And so while the Jewish State is in existential danger of being Palestined out of existence, OlegR makes plans to disobey orders, abandon his comrades, all because he’s worried about some accounting to “fashion”.

        Naa, I can’t see it, OlegR isn’t the kind of guy to abandon Israel in its hour, hell, its eternity of existential danger.

  16. Blake
    August 27, 2012, 2:38 am

    Realnews has just uploaded this video:
    “Phantom Control”: Israel’s Secret Service and the Occupation

    Yael Berda’s new book “The Bureaucracy of Occupation” sheds light on
    Israel’s more invisible control over the Palestinians

  17. clubroma
    August 27, 2012, 3:21 am

    Dear Mondoweiss,
    I’m writing from Sydney Australia. Do you know of any other Australians that are members of mondoweiss ? I’d like to get in touch with them. Thanks.

    • Taxi
      August 27, 2012, 5:25 am

      Thankgodiamanatheist is in oz and I think Shmuel too. Coupla others too but I can’t think – help me out here old mondo timers!

      • Bumblebye
        August 27, 2012, 8:15 am

        Talknic and Sumud are from downunder, iirc.
        Is it possible Shingo is too?

      • Cliff
        August 27, 2012, 9:12 am

        The MW Aussies rock!

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2012, 10:30 am

        Ah yeah thanks a bundle Bumblebye! Shingo is down under not Shmuel. Sumud too – I think uhuh.

    • RoHa
      August 27, 2012, 8:11 am

      I think Sumud is an Australian as well.

    • Mooser
      August 27, 2012, 11:30 am

      clubroma, as far as I know, anybody, from anywhere, can register and comment on Mondoweiss, or make a contribution to the sites upkeep and expenses. It may be a fine point, and, of course, it’s probably not what you meant, but as far as I know, there are no “members”. Everything at the site is accessible, there is no “members” content. Okay, there might be premiums (books, T-shirts or other tchotchkes) for certain contributions.

      Sorry for being didactic, but considering what Mondo is often accused of, I think that is an important thing to point out.

  18. eljay
    August 27, 2012, 7:45 am

    >> Thankgodiamanatheist is in oz and I think Shmuel too.

    RoHa lives in Australia. As for Shmuel, I thought he lived in Italy.

  19. Kathleen
    August 27, 2012, 8:05 am

    Going to read the report today. Folks should keep in mind that this serious abuse of children and other Palestinians have not just been going on for “8 years” these human rights abuses by Israeli’s have been taking place for decades…DECADES. Thank goodness Breaking the Silence is documenting what these soldiers with some humanity left in their beings have been willing to speak out about.

  20. Kathleen
    August 27, 2012, 8:10 am

    Phil hope you and your team keep some heat on the pay to play get naked and swim in the Sea of Galilee story. Why was NY Representative Owen’s paid trip by lobbyist to Taiwan carefully scrutinized and not these free trips to Israel paid by the American Israel Education Foundation clearly a lobbyist group. When will they put these trips under the Ethics committee microscope?

    • Shmuel
      August 27, 2012, 8:12 am

      When will they put these trips under the Ethics committee microscope?

      I think the naked eye would be sufficient, and far more appropriate in this case :-)

  21. Cliff
    August 27, 2012, 9:11 am

    Dear Phil and Adam,

    I’d love to have a Mondo-Convention and meet up with everyone here IRL. People like hostage, Annie, Shmuel, James north, MRW, blankfort even tho he got banned, avi, danaa, taxi, and so many others (way too many to name to be honest that the ones that come to mind first simply change time to time) have become my RL heroes.

    Shingo too and the MW Aussies ! It would probably be hilarious in a bad way for the resident Zio-Hitsquad I suppose to have us all in one spot but I’d love to meet you guys.

    • annie
      August 27, 2012, 9:20 am

      i’d be so down with this cliff, i would love to meet you too. everyone, what a great idea.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 11:37 am

        Well, if it was me, I wouldn’t be so quick to start shouting out Mondo contributers locations, no matter when the person asking for them registered. IINM you can put your contact info, from an e-mail to a physical address, or even a phone number, in your profile if you so desire.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 11:39 am

        “i’d be so down with this cliff, i would love to meet you too. everyone, what a great idea.”

        I’ll come, if it’s held on the ground floor, and the doorways are wide enough.

      • annie
        August 27, 2012, 11:52 am

        not on the edge of a cliff mooser?

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 12:35 pm

        “not on the edge of a cliff mooser?”

        Nope, no one is gonna do me like those poor buffaloes! No precipices for me. Eagles I resent, but those poor buffalo deserve every nickel they get.
        Upper floor is fine, just check the load rating, and a service elevator would be nice. I can’t fly like some alopeciac avain fish-gonifs I could mention.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Say. what about hip-deep in a forest pond full of tender water plants? I know a real nice one where we can get reservations.

