Tel Aviv, Israel (TFC) – An Israeli veterans’ group that is dedicated to allowing veterans of the Palestinian occupation to talk about their experiences is under fire from their own government for damaging Israel’s international image. Breaking the Silence has collected statements for more than a decade about the war crimes that Israeli troops have engaged in. The statements come from the soldiers who just followed orders and now regret their behavior.
Instead of changing internal policies that lead to war crimes and genocide, the Israelis have decided to attack the veterans. Legislators are attempting to stifle their funding and basically call them traitors.
Why does the Israeli government care?
The Israeli government has been able to effectively conceal its war crimes for decades by releasing bogus internal reports and engaging in massive amounts of propaganda to keep the people of Palestine painted as the enemy. I mean, after all, it is the Palestinians fault for living on the land before the Israelis got there, right?
The Israeli government has suffered a massive backlash through the combined efforts of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) Movement and the veterans’ organization. Major corporations are pulling financial support for companies that engage in business dealing with the “settlements.” The process of settlement is the official policy of the Israeli government to encourage their citizens to move into areas populated by Palestinians, and make it uncomfortable for them to remain. “Uncomfortable” in this case could mean having settlers torch your home with your family inside while Israeli soldiers watch, and then they blame you for the fire. It’s a soft form of ethnic cleansing.
Israel has made a grave propaganda error.
Israel has developed quite a cult of worship around the soldiers that serve in the occupied territories. The propaganda designed to encourage unquestioning support for the occupation and the elimination of the Palestinian people has been personified by the Israeli soldier. The Israeli citizens (and many Americans) have been trained to support the troops no matter what. Now that a large group of those soldiers are openly disagreeing with the war, the politicians are trying to find a way to discredit the soldiers without disrupting the government’s propaganda efforts. It is an unenviable task to be the politician who has to scream “traitor” at those that served in combat, were wounded, and fought to enforce the immoral policies of the government.
If you want to support the soldiers that are Breaking the Silence, click here.