Breaking the Silence is an organisation of veteran soldiers 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 Palestinian territories. They endeavour to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life. Their work aims to bring an end to the occupation.
Avner Gvaryahu was born in the Israeli city of Rehovot and raised in the religious-Zionist community. During his army service, he served in the special forces of the paratroopers brigade, where he attained the rank of staff sergeant.
A year after he was discharged he joined Breaking the Silence as a researcher and tour guide with a focus on working with world Jewry and later became director of the Public Outreach. He has been the organisation’s executive director since August 2017.
Avner holds a BA in social work from Tel Aviv University and an MA from the Institute for the Study of Human Rights in Columbia University.