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  • Website:
  • Registered “company for the benefit of the public” in Israel, founded in 2004.
  • Breaking the Silence (BtS) “collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada,” claiming that the “testimonies portray a…grim picture of questionable orders in many areas regarding Palestinian civilians [which] demonstrate the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military…Israeli society continues to turn a blind eye, and to deny that which happens in its name.”
  • Funding: 2014 income of NIS 3,802, 165 million (latest available; accessed July 12, 2015).
  • 2013-15 donors include: Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Trocaire (Ireland), Dan Church Aid (Denmark), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Christian Aid (UK), Switzerland, FranceCCFD (France), Medico International (Germany),
    Misereor (Germany), AECID (Spain), EUICCO (Netherlands), NorwayRockefeller Brothers FundOpen Society InstituteNew Israel Fund, and others. 
  • Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, BtS received NIS 1,128,209 from foreign governmental bodies in the first half of 2015, NIS 2,310,020 in 2014 and NIS 1,271,368 in 2013 (accessed July 27, 2015). (See table below for detailed funding information).
  • In 2008-2014, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $699,310 to Breaking the Silence (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). 
  • Received two grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund totaling $145,000 (2012-2015). 
  • Breaking the Silence (BtS) has been receiving direct and indirect funding from various European governments for many years. In 2014 (latest comprehensive data available), 61% of BtS’ annual budget was from foreign (European) governments (direct and indirect combined).In addition, in December 2015, following inquiries from NGO Monitor, the EU disclosed that it was providing to BtS an additional €236,000 (~1 million NIS)  in 2015-2017, under a project titled “Educating for Change: Human Rights Education in Israeli Society.”
  • Political Advocacy: Active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel. These charges were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”
  • Although claiming to address Israeli society, the NGO’s lobbying and media advocacy focus on international audiences, including presentations in Europe and the United States. Yehuda Shaul, BtS co-founder, defended this practice: “Sometimes, when you want to deliver messages to the inside, you must go outside.”
  • NGO Monitor revealed that following the 2009 Gaza conflict, several BtS donors conditioned the transfer of money to the group on its ability to gather a minimum number of incriminating “testimonies” against the Israeli army.
  • The cultural center in Zurich is set to host an event, June 4 –14, 2015, featuring the BtS photo exhibition, as well as demonizing “testimonies.” The event is sponsored by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the Municipality of Zurich, and several church groups that are active in delegitimization campaigns against Israel.
  • In 2010 BtS published a highly tendentious book titled Occupation of the Territories - Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010, which claimed to provide a counter to the “official Israeli position” on IDF actions in the territories. NGO Monitor analysis has revealed that this book was rife with methodological problems and appeared to tailor the testimonies to predetermined “analyses” that falsely claimed that Israeli actions are not aimed at self-defense but at “terrorizing the civilian population.”
  • This book was later re-published under the title Our Harsh Logic and translated into Swedish, German, and Dutch. The launching of the book in the various languages served as a platform for further demonization and delegitmization of Israel, including accusations of “racism” and alleged “political assassinations” of Palestinians, claims that Gaza is still “occupied,” and implying that Israel is ethnically cleansing “area C.”
  • Analysis by Amos Harel in Ha’aretz: “Breaking the Silence...has a clear political agenda, and can no longer be classed as a ‘human rights organization.’ Any organization whose website includes the claim by members to expose the ‘corruption which permeates the military system’ is not a neutral observer. The organization has a clear agenda: to expose the consequences of IDF troops serving in the West Bank and Gaza. This seems more of interest to its members than seeking justice for specific injustices.” (July 17, 2009)
  • BtS members and anti-Israel activists Yonatan and Itamar Shapira were on the “Jews for Justice for Palestinians” boat “Irene,” which sought to violate Israel’s security-based policies regarding naval traffic into Gaza (September 2010).
  • During a BtS event at a museum in Sweden (March 2011), Itamar Shapira stated that “We [Israelis] are creating the terror against us.”
  • Conducts tours to Hebron and the South Hebron Hills to “witness first hand the dire situation.” Criticized by Israeli police officials for “antagoniz[ing]...settlers in the hope that the settlers will attack them.”

Amounts based on NGO annual reports (amounts in NIS)

**Figures for 2015 based on quarterly reports, submitted to Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits

Donor 2015** 2014 2013 2012
Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands) 166,296 382,953    
Trociare (Ireland) 302,162 70,030   76,022
DanChurch Aid (Denmark) 115,178 160,753 125,594 135,292
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium) 108,007 146,579 270,024  
Christian Aid (UK) 293,500     67,589
Switzerland  159,500      
France (Consulate) 63,559      
CCFD (France) 41,600 47,258    
Medico International (Germany)   40,000  50,673  
Misereor (Germany)   468,539  333,139 157,017
AECID (Spain)   293,424 177,660 855,843
European Union  518,321 274,493 422,566 444,871
ICCO (Netherlands)    150,337 147,325 153,541
Norway    165,150  248,823 148,315
SIVMO (Netherlands)   46,924    
NDC (Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands)   47,169   238,501
OXFAM (UK)       25,000



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