Zionist organization releases video portraying human rights activists as aiding terrorists; activist says he fears being targeted for violence.
Right-wing group: leftist activists are ‘implants’
A new video released Tuesday by the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization portrayed four Israeli leftist human rights activists as aiding terrorists, leading one of them to submit a formal complaint to police. The video brands these individuals “implants,” claiming that while Israel fights against terrorism, these individuals fight against their own country.
One of the “implants” in the video is Yishai Menuhin, director general of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), who is presented as someone who will protect terrorists from being interrogated by the Shin Bet. Menuhin complained to police following release of the video, arguing that it “crossed the line of freedom of speech into incitement.”
“They aren’t attacking the organization, they spoke of me personally and used a warped picture, accusing me of someone who protects or permits terrorists to attack us without fear,” said Dr. Menuhin.
“I’m afraid that I’ll be physically attacked following the video,” he added.
Another leftist activist in the video is Avner Gvaryahu from the Breaking the Silence organization, whom the video describes as responsible for calling soldiers who foil terror attack war criminals.
The other two activists are lawyers Sigi Ben Ari of the Center for the Defence of the Individual (“Hamoked”), and Hagai El-Ad, director general of B’Tselem.
Israel’s Channel 10 news reported that media consultant Moshe Klughaft, a close adviser to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, was behind the video.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked recently published a memo aiming to deal with incitement on social networks. She argued that the incitement translates to murder in the streets. The memo was targeting internet incitement by Palestinians against Jews, but is supposed to be enforced on everyone.
After Hagai Amir, brother of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir, was recently arrested for an apparently incendiary Facebook post, Shaked announced an increase in enforcement of legal action on those who publish inciting materials.
Over three months of frequent terror attacks, Shaked has proposed that the law be amended so that those accused of incitement will be subject to the maximum sentence of five years in prison – even without proof that their expressions create a real possibility for violence or terrorism.
Alon Shwartzer, head of Im Tirtzu’s policy department, told Ynet that the video is not incitement. “You need to take the video beyond the personal level, and it’s all detailed in our report,” he said. “These are the heads of organizations who work against the soldiers of the IDF and against Israel’s citizens, and work to delegitimize the state of Israel and weaken it abroad. Everything we said is based on facts and research and we don’t see it as a problem or incitement. The public needs to see and judge who makes the blood of Israel’s soldiers and civilians fair game.”
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