Do not be misled by the paranoid helplessness of the six powerful men in Dror Moreh’s film - the end goal of Israel’s military rule is the complete demise of the dream of Palestinian independence. By Oded Na’aman Ami Ayalon, former head of the Israeli Shin Bet, grew up on a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee. “I had a wonderful childhood,” he says toward the end of Dror Moreh’s Oscar nominated documentary, “The Gatekeepers”: I knew that there's a house in Jerusalem, and on the second floor there’s a long corridor. At the end of the corridor there's a door,…Read More... | 12 Comments
breaking the silence
New light is shed on the shooting death of non-violent demonstrator Bassem Abu Rahme in Bil'in in 2009: A soldier who served in the same brigade as the shooter testifies how the incident was perceived by other soldiers. The testimony strengthens the claim that the shot was fired against army regulations. "The guy who shot him… was kind of pleased with the whole thing, he had an X on his launcher." On April 17, 2009 Bassem Abu Rahme was killed by an extended-range tear-gas canister that hit him directly in the chest. Abu Rahme, one of the most prominent figures…Read More... | 13 Comments
Six or seven years ago, I was sitting in Tel Aviv's Cafe Ginzburg with a man I admire deeply. Mikhael Manekin was then, along with Yehuda Shaul, one of heads of Breaking the Silence. BTS was still a budding organization at the time, made up entirely of Israeli soldiers who participated in the occupation and sought to document and inform of its atrocities. The organization was expanding its activities. Manekin came to Tel Aviv to brainstorm on organizing tours for Israelis and foreigners in Hebron. "I would like to bring authors there," he told me. "I feel that authors have…Read More... | 2 Comments
The following is a compendium of testimonies given by over thirty IDF soldiers who served in the West Bank and in and around the Gaza Strip in the years 2005-2011. Like previous publications by Breaking the Silence, it portrays daily events in the Occupied Territories. The testimonies in this anthology illuminate the realities of everyday life for Palestinian children and youth who live under Israeli occupation. 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…Read More... | 2 Comments
Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israelis who served in the IDF and work to expose human rights violations committed by Israel, released today a collection of soldiers' testimonies called Children and Youth, Soldiers' Testimonies 2005-2011. The report attests to the mistreatment of Palestinian children, still taking place, years after the peak of the Second Intifada. +972 bloggers often report on the maltreatment and abuse of children, but nothing speaks as strongly as firsthand accounts by young men - practically children themselves when they join the army - who are trying to come to terms with their actions. This catharsis, while it…Read More... | 40 Comments
By Dana Golan Last Saturday, a B'Tselem video camera captured an incident of settler violence that began with rocks being thrown at Palestinians near the village of Asira al-Qibliya in the outskirts of Nablus, and ended with live shots fired by the settlers and a wounded Palestinian youth. Anyone who saw the video could easily make out the IDF soldiers standing next to the settlers, doing nothing to stop them. Those watching from the sidelines may have been surprised by the useless stance of the soldiers. But anyone who understands the reality in the Occupied Territories well knows that that…Read More... | 29 Comments
Within the litmus test that is the "pro-Israel" paradigm, even young devout Jews dedicating their lives to religious study and community are often attacked for being hostile to Israel, as became clear when an American Rabbi living in Israel wrote an essay last summer accusing young rabbis of being "anti-Israel." A group of Jewish students, professionals, rabbis and activists who have lived in Israel and seen the reality in the West Bank are challenging common (mis)conceptions of Jewish connection to the land. This Saturday, the week of Parshat Hayei Sarah (weekly Torah portion), thousands of Jews will travel to Hebron…Read More... | 91 Comments
Breaking the Silence -- the organization of former IDF soldiers who talk about their experiences serving in the Occupied Territories in an effort to expose the everyday reality of Israeli control of the West Bank -- is now marketing its tours of the West Bank to participants of the Birthright-Israel trip while here in Israel. Anyone who extends their stay in Israel beyond the free 10-day trip is offered a free tour to Hebron and the South Hebron Hills that allow an "unmediated encounter with the reality of military occupation." Below is a video of Breaking the Silence volunteers walking…Read More... | 16 Comments
Breaking the Silence, the organization of former Israeli soldiers who literally "break their silence" by sharing experiences from their military service and exposing the IDF to criticism, launched a video campaign on YouTube this week in which soldiers are seen identifying themselves for the first time in front of the camera. A formal launch event took place Monday evening in Jaffa, at a highly fitting venue called "Na LaGa'at" (Please Touch) a theater/restaurant space operated by the deaf and blind. The release of the video campaign marks another achievement for BTS, which has demonstrated not only that the testimonies are…Read More... | 23 Comments
NGO Monitor – a group specializing in haranguing Israeli human rights organizations – must be really scraping the barrel. Consider the following exchange between them and Breaking the Silence. 16 March 2011 To: Ms Dana Golan, Director Breaking The Silence RE: Your comment on a statement by Yonathan Shapira, made during a Breaking the Silence activity Dear Ms Golan, On 15 March 2011, the NTD television channel ran a report on a tour of Sweden by Breaking the Silence. The report featured an interview with organization representative Itamar Shapira, who said. "We are the aggressors. We are the ones violating…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Knesset plenum voted Wednesday [January 4] to order the House Committee to consider establishing a parliamentary panel of inquiry into left-wing Israeli organizations that allegedly participate in delegitimization campaigns against Israel Defense Forces soldiers...MK Fania Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu ), who submitted the proposal, alleged during the debate that the groups targeted for investigation were to blame for foreign actions aimed at delegitimizing Israel and its officials. Source: Haaretz *** By Mikhael Manekin I know what I won't tell them at the Kirshenbaum Committee. I won't tell them that I immigrated to Israel with my family as a child. I…Read More... | 3 Comments
Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran IDF soldiers working to expose the everyday reality of the occupation, is releasing a new book of soldiers’ testimonies from the years 2001-2010. The collection of 101 testimonies shows the degree of control Israel has over the lives of Palestinians. Unlike previous publications by BTS, this one is not (only) about war crimes. More than anything, the testimonies reveal the banalities of the Occupation: the roadblocks, the nightly raids, the mass arrests and the daily humiliations which take place everywhere in the West Bank. The third collection of testimonies from BTS's new book…Read More...
IDF soldier testimonies, collected by Breaking the Silence, and published exclusively on +972 (here and here), confirm that the intent of the IDF during the Second Intifada was to undermine the ability of Palestinian society to politically challenge Israel, by destroying its capacity to function as an integrated whole Reading the testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence (BTS), one is struck, as Joseph described, by the recurring theme of purposelessness that characterizes military operations during the Second Intifada. Joseph suggests these activities do have a purpose: they train soldiers to dehumanize Palestinians. This is in line with a great deal…Read More... | 6 Comments
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Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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RT @haaretzcom: #Israeli minister apologizes for accusing #UK of 'disguised anti-Semitism' http://t.co/IwPl27D0fi #BDS
New on +972: #Palestinian hospitalized after being handcuffed, abandoned at #checkpoint http://t.co/zEgDZ7Nkfb
Why are children over 8 in #Gaza prevented from visiting their fathers in #Israeli prisons? @nsheizaf http://t.co/hKq92yXcOr
#Palestinian hunger-striker signs deal with #Israel, agrees to #Gaza deportation for 10 years http://t.co/zrg2FP7uMw via @MaanNewsAgency
New on +972: Why does the #IDF hold #Gaza fishermen responsible for rocket launching? http://t.co/BJVhJMwxzT