Breaking Down Breaking The Silence
My Truth is a non-partisan organisation comprised of male and female reserve soldiers whose aim is to educate about the work done by the IDF and the values which its soldiers strive to meet.
My Truth stresses that it unequivocally condemns all deviations from the IDF’s ethical code, and supports constructive criticism aiming to help Israeli soldiers deal better and more effectively with the moral dilemmas and the complex reality which they are confronted with, both on a regular basis and also in emergency situations.
They published the following which rebuts directly the claim that Breaking The Silence make wherein IDF soldiers use Palestinians who have been arrested as human shields.
Breaking the Silence’s Yuli Novak has repeatedly stated on Israeli television that not a single testimony publicised by her organisation has been proven false. Is that so?
Perhaps she should start by checking with Nadav Wieman, the activist coordinator at her organisation. It’s worth asking what his team commander from the army thinks about the testimonies that Wieman supplied, because as opposed to anonymous testimonies, when you publish something in your name, like Wieman did, you expose the statement to criticism and public judgment, and sometimes even to responses from other soldiers who were at the event you describe, at the same place and at the same time, and somehow they tell the story a little bit differently.
This is exactly what happened when Dor Hadad, the team commander of the Nachal brigade’s commando unit, saw a testimony published by a former subordinate of his, Nadav Wieman. Wieman isn’t just anybody – he’s an employee of Breaking the Silence. Hadad’s response is visible in the picture.
Here’s an extract from Wieman’s statement:
“Nadav, combat soldier in the reserves in the Nachal reconnaissance company, now a tour guide and activist coordinator in Breaking the Silence. Nadav describes how in the course of arresting someone in Balata, he and his team proceeded on foot from the refugee camp while using a detainee as a human shield.”
For those familiar with the procedure for arrests or knows where Balata is, this testimony is awkward. For the rest of us, read the response of the commander and see for yourselves.
As the commander of your team, I think that I can say with a fair amount of certainty that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.The things you’ve said are not correct. Alternatively, it could be that perhaps you didn’t understand what happened/happens around you. We never worked with “human shields”.
Our morality and our consciences were too strong for us to be drawn into things like that. We worked with utter humanity and in the framework of the conditions we were required to operate, and until today, when I remember the missions were tasked with, I feel that we did all we could and my conscience is clean.
There were cases in which we took detainees through alleys, and it may be that your confusion stems from this. The very fact of a weapon being used over someone else’s shoulder was in order to not aim the weapon at that detainee and so that the soldier would be able to respond.
Also, about the position of the detainee: The spearhead of the team (Your friends and I – the frontal squad) constituted that “human shield” you talk about. By which I mean that we were the “human shield” for you and the detainee. The soldier accompanying the detainee must put the detainee in front, because that’s the way he’s facing, and of course he can’t put the detainee behind him, where he can’t see the detainee.
In conclusion, Nadav, it’s a shame that you chose to spread lies about your brothers-in-arms. It’s important to note that Nadav never turned to me and said that he feels we’re not humane enough. To come and complain now is a bit funny.