The Impertinence of Breaking the Silence

Israelis are tired of fringe groups fueled by European money working to defame Israel in service to a political agenda

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The new viral video showing a tour of the radical Israeli group “Breaking the Silence” in Hebron has forced Israeli news outlets to deal with this organization that is causing considerable damage to Israel’s reputation. 

Breaking the Silence is a left-wing organ operating under the pretense of exposing alleged IDF atrocities in the West Bank and Gaza. This group, whose purpose is to end the “occupation,” has won the favor of European countries that today finance its activities, among which was assisting the biased 2009 and 2014 United Nations “fact-finding missions” that accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza. Last June, Israel formally complained to the Swiss government over its financing this organization.

The video published yesterday was the work of Amit Deri, an IDF reserve platoon commander who got fed up with Breaking the Silence and its subversive activity in Hebron and elsewhere. 

On his Facebook page Deri writes: “Though I thought I’d seen everything, what happened to me during my last reserve duty in Hebron managed to surprise and disappoint me.” The video shows one of the Breaking the Silence leaders, Avner Gevaryahu, telling a small group of British tourists stories detached from any context (a favorite technique among such groups) that were supposed to demonstrate how inhumane the IDF is.

One story speaks of “soldiers using machine guns hitting civilian centers in Hebron.” Responding to the question of how many were killed in this alleged attack, Breaking the Silence spokesman Yehuda Shaul couldn’t provide the name of a single Palestinian casualty from an event that purportedly happened in response to a Palestinian sniper killing Israeli infant Shalhevet Pass in 2001.

Another story speaks of irritated soldiers trying to watch an important soccer game. They “look for an apartment that has a satellite dish, blindfold the people there and watch the game. This happens whenever there is an important game on the television,” claimed the tour guide. 

Even if not regarded as trifle, when asked if such things truly happened, Deri said that during all the years he served in Hebron he never encountered anything of the sort. Qualifying himself, Deri stated candidly that “moral failures” could and have happened. But contrary to Breaking the Silence’s suggestion that such failures are deliberate policy, Deri insists that they are rare exceptions that are dealt with severely by the IDF.

Amit Deri is the latest addition to a growing number of Israelis tired of fringe organizations fueled by European money working to defame Israel in service to a political agenda rejected and resented by a majority of the nation.

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