• Website: www.shovrimshtika.org
  • Registered “company for the benefit of the public” in Israel, founded in 2004.
  • Breaking the Silence (BtS) “collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada,” claiming that the “testimonies portray a…grim picture of questionable orders in many areas regarding Palestinian civilians [which] demonstrate the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military…Israeli society continues to turn a blind eye, and to deny that which happens in its name.”
  • Funding: 2012 income of NIS 3,726,988 million.
  • Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, BtS received 1,271,368 NIS from foreign governmental bodies in 2013.
  • 2012/3 donors include AECID (Spain), European Union, ICCO (Netherlands), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Open Society Institute (US), Christian Aid (UK), DanChurchAid, New Israel Fund, Medico International, Trocaire (Ireland), and Norway (see chart below).
  • In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $560,428 to Breaking the Silence (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). 
  • Received two grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund totaling $145,000 (2012-2015). 
  • Political Advocacy: The NGO was active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel after the Gaza fighting in January 2009. These charges were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”
  • In 2010 BtS published a highly tendentious book titled Occupation of the Territories - Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010, which claimed to provide a counter to the “official Israeli position” on IDF actions in the territories. NGO Monitor analysis has revealed that this book was rife with methodological problems and appeared to tailor the testimonies to predetermined “analyses” that falsely claimed that Israeli actions are not aimed at self-defense but at “terrorizing the civilian population.”
  • This book was later re-published under the title Our Harsh Logic and translated into Swedish, German, and Dutch. The launching of the book in the various languages served as a platform for further demonization and delegitmization of Israel, including accusations of “racism” and alleged “political assassinations” of Palestinians, claims that Gaza is still “occupied,” and implying that Israel is ethnically cleansing “area C.”
  • Analysis by Amos Harel in Ha’aretz: “Breaking the Silence...has a clear political agenda, and can no longer be classed as a ‘human rights organization.’ Any organization whose website includes the claim by members to expose the ‘corruption which permeates the military system’ is not a neutral observer. The organization has a clear agenda: to expose the consequences of IDF troops serving in the West Bank and Gaza. This seems more of interest to its members than seeking justice for specific injustices.” (July 17, 2009)
  • Although claiming to address Israeli society, the NGO’s lobbying and media advocacy focus on international audiences, including presentations in Europe and the United States. Yehuda Shaul, BtS co-founder, defended this practice: “Sometimes, when you want to deliver messages to the inside, you must go outside.”
  • BtS members and anti-Israel activists Yonatan and Itamar Shapira were on the “Jews for Justice for Palestinians” boat “Irene,” which sought to violate Israel’s security-based policies regarding naval traffic into Gaza (September 2010).
  • During a BtS event at a museum in Sweden (March 2011), Itamar Shapira stated that “We [Israelis] are creating the terror against us.”
  • Conducts tours to Hebron and the South Hebron Hills to “witness first hand the dire situation.” Criticized by Israeli police officials for “antagoniz[ing]...settlers in the hope that the settlers will attack them.”
Donors (amounts in NIS)
2012 2013
AECID 855,843 261,794
Delegation of the EU to Israel 444,871 413,684
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)   262,102
NGO Development Center (NDC) 238,501  
Misereor 157,017  
ICCO 153,541 146,875
Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv 148,315  
Dan Church Aid 135,292 186,913
UNICEF 110,900  
Trocaire 76,022  
Christian Aid 67,589  
Oxfam GB 25,000  
Ford Foundation 91,785  
New Israel Fund 84,915  
Open Society Institute 115,617  

 

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