Joel Carmel, Jani Kokko, Elisa Gebhard, Ville Skinnari, Ori Givat


Finnish parliament member Ville Skinnari, along with his Social Democratic Party colleagues Elisa Gebhard and Jani Kokko, held a significant meeting with representatives from the Israeli NGO, Breaking the Silence, at the Finnish Parliament. The group, composed of Israeli military veterans, is known for its advocacy on human rights issues related to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

During their visit from Tel Aviv to Helsinki, Ori Givatin and Joel Carmel from Breaking the Silence discussed the detrimental effects of the Israeli occupation not only on Palestinians but also on Israeli society. The organization, which has been active for over two decades, collects testimonies from soldiers about their experiences in the military, highlighting the harsh realities of duties such as occupying Palestinian homes and detaining children.

The meeting included a briefing on the current situations in Gaza and the West Bank, and the perspectives on Israel's military operations and occupation practices. Breaking the Silence has gathered over 1,400 testimonies from soldiers, painting a stark picture of the conflict's impacts on all involved.

Ville Skinnari expressed that the NGO criticized the Israeli military's doctrines and practices, particularly concerning the number of civilian casualties. "The only solution from their perspective is to end the war and the occupation so that both Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace," Skinnari stated.

The role of NGOs like the Church's Foreign Aid was emphasized as crucial in assisting Palestinians, and Skinnari urged the Finnish government and EU countries to intensify efforts to end the conflict as soon as possible. "Continuation of the war benefits neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis," Skinnari concluded, underscoring the urgent need for peace and cooperation.