the Silence: The Next Phase
Last week, the exhibition of photographs and testimonies "Breaking the Silence" Fighters Tell about Hebron closed, after being on display during June at the Gallery of Geographic Photography in Yad Eliahu, Tel Aviv.
During the month, over 6,000 visitors came to the exhibition, from all over the country; many themselves were soldiers, many of those soldiers brought their families with them, and at the exhibition told their families what they felt and what they do during their own military service.
The exhibition became an unending gallery discussion during which not only did we talk about how we felt and what we had done in our military service, but also many of the visitors to the exhibition decided to break their own silence and began to talk. We heard from many about experiences they had undergone which were similar to ours. From many others, we also heard of different things, tough experiences, things we found unbelievable, things that require checking, investigation and exposure. We understood that what we had displayed at the exhibition about our Hebron experience was only the tip of the iceberg most of which is still hidden from view. We understood then that an opportunity has fallen into our laps the right to break a small tip of that iceberg, to break the silence.
Amongst visitors to the gallery were people who expressed their wish to give witness about things they had seen, things that happened in their presence, things they were part of, things they initiated and carried out. Dozens of soldiers decided after their visit to the exhibition to write new testimonies about some of the situations they had been in during their military service: situations they felt should be brought to the attention of the Israeli public. We understood that we had opened a crack in the door; we understood that our role was not over, we understood that we had to continue, to listen and record what these soldiers have to say, and put all this material together and expose it to our fellow Israeli citizens. We understood it is our duty to discuss in our homes what happens there, in the occupied territories.
Breaking the Silence is moving on, into its next stage. At the exhibition, we concentrated on Hebron. We are now opening "Breaking the Silence" to all.
IF YOU SERVED IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES DURING THE PAST FOUR YEARS, AND YOU WISH TO BREAK YOUR SILENCE, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.
In our intention to open the crack of the door wider, through which the Israeli public will receive information about what their sons and daughters do during their military service in the Occupied Territories, all of which we are undertaking with care to safeguard both the confidentiality and the identities of the soldiers who decide to break the silence, as we did at the exhibition.
During the coming months we intend to cover the whole country, to gather more testimonies from fighters about their military service in the Occupied Territories; these testimonies we intend to display on our website: www.shovrimshtika.org and through the media (very soon we shall be publishing the testimonies we collected during the course of the exhibition). We intend to take the exhibition to exhibition spaces outside the centre of the country. To set up meetings and discussions at youth clubs, schools, universities and private houses. To set up frameworks where fighters who are interested can break the silence.
We learnt something else during the exhibition. "Breaking the Silence" exhausted our bank account. To set in motion the work programme we have set ourselves during the coming months, we need your help. Your help is important to us, not only in order to fund our activities, but also in order to receive the support and encouragement which it is in your hands to give.
In order to make contact for the purpose of giving testimony, contact:
or leave message at: 068-454725
To arrange meetings and gatherings in public halls as well as in private houses:
leave message at: 068-454725
Bank Hapoalim, Account Number 315451, Branch 608
Cheques should be made out to "Breaking the Silence" and may also be posted to
POB 68150, Jerusalem 91681.
The website address: www.shovrimshtika.org