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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:17 AM
Original message
Breaking the Silence: Fmr. Israeli Soldier Tours U.S. to Expose Abuse of Palestinians....
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 11:18 AM by mike_c
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/27/134...

Breaking the Silence: Fmr. Israeli Soldier Tours U.S. to Expose Abuse of Palestinians by Israeli Military

(snip)

YEHUDA SHAUL: Im here in the United States, because, I would say, we in Breaking the Silence see the act of breaking the silence as an act of taking responsibility. As ex-Israeli soldiers, whove served as combat soldiers in the Occupied Territories and were there and committed all what were talking about, we're part of the occupation. After we were discharged and realized what we were doing and what was going on around us, there was only two options, as I see it. Theres or to lock ourselves in the room, cry and ask forgiveness, or to stand up and take responsibility and demand from others to take responsibility.

So, in my eyes, breaking the silence, standing up and telling the stories and trying to bring people to know and to realize and to understand what it means, occupation, on a daily basis, through these testimonies that we publish and the pictures that we had in the exhibition, is demanding from Israeli society to take responsibility for it, for what is being done in their behalf.

And in my eyes, in our eyes, responsibility doesn't end with ex-soldiers who served there or with Israelis, or the idea if our army as Israelis is doing all these things. Responsibility is to every human being in the world, and for sure for Americans, because in the end of the day for all what Israel does, there is only one country in the world that, you know, the chief of staff and the prime minister of Israel has to report in the end of the day, and that's the United States of America. For that reason, I think that people of America must know what's going on there and must break their own silence and take civil responsibility, human responsibility, to what is being done there.

(snip)

more@link
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wish I could recommend this.
I-P threads are excluded from recommendation but I think this is important and needs to be read. Thanks for posting it.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. And once again, the
silence of the Israel-can-do-no-wrong crowd is deafening. Their double standard is unbelievable and indefensible, which is probably why they're so silent in these types of threads. Wait for the "they're not really civilians, they're all terrorist supporters, those are just rogue soldiers", in 3, 2, 1.......................................
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. the israel can do no wrong crowd...
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 11:55 AM by pelsar
can be found on arutz sheva....and other such places....what you find in the DU is silence from "pro palestenian" crowd when certain subjects come up, that israelis and other liberals would like to discuss.

btw this sentence reaks of ignorence:

end of the day for all what Israel does, there is only one country in the world that, you know, the chief of staff and the prime minister of Israel has to report in the end of the day, and that's the United States of America....

what israel does or doesnt do...is the responsability of the israelis. The chief of staff and prime minister have to answer to the israeli citizen, the citizens of sederot, kiryat shmona, the city workers in tel aviv and the engineers in haifa...passing the buck to the americans is a cop out
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. There is no pro-palestinian crowd. Just pro-truth, pro-juctice....
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. really?...
I've just noticed over the years the lack of honesty by the "pro truth pro justice crowd"....when the questions get a bit tricky and are no longer black and white...they tend to disappear. However if your game i'll be happy to go through them and you can answer to the best of your ability.....
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. LOL
That really is too funny. The most dangerous people are those who think they have a corner on truth and justice. Scary that you think that way.
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I don't think
I have the corner on truth or justice. I object to the term pro-Palestinian simply because it implies that I would support Palestinians 100% of the time and that's not the case.

But on the other side, it appears that many on this site who support Israel do so 100% of the time.

I think that's more dangerous.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. whats dangerous...is the inability
to discuss all aspects of the problem, ignorence is dangerous, willful ignorence is worse.....ignoring/dismissing certain aspects and the various angles of the conflict, that others take into consideration is to pretend that other perspectives dont exist....and thats the same as believing that you have a corner on "truth and justice"
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. ..
When discussing one issue, it seems you bring up others as a justification. And refusing to get dragged down by excuses for inexcusable behavior is not ignorance.

