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Some Israeli soldiers on Gaza border have reached out to ‘Breaking the Silence’

Israel/Palestine
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Some Israeli soldiers who are posted to the Gaza border have reached out to Breaking the Silence, the dissident Israeli group that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to ban because it publishes soldiers’ testimonies that are highly critical of the occupation.

Avner Gvaryahu, the head of Breaking the Silence, described the contacts during a panel at the J Street conference in Washington yesterday:

As long as there will be an occupation, soldiers will speak out. As long as we will continue to control Palestinians, there will be those people who say I have to take responsibility for what I did. And the numbers of soldiers who are coming are as high as they were ever, you know– even soldiers reaching out who are currently on the border with Gaza.

I later asked Gvaryahu if these soldiers are refusing to shoot, as B’Tselem, the human rights organization, has urged. “No, I said, some of them have reached out to us,” he responded.

What are they saying? “We don’t know yet. We have to sit down with them and verify the testimonies and so on,” he said.

Typically anonymous but extremely detailed, soldiers’ testimonies to Breaking the Silence have documented persecution, abuse, detention, and killings of Palestinians. Its report after the last large Gaza massacre of 2014 fostered international demands for war crimes prosecutions, and led to the official crackdown.

Israeli soldiers have shot and wounded more than 1000 Palestinian protesters, killing more than 31, over the last two-and-a-half weeks. Almost all have been reported to be unarmed.

 

Gvaryahu described 2-and-1/2 years of “heavy, heavy attack” on his group from the Israeli right wing. That includes almost a dozen bills in the parliament to try and ban the group from access to public spaces, or from speaking in schools, as well as efforts to block international funding, and personal threats of violence.

“When you look at what is happening in Israeli society you would expect after these two years of attacks, that soldiers would stop coming to Breaking the Silence. I was actually fearful of that,” he said. But that has not been the case, and he thanked many organizations for blunting these attacks, including the Meretz Party, Yesh Din, Peace Now, B’Tselem and “our mother and father,” the New Israel Fund.

He also urged Americans to support Breaking the Silence and invite the group to gatherings here so as to insure its continuing freedom. He said that leading American Jewish organizations were complicit in the ostracization of Breaking the Silence:

Because the line of the Israeli government is that you cannot speak to them– even if the Jewish establishment here does not necessarily agree with them– “Why do you want to get mixed up in that?”

 

 

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22 Responses

  1. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover
    April 17, 2018, 1:02 pm

    Today is Yom HaZikaron in Israel. Memorial Day. I honor those who gave their lives serving in the IDF defending the World’s only Jewish Country. May their memories continue to be a blessing.

    • eljay
      eljay
      April 17, 2018, 1:13 pm

      || Steve Grover: … the World’s only Jewish Country. … ||

      It isn’t a “Jewish Country”, it’s a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”. But you already knew that.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        April 18, 2018, 5:03 pm

        @e

        Thank g-d MW exists for you so you can keep repeating the statements hardwired in your brain from an obvious ocd condition (repetitively calling something what it isn’t over and over and over believing it will make it true) But then it’s just as likely you believe the vast majority of Jews (or is it only the people that ‘chose’ judaism? lol.) who identify as zionist are the people with a collective disorder. we totally understand where you’re coming from, don’t worry.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 18, 2018, 5:55 pm

        “(or is it only the people that ‘chose’ judaism? lol.)” “Dabakr”

        “that ‘chose’ judaism lol”
        “Dabakr” knows Judaism is a fate, not a choice! There are no choices for Jews.

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 18, 2018, 6:07 pm

        || @aak: … Thank g-d MW exists for you so you can keep repeating the statements hardwired in your brain from an obvious ocd condition (repetitively calling something what it isn’t over and over and over believing it will make it true) … ||

        Says the “Jewish State” Zionist.  Funny! :-)

        || … But then it’s just as likely you believe the vast majority of Jews … who identify as zionist are the people with a collective disorder. … ||

        It’s not my belief – it’s a fact:
        – Zionists have stated that most Jews are Zionists.
        – Zionists seem to believe that the evil they do is virtue because they are doing it unto others.
        – When the vast majority of a group of people seems to believe that the evil they do is virtue because they are doing it unto others, yes, the vast majority of people have a collective disorder.

        || … (or is it only the people that ‘chose’ judaism? lol.) … ||

        Judaism? lol. Jews are people who have chosen to adopt the religion-based identity of Jewish, fool.

