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Im Tirtzu

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Im Tirtzu
Im tirtzu logo 40pc.png
Founded 2006[1]
Type Extra-parliamentary
Registration no. 580471662[2]
Area served
Israel
Key people
Ronen Shoval (Founder)[3]
Slogan "Building the Zionist dream"
Mission "to strengthen and advance the values of Zionism in Israel"[4]
Website https://imti.org.il/en

Im Tirtzu (Hebrew: אם תרצו, lit. 'If you will it') is a Zionist[5][6] non-governmental organization based in Israel.[1] Its name is based on a phrase coined by Theodor Herzl – "אם תרצו, אין זו אגדה" or "If you will it, it is no dream."

The organization's stated mission is to "strengthen and advance the values of Zionism in Israel" and to combat the "campaign of de-legitimization against the State of Israel and to [provide] responses to Post-Zionist and Anti-Zionist phenomena".[1]

Im Tirtzu operates fifteen branches at universities and colleges throughout the country[1] and runs the largest Zionist academic extra-curricular program in Israel.[7] Im Tirtzu is mostly known for its campaigns against the New Israel Fund, foreign government-funded NGOs, and alleged bias in university curriculum.

Some have maintained that Im Tirtzu bears similarities to fascist groups,[8][9] and others have labelled it an important Zionist movement.[10][11]

Activity

Alleging politicization in academia

Ben-Gurion University

In 2008, Im Tirtzu published a report about the syllabuses used in various academic departments in Israel. According to the report, authors who reject the notion of nationality, or support anti-Zionist views, get much more exposure in reading lists. In 2010, Im Tirtzu sent Rivka Karmi, the head of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev a letter, demanding that the university stop the anti-Zionist bias in its Department of Politics and Government. The letter alleged that 9 out of 11 professors in the department were involved in extreme left-wing activities (among others, attempting to persuade other countries to join the academic boycott of Israel). Im Tirtzu threatened to notify the donors of the university if the problem was not rectified.[12]

In a joint statement about the above campaign, the heads of Israel's seven leading universities urged condemnation of what they called Im Tirtzu's "dangerous attempt to create a thought police".[13] Im Tirtzu responded, "All Im Tirtzu asked from BGU is that a solution be found to the extreme bias found in the Political Science department, where only post-Zionist opinions are presented."[14]

Following Im Tirtzu's report, the Israeli Council for Higher Education appointed an international committee to investigate the allegations. The committee came to the conclusion that the curriculum in the Political Science department was imbalanced. The committee said it was "concerned that the study of politics as a scientific discipline may be impeded by such strong emphasis on political activism", and recommended closing the department unless changes were made.[15] The report was widely criticized by academics, who said that it was politically motivated, noting that well-known scholars had been rejected from the committee because of their political views and that the original committee chair had resigned.[16] Minister of Education, Gideon Sa'ar, said "I believe the report is important since it encourages public discussion" but rejected any attempts to block or apply conditions for donations to Israeli universities.[17][18]

In 2016 Im Tirtzu alleged that Ben-Gurion University was sponsoring a conference featuring the CEO and public relations coordinator of Breaking the Silence in violation of a ruling by Israel's Council for Higher Education against politicizing academia.[19] The University denied claims of politicization and responded that it is a "pluralistic academic institution, which promotes and enables an open and diverse dialogue and does not seek to espouse a particular political viewpoint".[20]

In response to the conference, a prominent donor and longstanding member of the university's board of governors announced that he was withholding a donation of $1 million due to the conference. The university responded that they were unaware of such a pledge.[21]

Haifa University legal clinics

In 2013 Im Tirtzu released a report alleging "severe politicization" of the legal clinics at the University of Haifa. According to the report, 80% of the cases treated by the clinics dealt with security prisoners, among those convicted of terrorism and espionage.[22]

The report charged that certain clinics of the University are part of the "Arab nationalist struggle against Zionism" and "cooperate with organizations that oppose the existence of the State of Israel as a democratic state".[23]

Following the report, then Minister of Education Shai Piron together with the Council for Higher Education in Israel commissioned an international committee of experts to investigate the clinics. In 2016, the committee published its recommendations that matched "virtually all of the conclusions from the Im Tirtzu report".[24]

Hebrew University's Minerva Center for Human Rights

Following numerous media reports citing Im Tirtzu's criticism of a Minerva Center program that offers students four academic credits and a scholarship in exchange for interning eight hours per week at a human rights organization, a group of bereaved families penned a letter to Education Minister Naftali Bennett calling on him to investigate the program.[25]

According to the bereaved families, they were "horrified" to learn that the program allows for internship at organizations including B'Tselem, HaMoked and Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, which they called "anti-Israel" organizations.[25]

At a Knesset Education Committee that was convened to discuss the program, Hebrew University's legal advisor Pepi Yakirevich stated: "The program asks of students to volunteer 8 weekly hours in human rights organizations that the Law Faculty sees of holding high importance.... Do you expect for the Hebrew University to act as a content filter? At the moment there is no red line."[26]

American Anthropological Association boycott vote

In 2016 Im Tirtzu released a report alleging the involvement of Israeli academics in the proposed resolution of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to impose an academic boycott on Israel. The report cited a letter allegedly sent by 20 Israeli academics that the group said encouraged the members to vote in favor of the resolution.[27][28] In light of the report, Yisrael Beiteinu Member of Knesset Oded Forer called an emergency session of the Knesset Education Committee[29] that was attended by MKs from both sides of the political aisle.[30]

