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August 28, 2016 / 24 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Breaking the Silence’

Ben-Gurion University Sponsoring ‘Breaking the Silence’ Event (Updated)

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Note to the reader: The following story was sent to us today by our friends at Im Tirtzu. Later in the day we received an irate email from Ehud Zion-Waldoks who does Media Relations for BGU. To stay fair to everyone, we posted his email at the end of the story.

Ben-Gurion University (BGU) will sponsor a conference titled, “Breaking the Silence through the Ages and Now…” in late May. Publicized as an official event of BGU, the event is in clear violation of the Council for Higher Education of Israel’s decision to prohibit any attempt to politicize academia, says the Im Tirtzu rightwing organization, noting that the vast majority of the conference participants are political activists affiliated with the radical, anti-Zionist Left.

Meirav, a student in BGU’s Department of Politics and Government, noted that one of the professors in her department had sent an invitation to the students to attend the conference. “It saddens me to see how time after time the University can sink to a point where it voices explicit support for a radical organization that acts against IDF soldiers,” Meirav said.

Amichai, an archeology student at BGU was also furious after hearing about the event: “It pains and deeply troubles me that BGU, specifically the Department of Jewish History, chose to organize an event in ‘honor’ of ‘Breaking the Silence,’ an organization that supports and fuels the boycotts against the State of Israel and IDF soldiers. Just last year the University’s president, Rivka Carmi, said that she wants to fight against the boycott movement and feels sorry for the University’s professors who have suffered from it. But now she is giving a platform to a radical organization. We are not ready to have this event and will fight it. It is a disgrace that our university is providing them with a platform to spread their lies about Israel.”

In a letter sent by Im Tirtzu CEO, Matan Peleg, to the University’s administration, he demanded that the event be cancelled. “Ben-Gurion University’s sponsorship of this event constitutes as the support of a publicly funded institution for an anti-Zionist political organization that deals with defaming the State of Israel and IDF soldiers in Israel and in the world, backed by foreign government funding.”

In the letter, which he also sent to the Education Minister and to the Chairman of the Knesset Education Committee, Peleg stated that “by standing together with the foreign agent organization ‘Breaking the Silence,’ the University forms a common front with those who bolster the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, thus legitimizing the industry of lies against Israel.”

Peleg emphasized that “the list of participants in the conference speaks for itself – two leading members of ‘Breaking the Silence’ (Yuli Novak and Nadav Weiman) will be speaking alongside various radical Left lecturers and activists who have signed petitions supporting those refusing to serve in the IDF and petitions calling for international pressure to be exerted on Israel. On top of this, the University’s rector will be providing the opening address.

“David Ben-Gurion is turning over in his grave. The University that was named after him has transformed into a blatant supporter of ‘Breaking the Silence,’ and in turn strengthens not only the phenomenon of internal delegitimization backed by foreign funding, but also the worldwide boycott movement against Israel.”

 


 

The conference is an academic one organized by the Department of Jewish History entitled “Whistleblowing Through the Ages and Today”. The full program can be found here: http://in.bgu.ac.il/Pages/events/Breaking-Silence.aspx

The conference will address historical and current aspects of whistle blowing. Several of the leading researchers in Israel will take part in the conference which will discuss various aspects of the phenomenon: literature, history, philosophy, and art.

The conference will be comprised of three sessions: “Ancient Times and the Middle Ages (Socrates and Galileo)

In Modern Times in France (Zola and Sartre), Germany (Thomas Mann), the United States (the Jewish minority and McCarthyism), and Israel (Natan Alterman and Yishayahu Leibowitz).

An additional lecture will be devoted to Eugène Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros.

All of the academics who will be speaking are leading researchers and the topic of the conference is central to their research.

An additional session on the topic of the current Israeli discourse will feature representatives of various viewpoints alongside academics, among these representatives will be Yair Sheleg and Dror Eydar.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is a pluralistic academic institution, which promotes and enables an open and diverse dialogue and does not seek to espouse a particular political viewpoint.

