Monday, 27 July 2009

Christian European NGOs funding anti-Israeli "Breaking the Silence"

Source: NGO Monitor

Website: : Breaking the Silence (Shovirm Shtika)

* Registered company in Israel, founded in 2004.

* Funders in 2008 include the European Union (€43,514), the British government (NIS 226,589), the New Israel Fund (NIF -- $68,833 in 2008), the Netherlands (€19,999) ["Sources say Verhagen reproached senior figures in the Dutch Foreign Ministry upon learning this and gave instructions to launch an internal investigation on the matter. It showed that the embassy in Israel gave Breaking the Silence 19,995 euros to help put together its 2009 report, which discusses Operation Cast Lead and was released earlier this month. Had this figure been five euros higher, it would have required approval from The Hague."], the Spanish government, Oxfam, Christian Aid, the Moriah Fund, ICCO (Dutch church group) and SIVMO (Dutch).

* In 2007, NIF granted Breaking the Silence (BtS) $70,976 for “[r]aising public awareness of the destructive consequences that serving in the occupied territories has on Israeli society” (p.15). In 2008, BtS also received €54,393 from the EU’s EIDHR program for “Personal Encounters with Former Israeli Combat Soldiers.”

* Breaking the Silence “collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifadah,” 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.”

* BtS 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.”

* The NGO was active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel after the Gaza fighting in January 2009.

Holland to reevaluate its funding of anti-Israel NGO

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