Breaking The Silence is a group of ex-Israeli soldiers who have taken it upon themselves to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories”.
Today they put out this important message:
In the past few days thousands of people have seen the image on the right: a Palestinian child in the cross hairs of an Israeli soldier’s gun after the soldier took the photo and uploaded it to his personal Instagram account. It was shared hundreds of times, with many people expressing their discomfort with this absurd show of force where a person can aim a gun at a child just to post a ‘cool’ picture and get many shares.
The image on the left was taken by another Israeli soldier in Hebron in 2003. He later gave us the rights to the photo along with a testimony that were presented in the first Breaking the Silence photo exhibition. The solider in question took the photo using his own personal film camera to keep as a ‘souvenir’.
Both pictures are testaments to the abuse of power rooted in the military control of another people.
Ten years have passed. Technology and media have changed. The distribution of images has changed. But the exaggerated sense of power and the blatant disregard for human life and dignity have remained: this is what occupation looks like.