Monday, January 10, 2011

Is The Israeli Left Really Under Assault?

One would think, reading Haaretz of late, that with the pending Knesset review of foreign funding for Israeli NGOs, Israeli democracy is on its last gasps. I haven't actually read the legislation authorizing the much talked about investigation; I can't seem to find it online, or even a summary of it, which is surprising, given how devastating a nail this document apparently is to the ready-made coffin of Israeli democracy.

However, I did find something else - a list of groups that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman believes deserve to have their funding examined and brought to light in the public sphere. Certainly the likes of Peace Now make the list of the persecuted Israeli Left, right? Wrong.
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." [That must be the anti-democratic, savage Moldovan bouncer talking.] 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.
This is the so called "death" of Israeli democracy? I think some of the town criers in this debate need a chance to reflect, get some perspective, maybe go home, take a nap, put on a funny hat - whatever it is that idiots do - because clearly, Israeli democracy will live to see another sunrise.

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