Breaking the Silence

CNN on soldiers testimonies from protective edge

In publishing the soliders' testimonies from Operation Protective Edge we set out to expose the public to the reality that took place in Gaza this last summer. According to CNN we succeeded in starting a conversation- and that's defiantly the first step.

Posted by Breaking the Silence on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

This video from CNN details a new report by the group Breaking the Silence, an organization of former Israeli soldiers, that releases interviews and testimony describing the brutality of the 2014 Gaza War.  The testimony describes soldiers in tanks taking bets on who can hit random moving vehicles and other casual targeting of civilians.  This cavalier attitude toward human life, even the lives of noncombatants, led to incredibly lopsided casualties.  According to the UN, 1,483 Palestinian civilians were killed, while only 4 Israeli civilians were killed during the war.  I’m gonna say that again, bigger this time, so it’s more clear:

1,483 Palestinian civilians to 4 Israeli civilians

We see these kind of numbers so often now that maybe we’ve become desensitized to them.  But that isn’t war, at least not how we’ve come to think of it in a modern context.  It is war the way it is most often truly waged.  A better word might be slaughter.  If this was truly “just” war against terrorism, and not systematic repression, why are civilians–women and children–being targeted?  

In the video, the IDF claims that Breaking the Silence has not offered any proof of their claims.  But let’s address that with just a little common sense.  What possible reason could so many Israeli soldiers have in coming forward to admit even their own atrocities other than a troubled conscience?  In other words, what do they stand to gain by lying?  There are no rewards for them.  Unless the society around them was overwhelmingly against the military, they stand to pay a high social cost for coming forward.  If these were isolated and regrettable events, as IDF claims, why not investigate them thoroughly, whether or not Breaking the Silence could offer proof?  

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