Ideology bought with euros

It is inconceivable that any sovereign state would allow foreign elements to influence internal matters.

Euro cents money coins 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Euro cents money coins 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
They call themselves the guardians of human rights as a way to ease their conscience.
But some extreme left-wing organizations are financially supported by foreign governments that are clearly anti-Israel. A more obvious term comes to mind for such organizations: fifth column. This is the appropriate name for those who work nonstop to weaken the very state they live and work in.
Many of these groups have been working for years against the IDF and the government, as we strive to deal with the complicated realities of the Middle East. In many other democracies (including those that fund these organizations), these groups would have to deal with legal action against them – not to mention widespread public outcry.
As much as these organizations try to claim that their actions are advancing the cause of peace, they are actually pushing peace further and further away. Their campaigns don’t hold back from using any method available – they delegitimize the state, attempt to limit our options and deter us from defending ourselves. Moreover, they are causing irreparable damage to our interests overseas – damage that no amount of effort by our dedicated diplomats will be able to rectify.
WHILE WE recognize the importance of freedom of expression, we all know that reasonable limits must prevail. There must be fair and reasonable rules. How can we allow these foreign interests to buy ideologies by paying millions of euros every year? We must understand that that they have only one true goal – the end of Israeli sovereignty over our hard-earned society.
Those who question our obligation to investigate this noxious challenge must first ask themselves important questions. What right do these countries have to claim an interest in the internal social issues of our society? Why do they feel entitled to meddle in our most sensitive diplomatic and security decisions through devious, deceitful methods? Can one imagine the Vatican allowing foreign groups to undermine its duly formulated policies? Would the US sit by while nongovernmental groups stalk and monitor its soldiers’ every move during dangerous combat missions?
Of course not! Such behavior is routinely described as aiding and abetting terrorist organizations, and its perpetrators usually face stern justice, including imprisonment and fines. This natural reaction comes from all democratic nations, without even mentioning the draconian punishment meted out to terrorists and their facilitators by the not-so-enlightened justice systems of our less-democratic neighbors.
It is inconceivable that any sovereign, enlightened state would allow foreign elements to influence the internal workings of its society. It is further unimaginable that rational and fair leaders would not work diligently to uproot such behavior. We should not be embarrassed, but rather proud to state that it is our responsibility as leaders to do the right thing for our country. We must never shy away from defending our citizens.
If these organizations do not realize that they are being manipulated by outside extremists to harm our state, then it is our duty to act decisively and legislate appropriately to protect our society.
Just as we send our young men and women to the front to risk their lives for our state, we must embark on this war of social norms to protect our democracy and reinstill a sense of trust, confidence and pride in our society.
The writer, deputy speaker of the Knesset and chairman of World Likud, was appointed chairman last week of the Knesset commission of inquiry to investigate the foreign funding of Israeli organizations.