Bereaved Families to UN Secretary General: Stop Funding NGOs that Defend Terrorists in Court

Over 40 bereaved families sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, demanding that the United Nations cease its funding of Israeli organizations that defend terrorists and their families in Israel’s Supreme Court.

The letter coincides with Guterres’ current visit to Israel, his first in the capacity of UN Secretary-General.

“In recent years, the United Nations has been a prominent sponsor and supporter of Israeli organizations that are leading the lawfare efforts against Israel,” the families stated in the letter. “As you are aware, the two organizations leading the lawfare efforts against Israel – ‘HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual’ and ‘Adalah’ – have received over 2 million NIS ($550,000) from the United Nations.”

According to the families, only terrorists who perpetrated attacks against Israelis have received this legal protection from the United Nations. “This funding leads us to wonder: is it the purpose of the United Nations’ treasury to lay the groundwork for the next murder of Israelis? The blood of our parents, children, brothers, sisters and other loved ones, cries out from the earth,” wrote the families.

The signatories of the letter include Rina Ariel, mother of Hallel Yaffe Ariel who was murdered in her Kiryat Arba bedroom in June 2016; Tzvika Mark, brother of Rabbi Miki Mark who was murdered near Hebron in a drive-by-shooting in July 2016; Merav and Herzl Hajaj, parents of Shir Hajaj who was murdered in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem in January 2017; and Dvorah Gonen, mother of Danny Gonen who was murdered while hiking near the village of Dolev in June 2015.

Shir Hajaj murdered in January in a car ramming. [Photo is Courtesy of Family]
The families also noted the UN’s funding of other left-wing organizations, including B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, which according to the letter act to “delegitimize Israel and defame IDF soldiers.”

“Time has come to cease this callous interference with Israel’s internal affairs,” concluded the letter.

Merav and Herzl Hajaj, parents of Shir Hajaj who was murdered in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem in January 2017, were among the initiators of the letter and said: “In the State of Israel, an industry has developed surrounding the murder of Jews. Various organizations like ‘HaMoked’ and ‘Adalah’ receive significant sums of money to defend terrorists from the UN and from European governments, and are laying the groundwork for the next murder. Is there anything more absurd than this?”

Matan Peleg, CEO of the Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu that has been accompanying the families, said that “the outcry of the bereaved families is not only a struggle for justice, but a struggle for Israeli democracy as a whole. We expect from the new UN Secretary-General to end this disgraceful funding perpetrated by the organization that he heads.” 

Ahead of Terrorist’s Sentencing, Bereaved Mother Writes Open Letter to Son

Ahead of today’s sentencing of the terrorist who murdered Danny Gonen z’l, his mother Devorah Gonen penned a moving open letter to her son. Danny Gonen z’l was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in June 2015 while hiking near the yishuv of Dolev.

CEO of the Im Tirtzu movement, Matan Peleg, who has been supporting Devorah throughout the entire judicial process, said: “The situation in which terrorists enjoy more benefits and services than any other criminal in Israel is disgraceful.”

Peleg added: “There are organizations funded by foreign governments that work to provide exaggerated rights to terrorists in jail, and at the same time defend their families in the Supreme Court. The decision makers need to wake up and immediately change this absurd situation.”


My Dear Danny,

A year and a half has passed and it seems like an eternity. The time passes, the world continues as if nothing happened, but you still remain my boy.

In the year and a half since the murder, we experienced a lot of emotions, sleepless nights, thoughts. Every moment that you were not physically here, you were still with us. In the past year and a half we were frequent visitors at the military court. Why? To fight for justice. To fight again and again. For you.

It’s odd, that the State of Israel allows for an animal on two feet, a so-called human being, to continue to laugh at our expense. The last time we saw the murderer, he, for the first time, lowered his eyes. He understood that the celebration was over. He understood that the eternity of Israel will not lie.

I fought.

We fought.

Today, we will be seeing him again in court. This time for the sentencing. Who would have thought that I would need to fight so much for you? For justice? For truth? For preventing the next murder? Over the past weeks many words have been exchanged about the quality of the military court, mainly surrounding the soldier Elor Azaria. Everywhere they spoke about the obligation to protect the judges. But I ask…what about us? What of the basic obligation to do justice? How can it be that it’s more worthwhile for a terrorist to murder a Jew than to steal his car?

The biggest absurdity is that these terrorists know that it pays to murder. Yesterday it was you Danny, and tomorrow it can be someone else. I also thought that the situation would be different, but apparently it’s not so bad for them here. They enjoy wonderful benefits and all the pleasures of life. They receive money from the Palestinian Authority, supplies from the Red Cross that would put any fancy Tel-Aviv restaurant to shame, and living conditions that many needy families in Israel could only dream of.

And at whose expense, I ask? At your expense, at our expense…

Today, we are coming to protest. To protest against the situation where bereaved families need to cry out loud with no one to stand behind them. Against the radical organizations that decided to sell their souls to the devil and defend terrorists like the one who murdered you Danny. Against the hypocrisy that cries out to the heavens. Against the next release of terrorists.

Danny, today in court, you will stand together with us. No one can erase your smile that touched so many people. They thought that they can defeat us. But today we will prove to them that this will not happen.  

We will continue in your path, Danny. In every place and at all times. We will continue to be proud Jews who are not embarrassed to fight for the truth and to continue living here in Israel.  

That is what you wanted. That is what will be.

I miss you.