Breaking the Silence (BTS) was founded by recently discharged Israeli ex-combatants in 2004. Its mission is to bring awareness to Israeli government decision-makers, the Israeli public, and the public generally, of what is being done in Israel’s name in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is achieved through:
Testimony Collection – At the heart of BTS’s mission is the collection of soldiers’ testimonies. The testimonies undergo a thorough process of verification, legal authorisation, and military censorship before they are published. To date, BTS has interviewed over 1,100 former IDF soldiers. An attempt is made to ensure that 15% of these are women, but due to the fact that the majority of combat soldiers are men, entails that the majority of testifiers are also men.
Advocacy –Testimonies are made available online and are distributed through public media campaigns, printed collections and social media work. BTS partakes in advocacy work with Israeli and international public figures, journalists, politicians and diplomats through briefings and field tours to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, primarily the Hebron region.
Education – BTS carries out educational work with high school and pre-military youth, university students, the wider Israeli public, and international community with an emphasis on Jewish diaspora leaders through the provision of lectures and tours. Breaking the Silence has met with over 30,000 members of the Israeli public and Jewish leadership groups from around the world.