David Israel

An Open Letter to Simone Zimmerman

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Simone-

Normally, I wouldn’t care to write this. I would ignore you like I do the other members of the small, but rabid and vicious, young, self-hating, American Jewish community who pop up here and there to scream and yell and wear keffiyehs and write patronizing and ignorant articles and tweet nonsense that no one notices, but you are different. You have been thrust onto the national stage as a “director of Jewish outreach” for the Bernie Sanders campaign, and for anyone who knows what you stand for, that should read like a The Onion headline. Normally, I try and keep infighting in the Jewish community to a minimum, L-rd knows we see a lot of it. But you are a rotten apple, with the ability to ruin the whole bushel, and you must be called out. You will be known to large swaths of the American population as a “Jewish representative,” and that fact makes my stomach turn. What you are saying is not new, not innovative, nor progressive or cool. You are not a great Jew because you call other Jews “yids” or have bagel and schmears on Sundays. You are not open-minded because you went to Berkeley, a bastion of anti-Semitic hatred in the bleak and anti- Semitic UC system. You are somewhat more notable because of the extents to which you have gone to try and destroy Israel, I will give you that. You joined (and led!) blatantly anti-Israel groups, you wrote anti-Israel articles, heck! You even opposed university legislation trying to curb campus anti-Semitism! So when I say you are similar to other self-hating, liberal Americans of Jewish lineage, I don’t mean to demean your efforts- you are certainly at the forefront of this vile movement. You must be, or I don’t believe Mr. Sanders would have chosen you for your current position.

But this letter is going to focus on the Facebook message that is now making the rounds (I’ve inserted it below for whomever reads this and is unfamiliar) on the Internet- and I’ve included the uncensored version you posted first, not the sanitized version you edited once you realized that the original version might come across as, well, insane. Kudos, by the way, for not letting your political aspirations keep you from voicing your truth. Before you changed your truth to suit your political aspirations.


We can start with your beautiful summary of my several-times democratically elected Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Aside from being a war hero, a scholar, a head of state and someone you’ve never met in your life, you use the most nasty language to discuss the leader of an ally of the United States. The biggest ally in the Middle East, incidentally. It may have missed my attention, but would you please direct me to any similar posts calling out Bashar Assad, who is implementing genocide on the Syrian people? Did you write a similar rant about Khaled Mashaal, Mahmoud Abbas, Hassan Nasrallah, Ahmedenijad, Khameini- you know, leaders who are promising the death and destruction of your fellow Jews, both in Israel and abroad? I would love to see the tweets and Facebook posts you wrote railing against the incitement of Palestinian leadership that has caused innocents to be stabbed and run over and shot with abandon here in Israel these past 5 months. Oh, you haven’t? Only Bibi is singled out and told “f— you”? Nice.

You talk of Bibi’s fear mongering. Fair play, coming from some American Jew ensconced in Berkeley or NYC (where I’m from, actually!) Tell me, would you have the gall to say that to my face as I sat in my building’s bomb shelter, praying for my life, 4 days after I moved to Israel and made it my home. Would you say Bibi is a fear-monger to the thousands of children from Sderot, Ashkelon and Ashdod who live with PTSD at age 5 because they have lived under the wail of a siren from incoming rockets their whole lives? You know, ever since Israel gave away Gaza in hopes of peace, only to watch their greenhouses turned into rocket launchpads and tunnel-building sites for Hamas? Would you like to go to Sderot and tell those people that Bibi is an ultra-nationalist, blood-lusting, fear-monger who only wants war? I dare you.

Let’s move on to him “sanctioning the murder of over 2,000 people” in a “brutal military occupation.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say you probably are not a big fan of the IDF. You probably love “Breaking the Silence” and whatever anti-Israel former soldiers who decide to put the love of leftist American Jews, before loyalty to their families and country. I am nothing like you. I love the IDF, the most moral army in the world. Aside from the fact that many past and present members are family and friends of mine, I know who and what they are and I am so proud to have them to defend me. Let me tell you who they are. They are generally 18-21 years old men and women, who have been drafted and asked to give up a chunk of their young lives to protect their family and friends. They are essentially kids who realize that to live in a Jewish homeland, one needs to make sacrifices. Some of them will die. That is a tragedy. I mourn for each life lost like I would my own family member. And I know that if there was no Arab threat to Israel, none of them would ever be killed. They exist because we are under constant threat in Israel and have been since before 1967, before 1948 and before 1929. Either you are entirely ignorant of history, or you are willfully ignoring it. This isn’t about Gaza, or 2-states, or even our one state. It’s about our existence, in Israel, in America, on this earth. Yours and mine, actually, as we are both (inexplicably) part of the same Jewish people. I’m just not naive enough to think hugs, kisses and capitulation will change reality.

