NIF CEO rebuffs Bennett’s, Likud’s withdrawal from democracy conference

By rescinding their invitations to a pro-democracy conference upon learning it was co-sponsored by the New Israel Fund, Likud and Bayit Yehudi leaders showed “profound disrespect for the very essence of a democratic civil society,” the NGO’s CEO said on Wednesday.
Deeming NIF an “anti-Zionist” group, and citing its alleged support of the Goldstone Report and “dozens of radical, leftist organizations,” Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and senior Likud MKs pulled out of this week’s Haaretz Tel Aviv conference earlier this month.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, NIF’s CEO Daniel Sokatch patently denied that his organization supported the since-debunked report, defended NIF’s support of leftist humanitarian groups, and lamented the divisive and vitriolic state of Israeli politics.
“Mr. Bennett and the others were well aware of our participation when they agreed to participate, so one can question exactly the circumstances under which they made the decision to withdraw,” said Sokatch in the Jerusalem YMCA Wednesday afternoon.
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