'We Must Delegitimize the Delegitimizers'
The Knesset Caucus for the Struggle Against the Delegitimization of the State of Israel held an emergency hearing on Tuesday, reeling from the news of the rise of the extreme right in European parliament.
Caucus Chairman MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) stressed that the seriousness of the situation is not to be underestimated.
"De-legitimization leads to anti-Semitism, which leads to terrorism," Ze'ev said. "Therefore we need to pull the de-legitimization campaign from the roots - by attacking its funding." The MK also noted that the rise of the far-right only strengthens the motivation for "copycat" shootings of Saturday's horrific attack in Brussels.
Matan Peleg , CEO of Im Tirzu, welcomed the campaign to strip such movements of their funding.
"The efforts of organizations to delegitimize the State of Israel will only fall when Israel reveals their true face," he said. "The push to boycott Israel is increasing and therefore it is more important than ever to treat the root of the problem - to strip the budgets of these organizations which claim to support Israel and then undermine it."
Alan Baker, international lawmaker and former Israeli ambassador to Canada, attacked leftist groups for supporting Palestinian Arab incitement.
"Anyone who understands what apartheid is understands that there is no connection between Israel and apartheid," he said. "Nevertheless, the Palestinians and their supporters are passing along the message that Israel is an apartheid state."
Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) MK Ayelet Shaked cautioned that if European governments do not protect the Jews living under their laws, the Jews will have to defend themselves.
"The delegitimization of the State of Israel relies now on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," she said. "The bitter truth is that anti-Semitism hides under the beautiful guise of political correctness."
"Even if we had a permanent agreement [with the Palestinian Authority (PA)], they would find a reason to hate us," she said. "Every generation rises up against us to destroy us [quoting a line from the Passover Seder - ed.] and every generation shows this slightly differently, but basically they are the same hatred under different disguises."
Shaked urged Israel to examine not only foreign Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), but its own NGOs.
"The citizens of Israel need to look critically at its own NGOs which advocate against the State of Israel, and delegitimize the delegitimizers," she said.