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"A Jerusalem-based research organization denounced as "a major mistake" the choice of Israeli NGO ‘Breaking the Silence’ (BtS) as one of the three finalists for the European Parliament 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought awarded to defenders of human rights and other freedoms.  "This blatantly political act debases the memory of Nobel Laureate Andre Sakharov, a courageous and unfaltering human rights defender," said NGO Monitor.  "BtS is a fringe Israeli political group funded by European governments, and this nomination is immoral and a gross abuse of the principles of human rights and freedom of expression," according to Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. "Israel has one of the most open and vibrant democratic societies in the world. The members of this group do not promote human rights among Israelis and their audience is the international chorus seeking to demonize Israel and its defense against terror," he said."