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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: 2013 income of NIS 3,077,662 million (latest available; accessed March 15, 2015). 
  • 2013/4 donors include the European Union, Misereor (Germany), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Norway, AECID (Spain), Dan Church Aid (Denmark), ICCO (Netherlands), CCFD (France), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), SIVMO (Netherlands), Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Open Society Institute, New Israel Fund, and others. (See table below for detailed funding information).
  • Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, BtS received 992,901 NIS from foreign governmental bodies in 2014 and 1,271,368 NIS in 2013 (accessed March 15, 2014).
  • In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $560,428 to Breaking the Silence (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). 
  • Received two grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund totaling $145,000 (2012-2015). 
  • 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.”

*2014 funding based on information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits; 2013 funding based on annual report.

Donor 2013 2014
European Union 422,566 134,959
Misereor (Germany) 333,139 105,546
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium) 270,024 150,667
Norwegian Embassy 248,823 165,150
AECID (Spain) 177,660 117,416
ICCO (Netherlands) 147,325  
Dan Church Aid (Denmark) 125,594 87,941
Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands)   137,040
Medico International (Germany) 50,673  
CCFD (France)   47,258
SIVMO (Netherlands)   46,924
Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK) 157,150  
Foundation for Middle East Peace 36,185  
Open Society Institute 135,740  
Rockefeller Brothers Fund 155,980  
New Israel Fund 72, 025  



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