Following sharp backlash over its decision to include several controversial left-wing NGOs in an official government discussion on combating coronavirus, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) issued a statement that it “won’t involve NGOs or organizations that work to delegitimize Israel in its professional discussions,” Channel 20 reported.
The controversy erupted after the Zionist watchdog organization Im Tirtzu exposed a “Cross-Sector Roundtable Discussion on Dealing with the Coronavirus Crisis” event that was organized by the PMO on March 18th and March 24th, which included members of the government and controversial civil society organizations.
Among the organizations that participated were “Physicians for Human Rights-Israel,” whose founder and honorary president Dr. Ruchama Marton advocates for BDS; “HaMoked,” which submits legal petitions against the IDF and the state on behalf of convicted terrorists; and a number of NGOs who spearheaded the opposition to the government solution for the illegal migrant workers issue in South Tel-Aviv.
“In addition to being rabidly anti-Israel, these NGOs are also funded by European governments and the New Israel Fund,” Im Tirtzu noted.
Following the event, the PMO published a list of recommendations by all the organizations pertaining to a wide array of subjects, including imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and illegal migrant workers.
Im Tirtzu blasted the event and said it was saddened that the PMO chose to include these NGOs whose “raison d’etre is to slander Israel,” but congratulated the PMO on its statement.
“There is no room for governmental cooperation with foreign government-funded NGOs that slander Israel and IDF soldiers, and we congratulate the PMO on acting quickly to rectify this mistake.”
*The official PMO protocols from the meeting can be found here.