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Human rights NGOs

  • Netanyahu compares human rights groups to Russian election interference

    The prime minister is trying to turn human rights and anti-occupation groups into a subversive boogie monster, this time by conflating them with Western democracy's contemporary super-villain — Russian election interference. What if he's right? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conflated European Union funding for human rights groups in Israel with Russian interference in U.S. elections, according to a report in Haaretz Sunday. The comments came in the context of a government a decision to form a parliamentary committee to investigate the funding of left-wing, mostly human rights organizations. [tmwinpost] Asked whether there is any precedent for a parliamentary committee…

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  • If it quacks like a duck: NGO Monitor's ties to the Israeli government

    NGO Monitor is not a right-wing organization in the classic sense of the word. It has supported every Israeli government. Yet in all its years, the group has not seen fit to research right-wing organizations working to bolster the occupation. By Sarit Michaeli NGO Monitor doth protest too much, methinks. A recent oped published by Bet Michael in Haaretz characterized the organization as “extreme right wing” — a description it was none too pleased with. The organization prefers to describe itself as “an independent and nonpartisan research institute.” But as we all know, if it looks like a duck, walks…

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  • Following attacks, B'Tselem donations increase tenfold

    Over 3,700 people have signed on to a call supporting the human rights organization, after the Knesset coalition chair calls to revoke its executive director's citizenship. By John Brown* B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad addressed the UN Security Council last week, calling on its members to take real steps toward ending the military dictatorship over the occupied territories, which is nearing its 50th year. [tmwinpost] Following El-Ad's speech, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a statement condemning B'Tselem for joining the "chorus of slander" against Israel. It was only a matter of time before thousands of right-wingers took to social media…

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  • 'Blacklisted' human rights groups sing a defiant tune

    Amid an unprecedented wave of delegitimization and attacks on human rights groups in Israel, dozens of organizations throw a mini-festival in Tel Aviv, sending a message that they will not be deterred. Over a thousand people joined dozens of human rights organizations in Tel Aviv’s port Friday afternoon in order to send a message that silencing, shaming and blacklisting Israelis who oppose — and speak out against — the occupation of the Palestinian territories will not work. The event, titled "Blacklist," was as a direct response to a right-wing campaign claiming to “expose” Israeli artists and cultural figures who are involved…

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  • Why it's scarier this time around

    There is nothing new about the multi-pronged attack on human rights and anti-occupation activists in Israel, but there's something different this time. Something scarier. There is nothing particularly new about the wave of attacks against human rights and the anti-occupation Left in Israel taking place recently. There is nothing new about the increasingly hostile political atmosphere. Not at all. And yet something feels far worse, and scarier, this time around. Everything happening in Israel these days has also happened in the past. We have seen scarier legislative attempts to target human rights NGOs. Politicians have called leftists traitors before. Security services have targeted…

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  • Hasbara group wants you to infiltrate human rights NGOs

    A private, low-profile 'public diplomacy' outfit is setting out to train 'Secret Hasbara Agents.' But don't worry, it's not propaganda. A private Israeli hasbara – or “public diplomacy” – organization on Wednesday put out one of the weirdest responses yet to the incitement campaign by far-right group Im Tirzu of two weeks ago. [tmwinpost] The original Im Tirzu campaign described Israeli human rights advocates as "planted" agents serving foreign agendas because the organizations they work for receive funds from European governments. The response ad published on Wednesday called for — presumably right-wing — Israelis to be “planted” inside the “plants,” a…

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  • Not so fast: On dismantling Israel’s human rights NGOs

    Small battles can be waged against the injustices of occupation while simultaneously fighting the bigger war against the occupation itself. A response to 'The case for dismantling Israel’s human rights organizations.' By Noam Rabinovich If I had a Euro for every time I was privy to a conversation about whether Israeli human rights organizations do more harm than good, I would have been able to single-handedly fund the entire Israeli human rights community, much to the chagrin of Israel’s current government. Snark aside, this question is one of the most poignant and loaded questions faced by human rights organizations in Israel.…

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  • The case for dismantling Israel’s human rights organizations

    By doing the army’s job for it, Israeli human rights organizations enable the IDF's ongoing dereliction of its obligation to protect the occupied Palestinian population. By Noam Rotem The Israeli human rights organizations operating in the West Bank are doing noble work. There should be no argument about that. They are on the front lines of injustice every single day. With varying levels of success, they attempt to deliver a modicum of justice to the robbed and beaten Palestinian population. These organizations invest massive resources into representing and advocating for Palestinians as they face Israeli authorities. From field workers who…

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  • What is NGO Monitor’s connection to the Israeli government?

    The spearhead of the battle against Israeli human rights organizations, NGO Monitor, is run by a man who, at least for a period of time since its founding, was closely affiliated with the Prime Minister’s Office. On another front, the government is now targeting human rights NGOs' tax status. By Yossi Gurvitz and Noam Rotem Hello, I have the honor of representing NGO Monitor, and I think that I will be the first speaker to talk from a point of view that is neither governmental nor quasi-governmental, but rather from, what is called: civil society. -- Gerald Steinberg speaking at…

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  • How the Netanyahu gov't undermines Israeli democracy

    Several actions by the current government are intended to deny the opposition its essential freedom of action One of the basic principles of a democratic regime is that it allows all citizens to participate in it equally. The basic assumption is that the faction currently in power will be removed someday, and that the opponents of the government are allowed the same rights in spreading their ideas. Another basic assumption is that a change of government is a healthy thing; a regime that makes its replacement difficult is already on the way to dictatorship or at the very least an…

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