Minister of Agriculture (Bayit Yehudi) Uri Ariel last week began a process seeking to revoke the sheirut leumi status of B’Tselem after the organization appeared in the United Nations report against Israel on Operation Protective Edge. Ariel feels an organization that works against the state should not enjoy receiving state volunteers since the organization works against the interests of the nation. Bentzi Gupstein of the Lehava organization last week added they are “radical left-wing organizations” and as such, they should not enjoy any government funding.
According to the UN report, the organization provided information against the IDF, assisting efforts to blame the IDF for war crimes during the counter-terrorism offensive in Gaza during the summer of 2014.
Ariel’s Ministry is responsible for the Sheirut Leumi by the fact it is supervised by Bituach Leumi, which is under Ariel’s ministry. However, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber sent a letter to Ariel informing him he cannot proceed with his plan against B’Tselem because it is not within his jurisdiction, but under the jurisdiction of Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel, who is responsible for the advancement of youths and students. Alternatively, Sar-Shalom Jerby, who is responsible for the nation’s national service may also act but Ariel cannot, Zilber points out.
Zilber adds that even if Ariel acts, his actions will not enjoy any legal status for his lacks jurisdiction in the matter.
Zilber adds the matter must be examined, stating “the enforcement policy must be consistent and not selective” hinting at the fact she believes Ariel is prompted by his own political hashkafa, which is a far cry from that of B’Tselem.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)