Israeli involvement in Israeli Apartheid Week

In 2016 Im Tirtzu released a report stating that a number of Israeli citizens and organizations were among the participants in the annual Israeli Apartheid Week. The report named Zochrot and individuals including Ilan Pappe, Uri Davis and Jeff Halper.[31]

Guy Davidi, producer of 5 Broken Cameras who was also named in the report, responded by saying: "I strongly reject the attempt to present boycott actions taken by Israelis as an act of treason. In my view, boycotting and divesting are legitimate political actions that represent a positive way to protest -- a positive alternative to violent action, which I strongly condemn. It is the right of every person to choose to boycott certain products if they don't accept the origin or the way the product is manufactured."[32]

Nakba Harta campaign

In May 2011, with the approach of Nakba Day, Im Tirtzu launched a campaign accompanied by a 70-page booklet titled "Nakba Harta" in Hebrew (נכבה חרטא), translated by The Jerusalem Post as "Nakba BS", and titled "Nakba Nonsense" in English.[33][34] The booklet describes the 1948 Palestinian exodus, called Nakba by Palestinians, as "a lie that threatens to drown us like a tsunami" and attempts to discredit what Im Tirtzu regards as "a narrative of myths and lies dealing with the teaching of the founding of the State of Israel".[33][34] On 15 May 2011, dozens of Im Tirtzu activists gathered outside the offices of UNRWA in Jerusalem holding signs and chanting, "They expelled, they attacked, they lost."[35]

In 2016, Im Tirtzu set up a 15-foot-tall inflatable Pinocchio doll across from the Nakba ceremony at Tel Aviv University in order to "emphasize the lie of the Nakba."[36]

Support for IDF soldiers

Im Tirtzu has acted in a number of ways to support IDF soldiers:

  • In March 2010, the "Azad" restaurant in Haifa refused to serve IDF soldiers claiming that "the uniform does not serve the atmosphere or the place". In response, Im Tirtzu protested outside the restaurant and even assisted the soldiers in filing a lawsuit. The Haifa supreme court ruled that this was an act of severe discrimination against IDF soldiers and required the restaurant owners to pay the soldiers a sum of 5,000 NIS.[37][38]
  • During Operation Protective Edge, clothing and food products donated by the public were sent through Im Tirtzu to IDF soldiers.[39][40] Im Tirtzu also initiated a petition for filing UNHRC complaints against Hamas.[41]
  • Im Tirtzu supports IDF reservists.[42][43][44] The organization also provides individual assistance to reservists[45] and advocates for reserve soldiers to receive preferential grants.[46][47]
  • Im Tirtzu held a rally in support of Haredi soldiers and against the incitement they were experiencing from the Haredi community.[48]

Work with minorities

Im Tirtzu has advocated for minorities in Israel to join the Israeli military. The Forum for Drafting the Christian Community and its founder Father Gabriel Naddaf have worked closely with Im Tirtzu to encourage and promote the safety of Christian Israelis who wish to perform IDF service.[49][50] Father Naddaf is a frequent guest speaker at Im Tirtzu events and sits on their Public Council.[51] Other Israeli Arabs who promote the integration of minorities in Israeli society have received awards from the movement.[52][53]

Im Tirtzu has also organized social activities with Israeli minorities, including distributing clothing and toys in Bedouin kindergartens and organizing meetings and tours in Druze villages.[54] Following an act of vandalism against Jerusalem's Dormition Abbey, in which vandals spray-painted anti-Christian slogans, Im Tirtzu activists arrived for a solidarity visit. Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg stated: "[We] see this as an act that is at its very core both anti-Zionist as well as anti-Israeli, an act which dangerously threatens all of the Israeli society."[55]

In 2015, a new parliamentary caucus to encourage minorities to join the army was created based on the idea of Im Tirtzu. The opening ceremony of the caucus was attended by MKs from the right, center, and left.[56]

In 2016, Im Tirtzu's fourth annual Zionist Conference for Human Rights centered around the integration of minorities, featuring speeches from Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara, Father Gabriel Naddaf and other Israeli Arabs.[57]

Program for Zionist Thought

In 2012, Im Tirtzu inaugurated its first Program for Zionist Thought, a serious of lectures given by prominent Israeli figures and personalities. The program is featured at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University, University of Haifa, Bar-Ilan University, and Ariel University.

Some of the speakers include Nobel Prize laureate Robert Aumann, Caroline Glick, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Father Gabriel Naddaf, Ben-Dror Yemini, Mordechai Kedar, Major General Yaakov Amidror, former MK Einat Wilf, Rabbi David Stav, Yoram Ettinger, and Ran Baratz.[58][59]

The program is the largest Zionist academic extra-curricular program in Israel.[7]

Hebron tours

In 2016 Im Tirtzu began to organize student tours of Hebron together with the Committee of the Jewish Community of Hebron.[60]

According to Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg, the tours are aimed to provide an answer to the tours of Hebron given by left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence, which he dubs "de-legitimization and lies".[61]

Campaigns against artists

Im Tirtzu organized a campaign against Israeli-Arab actor Mohammed Bakri. Im Tirtzu objected to Bakri because of his involvement in the film Jenin, Jenin. In a Haaretz opinion piece, Im Tirtzu chairman Ronen Shoval called Jenin, Jenin an antisemitic blood libel "unprecedented in its fierceness" and referred to Bakri as a "sophisticated enemy". Shoval accused the Tzavta Club of offering a platform to "an inciter and a liar".[62] Im Tirtzu opposed a production of Federico Garcia Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba that took place in 2012 at Tel Aviv's Tzavta Theater. Israel's Academy of the Performing Arts was behind the production.[63]

