Wednesday, June 21, 2006

'Peace Now' Could Teach Hamas A Thing Or Two

Arutz Sheva reports that Peace Now, in order to achieve their goal to get Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 borders is largely funded by foreign governments.

This is not really earth-shattering news.

Back in 2002, CAMERA reported that:
The EU reportedly provides much of Beilin's personal funding. According to an investigative report by Yoav Yitzchaki published in the Feb. 8, 2002 edition of the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, Beilin's salary is largely provided by the European Union (EU), as are his travel expenses. Beilin draws an annual salary of 350,000-400,000 NIS ( $80,000-$90,000) from the EU-funded Economic Cooperation Foundation (ECF) which he established.
Caroline Glick wrote, also in 2002, that the EU funded organizations like Rabbis for Human Rights, which organized delegations of foreign activists to stand in front of IDF tanks and try to force their way through IDF roadblocks.

One year before that, in 2001, the Jerusalem Post reported on the justification given by the EU for the funding they provide to left-wing organizations in Israel:
"The European Union has always held a policy of supporting non-governmental organizations that work for peace, democracy, and human rights in the civil societies around the Mediterranean," an EU official told The Jerusalem Post. "The Israeli government is fully aware of this funding and has never complained about it. The EU has never provided financial support for political parties," he stressed.

..."We don't look at the political complexion of the people who apply to us," the official said. "We look at the project and if it meets our criteria, it is a candidate for our support."
That the Israeli government has stood by and let this happen is just one more indication of their paralysis and inability to take even the most basic stands in the interests of the country. On the other hand, for the EU to brag that they do not look at the "political complexion" of whom they give financial support to--in a region that is drowning in politics--is irresponsible.

But apparently the EU feels that the PA qualifies as one of those "non-governmental organizations that work for peace, democracy, and human rights in the civil societies around the Mediterranean" since it provided financial support to Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority. According to Glick in her article, the EU was the single largest contributor to Arafat's PA since its inception, despite the evidence that the PA is a terrorist entity.

But now, according to Arutz Sheva, David Bedein is claiming that he has documents showing that in 2005, Peace Now bypassed the EU and has gone directly to individual countries, receiving payments directly from Britain, Norway, and Finland, totaling nearly a half million dollars. He also claims that for its 2006 budget, Peace Now has approached Britain, Norway, Canada, Germany, Holland, and Finland, with commitments from Britain, Norway, and Finland.

Considering how Israel has learned that one is beholden to the one you accept money from, the question arises how these foreign countries may have impact

This issue of accepting foreign money goes further than the fact that Peace Now is engaging in an activity that would require it in the US to register as a foreign agent. Peace Now is out to challenge the status of Jewish communitees in the West Bank and see to it that the Israeli government dismantles them. The article makes it clear that:
Such challenges often have direct impact on government policy and on the country's fragile social and political fabric. The government's decision to dismantle nine homes in the town of Amona, for example, followed a Supreme Court petition filed by Peace Now, claiming the homes were built illegally. The homes were destroyed in
a violent police action, in which hundreds were injured.

The violence and sharp polarization of Israeli society ensuing from the Amona tragedy may be playing into the hands of the same foreign governments which fund Peace Now. This is so to the extent that divisions within Israel's political communitiy weaken the government's ability to maintain Israeli control of Judea and Samaria in the face of world criticism.
All of this: funded by countries that are foreign--both geographically and in terms of their friendship--to Israel. That makes it all the more unsettling that Bedein claims Finland's contribution to Peace Now was forwarded to Finland by the U.S. government, according to what a member of the Finnish Parliament told him.

It's not surprizing that over the years Peace Now has become more emboldened--and successful--in looking for financial aid from abroad. No doubt they could teach Hamas a thing or two.

Once again, the Israeli government has taken a passive role and allowed these things to happen. It is not enough for the Israeli government to periodically authorize the IDF to make daring strikes against terrorist leaders. It is in the basic day-to-day running of the country that Israel's future will be assured.

Crossposted at Israpundit

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