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Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence

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Published by azadi-hb
This booklet is a product of “Soldiers Speak Out,” the testimonies collection project
of Breaking the Silence. Since 2004, we have collected hundreds of testimonies from
those who have, during their service in the IDF, the Border Guard, and the Security
Forces, played a role in the Occupied Territories. We are talking about the best of
the sons and daughters of Israeli society, sent by that society each and every day to
control a civilian population. The encounter with those who have lived under military
control for more than 40 years leaves an impression, but is nevertheless hidden from
the eyes of society, which are inclined not to recognize the character of the mission
on which it sends its youth. Only those who wear uniforms are acquainted with the
daily realities. The cruelty required to fulfill the mission and the dissolution of ethical
sensibility under the routine of controlling neighborhoods, communities and families
are missing from the public discourse in Israel. In contrast to widely held beliefs, the
mosaic of testimonies that only continues to expand proves that we are not dealing
with a fringe phenomenon that touches only the bad apples of the military, but a
gradual erosion of ethics in the society as a whole.
This booklet comes in a long line of publications and testimony collections that
Breaking the Silence has published in the past few years; it is also the first of its
kind. The testimonies collected here are all from women who served in various units
and roles in the Occupied Territories since the year 2000. This collection uncovers a
reality that many female soldiers were exposed to during their military service. Female
officers, commanders and soldiers, who served as combatants and in supporting
combat roles, describe how they dealt with complex situations on the ground.
Many of the testimonies in this collection alternate between a semi-external perspective,
observing the action from the side, and full participation in what occurs. These perspectives
shed additional light on what happens in the back yard of the State of Israel.
The booklet that is in your hands contains testimonies selected from interviews with
more than 40 women breaking their silence, who join hundreds of soldiers whose
testimonies have been published in the past. This booklet is an additional example
of the ethical and societal cost of the missions with which the security forces have
been charged.
These women breaking their silence shed light through their testimonies on how acts
that were defined yesterday as “exceptional” become the norms of tomorrow, how
Israeli society continues to slide down an ethical slippery slope together with the entire
military system. This is an upright stance against the stubborn majority who refuse to
know the facts that are created by the extant reality.

This is an urgent call to Israeli society and its leaders to wake up and evaluate anew
the results of our actions.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers and supporters
who made possible the publication of this booklet. Without their support and
assistance, these important testimonies would never reach those who must come
to know them.
http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il
This booklet is a product of “Soldiers Speak Out,” the testimonies collection project
of Breaking the Silence. Since 2004, we have collected hundreds of testimonies from
those who have, during their service in the IDF, the Border Guard, and the Security
Forces, played a role in the Occupied Territories. We are talking about the best of
the sons and daughters of Israeli society, sent by that society each and every day to
control a civilian population. The encounter with those who have lived under military
control for more than 40 years leaves an impression, but is nevertheless hidden from
the eyes of society, which are inclined not to recognize the character of the mission
on which it sends its youth. Only those who wear uniforms are acquainted with the
daily realities. The cruelty required to fulfill the mission and the dissolution of ethical
sensibility under the routine of controlling neighborhoods, communities and families
are missing from the public discourse in Israel. In contrast to widely held beliefs, the
mosaic of testimonies that only continues to expand proves that we are not dealing
with a fringe phenomenon that touches only the bad apples of the military, but a
gradual erosion of ethics in the society as a whole.
This booklet comes in a long line of publications and testimony collections that
Breaking the Silence has published in the past few years; it is also the first of its
kind. The testimonies collected here are all from women who served in various units
and roles in the Occupied Territories since the year 2000. This collection uncovers a
reality that many female soldiers were exposed to during their military service. Female
officers, commanders and soldiers, who served as combatants and in supporting
combat roles, describe how they dealt with complex situations on the ground.
Many of the testimonies in this collection alternate between a semi-external perspective,
observing the action from the side, and full participation in what occurs. These perspectives
shed additional light on what happens in the back yard of the State of Israel.
The booklet that is in your hands contains testimonies selected from interviews with
more than 40 women breaking their silence, who join hundreds of soldiers whose
testimonies have been published in the past. This booklet is an additional example
of the ethical and societal cost of the missions with which the security forces have
been charged.
These women breaking their silence shed light through their testimonies on how acts
that were defined yesterday as “exceptional” become the norms of tomorrow, how
Israeli society continues to slide down an ethical slippery slope together with the entire
military system. This is an upright stance against the stubborn majority who refuse to
know the facts that are created by the extant reality.

This is an urgent call to Israeli society and its leaders to wake up and evaluate anew
the results of our actions.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers and supporters
who made possible the publication of this booklet. Without their support and
assistance, these important testimonies would never reach those who must come
to know them.
http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: azadi-hb on Feb 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/18/2013

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BREAKING THE SILENCE
Women Soldiers’ Testimonies
Somehow, a emale combatant has to prove hersel more, on the ground too. Again,a emale combatant who can lash out is a serious fghter. Capable. A ball-breaker. There was one with me when I got there, she’d been there long beore, she was– wow, everyone talked about what grit she had, because she could humiliate Arabswithout batting an eyelash. That was the thing to do.... I think guys need to prove themselves less in this respect, but it was not clearlystated. We did talk about how the tough emale-combatant has no problem beatingup Arabs. It’s obvious, you don’t even need to spell it out. This one means business,you should see her humiliating them – there was no problem to say something likethis out loud. Take a look at that one, a real ‘ball-breaker,’ see her humiliating them,slapping them, what a slap she gave that guy! You hear this kind o talk all the time.
 
Breaking the Silence
is an organization o veterans who served in the Israeliarmy during the Second Intiada (since September 2000), and have taken it uponthemselves to expose the Israeli public to everyday lie in the Occupied Territories,a routine situation that is never reected in the media. An alternative inormation-conduit thus becomes accessible to the public at large about what the daily goings-on in Israel’s back yard.
Breaking the Silence
came into being in March 2004, andhas since acquired a special standing or both the public and the media, bringingorth the voices o soldiers who had previously remained silent. The ultimate goalo 
Breaking the Silence
is to stimulate public debate about the moral price thatIsraeli society as a whole has been paying or a reality in which young soldiers acea civilian population on an everyday basis and control its lie. All the testimonies wepublish undergo meticulous research, including cross-checking acts with additionaleye-witnesses and/or archives o other human rights organizations which are alsoactive in the feld. True to our journalistic eort, the identity o our sources is notexposed and remains confdential. The testimonies published here are unedited andpresented in their original orm, except or details that are withheld in order to concealthe identity o specifc testimony-bearers, and/or clarifcations o military jargon.Printed in Jerusalem, 2009

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