Israeli television personality Gal Uchovsky accused Im Tirtzu, in the context of this campaign, of employing tactics that had been used by Nazis to persecute Jews. He further accused Im Tirzu's Ronen Shoval of being a "racist" and an "Arab hater". The comments were made on an interview aired by Israel Channel 2 in January 2012.[64] Channel 2 demanded that Uchovsky apologize for his remarks, and in February Uchovsky apologized for his "impolite" conduct.[65]

Annual convention 2011

Following the 'Nakba Harta' campaign, Im Tirtzu held its third annual convention. More than 300 activists and supporters participated in the convention. During the convention speeches were made by the movement's chairman, Ronen Shoval, the Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Yuli Edelstein, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon, Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara, Coalition Chairman Ze'ev Elkin, and Knesset Members Faina Kirschenbaum, Tzipi Hotovely, Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich (Kadima).[66]

Criticism of New Israel Fund & foreign government funded NGOs

New Israel Fund

In 2010, Im Tirtzu published a document[67] and launched a campaign in the Israeli media that said there were connections between organizations supported by the New Israel Fund and the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (also known as the Goldstone Report). Im Tirtzu said that 92 percent of all Israeli testimonials in the report came from NIF funded organizations.[68] The campaign included posters of NIF chairwoman Naomi Chazan with a horn strapped by a string on her forehead (in Hebrew, the word for "horn" also means "fund").[69] A report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) challenged Im Tirtzu's allegation, saying, "according to Im Tirtzu's own study, 16 NIF-affiliated groups comprise just 14 percent of all the sources for the Goldstone report." JTA also reported, "The 16 NGOs named in (the Im Tirtzu) report are a small portion of the more than 300 groups funded by the NIF, many of them having to do with building infrastructure, assisting immigrants, and defending the rights of women, the disabled and religious and ethnic minorities."[70]

As a result of the report there were calls in the Knesset to investigate the NIF and its operational arms in Israel.[71] Benny Begin, a cabinet minister at the time, characterized the allegations Im Tirtzu published as "lies" in a radio interview.[72] Abe Foxman said it was "absurd to blame Goldstone on the NIF".[73]

Chazan claimed that, in her eyes, the campaign was directed against democracy itself.[69] The executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Hagai El-Ad, denied Im Tirtzu's allegations.[74] Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, likened Im Tirtzu's campaign against NIF to fascist tactics.[75] Gershon Baskin, a columnist in The Jerusalem Post, spoke out about the newspaper's decision to cancel Naomi Chazan's column and accused Im Tirtzu of using an "anti-Semitic motif" as part of a "witch-hunt" that "is reminiscent of the darkest days of McCarthyism".[76] That poster was called "style Der Stürmer" by the Facebook group "Im Tirzu - fascists" and was charged for libel by "Im Tirtzu". Judge Refael Yaakobi accepted the characterization of Im Tirtzu's poster as being similar in style to that of the Nazi party's newspaper, writing in the court's decision, "examining that publication and the source for comparison reveals that indeed there is truth in the matter."[77]

During Operation Pillar of Defense, Im Tirtzu published an open letter in American Jewish newspapers addressed to the New Israel Fund chair. The letter gave examples of NIF funded organizations that Im Tirtzu said accused Israel of war crimes, and asked if the NIF agrees with their accusations.[78] The NIF rebutted Im Tirtzu's charges, stating, "Not one of the human rights organizations Im Tirtzu attacks accused Israel of war crimes in the recent Gaza action." NIF also quoted Avichai Mandelblit, the IDF's Chief Military Advocate General during Operation Cast Lead: "The organizations are a conduit for getting information on very important matters so that IDF activity is normative.... I'm trying to get at the truth and they really help us do that. Our cooperation with B'tselem [A NIF-supported group] stands out. They help us to speak with witnesses, to investigate complaints ... with all of the criticism from these organizations on us, their goal is to get to the truth."[79]

Foreign Agents campaign

In December 2015, Im Tirtzu launched a campaign calling Israeli left-wing and human rights organizations that receive funding from foreign entities as "foreign agents".[80][81] It released a video depicting the heads of these organizations as foreign agents encouraging terrorist attacks; the Anti-Defamation League criticized the video as "hate speech;"[82] a lawsuit against Im Tirtzu for incitement to violence was dismissed after the Attorney General determined that the video was urging the Israeli public to support MK Yoav Kisch's "foreign agent bill".[83][84] They also made a Facebook post calling a number of Israeli artists "cultural foreign agents". Following criticism, Im Tirtzu apologized and CEO Matan Peleg decided to suspend himself over the decision to upload the post.[85][86]

HaMoked

In 2016 Im Tirtzu released a report claiming that the Israeli NGO HaMoked received over 15 million NIS from European governments and has submitted nearly 60 petitions to the Supreme Court from mid-2014 to 2016 on behalf of 48 families of Palestinian terrorists responsible for the murder of 50 people.[87]

HaMoked declined to comment on the report.[87]

In response to the report, MK Oded Forer submitted a bill that would require organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments to declare their funding sources on every document submitted to the court.[88]

Zochrot

Im Tirtzu released a report ahead of 2017's International Holocaust Remembrance Day detailing Germany's funding of the NGO Zochrot, which works to "promote Israeli Jewish society's acknowledgement of and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and the reconceptualization of Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba".[89]

