Breaking the Silence, the anti-Israeli NGO funded largely by European governments and church organizations, this week publicized its newest report, about “Settler influence on IDF conduct in the West Bank,” which is so great, the report calls the settlers “The High Command.”
Following the “Azaria Affair,” in which an IDF medic was convicted of manslaughter for shooting a neutralized Arab terrorist, Breaking the Silence presented the IDF Chief of Staff with a “representative collection of soldier testimonies describing the nature of the relations that have developed between the IDF and settlers.”
The report cites soldiers’ testimonies regarding “significant settler involvement in, and influence on, IDF activities, as well as the obscurity or absence of explicit orders on how they (the soldiers) are expected to act when faced with incidents of settler violence, theft, or destruction of property, which have become commonplace.”
And so, having libeled an entire community of an estimated 400,000 Jews, saying that criminal activity is “commonplace” to them, the BtS report proceeds to suggest these “criminal” settlers “often take advantage of the circumstances in order to determine facts on the grounds and initiate new procedures in the field in a way that serves their political, ideological and territorial interests.” Unlike all the other humans on the planet, or in Israel, for that matter, who would never dream of promoting their own interests in this manner.
Having concluded phase one of their attack on Israelis and Israeli values, presenting IDF soldiers as war criminals to an eager world, BtS now zeroes in on another enemy of the shrinking left: the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to settle the entire Biblical Land of Israel. With an enormous budget of hundreds of dollars annually (see report here), BtS has now set out to turn every act of friendship, gratitude and solidarity from the Jews of Judea and Samaria towards Israel’s soldiers into something dirty.
For one thing, the BtS report complains that “settlers are often active partners in operational activities and military control implemented in the territories and on the Palestinian population.” And so, neighborhood watch activities that would have gotten praise anywhere else in the world, are, actually, their scheme “to advance their ideological and territorial interests.”
Also, according to the same BtS report, “soldiers, who are positioned in points of friction by virtue of their roles, often find themselves the victims of settler violence without being provided the tools to respond or desist. In some cases, soldiers are given explicit instructions not to act at all when faced with settler violence, even when it is directed at them.”
If you follow in articles and on video the daily Arab violent riots against IDF soldiers, you would surely agree that the above paragraph describes them aptly. But, no, the violent ones are not the Arabs – it’s the settlers. They are, apparently, the ones who gang up on IDF patrols, stoning them and pelting them with Molotov cocktails!
Then there’s the ultimate evil carried out by those settlers, according to BtS: “Though it is forbidden, settlers often provide soldiers with gifts, visit them in their guard posts, offer them food and beverage, and even host them for meals in their homes.” Ah, the humanity! How much must those poor soldiers endure? In fact, the report was able to document that whenever a unit is about to leave its post near a settlement, the local Jews get a pizza delivery for every soldier.
And then, of course, just as the soldiers have enjoyed a Shabbat meal or chewed up their slice, the “settlers” lobby and preach political ideologies in order to proselytize the soldiers to adopt settler ideologies.
Indeed, things have gotten so bad, the BtS report argues that “the systematic failure of consecutive Israeli governments to address the issues and phenomena elucidated by this report, enable the further entrenchment of this conduct to become a permanent fixture of IDF activities in the West Bank.”
Also, the fact that those Israeli governments have been largely pro-settler didn’t help any. How dare they not suppress those Judea and Samaria Jews? Something must be done, before they corrupt even more good IDF soldiers with their Shabbat meals and pizza pies.