Letters to the Editor: Transparency, Hypocrisy and a Dead Palestinian

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Protesters against the new bill 'marking' foreign-funded NGOs outside Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's house, December 27, 2015.
Protesters against the new bill 'marking' foreign-funded NGOs outside Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's house, December 27, 2015.Credit: Moti Milrod

Not transparency, but hypocrisy

It is hypocrisy for Benjamin Netanyahu and Ayelet Shaked to propose stigmatizing mainly liberal NGOs with more than 50 percent foreign-government funding, which they cloak in a call for “transparency,” when at the same time hundreds of millions of dollars opaquely flood into Israel from foreign Jewish and Christian rightist funding sources.

A Haaretz investigation recently reported that over $220 million has reached the West Bank settlements from such sources in 2009-2013 alone. There are other foreign-funded Israeli rightist causes as well, such as Israel’s largest-circulation newspaper, Israel Hayom, which has such a high circulation only because it is free, and is free only because it was founded and is subsidized by American right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson. This is well known.

But less noticed is Netanyahu and Shaked’s hypocrisy in opposing the EU policy of labeling settlement products. They oppose the transparency involved in European consumers being able to know whether they are making purchases from Israel proper or the settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. They oppose Europe enabling its consumers to make informed buying choices, and prefer them to purchase blindly.

So why is “transparency” so crucial when it comes to labeling Israeli human rights organizations, but irrelevant when it comes to labeling products made in the settlements, or labeling the private foreign sources of funding for settlements, right-wing organizations and a free, pro-government newspaper such as Israel Hayom?

James Adler

Cambridge, MA

Because of one dead Palestinian

Following the arrest and release of Ezra Nawi, Guy Batavia and Nasser Nawajah, what a racket the State of Israel raised over one dead Palestinian.

After Operation Protective Edge, Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense and thousands upon thousands of dead and injured that the IDF left in Gaza, a state whose government ministers and MKs call on civilians to shoot to kill; a state whose soldiers shoot and kill Palestinians every day; in whose army a soldier killed a youth who went out to collect thistles; and the trials of those who committed real atrocities goes on and is dragged out and later it turns out that none of them are really responsible for their actions – in a country like this, that’s what bothers us? One dead Palestinian? That’s the excuse the IDF found to arrest Nawi, Batavia and Nawajah? Yes, and that’s Ilana Dayan’s excuse, too.

These are the likes of whom King Alexander Jannaeus said to his wife Shlomzion: “Fear not the Pharisees and the non-Pharisees but the hypocrites who ape the Pharisees; because their deeds are the deeds of Zimri but they expect a reward like Phineas.” 

Havah Halevi

Jerusalem

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