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Wednesday Jan. 5, 2011 5:32 PM (EST+7)
Israeli Knesset to investigate leftist groups

Read more: Knesset, B‘Tselem, Yesh Din, Yisrael Beiteinu

RAMALLAH, Jan 5 (JMCC) - Under protest from human rights groups and decried by one MK as a shame, Israel's Knesset will create a parliamentary panel to investigate left-wing groups who delegitimize the Israeli Defense Forces soldiers, focusing on their financial supporters.

Among the targets are Israeli human rights groups Yesh Din, B'Tselem and Adalah. The initiative was proposed by MK Fania Kirshenbaum, of Avigdor Lieberman's right-wing, Russian-immigrant based Yisrael Beiteinu party, who said the groups provided evidence for the Goldstone report.

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.

Read more at Haaretz...






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