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Activist 'Breaks the Silence' on IDF's Heroism, Human Rights

Activist turns the tables on anti-IDF event when he gives his own 'witness testimony' of Israel's dedication to human rights.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 6/9/2014, 9:39 PM

Far-left anti-IDF group Breaking the Silence received a taste of its own tactics on Friday, after a nationalist from the Samaria Residents' Council "participated" in a "witness testimony" propaganda event. 

Breaking the Silence events usually feature "testimony" from (alleged) former IDF soldiers, who spin personal stories about the Israeli military's activities in Judea and Samaria. Accusations usually include systemized abuse of Palestinian Arab prisoners, racism, and more, and are rarely if ever substantiated. 

But on Friday, one activist - Tamir Yacobi from the grassroots Samaria Resident's Council, which aims to protect and empower Jewish Samaria residents - decided to present testimony of his own, crashing a "Breaking the Silence" event in Tel Aviv. 

Yacobi begins to laud the IDF, and the humane way it treats Palestinian Arab terrorists while they are in Israeli detention. 

"I enlisted in 2006, to the Armored Corps, to the 75th Battalion of the illustrious 7th Brigade, which took part in many famous battles, and participated at all of Israel's wars," Yacobi stated. "The Brigade is also known as 'Storm from the Golan'. After we enlisted, we were imbued with the IDF fighting spirit, and told of heroic deeds and fierce battles. I thought I would be honored to serve my country in that brigade."

Yacobi is then seen being interrupted and escorted offstage by security personnel from Breaking the Silence, who are heard telling him that "there is a line" for dedicated speakers and that he was breaking the rules. 

The Samaria Resident's Council posted the video and the full text of his intended speech to Facebook, however, where it has begun to "go viral" - gaining more than 1,000 "likes" and being shared 1,014 times as of this writing. 

Yacobi's full testimony is below:

I enlisted in 2006, to the Armored Corps, to the 75th Battalion of the illustrious 7th Brigade, which took part in many famous battles, and participated at all of Israel's wars. The Brigade is also known as 'Storm from the Golan'. After we enlisted, we were imbued with the IDF fighting spirit, and told of heroic deeds and fierce battles. I thought I would be honored to serve my country in that brigade. From time to time, we were switched to Infantry duty, patrolling various points in Israel. Our patrols caught quite a few Palestinians attempting to cross from the Palestinian Authority areas into Israel.

I can never forget seeing them for the first time... they were just sitting there, in the holding cells, their eyes covered and their hands tied. I was just a young soldier. So I asked one our sergeants, 'what are you going to do with them?' He looked at me with empty eyes and said: 'Nothing, we're transferring them to the Police or to the Border Police.' I could not imagine what they would suffer there...

That was, before I discovered that they would be held for three days, and then set free. In fact, before we transferred them to the police, we provided them with blankets and food, and even cigarettes… 

Are you getting that?! These people, who did not cross the border for nothing, some of whom may well have been bent on murder, just because their victims belong to a different nationality, as did the Nazis and before them the Crusaders, would be returned safely to their homes! 

However, their intention did not prevent me, or any other IDF soldier, from providing them with all of the human rights they are entitled to. And we do that, knowing that there is a good possibility that one of them could be a heinous terrorist bent on slaughtering me – me, the one that calls you brothers and sisters – or your children and your families. 

And that is the virtue that makes the IDF the most moral army of the world, and turns you people into hypocrites tainted with anti-Semitism that try to besmirch the most moral army in the world with lies and slander.

But here, at least, your attempt to use the IDF as a pawn in your political game didn't succeed. And you know why? Because we Israelis know the truth full well, and we know who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys. And you? Have you understood that yet?

Breaking the Silence has accused Israel of "war crimes" against Palestinian Arabs, and produced a book entitled Occupation of the Territories – Israeli Soldier Testimonies 2000-2010 which attempted to provide "alternative versions" of the official reports on events from the IDF. 

The book falsely claimed that Israeli actions are not aimed at self-defense but at “terrorizing the civilian population," and later editions in other languages added false claims of "political assassinations" and "ethnic cleansing" in Judea and Samaria.