But finding excuses for things like innocent civilians getting killed, homes destroyed and a host of other things... is something.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. i can discuss any issue....
and dont "dissappear" when its gets to be uncomfortable....so whats your question? (and will you answer any of mine?)
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. ..
I don't disappear because I'm uncomfortable. As I said, you often bring other, unrelated issues into many discussions to blur the issue and make excuses for inexcusable behavior.

I only allow myself to respond to your posts in small doses. You seem to believe you are the expert on many topics and others need not comment. I'm content to allow you to live in that fantasy and choose not to get involved in useless arguments.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. the issues are related....
and in terms of being an "expert" its relative...its reasonable to assume that i do know more than you.....living here and having served in the IDF does give me more information from those who dont. Reading several newspapers, radio and endless talkshows on the subjects also gives me additiona info that you dont have access to.

Have someone who posts here who also lives in the middleeast and we'll be able to compare info....for those who dont, there is not much to compare now is there?.

fact is all the behaviours involved are related to the various issues, ignoring the issues that directly and indirectly cause those behaviours is just being willfully ignorent.....worse its being ethnocentric.......a colonialist type of view that what is important to "them".....doesnt have to be answered since you dont see its importance
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. it's also reasonable to assume that
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 06:05 PM by breakaleg
your views are slanted in Israel's favor.

And the tone of your arguments hasn't been one of 'I live here and let me share my experience' but more one of 'You don't know what it's like to have rockets launched on you so you are in no position to have an opinion'.

So basically I'm getting a point of view from someone who considers himself a victim in this thing and has an ax to grind. No thanks.

And while I'm here, let me point out that you haven't responded to the OP. I believe it's already been pointed out to you in this thread.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. as asked...i have responded...see below....
actually my tone as i see it....is i live here and do know more than many of the posters so perhaps instead of making statments that are either simply wrong and or ignorent perhaps ask and i will do my best to answer.

i find it quite strange that someone who doesnt live here seems to believe that they would know more than some one who does.....how does that work?

actually i do have an ax to grind...I hate ignorence, ethnocentricity and colonialisit attitudes.....not to mention anti liberal atttitudes...all expressed here in abundance.
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. give me a break.
how does a "let me educate you" tone help anyone? Living there does give you a unique perspective. But many of us also have access to news sources as well - unbiased ones even.

I'm not claiming to know more. I'm simply stating that hearing your very biased view doesn't sway me - at all. And your talking down to me simply reinforces your arrogance without helping your cause.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. how can you be "swayed"...
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 08:10 PM by pelsar
when you wont even engage in a discussion about the issues....beyond a few posts...and then you go away?

if you have an opinion and you do....then give this israeli the basic respect of not disappearing when were getting down to applying your opinon it to the situation and see how it plays out?


your big on the 67 borders....as i recall...well lets discuss what that actually means..who believes in it, where the line actually is, and how will such a move affect those involved....why did gaza fail?...how do the israelis see it...or dont we count?

you want to complain about the soldiers and the way they treat the palestenains..fine...lets discuss what was tried before and what the results were..(maybe you dont even know....which is probably the case, so if your even curious maybe you should ask?)
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. you've handily dodged the OP topic, but what would you say...
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 02:19 PM by mike_c
...to Yehuda Shaul if you had the chance to respond to his allegations?
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. unlike so many of the "pro palestenians"...
or "pseudo pro truth"...i dont dodge any subject...never have and dont see why i should....so before i answer your question (and any others that you might have for me)...i wonder...will you be able to answer mine afterwards?...any of them?


what would i say to Yehuda?....to begin with its hardly a new subject as i've been in the westbank and in gaza. I have the advantage of being older and did not spend my main service there. He was part of the group that took photographs of their time in Hebron which was shown as a museum exhibit...of which i was very happy to hear about. Most israelis have no idea whats going on there in Hebron.