About the Iran deal. How dare you gamble with my country, my people and my life because you think Obama knows better than Bibi about what’s best for Israel. Let’s say you’re right (you’re not). Why is Bibi wrong for taking Iran at their word that they want to destroy Israel. It’s a matter of public record, in video and print. They want Israel off the map, they will have the tools to do it, an infusion of US cash and they are run by radical mullahs. Why shouldn’t Bibi do everything possible to protect his country? Why should you, some know-nothing leftist, sitting safely in hipster Brooklyn think you know anything more that a certifiable genius with mounds of intelligence in front of him? Who ARE You?

I will end with how you signed off. Unfortunately, you are a leftist American Jew who cares more about literally everything than Israel and your people. It is evident from everything I’ve read about you (considered me obsessed with you, but not in a good way). You speak for a loud, arrogant, willfully ignorant group of disillusioned young Jews who are regrettably growing in ranks.

You are so dangerous to American and world Jewry, you can’t even imagine. I do hope you see the error of your ways, as you call yourself “a thinking person “although I know you won’t. I see you rising in the self- hating ranks in your future career- I’m relatively certain there’s a lot of money and prestige in selling out Israel at every turn.

But please know that as loud and vocal as you will be in your life, calling for boycotts, giving anti-Semites ammunition against American Jews and shaming our nation; I will be here on the other side, defending Israel, our people and our right to exist, just as strongly and with the might of right on my side.

JPreess Online blogger Jordana Brown proudly waving the "Blue and White"

JPreess Online blogger Jordana Brown proudly waving the “Blue and White”

Jordana Brown

Anti-IDF Breaking the Silence Accused of Collecting Classified Military Info

Friday, March 18th, 2016

In a truly explosive revelation, an Israeli paper and now other Israeli media have learned, based on an undercover operation by the pro-Israel Ad-Khan, the non-governmental organization Breaking the Silence has been searching for and then allegedly sharing sensitive military secrets.

Breaking the Silence is an organization aggressively critical of the Israeli Defense Forces which is run by disgruntled IDF veterans.

What’s more, Breaking the Silence has been engaged in this activity while it receives a large portion of its funding from European governments and other foreign entities.

Despite the documentation carefully recovered from a lengthy undercover investigation conducted by Ad-Khan, BtS denies it was gathering classified information.

The videos made by Ad-Khan revealed that Breaking the Silence ask soldiers about purely operational activity of the IDF. BtS claims to be focused solely on the IDF’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs and general human rights issues.

“We do not collect classified information,” Yuli Novak, executive director of Breaking the Silence, told the Israeli paper.

After a report of Ad-Khan’s documentation – which included lengthy videos – aired on Israel’s Channel 2, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said BtS had “crossed a red line.”

The report also broadcast videos showing members of Breaking the Silence gathering testimonies from former soldiers where the questions appear to revolve more around the IDF’s operational activity than rather issues regarding Palestinians and human rights.

Other Israeli leaders also joined the denunciation.

Yair Lapid, chairman of the center-leftist Yesh Atid party said: “”While Israel is fighting terror, Breaking the Silence is taking information and using it against the state.” He added that “Israel must do all it can to protect its soldiers, and this organization has no right to exist in a state that is battling daily for the safety of its citizens.”

The Zionist Union (formerly Labor) party member of knesset Revital Swid said that “Breaking the Silence had lost all of its legitimacy.” Swid said “it was time to condemn all extremism no matter” what side of the political aisle they were on.

Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein called for an “investigation to clarify which sensitive information [the organization] has in its possession.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, meanwhile, accused the organization of “blackening Israel’s name” worldwide and said that they had potentially “damaged state security.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

‘Breaking the Silence’ Tour Bus Stoned by Arabs

Friday, December 25th, 2015

A tour bus visiting the Hebron/Kiryat Arba area was stoned by Arabs on Friday afternoon.

The bus was carrying a group organized by the anti-IDF NGO “Breaking the Silence”.

Three students on the bus from the Hebrew University were lightly injured.

“Breaking the Silence” is a foreign-funded NGO that travels around the world and bad-mouths the IDF.

IDF soldiers are now protecting the passengers.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Report: ‘Breaking the Silence’ Received Ramallah Funding to Bash Israel

Monday, December 14th, 2015

(JNi.media) “Breaking the Silence,” an organization of veteran IDF combatants who have served since the start of the Second Intifada and are committed “to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories,” is financed by an organization operating within the Palestinian Authority, claims the “Implants Report,” issued on Sunday by Im Tirtzu.

