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breaking the silence

  • Elor Azaria is exposing the occupation, but he's no silence breaker

    In testimony at his manslaughter trial for summarily executing a disarmed Palestinian attacker, Elor Azaria is openly describing the violence, de-humanization, hatred, and settler domination that defines the occupation. But make no mistake, he’s not breaking his silence. By Yuli Novak Nothing better symbolizes a loss of direction and of hope than focusing on trivial details, instead of on the larger picture. Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who summarily executed a disarmed Palestinian attacker in Hebron earlier this year, is the trivial detail. Because this is not about him — this is about the occupation. [tmwinpost] Much can be said about…

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  • Two broken cameras: Settlers attack Activestills photographer in Hebron

    Settlers in Hebron attack Activestills photographer Oren Ziv and Breaking the Silence activist Yehuda Shaul as they tour Hebron with famed Irish novelist Colm Tóibín. By Yael Marom Video by David Shutkin/The Center for Jewish Nonviolence Israeli settlers attacked Activestills photographer Oren Ziv and Breaking the Silence activist Yehuda Shaul in Hebron on Tuesday, as they toured the city with famed Irish novelist Colm Tóibín. [tmwinpost] The incident is the latest in a long and growing list of attacks by settlers and Israeli security forces against journalists in the occupied territories. The attack came after the three arrived in Hebron for a…

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  • Everything you need to know about Israel's 'NGO law'

    Despite international criticism, the Knesset passes legislation to single out left-wing NGOs in Israel. Here is everything you need to know about it. Israel’s parliament passed the so-called “NGO Law” Monday night, a piece of legislation meant to stigmatize left-wing and human rights organizations in Israel as agents of foreign powers. [tmwinpost] The law singles out NGOs that receive the majority of their funding from foreign state entities, forcing them to prominently declare their foreign funding in any publication or public engagement such as media appearances or events. Contrary to what right-wing politicians claim, the law is not intended to…

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  • What it means when occupation is the consensus

    A major Israeli university revokes a prize intended for Breaking the Silence claiming that its work opposing the occupation 'isn't in the national consensus.' What does that say about Israel as a nation? Breaking the Silence, an organization of former IDF soldiers who oppose Israel's occupation of the Palestinians, was supposed to receive the Berelson Prize for Jewish-Arab Understanding from Ben-Gurion University this week, a NIS 20,000 ($5,100) award that the university's Middle East studies department has given out annually for a quarter century. [tmwinpost] However, university president Professor Rivka Carmi decided to overrule the decision and vetoed Breaking the…

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  • Facing down Breaking the Silence, Israel tries to play the underdog

    The state prosecutor stages a refined production in which it pretends to be the weaker party facing down a massive organization. The state wants Breaking the Silence to reveal the identity of a soldier it suspects of committing crimes during the Gaza war. By Alma Biblash An Israeli Magistrate’s Court this week heard a challenge by anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence against a warrant ordering it to reveal the identity of a soldier who provided it with testimony about alleged crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza war. Breaking the Silence is an organization of former Israeli soldiers that collects, verifies, and…

  • Why the state won't be able to break Breaking the Silence

    The state's attempt to bring down one of Israel's most important anti-occupation organizations may backfire in a big way. An Israeli court is set to decide next week whether the Israeli anti-occupation organization Breaking the Silence will be forced to reveal the identity of a soldier whose anonymous testimony raised suspicions of war crimes. By trying to expose the identity of Breaking the Silence sources, the state attorney — who is leading the move — is not trying to prevent soldiers from exposing more information on the violation of Palestinian rights in the occupied territories. Rather it is trying to…

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  • Hebron shooting shows why Breaking the Silence is so crucial

    Instead of calling Breaking the Silence 'traitors,' Israel's defense minister should listen to what they have to say — just for once. Dear Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, How are your Purim celebrations going? Are you having fun? Did you dress up? Any chance you happened to watch the video shot in Hebron on Thursday? The one where an Israeli soldier executes a man as he lies bleeding on the ground? [tmwinpost] Do not roll your eyes, dear minister. The video may make your insides churn, but you, after all, have a stomach of steel. So watch the video over again,…

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  • Why Netanyahu is so threatened by Breaking the Silence

    What will the prime minister do on the day the Israeli public gets up and refuses to keep living by the sword? By Dotan Greenvald Breaking the Silence has classified information in its possession. The information is so confidential that its publication could pose a genuine threat. I hope you are sitting down, because I am about to disclose that information. Just don’t tell me later on that I went first and told the gentiles or anti-Semitic foreign governments. You are hearing it firsthand from me, a silence breaker: Israel is a country that controls the lives of millions of…

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  • The Israeli media is branding Breaking the Silence as traitors

    The campaign against the Israeli Left continues: why did Channel 2 air a segment that paints Breaking the Silence as a traitorous organization that peddles in state secrets? Israel’s Channel 2 news broadcasted a segment Thursday evening based on material given to them by the hidden-camera-toting undercover moles of right-wing group Ad Kan. The target this time: Breaking the Silence. The findings: Nothing at all. [tmwinpost] In effect, two central claims arise from Ofer Hadad’s segment. The first, pettier argument basically amounts to: "Why does Breaking the Silence deal with issues beyond the occupation of the West Bank?" The second,…

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  • The rise of the pro-censorship journalist

    The latest right-wing sting operation against Israeli human rights groups made it to primetime this week. Israeli journalists, once again, played a central role in shaming those who criticize the occupation. A Channel 2 report that aired Thursday night accused Israeli human rights organization Breaking the Silence of gathering confidential information on Israeli military operations through its interviews with former soldiers. The report was based on hidden camera footage recorded by right-wing group "Ad Kan," which infiltrates and gathers information in order to shame anti-occupation organizations. The footage shows Breaking the Silence activists collecting testimonies from several former soldiers, which include questions…

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  • Political persecution won't stop us from breaking our silence

    The orchestrated onslaught against Israeli anti-occupation groups have led to death threats and physical attacks. But we will not be scared — we are determined to save our country from the same messianic, nationalistic, and racist forces that harm it. By Yuli Novak Over the last few months, as the Israeli government is less helpless in the face of terror and our foreign relations are at an unprecedented low — we have experienced, for the first time, what political persecution feels like. The ongoing campaign against Breaking the Silence is not intended to criticize or argue over political opinions. The…

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  • Why the Israeli debate on the occupation misses the point

    In the eyes of most Israelis, democracy consists of two Jews arguing over the fate of the Palestinian. Natan Sharansky, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency, used his experiences as a prisoner of conscience in the Soviet Union in a recent op-ed in order to attack the activists of Israeli anti-occupation organization, Breaking the Silence, who do not shy from criticizing Israel's policies in the occupied territories outside the country. Let me be clear: there are no similarities between what Jewish political activists in Israel go through and the persecution of dissidents in the USSR, and Sharansky's contributions to human rights must…

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  • When homophobia becomes a tool for political persecution

    The campaign against the Left in Israel reaches a new low: a planned protest at the wedding of an anti-occupation group's director and her wife-to-be. It shows that when dissent is characterized as treason, there is no area of one's life that is off-limits. It's a clear sign of the times when protesting at someone's wedding is considered a legitimate form of political activism. It's an even clearer sign when such a suggestion barely raises an eyebrow and when someone responsible for educating young people actually gets on board with the idea. [tmwinpost] But this is exactly what happened in Israel…

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