File photo shows Palestinian women and a girl scuffle with an Israeli soldier trying to arrest a 12-year-old boy during a protest near the West Bank village of Nebi Saleh. Former Israeli combat soldiers who were thrust into the center of a diplomatic row between Israel and Germany, say the sudden international spotlight has given them a bigger platform to speak out against Israel’s 50-year occupation of Palestinians. (AP)

TEL AVIV, Israel, May 7, (Agencies): Former Israeli combat soldiers who were thrust into the center of a recent diplomatic row between Israel and Germany, say the sudden international spotlight has given them a bigger stage to speak out against Israel’s 50-year rule over millions of Palestinians.

Breaking the Silence is a group of ex-soldiers-turned-whistleblowers who view Israel’s open-ended occupation of lands sought for a Palestinian state as an existential threat to their country. Since 2004, the group has collected testimony from more than 1,100 fellow soldiers who describe the dark side of that rule, including seemingly routine mistreatment of Palestinian civilians stripped of basic rights.

The veterans hope such accounts by former fighters will carry weight and spark public debate about the moral price of the occupation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top officials in his nationalist government have a starkly different view. They have branded Breaking the Silence as foreign-funded subversives who are trying to defame Israel and its military.

Shunning
Two weeks ago, he said he would not receive German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel if the visitor stuck to plans to meet with Breaking the Silence. Gabriel chose the soldiers instead. Netanyahu, who also serves as foreign minister, said that shunning visitors who meet with Breaking the Silence is now official policy. The fallout continues this week. The dispute has cast a shadow over what would otherwise have been a routine Israel visit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Yehuda Shaul, a co-founder of Breaking the Silence, said the recent attention has been a mixed blessing.

The focus on the diplomatic dust-up “diverts a lot of attention from the real issue, what goes on in the occupied territories,” he said in an interview at the group’s office, tucked away in an old walk-up in a grubby industrial area of Tel Aviv. Israelis have been bitterly divided over what to do with the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands they captured in June 1967. Israel annexed east Jerusalem immediately after the war and retains overall control over the West Bank, with enclaves of Palestinian self-rule. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and has enforced a border blockade of the territory since it was seized by the Islamic militant Hamas two years later.

Many Israelis support the idea of Palestinian statehood in principle, but believe it’s not safe to cede war-won territories now. Fears were stoked by three Israel-Hamas wars since 2008 and an escalation of regional conflicts. Meanwhile, partition is increasingly difficult, with 600,000 Israelis already living on occupied lands and settlements expanding steadily. Netanyahu has said he is willing to resume partition talks with the Palestinians, but gaps remain wide.

A majority of his Cabinet ministers oppose a two-state solution and some even call for annexing parts of the West Bank, raising fears among some Israelis that their rule over disenfranchised Palestinians will become permanent. Shaul said he and his comrades are the true patriots, not those clinging to occupied territories. The beginnings of Breaking the Silence go back to Hebron, the West Bank’s largest Palestinian city, where hundreds of troops guard roughly the same number of Jewish settlers in an Israeli-controlled center partly off limits to Palestinians.

Anonymous
More than 100 soldiers have gone on the record, while the rest remain anonymous, for fear of repercussions, but are known to the group’s researchers who check their stories, Shaul said. The research department was able to flag four false testimonies by rightwing activists trying to undermine the group’s credibility, he said. All material is submitted to the military censor before publication to avoid inadvertent harm to Israel’s security, he added. Critics allege that the group is hiding behind anonymous testimony to smear Israel soldiers and help Israel’s enemies press future war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court.

They say the group, which does not call for a boycott of Israel, nonetheless feeds into what many Israelis believe is a global trend of unfairly singling out and delegitimizing Israel. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely recently said her office is urging European countries to stop funding what she called “anti-Israel organizations,” including Breaking the Silence.

“We will ask our friends in the world to respect this red line and to stop contributing to this organization,” she said. Some of the group’s defenders in Israel said they believe it and other anti- occupation organizations are being targeted in an escalating government assault on Israel’s civil society.

 

Comments (0)

Cancel or

PIK Search

Hadees e Nabvi

3.png

Currency Rate

/images/banners/muzainirate.jpg

 

As of Sat, 24 Jun 2017 01:27:30 GMT

1000 PKR = 2.909 KWD
1 KWD = 343.808 PKR

Al Muzaini Exchange Company

Follow us


Join our Official Group Discussion

Click to Enter in the Group

PAK RISHTA Matrimonial Facilitator

Find your life partner from your own community in Kuwait A noble service for Pakistanis living in Kuwait. 100% privacy guaranteed, Contact: Abu Abdullah. 99720238 or Click to submit Details 

Advertisements

PIK News

PIK News is the best for news reader, Daily latest news, Weather of Kuwait, News Links, News widgets and RSS that automatically updates news all day long. Click to Read

PIK Cricket

Watch Live Cricket Match, Fastest Live Cricket scorecard, Statistics, Match Analysis With 24x7 Online Coverage of Cricket. Watch Now

 

PIK Book

We are introducing PIK Book

This book has been compiled to recognize the efforts of those Pakistanis who have dedicated themselves for the welfare of Pakistani community in Kuwait.