According to the Im Tirtzu report, between 2013 and 2015 Breaking the Silence received $1,352,500 through the governments of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, and the EU.

Breaking the Silence received between 2008 and 2014 from the anti-Zionist New Israel Fund $707,300.

And the same organization received $303,500 plus an additional emergency grant from the Palestinian Fund Secretariat for Human Rights and International Law, operating out of Palestinian Authority controlled Ramallah—which has noted in its 2015 report that it paid Breaking the Silence to bring them at least one negative testimony against the IDF. Breaking the Silence provided 57 testimonies.

That same Ramallah-based fund has explicitly stated that the purpose of the core grant to Breaking the Silence is to support the propaganda campaigns the organization conducts in Europe and the United States among opinion makers, politicians and the Jewish community, to change public perception of the IDF and the Jewish State.

That same Ramallah-based fund paid Breaking the Silence to investigate alleged war crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza war by IDF fighters. Thanks to the Arab fund’s grant, Breaking the Silence was able to release its report on Operation Protective Edge.

In 2015 it was revealed that foreign state entities have been paying Breaking the Silence to get “as many soldiers as possible” to testify about committing actions that violate human rights.

Although the organization states its audience as being the Israeli public, who needs to be exposed to the reality of the IDF operations in the “occupied territories,” much of its efforts are devoted to spreading the anti-Israel message abroad. In 2015, Breaking the Silence conducted at least nine events worldwide aimed at accusing the IDF of war crimes. Two of the events were held in Scotland. One was sponsored by the anti-Israeli organization Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP). The other by the anti-Israeli Scottish National Party (SNP). Other events were held in Zurich, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Madrid, Spain. Three more events were held in November in the US and the Netherlands.

In November, Major (retired) Amit Edri posted videos showing how Breaking the Silence lie to foreign tourists about “war crimes” committed by the IDF. Watch the video—every single piece of information is a complete or half lie:

Here is a video of an anti-Semitic demonstration where the speaker is using information provided in a Breaking the Silence lecture to bash Israel and the IDF:

JNi.Media

Dozens of IDF Officers Protest Rivlin’s Presence at Haaretz-NIF Meeting

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The expression of “what is a  Kohen doing in a cemetery,” where he is prohibited, may apply to President Reuven Rivlin and today’s New Israel Fund-Haaretz conference in New York City.

Dozens of IDF Reserve officers are conducting a protest outside the President’s official residence in an effort to pressure President  Rivlin to cancel his appearance at the conference because the anti-IDF Breaking the Silence is participating.

The officers said that President Rivlin, as a representative of Israel, must boycott the event organized by the New Israel Fund (NIF), coordinated with the Haaretz newspaper, to make clear his non-acceptance of groups such as Breaking the Silence that try to make Israel look illegitimate.

But Breaking the Silence is only the tip of the iceberg. The list of speakers and panelist reads like a “Who’s Who of the radical Left.

The office of the President stated:

The President will deliver his remarks during the conference of the Haaretz newspaper as he does in a variety of conferences organized by media from time to time.

Concerning the facts, it is important to note that in this case, we are speaking about the participation of one of dozens of participants during the day. It will take part in a panel that does not take place in the presence of the president, so there is no connection between them,

As for facts,, today’s event is not a media conference. It is a New Israel Fund conference that Haaretz is promoting and in which it is participating with its finest Israel bashers, such as Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

Perhaps President Rivlin will not be present when Breaking the Silence speaks, but what about other speakers and panelists, some of whose names read like a Who’s Who of the radical Left?

And the question remains why is President Rivlin appearing and what will he say?

Yes,  he will have the opportunity to show his face to the extreme left-wing of American Jews and non-Jews, as well as officials from the Obama administration such as Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and PLO executive Saeb Erekat.

Public appearances are one of the President’s  most important functions, but why did he choose such a  group, unless he stuns them with a Zionist speech instead of patronizing them?

Here are some of the “Zionists” at the conference:

Arik Wade Ascherman. the Rabbis for Human Rights activist who single-handedly led leftists and Arabs to uproot more than 1,500 saplings in front of shocked elementary school students on Tu B’Shvat several years ago because they planted on land in Judea and Samaria.

The promotional material for today’s conference omits that little detail and states that he “is internationally recognized as a leading advocate for human rights and social justice as religious, Jewish and Zionist obligations,” such as rights for “the Negev Bedouin.”

