+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Protecting the secrets of Israel's settlement enterprise

MK David Rotem unabashedly stopped a vote that would apply Israel’s freedom of information act to the World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) “Settlement Division,” an extra-governmental organization that receives 100 percent of its budget from the State of Israel and is responsible for much of the settlement building in the West Bank.

Why would he do such a thing? When asked by opposition MKs Zehava Galon and Ahmed Tibi, the chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee made no effort to hide his agenda:

“I want to stop you from getting information to use in [petitions to the High Court] aimed at preventing building in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank),” Rotem said.

MK David Rotem (Photo: Yotam Ronene / activestills.org)

MK David Rotem (Photo: Yotam Ronene / activestills.org)

MK Elazar Stern, of Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah party, a member of Netanyahu’s coalition, responded, “I support [settlement] building but what do I have to hide? I’m not ashamed of what I do. What is this lack of transparency?”

“You’re turning the [Settlement] Division (of the WZO) into a [body] suspected of theft and lies. Why be afraid of criticism? Your behavior proves that un-Kosher things are going on there,” Stern continued.

As noted by human rights NGO Yesh Din, the last time a vote was brought to apply the freedom of information act to the Settlement Division, “it was thwarted with the oldest trick in the book — the vote took place with only two committee members in the room.”

Israeli democracy, 2014.

(Read the Hebrew text of the Knesset’s press release here, and watch a video of the committee meeting here.)

Related:
European MPs to Ashton: Make Israel pay for settlements
Survey: Israeli Jews tolerate settlements, status quo

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Danny

      “MK Elazar Stern, of Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah party, a member of Netanyahu’s coalition, responded, “I support [settlement] building but what do I have to hide? I’m not ashamed of what I do. What is this lack of transparency?””

      This idiot supports settlement building, while his party’s chairwoman is supposedly negotiating in good faith with the Palestinians?

      Something is rotten in the state of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Average American

      World Zionist Organization gets 100% of its budget from The Jewish State of Israel, which gets 90% of its budget from USA, which borrows every dime it spends from Jewish-controlled Federal Reserve Bank. Zionism from its inception has considered the borders of The Land Of Israel (the phrase Netanyahu uses) far wider than the current Israel, intent on conquering Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, half of Iraq, a quarter of Saudi Arabia, and the Sinai. Intent on conquering for who? For The Jews. Jews Only are intended to rule that territory over other peoples and Jews Only are intended to reap the cream. That is the objective and Israel is the tool Zionism created to achieve it. Therefore, the “settlements” in the West Bank are just a warm-up. And therefore, since Zionism created The Jewish State of Israel, Jews themselves should be regarded as active conquerers, not innocent scholars.

      Reply to Comment
    3. ‘“I want to stop you from getting information to use in [petitions to the High Court] aimed at preventing building in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank),” Rotem said.’

      Which I suppose reveals a fear that the Court would find the petitions had merit. Amazing.

      Reply to Comment