It is not a matter of being left or far left--the groups described below are just off the wall.
April 21, 2011
Contact:Naftali BalansonNGO Monitor
European government-funded NGOs' "Solidarity visit" with Families of Murder Suspects
- On the evening of March 11, 2011, five members of the Fogel family were stabbed to death: Udi, 36, Ruth, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months. On April 5 and 10, Israeli security services arrested two suspects from the Palestinian village of Awarta, as well as several accomplices.
- During the investigation, several political NGOs, some of which are funded by European governments, organized a "solidarity visit," including busses to bring activists to Awarta in support of the residents who had been interrogated.
- The NGOs also condemned the Israeli investigation, using the term "collective punishment," and claimed that there was no basis for suspecting residents (see quotes below).
- A number of the NGOs involved are funded by European governments and the New Israel Fund (NIF). For example, the hosts of the "solidarity visit" were: Coalition of Women for Peace (funded by NIF, Switzerland, and government-funded groups from Netherlands and Germany), Combatants for Peace (Spain), Gush Shalom (funding unknown), and Humans without Borders (funding unknown). A photographer was sent by Rabbis for Human Rights (funded by NIF, EU, Ireland via Trocaire, Spain, Norway via Norwegian Church Aid).
- A "solidarity visit" participant described the arrest of one of the murderers as a "pogrom, primate and brutal vengeance intended solely to impose fear in the heart of the residents." (See below for the analysis of Israeli journalist Kalman Liebeskind.)
- The NGOs have not apologized or retracted their statements following the arrests.
This is the level these groups have sunk to.
Kalman Liebeskind, MaarivApril 17, 2011[Translated by NGO Monitor]A week ago, subscribers to the mailing lists of extreme left organizations received an important invitation. The activists were summoned to visit the village of Awarta on Saturday, calling it a "solidarity visit" is not a distortion. The email invitation, which was signed by the Coalition of Women for Peace, Combatants for Peace, Gush Shalom, and Humans without Borders, included a few lines on the plight of the villagers of Awarta following the attack in Itamar and after the IDF began to suspect that the killers were from there: Harsh searches, property damage and curfews. Bus transportation [to the solidarity visit] would be provided from Tel Aviv, Kfar Saba and Jerusalem.Today, the names of the murderers were released -- Palestinian human animals who slaughtered the Fogel couple and their children. Today, everyone who heard the details, exposed in the GSS interrogations, could not remain indifferent. This terrorist attack horrifies, boils the blood, and maddens the mind.But within our midst, there are groups who, more than being concerned for the murdered, are worried about what the killers and their families are going through. It is not the murder that keeps them up at night, but the details of how the IDF treats the suspects. Disgusting.As mentioned, this visit of extreme left-wing activists can not be called anything other than a solidarity visit. With what exactly do they identify? This I leave to your imagination. However, this is what one of the organizers, Yaakov Manor, posted on the website of the Alternative Information Center (AIC) after the visit:"Zacharia and I arrived today at Awarta around 3:00 pm. The village was under curfew; a military jeep blocked the main entrance to the village. We found a way to bypass the obstruction. We held the first meeting at the Village Council building. Qais Awad, head of the Council and other local activists attended. The local participants reviewed the situation in the village since the killings in the settlement of Itamar ... Since the murder, most of the searches by Israeli security forces focus on Awarta ... Dozens of villagers were arrested for investigations that were conducted roughly and under threats... more than 20 villagers are still detained by the security forces."Manor details here, in shock, the version of some detainees on the insulting questions asked and the treatment they received from their interrogators. His Palestinian hosts in Awarta also had an explanation as to why the IDF's searches were focused specifically on them. Is it because there is intelligence information about their involvement? Absolutely not. Is it because this village has already produced several murderers? No way. Is it because maybe the two killers of the Fogel family used to live next door to some of the villagers and were assisted by some villagers? Of course not. The head of the council explained to the left-wing activist "that the army is laying the groundwork for expropriating over 1,000 acres of olive groves near the settlement." You get it? It's all a conspiracy. The activists, it seems, were easily convinced.The website excitedly reports about the IDF's intrusion into the villagers' homes and searches conducted while damaging property and hurting residents. Really terrible. It would have been better to pick up a phone and ask if it would please the killers to enter the nearest police station. The friends of the extreme left activists in Awarta would probably help immediately. Actually not. Do you know why not? Because the "village elders," so tells us Manor, "firmly denied any guilt in the act and claimed collective punishment in the most brutal fashion." Well, if the friends from Awarta strongly deny, who are we not to believe them? In any event, after the meeting, the justice seeking left-wing activists went to the homes of two families, to show their sympathy for their sorrow. Yes, you guessed it. It is the families of the murderers. "The horror we saw in house of Mohammed Awad's family, can not be described but as a pogrom for its own sake," wrote the left-wing activists. The murder in Itamar did not remind the Tel Avivian friends of a pogrom. The search in the house of the killer is what triggered memories of dark days. The family was taken from their beds in the morning chill, and an IDF soldier even took one of girl's blankets. The activists sympathized with the family. The son of these poor wretches - the murderer, slaughterer, butcher, or whatever you choose - was arrested that same morning. The leftists were troubled by his sister's blanket. Manor describes him as a first year university student, and his mother "seems broken, stunned by grief and sorrow. The fear and terror can still be seen in her eyes." Indeed difficult images. "No wonder there was a gag order imposed on all the events in the village. Under this cover you can pull any mischief without criticism," he concludes.These friends, from the radical left, are proceeding to remove themselves from Israeli society. They are no longer part of us. Those who are damaged the most by their activity is the legitimate Zionist left, who must denounce them and remove them from its camp. It must.
Technorati Tag: Terrorism and NGOs.