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“Breaking the Silence”
Account number 340219, Branch 608 at Hapoalim Bank
SWIFT: POALILIT, Arlozorov, Tel Aviv
US/UK tax deductible donations can be made through our account at Israel Gives (U.S. and U.K. Tax Deductible).
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.
We're back! And wow, what a journey we had... Throughout the month of October, Breaking the Silence members toured the U.S. on a speaking tour with J Street U, visiting eight cities and speaking with over 1,400 people; 800 of them were university and college students who we met on 17 different campuses and Hillel International centers, and 600 of them in synagogues, vibrant Jewish community centers and private homes across the country. We want to extend a special thank you to our partners in the anti-occupation movement who not only made this speaking tour possible, but who also contributed to its success in changing hearts and minds. Thank you for giving us the platform to shed light on the daily injustices that characterize the military control that we took part in; the random checkpoints and night raids, the home demolitions and enforcing of curfew, the separation of roads and violent dispersal of demonstrations. Thanks to our partnerships, more American Jews learned about the ongoing occupation through the voices of soldiers who broke their silence about their experiences from the West Bank and Gaza and their role in maintaining it. We must stand together against racism and bigotry of all sorts, especially when they’re in our midst and under our guard. We must resist the occupation together. We're here, breaking the silence, until the occupation ends! J Street, New Israel Fund, IKAR, The Kitchen Temple Sholom of Chicago, KAM Isaiah Israel, MaTovu, T'ruah IfNotNow
Achvat Amim is a partner organization of ours and they are looking for a great group of motivated, curious, and open-hearted people to join the grassroots movement of Israelis and Palestinians working for peace and justice. Applications for the February 2019 cohort of Achvat Amim are closing soon! Spread the word everywhere! Check out the video here and apply today at www.achvatamim.org/application-form.html
We are horrified and angry by the news of the shooting incident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where members of "Etz Chayim" synagogue were shot to death, and many more were injured. We mourn the loss of lives with our brothers and sisters of the Pittsburgh Jewish community, and the city of Pittsburgh at large.