Monday, July 20, 2009

Breaking the Rules

By Michael Dickson
19 July 09

It is clear from its latest report that the goal of Breaking the Silence is not to bring offending soldiers to justice or even to encourage reforms in IDF policy. If these were its goals, it would include names, ranks, facts, place names and dates; it would have released a detailed report to the authorities to encourage an investigation. Without this information, it is impossible to probe the veracity of the claims.
The organization's efforts to defame Israel in the international arena are successful. Despite the precedent of previous claims made against the IDF being disproved, and without waiting for an investigation into the allegations, supposedly reputable media organizations such as the BBC choose to report them as fact. Defamation of Israel is the order of the day.

Breaking the Silence is misleading in its name and its aim. There is no silence to break. Israel is an open and democratic society that regularly criticizes its own actions, but this one-sided and shoddy report fails to stress the context of the war - a battle against Hamas terrorists hiding behind civilians and it omits names, ranks and facts about soldiers and their stories.

THE REPORT writers are keen to thank their funders, which shamefully include the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, Christian Aid and OXFAM, two charities which have in the past launched vitriolic anti-Israel campaigns, as well as the European Union which gave them $75,000 to "contribute to an atmosphere of human rights respect and values" and "to promote prospects for peace talks and initiatives." The EU is deceiving taxpayers if it is telling them that their money paying for this shoddy report is helping to promote peace.

(Additinal information on funding:"From our work, going through the files of dozens of Israeli nonprofits, we feel that groups like this that are not listed [as an amuta] raises a lot of red flags," said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the head of NGO Monitor.
In response to the claims, Breaking the Silence presented the Post with its donor list for 2008. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv gave the organization NIS 226,589; the Dutch Embassy donated €19,999; and the European Union gave Breaking the Silence €43,514. The NGO also received funding from the New Israel Fund amounting to NIS 229,949.)


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