Exclusive: Shaked urges Europeans she meets to quit funding pro-BDS groups

Top Bayit Yehudi leader supports administrative detention of 3 Jewish settler activists, low key on timing of legalizing settlements.

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October 14, 2015 17:31
3 minute read.
Ayelet Shaked holds introductory press conference at the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem

Ayelet Shaked holds introductory press conference at the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem. (photo credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)

 
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When Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked meets with counterparts from around the world she checks which NGOs accused of being anti-Israel that these countries fund, she told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Wednesday.

She presents these ministers with a list of the NGOs and then asks to stop funding them, she said.

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“I do this with every European minister I meet,” Shaked said. “Sometimes they have no idea. They think these are human rights organizations and don’t realize they are working with BDS.”

Shaked gave the Post a copy of the list she showed Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala Polo in July, who told her he opposes attempts to boycott, divest from or sanction Israel.

The list included six organizations, six in Israel, which the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID) provides with an annual NIS 1,622,202.

Another three groups on the list, also funded by AECID, operate in West Bank areas under Palestinian Authority administration.

Among the Israeli organizations on Shaked’s list were Breaking the Silence, a group founded by former IDF combat soldiers that criticizes Israeli policy in the West Bank.



Shaked’s chart says the group engages in “war crimes allegations, lobbying the EU and UN.”

The chart accuses Bimkom, another Israeli left-wing NGO which helps Palestinian towns in Area C, of involvement in “apartheid rhetoric [and] Beduin campaigns.” The group received more than a million shekels in funding.

Hamoked, an NGO funded by AECID in the name of defending human rights, is accused by Shaked’s list of supporting “apartheid rhetoric and legal actions” against Israel.

The Palestinian organizations listed include Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees and Al-Haq, all accused of being active in BDS campaigns.

Shaked’s chart also shows Al-Haq as having ties to the PFLP terrorist group.

Asked about the topic of administrative detention, Shaked called it a “very draconian” measure that should “only be used in extreme circumstances.”

Israel has been criticized for years for carrying out administrative detentions, a measure used against Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorism, sometimes putting hundreds at a time behind bars without trial.

Right-wing politicians who traditionally support the measure have criticized it since August when three Jewish settler activists were jailed without trial after an arson attack in Duma that killed four members of a Palestinian family.

Activists have exploded in anger against the settlers being detained without fully knowing the charges against them.

Shaked, expressing a view unpopular with many backers, said she supported the measure being implemented “after Duma,” which she called a serious “attack.” She added that the law enforcement establishment had cited evidence pointing to the three who were jailed as posing a “danger to the state.”

Shaked added that the state may also approve administrative detention in the future for Palestinians or Israeli-Arabs who post plans on social media sites to “become a shahid [martyr].” But she said the measure would only be used under “very extreme circumstances.”

She demurred at legal expert Mordechai Kremnitzer’s suggestion of providing detainees with a means to challenge arrests by naming a special defense counsel to review classified evidence.

“To tell you the truth, it’s not very simple, once you do it” and decide a case is “very extreme” she was “not in favor of” opening up such follow-up processes, Shaked said.

Moving on to the status of efforts to legalize unauthorized Jewish settlements and outposts in the West Bank, Shaked was lower key than expected.

A committee chaired by cabinet secretary Avichai Mandelblit had a mid-September deadline to resolve the issue.

But nearly a month since that deadline has passed, Shaked suggested no immediate announcement or report would be issued, saying the committee “was working on the issue on an ongoing basis.”

A source in the Prime Minister’s Office said the committee has met seven times, including on Tuesday, “that the legal issues are complex” and the “work is ongoing.”

Shaked will speak at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem on November 18.

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