In response to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s claims that the New Israel Fund (NIF) is to blame for pressuring the Rwandan government to cancel its deal with Israel’s government to deport people seeking asylum, and in response to the PM’s call for a parliamentary investigation into NIF, Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the NIF, released the following statement:
“Let’s be clear: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacks Israeli democracy and civil society when he attacks NIF. He lashes out to deflect attention from his own morally bankrupt choices.
“This week, for a brief moment, we celebrated a victory for the 37,000 people who are seeking asylum in Israel and who deserve the right to live their lives and raise their families in peace. Then the Prime Minister backtracked, leaving their lives in limbo. And now he’s blaming us.
“We’re proud of our work. The New Israel Fund did not pressure the Rwandan government to refuse to participate in Netanyahu’s cruel mass deportation plan. We did support massive numbers of Israelis standing up for what is right and demanding action from their own government.
“This isn’t about NIF. It’s about all of us — everyone who cares about democracy and equality in Israel. It’s time for everyone who cares about Israeli democracy to stand up and stand together against this blatant assault on Israeli civil society from an increasingly desperate and flailing PM.
“Mr. Netanyahu, you want to investigate us? I’ll answer any question you like.”
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