The Knesset plenum voted Wednesday to establish a parliamentary panel of inquiry to investigate left-wing Israeli organizations that allegedly participate in delegitimization campaigns against Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
The initiative, brought forth by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu faction, called primarily to investigate the sources of funding for these groups. The panel will essentially be charged with looking into where these groups have been attaining their funds, particularly whether this money is coming from foreign states or even organizations deemed to be involved in terrorist activities.
The knesset’s approval of the proposal comes after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ruled in August that no investigation should be launched against such groups.
MK Fania Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu ), who submitted the proposal, alleged during the debate that the groups targeted for investigation were to blame for foreign actions aimed at delegitimizing Israel and its officials.
“These groups provide material to the Goldstone commission [which investigated the Gaza war] and are behind the indictments lodged against Israeli officers and officials around the world,” Kirshenbaum said, referring to a series of arrest warrants issued over the last few years.
“They are trying to silence the very people who administrate the State of Israel’s foreign relations,” she declared. “These organizations are responsible for branding IDF soldiers as war criminals and encourage defamations.”
In her presentations, Kirshenbaum singled out one group which she claimed went into local Israeli schools to convince pupils that “joining the IDF is unethical” and to advise them how to dodge conscription. A panel of inquiry, said Kirshenbaum, would investigate just who was in charge of the bodies providing these Israeli groups with financial assistance.
While Yisrael Beiteinu had garnered a majority in favor of the proposal before it was brought to vote, the matter raised the ire of human rights groups and left-wing politicians alike.
Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz called the initiative “a shame on the Knesset”, declaring Tuesday that: “The persecution campaign against human rights and citizens rights groups has reached a new low.”
The purpose of such a committee was essentially to silence criticism, Horowitz said, a move that should be seen as, “a brutal act of political persecution using a coalition majority and Knesset funding, under the legal guise of an investigation committee.”
“Human rights and citizens rights group save the honor of Israel in the world and maintain its character as a democratic state,” Horowitz said. “It is moves like that being led by Yisrael Beiteinu that lead to Israel’s delegitimization in the world and present Israeli democracy as fake. All to whom Israeli democracy is dear must oppose this committee of persecution.”
Sixteen human rights groups signed an open letter protesting the initiative, including ACRI, B’Tselem, Yesh Din, Machsom Watch, Adalah, Mossawa Center, Ir Amim and Hotline for Migrant Workers.
“Investigate us all, we have nothing to hide. You are invited to read our reports and our publications. We will be happy if for a change you relate in a germane way to our questions instead of trying to besmirch us. It did not work in the past and it will not work this time,” the letter said.
This latest repressive law follows recent overt harassment by the Shin Bet of leftists, the persecution of activists and the murder of Jawaher Abu Rahma by Israeli Occupation Forces with CS gas in Bil’in and pursuant pathetic IDF hasbara coverup attempts.
With huge irony, Defence Minister Ehud Barak bleats that “The international community tends to adopt the Palestinian point of view, and we must fight the delegitimization of Israel” apparently oblivious to the fact that Israel delegitimises itself continuously with acts of oppression whilst passing ever more repressive laws.
The Zionist entity, Ourobouros-like, is eating itself. Soon it may implode.
Palestine / Israel Links
Three cables detailing Israeli and US complicity with strangulating Gaza’s economy aka collective punishment, have been published by Aftenposten.
“Arditi said that the objective was to damage the Hamas government in Gaza financially without creating a humanitarian crisis, and to buy time for Fatah to rebuild support.”
“Arditi and others are looking for a balance between humanitarian concern for the Palestinian population and effective tracking of possible terrorist activity. Arditi and the NSC are likely seeking U.S. support to strengthen their position in internal GOI discussions.”
The next cable is dated 2 days before Israel’s premeditated breach of the truce with Hamas.
