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). The total income for this NGO in 2014 is listed as NIS 3.8 million (accessed July 12, 2015).

The main governmental direct donors in 2014 were the European Union, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands), and Norway.

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” (Table 1 below).

NGO Monitor research reveals that most foreign governmental funding frameworks exhibit a lack of transparency and accountability pertaining to process, objectives, and evaluation. The criteria used to approve the grants remain unclear, as is the degree to which these criteria correspond to the official foreign policies of the funders. Similarly, there is little transparency regarding measures used to evaluate the activities of recipient NGOs, in contrast to self-reporting.

Regarding funding sources, Israeli NGOs are legally obligated to report foreign government income. Most of the data in Table 2 below was taken from the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits and Breaking the Silence – not the funders. Our research also shows that, in some instances, the same governments provide funding through multiple channels to BtS (“double dipping”).

Table 1

EU Funding for Breaking the Silence (received by NGO Monitor on December 20,2015)

Project TitleShort DescriptionContractor's signature date End date of activities Amount 
Educating for Change: Human Rights Education in Israeli SocietyThe objectives of the project are: 1) To engage and educate primarily young Israelis about the importance of respecting human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT) including East Jerusalem (EJ). 2) To  cultivate respect for human rights and international law in the Israeli public by providing direct encounters with human rights violations in the OPT including EJ. 3) To inspire Israeli participants to act to improve human rights respect and daily life in the OPT including EJ.17/08/2015 31/12/2017 EUR  236,000.00 
Educating for Change: Enhancing Broad Respect for Human Rights in Israeli SocietyThe overall objective of the project is to counter apathy and increase resistance in Israeli society to human rights abuses occurring in the Palestinian territories through bottom-up education and empowerment of young Israelis and engagement with Israeli opinion formers.12/12/2011 31/12/2013 EUR  160,914.00 
Personal Encounters with Former Israeli Combat SoldiersTo contribute to an atmosphere of Human Rights respect and values, to facilitate the rise of Israeli democracy values, to contribute to Israel's general compliance with Human Rights covenants & International law and promote prospects for peace talks-initiative.13/12/2007 31/12/2008 EUR  52,242.00 

Table 2

Breaking the Silence funding (in NIS)

Government Donor/year2013 (BtS annual report)2014 (BtS annual report)2015 (Israel Registrar of Non-Profits)
IHL Secretariat (Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Denmark)382,953166,296
Norway397,138165,150Not available
DanChurchAid (Denmark)125,594160,753115,178
SIVMO (Netherlands)595,58150,337Not available
ICCO (Netherlands)147,32546,924Not available
Trocaire (Ireland)73,030302,162
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)270,024146,579108,007
Spain177,660293,424Not available
Misereor (Germany)468,539Not available
Medico International (Germany)40,000Not available
France (Jerusalem Consulate)63,559
CCFD (France)47,25841,600
NDC (Precursor to IHL Secretariat, see above)47,169Not available
Christian Aid (UK)293,500
Total budget3,077,6623,802,165Not available