The offices of the Breaking the Silence organization in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Breaking the Silence’s desperate attempt to recast its mission, thereby making lemons out of lemonade (Achya Schatz, “Breaking the Silence: toward a moral army and a moral country,” The Jerusalem Post, February 11, 2016), is shockingly cynical and hypocritical.
More than anything BtS’s own words fully validate both Im Tirtzu’s campaign against embedded foreign agents, in which BtS was specifically cited, and the disgust and revolt expressed across broad swaths of Israeli society for the organization.
Breaking the Silence would now have us believe that what they have been all along is a political lobbying group seeking to end “the occupation.” Yet, if this has been its goal all along, it has pursued it in a most heinous and destructive way, impugning the morality of countless IDF soldiers, with little or no verification, but plenty of spite.
By its own admission therefore BtS has been happy to defame the IDF, and to besmirch its good name, not to purify the force, but to somehow effect a policy change by the government.
However, the IDF is not a policy setting organization. It is an organization that implements the policies of the government.
Individual soldiers are fulfilling their duty to serve their country, as their country’s political leaders so deem it.
Thinking that they are influencing government policy by de-legitimizing the army is a cynical, scorched-earth approach to seeking change that shows only contempt for the IDF and a complete disregard for the consequences of BtS’s actions.
For years Im Tirtzu has been likening groups like BtS to wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Wrapped in the sanctimonious mantle of “human rights,” these groups have been playing a brazenly political game.
Worse, they have been very content to play the game on behalf of foreign governments seeking to exert influence on Israeli policy, using the back-door cover of Israeli NGOs.
Groups like BtS have been only to happy to “rent” their Israeli nationality as cover for a concerted foreign government effort to strong-arm Israel in whatever way might work. Defame the IDF? Sure, go for it. Stir up unrest in Judea and Samaria? Why not.
Build illegally throughout those areas in the name of “humanitarian aid,” but really just to create facts on the ground? Sure, where do we sign, and how much do you need? All of the enshrined and sacrosanct concepts of liberal democratic respect for the self determination, sovereignty and autonomous integrity of other nations, especially other liberal democracies, fly out the window when it comes to Israel.
Somehow we are not to be trusted with our decision making, especially when it doesn’t meet with the approval of the effete salons of Europe. That’s bad enough.
But for organizations like BtS not only to share in that effort, but to disguise it in a false veneer of human rights crusading, and for that crusading to be a take-no-prisoners defamation campaign, well, we think that is reprehensible.
At the end of the day, BtS exemplifies the mindset of the toxic Left, which is happy to wreak carnage in its effort to get its way.
There are no limits, no bounds of decency which these groups will not cross in order for the rest of us unwashed troglodytes to just shut up and do what we have been told.
Thank you BtS for making this more apparent than we could have ever done ourselves.The author is an executive board member of Im Tirtzu.