How the Zionist Left Lost Its Coolest Warrior

In a new memoir, Yuli Novak, former head of the anti-occupation NGO Breaking the Silence, analyzes the organization’s defeat in the battle for public opinion and tries to heal herself. But by dissociating herself from the Zionist left, she appears to be fulfilling the goal of her right-wing detractors

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Yuli Novak was the executive director of Breaking the Silence – a left-wing NGO that has collected testimony from thousands of former Israeli army soldiers about their service in the occupied West Bank – during the middle of the last decade, when the Israeli state embarked on a war against human rights organizations. As with some of Israel’s actual military confrontations, a question also rages over who launched this war and whether it should be categorized as a war of choice, a war of survival or a war of deception. But what’s certain is that there was a war, in which – to judge by the status of such organizations today, or the political mood in the country – the state triumphed and the NGOs and Novak were vanquished.

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