Anti-Israel Organization Banned from Israel’s School System Welcomed at Columbia

"The operations of Breaking the Silence caused the slander of Israel in the world."

Breaking the Silence, a radical Israeli organization which implies that all of Israel is occupied territory and defames the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) worldwide, is hosting a presentation at Hillel House, a Jewish student organization on March 31st  at Columbia University.

Breaking the Silence (BtS) alleges that the IDF has committed war crimes and is guilty of "crimes against humanity" and "ethnic cleansing.” The organization has provided 57 negative testimonies in international reports against IDF soldiers. The Palestinian foundation The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, operating in Ramallah, noted in a report published in 2015 that it paid Breaking the Silence in order to bring them at least one negative testimony against the IDF.

Hamas admitted this past year that it used the BtS report on Operation Protective Edge for the purposes of its warfare against Israel. In 2015, the organization held countless events worldwide, with the purpose of accusing the IDF of committing war crimes.

The ‘testimonials’ that BtS publishes does not expose the names of those who give them. Their recent reports have been dismissed as ‘baseless findings’, and their presentations in the U.S. include a range of lies, distortions, and half-truths presented out of context, with the sole goal of demonizing and delegitimizing Israel and its soldiers.

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon notes that the organization has “malicious motives.” According to The Times of Israel, ​Ya’alon banned the organization from any events attended by soldiers, and he slammed it for working to vilify Israeli soldiers abroad. On Facebook, Ya’alon attacked the “hypocrisy and deceitful propaganda against IDF soldiers and the State of Israel, which is part of the delegitimization campaign against us.”

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett similarly banned the organization from Israel’s education system, noting that

Our children are sent to the education system in order to encourage mutual responsibility and not to harm IDF soldiers. The operations of Breaking the Silence caused the slander of Israel in the world, as they made it their target to harm their brothers, who protect us. Lies and propaganda against the IDF - not in our schools.”

Centrist Yesh Atid party Chairman Yair Lapid calls the organization “anti-Zionist.”

Breaking the Silence is rejected across the Israeli political spectrum but is lauded in the US by the radical non-profit organization, The New Israel Fund, who authorized grants worth $699,310 in the last six years.  They are active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel.

One wonders why Hillel allows them. As Israel’s education Minister wrote on Facebook, Breaking the Silence is “..focused on defaming IDF soldiers across the world: In Belgium, in Sweden, in the U.N., in the European Union. Since when does someone who cares for the IDF go around the world spreading blood libels about our soldiers?”

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