Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid (R) announced in 2016 that he and 600 IDF reservists would fight Breaking the Silence. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90) (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Yair Lapid

Several hundred IDF combat reservists and officers are currently working to file a slander lawsuit against “Breaking the Silence,” accusing the group of intentionally and consistently disseminating outright lies.

Several hundred Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat reservists and officers who organized a committee called “Reservists at the Front” are currently working to file a slander lawsuit against the nongovernmental organization Breaking the Silence, which publishes and promotes testimonies (often anonymous) about alleged IDF misdeeds. The reservists claim that Breaking the Silence intentionally and consistently disseminates outright lies.

Amit Deri, a major in the IDF reserves and one of the leaders of the campaign against the NGO, told Israel Hayom that “over a long period of time we’ve collected facts that prove that Breaking the Silence twists, manipulates and sometimes even lies, slandering IDF soldiers and commanders in Israel and the world.”

“Breaking the Silence has a video clip called ‘Equal Treatment for Prisoners’ that includes the message from Avner Gvaryahu’s testimony [published in the U.K.’s The Independent newspaper during Operation Protective Edge] that we abuse prisoners and beat them regularly, as a policy. Members of his [army] team claim that’s a complete lie and that he libeled them.”

The IDF soldiers and officers plan to reach out to Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein for approval to file the slander lawsuit. Reservists at the Front needs Weinstein’s permission to proceed because the litigants are IDF soldiers.

Reservists at the Front also recently sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which they wrote, among other things, that Breaking the Silence was indirectly helping the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. After the letter was received, a meeting was scheduled for Netanyahu and the reservist leaders.

“I would like to thank you for your struggle for the truth, the truth about IDF soldiers and the IDF,” Netanyahu told the reservist leaders, who met with the prime minister on Sunday at his office in Jerusalem.

“You are company commanders and soldiers, and you rightly cry out against the lies being spread about us and the slander of IDF soldiers that is being systematically carried out by a body that is simply spreading lies. I know of no other way to fight against the lie than by telling the truth, and this is exactly what you are doing. You deserve all support, not just ours but that of all Israeli citizens and that of all those who hold dear the State of Israel and the IDF,” Netanyahu stated.

By: and United with Israel Staff