According to the report, the Government of Germany had provided over 1,100,000 shekels ($290,000) to Zochrot from 2012 to 2016, which is used by Zochrot to engage in "anti-Israeli" activities including screening its "Film Festival on Nakba and the Right of Return" on college campuses during "Israeli Apartheid Week", promoting an "iNakba" smartphone application, and accusing Israel of "ethnic cleansing".[90]

Im Tirtzu contacted the German Ambassador to Israel over the funding, yet received no response.[91]

Machsom Watch

In May 2011 the organization called on Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to launch a criminal investigation into the operations of Machsom Watch (an NIF funded organization) for allegedly violating an IDF order prohibiting Israelis from entering the Palestinian village of Awarta.[92] About a week before the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed the identities of the murder suspects for the Itamar attack, senior Machsom Watch activist, Raya Yaron, was photographed hugging the mother of one of the men. Yaron said many other human rights organizations had also visited the village.[92]

Peace Now

In May 2012 Peace Now filed a police complaint that said Im Tirtzu activists had impersonated Peace Now activists and waved Palestinian flags during Jerusalem Day celebrations in what was reported as a presumed attempt to portray them as Palestinian sympathizers. They described Im Tirtzu as an "extremist movement" that, together with "extreme Islamic movements on the Arab side", they claimed would "drag us to a religious war steeped in blood". Im Tirtzu accused Peace Now of "impersonating an Israeli organization while operating with backing from foreign countries in order to give the Temple Mount to Palestinian Authority" and said freedom of speech gave them the right to ridicule Peace Now's positions.[93]

National service in foreign governments funded NGOs

In 2016 Im Tirtzu issued a report stating that at least seven foreign government funded organizations that it deemed "anti-Israel" are eligible to receive Sherut Leumi (National Service) positions.[94][95]

In response to the report, MK Amir Ohana introduced a bill in cooperation with Im Tirtzu[96] that was supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,[97] which aimed to cancel national service positions in groups that receive the majority of their funding for foreign governments.

The bill was later passed into law by the Knesset in a vote of 40–12.[98]

Israeli organizations with UN advisor status

In 2015 Im Tirtzu released a report titled "Activity of Israeli Organizations with Advisor Status to the United Nations, Against Israeli Policy",[99] which claims that three Israeli NGOs use their U.N. advisor to promote anti-Israel sentiments in the United Nations.

According to the report, Adalah, Ittijah, and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions encourage the U.N. to accuse Israel of international law violations. These three organizations declined to comment on the report.[100]

UN Fact Finding Mission on the 2014 Israel–Gaza Conflict

Following the release of the findings by the "United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict", Im Tirtzu released a report detailing the use by the UN of research by Israeli NGOs in the report.[101]

According to the report, the UN report contained 72 references to reports by B'tselem, 8 references to Adalah, 8 references to Breaking the Silence, 12 references to HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, and 5 references to Yesh Din.[102][103]

Jerusalem

Ahead of 2016's Jerusalem Day, Im Tirtzu released a report claiming that the Palestinian organization Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat transfers millions of dollars to Israeli NGOs in order to delegitimize Israel and "obscure Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem". According to the report, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat acts as an independent organizations that manages donations from Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Holland and then transfers them to pro-BDS Palestinian and Israeli NGOs.[104]

Sarit Michaeli, the spokesperson for B'Tselem – one of the NGOs named in the report as receiving funds – said "this is a recycled lie by Im Tirtzu. This money actually comes from Switzerland, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. This organization transfers the funds from the donating countries and deals with the bureaucracy of the transfer. The organization itself does not determine who receives the funds."[105]

Funding

According to an article in Haaretz, Im Tirtzu in 2010 received funding from the following sources:[106]

  • The Azrieli Group, a shareholder in Bank Leumi and LeumiCard, which also owns 13 malls throughout the country and a controlling share in the Sonol, Tambour and Supergaz companies and is behind the Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv
  • Leo Schachter, Israel's second-largest exporter of processed diamonds, headed by Elliot Tannenbaum
  • Keren Segal Leyisrael, a fund headed by Jerusalem businessman Yotam Bar-Hama
  • The Forum for Religious Zionism, an organization registered in 2010 in the name of Zvi Soibel, former director of the Bnei Akiva yeshiva in Kfar Haroeh.

John Hagee Ministries was a funder of Im Tirtzu but discontinued the funding on the grounds that Im Tirtzu "misrepresented its focus" by claiming that their work focused on "Zionist education" rather than "political" activity according to a spokesperson for the Evangelical organization.[107]

Leadership

The group was founded in 2006 by Ronen Shoval, who also served as its chairman until his retirement in 2013, and Erez Tadmor, who was a group spokesperson until his retirement in 2011.

Following Ronen's retirement, Matan Peleg was elected as Im Tirtzu's chairman.[108] Peleg was the founder of the Im Tirtzu branch in Haifa and the head of the northern branch of the movement.[109][110] After Erez's retired, Matan replaced him in the role of missions coordinator.[111] Alon Schwartzer was elected as head of the policy department alongside Matan.[112]

Matan Peleg suspended himself in January 2016 in the wake of an Im Tirtzu campaign against Israeli artists who supported human rights groups.[113] Several months later in May 2016 Peleg returned to his role.[114]

