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breaking the silence

  • 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…

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  • 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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  • It's open season on anyone opposing the occupation

    There is a campaign being carried out against anyone actively opposing the occupation in Israel, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an activist in the field, a human rights attorney or a former soldier talking about what you were ordered to do. "Activists from the shady organization, "Ta'ayush," who we tracked from within and outside, behind closed doors and during clashes on Saturdays, are going to fall one by one. Don't worry friends. We will finish off Ezra Nawi and move on to Guy Butavia… and many others." That message was published and quickly spread on Facebook following the arrest…

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  • The Israeli Left's challenge: Defeating ideology with facts

    Left-wing and anti-occupation groups in Israel are finally hitting back, but the task seems Sisyphean: how do you win over people who don't even acknowledge the same sets of facts. Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem published a cynical ad in Haaretz Tuesday, in which the veteran watchdog group invited right-wingers on a tour of the West Bank's South Hebron Hills. Right-wing groups have published a number of hidden-camera reports in recent weeks in which their "moles" infiltrate left-wing groups in hopes of catching left-wingers saying and doing embarrassing ,and possibly illegal, things. Thus far, the undercover "sting operations" appear to have netted…

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  • Israel's volunteer thought-police

    Right-wing activists have been infiltrating human rights and anti-occupation organizations. The spies did do serious damage, but to a much bigger target than they intended: Israeli society. Two weeks ago I wrote about a right-wing group trying to recruit people to a “top secret” mission: spying on left-wing organizations in Israel. The outfit was largely a one-man show. I thought it was a colorful but probably not very serious example of the latest “hasbara” antics – propaganda or public diplomacy – gone too far. [tmwinpost] I was naïve. Two weeks later, we learned that right-wing impostors have been infiltrating, befriending and…

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