Hebron shooting shows why Breaking the Silence is so crucial

Instead of calling Breaking the Silence ‘traitors,’ Israel’s defense minister should listen to what they have to say — just for once.

Dear Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon,

How are your Purim celebrations going? Are you having fun? Did you dress up? Any chance you happened to watch the video shot in Hebron on Thursday? The one where an Israeli soldier executes a man as he lies bleeding on the ground?

Do not roll your eyes, dear minister. The video may make your insides churn, but you, after all, have a stomach of steel. So watch the video over again, Minister Ya’alon. What you see happened in real life.

Had it not been for the camera that captured the murder, the only way we could have possibly heard about it would be through a testimony given to Breaking the Silence. Perhaps one of the soldiers present at the scene would have come to the offices of the organization, where he or she would give their testimony after being unable to deal with the nightmares. Just like many other soldiers who could not bear the silence — both their own and Israeli society’s — and opened their mouth.

You know, the ones you accused of committing treason.

Watch the Hebron video over and over again, and ask for forgiveness from Breaking the Silence, whose name you have besmirched. There will not be a camera to document every horrific thing that takes place as a result of your policies. But there will almost always be those who still hold on to the concept of decency, and they will let their voice be heard.

Instead of calling them traitors, listen to them. At least today. Then you can go back to the lies and incitement. But at least today, for one single Purim holiday, shut up and listen to them.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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