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Controversy Erupts Over Anti-Israel Group at Columbia University Hillel

Paul Miller

Observer

Fri Apr 01 2016

On Thursday evening, approximately 50 Columbia University students came out to see the Israeli non-governmental organization Breaking the Silence at the Kraft Center for Jewish Life (Hillel). Off limits to the press, the event was sponsored by J Street CU and The Human Rights Graduate Group at CU.

According to their website, “Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.”

In a recent interview, civil rights icon and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz stated that BTS is the “single worst offender in making the case against Israel” and is “acting incredibly irresponsibly by refusing to name sources, by refusing to be specific, by making overly general and false allegations. They are doing tremendous damage to Israel because they are not telling the truth.”

Breaking the Silence appearances have stirred up emotions of pro-Israel advocates across the country who regard BTS as anti-Israel. Former IDF paratrooper and Columbia student Rudy Rochman agrees with that perspective, telling the Hyam Salomon Center in an exclusive interview that he regards BTS as “traitors and liars” and believes featured speaker Avner Gvaryahu’s goal is “to become rich and famous and is willing to sell put his own people, his own country for his own cause.”...

Controversy Erupts Over Anti-Israel Group at Columbia University Hillel