(Jerusalem) – Ahead of tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) report on the recent Gaza conflict by the NGO, Breaking the Silence (BtS), Jerusalem based watchdog, NGO Monitor noted the group’s one sided narrative, made possible through funds from the European Union and others.

  • BtS is a political organization that uses claims of human rights violations by a very few soldiers to promote opposition to “the occupation”. BtS tours to Hebron and the South Hebron Hills highlight the primacy of the political objectives.
  • In the process, they strip away the context of the conflict – particularly the ongoing terror attacks targeting Israeli civilians.
  • BtS uses testimony from a few soldiers to portray a “grim picture” of IDF actions. Like other such allegations, there is no way to verify their accuracy, or whether they are more than marginal exceptions.
  • In contrast, BtS ignores evidence of positive and moral IDF activity, disregarding the extensive IDF measures to prevent injuries to Palestinians caught in this conflict.

Funding sources include:

  • €54,393 from the EU’s EIDHR for “Personal Encounters with Former Israeli Combat Soldiers.” (2008)
  • New Israel Fund (funded in part by the Ford Foundation) $70,976 for “[r]aising public awareness of the destructive consequences that serving in the occupied territories has on Israeli society” (p.15) 2007.
  • Additional funds were provided the UK Embassy in Tel Aviv and others.

As NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg noted “Breaking the Silence is a small and marginal group that seeks to delegitimize the IDF in order to promote private agendas, rather than helping to correct the few examples of immoral behavior that occur in every military force. These few shrill voices are magnified entirely out of proportion by money provided by the European Union, the British Embassy and the NIF.”

Editors Notes:

Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:

The NGO Front in the Gaza War: The Durban Strategy Continues – Feb 12, 2009

Betrayed by Silence: NGOs Ignore Gilad Shalit’s Rights – March 26, 2009

PCHR, Amnesty Lead Gaza ‘Lawfare’ Claims, Ignore Hamas Crimes – Feb 9, 2009