When Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman read of this, he had a fit. So he instructed the Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands to demand that the Dutch Foreign Ministry cut off funding for BtS. Haaretz Barak Ravid, whose job in Haaretz, as my readers know, is to front for "informed sources" in the Foreign Ministry, wrote about it today here.
According to a senior Israeli official: "A friendly government cannot fund opposition bodies. We are not a third world country."
"Breaking the Silence" is not an opposition body, but rather an ngo made up of Israeli veterans that publish IDF soldiers' testimonies. It has no ties to any opposition party. It is no more political than B'Tselem.
And Israel is a third-world country as of today, if not much earlier, because this is what dictatorial third-world countries do: attempt to block the funding of its ngos.
Now, there is indeed a legitimate debate whether Israeli human rights ngos should be funded by foreign governments, whether such funding hurts or helps its message. That is very different from the government heavy-handedly trying to cut off its funding by trying to strong-arm the governments, a tactic that the Israeli foreign minister may have learnt in his native Russia.
But can we expect anything less from an ultra-right wing foreign minister whose party's platform calls for the banning of political parties and the suppression of free speech in Israel?