FM on NGO probe bill vote: 'I have no doubt we will win'

Commenting on efforts to pass controversial legislation to probe left-wing groups, Lieberman says "We are not willing not crumble under pressure from media, int'l sources"; Tibi: Knesset taking the path of "McCarthyism."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 20, 2011 21:10
2 minute read.
Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman 521. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday commented on the Knesset vote over a controversial bill to probe left-wing NGOs, saying, "I have no doubt that we will win, and if we do not succeed today then we will try again next week, and in the session after that."

"We are not willing to crumble under pressure from the media or from international sources," he said.

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"Lieberman also said that the proposal of the legislation was "a double win," first because the subject was placed firmly on the public agenda, and second because other members of the coalition are agreeing with Israel Beiteinu.

MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List - Ta'al) on Wednesday said that when Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman talks about a commission of inquiry into left-wing NGOs, he means "dungeons of inquiry."

The MK was speaking at a Knesset session to vote on proposed legislation to establish commissions of inquiry into the activities and funding of left-wing organizations.

Criticizing the bill and its proponents, Tibi said that the Knesset continued to follow in the path of "McCarthyism" and accused the right of leading the country "from one low point to another and from bad to worse."

He further accused the right of figuratively "assassinating the prime minister" and planning to "assassinate a Supreme Court Judge."

The Knesset session was held over two bills. One, submitted by Israel Beiteinu MK Faina Kirschenbaum, would probe the damage done by the NGOs to the IDF. The second, sponsored by Likud MK Danny Danon, would investigate the contributions the NGOs received from foreign countries.

Earlier at the Knesset plenum, opposition leader Tzipi Livni said the proposed legislation is " a cowardly act," adding, "What is happening here today will be a trigger for those who do not accept the state of Israel."

"This [law] will balance the delegitimization," Livni said.

"Those who vote in favor of this law will become voters against Israel. The evil spirits that have filled the Knesset are anti-democratic and violate the interests of the state of Israel," she added.

"This idea came about as a way to probe citizens who do not think like you," the opposition leader said referring to the the proponents of the bill.

Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, also speaking out against the bills, accused Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of being "the main figure to deligitimize Israel" through his criticism of NGOs such as Yesh Din.

Kirschenbaum, who first submitted the proposal for the probe into left-wing NGOs, defended the bill saying, "This is a fight for the image of the country."

Labor MK Raleb Majadele used the podium to criticize what he called the "poor treatment" of the country's minorities.

"If you don't care for the minority, the world will judge you," he said noting how haredim "are paid to pray, while I, who prays five times a day, get nothing."

The Labor MK called on other MKs to "climb down from your tree, take care of Israeli society, and stop inciting the minority."


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