Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made an alliance with the racist Jewish Power party that even the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has condemned. He is portraying his only viable opponent — former Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff Benny Gantz, who boasts in a campaign video that, under his command in 2014, “parts of Gaza were sent back to the Stone Age” — as a leftist. Gantz, for his part, has formed a joint ticket with former finance minister and Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid, who has accused Breaking the Silence of “spreading lies.” Meanwhile, the only Jewish political party openly campaigning for an end to the occupation, Meretz, may lose the few seats it has in the Knesset.
The collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in 2000 led to a gaping political vacuum in which almost no political parties are pushing for an end to occupation — or even acknowledging it exists. That’s where Breaking the Silence and other organizations like B’Tselem, the information center for human rights in the occupied territories, come in. They have become the de facto opposition in Israel, because they are in the West Bank, spotlighting Israeli state violence and pushing a rights-based narrative. “Occupation is one of the most normal things in Israel. One of the hardest things for Israelis to do today is imagine an Israel that is not an occupying entity. It’s our national enterprise,” Shaul said. “We didn’t sign up to be the Israeli opposition, but now we are.”
As Bubis told me, “It’s a fight over what’s happening here. We’re not just exposing the reality of occupation, we’re fighting the mechanisms that maintain it.” In mid-July, while giving a tour in Hebron to eight eager American Jews who had just walked off their Birthright trips, a settler child lobbed a can of yellow paint at Bubis, which splattered all over her curly hair. The soldiers present just stood there looking on, as Bubis grabbed for some tissues and asked if anyone had caught the act on their phones.
This is a fairly average day in Hebron for Breaking the Silence, whose guides are often harassed by settlers. Just a couple weeks later, Shaul was punched in the face by a settler in the same area while giving a tour. When I saw him a week later, back in Hebron to give another tour, he was surrounded by activists serving as a buffer between him and the settlers, and was wearing a GoPro camera in a harness strapped around his torso. He acted like it was just another day at the office. [Source]
What's that new definition of anti-Semitism again? Oh, I remember. It's speaking the truth about Zionist war crimes and crimes against humanity and how under international law, the Zionists' ethnocratic project is clearly illegal.