Yehuda Shaull was 30 when we met him in Jerusalem, a very pleasant ex-soldier who could not live with himself .The year was 2010 and he and a few other soldiers simply were unable to keep quiet anymore.They were continuing their work as truth tellers in Israeli society. After being discharged in 2004 he and some comrades started Breaking the Silence with a photo exhibition about their dirty work in Hebron.
Shaull was a typical Orthodox kid growing up in Jerusalem, the son of a Canadian mother and American father. He wanted to serve in the army and got his wish in Hebron, a hell hole of occupation for Palestinians. To sum up his remarks would be simple: “You can not have occupation and purity of arms, the IDF doctrine about Israel being the most moral army in the world.”
What he saw was moral corruption and the daily humiliation of the original Palestinian settlers.
“We understood that in order to carry out our routine activities as soldiers, whose role is to control the territories and the civilian Palestinian population – we needed to erase the humanity of Palestinians along with our own humanity.”
Launched in the bubble of Tel Aviv where people are laid back and simply do not want to be disturbed about messy things like occupation, Breaking the Silence became a hit. It struck a chord among other sensitive young Israelis who had had the same experience in other parts of the Occupied Territories.
Israeli kids are like any other. And when you hand your mind over to the army and take a vow at torch light at the Western Wall, the army has you. Growing up in a racist society you never meet a Palestinian, well you see what can happen.The Other remains the other.
Hats off to Breaking the Silence, Jews of conscience in Israel.
Now they’ve hit the press with their shocking revelations about the summer slaughter called Protective Edge in Gaza,”a policy of “indiscriminate fire” in “ areas where there are no civilians” except for 1,462 civilians, of whom 495 were children and 253 women.
Not everybody in Israel salutes Shaull.