Yesterday’s post about foreign money financing anti-state activities here in Israel was also posted on the Elder of Ziyon blog, where it attracted a few comments. To my surprise (OK, not so much), several of them were opposed to the idea of limiting donations from foreign sources to NGOs in Israel. “Putin would be proud of this,” said one.
Putin aside, keep in mind that neither Ayelet Shaked nor I advocates limiting the free speech of Israelis. Although there is a part of me that would enjoy seeing the leaders of Breaking the Silence (for example) imprisoned for treason, I understand that free speech is a fundamental pillar of democracy — you can’t have the latter without the former.
But look at what is happening here: our enemies — yes, I have to place the EU in that category — are paying individuals and groups in Israel to act against the policies of the democratically elected government. If this isn’t treason, it is something like it.
Yes, I know that the saintly Israelis who are involved in this enterprise would claim that they are doing it for moral reasons, not for the money. In that case, though, they should be prepared to finance their activities themselves, or to accept donations only from other Israelis.
Don’t limit the speech — but cut off the foreign money.
I also want to add a few words about Ayelet Shaked, whom I mentioned yesterday. The vicious slander that accuses her of being a racist who calls for “indiscriminate killing of Palestinians” at best and genocide at worst is being repeated over and over in the international and Israeli media. You can read an accurate translation of the original Facebook post that prompted this attack, which I quoted here, and make up your own mind.
Shaked also wants to tilt the balance of power between the Knesset and the Supreme Court more towards the Knesset. This has triggered hysteria on the part of her opponents (you can read a very good, non-hysterical, discussion of the issue here).
The Left fears Shaked precisely because she is not the ranting ideologue that they present her as, but someone who does her homework and argues rationally, albeit aggressively. As my wife said, “sometimes it’s beneficial that women have to be twice as good as men to get anywhere — because then they are twice as good.”
I’m not in favor of censorship or silencing free speech. Let me explain in detail what I mean – even though the Russians have done it, the reasons for Israel to outlaw foreign funding as well take on added significance.
What I did write is if Israeli Jews think it important enough to advocate a certain position, they should solicit funding and support for it from their countrymen. If that funding comes from abroad, its not the expectations of Israeli Jews that would influence them in their work.
This is I think, is perfectly reasonable. Non-Jewish foreigners are financing Israeli anti-Israel NGOs for their own reasons – one of which is to have Jews validate their innate Judeophobia.
This cannot be accepted in a sovereign Jewish State. The Jew must not be reduced to a puppet dancing on strings held by others. He must be free to decide for himself what is to the good of his own country, without external influence or pressure.
To put it another way, banning foreign funding for Israeli NGOs and political parties strengthens rather than weakens them and creates a real civil society rooted in the authentic values and beliefs of the Jewish people.
Its the only way to preserve Israel’s identity and independence as the world’s only Jewish State and is long overdue.
NormanF: Actually, I was thinking of another comment, the one that yours was in reply to. I understood your point and agree with it.