Education minister cancels event with NGO that ‘defends terrorists’

Bennett canceled a conference with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel following objections by families of terror victims.

By: World Israel News Staff

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Tuesday the cancellation of a ministry-sponsored conference, slated to be held this week with the far-Left NGO Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), following a letter signed by 45 bereaved families accusing the organization of assisting terrorists and their families.

“ACRI is a radical delegitimization organization that, among its various anti-Israel activities, fights against us, the bereaved families, in a direct way by defending terrorists who murdered our children, parents, brothers, husbands and wives,” the bereaved families wrote in the letter.

“Unfortunately, this organization and others like it repeatedly defend vile murderers. It is inconceivable that the Ministry of Education would work with this organization. We need to fight those who bolster terrorism with a firm hand, not provide them with funding from the taxpayer’s pockets,” the letter says.

In response, Bennett announced the cancellation of the conference and instructed the CEO of his ministry to reassess any further cooperation with the organization.

“After information was brought to my attention that [ACRI] consistently works to defend terrorists who murdered Israelis, I instructed the Ministry of Education to cancel its participation in the activity that was supposed to take place with this organization,”  Bennett stated. “The Ministry of Education will not cooperate with organizations that harm IDF soldiers or defend our enemies.”

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Matan Peleg, chairman of Im Tirtzu student organization, which works with the bereaved families, said “it is unthinkable that the Ministry of Education would maintain a connection with a political organization that slanders Israel and IDF soldiers. This is an organization that advocates on behalf of terrorists in Israeli courts by means of extensive funding from foreign governments and the New Israel Fund.”

Peleg, commenting on what he described as”one of the most controversial issues in Israeli society and the most painful for bereaved families,” called on all government ministries to “denounce these delegitimization organizations, the sooner the better.”

ACRI has accused the Israeli government of implementing “racist” and “discriminatory” policies of “apartheid,” “collective punishment” and “house demolitions” in “violation of international law.”

While claiming to defend human rights, ACRI has provided Palestinian terrorists with a defensive legal shield, which has at times hindered Israeli counterterrorism policies.