Fascistic Group Incites Violence against Human Rights Activists

The fascist organization Im Tirtzu released on Tuesday, December 15, a video clip which depicts four Israeli human rights activists as “protecting terrorists.” At the beginning of the clip the narrator says “Next time a terrorist comes to stab you, he knows that there’s someone who will defend him.” Israel’s Channel 10 news reported that media consultant Moshe Klughaft, a close adviser to far-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett, was behind the video.

A screenshot from the Im Tirzu video. Caption reads: “While we fight terrorism, they fight us."

A screenshot from the Im Tirzu video. Caption reads: “While we fight terrorism, they fight us.”

The clip then displays of photograph of Dr. Ishai Menuhin, the executive director of the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI), who is described as being “an agent of the Netherlands who protects terrorists from Shin Bet security services investigations.” Next appears a picture of Avner Gvaryahu, director of public outreach for Breaking the Silence, who is said to be “an agent of Germany who decries soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces as war criminals.” Joining Gvaryahu is attorney Sigi Ben-Ari of Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual who, according to Im Tirtzu is “an agent of Norway who defends terrorists in the courts” and Hagai Elad, director general of B’Tselem, who is referred to as “an agent of the European Union who depicts Israel as a state of war criminals.” At the end of the video clip the narrator says, “Hagai, Elad, Sigi and Avner are Israelis, they live here with us but they are agents (‘plants’) of foreign powers. While we are fighting terror they are fighting us.” The legislation against ‘plants’ can outlaw them.”

Ishai Menuhin from the PCATI complained to police following the release of the video, arguing that it “crosses the line of freedom of speech into dangerous provocation… They aren’t attacking my organization. They referred to me personally and displayed a grotesquely distorted photograph of me, accusing me of being someone who protects terrorists or permits terrorists to attack us without fear,” said Dr. Menuhin. “I’m concerned that I’ll be physically attacked following the airing of the video.”

In the wake of the Im Tirtzu video clip Hadash MK Dov Khenin (Joint List) said “The political right in Israel is afraid, and the fascist Im Tirtzu’s campaign constitutes blatant and extreme incitement against those who fight for justice and the human rights organizations in which they work. This is libel against the defenders of Israeli democracy, and its aim is to terrorize left-wing organizations. The attempt to delegitimize and dehumanize all those whose opinions differ from those of the far right is in fact the singling out of live targets and calling for targeted assassination, which will end in violence.”