Since the Meretz party no longer maintains an English-language section on its website, I sometimes translate bits & pieces of what I read there. That way, the English-speaking world knows that there are still members of Knesset who, though diminished in number, are fighting for sanity in Israel. What follows is MK Nitzan Horowitz’s reaction to the so-called “panel of inquiry” recently formed by the Knesset to look into the “delegitimizing” actions of Israeli human rights groups.
The persecution of human and civil rights organizations has reached a new low. The move by [Avigdor] Lieberman and his MKs to set up a “parliamentary committee of inquiry” regarding the activity of organizations that “delegitimize Israel”, as they would have it, is a disgrace to the Knesset.
This is political persecution through the use of a coalition majority, and funded by the Knesset budget, and under the dubious legal cover of an “investigative committee”. There’s also no doubt what the goal of this “investigative committee” is: Shutting mouths and silencing criticism.
It is the human and civil rights organizations who are saving Israel’s dignity in the eyes of the world, and maintaining its character as a democracy. It is precisely steps of the sort being led by Yisrael Beiteinu that are causing the delegitimization of Israel around the world and making Israeli democracy look like a fraud.
Every Israeli needs to get to know the organizations that are working for Israel’s moral strength; to see the data that they are presenting; to take part in [their] tours; to voice an … informed opinion. You don’t necessarily have to agree with them – but we must never silence them, never take away their voice.
Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz
For Hebrew readers – the original can be found here.
Nitzan Horowitz and the various NGOs that are under attack from Avigdor Lieberman and his followers in Yisrael Beiteinu deserve our support. I think the World Union of Meretz should do as much as it can to counterattack and defend our allies in Israel.
Any ideas for a plan of action?
Horowitz has supplied data on the Knesset vote calling for the establishment of what we should start calling, “The Knesset Committee on Un-Israeli Activities”:
Voting against (17). By party –
Meretz – 3
Labor – 3
Kadima – 5
Hadash – 2
United Arab List – 2
Balad – 1
Likud – 1
Voting in favor (41). By party –
Yisrael Beiteinu – 13
Likud – 11
National Union – 4
Shas – 4
Kadima – 3
United Torah Judaism – 3
National Home – 2
(One unaccounted for)
62 MKs (!!!) stayed away from the vote, including the following:
Labor – 10 (of 13,including Ehud Barak)
Kadima – 20 (of 28, including Tzipi Livni and Shaul Mofaz)