Following the report of an IDF soldier who was detained in the United Kingdom for ‘war crimes’, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced sanctions against ‘Breaking the Silence’, one of the most prominent Israeli NGOs acting against Israel around the world.
Additionally, ‘Im Tirtzu’, an Israeli Zionist NGO, published a report describing the significant financial aid granted by foreign governments to NGOs operating “against Israel and IDF soldiers” inside the country. These NGOs, which include Breaking the Silence, are dubbed in the report as “planted propaganda organizations.”
Breaking the Silence operates internationally, publishing what it describes as “testimonies by IDF soldiers describing Israeli violations of human rights.” On Monday, December 14, Ya’alon banned members of Breaking the Silence from entry to all activities of the Israeli army.
“We are aware of the foolish attempts by some organizations to slander Israel and IDF soldiers around the world,” said the Israeli Defense Minister. “This is a battle that requires us to reveal the true face of these people.”
“This is hypocrisy and false propaganda against the IDF and the State of Israel, and is part of the delegitimization campaigns against us. This is why I ordered to prohibit the entrance of members of ‘Breaking the Silence’ to any activity with the IDF,” added Ya’alon.
Additionally Israeli president Reuven Rivlin said on his Facebook page that he would never participate in any panel where Breaking the Silence representatives were present.
According to the report by Im Tirtzu, between 2013 and 2015 ‘Breaking the Silence’ received over five million shekels (over 1.3 million USD) in foreign aid from the governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Great Britain, the European Union and many more.
“It is a severely anti-Israel propaganda organization, operating with foreign funding among Israeli society, against it,” said Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).
“It isn’t paid to get just any testimony from IDF soldiers, but rather very specific ones on how war crimes were committed in Judea and Samaria, and this makes it a propaganda organization posing as a human rights one,” he argued.
The report states that a Ramallah based fund called ‘The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat’, stated in a 2015 report that it paid Breaking the Silence to get one testimony against the IDF. Rather than just one, they were provided with 57 testimonies.
“In 2015, Breaking the Silence hosted at least nine events around the world presenting IDF soldiers as war criminals,” added Peleg to TPS.
The report also states that during 2015 Hamas admitted using ‘Breaking the Silence’s report concerning the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, for the purpose of the terrorist group’s war against Israel.
“If Breaking the Silence were genuinely concerned about our morality, in the same manner as we strive to preserve our moral values, they would operate directly in conjunction with the IDF rather than tarnish our soldiers’ faces abroad,” said Moshe Ya’alon in his statement.
“There were attempts in the past to verify events and cases pinpointed by Breaking the Silence, but they were unsuccessful,” he added. “As time passed, it became clear that the organization operates with malicious intentions, and we will vehemently fight against such phenomena.”
“The State of Israel supports its commanders and combatants, and we will protect any soldier persecuted or harmed while staying abroad,” concluded the Israeli Defense Minister. “This is an outrageous phenomenon and we have no intention of compromising in the battle for IDF soldiers.”