The Farce that is ‘Breaking the Silence’

‘Breaking the Silence’ have always manipulated people’s ignorance and played on their prejudices while distorting realities. Now proven to have lied, they have no credibility.

Israeli-Arab confrontation. There is no "silence" (photo-Hadas Parush Flash 90)

 “A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies” – Alfred Tennyson

Half truths, deceptions and lies are the commodities peddled by the organization called “Breaking the Silence”, an Israeli NGO created in order to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories” as they proclaim.

The deceptions begin with the very name of the organization. A name intended to create an impression that there is some code of silence in Israel, insinuating that the Jews are hiding some sinister secret.

Israel is a vibrant, open, democratic society, with a very free and aggressive press. It is covered extensively by one of the largest foreign press corps in the world. More than that, it is a small country where nearly everyone serves in the IDF. No real secrets can be kept for very long. When there is a violation of moral conduct in this country, it is addressed and debated openly. There is therefore, no “silence” which they need to “break”.

They lie when proclaiming that their main effort is to expose Israelis to realities. They spend little effort to bring their evidence before Israelis. The organization, which receives millions from European governments, spends most of its effort defaming Israel abroad instead.

This lie was created not for the repairing of Israeli society but rather, for the cleansing of Europe’s collective guilty conscience over its treatment of Jews. By exposing supposed flaws of Israeli society, the Europeans can claim moral high ground. The incessant dwelling on Israel and its conduct alone, reeks of more than being disingenuous. The double standard is hypocritical and discriminatory.

The darkest of their lies though, are the half truths. While abusing people’s unfamiliarity of events and of the law, they employ the dirtiest of tricks in the book. They take things out of context; knowingly create the false impression of atrocities where there are none; selectively apply standards which are held by no one else under similar circumstances; and most importantly, provide no verifiable evidence to support accusations of misconduct.

The State of Israel and its armed forces are in no way perfect. No country or military is. To expect that only of Israel is prejudiced.

No country has encountered the level and intensity of threat which Israel has and still does. All throughout history nations, when in crisis, considered options, evaluated situations and even sacrificed principles. The choices were not always the right ones. This is especially true on the battlefield, when dealing with split second life or death decisions. Sometimes there are no good choices.

Are there deviations by soldiers from expected norms and laws? Of course there are. We are talking about human beings after all. Again, this is true for every country. A country though is judged on how it handles the deviations and what mechanisms it employs to address such misconduct. In this aspect, Israel’s record does not fall from that of any of the other western democracies that uphold such standards.

What Breaking the Silence does is most often present anonymous testimonies. These are in fact indictments, where Israel and its citizens stand accused without due process and without a possibility to defend themselves before a kangaroo court of public opinion. This is done to no other country.

The fault with the testimonies, which are eagerly gathered by the organization and presented with earnest in foreign countries, is that they lack circumstance and are usually unsubstantiated. These testimonies cannot be verified or investigated. Most of all, they are simply bland. No atrocities or cover ups have ever been exposed. What they dramatically present are inappropriate conduct at most, abuses at worse.

The information presented by Breaking the Silence has nothing out of the ordinary or that has not been experienced by other armies. They present deviations from norms. The State of Israel is equipped and willing to address these. Except, Breaking the Silence, which waves the flag of virtue, refuses to cooperate.

What we have here is no more than a foreign-funded, self righteous Israeli organization that engages in the singling out of Israel for international condemnation, while manipulating people’s ignorance and playing off of their prejudices through the use of innuendo and insinuation.  The tactics of the organization are no more than tools in the service of the anti-Semitic canard.

If anyone is guilty of anything, it is Breaking the Silence. They are the culprits in the vilification of the Jewish nation. The Nazis themselves could not have been prouder.

If all of this is not enough, then it is important to know that all the requests of the proper authorities in Israel, those whose responsibility in any western country it is to investigate misconduct and suspicion of criminal behavior, The Military Advocate General and the Ministry of Justice, have been denied by the organization. Except one. A recent investigation into claims made by the spokesman of the organization.

His statements of supposed brutality were publicly challenged by members of his unit. The accusation included his self-recriminatory claim that he was involved in the beating of an Arab prisoner. The investigation that ensued found no corroborating evidence, while even the supposed Arab victim himself testified he had not been beaten.

This has not been the only case in which claims leveled by the organization have been refuted. If not out right lying, as in the recent case, anytime a specific accusation is made and where details regarding the particulars are provided, Breaking the Silence are exposed as those who have twisted the truth to benefit their cause.

What is revealed is never a cover up by Israeli authorities or illegal orders given by commanders. Usually it is the members of the organization themselves whose conduct was in violation of IDF codes, or who never spoke up at the time and informed commanders of deviations of conduct so that it can be stopped.

The verifiable testimonies of Breaking the Silence range from distorted to false. In the last incident there is also a stamp of the prosecutor’s office on the subject and not just testimonies of other soldiers or conflicting stories.

How much more evidence is needed for the Europeans to understand that Breaking the Silence is a farce and stop supporting this false enterprise? Supporting human rights is noble. Wanting to help the Palestinians is acceptable. Supporting lies and distortions is not.

Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko said – “When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.” The truth in Israel’s case has been replaced with the lies of Breaking the Silence.


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