• 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 NIS 819,100 from foreign governmental bodies in the first half of 2013 (accessed December 29, 2013). (Quarterly reports for 2012 are not available on the Registrar's website).
  • 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).
  • 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.”
2012 Donors (partial list) Amount (in NIS)
AECID 855,843
Delegation of the EU to Israel 444,871
NGO Development Center (NDC) 238,501
Misereor 157,017
ICCO 153,541
Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv 148,315
Dan Church Aid 135,292
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

 

    Breaking the Silence Essentials: