Nearly 9 in 10 Jerusalem residents are pleased with their lives, despite challenges in finances and housing. But while Jerusalem is booming, chareidim are still playing catch up
mboldened by new legislation, Israel activists are increasingly pushing back against European government funding of NGOs that seek to undermine Israel’s policies and legitimacy.
The latest controversy occurred earlier this month when the EU-backed HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, rallied to the defense of the terrorist accused of gunning down Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark last month near Otniel. In response, the Zionist group Im Tirtzu held a protest at Israel’s Supreme Court during the terrorist’s hearing. HaMoked, which describes itself as a human rights organization, also works to prevent Israel from demolishing terrorists’ homes.
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg told Mishpacha that the group held the protest to focus attention on EU funding of HaMoked and other pro-Palestinian organizations.
“We see that there are organizations launching lawfare against Israel by getting terrorists the best lawyers and flooding the Supreme Court with appeals on their behalf,” he said.
“There is a situation in Israel today where it is more advantageous to kill a Jew than to steal his car. When a terrorist kills a Jew, he knows that in Israeli jail his rights are very broad and conditions are better than for regular criminals.”
Last month, the Knesset passed a law mandating that NGOs receiving most of their funding from foreign governments identify themselves as such at the Knesset. However, despite the media storm that surrounded the passage of the bill, it seems the new legislation will have little actual effect.
Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, a group that tracks European funding of pro-Palestinian groups in Israel, said the law is primarily “symbolic in the Israeli domestic context.” It will not bring major changes or prevent NGOs, which are already obligated to report on foreign government donations, from receiving money.