Press Releases


CONTACT: Naomi Paiss
202-513-7824 phone
[email protected]

New Israel Fund Welcomes Knesset Rejection of “Investigation” Of Human Rights Groups

20 July 2011

The New Israel Fund, the leading organization advancing democracy and social justice in Israel, today applauded the decisive Knesset votes rejecting a proposed “parliamentary inquiry” into the activities of the human rights community. Together with its flagship grantee, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, NIF has been a constant presence working to influence the Knesset since the spate of anti-democratic legislation began surfacing last year.

More than 1800 North American NIF supporters emailed wavering Likud leaders this week, urging them to vote against legislation designed to penalize and defund progressive civil society. Of the four targeted lawmakers, two voted against the measure and two absented themselves from the vote.

Despite the passage of the widely-criticized “boycott” law last week, the rejection of the inquiry for the second time by a united opposition and many Likud members is regarded as a victory by the New Israel Fund, which released the following statement:

“Today’s decision in the Knesset to reject the bill to establish committees investigating Israeli human rights organizations is a welcome affirmation of Israel’s commitment to core democratic principles, a commitment that extremists in the current Knesset seem intent on challenging through one legislative initiative after another.

The New Israel Fund hopes that today’s decision is a wake-up call to the governing coalition that it must stop the wave of anti-democratic legislation targeting Israel’s civil society. Given the Prime Minister’s opposition to this initiative spearheaded by Avigdor Lieberman and other hard-right legislators, we must hope that sanity, social cohesion and respect for Israel as a democratic state will prevail in the Knesset. We also call upon the government to use this opportunity to reverse last week’s vote regarding the Boycott Law. NIF’s supporters in Israel and overseas will continue to speak out for democratic freedoms.

The New Israel Fund will continue to proudly support human rights organizations working for equality, social justice and democracy in Israel.”

# # #