Breaking the Silence: Inside the Israeli Right's Campaign to Silence an anti-Occupation Group

Zonszein, Mairav
Date Written:  2019-03-03
Publisher:  The Intercept
Year Published:  2019
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23502

Breaking the Silence, an Israeli anti-occupation group that collects testimonies of Israeli soldiers operating in Palestinian territories has been targeted by moles and other attacks.



Chai wasn't the first mole. In the months prior, there were less successful attempts to sabotage Breaking the Silence's work, including people who approached the group with fabricated accounts of their service in an effort to entrap the organization into publishing inaccurate testimonies. Among them was Oren Hazan, who in 2015 tried to get the group to publish a testimony he made up about Israel's 2014 military operation in Gaza; he later admitted when confronted by a journalist in the halls of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that he was part of a settler-funded campaign to "expose" left-wing groups. He went on to become a legislator with the ruling Likud Party.

For Breaking the Silence, the discovery of a network of spies was just the tip of the iceberg. The small whistleblower organization has found itself at the epicenter of a well-orchestrated, ongoing campaign by a spectrum of right-wing groups, individuals, media outlets, and senior politicians to quash its exposure of Israel’s occupation and human rights violations. The attacks have included incitement and threats. They have been called liars, traitors, and enemies....

Five and certainly 10 years ago, few Israelis had heard of Breaking the Silence. It functioned as an educational group, primarily to put information out there for audiences to find and provide a home for disillusioned former soldiers.

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