Human rights groups say they are being unfairly targeted
Concerned that some nonprofit groups in Israel are quietly being bankrolled by foreign political entities, seven Knesset members have introduced a bill to require that they immediately report receipt of such funds and publicly announce it in all written and oral political presentations.
Right-wing Im Tirtzu accuses New Israel Fund —and its president — of bearing responsibility for Goldstone; NIF decries campaign to repress ‘dissent and honesty.’
Charges that the New Israel Fund supports Israeli civil rights groups that played a key role in providing information highly critical of Israel’s role in the Gaza war last year have sparked a spirited, and nasty, debate over the proper role for civil and human rights groups in a democratic state.
A democratic society not only tolerates but encourages debate and dissent. But when attacks turn ugly, demonizing and personal, they demean society and undercut the argument of those making the accusations.
In this week’s paper, we report on two such unfortunate episodes, one here and one in Israel — two open societies where left-right political anger is spilling over into hate.
Israelís peace movement, largely dormant since Ariel Sharon was first elected prime minister three years ago, resurfaced last weekend amid calls for a political framework for peace and withdrawal from a contentious settlement in Gaza.
An estimated 4,000 Israelis took to the street Saturday night to protest Sharon's policies in a demonstration outside his Jerusalem residence.
Naomi Chazan, a former Knesset member from the left-wing Meretz Party and one of the participants, said this was the first major demonstration against Sharon.
Despite his decisive victory Tuesday, Ariel Sharon still finds himself in a vise: caught between his desire not to form a right-wing government that would hamstring his ability to deal with American peace demands and an Israeli public convinced that the time is not ripe to pursue peace.
Couple that with the electorate's crippling blow to the Israeli left and the strong showing of the anti-religious Shinui Party, and this election could pave the way for changes in the country's social fabric.