Raviv Drucker 311 .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu questioned on Thursday
whether Channel 10 investigative reporter Raviv Drucker employed a
“double-standard” in highlighting the organizations that have paid Netanyahu’s
travel expenses without saying that a nonprofit organization he chairs is funded
by the left-wing New Israel Fund.
Drucker broke the so-called Bibi Tours
scandal last month that revealed that Netanyahu flew abroad with his wife, Sara,
and stayed at fancy hotels at the expense of organizations and individuals
before he became prime minister without receiving approval from the Knesset
Drucker confirmed that his non-profit organization, The
Movement for Freedom of Information, receives $30,000 a month from the New
Israel Fund, whose founding chairman took pride in the fund’s part in bringing
down Netanyahu in 1999, the first time he was prime minister.
founding chairman Eliezer Yaari sent a letter to his board the day after then-
Labor chairman Ehud Barak defeated Netanyahu in the 1999 election in which he
boasted that “it is impossible to see what happened without seeing the clear,
courageous fingerprints of NIF and Shatil [the NIF’s operational arm in
Netanyahu’s associates said that when Drucker suggested that
Netanyahu was tainted by receiving funds from organizations and individuals with
an agenda, he should have revealed that his NGO also receives funds from an
organization with an agenda.
A spokesman for Netanyahu declined to
comment, beyond saying, “The question of whether there is a double-standard in
the fact that he receives money for his NGO from organizations like the New
Israel Fund that have an agenda has to be directed to Mr. Drucker and not to
Drucker responded that he receives no salary from the NGO that he
chairs voluntarily, and that he saw no problem with receiving funds from the New
“My NPO [non-profit organization] receives $30,000 a month
from the NIF like many organizations do,” Drucker said. “I don’t know of a
partisan agenda on their part. They supported the NPO when it was working
against the Sharon and Olmert administrations and I am sure Netanyahu was happy
An NIF spokesman released a statement saying that “the New
Israel Fund is proud to support the The Movement for Freedom of Information,
transparency, and democracy in Israel. In accordance with the fund’s policies,
which are on its website, the fund supports and will continue to support many
socioeconomic organizations that that stand up for democracy and transparency in
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely expressed concern with journalists such
as Drucker accepting funding from NIF.
“Of course, no journalist is
completely objective, but it is still very problematic when any journalist
receives funding from an organization with such a clear political agenda as the
NIF, which functions as a well-oiled propaganda machine,” Hotovely
said.Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.
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