Herzog Decries 'McCarthyism'

Minister of Welfare condemns 'hunting people down based upon their views' and attempts 'to prevent protest.'

Gil Ronen, | updated: 17:49

Yitzchak Herzog
Yitzchak Herzog
Israel news photo

Minister of Welfare and Social Services Yitzchak Herzog (Labor) defended the New Israel Fund against accusations that it helps Israel's enemies besmirch Israel. The fund, which disburses about $20 million every year, is under heavy fire for allegedly financing the Israeli organizations that provided 92 percent of the anti-Israeli statements to the the Goldstone committee.

"The pile-up on the New Israel Fund is McCarthyism,” the Labor minister said, referring to the 1950's-era pursuit of Communists in the United States.

"Hunting people down on the basis of their views is McCarthyism and poses a danger to Israeli democracy,” Herzog said at a panel discussion Saturday at the Tel Aviv Museum. “Attempts to silence voices, to prevent dissent, and to impose a definition of the nationalism and patriotism that are required, are a slippery slope that endangers us.”

The 1950's-era Sen. McCarthy's name became synonymous with a "witch hunt" mentality that persecutes innocent people for alleged political leanings. However, recent research and Soviet-era documents have shown that the vast majority of the allegations made by McCarthy regarding Communist party agents were indeed accurate. McCarthy, alongside Richard Nixon and others, did much to expose the Communist infiltration in the U.S. government and power structure in the post-World War II era.