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      Suspected Spy for Hizbullah Heads Anti-Israeli NGO

      Israeli Arab suspected of spying for Hizbullah heads NGO that rejects anti-terror funding clause and backs boycotts of Israel. See INN interview.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 5/10/2010, 3:02 PM / Last Update: 5/11/2010, 12:03 AM

      Amir Makhoul, one of the Israeli Arabs suspected of spying for Hizbullah, heads a group that has rejected an anti-terror funding clause and promotes boycotts of Israel, according to NGO Monitor.

      Makhoul, of Haifa, and Omar Radwan Said of Kfar Kana were arrested by Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents for allegedly spying on behalf of the Hizbullah terrorist organization. A gag order on the arrests was lifted Monday. Both suspects deny the accusations.

      Makhoul is the brother of a former Arab Knesset Member of the Hadash party and heads the Israel-based Arab organization Ittijah.

      NGO Monitor, headed by American-born Prof. Gerald Steinberg (pictured below), reported that Ittijah is involved in anti-Israel "demonization."

      Established in 1985 and based in Haifa, Ittijah describes itself as “the network for Palestinian non-governmental organizations in Israel." NGO Monitor noted, “Updated funding information is not available due to lack of transparency,” and added, “Ittijah joined a number of Palestinian NGOs in rejecting anti-terror clauses in funding agreements.

      During Israel’s Operation Cast Lead war against Hamas terror last year, Ittijah claimed that “the IDF is turning Gaza to kind of an extermination camp, in the full sense of the word and with the full historical relativity.” 

      INN interviewed Makhoul then and reposted the interview earlier today.

      It also was prominent in the anti-Israel Durban Conference against Racism in 2001, where the United States and other leading Western nations walked out biased resolutions aimed only at the Jewish State and which ignored the denial of human rights in the Muslim world.

      The group’s website claimed that it “gathered, facilitated and directed the vision and position of the Palestinian NGOs inside Israel on racism, particularly Israeli-state racism towards Palestinian citizens, and the apartheid the State practices” in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

      Ittijah also backs the Saudi Arabia 2002 plan that calls for the immigration of several million foreign Arabs into Israel, in what the Arab world refers to as “the right of return.” Ittijah organized a 2004 conference entitled “Right of Return and Just Peace,” according to NGO Monitor.

      The same group, besides backing boycotts of Israel divesting of companies having a presence in Judea and Samaria, also  signed a petition against the L’Oreal company for operating in pre-1967 Israel.

      It claimed the firm’s factory in the Lower Galilee city of Migdal HaEmek is located in a “settlement [that] was established in 1952 on lands belonging to the ethnically-cleansed Palestinian village of al-Mujaydil...”

      Makhoul and Said, who is a member of the Balad political party, are suspected of a number of serious offenses, including contact with a foreign agent. Police arrested Said at his house, provoking a string of protests.

      His arrest last Thursday sparked angry protests in the Haifa Arab community, although the gag order had prevented reports in the media. The Arab rights group Abdullah charged that the arrests were political motivated because the suspects are not members of mainstream Israel parties.

      Their arrests are the latest in an increasing phenomenon of Israeli Arabs being involved with Hizbullah. Former Knesset Member Azmi Bishara remains outside the country after being indicted on charges of selling classified information to Hizbullah durng the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

      Earlier this year, an Israel Arab was arrested on charges of working out in the health club as IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and passing on to Hizbullah information on his approach route to the facility.