Reception

Likened to fascist groups

A NIS 2.6-million lawsuit was filed by Im Tirtzu against Israelis who had opened a Facebook page that suggested that Im Tirtzu was a Fascist group.[115] A court in Jerusalem rejected some of the charges but found one person guilty of slander.[8] In the verdict the Judge Refael Ya'akobi found that there were commonalities between the group and "certain principles of Fascism". He also stated that it is clear that the defendants are "bitter adversaries" of Im Tirtzu. He additionally wrote that the defendants do not imply a full identification Fascism with Im Tirtzu, but only some common lines. Finally the judge ruled that as Im Tirtzu emphasizes national aspects, the defendants can rely on the protections set in the law in order to be acquitted.[116][8] and wrote also that there is truth in comparing the poster of "Im Tirtzu" against the New Israel Fund to the style of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer.[116] The judge wrote: "One should view these publications (against Im Tirtzu) as saying and warning that past experience teaches that support of similar principles to those that Im Tirtzu supports ... brought harsh and bad results."[117] In September 2013, the judge rejected the majority of Im Tirtzu's arguments, and cleared four of the five defendants. One defendant, Roy Yellin, was found to have libeled Im Tirtzu by implying that the group shared the "Nazi race theory". However, the judge criticised Im Tirtzu for bringing the action in the first place, and postponed awarding any damages for the one successful claim.[8][118] In February 2014, the court rejected Im Tirtzu's claim for damages, though it also rejected the defendants' claim for legal costs.[119] Both Im Tirtzu and the defendants appealed to the high court. In the appeal, the high court declared the previous ruling as void and null and decided that the libel suit should have not been heard in court, since the main discussion is ideological, not juridical.[120]

In court proceedings, Professor Zeev Sternhell, one of the world's leading experts on Fascism, testified that Im Tirtzu was "not worse than Fascism, it is that, more or less".[121] He also testified that Fascist principles "provide a basis for Im Tirtzu's operations".[9] Sternhell analyzed the writings published by Im Tirtzu and observed expressions of fascist thinking in the writings of the group's founder. These include seeing the nation as an organic body, viewing the West as being weakened, and describing the situation in the country as an emergency situation that requires unusual action against "traitors".[122]

Other court testimony documented that Im Tirtzu's founder admitted to drawing inspiration from German philosophers considered to have been precursors to Fascist ideology.[122]

In 2016, Knesset Member Benny Begin also used the term "Fascist" to describe a campaign by the organization.[123]

Criticism

In 2009, Im Tirtzu's largest donor was the John Hagee Ministries (JHM) via the Christian-Zionist organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Im Tirtzu received US$100,000 from JHM and $34,000 from other sources. In 2010, The Jerusalem Post reported that JHM "expressed deep displeasure" with Im Tirtzu after its campaigns against the New Israel Fund and Ben-Gurion University and announced the cessation of its funding. A JHM spokesman said that Im Tirtzu "misrepresented its focus when they told us their mission was strictly Zionist education".[107]

The group's former spokesperson, Erez Tadmor, was found guilty of embezzling munitions from the Israeli military.[124]

The organization was accused of acting in an Anti-Semitic fashion, including emulating Nazi propaganda, in its criticisms of U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk and of the New Israel Fund.[125][126]

Haaretz newspaper alleged that "Im Tirtzu has taken over political discourse in Israel, and injected into it the crazy idea of the internal enemy," and accused The Jewish Home party as "operating as the political arm of Im Tirtzu."[127]

Support

In a 2012 Ministry of Culture and Education competition, Im Tirtzu won first prize for their video titled, "Zionism Without Jerusalem?" In a competition featuring almost 150 entries, Im Tirtzu's video won the most popular video, and was awarded a prize of 25,000 shekels.[128]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly endorsed Im Tirtzu.[10][129]

Im Tirtzu has been active on college campuses throughout Israel, and has received support from members of the Israeli Parliament and prominent Israeli writers and personalities.[66][130]

