The incitement against the New Israel Fund just keeps coming. Today, right-wing Im Tirzu activists demonstrated at the annual Hertzeliya conference (Israel’s equivalent of Davos). They featured a prison cell with cut out figures of Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and Gabi Ashkenazi in striped prisoner uniforms. The placard above them read: “New Israel Fund prisoners.”
It reminded me of an image I saw before Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination featuring a picture of him on a placard dressed in a kapo uniform. This was the same type of hate and incitement that led to his murder. I shudder to think what others are capable of in the same settler movement which produced Yigal Amir, Baruch Goldstein and Jack Teitel. Teitel was the one who exploded a bomb outside Prof. Zeev Sternhell’s home which injured him. Before this, Teitel had posted notices offering a reward for the death of Peace Now’s Yariv Oppenheimer. How long before someone takes a potshot at Naomi Hazan or Oppenheimer? And even more sadly, would many care if it hit its mark? Well, of course they would care. Until the glare of bad publicity wore off. Then it would be back to business as usual. The Occupation continues. The land thefts continue.
Imagine, it is the very Shin Bet who fomented this incitement against NIF who are responsible for protecting its leaders from the settler crazies who would harm them.
All this is brought to you with the assistance of Christian Zionist zealot John Hagee and his $100,000 taxa-deductible donation to Im Tirtzu.
And the truth is that this rightist group is inadvertently revealing the harsh truth to Israel. Its leaders are culpable for possible war crimes. Im Tirtzu can attempt to pin the blame for this on NIF all they want. But the blame lies in one place: those who prosecuted the war in Gaza. This little stunt is a feeble attempt to blame the messenger. NIF is speaking truth to power as any good NGO should in a liberal democracy. Don’t blame NIF for Israel’s own behavior. If Israel didn’t want to face this outcome it shouldn’t have conducted the war as it did. Given that it did over the protestations of much of the international community whose outcry warned them that they’d overstepped the bounds of law and morality, they will have to face the bitter music.
Someone may go to jail and Israel will have only itself (and not the NIF) to blame if that happens.