Calling Out Breaking the Silence

Israelis look with scorn on radical leftist group trying to dredge up ludicrous allegations of IDF war crimes

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Exposing a pustule on Israel’s body is sometimes a necessary step towards a cure. It’s not what you might think. I am not pointing at the “Occupation.” I am referring to organizations like “Breaking the Silence” that exploit the occupation as a means of transforming Israel into a Sweden-style liberal state. 

Until recently, Breaking the Silence was a relatively marginal, albeit damaging, organization. Though its stated purpose is to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories,” its involvement in the fabrication of the Goldstone Report that investigated alleged Israeli war crimes in the wake of the 2009 military operation against Gaza clearly demonstrated that “occupied territories” is the red herring used to deflect attention from the group’s subversive activity that is ultimately aimed at turning Israel to a bastion of human rights that has no particular interest in remaining a Jewish state (peep through Haoketz if you like).

The outcome of the last election with its landslide victory for Netanyahu did nothing to stop organizations like Breaking the Silence. On the contrary, it invigorated them to double their efforts. 

Most troubling is the fact that Breaking the Silence was able to persuade a political party, Meretz, to jump on board its filthy bandwagon. Last week, Meretz lawmakers stepped to the Knesset podium to read selected reports produced by Breaking the Silence indicting IDF conduct during the latest military campaign against Gaza. If these reports were at least accurate, their exposure could be forgiven, since Israelis abhor unnecessary cruelty, even when done in the heat of battle.

But when Meretz MK Ilan Gilon read in somber tone a report telling how an Israeli tank ran over a concrete fence surrounding a house instead of opening the gate, one quickly realizes how ludicrous the indictments are. 

It is clear that the reports produced by Breaking the Silence, and now backed by an entire Knesset faction, are not designed to purge the IDF of unlawful military conduct. They seek to defame the IDF, and in so doing limit its effectiveness in the future. In a way, what Meretz did was a positive thing since it actually revealed how radical this leftist party is. After backing up Breaking the Silence, they can no longer hide behind the Zionism they claim to uphold.

And there was another positive effect to the reading of Breaking the Silence reports at the Knesset. Israelis by their thousands began reacting to this clearly anti-Israel stunt, especially on social media. 

Avihai Shorshan was the first to pick up the towel by creating a Facebook page called “My Truth,” in which soldiers write testimonies of how they have put their lives at risk to avoid civilian casualties and unnecessary damage to livestock and property. “Despite danger from tunnels,” read one testimony, “my soldiers took upon themselves another mission – feeding the animals people left behind. We saved from our own drinking water for the goats, sheep, roosters and rabbits.” Another recalled sparing a Hamas militant’ life, and so on. 

In contrast, Breaking the Silence brought as evidence of alleged war crimes incidents like that of a soldier who shot at a suspicious object that turned out to be a horse.

Another popular Israeli Facebook simply mocks the Breaking the Silence reports. A post titled “Feet Up!” (see photo) facetiously reports on one “crime against humanity”: “We were in an ambush when suddenly we saw a terrorist running toward us with only one shoe on his foot. Hezi immediately gave him the sandals his sister Mazal gave him after finishing boot camp and forced him to be photographed for peace in the typical posture of a left-wing activist.”

Amusing as it is, organizations like Breaking the Silence are causing considerable damage to Israel. When the group’s most recent reports began surfacing, Hamas quickly seized the opportunity to call upon the international community to investigate Israeli war crimes (for killing a horse?). Hamas also congratulated European Union leftists that, acting on Breaking the Silence reports, called for freezing financial activities in Israel. 

Nevertheless, though Jews have been forewarned that “your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you” (Isaiah 49:17), they have also been told that “Israel is not forsaken” (Jeremiah 51:5).


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