Israel to reprimand Belgium over Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence, which is made up of former IDF soldiers and officers, receives funding from European governments such as Belgium.

February 8, 2017 23:54
1 minute read.
Breaking the Silence organization

The offices of the Breaking the Silence organization in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Foreign Ministry plans to reprimand the Belgian Ambassador to Israel Olivier Belle over his country’s support for the non-governmental groups Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to do so, after discovering that Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel had met with representative of the left-wing group during his three-day visit to Israel.

"Israel views with utmost gravity Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel's meeting today with the leaders of Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem, during his visit to Israel. Initiatives are underway by the Belgian state prosecutor to try senior Israelis including Tzipi Livni and IDF officers," the Prime Minister's Office said.

"The Belgian government needs to decide whether it wants to change direction or continue with an anti-Israel line.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu has directed that legislation be advanced to prevent financing by foreign governments for NGOs that harm IDF soldiers," the PMO said.

Breaking the Silence, which is made up of former IDF soldiers and officers, receives funding from European governments such as Belgium.

During his meeting with Michel on Tuesday, Netanyahu asked that Belgium stop funding Breaking the Silence. He issued the same request to British Prime Minister Theresa May when the two met in London on Sunday.

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