NIF president fires back at Netanyahu

NIF president denies Netanyahu's claims that the organization is behind weekly protests against Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

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Protest against Mandeblit
Protest against Mandeblit
Roy Alima/Flash 90

Talia Sasson, the president of the leftist New Israel Fund (NIF), on Sunday denied Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's claims that the NIF finances the demonstrations against Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit and against Netanyahu that are held every Saturday night in Petah Tikva.

Speaking to Haaretz, Sasson claimed, “The Prime Minister is trying to use delegitimization against the New Israel Fund, and use it against those who are protesting the manner in which the Attorney General is handling Netanyahu's investigations. Incitement and delegitimization are unacceptable.”

Sasson charged that Netanyahu "took part in delegitimizing Yitzhak Rabin and delegitimizing the left, and now he is delegitimizing the New Israel Fund and any member of the public that is trying to defend his rights in demonstrations on the street."

Her comments were a response to ones Netanyahu made in an interview with Channel 20 this past Thursday, in which he said that the demonstrations against Mandelblit, in which the protesters urge the Attorney General to indict the Prime Minister, are illegal demonstrations financed by the New Israel Fund and are intended to exert improper pressure on Mandelblit.

“They hold demonstrations funded by their friends at the New Israel Fund...Decisions about the submarines and Germany are sensitive and are important for the future of the State of Israel. This discussion should not take place in public, it causes real harm to the State of Israel. One thing I can say is that to use this - to endanger the security of the State of Israel in order to try to bring down a Prime Minister - and that's what's happening here, is irresponsible,” Netanyahu said in the interview.