That’s what happened last week when a new organization made a big splash in Israel by accusing the New Israel Fund and its grantees of being behind the Goldstone Report. Timed to capitalize on the anger many Israelis feel about the Goldstone conclusions, and personalized with a particularly despicable attack on NIF President Naomi Chazan, the attack was the latest salvo in a coordinated attempt to de-legitimize civil society, repress the activities of the human rights community and weaken Israeli democracy. It comes as no surprise to discover that this new group is funded by the same abundant money that flows to extremist settlers’ organizations, including a sizable contribution from John Hagee’s “Christians United for Israel” – a group that once stated that “Hitler was carrying out God’s will.”Read the rest. (H/t Arieh)
To our many friends and supporters who have already leapt to our defense, thank you. To those of you who know the New Israel Fund as the leading organization advancing democracy and equality in Israel, with a thirty-year record of serious accomplishment, we ask you to support us as we combat the increasingly authoritarian and extremist ideology taking hold in Israel.
This is the latest in a series of attacks on the social justice community in Israel.
UPDATE: Read this excellent post at Greens Engage, on defending democracy in Israel and defending Jews outside Israel.
UPDATE 2: More links: The attacks against NIF and why J Street could use a little schooling from Peace Now (Ron Kampeas, h/t Judeosphere); Centrist Organization Im Tirtzu Decried as “Fascist” By Israeli (and Jewish) Left (The New Centrist); and several from Meretz USA: "Im Tirtzu" - a creature of John Hagee?, Meretz MK Horowitz: Inquiry Committee against the New Israel Fund is "political persecution", Chazan, Burg, Indyk at NIF forum. See also the comments thread below.