Israeli defense minister says NGO Breaking the Silence committing ‘treason’

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has accused the left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence of committing “treason” over allegations that the group attempted to glean classified information from former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers. 

“What was revealed on Channel 2 was that [Breaking the Silence] is also asking the soldiers questions that are unrelated to routine operations and morality, that [it is also asking questions]… that are considered a military secret,” Ya’alon told high school students in northern Israel on Monday.

“So whether they are using it outside [of Israel], which is very serious—if you distribute this material to the outside, it is treason,” Ya’alon said, adding that if the NGO were “keeping it for themselves, this is also [treason]. Who is guarding this material? Why do [they] need to know which equipment we use?”

Israel’s Channel 2 reported last week that Breaking the Silence actively worked to place people in classified units in the IDF in order to gather information that it could use in its activities against “the occupation.” Additionally, activists from the group interviewed IDF veterans on issues related to military secrets, and not human rights.

Breaking the Silence has long been controversial in Israel. The NGO attempts to expose alleged IDF human rights abuses in the disputed territories by using testimonies of former IDF soldiers.

Posted on March 22, 2016 .