Israel approves law to criminalize criticism of the Israeli Army

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An Israeli soldier fires on Palestinian demonstrators during a protest against Jewish settlement near Tubas, in the occupied West Bank. (photo: Reuters)

“The only way to stop us is to end the occupation,” said the group being targeted, Breaking the Silence.

By Telesur | Feb 27, 2018


The bill is just one among many recently passed by the Israeli Knesset to crush dissent. In November, lawmakers introduced a bill to criminalize those that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.


The Israeli Knesset approved the first reading of a bill that would prohibit organizations from being critical of the Israeli Army Monday.

The bill, which passed by 35-23 votes, was proposed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Bennett is the chairman of the right-wing Jewish Home party, a party seeking to criminalize any criticisms of the Israeli occupation.

The principal target of the bill is the group Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israelis who expose the brutal nature of the occupation.

Continue reading “Israel approves law to criminalize criticism of the Israeli Army”

Reading: Even in Victory (Tomorrow)

myths-facts_orig

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for this important event.

This staged reading by Palestine Up-Close explores the points of view held by “wounded warriors” who were soldiers for the Israeli Defense Forces in Palestine. We discover their struggles as they push for a way to come to terms with their own actions.

Date: Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
Time: 10:10 – 10:50 am
Location: Bloedel Hall
St. Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA  98102
Information: Event website
Admission: Free

Event Details

Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israeli military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

In this series, we see how people pushed to bring about a safe country for the Jewish people, and how today others are still push- ing for safety and change. Do our efforts for change lead to peace and justice . . . or not?

More information here →

Reading: Even in Victory (Sunday)

myths-facts_orig

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for this important event.

This staged reading by Palestine Up-Close explores the points of view held by “wounded warriors” who were soldiers for the Israeli Defense Forces in Palestine. We discover their struggles as they push for a way to come to terms with their own actions.

Date: Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
Time: 10:10 – 10:50 am
Location: Bloedel Hall
St. Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA  98102
Information: Event website
Admission: Free

Event Details

Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israeli military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

In this series, we see how people pushed to bring about a safe country for the Jewish people, and how today others are still push- ing for safety and change. Do our efforts for change lead to peace and justice . . . or not?

More information here →

Reading: Even in Victory

myths-facts_orig

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for this important event.

This staged reading by Palestine Up-Close explores the points of view held by “wounded warriors” who were soldiers for the Israeli Defense Forces in Palestine. We discover their struggles as they push for a way to come to terms with their own actions.

Date: Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
Time: 10:10 – 10:50 am
Location: Bloedel Hall
St. Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA  98102
Information: Event website
Admission: Free

Event Details

Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israeli military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

In this series, we see how people pushed to bring about a safe country for the Jewish people, and how today others are still push- ing for safety and change. Do our efforts for change lead to peace and justice . . . or not?

More information here →

“It’s What We Do: A Play About the Occupation”

The play, adapted from the testimony of Israeli soldiers, was recently produced in Washington, DC.

By Pam Bailey | Mondoweiss | Feb 6, 2018


This oppression is destructive for everyone: Palestinian civilians obviously suffer daily, and the Israeli soldiers — who are told “your mission is to disrupt lives” — are forced to stop thinking and do what they are ordered to do, even when the must carry out actions that are inhumane. This is called “mind occupation,” and I’m glad that some soldiers have managed to free their minds and break the silence.


This video is a production called “It’s What We Do: A Play About the Occupation,” produced and directed by Pam Nice, a member of the Washington, DC, chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Although it is a drama, the dialogue of the soldiers is adapted from the actual testimonies of Israeli soldiers from Breaking the Silence, whose vivid memories continue to haunt them. The target audience is Jewish viewers. But several We Are Not Numbers writers, who have been “targets” of Israeli soldiers, watched the video, curious to see how far the the soldiers were willing to go in their confessions. It was difficult for many of them to watch, and their reactions varied. But they all agreed the video should be required viewing for people everywhere.

Continue reading ““It’s What We Do: A Play About the Occupation””

Reading: Even in Victory

myths-facts_orig

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for this important event.

This staged reading by Palestine Up-Close explores the points of view held by “wounded warriors” who were soldiers for the Israeli Defense Forces in Palestine. We discover their struggles as they push for a way to come to terms with their own actions.

Date: Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
Time: 10:10 – 10:50 am
Location: Bloedel Hall
St. Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA  98102
Information: Event website
Admission: Free

Event Details

Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israeli military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

In this series, we see how people pushed to bring about a safe country for the Jewish people, and how today others are still push- ing for safety and change. Do our efforts for change lead to peace and justice . . . or not?

More information here →

As long as occupation exists, soldiers will continue to speak out

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Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers in Al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, Dec 31, 2017. (photo: Wisam Hashlamoun / Flash90)

We must make our voices heard sharply and clearly — speaking out is not merely an option, it is a moral duty.

By Avner Gvaryahu | +972 Blog | Jan 26, 2018


It [is] important to remind the Israeli public why soldiers continue to break their silence. After all, the central reason for breaking the silence is the occupation. As long as there is an occupation, there will be those who choose to expose what the government is trying so hard to hide.


Like many who served alongside me, I preferred to remain silent. I preferred to forget, not to speak about the Palestinian homes I broke into in the middle of the night, forgetting the violence I carried out at checkpoints and the passivity required of me when settlers freely broke the law. When I was released from the army, I preferred to repress those three years, to put them behind me.

Only after I joined a Breaking the Silence tour to the South Hebron Hills did my eyes open. Only then, I chose to speak. That is how I learned that I wasn’t alone. I learned there are others like me — soldiers who see the situation the same way and choose to take responsibility and change the way they and their society, our society, talk about the occupation.

Continue reading “As long as occupation exists, soldiers will continue to speak out”

German Foreign Minister Calls Netanyahu’s Bluff

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German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel (left) with Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin, in Jerusalem on April 25, 2017. (photo: Sebastian Scheiner / AP)

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel will learn far more from his meetings with B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence than from meeting with Netanyahu.

By Dahlia Scheindlin / +972 Magazine
April 25, 2017


“You never get the full picture of any state in the world if you just meet with figures in government ministries.”


Given an ultimatum of meeting with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem or meeting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel very simply made the right choice to forego Netanyahu. And not in order to “defy” Netanyahu, as per a breathless Bloomberg headline, or to give any message at all.

He was right simply because what would he have actually learned from Netanyahu? Those organizations will give Gabriel concrete information: B’Tselem will update him on developments regarding the 50-year-old occupation and its most current manifestations, in the form of data, documentation and analysis. Breaking the Silence will give him human experiences of occupation, and tell the truth about growing attempts to intimidate and suppress the group for daring to oppose Israeli policies. Continue reading “German Foreign Minister Calls Netanyahu’s Bluff”