Yisrael Beitenu in the driving seat
After Knesset approves establishment of inquiry commission into funding of left-wing Israeli organizations, National Union MK tells Jerusalem conference they are ‘enemies of Israel,’ equates them to Hamas, Hezbollah
Roni Sofer, Yair Altman, 5 January 2011
Just hours after the Knesset approved a motion calling for a parliamentary investigation into the activity of B’Tselem, Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence and other groups, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari referred to members of the leftist organizations as “traitors who must be persecuted at any cost.”
Speaking at an SOS Israel conference in Jerusalem Wednesday evening, Ben-Ari called the leftists “germs” and “enemies of Israel.”
The rightist lawmaker went as far as equating the leftist organizations to Hamas and Hezbollah.
In an audio tape obtained by Ynet, Ben-Ari can be heard saying, “Elements that want to destroy the Jewish state are operating within the State of Israel. They are nothing short of traitors. They are persecuting IDF soldiers and want to castrate our resilience.
“I see the people from Peace Now; they each have a private car. Every clerk has the finest equipment. Who funds all of this? The greatest Israel haters are funding this. If we’ll have to enact a law in the Knesset to eradicate this dangerous enemy, that is what we’ll do. Such a germ can destroy Israeli society. This enemy threatens the state’s existence,” he added.
Extreme rightist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who also attended the conference, called on activists to protest outside the homes of the leaders of the leftist groups “and explain to their neighbors that these are people who harm IDF soldiers and cause Israel damage.
“We must also face them on the legal front – file lawsuits and show them we are not suckers. Those who harm the State of Israel and its soldiers will be punished,” he said.
In addition to the mass support from right-wing factions, the proposal to set up an inquiry commission into the activity of leftist groups was also backed by three members of Kadima, which heads the opposition. “We must erect a democratic and Zionist barrier against the use of human rights claims at the expense of Israeli patriotism,” MK Otniel Schneller said.
“These organizations apparently have a good reason for concealing their funding sources,” he said.
Kadima MK Yulia Shamalov Berkovich said, “When I see Israeli organizations that harm the only consensus in Israel – the soldiers – I want to know how this happens.”
MK Robert Tiviaev, who also voted in favor of an investigation, said “groups such as Adalah cannot be allowed to operate against the IDF.”
Before probe has even begun, foreign minister already knows what outcome will be. At party factions meeting Lieberman defends decision to investigate leftist organizations, attacks right wing MKs who voted against decision: Some people are bleeding hearts, betraying national camp
Attila Somfalvi , 10 January 2011
Last week the Knesset approved the Yisrael Beiteinu proposal to establish an inquiry committee which would examine the activity and funding of left wing organizations, but it seems that Party Chairman Avigdor Lieberman doesn’t need an inquiry.
During a faction meeting Monday, Lieberman said, “These organizations are terror supporters whose only goal is to weaken the IDF, weaken its resolve to defend the citizens of Israel.”
Lieberman attacked those criticizing the inquiry committee decision and said that there was “a lot of mudslinging and disinformation spread around in an attempt to shut people’s mouths. People tried to make a false and fact-less presentation in the most aggressive and blatant way.”
According to Lieberman, the inquiry committee wouldn’t focus on leftist organizations like the Geneva Initiative or Peace Now, who “have a political opinion that is entirely legitimate even if I don’t accept it.” Rather, he said, it would focus on organizations whose goal was to deter the IDF.”
The FM went on to name the organizations he believes should be investigated. “I’ll begin with Ittijah – Union of Arab Community Based Associations. It was founded in 1995, and its director was Ameer Makhoul. The New Profile movement does not have a proper management license from the Registrar of Companies, and its financial report on donations it received this past year was not submitted.”
Lieberman said Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – last submitted a financial report in 2007 and also does not hold a proper management license. “In that report, the organization said it received donations from abroad, including from the Swiss government, but a letter written by its director states that the organization did not receive any donations from foreign elements,” he said.
Next on Lieberman’s list was the Public Committee Against torture in Israel. The FM noted that following Operation Cast Lead, when the Goldstone committee was blaming Israel for carrying out war crimes in the Gaza strip, its members were appealed to by some of the organizations he had already listed and wrote “of the bombings aimed at mosques, schools and homes, claiming that they were used to store weapons.|
“The Goldstone report mentioned B’Tselem 56 times and Adalah 48 times. According to Im Tirtzu, 92% of the quotes against Israel come from organizations supported by the New Israel Fund.”
Addressing leftist allegations of McCarthyism Lieberman said that “some people are bleeding hearts and harm the national camp”. “Some leaders in the Right have become leftist proxies. They would do anything to serve the Left, and are betraying the national camp,” he added.