Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has refused calls to cancel his participation in a conference sponsored by the New Israel Fund (NIF), reported Monday.
Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett and representatives from Likud backed out of the event after learning that the leftist NIF was involved.
Rivlin plans to attend nevertheless.
“Organizations on the Left asked me to boycott the trip to the Jewish community in Chevron. Organizations on the Right are asking me to boycott the conference on democracy. I did not cancel my visit to Chevron and I will not cancel my participation in the conference,” Rivlin stated.
The right-wing Im Tirtzu group wrote to Rivlin urging him to reconsider.
“The NIF supports organizations that delegitimize and tarnish Israel’s reputation both home and abroad by accusing IDF soldiers of war crimes, creating international pressure on Israel, and attempting to change the Jewish-democratic character of the state from within,” Im Tirtzu charged.
“The NIF supports organizations seeking to prosecute [IDF] soldiers for war crimes and it is therefore not appropriate that the president open a conference sponsored by an organization hounding IDF soldiers.”
In 2010, Im Tirtrzu was the first to publish a document showing financial links between the NIF and groups who gave over 90% of the Israeli testimonials in the U.N.’s infamous Goldstone Report.