    • johneill
      johneill
      April 17, 2018, 1:33 pm

      well and good, too many people have died from war
      thankfully no idf soldiers have been killed outside gaza
      but also memorialize the innocent victims of war, who too often are overshadowed by soldiers
      let’s listen to those victims of war, civilian and soldier, before they are gone
      i honor breaking the silence and we are not numbers for sharing their living stories

    • April 17, 2018, 1:41 pm

      Aggressively enforcing apartheid/occupation over innocents – their memories will NEVER be forgotten.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 17, 2018, 2:59 pm

      “May their memories continue to be a blessing.”

      Why, “Grover”, I think you may be slighting those macher souls.
      Why not give them their full due and say “continue to be an asset?”

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      April 18, 2018, 7:27 am

      A Jewish apartheid country

  2. jon s
    jon s
    April 17, 2018, 3:43 pm

    Today we remember our fallen soldiers and civilian casualties. Almost every israeli can think of a relative, friend, colleague, neighbor to remember on this occasion. Especially those of us who have seen war up close and personal.
    So many, the best of us… A good time to rededicate ourselves to pursuing peace.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 17, 2018, 4:09 pm

      Gosh, “Jon s”, that sounds just great! Now that you’ve rehearsed it on Mondo, go out and tell some Israelis about it.

      But always remember, “Jon s”, there are a lot of people out there who are “not innocent”.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      April 17, 2018, 4:47 pm

      Think of all the soldiers who died at Netzarim. For the settlers.
      And how the settlers in turn were shafted.
      And think of all the soldiers who die every year by suicide.
      All for the 10 families who run Israel.

      What a mess.
      Yom ha what’s the point.

    • eljay
      eljay
      April 17, 2018, 7:16 pm

      || jon s: … A good time to rededicate ourselves to pursuing peace. ||

      Always peace, but never justice, accountability and equality.

      • genesto
        genesto
        April 18, 2018, 2:51 pm

        Yeah, peace by unconditional surrender. THAT’S what all the Zionists are looking for!

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 19, 2018, 8:41 am

        || genesto: Yeah, peace by unconditional surrender. THAT’S what all the Zionists are looking for! ||

        Zionists prefer “peace” to justice, accountability and equality because “peace”:
        – allows Israel to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
        – allows Israel to keep most of what it has stolen;
        – absolves Israel of its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and
        – absolves Israel of accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 17, 2018, 10:38 pm

      “Today we remember our fallen soldiers and civilian casualties.”

      It’s auction time again!

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 17, 2018, 10:40 pm

      ” Especially those of us who have seen war up close and personal.”

      Like Yoni Falic.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      April 18, 2018, 8:47 am

      ‘So many, the best of us… A good time to rededicate ourselves to pursuing peace.’

      Rededicating implies that there was some dedication and that dedication was to a jewish supremacist state – no pieces and definitely no peace. This is the only dedication here. I think a rededication to this zionist dedication is planned for May 14th.

      Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump mull attending Jerusalem embassy …
      https://www.timesofisrael.com/jared-kushner-ivanka-trump-mull-attending-jerusalem-
      3 hours ago – US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Kushner’s wife, White House adviser Ivanka Trump, are considering traveling to Israel next month to inaugurate the US embassy in Jerusalem, The Times of Israel has learned. On May 14, the US will hold an official dedication ………

      What could possibly go wrong?

      • genesto
        genesto
        April 18, 2018, 2:59 pm

        This will go over really well with the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims!

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      April 18, 2018, 10:59 am

      “…the best of us…”

      The vast majority of of all militaries are poor, uneducated, rural and migrant.

      Would be interested in the process you used in defining “best.”

  3. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    April 18, 2018, 7:31 am

    A sincere thank you for all of those involved with “Breaking the Silence” and all of the brave soldiers who have come forward to inform the public about the brutal, violent, illegal methods of oppression that they are demanded that they enforce upon Palestinians.

    Have heard three former IDF soldiers speak about what the crimes they have committed against Palestinan’s. Moving and so important

  4. genesto
    genesto
    April 18, 2018, 3:04 pm

    It’s commendable that these soldiers are willing to expose the crimes of Israel and the IDF. But, keep in mind that they are all, to the best of my knowledge, still Zionists who support the original sin, Zionism, that caused this tragedy in the first place and will continue to do so until it’s renounced and destroyed.

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