      • MHughes976
        August 27, 2012, 11:48 am

        I have long hoped that we could meet, damn the expense. Even a mini-Mondo here in the UK would surely be very rewarding.

      • seafoid
        August 27, 2012, 1:02 pm

        I think a “Mondo rendo” vous would be great,. I would love to invite someone from hasbara central on the pretext of a supporting “Isreal ” and then turn on the lights and have verbally at him or her with the whole crowd .

        Sort of a verbal checkpoint to remind us of all the palestinians and all the systematic humiliation they are subject to every day.

        to get the crowd going I would play Fink’s Waterloo U crocodile tears video.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2012, 2:56 pm

      interesting idea. Folks could combine the get together with the Occupy Aipac gathering next year..

  22. Denis
    August 27, 2012, 1:16 pm

    This Breaking the Silence initiative will rock the world, assuming the world has a conscience, but not too sure about that.

    There was another military mea culpa this weekend that will rock the world. Remember the leaked “Light ‘Em Up” vid where the Apache helicopter cretins blew away a dozen civilians on the street in Baghdad in 2007? This was the vid that set into play the persecutions of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. Shuchen Tan of Al Jazeera has produced a haunting video, Permission to Engage. Tan juxtaposes interviews of two ex-American soldiers who saved two children from a van that the Apache blew to smithereens with interviews of the two saved children and other Iraqis who lost loved ones in the attack . Disturbing.

    I link to Permission to Engage at Item #4 here: with some pretty harsh commentary. Excerpt:

    Stupid Americans will likely be shocked at such an ungrateful attitude. Americans have such a hard time understanding why the world doesn’t see them as the heroes they think they are. They look down into the footprints of the WTC towers and say, “But we are such good people, why would anyone want to attack us??” While I certainly don’t agree with the bereaved Iraqi that all Americans are culpable to the level of being mass murders, all Americans are culpable to some degree.

    I connect the atrocities in Iraq to the appalling suicide rate for Iraq vets, which raises a point for the present discussion: Is there a higher suicide rate among IDF and IOF compared to the general Israeli population, matched for age and gender? If not, why not? How do these people live with themselves?

    • mikeo
      August 27, 2012, 7:07 pm

      Around 2003-5 suicide was the leading cause of death in the IDF, it fell a little after special programs were put in place to combat the trend, it is now rising again.

      “Half of the 66 non-combat soldiers who died during their service in 2005 committed suicide. Sixteen soldiers were killed in traffic accidents while on leave, nine died of illness, six died during operations and two died under what were identified as other circumstances.”,7340,L-3916239,00.html

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2012, 7:47 pm

        66 died of suicide in 2005. Now that is so sad. So sad. How the conscience deals with what people do under pressure is alarming. So so sad. Young Israeli combatants killing themselves possibly because of what they have done. This must stop

      • OlegR
        August 28, 2012, 3:22 am

        Half of the 66 who died committed suicide.
        That’s 33.
        Non Combat soldiers.
        Ie. Rear units that never seen a Palestinian during their service.

      • Mooser
        August 29, 2012, 1:33 am

        “Half of the 66 who died committed suicide.
        That’s 33.
        Non Combat soldiers.
        Ie. Rear units that never seen a Palestinian during their service.”

        So OlegR, you’re willing to admit that the Zionist entity uses psychopaths, men without remorse or conscience, as combat soldiers, but can’t find enough of those to fill the non-combat jobs, too?

      • Denis
        August 27, 2012, 7:57 pm

        Thanks, mikeo

        Terrible numbers to see, but useful numbers to have. A 50% suicide rate??? I am stunned.

        Can you imagine the daily psychological drain of knowing you busted some 9 year old kid’s head or drove your bulldozer over an unarmed protester? People become the ultimate tragedy of their own atrocities. This is a part of the larger tragedy. The Jewish soldiers destroy their own self-respect by the atrocities they commit. And then they destroy their own families by their twisted lives or suicides, which spawns more hateful Jews, like all of those vile, young settlers we see in the vids.

        It just keeps going round and round . . .

  23. Kathleen
    August 27, 2012, 2:54 pm

    I’m just up to number six which is especially absurd. The soldier talks about a commander hurling a stun grenade and hurling onto a balcony where the soldier reports that 9 and 10 year olds had run to get away from them. Then describes the commander pointing a weapon right in the face of one of the 9 or 10 year old boys, the kid falls to his knees pleading for his life and then the commander decides to take him and another kid into the station. Who knows what happened to them next.

    So fucking insane grown men chasing after 9 year olds who may or may not have thrown rocks and then holding a weapon up to one of their faces. When the hell is the ICC going to step in?

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