Friday, October 8, 2010

Haber Goes On Holiday

I haven't been posting for a while since I am in the middle of a two-week vacation. And when I return I don't expect to be posting very frequently, since I am way behind in my day job. But in the meantime, I would like to offer congratulations to the IDF veteran's group, "Breaking the Silence" for being one of nine people/organizations nominated for the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament by the Greens and the United Left party. See about that here.

Whether they win the prize or not (you better believe that Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, run by the Russian ethno-nationalist Yvet Lieberman, will do everything to prevent that happening), it is a feather in their cap, of course. I suppose that Lieberman, Netanyahu, and Gerald Steinberg's NGO Monitor deserve some credit for boosting the NGO's image in the world among enlightened, civilized folk. But, of course, the real kudos go to the group, which has done more than other group to raise the awareness of the price of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Even the IDF, the arch critics of the group, have relied on their testimonies indirectly in their response to the UN.


Peter Schwartz said...

Have a good, well-deserved rest, Jerry.

Unknown said...

Shouldn't you acknowledge that your son is one of the leading activists in Shovrim Shtika if you're going to shill for them?

Anonymous said...

must be nice to reside in a jewish state, where taking off for yom tov doesnt count against one's accrued vacation time.

are you going to do like your hero from breaking the silence and head over to poland so that you can defame the memory of holocaust victims?

or maybe you will take the time and hitch a ride on one of the upcoming flotillas and show your solidarity with hamas and the gazans.


Jerry Haber said...

bacci40, some corrections:

I am on sabbatical from my university in the US, so there is no Israel issue about leave time.

Yonatan Shapira, who wrote Free Gaza in the Warsaw Ghetto and who was on the Jewish boat to Gaza, has nothing to do with Breaking the Silence. He is an ex IDF pilot and a signatory of the Pilots letter. Despite his passive resistance he was shot repeatedly in the chest from a tazer gun by IDF commandos. (This has not been denied by the IDF.)

Please let me know if anybody at Armona was shot at point blank ranger by a tazer gun.

According to the captain:

On the opposite side of the cockpit Yonatan Shapira and his brother Itamar had been identified by the IDF commander in charge. He sought to separate them from the others. Yonatan clasped Rami in a hug to prevent himself being removed. The senior officer then moved one sideYonatan’s lifejacket covering his left breast, placed a Tazer gun in contact with his clothing and fired it directly into his heart. Yonatan let out a dreadful scream and the force of the Tazer caused him to lose control of his muscles. He was pulled off Rami and across the cockpit to the middle. He was then hit twice more by the Tazer gun, screaming out again. Both he and Itamar were forcefully pulled off our boat onto the IDF rib on port side.They were driven at very high speed over the waters, which had now become moderately rough (the wind had increased to a F4) and it would have been very uncomfortable especially for Yonatan still recovering from the Tazer shocks. They were taken to the frigate where they were treated normally, then to shore and released on bail without charges

As I said, bacci40. none of this has been denied by the IDF. Of course, had he been shot with bullets, you would have been happier. Sorry.

John Welch said...

Congratulations to Breaking the Silence from (US) Military Families Speak out, and from this US Army Dad.

Jerry Haber said...


No, I don't think I should. What does his being my son have to do with my post? Today I "shilled" for the "Anarchists against the Wall". My son isn't a member of that group (but a former student is...)

But now that you mentioned the connection, let me tell you how much I kvell, not just as a progressive Jewish blogger but as the dad of a veteran IDF combat officer with a strong moral compass, when the group gets proper recognition.

Tamar Orvell said...

The probing flashlight that is your blog broadcasts information, analysis, humor, anger, heartache, and hope. I salute and thank you for this important work. The carpers and bottom feeders spewing venom and ignorance in their comments I thank, too, as they trigger your clarifying with facts, context, and history. Glad for your deserved vacation, and grateful that you are back until the next one.