Journalist David Bedein, head of the Center for Near East Policy Research, spoke with Arutz Sheva Monday and sharply condemned President Reuven Rivlin for taking part in a Haaretz conference in New York on Sunday, which featured virulently anti-Israeli leftist groups.
Bedein noted that aside from the leftist paper, the conference was run and sponsored by the radical leftist groups New Israel Fund (NIF), J Street, and others leading the call to boycott Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.
He detailed the various organizations taking part in the conference and their active work in trying to delegitimize the Jewish state in the international sphere.
Rivlin’s presence “gave a kosher sign to all the anti-Israel organizations that are there, and it confuses everyone about what Israel’s policy is,” he said, noting how the participation at a conference sponsored by NIF, which supports groups that advance the BDS boycott movement, comes on the heels of seven to eight months of Israel actively campaigning against BDS.
Focusing on the participation of the group Breaking the Silence, Bedein noted they are “an organization of Israeli soldiers or former Israeli soldiers who fabricate stories, such as saying the Jews in Judea poison wells. If I hadn’t have heard it for myself with my own ears from members of parliaments abroad I wouldn’t have believed it.”
The grassroots Zionist group Im Tirtzu reported on Monday that Breaking the Silence is in fact funded by Palestinian beneficiaries. It has been caught accepting false “testimonies” allegedly from IDF soldiers, and has admitted that despite alleging “war crimes” against Israel on the international stage, it has no real vetting process for verifying which claims are true.
Bedein concluded by again stressing the damage of Rivlin’s presence at a conference abroad by those who are “destructively” critical of Israel, including musician Roger Waters of Pink Floyd who has actively harassed musicians to try and pressure them into boycotting Israel.
Rivlin’s decision to take part in the conference was petitioned by five MKs from Kulanu and Likud, who co-signed a letter to him Sunday asking him to send a message by canceling on the conference.
IDF reserve commanders also protested against Rivlin’s participation in the conference on Saturday night, demonstrating in front of the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem.