Israeli Knesset approves committee to investigate 'anti-Israeli' groups

Wednesday, 5 January, 2011 - 15:31
London, UK
@972magazine, Haaretz, Ynet, Walla, others

A further step was taken in the intimidation of Israeli human-rights and peace groups today when a proposal to establish a parliamentary investigatory committee to examine such groups was approved by the Israeli Knesset today.

MK Faina Kirschenbaum of Israeli right-wing party Yisrael Beiteinu (‘Israel our home’) had submitted a proposal earlier this week for the establishment of a parliamentary committee for ‘the investigation of the part played by Israeli organizations in the delegitimisation campaign against IDF soldiers and commanders, and of the funding of these organizations.’

The proposal was approved by a 41 : 17 majority vote in the Knesset today.

Kirschenbaum said yesterday that “the joint efforts by international and Israeli organizations to damage the IDF, its soldiers and commanders must be investigated by the Knesset and stopped”.

For the past decade an international coalition of organizations has worked in cooperation with Israeli organizations, to exploit the discourse of human rights and to damage the legitimacy of the activities of IDF soldiers, to encourage desertion from military service and to label IDF soldiers and commanders as war criminals. Within this framework several senior officers have already been sued for war crimes in various countries around the world,” the proposal read. “The proposed investigative committee seeks to examine the Israeli organizations that take part in this public campaign against IDF soldiers. Moreover, the committee seeks to examine the sources of funding of such anti-Israeli activity.”

In an interview to Israeli news website Ynet, Kirschenbaum said that such organizations are “mostly funded by anti-Zionist bodies and even foreign states.” In Knesset, Kirschenbaum added that “these organizations submit materials to the Goldstone [Fact-Finding] Mission and are behind the legal procedures opened against Israeli officers and officials around the world.”

Various human-rights and peace groups were cited as targets for investigation, including Adalah, Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, MachsomWatch, B’Tselem and others

A broad coalition of Israeli human rights group has expressed outrage at the initiative, calling it ‘McCarthyism’. MK Nitzan Horowitz of the left-leaning Meretz party called the initiative ‘a brutal act of political persecution.’

This article may be reproduced on condition that JNews is cited as its source.

Photo from Yisrael Beiteinu.

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