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Daily Israel Report

MK Kirschenbaum 'Doesn't Understand' Netanyahu

MK Faina Kirschenbaum befuddled by Prime Minister Netanyahu's objection to bill establishing inquiry on leftist funding.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/18/2011, 1:20 AM / Last Update: 7/18/2011, 1:19 PM

Knesset website

MK Faina Kirschenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu) said Sunday that she does not understand Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s objection to the bill she sponsored, which would see the establishing of a commission of inquiry into the funding of leftist organizations.

Last week Netanyahu announced that he would vote against the bill, saying, “We do not need investigations in the Knesset, we do not need commissions of inquiry. There are those who disagree, so I’ll give them the freedom to vote. But I will vote against it.”

In an interview with Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew-language service, MK Kirschenbaum said that her bill, which will be brought to a vote on Wednesday, does not object to any leftist organizations, but is rather “against any organization that causes delegitimization of the State of Israel and damages its security.”

Kirschenbaum added that her bill is meant to “examine different aspects and how and why the funding is given to leftist organizations.”

She mentioned organizations such as Adalah and Breaking the Silence, which are funded by the New Israel Fund and which provided information to Judge Richard Goldstone when he compiled the report that accused the IDF of having committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.  

Kirschenbaum noted that when Goldstone himself recently said that his conclusions were wrong, none of these leftist organizations bothered to apologize for providing him with false information.

In light of all this, said Kirschenbaum, the lacuna in the law that allows the transfer of funds to these leftist organizations must be examined. She added that among the issues that need to be examined are: how these NGOs are allowed to be late with the filing of their tax returns, and the standards by which funds are transferred to them. After all of these are examined the possibility of government legislation should be discussed.

She clarified that the inquiry committee that would be established would include not just members of her party but representatives of the different factions in the Knesset, so the inquiry would be proper and prudent.

“The last word has yet to be spoken [on this bill],” said Kirschenbaum, considered by many to be the eventual inheritor of Foreign Minister Lieberman's position as head of the party, hoping that Netanyahu would change his mind about supporting the bill before Wednesday. She added that the coalition work between Yisrael Beiteinu and Netanyahu’s Likud part is ongoing and said she believes that as part of this work Netanyahu’s position will change.