“Picture worth thousands of complicated words” (May 9) was too trusting of Breaking the Silence (BTS). That the organization is widely reviled in Israel ought to have provided a very cautionary note. Were BTS truly interested in righting wrongs, and preventing any future occurrences, it would cooperate fully with the IDF. But it does not. Nor is it committed to complete, accurate, and verifiable description of unseemly incidents. Time and again, claims, largely anonymous, are refuted by soldiers who had been on scene. Almost all of its claims prove false or exaggerated. Lavishly funded by foreign NGOs eager to sully the IDF’s image, BTS provides them great return on their investment. It leads carefully orchestrated tours of the West Bank for unwary foreigners, and heads abroad to lie about its country.
The IDF is not perfect. Fighting a war against a devious enemy — who uses its own people as human shields — poses nasty dilemmas. Nonetheless, according to objective military experts, the IDF performs far more humanely than other armies and, indeed, its best practices deserve the widest adoption. Israel is a “complex” society, but the malignant intent of BTS ought be simple enough to discern.
Richard D. Wilkins