Douglas Altabef who is on the Executive Board of Im Tirzu, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the recent comments made by the Anti Defamation League (ADL) castigating the latest provocative Im Tirzu video as being "a form of incitement, that is almost crossing the line into hate speech’."
Altabef said that “I don’t understand where the ADL is coming from, and I don’t know exactly how to respond to them, surmising that perhaps the ADL doesn’t understand the full picture of what is going on behind the scenes of this story.
“The video is not what the campaign is about. The campaign is about the nexus between Israeli organizations who have an agenda to de-legitimize the state and key institutions and who accept money from foreign governments who have a pro-Palestinian bias and find this as a great way to influence Israeli politics.”
Altabef also went out of his way to praise the organization for the work that they do. “The ADL has done a lot of good work for the Jewish people,” he said.
Regarding the claim of incitement, Altabef said that “the people who were mentioned in the video are not innocent employees of larger organizations, “they have made themselves into public figures. No one was threatened, but we will cast a continuing spotlight on the work that they are doing to expose them.”
Altabef even went one step further claiming that it was "chutzpadik (audacious)", of these public figures to claim that 18 and 19 year-olds who are fulfilling their duty to their country as conscripted soldiers are guilty of war crimes. It is even more audacious to not expect a kickback from the rest of Israeli society when they do, and then claim that they are eign attacked. “Attacking 18 and 19 year old soldiers is a breach of human rights. That is the incitement.”
Over the past few years the ADL has become more political. Their traditional role as a Jewish civil rights group has morphed as the organization has become more of a Jewish advocacy group, often leaning towards the left wing side of politics.
“I don’t know exactly how to respond to this. I don’t know where they are coming from.
"I don’t know what is insightful about the video. No one has threatened anyone. And to wrap these people as being attacked is a bit of a fairy tail. Is it provocative? Yes. Was it meant to be provocative? Yes. But does it fit into the definition of incitement? No.”
The video has gotten a huge media response with hundreds of thousands of views.
Altabef hoped that there would be legislative action taken to ban foreign government investment into domestic NGO’s the way the U.S. does.