Other speakers are:

Suhad Babaa, the executive director of Just Vision, ‘an organization dedicated to increasing media coverage and support for Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, equality, dignity and human security for all through unarmed means.’

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and president of J Street.

Uri Blau, an investigative journalist for Haaretz, specializing in military and political affairs, corruption and transparency….Blau became the first Israeli journalist to be convicted for possession of classified military documents.

Hagai El-Ad, an Israeli human rights activist, is the executive director of B’Tselem.

Avner Gvaryahu, who  joined Breaking the Silence as a researcher and tour guide.

Another speaker is Arab Knesset Member Ayman Odeh, who last week refused to attend a meeting with Jewish leaders because it was to take place in the same building that is home to the offices of the Jewish Agency?

Other panelists and speakers are:

‘Rabbi’ Jill Jacobs, the Executive Director of T’ruah. [For information on T’ruah and President Rivlin’s joint appearance at the White House, click here.]

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Daniel J. Sokatch,  chief executive officer of the New Israel Fund.

Dr. Husam S. Zomlot, ambassador-at-large for Palestine [sic] and the executive deputy commissioner of the Fatah Foreign Relations Commission.

Haaretz editor Aluf Benn and a host of his writers will speak and appear on the panels, whose subjects include:

Beyond negotiations: Can the peace process be unfrozen to achieve more than ‘conflict management’?

What’s left: Is there a future for the progressive movement in Israel?

‘Droves of Arab voters:’ Is the struggle of Israel’s Arab citizens to equality the new focal point of the conflict?

Jerusalem burning: Is religion the solution or the problem?

Synagogue and state: Who defines the Jewishness of Israel?

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

White House Invites Arab MK Who Blames ‘Occupation’ for Terror

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

President Barack Obama is introducing anti-Zionist values into the White House. After J Street and “Breaking the Silence,” next in line is Knesset Arab Knesset Member Ayman Odeh, who blames Israel for Arab terror.

One week after Knesset Member Michael Oren was falsely quoted as saying that the president is bringing “radical Muslim values” into 1600 Pennsylvania, it turns out that he definitely is opening its doors to the Arab MK who thinks that Muslim terror against Jews is the fault of the “occupation.”

Even more absurd is that Odeh is a Christian, but that has not stopped him from embracing his fellow Muslim MKs who call the Israeli government “Nazi” and openly campaign for the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

MK Odeh said on Israel radio two months ago:

I always blame the occupation for being guilty. I cannot tell the nation how to struggle, where and at which target to throw the rock.

Odeh is the chairman of the Joint Arab List, and told Yediot Acharonot that he will talk to senior White House and State Dept. officials on “issues that matter to Israel’s Arab Citizens [and] are hardly represented in the international conversation.”

He also will meet with the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United Nations and will give interviews to all of the “correct” media outlets, such as The New York Times, the Nation, Huffington Post and the Washington Post. There is no indication that he will meet with President Obama.

Odeh also will speak with Jewish leaders, all of them from the Reform movement that decries the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria and for which President Obama has rolled out the red carpet.

The Obama administration will describe Odeh as the leader of Israeli Arabs, but the truth is that he is not.

The JewishPress.com reported here last month:

A special survey conducted for Channel 2… reveals…54% of Israeli Arab respondents believe that the Arab MKs do not represent them, 25% say that Arab MKs represent them fairly well, and only a minority of 16% say that they represent them ‘very much.’

However, most of these surveyed criticized comments by Nazareth’s Arab Mayor Ali Salem that Odeh and his cohorts have been “ruining” the city by inciting violence and demonstrating in the city against Israel.

Salem said in October:

Every Saturday we get our 20 thousand guests—Jews, tourists and Israelis from across the country. This Saturday we barely reached 1,000 people from out of town.

For three days we had complete quiet. No politicians arrived and they didn’t riot or strike or demonstrate…. Businessmen I spoke to today were pleased, not because no one visited them for a month, but because they manage to rebuild the ruins they (the politicians) left us in the city.

On the eve of Odeh’s departure to Washington, he told Yediot:

Less than a month after Netanyahu’s visit to the US and his half-apology, I go so that I may tell the hard truth about him and the government in Israel, which rose to power through racist incitement against Arab citizens.”

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/white-house-invites-arab-mk-who-blames-occupation-for-terror/2015/12/01/

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