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In defense of Human Rights in Israel, 8.2.10
In recent months, a worrisome wave of denunciation of human rights' defenders has swept through Israeli society. This in addition to an attack starting with the first testimonies published on human rights violations during the attack on Gaza. Below are some of the more recent developments:
 
a) Im Tirtsu (If You Will It), a new extreme right organization featured in Ma'ariv Daily Newspaper vehemently attacking the New Israel Fund: the article written by Ben Kaspit, an influential journalist, asked whether Israeli human rights organizations testifying to the Goldstone Committee, represent a "Fifth Column".
 
Many other responses and media items followed this article. PHR Israel's executive director published a column in Ma’ariv printed and online edition. In addition she published a blog warning from hate discourse: “The Only Thing we Learn From History is that We Learn Nothing From History”.
 
 
 
In response 13 Israeli Human Rights and Social Change Organizations co-signed an urgent letter addressed to President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Rivlin, protesting against the ongoing assault and delegitimization of human rights organizations in Israel. In their letter the organizations state that denying their legitimate right to operate and to criticize government activities contradicts fundamental values of Israeli democracy.
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Israeli Human Rights Organization's protest letter 31.1.10 Israeli Human Rights Organization's protest letter 31.1.10
Links
Israel's NGOs must operate freely/ Antony Lerman, Guardian, 26.2.10
NIF fracas: Defending Israel or destroying democracy?/ Article on JTA, 8.2.10
Israeli Rights Groups View Themselves as Under Siege/ The New York Times, 5.4.10
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