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    Israeli Ex-Soldiers "Break the Silence" in Sweden

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    A group of Israeli soldiers felt the need after their military service to speak out about what they had been through in the occupied territories. This became the start of "Breaking the Silence." Our correspondents in Sweden have more.

    The exhibition "Breaking the Silence" is now on display at the Army museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Itamar Shapira, an Israeli ex-soldier, talks to a Swedish high school class. He explains the daily life of an Israeli soldier stationed in the occupied territories.

    [...]

    "Breaking the Silence" was born in 2004 when a group of people wanted to speak out about what they experienced and saw during their military service at the West bank and Gaza.

    Today it's a human rights organization that collects testimonies from Israeli soldiers and ex-soldiers to bring to the Israeli public.

    Shapira says it is important for the Israeli people, and the world's people, to know that there are missions whose sole purpose is to provoke.

    [Itamar Shapira, Ex-soldier, Volunteer, "Breaking the Silence"]:
    "Going in to civilian areas to look for the people that will be violent against you. Places that you are controlling. With people that have no rights. Oppressing them. This is a war against civilians, a war against society."

    Dotan Greenvald, ex-soldier and volunteer for Breaking the Silence, thinks that criticism is something that all democratic civilians must do in order to make their societies better.

    [Dotan Greenvald, Ex-soldier, Volunteer, "Breaking the Silence"]:
    "To question the army and to criticize the army (is) considered to be very a big taboo in Israel and we have the legitimacy to hold a gun at age 18 so we have all the rights to criticize what we did in words."

    One of the high school students attending gave a suggestion for what Israel and Palestine should do to be able to live together in the future.

    ]...]

    NTD News, Stockholm, Sweden