“Since the Hamas takeover, Israel has designated Gaza as a &hostile entity,” and maintained an economic embargo against the territory. Under this designation, decisions on shekels in circulation in Gaza and the territorys economy in general are treated by the GOI as security matters, and therefore are subject to the same high levesl of uncertainty that the GOI uses to keep potential sources of security threat off-balance. Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”
“The Palestinian Authoritys request for a guaranteed “floor” transfer rate of NIS 100 million per month will not be seriously considered by the GOI until after January 2009, when the Palestinian political situation becomes more clear. In any case, given the size of the population and economy in Gaza, GOI interlocutors find it implausible that the number of workers on the Palestinian Authority,s (PA) payroll there and the amount of money to be paid each month accurately reflect the current size of the territory,s civil service or its future government service requirements, nor do they agree with the PAs contention that these payments are buying loyalty.”
“A USG policy that encourages the GOI to review its present policies (as requested by the Office of the Quartet Representative and the PA) while pressing the Israelis to approve as much funding each month as possible under security constraints, assisting the PA to improve its regulatory regimes and due diligence procedures, and continuing to foster direct dialogue between officials of the GOI and PA on Gaza issues in the monthly Joint Economic Commission meetings is our best bet for minimizing economic/political gains to Hamas in Gaza. ”
“Embassy Tel Aviv has encouraged the GOI to review its policy on Gaza liquidity, as requested by the Office of the Quartet Representative and the PA. As noted above, we do not expect that review to result in any changes until the political situation between Hamas and Fatah becomes more clear, presumably after January 9, 2009. In the meantime, we believe the USG should continue to encourage the Israelis to approve as much funding as possible each month, consistent with our mutual political/security objectives in Gaza. We should continue to assist the PA to improve its regulatory regimes and due diligence. Finally, the USG should continue to promote use of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Economic Committee as the appropriate venue for resolving Gaza liquidity issues. “
“Comment: USG interlocutors at all levels have been urging the GOI to provide the needed December salary payments and greater certainty to Gaza,s banking sector going forward. Most recently, Charge raised the NIS 250 million request with COGAT/MOD PolMil Director Amos Gilad evening of December 3. Gilad,s response was, “Theyre not getting a dime”. However, we do not expect that to be the last word from the GOI on the subject. ”
“Therefore, we expect this issue to remain an agenda item in the Joint Economic Committee for the foreseeable future, and anticipate continued pressure for USG intervention in the monthly transfer process. Of greater concern is Levis claim to have new evidence that the PAs current Gaza salaries list is tainted by Hamas sympathizers. We will work with the GOI to verify that claim and to make sure the PA has sufficient information to re-vet the list, if necessary. “
Another cable from 2006 released by Aftenposten details the annoyance of US business at Israeli corruption at the Karni crossing with Gaza.
Summary: U.S. businesses allege that corruption by Israeli officials at Karni crossing is impeding their access to the Gaza market. As of late May 34 shipments of American goods, amounting to nearly USD 1.9 million dollars, have been waiting three to four months to cross into Gaza. U.S. distributors assert they are being asked to pay “special fees” which amount to as much as 75 times the standard processing fee as quoted by GOI officials. According to one major American distributor, corruption extends to Karni management and involves logistics companies working as middlemen for military and civilian officials at the terminal. An open and transparent truck registration system and the development and publication of clear procedures, charges and service standards for Karni would go a long way to fight corruption and advance the Agreement on Movement and Access, goal of effective service standards for the border crossings.
“…We need a commission of inquiry to reevaluate the subversive political activity of David Ben-Gurion and Natan Alterman. Alterman wrote a poem during the War of Independence, the toughest war in Israel’s history, in which he accused the IDF soldiers of committing war crimes, and proposed executions of offenders (“For this”). Ben-Gurion, as a traitorous defense minister, instructed that this poem be sent to all IDF soldiers, thereby damaging Israel’s reputation and undermining their confidence in its morality. They served Israel’s enemies knowingly in time of war. The commission of inquiry can discuss the matter and recommend, let’s say, that the writings of the traitors be burned and the name of Ben-Gurion Boulevard be changed to Kirschenbaum Boulevard [LF: for Faina Kirschenbaum, the member of Knesset from the Yisrael Beiteinu party – and settler – who introduced legislation to establish a commission of inquiry into “left-wing” groups]….”