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Shovrim Shtika

  • Watch: Former IDF soldiers reveal nature of occupation

    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…

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  • Breaking the Silence member: 'Gov't doesn't determine legitimacy of my voice'

    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…

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  • The occupation testimonies, part III: inside the checkpoint

    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…

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  • The occupation testimonies: The brutalization of the IDF

    How Giving teenagers power over the lives of other corrupts them – and the IDF “And my story is we and my story is that one time we grabbed a kid, not a big kid, a 10 or 12 year-old boy, something like that, we explained to him with the help of point with the barrel of the gun what he has to do, meaning waving the gun, showing him what do. The situation that was created was like…there is a little boy behind him, a patrol jeep, and three soldiers aiming their weapon at him and he [the boy]…

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  • Testimonies reveal IDF campaign to dismantle Palestinian society

    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…

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  • The Occupation Testimonies (Part II): It's not about security

    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 arresrs and the daily humiliations which take place everywhere in the West Bank. The book is divided into four chapters, corresponding to the four code-words given to IDF operational modes in the…

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  • BTS: the IDF’s magnum opus

    The compilation of testimonies published by Breaking the Silence is a work of art. Everything about it – from impetus, to conception, to structure, to execution – is profoundly thoughtful and contains all the elements of a masterpiece: a powerful concept; commentary on culture, politics and society; originality in approach and scope; mastery of the subject matter and of technique; audacity; and the fact that it is freely accessible to all. Its very purpose is to give voice to the silence and free all the skeletons from their closet. Its four chapters are divided according to theme. Each theme represents…

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  • Breaking the Silence: the occupation testimonies (part I)

    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 about war crimes. More than anything, the testimonies reveal the banalities of the Occupation: the roadblocks, the nightly raids, the mass arresrs and the daily humiliations which take place everywhere in the West Bank. The book is divided into four chapters, corresponding to the four code-words given to IDF operational modes in the…

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  • BTS: Inside the moral corruption of Israeli society

    After being arrested in a Palestinian demonstration near Hebron some time ago, I was handcuffed, blindfolded and then sat in the direct sun along with another Israeli activist. After some time, an IDF commander arrived on the scene and asked one of his soldiers, “why are those two in the sun?” The soldier reported that he just put us next to some Palestinians that were arrested in the same demonstration. The commander, clearly upset with his young soldier, ordered that we be moved to the shade because "they are Jews.” Then he personally inspected the zip-tie handcuffs of the Palestinians,…

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  • BTS: The birth of tragedy from the spirit of occupation

    As any cultured person knows, the word "tragedy" originates in the world of theatre. Ancient tragedies were plays, written in dialogue. Contemproray tragedies are also written in dialogue, but they are not always works of poetry. The Israeli organization "Breaking the Silence" (Hebrew: "Shovrim Shtika") is this week publishing its greatest tome to date, entitled: "Occupation of the Territories; Israeli soldiers' testimonies, 2000-2010." The book's 350 pages are filled with accounts given in Q&A form. One voice is that of a soldier, distraught with his own actions or with things he had seen while serving in the West Bank or…

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