Arutz Sheva has described Im Tirtzu as the largest Zionist movement in Israel.[131]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "About Us". Im Tirtzu. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Is Im Tirtzu a registered association in the State of Israel?". Im Tirtzu. 
  3. ^ "Public Council". Im Tirtzu. 
  4. ^ "Is Im Tirtzu a political party?". Im Tirtzu. 
  5. ^ Abe Selig (2 February 2010). "New Israel Fund comes out swinging against Im Tirtzu report". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Robert Mackley (16 December 2015). "Group Calls Israelis 'Foreign Agents' for Work on Behalf of Palestinians". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ a b Lidar Gravé-Lazi (29 June 2016). "Boosting Zionist education – within Israel". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d Hasson, Nir (7 September 2013). "Rejecting bulk of libel suit, court rules Im Tirtzu movement can be likened to Fascism". Haaretz. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Joanna Paraszczuk (13 February 2012). "Court to rule on anti-Im Tirzu Facebook page". The Jerusalem Post. 
  10. ^ a b PM Netanyahu's message to 'Im Tirtzu' supporters. Retrieved 3 June 2016 – via YouTube. 
  11. ^ Nobel Prize Laureate Yisrael Aumann Congratulating IMTI's Program for Zionist Thought. Retrieved 13 August 2016 – via YouTube. 
  12. ^ Amit Barak (5 December 2011). "An open letter to the president of Ben-Gurion University". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Jerrold Kessel; Pierre Klochendler (26 August 2010). "'McCarthyism' Rises in Israel". Inter Press Service. 
  14. ^ Dan Illouz (23 August 2010). "McCarthyism and post-Zionism". The Jerusalem Post. 
  15. ^ Tamar Trabelsi-Hadad (23 November 2011). "Recommendation: Shut down 'leftist' department". Ynetnews. 
  16. ^ Nesher, Talila (20 December 2011). "International academics seek to keep 'biased' department at Israeli university open". Haaretz. 
  17. ^ "All-Out War: Israel Against Democracy" (PDF). Coalition of Women for Peace. November 2010: 33. 
  18. ^ Ron Friedman (18 October 2010). "Right-wing group Im Tirzu threatens BGU donations". The Jerusalem Post. 
  19. ^ Lea Speyer (20 May 2016). "Watchdog: Ben-Gurion University Actively Supporting Delegitimization of Israel With Sponsorship of Conference Featuring Breaking the Silence". Algemeiner Journal. 
  20. ^ David Israel (18 May 2016). "Ben-Gurion University Sponsoring 'Breaking the Silence' Event (Updated)". The Jewish Press. 
  21. ^ Lidar Gravé-Lazi (27 May 2016). "Donor Withholds $1M. From BGU over Breaking the Silence Panel". The Jerusalem Post. 
  22. ^ Kalman Liebskind (3 November 2013). "כך פועלת אונ' חיפה למען ייצוג מחבלים lang=he" [This is How Haifa University Works for Terrorists]. nrg Maariv. 
  23. ^ "Im Tirtzu: University of Haifa legal clinics are politicized". Israel Hayom. 3 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "Im Tirtzu: Decision to investigate legal clinics 'historic' step". Arutz Sheva. 
  25. ^ a b Lidar Gravé-Lazi (19 October 2016). "Exclusive: Bereaved Families Call Hebrew U. Human Rights Program 'Anti-Israel'". The Jerusalem Post. 
  26. ^ Eliran Karsenty (27 December 2016). "ההורים השכולים זעקו: "מתירים את דם יקירנו"" [The Cry of the Bereaved Families: They are Permitting the Blood of our Loved Ones] (in Hebrew). Channel 20. 
  27. ^ Lidar Gravé-Lazi (27 May 2016). "20 Israeli academics encourage BDS, Im Tirtzu says". The Jerusalem Post. 
  28. ^ "Report: 20 Israeli Academics Encourage Anthropology Association's Boycott of Israel". Algemeiner Journal. JNS. 26 May 2016. 
  29. ^ Yair Altman (29 May 2016). "MK pushes for Knesset meeting on anti-Israel academic boycott". Israel Hayom. 
  30. ^ "Heated Debate at Education Committee Emergency Session on Pro-BDS Israeli Academics". The Jewish Press. JNi.Media. 8 June 2016. 
  31. ^ "Im Tirzu report exposes Israelis behind 'Apartheid Week'". Israel Hayom. 
  32. ^ Yair Altman (16 March 2016). "Im Tirzu report exposes Israelis behind 'Apartheid Week'". Israel Hayom. 
  33. ^ a b Ben Hartman; Lahav Harkov (13 May 2011). "Im Tirtzu launches campaign against 'myths' of the Nakba". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 May 2011. As Palestinians in the West Bank and Arab Israelis inside the Green Line plan to commemorate 'Nakba Day' on 15 May, the right-wing student group Im Tirtzu has launched a campaign to discredit what it says is a narrative of myths and lies dealing with the teaching of the founding of the State of Israel. 
  34. ^ a b Erez Tadmor; Erel Segal. "Nakba-Nonsense" (PDF). Im Tirtzu. 
  35. ^ Eli, Yossi (15 May 2011). "פעילי אם תרצו מפגינים מול משרדי אונר"א נגד יום הנכבה" [Tens of Im Tirtzu activists protest outside UNRWA offices against Nakba Day] (in Hebrew). nrg Maariv. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011. עשרות פעילי תנועת "אם תרצו" מפגינים מול משרדי אונר"א, סמוך לגבעת התחמושת בירושלים תחת הכותרת "נכבה חארטה" בסמוך ומניפים שלטים כנגד יום הנכבה והאו"ם וקוראים: "הם גרשו, הם תקפו ,הם הפסידו". 
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  37. ^ Jonathan Halley (2 February 2011). "המסעדה שסירבה לשרת חייל – תשלם לו" [The restaurant that refused to serve a soldier will pay him] (in Hebrew). nrg Maariv. 
  38. ^ "Haifa Restaurant Azad to Pay Soldier NIS 5000". The Jerusalem Post. 2 February 2011. 
