Sunday, February 23, 21:05 On Sunday, February 23 the Peace Now organization posted on their Hebrew Facebook page an announcement calling for the State of Israel to cancel Honenu’s non-profit organization status and informing the Israeli taxpayer that until the non-profit status is canceled and donations to the organization are no longer tax exempt, taxpayers are “contributing” to an organization which represents “terrorists” and has “criminals” among its clients. Honenu’s stand is that everyone is entitled to a fair trial, regardless of the crime of which s/he is accused. Honenu’s homepage states: “Honenu is an Israeli Zionist legal aid organization which offers legal assistance to our people to protect and preserve their right to a fair judicial process. We provide legal services to approximately 1000 arrestees a year. Soldiers and civilians who find themselves in legal entanglements due to defending themselves against Arab aggression, or due to their love for Israel, have an organization that will come to their aid 24 hours a day. In the Arab-Jewish conflict in Israel there are dozens of foreign-funded organizations helping our enemies. We are there for those loyal to the Jewish people.”
Yosef Ben Baruch, one of Honenu’s clients featured in Peace Now’s announcement, was detained on suspicion of involvement with the Bat Ayin Underground and, after sitting in prison for 20 months, was finally EXONERATED and freed! This outcome was achieved only after an intense legal struggle by attorney Tzion Amir, with extensive assistance from Honenu. The legal battle, lasting the entire prison term, finally resulted in Ben Baruch’s exoneration and release, thus demonstrating that Honenu’s work is indispensable in providing legal assistance to those wrongly accused.
Peace Now’s campaign to delegitimize Honenu closely follows the broadcast by television commentator Amnon Abromovitz, who aired claims similar to Peace Now’s on Israeli Channel 2’s Friday night (February 21) Ulpan Shishi program. Honenu’s staff is of the opinion that the timing of the television show and Peace Now’s campaign is not coincidental and that it is designed to destroy Honenu by damaging its ability to raise funds for its work.
A video clip from the Ulpan Shishi broadcast is found here (Hebrew only). Peace Now’s announcement (Hebrew) is found here along with background information in English from Honenu and Honenu’s English translation, by Honenu.
Update: Peace Now has removed the aforementioned post from their Facebook page. See here for more information.