(PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced the cancellation of a ministry-sponsored conference set to be held this week with the far-Left NGO Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), following a letter signed by 45 bereaved families accusing ACRI of assisting terrorists and their families.
“ACRI is a radical delegitimization organization that, among its various anti-Israel activities, fights against us, the bereaved families, in a direct way by defending terrorists who murdered our children, parents, brothers, husbands and wives”, wrote the bereaved families.
“Unfortunately,” continued the letter, “this organization and others like it repeatedly defend vile murderers. It is inconceivable that the Ministry of Education would work with this organization. We need to fight those who bolster terrorism with a firm hand, not provide them with funding from the taxpayer’s pockets.”
In response to the letter, Minister Bennett announced the cancellation of the conference and instructed the CEO of the ministry to reassess any further cooperation with the organization.
“After information was brought to my attention that [ACRI] consistently works to defend terrorists who murdered Israelis, I instructed the Ministry of Education to cancel its participation in the activity that was supposed to take place with this organization,” said Bennett.
“The Ministry of Education will not cooperate,” continued Bennett, “with organizations that harm IDF soldiers or defend our enemies.”
Matan Peleg, Chairman of Zionist organization Im Tirtzu that has been assisting the bereaved families, said: “It is unthinkable that the Ministry of Education would maintain a connection with a political organization that slanders Israel and IDF soldiers. This is an organization that advocates on behalf of terrorists in Israeli courts by means of extensive funding from foreign governments and the New Israel Fund.”
Peleg continued: “This is one of the most controversial issues in Israeli society and the most painful for bereaved families. It is time for all government ministries to denounce these delegitimization organizations, the sooner the better.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)