Israeli government funds group that mourns death of Palestinian terrorists

The Parents Circle-Families Forum, which holds a ceremony on Israel’s Memorial Day to mourn the deaths of Palestinian terrorists alongside Jewish victims, received NIS 105,000 in 2021.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

An extreme leftist group that mourns the deaths of Palestinian terrorists alongside their Jewish victims received financial support from the government last year, news outlet 0404 reported on Wednesday.

The Finance Ministry provided Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF) with NIS 105,000 (over $30,000) because “like many other non-profit organizations, it experienced a significant reduction of income during the Corona period.”

“Since the organization is properly certified and in light of the damage it was caused, it met the established support criteria.”

According to its website, PCFF is a “joint Israeli-Palestinian organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost an immediate family member to the ongoing conflict,” who are working on a “reconciliation process” in order to achieve “a sustainable peace.”

The equation between the bereavement of the relatives of those who are innocent victims of terrorist attacks to those who committed them has led the group since 2006 to hold an alternative ceremony on Israel’s Memorial Day dedicated to both sides’ “victims.”

While the vast majority of Israelis reject the idea out of hand, certain politicians on the far left have joined the group’s ceremony each year. This past May, three Meretz MKs and Labor’s Ibtisam Mara’ana-Menuhin attended, as well as the Opposition’s Ofir Cassif of the Arab Joint List.

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News of the government’s support aroused fury among organizations that support terror victims and others, with Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman coming under special attack.

Lt. Col. (res.) Meir Indor, founder and chairman of the Almagor – Terror Victims Organization, told 0404, “We cannot believe how the Ministry of Finance under Avigdor Liberman, who … promised the death penalty for terrorists, transfers a large government budget to an association that organizes joint events with the parents of terrorists” who have killed and injured Jews.

Indor charged that the money transfer confers “recognition of terrorists as legitimate fighters,” which he deemed anathema. He also called for a commission of inquiry, questioning whether the organization’s activities are actually “in line with the principles of the [government] budget, which excludes support for incitement to terrorism.”

Herzl Hajaj of the ‘Choosing Life’ forum of bereaved families told 0404, “We are shocked to hear repeatedly that the Israeli government supports terrorists. Left-wing organizations are trying to blur the line between the perpetrators and the victims, between the murderers and the murdered, and Liberman is funding it.”

Both Hajaj and Indor noted that their organizations have never received government funding.

Zionist group Bezalmo called for Liberman’s resignation if he signed off on the government contribution, but left him a way out “if it was not his fault.” In that case, said Bezalmo head Shai Glick, Liberman should “immediately order the cancellation of the transfer of funds and an in-depth investigation of the case. It is not possible for public money to go to the glorification of terrorists.”

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Unlike other leftist groups, PCFF does not hide that its main financing comes from abroad. Its website states clearly that in 2018 and 2019, “PCFF activities were mostly funded by the USAID and the EU.” According to its own annual reports to the Nonprofits Registrar, between 2012 and 2019, a whopping 66.8% of its donations came from these foreign sources, as well as other more minor donors like the New Israel Fund.

In 2020, the Guidestar website of the Justice Ministry, which tracks contributions to local nonprofits ,showed that PCFF’s turnover was over NIS3.4 million.