Monday, January 18, 2016

A silence worth breaking, the reservists fight back - by David Collier

...It has got more serious in the last year or so. There is a growing BDS campaign that relies on and uses much of the work of Breaking the Silence. As a group, we see them (BTS) as a blood libel, we call it ‘the most sophisticated blood libel of the 21st century’. It is designed to make it difficult to oppose, it isn’t easy to fight them. Only now we have found the people we need. People who were with them in the army, in the units, involved in the specific actions who have been able to point out the false statements. And we have footage of what they have said to people outside of Israel and the Israeli public have now woken up to what is happening.

David Collier..
Beyond the Great Divide..
18 January '16..

For anyone living outside of Israel and opposed to the delegitimization of Zionism, it is difficult not to be aware of the movement called Breaking the Silence (BTS). The Boycott movement against Israel frequently use their material, the anti-Zionist groups on campus show their video clips on a loop and left wing political ‘Zionist’ groups like Yachad cling on to their skirt tails and refer to them as heroes.

For some time, most Zionists have considered Breaking the Silence to have crossed too many lines to be deemed legitimate. They have been accused of distortion, of deliberately exaggerating events, and of removing the all-important context from their statements. It is claimed that they receive much of their funding from groups hostile to Israel. Much of their effort seems to be directed towards an international audience. The suggestion that they were simply lying for political gain was never far from the surface. Yet as BTS accusations are invariably anonymous, how do you attack a claim that removes all identifying features from public view?

Recently a group of reservists from the Israeli army, decided to do exactly that. With vast experience of IDF procedure and ethics, these officers knew Breaking the Silence were spinning lies, and by searching out those that served with publicly known members of the group, they began to piece together a real picture of the events that occurred.

With BTS implying that the actions of some of these Israeli soldiers made them war criminals, this movement, ‘Reservists at the Front’, announced they had started proceedings to sue the movement Breaking the Silence for libel in the Israeli courts. Just recently, they met the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to seek support for their action.

On Sunday, 17/01/15, I caught up with Amit Deri, founder of Reservists at the Front and managed to ask him a few questions. Below is an English transcript of the interview.

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