  39. ^ "תרומה ממלכתית: יאיר נתניהו למען החיילים" [State contribution: Yair Netanyahu for the soldiers]. Walla!. 22 July 2014. 
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  41. ^ Ronen, Gil (14 August 2014). "Hundreds of Sderot Residents File UNHRC Complaints against Hamas". Arutz Sheva. 
  42. ^ Amit Barak (18 April 2013). "להסדיר מהר את המענק ללוחמי המילואים" [quickly arranging the grant for the reserves] (in Hebrew). Walla!. 
  43. ^ עמית ברק בהעולם הבוקר - לוחמים נגד מנהלי מאבק הפראיירים [Amit Barak in the morning - fighters against the managers of the struggle of the suckers] (in Hebrew) – via YouTube. 
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  45. ^ Itamar Fleischmann (24 September 2011). "התמורה למילואים: ביטול ההנחה בארנונה" ["Im Tirtzu": Regulate the status of reserve soldiers] (in Hebrew). Ynet. 
  46. ^ Amit Barak (6 February 2013). "סדר יום מועדף למילואימניקים" [Preferred daily schedule for reservists]. Israel Hayom (in Hebrew). 
  47. ^ Avi Etgar (2 February 2013). ""אם תרצו": להסדיר את מעמד חיילי המילואים" [Im Tirtzu: Regulate the status of reserve soldiers] (in Hebrew). Reshet Bet. 
  48. ^ "בירושלים הפגינו לתמיכה בחרדים המתגייסים לצה"ל" [Demonstrating in Jerusalem to support the Haredi enlisting in the IDF] (in Hebrew). Reshet Bet. 20 June 2013. 
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  50. ^ Father Gabriel Naddaf (29 March 2015). "It's hard to be a Christian in Israel, but not because of prejudice". The Jerusalem Post. 
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  53. ^ Roy "Chicky" Arad (28 December 2014). "איך "ערביה טובה" מנסה לשכנע את מתפקדי הבית היהודי לבחור בה" [How a "good Arab" tries to convince members of The Jewish Home to choose her]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  54. ^ Boaz Wolinitz (18 October 2010). "פעילי "אם תרצו" חילקו צעצועים לילדי הבדואים" [Im Tirtzu activists distributed toys to Bedouin children] (in Hebrew). Walla!. 
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  56. ^ Ariel Ben Solomon (14 October 2015). "New parliamentary group created to encourage minorities to join army". The Jerusalem Post. 
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  64. ^ Elinor Fuchs (29 January 2012). "גל אוחובסקי ליו"ר "אם תרצו": "אתה עושה את מה שעשו אנשים בגרמניה בשנות השלושים"" [Gal Uchovsky to Im Tirtzu chairman: "You're doing what people did in Germany in the thirties"] (in Hebrew). mako. 
  65. ^ Barak, Roi (12 February 2012). "אוחובסקי התנצל בפני יו"ר 'אם תרצו' לאחר שכינהו 'מפלצת'" [Uchovsky apologizes to Im Tirtzu chairman after calling him a 'monster']. Globes (in Hebrew). Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
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  69. ^ a b Esti Ahronovitz (22 July 2011). "Fighting for Israel's soul". Haaretz. 
  70. ^ Ron Kampeas (12 February 2010). "Breaking down the Im Tirtzu report on New Israel Fund". Cleveland Jewish News. (subscription required)
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  72. ^ Menachem Rahat (4 February 2015). "ד"ר בגין ומיסטר בני" [Dr. Begin and Mr. Benny] (in Hebrew). News1. 
  73. ^ J.J. Goldberg (February 5, 2010). "Knesset Slimers Retreat After Foxman Slams Defamation of New Israel Fund". The Forward. 
  74. ^ Hagai El-Ad (13 May 2010). "Pins in the Goldstone voodoo doll". Haaretz. 
  75. ^ Gideon Levy (7 February 2010). "Im Tirtzu hides behind respectable mask of 'Zionism'". Haaretz. 
  76. ^ Baskin, Gershon (9 February 2010). "A dark day for democracy". The Jerusalem Post. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  77. ^ Oren Persico (7 September 2013). "לא לסטריליות: שופט המחוזי דחה בפסק דין את רוב תביעת הדיבה של אם-תרצו וקרא לצדדים להפסיק את המשפט" [Unsterile: District judge rejected the verdict of Im Tirtzu's libel suit and called on the parties to stop the trial] (in Hebrew). HaAyin HaShevi'it. 
  78. ^ An Open Letter to the New Israel Fund, Israel Behind the News, Media Reprints, 14th December 2012
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  80. ^ "Foreign Agents Report" (PDF). Im Tirtzu. 
  81. ^ "Zionist NGO: Leftist groups sabotaging Israel 'from within'". Israel Hayom. 
  82. ^ "ADL slams right-wing 'foreign-backed moles' video". The Times of Israel. 18 December 2015. 
  83. ^ Gideon Allon; Shlomo Cesana (18 December 2015). "17 MKs back bill labeling left-wing NGOs as foreign 'plants'". Israel Hayom. 
  84. ^ Shlomo Piotrokovsky (24 January 2016). "Im Tirzu video won't be probed for 'incitement'". Arutz Sheva. 
  85. ^ "Im Tirtzu head suspends self over 'culture mole' campaign". The Times of Israel. 31 January 2016. 
  86. ^ Gil Ronen (31 January 2016). "Im Tirtzu head suspends himself". Arutz Sheva. 
  87. ^ a b Lidar Gravé-Lazi (13 February 2017). "Human Rights NGO Receives NIS 15m. From Europe". The Jerusalem Post. 
  88. ^ Jonathan Lis (13 February 2017). "הצעת חוק: עמותות שעיקר מימונן ממדינות זרות יידרשו להצהיר על כך בפני בג"ץ" [Bill: Organizations That Receive the Majority of Their Funding From Foreign Governments Will Need to Declare Such in Front of the High Court]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). 
  89. ^ "Our Vision". Zochrot. 
  90. ^ "Outrage: Germany to Observe Holocaust Remembrance Day while Funding Anti-Israel NGO". The Jewish Press. JNi.Media. 25 January 2017. 
  91. ^ David Rosenberg (27 January 2017). "'Germany dishonoring the memory of the murdered Six Million'". Arutz Sheva. 
