‘Breaking the Silence’

 

Sir, – The Israeli embassy’s response to the “Breaking the Silence” exhibition in Dublin illustrates the agenda that Israel’s foreign office has been promoting for years – to distort and hide the truth of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands (“Israeli soldiers speak out on abuse of Palestinians”, July 19th).

“Breaking the Silence” gathers testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Our goal is to tell the story of the occupation through the eyes of Israeli soldiers in order to generate a debate about the moral price of the occupation. We aim to turn our society into a more honest and healthy one.

The Israeli embassy in Dublin clearly does not respect honesty and courage. They referred to us as “useful idiots” and accused us of supporting the destruction of the state of Israel.

The term “useful idiots” is used to silence opposition by implying that someone is a pawn in the hands of the enemy. Our organisation was established by soldiers who could no longer keep quiet about the unjust reality of occupation. It is not easy to speak openly about these things, but we know it is our moral duty.

We are all patriots, and we all love our country. When we enlisted into the army we did so out of love for our country. Today we are guided by that same love. The state of Israel that we want to live in is one that does not force its control over other people.

The embassy claims that we are “delegitimising” the state of Israel. It is time that our ambassadors understood what is clear to everyone – it is the 47-year occupation that is delegitimising Israel.

To the embassy, I say – if you truly care about Israel, join us and break the silence. Until you decide to do so, idiots or not, you are not useful. Not for Israel, and not for the future of the region. – Yours, etc,

YULI NOVAK,

Executive Director,

Breaking the Silence,

PO Box 51027,

Tel Aviv,

Israel.