Representatives from Breaking the Silence were noticeably absent from the Knesset Education, Sports and Culture Committee panel, which convened on Tuesday for a discussion of the group’s activities.
“We invited Breaking Silence to the discussion and time and again there was no response,” committee chairman MK Ya’acov Margi (Shas) said in the opening remarks.
He noted that only the night before the Knesset meeting did he receive a written response from the group, which he read to the committee: “The title of the committee meeting leaves no room for doubt regarding the objectives of the discussion, and we do not intend to participate in discussions that are part of an incitement campaign against the soldiers of Breaking the Silence, and we oppose the occupation,” the Breaking the Silence statement read.
Margi criticized the group for its absence and said the discussion would continue as scheduled, despite calls from other MKs to cancel it in their absence.
“A group like this that demeans the Knesset, suspects the Knesset, doesn’t leave room for doubt, but despite all this we will hold the session today,” he said.
“How a group which seemingly wants to purify the atmosphere in the State of Israel, which seemingly wants to purify the IDF, with all these nice words, doesn’t leave doubt regarding its true objectives and its statements,” Margi added.
The panel – “The activity of the Breaking the Silence organization against the citizens of Israel and IDF soldiers” – quickly turned into a heated discussion between the Right and the Left, with many MKs being forcibly removed from the room.