Right-wing Knesset Member to Head Probe into Left-wing NGOs

An initiative proposed by the Yisrael Beiteinu party to investigate where Leftist Human Rights NGOs are receiving their funding from has taken form and will be headed by Michael Ben-Ari, one of the National Union representatives in the Knesset.

The initiative, which stems from the constant disruptive actions of Leftist groups, particularly against the IDF and their ability to defend the country properly, will consist of a parliamentary panel that will echo US Senate hearings and investigate the human rights’ groups in two different areas:  The sources of their funding and if they are in violation of any laws.  The idea, which was initiated by Yisrael Beiteinu, has met heavy opposition by the Arab Balad and United Arab List Parties as well as numerous politicians, activists and intellectuals, including President Shimon Peres.

MKs from the Israeli Arab and Labor parties are boycotting the investigation, although they recommended Ben-Ari for the job.  In addition, the President maintained that the police should be performing investigations, not the Knesset, since they are “the most objective and have the proper tool.  However, Ben-Ari, who received the news from coalition whip Ze’ev Elkin, welcomed the decision said he would ensure that the investigation would be just and not a witch-hunt.  Ben-Ari responded to the Arab and Left-wing boycott, saying that he would defend Israel “from all sorts of haters, both at home and away, who wish to see it destroyed” and that the boycott is out of fear of inquiry’s comclusions.

The investigation’s main goal is to verify that Leftist NGOs are not receiving money from a terrorist group or enemy state, such as Hamas, Syria, Hizballah  or Iran.  Certain elements of the far right-wing parties want the investigation to go further and ensure that the groups do not receive funding from a group that has even been suspected of having ties to terrorism.

In response to the decision, which was publicized yesterday,  thousands gathered in Tel Aviv and over 60 law professors signed a petition of protest