The Israeli soldiers speak with embarrassment about
throwing stun grenades at Palestinian children for fun, harassing a bride
and groom, and standing by as Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinians’
Their photos and stark testimonials are the heart of a new exhibit that
tells a story of the intertwined and violent lives of the military,
Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron.
After completing their three years of compulsory military service, a group
of infantry soldiers decided Israel needed to know about what they call
”the crazy reality” of their experiences in Hebron – a city where about
500 settlers live in three enclaves surrounded by 130,000 Palestinians.
The Hebron settlers include some of the most extreme among the 200,000
Israelis in the West Bank and often rampage through the city. The
Palestinians of Hebron, who insist that all the settlers must leave, are
also known for their extremism, targeting settlers and soldiers in shooting
and bombing attacks.
More than 80 soldiers who served in Hebron got together to create the
exhibit of photographs and video testimony, called ”Breaking the Silence.”
Organizers said the idea of the exhibit was both to come to terms with
their own actions and to serve as a warning to others..