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Ed Webb

Why Breaking the Silence is prime target for Israeli right - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of t... - 0 views

  • only the activists of one organization, Breaking the Silence, have the dubious honor of being labeled “traitors.” That organization, which has documented and published testimony by military veterans about human rights violations in the territories since 2004, draws more fire than all the other organizations put together.
  • There are those who explain that the reason this group of former soldiers has become the punching bag of the country stems from the fact that it is no longer limiting itself to activity within Israel’s borders. Not only does it publish reports in Hebrew, it translates them into English, gets funding from foreign organizations and individuals, and appears before foreign parliaments. To put it bluntly, many believe that dirty laundry should be washed at home. Not in the foreign media, not in the offices of the European Union in Brussels and not in testimony before an investigative panel of the UN Human Rights Committee. By the same logic, even if the average Israeli concedes that the occupation is a pollutant, he must put up with the smell. A good Israeli must shut the windows and keep the stench at home.
  • Unlike Netanyahu, Breaking the Silence is careful to publish information only after clearing it with military censors. Details that the censor bans from publication or those that are not verified do not see the light of day. The organization made it clear that the censor’s office had approved the publication of most of the testimony recorded by Ad Kan activists and aired on a Channel 2 television investigative report. It was this report that initially claimed that Breaking the Silence was gathering classified operational information unrelated to soldiers’ testimony about human rights violations.
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  • Breaking the Silence is being picked on for cynical political reasons. For Israeli Jews, there is no cow more sacred than the IDF. A clear majority, including this writer, served, are serving or will serve in the armed forces, just like their parents, children and even their grandchildren. When Defense Minister Lt. Gen.  (res.) Moshe Ya'alon declares that the members of Breaking the Silence are traitors, he means that they betrayed all Israelis. This is not an argument about occupation, ethics or Israel’s international standing. It's about our lives. Ya'alon was the commander-in-chief of the military, a respected authority on the matter.
  • The tacit conventional wisdom since the start of the so-called “knife intifada” is based on Talmudic teachings: “If a man comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first.” Or in common parlance, neutralize him first. Israeli politicians have called for people to do just this when confronted with a possible terrorist. There are even Jews who have already ascribed a broad interpretation to this order. Anyone coming to kill you, in their interpretation, may be a Jew willing to hand over territory to non-Jews. Assassin Yigal Amir, for instance, shot Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after rabbis and politicians incited against him and his peace policy. Netanyahu himself took part in a demonstration at which a Rabin cutout dressed in a Nazi SS uniform was held aloft. Today, in his dressing down of the organization, he is dressing Breaking the Silence in the uniform of a kapo.
  • “Patriots” who beat up Palestinians for kicks on city streets and set a bilingual school on fire have already started sending threats to Breaking the Silence activists and their families, including their elderly grandparents. If, God forbid, anyone is hurt, Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid will rush to issue “sharp condemnations” of the criminals. They will surely not forget to attack those spreading incitement, but they might forget or ignore their own past contributions.
Ed Webb

Racist graffiti sprayed at mixed Jewish-Arab village in central Israel - Haaretz Daily ... - 0 views

  • Graffiti was found overnight on Friday, at the Jewish-Arab village Neve Shalom, near Latrun. On Friday morning, residents discovered that the tires of roughly 14 cars had their tires punctured, and three were vandalized with graffiti such as “death to arabs,” “revenge,” “Kahana was right,” “regards from Havat Gilad,” and “Ulpana neighborhood.”  “It is an act of racism targeting our community. They did it so that the children would see it when they arrive in the morning,”
  • vandalism as “an attack on the idea of coexistence, the political idea on which the village was founded. It’s part of the general phenomenon of ‘price tag,’ aimed at anyone who doesn’t agree
  • Over the last few months, graffiti has been sprayed numerous times on the walls of the bilingual school in Jerusalem’s Beit Beit Tzafafa neighborhood.  Phrases such as “death to Arabs” and “Kahana was right,” were sprayed on one of the outer walls of the schoolyard. Graffiti and punctured tires have also been found sprayed on the wall of the Greek Monastery in Jerusalem’s Emek Hamatzleva. Jerusalem police investigated both incidents, though no arrests were made
Ed Webb

Settlers blamed for mosque blaze - Middle East - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

  • Avital Leibovitch, a spokeswoman for Israel's military, said Israeli authorities will bring the guilty parties to justice. "The Israeli police ... have opened a very widespread investigation; the other security forces in Israel will be a part of [it], as well as Palestinian information that has some contribution to this investigation," she told Al Jazeera. "We see this incident in a very severe manner. We will do the utmost to find these lawbreakers and bring them to court."
  • Much of the talk here is [calling this a] religious type of attack rather than a politically motivated one.
  • "A mosque was burned in the West Bank earlier this year by settlers who say it was on their land - land that they claim and occupy. "There is certainly a pattern here. There will be a settler demonstration north of the West Bank today which is also linked to a mosque that the settlers want destroyed."
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    Much of the talk here is [calling this a] religious type of attack rather than a politically motivated one
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