Israeli lawmaker: foreign governments funding anti-Netanyahu demonstrations

October 18, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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European governments provide substantial funding to the multiple organizations that are behind the anti-Netanyahu demonstration around the country, Member of Knesset (MK) Ariel Kallner charged.

Protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem’s Paris Square, calling him to resign over the government’s economic policies amid the Coronavirus crisis and his corruption trial. Jerusalem, Aug 8, 2020. Photo by Yehonatan Veltzer/TPS

Several organizations have been holding weekly demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while calling for his resignation in recent months. While the demonstrations are not large, they are often violent.

After a few weeks in which Israel was under a Coronavirus lockdown and large demonstrations were banned, the protestors returned to the streets on Saturday night.

Kallner presented data on the organizations behind the protests and funds they received in 2019 from foreign countries. All information was taken from the official website of the Registrar of Associations, and the was available due to the Transparency Law which requires all foreign-funded organizations operating in Israel to clearly state the source and size of their funding.

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, supported by the German Government, provided NIS 154,149 to the Standing Together organization, as well as the Heinrich Bell Foundation from Germany that provided NIS 40,000, and the German ZFD Fund which gave NIS 44,475.

Switzerland gave NIS 240,485, Norway provided NIS 26,297, and Denmark gave NIS 144,627 to other organizations organization the anti-Netanyahu events.

Kallner stated he will demand a discussion at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the issue.

“I will not be silent!” he declared.

On Saturday night, hundreds of demonstrators marched in the center of Jerusalem without any coordination with the police, blocking and disrupting traffic while ignoring the police which declared it an illegal procession.

Several attempts were made by the police forces to stop the protesters without the use of force and return them to the protest area secured by the police.

Meanwhile, police arrested three protesters who violated public order and attacked police officers during the illegal march.

Other anti-Netanyahu events took place in Tel Aviv and in other locations in Israel.

Last month it was revealed at the Knesset’s Lobby for the Fight Against Delegitimization and Anti-Semitism that foreign countries are funding the legal defence for anti-Netanyahu protesters at the prime minister’s residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem.

Kallner, the lobby head, warned that “this is a very serious phenomenon. Would it be conceivable for the State of Israel to fund protection for lawbreakers protesting the German government? Would the German government pass over this in silence? The issue of foreign state intervention means undermining the sovereignty of the State of Israel.”

“Various countries, most of which have diplomatic relations with Israel, are working to undermine the agenda of Israeli society while blatantly interfering in Israel’s internal political and social discourse,” he added.

There are over 300 NGOs operating in Israel which are funded by foreign governments, and primarily by the Europeans, which operate to influence Israel in various aspects, and in many cases operate against the Jewish State.

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