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P.S. on democracy

02/02/2010

Here are (some of) the words of Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund following the release of a concerted campaign denouncing the role of NIF organizations in last year’s Goldstone Report (see my previous post below for more information).

I’m quoting from Sokatch’s statements because he is far more eloquent than I in defense of the democratic impulse and the danger of slamming the door shut on public truth-telling. Please support New Israel Fund any way you can.

The human rights organizations that examined and reported on human rights concerns during and after the Gaza operation were the first to declare that the Israeli government must launch an independent inquiry into the events of Gaza. They were acting out of a profound sense of patriotism and love of Israel.  They are not monolithic and differ on many issues, including the conclusions of the Goldstone report…

It’s an attack on the fiber of Israeli democracy, and part of an increasing drumbeat of incredibly heavy-handed tactics being used by authorities and others to silence human rights and civil rights organizations in Israel.

The kinds of societies and countries that try to intimidate and quash freedom of speech are not the kinds of countries we want to emulate or that I think Israelis want to emulate. And while we’re quite cognizant of the fact that people who don’t have Israel’s best interests in mind could use the material provided by human rights and civil rights organizations to damage Israel, the democratic identity of Israel and the values we stand for are far more important than what our enemies might do with these reports.

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