The left-wing NGO “HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual” sent a letter last month to Israel’s Supreme Court President Esther Hayut requesting that the court limit the involvement of bereaved families in legal proceedings pertaining to the demolition of terrorists’ home.
The demolitions of terrorists’ homes are meant to serve as deterrence for potential terrorists plotting future attacks.
The letter sparked outrage from more than 100 families of terrorism victims from the Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families, who called it an outrageous attempt to silence bereaved families.
HaMoked, which is heavily funded by European governments and the US-based New Israel Fund (NIF), frequently petitions the High Court of Justice on behalf of terrorists and their families, including the family of the terrorist who murdered IDF soldier Amit Ben Yigal in May.
In the letter written by the Director of HaMoked’s Legal Division, Daniel Shenhar, the NGO complained that the presence of the families, who are not a “side in the proceeding,” creates a “problematic impression” for the judges.
HaMoked wrote that the families, “who it seemed were prepped by the organizations accompanying them, spoke directly toward us and about us…[they] looked at us with burning eyes, pointed at us an accusatory finger (not metaphorically), and physically approached us.”
“The things that were said,” continued the letter, “with screams and deafening shouts, were harsh and harmful, and accompany us until this day.”
HaMoked also complained that organizations accompanying the bereaved families confront and film HaMoked’s attorneys outside the courtroom and upload the videos online.
The Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families called HaMoked’s letter “an outrageous attempt by an anti-Zionist organization to silence bereaved families.”
“It’s not enough that HaMoked spits in our faces by voluntarily defending the terrorists who murdered our loved ones – now they are pouring salt on our open wounds. Have they no shame?”
Member of Knesset (MK) Keti Shitrit called the letter a “shameful” attempt to “exclude the bereaved families from the hearings on the terrorists’ punishment.”
MK Ofir Sofer said that “the time has come for the State of Israel and its citizens to reject those who undermine and harm IDF soldiers, and even have the shame to harm bereaved families.”
Matan Peleg, CEO of the Zionist watchdog organization Im Tirtzu that accompanies the Choosing Life Forum, stated that “there is no limit to the chutzpah of this foreign government-funded radical NGO, which stands alongside terrorists and harms bereaved families time and time again.”
It is unclear whether or not Hayut responded to the letter.