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.”