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June 6, 2014

Provocation during Breaking the Silence’s 10-year anniversary event

Tamir Yacobi, a member of the radical right-wing organization “The Shomron Residents’ Committee”, is the person who got on stage to launch a provocation during an event marking the 10-year anniversary of Breaking the Silence (BtS), and 47 years of occupation, in June 2014.

Yacobi is a known activist of “The Shomron Residents’ Committee” (that, among other things, is behind the campaign that called for the separation of Jews and Palestinians on buses in the West Bank). Two weeks before BtS’s event, Yakobi disrupted another demonstration during which IDF reservists protested against settler violence towards soldiers. Some BtS activists, who still serve as reservists, attended the protest. During that event, too, Yakobi attempted to orchestrate a provocation: http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/276438.

The event that marked BtS’s 10th anniversary was carefully planned months in advance. The purpose was not to provide an open forum for the public to speak, but rather to read excerpts from testimonies that BtS has been collecting for the past 10 years for 10 consecutive hours. In accordance with a precise and previously designated order, 300 public figures, civilians, and soldiers, invited by BtS, got on stage one after the other to read our testimonies. The event had been coordinated with the Israeli police under the assurance that all the speakers invited to the event were figures known to BtS. Obviously, Yacobi had not been invited to the event. However, he managed to lie to three BtS activists, find his way to the stage and launch a provocation aimed at undermining the event. As soon as he got on stage, BtS activists recognized Yacobi as the person who interrupted the reservists’ demonstration two weeks before. He was asked to get off stage a number of times, but refused to do so.  He was eventually forced to leave the stage by security guards that had been hired for the occasion in order to avoid, among other thing, such incidents.

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