I believe what he is doing is good in principle...I also think its good that hes facing up to what he did and is "fighting it". One of my biggest problems with the soldiers in the westbank is that they have to lose much of their values, that a liberal society teaches them in order to do their jobs..and i'm not even talking about the ones who take it too far. 18-20yr olds dont yet understand their environment and serving as an occupier tends to corrupt their very vunerable value system......for a multiple of reasons

I havent been in Hebron for many years, but have heard from those who have about what goes on, and dont doubt his experiences for a second....so though i cant confirm his actual experiences vis a vis my own, i also dont doubt them.

I cant decide if its relevant going to america or not....i tend to think its an internal problem that we have to solve ourselves, take responsabilty for it.

but the fact is, what he went through, and what others will be going through is a small subset of the larger war with the palestenains.....Unfortunatly until were seperated and they decide that trying to kill jews and israelis via kassams is not a good idea, it will continue.

Hes right to put additional pressure on israel to get us out of the westbank...unfortunatly if that pressure succeeds and we leave at the wrong time, it may make matters only worse.

now, that i've answered your question can you do the same for me?

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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. if it's on topic I'd be happy to respond....
I posted the OP because I'm interested in discussing it, not because I want a forum for a wider debate on other topics. Thanks, BTW, for your candid response.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. if your going to discuss what the soldiers do...
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 01:39 AM by pelsar
your going to also have to discuss why it happens...what turns a nice intelligent kid from N.Tel Aviv in to heartless "bastard"...how did it happen..why does his father/brother who knows what its going to do to his son....agree to it?

why arent the reserve soldiers in Hebron?...whats the difference between intifada I and intifada II?...why is there no "gray refusal to serve as during intifda I.

what were the changes in the palestenians that turned simple checkpoints into fenced in ID checking, time wasting, impersonal, places?

to discuss the present requires a discussion of how we got there.....pretending that the soldiers were "born that way" is absurd...to pretend that those checkpoints were put there to torture the palestenians is also absurd...some simple facts and knowledge concerning how the security system works and was developed is essential......after all sucicde bombers are almost non existant...yet the attempts have not stopped....

and the refusniks remain a very small minority....unlike the lebanon war I, which saw a very large movement....to discuss what the soldiers do and how they got there requires asking how is it that most israelis want out of the westbank, yet still send their kids there....knowing full well its not good for them.

and one of our medics is/was a refusnik....so discussions were plenty
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:46 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. the question on topic then....
if so many solders know about it...dont like it.....why isnt there a refusal to serve as there was during the first lebanon war?...or why isnt there a "gray refusal", where soldiers find many medical excuses or family problems so as not serve?

why do you think that its not happening?

why are all the combat units filled with volunteers to the point of turning away people? Israel is a small country, before going in to the army they kids learn about what the units they want to go into does, etc
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I don't know the answers to that one-- I can surmise....
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 02:12 PM by mike_c
Israel has a strong tradition of military service, but on the other hand it also has a strong tradition of respect for individual moral decisions, even within the military chain of command. Still, no state succeeds militarily by lauding its refusniks or by failing to foster admiration for military service. That alone might explain why so many volunteer, that and the understanding that since military service is compulsory anyway, one might as well get the full experience. Also, many Israelis have a strong "us against the world" perspective. Please forgive me for unwarranted generalizations-- I'm only guessing for the sake of discussion.

on edit: I will add that the fact that Israelis line up to abuse Palestinians is certainly not a good justification for doing it.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. military service is compulsory in name only....
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 02:58 PM by pelsar
tonight on TV...it seems 20% of the eligble males either avoid or dont complete their full service...of those 50% are actually not fit (psycho problems) and the others just dont want to go or stay in

for women, a simple declaration of being religious is enough (no figures were given).....

what you have is what you wrote, two characteristics of israeli society: a military tradition born with pride and a liberal society protecting individual rights. The refusniks are not ostricized by society, in fact they also get respect for sticking to the their principles. Their pictures were not only in a national museum but they ran the "talk show circut as well.

