Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Breaking The Silence

About This Video

November 2004
Sharon's government is coming under increasing pressure to revive the stalled peace process. Even its soldiers have started criticising the occupation.

"We want Israeli society to wake up and know what's happening there," states former commander Yehuda Shaul. Like most young Israelis, Yehuda served in the army. But his experiences there left him angry and traumatised. Now, he's organised an exhibit of photographs and videos taken by soldiers in the Occupied territories. The aim is to force Israelis to recognise what's actually happening there and how it's damaging many soldiers. "This exhibition is about Israeli soldiers and how they come home after serving in Hebron," explains exhibition contributor Yonathon Boumfeld. "It's like they have a scratch in the brain." The most contentious part of the exhibit is a series of video testimonies from soldiers that include description of war crimes they committed. The soldiers face possible prison sentences for going public with their stories. But they refuse to be put off. More and more conscripts are coming forward with testimonies illustrating how they've been traumatised by their experiences. As exhibition organiser Avihai Sharon explains "We're not trying to ruin the army. We're trying to build the army back to what it's supposed to be."

A searing interview with Avichai Sharon and Noam Chayut, both veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces and members of Breaking the Silence. Sharon and Chayut served during the second intifada, an on-going bloodbath that has claimed the lives of over three thousand Palestinians and nine-hundred-fifty Israelis. After thorough introspection, these young men have chosen to speak out about their experiences as self-described "brutal occupiers of a disputed land." Producer: Sat Gwin

Alternate Focus is available on the Dish Network, Free Speech TV, Channel 9415, Saturdays at 8:00pm EST and on cable stations near you. Check www.alternatefocus.org for details.

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