Former Head of Southern Command General (res) Amram Mitzna has never been a man to avoid conflict. He has now ruffled the feathers of Israel’s radical right by making a donation to NIF and talking about his support for NIF publicly.
The 73 year-old, a former MK, a one-time Chair of the Labor Party, and a former Mayor of Haifa told NIF, “I have been watching NIF for many years and very much respect the way it operates. The attacks of the past few weeks and months against NIF and its work have disturbed me. I decided I needed to do something and not only to admire NIF’s work from afar, but also to make a donation and to tell the public what I think of NIF.”
He added, “What really upsets me is the unbearable ease with which the government, and the right-wing parties, and the prime minister’s spokesmen attack civil society groups… All of these organizations go about their work motivated by the values of democracy, of equality and of solidarity.”
When asked about the importance of civil society’s activities, he said, “An active, dynamic, critical civil society is the soul of every normal, liberal, humanitarian society. An active civil society is the special spirit that is so important for any thriving society to exist and NIF has over the years stood alongside the organizations that together make up Israel’s civil society.”
Mitzna pleaded that Israelis “need to open their eyes and listen attentively to the various views that are coming from within our society. I would like to wish the Israeli people a deeper understanding of the existential dangers of the government’s recent moves, whether it is the Nation-State Law, the law against left-wing organizations, or the GSS interrogations of those who arrive in Israel. All these are small and very troubling indications of the path that our society is on.”
Mitzna’s support for NIF brought on the wrath of the right. The national-religious right-wing Channel 20 TV station ran an item about him saying that after describing Netanyahu as a “total loss” and saying that “messianic Zionism would lead to catastrophe,” he has now become the “poster boy” of NIF.