Civil and Human Rights

Breaking the Silence Marks its 10th Anniversary

By New Israel Fund

NIF grantee Breaking the Silence marked its 10th anniversary with a public reading of testimonies from soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza. The reading took place in Tel Aviv's HaBima Square and lasted for ten hours, featuring 350 soldiers, politicians, journalists, and activists, including NIF International Council member Amos Oz and the head of the Meretz party Zehava Gal-On. Also present was Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua, who said: "The great danger to Israeli society is the danger of weariness and repression. We no longer have the energy and patience to hear about another act of injustice."

Avner Gvaryhu from Breaking the Silence said: "We were overwhelmed with the responses we got and the number of people who wish for our society to wake up." Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of the organization, added: "What we wanted to show by reading for 10 hours is that the things described in the testimonies we have collected are not exceptional, rather they are unexceptional." Hundreds of people attended the event.

Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the occupied territories. Since its founding, Breaking the Silence has collected and publicized 950 testimonies and continues to teach about the human toll of the occupation inside and outside Israel despite constant criticism from Israeli officials who oppose its mission.

The testimonies are available in English here.