Monday, February 1, 2010
01 February '10
A report set to be released in the coming days by the centrist-Zionist student group Im Tirtzu, has accused the New Israel Fund, a group that works toward religious pluralism and democratic change, of direct responsibility for the United Nations’ Goldstone Report on the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip just over a year ago.
According to the report, 92 percent of the negative citations used in the Goldstone Report to criticize the IDF’s conduct in Gaza last year came from 16 Israeli NGOs, which Im Tirtzu has alleged received some $7.8 million in financial support from the NIF in 2008-2009 alone.
Among the NGOs listed in the report are Adalah, Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Center for the Defense of the Individual, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Yesh Din, Doctors for Human Rights, Gisha, Bimkom, Rabbis for Human Rights, Itach, Other Voice, New Profile, Machsom Watch and Who Profits from the Occupation.
The report states that the above NGOs contributed “hundreds” of testimonies and other materials to the Goldstone Report, and that while Palestinian and UN sources inside Gaza were also consulted during Judge Richard Goldstone’s investigation in the Gaza Strip last summer, the bulk of the damage was done using the material provided by the Israeli NGOs.
“The Goldstone Report looks the way it does because of these 16 groups and the quotes they provided,” a spokesman from Im Tirtzu told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “In that vein, our goal is to remove the NIF’s mask and show the public what they really are – which is a fifth column, plain and simple.”
The report, which was leaked to the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv last week, was featured in a front-page expose in that newspaper’s weekend edition and has already begun to make political waves.
MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), a former high-ranking Shin Bet official and member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told the Post on Sunday that the details of Im Tirtzu’s report were set to be discussed during a special Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee hearing next week, in which Hasson said he plans to investigate the claims thoroughly.
(Read full article)