An event which was scheduled to be held by the radical left-wing group Breaking the Silence at a kibbutz in northern Israel Monday evening was cancelled, after members of the kibbutz pressured the organization to drop the event.
Breaking the Silence, a fringe, anti-IDF group, had planned to hold a gathering in Neve Ur, a kibbutz north of Beit Shean along Israel’s northeastern border with Jordan.
But the kibbutz was less than welcoming to the far-left group, calling on Breaking the Silence to nix the event.
According to Yisrael Hayom, Breaking the Silence has been turned down or pressured to cancel events by a number of kibbutzim and other small communities across Israel in recent weeks. The kibbutzim Shefayim and Shaar Hagolan both forced cancellations of Breaking the Silence events recently, as did the moshavim Gan Yoshiya and Kfar Hess.
Breaking the Silence has planned another meeting at the kibbutz Mizra, slated for this Thursday. But residents there have already begun a petition demanding the event be cancelled.
Marco Gilboa, a member of the Neve Ur kibbutz and a leader of the opposition to the Breaking the Silence event planned there, explained his decision in an interview with Yisrael Hayom.
“Last Friday, we held a planned meeting in the kibbutz library. I asked the kibbutz secretary to bring other organizations representing the other side [opposing Breaking the Silence], like Haemet Sheli [“My Truth”] and Reservists at the Front, to make a kind of panel discussion and give the other side representation, but the idea was rejected.”
“You have to understand,” continued Gilboa, “there aren’t many right-wingers on the kibbutz. They’re mostly people from the Zionist left who love the country and serve in the army. This isn’t a matter of left versus right. We just are not going to give these people [Breaking the Silence] a platform. It would be like inviting [convicted serial rapist] Benny Sela to speak about defending yourself from rape. In my opinion [Breaking the Silence] is an illegitimate organization.”