Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Democracy Is Alive and Well in Israel… Not!

Artwork by Carlos Latuff

It was only a little over a year ago when Israeli forces laid waste to Gaza, killing hundreds (mostly children), bombing hospitals and schools, and dumping white phosphorous on one of the most densely-populated areas of the world – a war crime (unless you’re Israel, apparently).

Richard Goldstone, a Jewish, anti-apartheid activist from South Africa, led a fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations committed by Israel during their slaughter on Gaza. The mission produced the Goldstone Report, accusing the Israeli army of misconduct. How has the Israeli right-wing responded?
A center-right group, "Im Tirtzu," issued a report last week charging that the Goldstone report relies on documentation from 16 local rights organizations that were vocal critics of Israeli conduct during the war. The report singled out a common financial thread, the multimillion-dollar New Israel Fund, which raises money among American Jews and foundations for progressive causes. That sparked a drive in the Israeli parliament to approve an investigation to determine whether the work of those nonprofits undermines Israel's legitimacy. The investigation could lead to the outlawing of some groups. [LINK]
So there you have it. Nonprofit organizations can be outlawed for holding independent political views. Some democracy, huh?

Continue reading:
Rights groups under fire for scrutiny of Israel's conduct of Gaza war (2/3/2010)
White Phosphorus Legally Allowed for Israeli Army (2/3/2010)
Israel admission on white phosphorus doesn't settle larger debate (2/1/2010)