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The Only Democracy? » Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs, Victories for Democracy » For Lieberman, human rights = terrorism

For Lieberman, human rights = terrorism

Well, this sums it up well. Though Israel declined to follow up the anti-Boycott bill by passing a law calling for the investigation of human rights organizations, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was not “blasted ministers for refusing to probe”

Source: Reuters

From Ha’aretz,

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud ministers for their opposition to a bill calling for parliamentary investigations into left-wing organizations. Speaking during Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Lieberman said the bodies slated for investigation were not left-wing groups but terror organizations.

Fascinatingly, Netanyahu refused to support the bill because of “Delegitimization,” which either means he argues that for everything he does, or he recognizes that repressive laws are what delegtimizes Israel, while the human rights groups it mentions are among its last hopes.

One of the group’s on Lieberman’s slander list, New Profile, responded in an emailed press statement.

New Profile Denounces Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman

New Profile rejects and denounces Minister Lieberman’s choice to call New Profile and other human rights organizations “terrorist organizations”.

New Profile is a civil feminist movement active against institutionalized violence and for dialogue and peace, for demilitarizing Israeli society, for freedom of conscience, equality and justice for all – Arabs and Jews, women and men, including those choosing not to serve in the IDF.

New Profile persists in its commitment to non-violence and encourages true, open civil discourse in Israel. Minister Lieberman kindles and leads incitement against human rights and civil society organizations in this country.

The attempt to slur as “terrorist” any view critical of the ruling power’s ideas expresses a basic misunderstanding of democracy and presents any controversy as an existential threat that must be eliminated.

We call upon the public in Israel to ask itself and its elected representatives why criticism and independent thinking threaten them as much as terrorist actions.

Inflaming fear and trembling of real and imagined foes perpetuates the situation whereby war, inequality and racism are regarded a must, manifest destiny. It is not. The choice is in our hands, we the citizens – choosing to live in an egalitarian, non-violent, civil and democratic society.

Written by

JESSE BACON (Philadelphia) is a freelance activist and father. He has a Masters in teaching from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is an observant progressive Jew, and is trying to be a good ally for Palestinians and all dispossessed peoples, while staying true to the best traditions in Judaism. He visited Israel and Palestine in 1996, 2001, and 2002. He served for three years on the local steering committee of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, and one year on the board of Pursue the Peace in Seattle. Read his posts here.

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