Leader of the Israeli Yisrael Beytenu party Member of Knesset Avigdor Liberman.

Israeli right-wing party leader: B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence are traitors


Yisrael Beiteinu (right-wing Israeli political party) leader Avigdor Liberman on Friday called Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence traitors, stating that the “left-leaning groups” were funded by the same people who finance Hamas.

The right-wing party leader said in an Israeli Channel interview on Friday January 15, that:

“As far as I’m concerned these entities are not [exercising] freedom of expression, it’s greed. They aren’t any different from Ehud Adiv or Mordechai Vanunu — they’re complete traitors.”

Ehud Adiv was found guilty of treason in the 1970s for traveling to Damascus, in Syria, to meet with members of the PLO, while Mordechai Vanunu was found guilty of the same charge for disclosing nuclear secrets to the British press.

According to the Israeli media, Liberman’s remarks came amid a growing debate over a bil lproposed by Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party requiring certain Israeli non-governmental organizations to publicly declare their foreign government funding.

The so-called NGO Law or Transparency Law would require all Israeli groups that receive half or more of their budget from foreign governments — which is true for many left-wing but few right-wing groups — to disclose their foreign benefactors.

“With all our desire to stay politically correct and be polite, there are things that need to be told as it is. There’s [cash] flow from the institutions most hostile to Israel. Not just the European Union, not just states. Also those same foundations that fund Hamas, they also fund B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence,” Liberman added.

Also, member of the Knesset earlier this week released a bill that seeks to turn the Breaking the Silence organization illegal. They described Breaking the Silence as “a subversive organization acting to change Israeli policy by non-democratic methods and by exerting international pressure that causes Israel damage.”

In the other hand, due to a lot of criticism from the Israeli media, former Israeli soldiers from Breaking the Silence said in recent weeks that they are only trying to expose the reality of IOF actions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The group added that its mission is essential to stopping violence in the region by helping to end the military occupation of the Palestinian territories. Members of the organization are trying to draw public attention to issues that are not covered by Israeli media and are not made public.

Last week,  a fire broke out at B’Tselem’s office in Jerusalem. None of their staff were in the building, but people working on other floors had to be evacuated by the fire brigade.

The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B’Tselem, endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

According to its website, B’Tselem acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.



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