This is the first ever effort of its kind, a landmark event in the history of Pakistani community in Kuwait.

 

Contact: +965 - 99520998

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

PIK Fashion

PIK Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear or accessories. View Collection

PIK Gallery

PIK Gallery is almost the best online photo management system. Show off your favorite collection to the world, it’s free and easy to upload. View Collection

Sci & Tech Slide

Japanese suppliers weather electronics storm better than name brands

Japanese suppliers weather electronics storm better than name brands

Makuhari - Japan's flagship consumer technology brands have had a rough few years with their...

Inspect-a-gadget: Samsung Galaxy S4

Inspect-a-gadget: Samsung Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the Korean brand’s most powerful device yet. It boasts specs that would...

Apple, Samsung trade barbs as $2bn patent trial opens

Apple, Samsung trade barbs as $2bn patent trial opens

SAN JOSE (United States): Lawyers for Apple and Samsung exchanged barbs as a major new patent...

‘Pokemon Go’ sends people into a frenzy – Gamers ‘escape’ reality and indulge into virtual world, professor warns

‘Pokemon Go’ sends people into a frenzy – Gamers ‘escape’ reality and indulge into virtual world, professor warns

KUWAIT: Where is the Pokemon? Where is it hiding? How can I catch it? These are questions that...

India, Pakistan agree: Emotional Google ad a hit

India, Pakistan agree: Emotional Google ad a hit

MUMBAI: An emotional advertisement for Google's search engine has become a hit in India and...

Lawsuit accuses IBM of hiding China risks amid NSA spy scandal

Lawsuit accuses IBM of hiding China risks amid NSA spy scandal

NEW YORK: IBM Corp has been sued by a shareholder who accused it of concealing how its ties to...

How to learn like a memory champion

How to learn like a memory champion

For most of his 20s, Ed Cooke had been hovering around the top 10 of the World Memory...

سیب کا استعمال فالج کیلئے مفید

سیب کا استعمال فالج کیلئے مفید

لندن: امراض قلب اور فالج کو ہو دور بھگانا تو ایک سیب ہے روزانہ کھانا، جی ہاں یہ نعرہ ایک نئی طبی...

Archaeologists use drones in Peru to map and protect sites

Archaeologists use drones in Peru to map and protect sites

In Peru, home to the spectacular Inca city of Machu Picchu and thousands of ancient ruins,...

The Baffling Simplicity of Black Holes

The Baffling Simplicity of Black Holes

I’ve had black holes on the brain lately.* There’s been a flurry of related research announced...

  • Japanese suppliers weather electronics storm better than name brands

    Japanese suppliers weather electronics storm better than name brands

    Wednesday, 02 October 2013 01:27
  • Inspect-a-gadget: Samsung Galaxy S4

    Inspect-a-gadget: Samsung Galaxy S4

    Tuesday, 03 September 2013 17:58
  • Apple, Samsung trade barbs as $2bn patent trial opens

    Apple, Samsung trade barbs as $2bn patent trial opens

    Thursday, 03 April 2014 17:19
  • ‘Pokemon Go’ sends people into a frenzy – Gamers ‘escape’ reality and indulge into virtual world, professor warns

    ‘Pokemon Go’ sends people into a frenzy – Gamers ‘escape’ reality and indulge into virtual world,...

    Thursday, 21 July 2016 11:39
  • India, Pakistan agree: Emotional Google ad a hit

    India, Pakistan agree: Emotional Google ad a hit

    Sunday, 17 November 2013 17:35
  • Lawsuit accuses IBM of hiding China risks amid NSA spy scandal

    Lawsuit accuses IBM of hiding China risks amid NSA spy scandal

    Friday, 13 December 2013 20:46
  • How to learn like a memory champion

    How to learn like a memory champion

    Thursday, 31 July 2014 20:59
  • سیب کا استعمال فالج کیلئے مفید

    سیب کا استعمال فالج کیلئے مفید

    Thursday, 19 December 2013 13:39
  • Archaeologists use drones in Peru to map and protect sites

    Archaeologists use drones in Peru to map and protect sites

    Wednesday, 28 August 2013 13:00
  • The Baffling Simplicity of Black Holes

    The Baffling Simplicity of Black Holes

    Tuesday, 20 August 2013 13:42
Go to top