Avner Gvaryahu, spokesperson for the anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence: ‘We want as many public figures as possible to assume responsibility, in broad daylight, for the kind of stories every soldier knows to tell.’
Breaking the Silence, an organization made up of ex-IDF soldiers that seeks to expose the reality of the occupation, is organizing a public reading of soldier testimonies from the West Bank and Gaza in central Tel Aviv’s Habima Square. The event will mark the 10 year anniversary of the organization, which has taken a leading role in documenting Israel’s control over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
“The Israeli public and the media are not willing to hear about what is taking place in the occupied territories,” says Avner Gvaryahu, an ex-IDF paratrooper who has been with BTS since 2007. “The story surrounding [the killing of two Palestinian teens in] Beitunia proved that. If this wasn’t caught on tape, the story wouldn’t have made headlines. The public’s reflex is to remove any responsibility from us. Nobody denies that two teens were killed, and yet this fact is not debated, and nobody needs to account for it.
Meretz leader Zehava Galon will be among those reading testimonies in Tel Aviv (photo: Yossi Gurvitz)
“There is a better chance that we will hear about Britain’s Royal Family or what Obama wore today [in the media] than about a whole people whose future, present and past are linked to us. Our testimonies reflect a reality that is missing from the public debate. It’s not about a right-wing or left-wing media – people simply don’t want to discuss the occupation.”
The public reading will take place on Friday, June 6th and will last for ten hours, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Among the dozens confirmed to participate are prominent academics, journalists, authors, actors, NGO workers, activists, ex-soldiers and politicians. Some of the more well-known participants are author Amos Oz and head of the leftist Meretz party, Zehava Gal-On. Journalist Amira Hass of Haarez will also read, as will +972’s Yossi Gurvitz. I recognize some of the names from various Israeli refusal movements among the participants.
“We thought it was time that those responsible for the reality in the West Bank – namely the Israeli public –...Read More