  92. ^ a b Katz, Yaakov (2 May 2011). "Im Tirtzu calls for criminal investigation of Machsom Watch". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 May 2011. Im Tirtzu, a self-described Zionist extra-parliamentary group, has asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to open a criminal investigation against activists from Machsom Watch who allegedly entered the Palestinian village of Awarta last month in violation of an IDF order. 
  93. ^ Potter, George (21 May 2012). "Peace Now cries foul on Palestinian flag wavers". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 21 May 2012. Peace Now cries foul on Palestinian flag waversLeft-wing group files complaint with police, claims right-wing Im Tirtzu activists impersonated it in Jerusalem Day parade 
  94. ^ Yair Altman (27 October 2016). "National service slots for 6 left-wing groups under review". Israel Hayom. 
  95. ^ Jonathan Lis (30 August 2016). "New Bill Aims to Limit State-funded Volunteers at Israeli Left-wing NGOs". Haaretz. 
  96. ^ Lahav Harkov (12 December 2016). "Ban on National Service at Foreign-Funded NGOs Clears Hurdle". The Jerusalem Post. 
  97. ^ Yair Altman (31 October 2016). "Knesset mulls nixing national service in foreign-funded bodies". Israel Hayom. 
  98. ^ Udi Shaham (22 March 2017). "Knesset Passes Law Forbidding National Service in Left-Wing NGOs". The Jerusalem Post. 
  99. ^ "Activity of Israeli Organizations with Advisor Status to the United Nations, Against Israeli Policy" (PDF). Im Tirtzu. 
  100. ^ Shlomo Cesana; Gideon Allon (16 June 2015). "3 Israeli groups operate against Israel within UN, study finds". Israel Hayom. 
  101. ^ "The Israeli Organizations That Enable the UN Report" (PDF). Im Tirtzu. 
  102. ^ "Revealed: Israeli Leftist NGOs' Major Input into UN Gaza Repor". Arutz Sheva. 23 June 2015. 
  103. ^ Akiva Lem (23 June 2015). "דו"ח של האו"ם: ישראלים נגד ישראל" [UN Report: Israelis Against Israel] (in Hebrew). Ynet. 
  104. ^ Eric Bender (5 June 2016). "דוח אם תרצו: "מיליונים מועברים לעמותות הפועלות לחלוקת ירושלים"" [Im Tirtzu Report: Millions Are Being Transferred to Organizations Working to Divide Jerusalem]. Maariv (in Hebrew). 
  105. ^ Eric Bender (5 June 2016). "דוח אם תרצו: "מיליונים מועברים לעמותות הפועלות לחלוקת ירושלים"" [Im Tirtzu Report: Millions Are Being Transferred to Organizations Working to Divide Jerusalem]. Maariv (in Hebrew). 
  106. ^ Uri Blau (30 December 2011). "Major Israeli businesses helped quadruple donations to right-wing Im Tirtzu movement". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  107. ^ a b Gil Shefler (23 August 2010). "John Hagee to cut Im Tirtzu funding". The Jerusalem Post. 
  108. ^ "96 שנה למות אבשלום פיינברג צויינו באזכרתו" [Memorial for 96 years to Avshalom Feinberg's death] (in Hebrew). nrg Maariv. 29 December 2013. 
  109. ^ "A letter to the rector of Haifa University", Im Tirtzu[dead link]
  110. ^ "אם תרצו תיקח חלק ביום הזיכרון בעוספיה" [Im tirtzu will take part in the memorial-day event In Isfiya] (in Hebrew). Carmel Portal. 6 May 2011. 
  111. ^ Uzi Baruch (7 December 2013). "דנון: לעצור ההסתה של הח"כים הערבים" [Danon: Stop the incitement of Arab Mks] (in Hebrew). Arutz Sheva. 
  112. ^ הקרן לישראל חדשה מאחורי מחאת המסתננים של 2014 - גלי ישראל [New Israel Fund infiltrators behind protests of 2014 - Galei Yisrael] (in Hebrew). Im Tirtzu. 9 January 2014 – via YouTube. 
  113. ^ "Im Tirtzu director suspends self after controversy". The Times of Israel. 31 January 2016. 
  114. ^ "After the "Cultural Implants" storm, Im Tirtzu CEO returns to his position". Walla. 
  115. ^ Nir Hasson (12 February 2012). "Jerusalem Court Starts Debating Meaning of Fascism as Im Tirtzu Sues Activists". Haaretz. 
  116. ^ a b "Verdict of the regional court" (PDF). Jerusalem regional court. 2 September 2013. 
  117. ^ Yair Altman (8 September 2013). "שופט מחוזי: "יש דמיון בין 'אם תרצו' לפאשיזם"" [District judge: There are similarities between Im Tirtzu and fascism] (in Hebrew). Walla!. 
  118. ^ Persico, Oren (7 September 2013). "לא לסטריליות" [No to sterility] (in Hebrew). HaAyin HaShevi'it. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  119. ^ Nir Hasson (3 February 2014). "Jerusalem court throws out Im Tirtzu's claim against left-wing activists". Haaretz. 
  120. ^ Blank, Cynthia (15 July 2015). "Supreme Court: Im Tirtzu Does Not Have 'Fascist' Traits". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
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  125. ^ "U.S. Peace Envoy Depicted as Puppet by Israeli Right-wing Group". Haaretz. 2 August 2013. 
  126. ^ Oren Persico (7 September 2013). "לא לסטריליות" [No to sterility] (in Hebrew). 
  127. ^ "Editorial Declaring War on Academia". Haaretz. 
  128. ^ Emilie Grunzweig (17 July 2012). "Culture Ministry to award NIS 25,000 to Im Tirtzu for short film". Haaretz. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  129. ^ Noam Shelef (29 January 2016). "False equivalence in Israel". The Jewish Journal. 
  130. ^ Ben-Dror Yemini (20 August 2010). "שטיפת מוח אקדמית" [Academic Brainwashing] (in Hebrew). nrg Maariv. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  131. ^ "European governments funding the defense of terrorists". Arutz Sheva. August 16, 2016. 

External links

Im Tirtzu Flotilla, July 2011

Interviews
Coverage

Criticism