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“Breaking the Silence”
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Since the establishment of the organization of former combatants, “Breaking the Silence,” we have gathered testimonies from soldiers who served in the occupied territories. All our testimonies are available to the public, and anyone is welcome to read them. Over a month ago we published a booklet of testimonies from over 60 soldiers and officers who participated in Operation “Protective Edge.” Our commitment as an organization is both to the combatants who were sent to Gaza, and to the public that is entitled to receive an honest depiction of the IDF’s policies on the ground. As such, we have never passed our materials onto an investigative body, including the UN investigative committee that released its report on “Protective Edge” this week. As combatants and IDF officers, we are ashamed to read the UN report, which is a direct result of our extreme right-wing government’s policies – unwilling to examine its actions even for a moment. The testimonies provided to Breaking the Silence by soldiers who participated in “Protective Edge,” paint a harsh picture of the policies that led to indiscriminate firing and tremendous harm to innocent civilians. The testimonies indicate major moral policy failures on behalf of the IDF, which come from the top of the chain of command and in no sense indicate exceptional cases. Israeli military investigations are incapable of examining the government’s policies or those of high-ranking officers. As such, the soldier in the field pays the price for the execution of these unjust policies. Today we repeat our call to the Israeli government for the establishment of an external-national commission of inquiry, to investigate the open-fire policy during “Protective Edge” and the norms and values that guide this policy. Our government must stop abandoning IDF soldiers in the line of fire, both in Gaza and at the hands of international institutions.
Working with BTS and other local Palestinian and Israeli activists, Chabon and Waldman invited two dozen acclaimed writers from around the world to visit the West Bank and Gaza to share what they saw with the world.
Over the past six months we have found ourselves the targets of incessant attacks and harassment, through phone calls, e-mails, and messages threatening both us and our families. That you already know. What you probably don't know is that behind the scenes, our website has received unprecedented cyber attacks in size and scope.
mongst other topics, the testimonies shed light on the extremely close relations and strategic partnership between the IDF and the settlers. The testimonies demonstrate the way in which settlers take part in - alongside and in coordination with security forces - the enforcement of control over Palestinians.