Israeli Justice Minister: Human Rights Groups Ignore 'The Killing of an Innocent Person'

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Ayelet Shaked, Israel's freshly appointed justice minister, pictured in 2014.Credit: Michal Fattal

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked lashed out at human rights groups at the Knesset plenary session on Wednesday for what she termed the support they have given to Ezra Nawi, the left-wing activist who described in a TV report how his actions had led to the deaths of Palestinians who sought to sell West Bank land to Jews.

In the report aired on Channel 2’s “Uvda," Nawi was secretly taped boasting that he had turned over Palestinian land brokers to the PA's security forces who would then kill them.

“You shut your eyes and back someone suspected of killing an innocent person,” Shaked charged, adding that these groups don’t see “the moral hump [on their backs] that everyone else can plainly see.”

Shaked linked the Nawi affair to the controversial bill she is promoting, which would require Israeli NGOs that receive a majority of their funding from foreign governments to wear special badges during discussions they attend at the Knesset or other public institutions. The NGO transparency bill is widely viewed as targeting left-wing and human rights NGOs.

Addressing her Knesset comments to specific NGOs — Breaking the Silence, Rabbis for Human Rights, B’Tselem and Ta’ayush — Shaked said that "after repeatedly crying wolf in recent years and falsely accusing the army of immoral conduct, you’ve started accepting a situation in which illegitimate members are turning into wolves and true predators.

"You fail to identify the eclipse and moral darkness that have fallen on you," she charged. "Have you considered what kind of organizations around the world you now resemble?”

Shaked continued attacking leftist groups, asking among other things: “Is it so hard for you to condemn a murder?” Linking the affair to the bill, she added that: “In the long run, the more transparent things become the better it will be for all of us. I have no doubt that improved transparency over time, as will be required by law, will lead to a clearer discourse.”

The investigative report aired last week was based on data gathered by right-wing activists who infiltrated leftist groups that are active in the occupied territories, trying to show these groups at their worst. Nawi is an activist in the Israeli-Palestinian group Ta’ayush.

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