as far as the "full experience of the army"...thats individualized...for some its going into military intel and walking out with a degree, others is social and means shopping after a desk job. For those going into the combat professions, its not to harass the palestenains....being in the westbank is not considered a "good job"....but they still go....for most israels we remains under almost daily threats from its neighbors, all it takes is a 5 second look at the news to hear the latest anti jew/israeli smear/threat by one of our neighbors.

so if your claiming israel is somekind of apartheid country with a racial bent, there seems to be an inherent contradiction: a society that respects both the military as well as the anti military citizen, whatever their color or background....and all of those inbetween can hardly be racist by nature.....if it was taught, that kind of tolerance for the "other" wouldnt be tolerated....hence the obvious conclusion is that the treatment of the palestenians is not taught but bred out of the situation...

remove the situation (i.e. security needs) and the problem is removed.....of course as an israeli i look for parralles within the palestenian society....but dont seem to find much there in terms of liberal values, and that should worry any one who is concerned for the long term well being of the palestenains.....
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. The only thing the pro-Israeli
Israel-is-never-wrong crowd is able to discuss is how Israel is almost never at fault and everything and anything they do is justified because it's all against "terrorists." Their posts during this summer's bombardment and destruction of Lebanon, and the subsequent recent revelation that Israel did, indeed, use white phosphorus bombs on civilians during it, speaks volumes as far as I'm concerned.

And that also goes for those who never fault the Palestinians for anything, including suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. Things are very rarely absolutely black and white.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. as a pro israeli.....
actually i'm really just a pro liberal....with little patience for the psuedo liberals who excuse non liberal movements......i've noticed that most of the "pro israeli" crowd recognizes the conflict is far more gray than black and white...and is far more willing to discuss the various aspects than "the others"....
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
19. I agree that the line you quoted is
rather ignorant. There is, however, some truth to that. We are the major source of funding for Israel, including military funding. I think we have more say in what they do than either country wants to admit.

And I'm certainly not saying, in any way, that Palestinians are all perfect while Israelis are all bad, it isn't, and never was, black and white, so to speak. And there are countries that would like nothing better than to annihilate Israel from the face of the earth. That doesn't, however, give it the right to do whatever it wants, however it wants, with no one allowed to criticize without being labeled "anti-semitic."
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. its not that the US doesnt have a lot to say..
but that wasnt what was written...it was written as if the PM has to answer to the US and not the israeli public....that i disagree with

The US gets much respect in israel, not just for its military power but for what it represents.....freedom and liberty. There is no question that this place would look very different with out the help of the US...and unlike in other countries its appreciated by the people.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. The truth comes out. I hope to be able to see these people
while they are here in the Bay Area.
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. Thanks for posting. These guys are very courageous to tell their story.
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
30. I just can't imagine how they could treat their fellow humans and neighbors as a lower form of life.
Thank goodness these people still have a conscience.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:08 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Really,
Awful as the occupation is, you must be terribly sheltered if this is the worst you can imagine. As the real world offers many examples of people treating their fellow humans and neighbors in far worse ways, let me give you a couple of examples; The former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Darfur. There are many more. The theme that only the Israelis do terrible things, and that they do the very worst things, is just inaccurate.
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Englander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:22 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Yes, Israel's form of ethnic nationalism =
Not As Bad As Serbia. Maybe that should be one of the slogans for the Israeli tourist board.

Although I can't see how the 'look! over there!' attempts & baseless accusations have anything to do
with what oblivious said.

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:11 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. It's important
to point out that the ceaseless accusations on I/P that what Israel does is worse than what any other country or people do, is not only hypocritical, it's inaccurate. Being accused of a "look over there" attempt when I've frequently criticized Israel, and indeed, did so in the post you're responding to, is quite amusing. My interests lies in accuracy and perspective.
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Englander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. Do you expect me to believe most of that?
I hope not, since I don't, since the other reply in this thread flatly contradicts these less than
convincing claims.


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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. Where did I say this was the worst I could imagine? How strange of you to make such a statement!
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:13 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Sorry oblivious,
I owe you an apology. I misread your post. That's what comes from getting up at 3 am.
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