'Stabbing a soldier at a checkpoint is not a terrorist attack'

New Channel 20 investigative series exposes tactics of 'Breaking the Silence', whose goal is to change Israeli public opinion.

Channel 20 ,

Arab suspect in Old City stabbing
Arab suspect in Old City stabbing
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Special documentation of Israeli far-left organizations is exposed in a new series of reports starting to air today on Channel 20. One of the most well-known and discussed among them is "Breaking the Silence", whose objective is to infiltrate schools and youth groups and change public opinion in Israel, and was infiltrated by researchers from the Ad Kan organization.

The researchers documented the organization's goings-on over a long period with hidden cameras. "If you shoot soldiers, you are trying to kill soldiers, you're not a terrorist," explained "Breaking the Silence" activist coordinator Nadav Wyman to an Ad Kan researcher who was planted as a group activist. "The truth is that most of them are not terrorists but freedom-fighters. If another country occupies your country, the place where you live, you are allowed to fight by violent means against the occupier, only, only, against soldiers and police. But if you stab a soldier at a checkpoint - that's not a terrorist attack."

Wyman believed he was briefing new "Breaking the Silence" activists. But the two "activists", Amir and Chai, documented the organization's activities for a long period: Preparations for lectures, tours in Judea and Samaria, methods of operation, and efforts aiming to go into schools and academic institutions. Recently public debate peaked over leftist activist's infiltration into schools, academic institutions, and army bases.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett is trying to stop the activists from entering schools, and last week a bill passed its preliminary reading that is intended to deny entry to operatives in schools.

Recordings exposed, among other things, how the organization tries to "soften" its message to the Israeli public. "When you're establishing a rapport, occasionally you have to throw in a patriotic statement, so you say, 'I want the IDF to defend the State of Israel and the State of Israel now borders the Green Line," explained Wyman to the researcher regarding how to prepare for public lectures. "In many ways the checkpoints are structured for deterrence. You and I know that soldiers at checkpoints deal blows ... You and I know there is no such thing as a soldier standing at a checkpoint who doesn't deliver a beating at least once a day to somebody. A slap, a punch .. ", thus Weiman presents IDF soldiers in briefing Ad Kan researchers.

Last week, the "Breaking the Silence law" passed in preliminary reading with a majority of 51 MKs versus 17 MKs from Labor and Meretz. The law is designed to provide the Education Minister the power to ban individuals or organizations that are not part of the education system to conduct activities in the educational institution when the activity subverts educational polices or is designed to harm IDF soldiers. During the discussion, Minister Bennett told the Knesset that "'Breaking the Silence' seeks not only to poison the world against us with hatred for Israel, but also to poison our children, our youth. They want to come into school and poison them with these contemptible lies."

A "Breaking the Silence" activist said: "We've been doing it even before 'Breaking the Silence' had a strategy. Meet the public, Israeli society, all the little ones of the United Kibbutz Movement... we do tons of work with youth groups, schools, ...tons..."

Nadav Weiman further explains why it is important for activists to keep up a military appearance: "Why don't we shave and all that? Our press advisers tell us to do it because we still have to present a soldierly image, like people on the ground. We deal with very high politics, you know, like meetings in EU headquarters in Brussels and in embassies, and we always need to look like we're still soldiers .."

"Breaking the Silence" said in response: "If Channel 20 chooses to pick on volunteer Wyman who is not an elected official, but rather a former recon fighter and proud Silence Breaker, taking his informal comments during a private conversation and having a plant from the extreme right intentionally record them, then I guess that Channel 20 does not read books. Here is the position of 'the' international terrorism expert, none other than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who wrote in his book: "The terrorists tend to describe themselves as 'guerrilla fighters' .... but the guerrillas aren't terrorists. They are irregular troops, fighting regular army forces and not civilians (from Binyamin Netanyahu's Terror - How the West Can Win')."