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“Breaking the Silence”
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Join us for a public reading of testimonies from soldiers who served in Gaza.
Friday, 25.05.18 | Habima Square, Tel Aviv | 11:00
We, soldiers sent to the Gaza Strip to carry out violent rounds of combat, implement the IDF’s open fire regulations, and partake in the devastating destruction of the lives and property of millions of people, state loud and clear: demonstrations must not be dispersed with live fire.
On Monday, May 14, new red lines were crossed in Israel. The unconscionable killing of unarmed demonstrators along the separation barrier with Gaza will be disgracefully immortalized in history books on Israel and its over 50-year-long regime of occupation.
Lethal fire must be the last resort after all other means have been exhausted. The 60 and counting civilians killed, join the dozens of unarmed Gazans who have already been shot dead by IDF fire since demonstrations began in Gaza at the end of March. This inconceivable number attests to a distorted lenient open fire policy, proving yet again that as far as the State of Israel is concerned, Palestinian blood – and especially Gazan blood – is worthless.
Testimonies from dozens of soldiers who served in the Gaza Strip in the recent rounds of violence indicate a grave but clear picture – this is not mistaken misconduct, but rather a systematic open fire policy. The IDF’s attempts to retroactively incriminate demonstrators by deeming them Hamas activists, will not change the intolerable ease with which it fired at dozens of unarmed people, who were neither on lists of wanted persons, nor were they intelligence targets, and most of them didn’t seem to be endangering lives.
When Israel fights in Gaza, it is not combatting an enemy state, but rather subjects living under its military rule. When the IDF fires, it does not stand on the border between two sovereign states, but rather on the barrier that separates the State of Israel from the territories it occupies. There are millions of people living under the Israeli occupation in Gaza. Our control of the Gaza Strip may look different from our rule over the West Bank, but it is equally destructive and violent, and must be brought to an end. The grave incidents that have been taking place in Gaza over the past few weeks must be seen in the light of the long-lasting occupation, which has been eroding our souls, dulling our senses, and stripping us of our most basic moral and human values.
It is impossible to rule over another nation without using violence and harming innocent people. Our right to security does not justify the bloodshed of thousands of demonstrators who have been shot with live ammunition, and we refuse to remain silent when the government’s only solution is to send us to Gaza time and again, for further violence and occupation.
Now is the time to break the silence on the military control of the Gaza Strip. Join us on Friday, May 25, as soldiers, artists, public figures, politicians, activists, and more, read testimonies from soldiers who served in and around the Gaza Strip, and decided to break the silence. Our right to security does not permit the bloodshed of thousands of demonstrators shot with live ammunition. We refuse to remain silent as the government continues to send us to Gaza, time and again, for more violence and occupation. For more information>> https://www.facebook.com/events/212695596178758/
A full-page ad that we published this morning in Israel’s most widely read newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth. The reckless killing of 58 Gazans is the outcome of the ongoing occupation, indicating this country’s loss of moral leadership. As soldiers who served there, it’s clear to us: demonstrations must not be dispersed with live ammunition.
Bibi, Bennet,and Shaked – the blood will be on your hands. During our lecture for students at Tel-Hai College, a group of unruly right-wing bullies arrived at the campus in attempt to prevent us from speaking about our military service in the occupied territories. After calling us and other participants “Nazis” and “traitors," they were thrown off the campus. But the violence didn't end there. Things got so out of hand, that the police didn’t let anyone out of the classroom for over an hour, while Bibi’s bullies blocked the entire junction outside the school in order to “find the lefties.” All this time the police stood idly by while bullies stopped cars and attempted to forcefully break in, threatened the lives of students, and physically attacked them. Following our insistence that the incident be addressed, the police have investigated some of the attackers whom we hope will be charged. But if the police investigate deeply enough, they'll discover that the violence didn't start with those bullies, but rather in the halls of the government. So Bibi, Bennet, and Shaked – save the conciliatory speeches that you’ll read in trembling voices after an activist gets murdered here. Take responsibility now and stop inciting to protect the occupation. Read and learn: your violence will not stop us. Only ending the occupation will.