Breaking the Silence: Talking about the Occupation in Israel

Empty streets and locked houses in Hebron

The Israeli organization Breaking the Silence was founded by veteran Israeli soldiers, who used to serve in the occupied territories. This organization voices the traumatic experiences of young soldiers serving in the occupied territories of Palestine.

By addressing formerly concealed topics, Breaking the Silence breaks discursive taboos and facilitates an open debate about the psycho-social effects of the occupation on Israeli soldiers. The committed work of Breaking the Silence serves as an eye-opener and shows, also to the Israeli public, how rewarding open discussions with the “opponents” can be and that adherence to human rights and a cessation of the violent occupation can provide a viable future for Israel.

Checkpoint in HebronMembers of “Breaking the Silence” gather testimonies, which are presented in publications, exhibitions and films. They organize tours through the Palestinian city of Hebron and explain the devastating effects that the occupation of the old town by Israeli settlers and army has on the lives of Palestinians. The organization has conducted more than 5000 such tours in the last few years for various groups, including Knesset-members, foreign diplomats and journalists.