In an unprecedented first, White House and State Department officials were given a briefing by members of the radical leftist Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence, which infamously gathers allegedly false testimony from anonymous IDF soldiers to accuse the army of improper conduct.
The White House and the State Department both confirmed to Haaretz on Friday that the briefings took place this week, and centered on the NGO's report released last month which accuses the IDF of breaches and infractions in last summer's counter-terror Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
The meeting took place in Washington, with members of the National Security Council (NSC) being briefed in a non-governmental building instead of in the White House before State Department officials likewise were briefed by the radical NGO.
Matthew Duss, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, organized the briefing, and said the US officials showed great interest in the report, posing "many questions about the vetting process of the witnesses, the testimonies and the fact-checking."
Indicating the Foundation for Middle East Peace's leanings, according to its website the group's Program Director Mitchell Plitnick previously was Director of the US Office of the extremist NGO B'Tselem, and before that was Director of Education and Policy for Jewish Voice for Peace.
Breaking the Silence's briefing of top US officials comes as the group launched an exhibition in Switzerland, which opened in Zurich on Thursday and will run until June 14, and which the Foreign Ministry has formally complained to Bern against given its slandering of Israel and the IDF.
However, the anti-Israel exhibit was reportedly partially funded by Switzerland, with Bern contributing 15,000 Swiss francs ($16,000) according to a foreign ministry spokesperson. Zurich's finance department confirmed donating 10,000 Swiss francs from a fund for non-profit organizations.
Responding to the Breaking the Silence exhibit, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said Tuesday, "we will not carry on with business as usual when an organization whose entire purpose is to stain IDF soldiers acts in the international sphere to cause heavy damage to the image of the state of Israel."
Reportedly, Breaking the Silence is funded by an Arab organization based in Ramallah, the governmental seat of the Palestinian Authority (PA).