Inside Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Recent articles in the Israeli press say that the Israeli Foreign Ministry is considering banning foreign government funding of “political NGOs”. Most consider this to be a reaction to the flurry of media attention given to the Israeli group Breaking the Silence , which published anonymous testimonies on IDF military action in Operation Cast Lead last winter(see our article on that here).
But as an article by the Jerusalem Post points out, it may be difficult to legally determine what a “political NGO” is. NGOs here, it says, fund everything from hospitals to activism.
Ha’aretz says that already, the British and Dutch governments have been contacted by Minister of Defence Ehud Barak to get “clarifications” about their contributions to Breaking the Silence and whether any of that money went to group’s report on Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s military incursion into Gaza last winter
According to the Jerusalem Post article, Spain’s agency for international development gave 80,000 shekels to Breaking the Silence this year. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel got 100,000, and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions received 80,000.
After a round of reports and outside critiques of the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead were released two weeks ago, this week the criticism comes from within.
Israeli activist group “Breaking the Silence” has released a new set of testimonies from Israeli soldiers who took part in the Gaza offensive launched this winter.