Omar praises anti-Israel NGO that produces skewed, false IDF testimonies

None of Breaking the Silence’s sources has ever been disclosed by the organization.

By World Israel News Staff

BDS-supporting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar gave a shout out today to Breaking the Silence, a controversial organization known for biased and misleading stories from IDF veterans who served in Judea and Samaria.

“Thank you to @YehudaShaul and the Israeli veterans of @BTSIsrael for the moving exhibit on the occupation in Hebron at #jstreet2019. Acknowledgment is the first step to peace. By sharing your stories, you are paving a path to the end of occupation,” Omar tweeted.

Breaking the Silence presented a photo exhibit at this year’s J Street National conference showing what it claimed to be the realities of life for the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria.

“All of the photos in the exhibit were taken by IDF soldiers who served in the occupied territories since the beginning of the Second Intifada, and portray the day to day realities of life in the West Bank from the point of view of soldiers sent to serve there on behalf of the State of Israel,” the organization wrote on its Facebook page.

Breaking the Silence bases its claims on testimonies it says it’s gathered from former IDF soldiers.

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However, none of their sources have ever been disclosed by the organization. Furthermore, they refuse to comply with the Israeli government’s request to provide information on one incident in particular documented in a former soldier’s testimony of an alleged crime, reports Ha’aretz.

In a video published in 2016 by Israel’s NRG news site, the group’s co-founder, Yehuda Shaul, told tourists in Israel that “Yeah, one of the villages, this village actually, its new that they came back, because a few years ago the settlers basically poisoned all the water cisterns of the village.” This allegation is completely unsubstantiated, NGO Monitor reported.

A report by Israeli Channel 13’s Hamakor program found that Breaking the Silence publishes skewed and false testimonies.

According to the report, on examination of 10 testimonies, two were found to be completely false, two exaggerated and misleading, and four could not be verified.

In May 2015, NGO Monitor revealed that following the 2009 Gaza conflict, several of the organization’s donors conditioned their transfer of money on the group’s ability to gather a minimum number of incriminating “testimonies” against the Israeli army.

Furthermore, in 2010 Breaking the Silence published what has been described as a highly tendentious book titled “Occupation of the Territories – Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010.” It claimed to provide a counter to the “official Israeli position” on IDF actions in the territories.

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NGO Monitor analyzed the book and revealed that the 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.”