IDF will not cancel Breaking the Silence spokesman's appointment

Btsalmo NGO demands removal of Nir Cohen from role as IDF Op Officer, since he also serves as a spokesman for Breaking the Silence.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Breaking the Silence tour
Breaking the Silence tour
Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90

As previously reported, Major (res.) Nir Cohen has been appointed Operations Officer in an IDF Brigade in Judea and Samaria.

At the same time, Cohen is the Spokesman for Breaking the Silence, which, according to right-wing organizations, constitutes a sharp conflict of interest.

Soldiers who asked to remain anonymous said they feared that Cohen would act as an informant in an attempt to prosecute them internationally.

Btsalmo, a human rights NGO, contacted ID Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi alerting him about Cohen’s conflict of interest and fearing that he would use information received in his military position against the State of Israel.

In a letter from the IDF Public Inquiries Office, the army responded that it does not interfere with the political opinions of its staff. At the same time, this issue was carefully examined and Nir Cohen was required to pledge that he would not share any information he received from the military for “Breaking the Silence” activities.

Btsalmo responded: “We welcome the IDF’s unprecedented demand from Breaking the Silence’s activist not to mix his military role with his position at [the organization]. However, in practice this is impossible since the objective of Breaking the Silence is to hurt and discredit IDF soldiers and separating these commitments cannot be avoided. Therefore it is imperative to immediately remove Mr. Cohen from his sensitive security position.”