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zthe trial and conviction of an Israeli soldier, Sgt. Elor Azarya and the detailed decision handed down by the court did not end the polarization and internal conflict over this case – if anything, the conviction increased the divisions.

The network of civil society groups claiming to promote human rights and peace are among the core activists and polarizers, enabled by large budgets provided by European governments and some (mainly American) private foundations…The political organization known as B’Tselem has played a central role in this process.

Of the NIS 9.3 million ($2.5 million) reported in the NGO’s latest published financials, two-thirds came from funds (usually through top-secret procedures) of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, UK, the Netherlands, Spain, and others. Together, between 2012 and 2014, Israeli political NGOs on the left (many of which are current or past members of the NIF network) reported receiving NIS 170 million or $45 million from European governments, adding massively to the anger and polarization of Israeli society.

European officials claim that the money promotes democracy, peace and human rights, but the details show that most of the funds are used instead for political warfare, through boycotts and false “war crimes” campaigns, in order to pressure Israel to “end the occupation”.

Europe has its own political and moral crises, to which it could apply the millions in taxpayer funds channeled to B’Tselem and the other NGOs. And Israel faces enough challenges without adding to the dangerous polarization unleashed in the Azarya trial.