When Netanyahu attacks to deflect attention, we stand proud
Everyone deserves to raise their families and live their lives in peace — whether they have lived in south Tel Aviv for decades or are people seeking asylum in Israel. And NIF has been right there alongside the massive number of Israelis who have taken to the streets to stand for this simple principle.
Just after I wrote to you on Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed he was backtracking on his deal with the UNHCR to resettle those seeking asylum in Israel or the West, rather than deport them to Africa. He then went on to attack NIF, blaming us for scuttling his deal with Rwanda and called for a parliamentary commission into our work.
We see right through these threats from the Prime Minister. We know he is lashing out to deflect attention from his policy failures. And we are proud of what we are doing to stand for the rights of people seeking refuge and for the rights of all those who live in Israel.
There is a reason that the Prime Minister is coming after NIF. We stand for equality. We fight for Israel’s democracy. And we give voice to the enormous number of Israelis who share our values.
Netanyahu’s decision to go after NIF is already having an impact.
More than 1,500 Israelis — including Knesset Members and other public figures — have donated to NIF since his statement. They know that this is about more than money. It’s a statement of solidarity. It’s a way to stand for free speech and for democracy.
NIF did not, of course, pressure the Rwandan government to refuse to participate in the cruel plan. We did support massive numbers of Israelis standing up for what is right and demanding action from their own government.
NIF is proud of the work we have done on the refugee and asylum issue and you can read about it here. NIF’s position is clear when it comes to the people seeking asylum in Israel: everybody deserves to live and raise their families in safety. The Israeli government needs to create an efficient process that fairly examines the case of every person seeking asylum. No individual should be deported or detained until their case has been reviewed.
Now that the government’s approach to the issue has failed, it is time for us to step up again. We need to make sure that the policy that comes next respects the human rights of every person seeking asylum in Israel and that 38,000 people are not left in limbo.
NIF will keep standing with Israelis promoting an alternative to the deportations, just as we’ve always stood with the Israelis who fight racism, who call out discrimination, and who insist that Israel can do better.
The threat of the parliamentary commission is not about NIF. We have nothing to hide about where our funding comes from – the vast majority of our donations comes from individuals like you and family foundations that believe strongly in our work – and we have every reason to be proud of the projects in Israel that we support. If you have questions please be in touch. Ultimately the threat is about all of us – everyone who cares about democracy and equality in Israel.
Thank you and Chag Pesach Sameach,
Adam Ognall, Chief Executive
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