The iniquitous report of ‘Breaking the Silence,’ that featured Israeli soldiers admitting crimes in Gaza, has been receiving widespread media coverage in the foreign press as if it was some startlingly honest and factual document. Of course! We are used to Israel bashing in the media – up to a point!
I am certain that the amateur and deceitful BtS report will be publicly amplified further by Israel’s enemies abroad who will, doubtless, invite BtS people to parade their dreadful nonsense around campus’s and halls as if it were some gospel direct from the Holy Land.
Journalist, Matti Friedman, divulged that the Israeli-based left-wing BtS fringe group did not even produce their report and video in Hebrew for local consumption, but in English for their European paymasters.
I, like so many Israelis, look on ‘Breaking the Silence’ as dishonest informers who will sell out Israel for a buck and a fleeting moment of fame.
Their report is dishonest both in how it was obtained and in the inaccuracy of its findings. They failed to offer their ‘evidence’ to the IDF who have been carrying out a thorough and detailed post-operation investigation of the 2014 Gaza conflict.
Unlike ‘Breaking the Silence,’ the IDF transparency is proven by the fact that they are conducting their examinations under the scrutiny of military and legal professionals, including those from overseas armies as evidenced by a document I read entitled ‘Israeli Targeting; A Legal Appraisal.’
This is a professional and authoritative report. The BtS report is neither.
This excerpt take from the document, written by US Army military legal experts on IDF’s performance in the 2014 Gaza conflict stated, “Israel’s positions on targeting law are consistent with mainstream contemporary State practice. While some of them may be controversial, they are generally reasonable and in great part closely aligned with those of the United States. In the few cases where Israeli practices and positions diverge from those of the United States (or the authors), they nonetheless remain within the bounds of the broader contours of the Laws of Armed Conflict.”
Coincidentally, the issue of these laws and the ethics of armed conflict were openly discussed by military and legal experts at the Shurat HaDin Conference on ‘New Laws for New Wars’ in Jerusalem, which is further proof of the transparency of the IDF to open itself up to scrutiny.
In this light, and in light of the robust liberal democracy that is Israel, it is preposterous for ‘Breaking the Silence’ to claim that they had to hide the identity of the soldiers for fear of reprisals.
Further enhancement on the IDF ethics in armed conflict displayed by our brave young men and women was given by Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, who participated in the Jerusalem conference and was in Israel when the BtS report broke.
I can personally vouch that Kemp was in Israel throughout last year’s Gaza fighting. He conducted daily briefings not only with officers but also with the regular soldiers as they emerged from the battlefield. He debriefed both and reported on their exemplary conduct which compared, in his professional opinion, very favorably with his British soldiers in similar battle conditions. Unlike BtS, he took into account the complexities of urban warfare.
On the ‘Breaking the Silence’ video which is replete with inflammatory expressions such as Israel causing ‘deliberate mass destruction’ and conducting ‘indiscriminate fire’ one unidentified person is seen saying that he could fire his tank where ever he wanted and whoever he wanted. The ignorant, or the malevolent, may choose to believe this nonsense but anyone who does doesn’t know battlefield conditions in warfare. A tank is not a one-man machine. There is a crew of young men bonded together with the discipline and experience of training. The tank crew is usually in a convoy accompanied by foot soldiers, engineers, and other personnel under the command of field officers and under the close scrutiny of the command and control center.
If you listen to or read the BtS report you imagine that Gaza, for Israeli soldiers, was some sort of Rambo-style computer game. However, ignorant people with a hate for Israel will take it up and run with it. They will call it ‘evidence’ and ‘proof’ against Israel and convert this nonsense into ‘war crimes.’ This, for the European paymasters, will justify the pay check to ‘Breaking the Silence.’
When I hear of Jews taking money to snitch on fellow Jews it reminds me of the kappos in the service of the Nazis.
“Breaking the Silence’ is a nasty little left-wing group that get their moment of notoriety and gelt for being deceitful informers. They are not even honest informers as their method of information gathering and reporting is dubious and unprofessional at best, and deceitful and malevolent at worst. Neither are they accurate. They are unable to cross reference or document any context and background in which battles were fought. Neither will they hand over their documentation to the IDF. They do not do this because this is not their mission. Their mission is to serve their anti-Israel European taskmasters. They receive their money conditional on dishing up specific numbers of complaints and ‘evidence’ of ‘crimes’ perpetrated by the Jewish state.
In other words, they have sold their sold to the devil, and the devil owns them.
This is clear because, as so-called ‘former IDF officers and soldiers’ their first loyalty should be to the State of Israel and the IDF, and not to some anti-Israel foreign entity.
This report shows how low ‘Breaking the Silence’ has sunk – not that they had any respectable standing in Israel. They are despised in Israel people on the left and the right, including those brave young men and women who put their lives on the line to protect them and us.
Sadly, BtS have other NGOs abroad who will eagerly amplify their inaccurate message. NGOs such as UK’s ‘Yachad’ will pounce on anything that BtS produce and invite them on speaking tours of Britain to enhance their lies. They will also be warmly welcomed by BDS radicals.
Pity I didn’t feature them in my new book ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism’ because this is yet another ugly stain of Jew hatred.
Who said you can’t be Jewish and an anti-Semite? With our ingenuity, we even do this better than the goyim.
Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.’
He is also the Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College in Israel.