Netanyahu Raises NGO Funding With Belgian PM

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu holds a joint press conference with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel in Yerushalayim on Tuesday. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made funding of left-wing NGO’s in Israel an international issue for the second time this week, during a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on Tuesday.

Netanyahu urged that Belgium put a halt to all funding of organizations that seek to harm the IDF and the State of Israel.

On Monday, Netanyahu made the same case with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London. Breaking the Silence was singled out as a recipient of direct and indirect British government funding. The group, made of up former IDF soldiers, alleges various crimes committed by the military.

Breaking the Silences denied that it received any funding from the British government.

In a related development, Culture Minister Miri Regev demanded that Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat cancel a lecture presented by Breaking the Silence scheduled for Wednesday evening at the Barbur Gallery in the city, which receives municipal funding.

“The Barbur Gallery, which is funded from public money, will not constitute a house for Breaking the Silence, an anti-Israel propaganda organization which spreads lies against the state of Israel and IDF fighters,” she wrote in an online posting.

In response, the Yerushalayim Municipality said on Tuesday that it had called representatives of the Gallery for an urgent consultation on the matter Wednesday morning.

Breaking the Silence CEO Yuli Novak, the listed speaker, was defiant.

“Spins on top of spins for a little bit more air time for Miri Regev,” Novak told Army Radio on Tuesday. “I’m guessing that this event will take place, and I invite everyone. Even her, by the way.”