In response to Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich’s comments attacking human rights organizations, CEO of the New Israel Fund Daniel Sokatch released the following statement:
“For 43 years, the New Israel Fund has built Israeli civil society in pursuit of equality, justice, and democracy for all. I’m proud of the human rights defenders who work tirelessly to uphold the basic dignity of all people.
MK Smotrich knows this very well. He and his supremacist political movement are fundamentally opposed to equality, human rights, and democracy in Israel.
It’s no wonder, then, that Smotrich would point the finger at the New Israel Fund and other Israelis committed to those principles. Democracies do not silence or threaten human rights defenders and activists. That’s the business of autocrats. And that’s Smotrich’s vision for the future.
Let me be clear — his attacks on us will not silence us. We are a powerful movement of people — Israelis, Palestinians, and people from around the world — and our job is to take on despots. Anyone who cares about human rights and Israel’s democracy will join us in this fight.”