Monday, October 1, 2007

"Breaking" News -- "Breaking the Silence" Launches New Website; Plans February Trip to the US

"Breaking the Silence," the IDF veterans group that collects testimonies from soldiers about inappropriate behavior towards Palestinian civilians, has launched a new website. Please take a moment to check it out here.

"Breaking the Silence" may be coming to the States in February. Stay tuned for details.

Some of you may remember that the last time "Breaking the Silence" visited the US, the Zionist Organization of America unsuccessfully tried to get the Union of Progressive Zionists ousted from the Israel Campus Coalition because the latter sponsored the group on several campus. I reported on the trip in the Magnes Zionist's first post, here. Heck, the controversy even made Walt and Mearsheimer's book on the Israel Lobby.

What was heartening about the whole affair was that mainstream Jewish organizations strongly backed the position of the UPZ. The truth is that "Breaking the Silence" is not a bunch of off-the-wall draft resisters, but veterans and reservists of the IDF, some of them combat officers. Unlike Senator John Kerry, who, as a decorated officer, was one of the leaders of Vietnam Vets Against the War, the group "Breaking the Silence" takes no official stance on the question of withdrawal from the West Bank. They simply want to provide Israelis and their supporters the truth as they see it about some of the Israel's activities of the IDF on the West Bank.

Anyway, don't take my word for it. I am neither a member of, nor a spokesman for, the group. Please check out their website

8 comments:

amechad said...

You left out that StandWithUs was also trying to get Breaking the Silence kicked out. They had letters from IDF vets/soldiers against BTS and also sent letters to members of the ICC.

Diana said...

I attended a talk given by Abraham Foxman at a Barnes & Noble bookstore yesterday. The intellectual content was absent. He ranted on and on about anti-Semitism and made wild charges with no substantiation. I thought of bringing up the following but in the end wimped out. So here goes. I'm going to break my own silence here.

In 1985 I visited Hebron with a friend who was related to some radical settlers. (Please, no further details.) I had the worst time of my life, including the time I was threatened on the subway by a man with a gun. At one point, one of the settlers physically attacked an Arab passing by. He was pushing a cart full of rags - yes, rags, like the Jews in the shtetls of Eastern Europe- and one of the settlers pushed the guy & the cart tipped over.

Everyone laughed. This happened a long time ago, and it was very surreal, so I can't remember all the details, but if memory serves, I tried to report the attack to a soldier. I was told to mind my own business. Well, not in those words. But you get the drift.

Which I did.

The attack wasn't some major thing that could, or should, make headlines. It was merely a stomach-turning act of sickening brutality that one man does because he can get away with it. Just one of the thousands of casual brutalities that contributed to the eruption of the 1987 Intifada.

Think Abraham Foxman gets it?

GBacharach said...

Just one of the thousands of casual brutalities that contributed to the eruption of the 1987 Intifada.

20 years of arab occupation=No intifada

17 years of a much better Israel occupation=intifada?!

Jerry Haber said...

"17 years of a much better Israel occupation=intifada?!"

Once again, gbachrach assumes that the Israeli occupation, in which land was expropriated big time from the Palestinians, and where they were ruled mostly by foreign settlers of a different ethnicity, was better for them that Jordanian rule. Well, that's what we call paternalistic colonialism -- gee, weren't the natives better under our "benign occupation?" I mean, we're JEWS right -- so we must be more humane and civilized than them, right?

The real question is not why did the Palestinians not revolt against the Jordanians (answer: their leadership was decimated scattered, and non-existent after 1948; they were not allowed to organize politically by the Jordanians, who annexed the West Bank for their own purposes in 1950; Black September ended badly for the external Palestinians) the real question is why did it take them so long to revolt against Israeli rule? The answer is, I think, mostly generational. One needed a generation of "benign occupation" in order to convince the occupied to rise up, with rocks, against the occupiers, who had one of the most powerful armies of the world.

Of course, it could also be explained as a deep-rooted hatred of the Jews, unconnected to the fact of occupation, which is part and parcel of being an Arab. That explains, of course, why so many thousands of Israeli Arabs have died fighting against the Jews in the last sixty years, right?

GBacharach said...

Once again, gbachrach assumes that the Israeli occupation, in which land was expropriated big time from the Palestinians, and where they were ruled mostly by foreign settlers of a different ethnicity, was better for them that Jordanian rule. Well, that's what we call paternalistic colonialism -- gee, weren't the natives better under our "benign occupation?" I mean, we're JEWS right -- so we must be more humane and civilized than them, right?

It is an indisputable fact that the Israeli occupation was MUCH BETTER than the previous arab occupation. Their economy sky-rocketed.(not saying that it was justified)

their leadership was decimated scattered, and non-existent after 1948

So it took them 20 years to get their act together?! I dont buy that. (The PLO was formed in 1964 and their charter just called for the destruction of Israel, nothing about the occupation)

Of course, it could also be explained as a deep-rooted hatred of the Jews because they are taught at an early age to hate Jews. It has nothing to do with race.

FurGaia said...

gbacharach, I watched this and did not see any hatred for the Jews as you say there.

Diana said...

Jerry,

I'm familiar with the people who say, "the Arabs never had rights of citizenship under their own regimes, they should be happy with the crumbs we throw them." I heard it again and again in Israel. I even tried to believe it.

It didn't work. I didn't believe it then, and I do not now. I'm not yet ready to shout my convictions from the rooftops, but on your blog I declare unequivocally: "Our legalized and sanctioned brutality against the Palestinians must stop. These lies are killing us."

An old Yiddish saying: "Truth is like fat in a soup. Eventually it rises to the top."

Thanks for listening.

davod said...

What lies? Like the Jenin massacre or the Al-Durrah Affair?