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June 21, 2018 7:10 am

Why Does the New Israel Fund Oppose Home Demolitions?

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Israel’s Supreme Court. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

This week, a petition by Hamoked — a grantee of the New Israel Fund — was denied by Israel’s High Court of Justice. The petition sought to “cancel a punitive demolition order” for the home of a Palestinian terrorist.

Who was the terrorist and his family that American Jewish money sought to protect? He was a 26-year-old by the name of Allah Kabha, who rammed his vehicle into a group of people and killed two IDF soldiers.

At the time of the attack, Israel’s Defense Minister said that Israel “will act to ensure that the terrorist will receive the death penalty, [and we will] demolish his house and punish all those who collaborated with him. There is no such thing as individual terrorism, this terrorism is supported by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which provides money to the families of terrorists.”

The terrorist’s brother was arrested for involvement in the attack and his extended family — who received 97 permits to work and trade in Israel — had all of their permits cancelled. A Hamas spokesperson praised the attack and Fatah’s military wing the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades called the attack “heroic.”

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So why is the New Israel Fund supporting a group that protests this kind of action?

Across the Israeli political spectrum, there is support for home demolition. And Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, whose job includes approving demolitions, has stated that there is evidence that demolitions are effective at deterring violent attacks.

In addition to its outrageous petition, Hamoked also wasted the Israeli government’s money, because it had to spend funds to defend its position in court.

Hamoked has received more than $720,000 from New Israel Fund donors. These donors include the Leichtag Foundation and Oz Benamram of the law firm White & Case.

Hamoked claims to work “for the enforcement of standards and values of international human rights and humanitarian law.” But Hamoked, using American Jewish donor money, defends the families of terrorists.

As Israel’s State Prosecutor concluded, Hamoked’s “self-presentation as ‘a human rights organization’ has no basis in reality and is designed to mislead.” Shame on the New Israel Fund.

Ronn Torossian is a Public Relations firm owner.

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