Former Israeli National Security Adviser Calls on Breaking the Silence Soldiers to Reveal Identities (INTERVIEW)
A recent Breaking the Silence report is a “worthless propaganda” piece unless the soldiers behind its testimonies of alleged Israeli abuse reveal their identities, said Former Israeli national security adviser Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror on Tuesday.
The report, which collected supposed testimonies from Israeli soldiers who engaged in combat during last summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, is “one of the biggest [pieces of] propaganda … that you might find,” Amidror said, in an interview with the Algemeiner.
The former security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also headed the Israel Defense Forces military intelligence research department, called the report “evil,” and said the intention of Breaking the Silence “is to destroy Israel, for sure.”
Because the report does not feature the names of the soldiers providing testimonies, Amidror said its veracity is impossible to corroborate, though he added that if the soldiers who provided testimonies came forth, Israel should investigate their accounts of alleged abuse.
At one point, Amidror questioned whether soldiers even provided the testimonies.
The former national security adviser, who among other accomplishments led Israeli efforts at rapprochement with Turkey following the 2010 Mavi Marmara IDF raid that left nine Turkish activists dead, defended the Israeli Defense Forces’ engagement in the latest conflict with Gaza, saying nearly half of the casualties in last summer’s war were fighting for Hamas. He said that women, accounting for 50 percent of Gaza’s population, “were less than 20 percent of all casualties.”
The identity of casualties in last summer’s war is the subject of heated dispute, with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights claiming about 76 percent civilian deaths. Israeli figures put that number at about 45 percent.
Amidror said that funding for Breaking the Silence comes almost exclusively from abroad, “partly from Arab sources.”
Breaking the Silence’s latest transparency report indeed indicates a majority of its largest donors are foreign, though the organizations are mostly European.
Amidror, who is a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for strategic studies, was visiting New York for meetings and to address a youth movement.