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Danger : McCarthyism Ahead

jeudi 13 janvier 2011, par Parti communiste d’Israël

Communist Party of Israel
Danger : McCarthyism Ahead
Emergency march of the democratic camp, on Saturday, 15 January, in Tel Aviv.

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The creation of parliamentary committees for the investigation of political activities is associated with the name of the Republican Senator for Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, who was active in the US in the darkest days of the Cold War. McCarthy is infamous for his initiative, presented in a speech of February 1950, to investigate government employees for "collaboration with the enemy".

Senator McCarthy was placed at the head of the Sub-Committee of Investigation. The House Committee for Un-American Activities worked in parallel. The two committees published a list of hostile organizations to be investigated. Among these was the American Lawyers’ Guild – charged with anti-Americanism for including black lawyers in its ranks.

Since it is very difficult to set limits to political investigations, the committee extended its activities from organizations to people in film and entertainment. Thus individuals such as Charlie Chaplin, Berthold Brecht, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, Orson Welles, Paul Robeson and Pete Seeger, and many more, were investigated or ordered to testify.

The witch-hunt against progressives gripped the Congress for three years, causing great human misery and social damage. American society managed to get over the trauma and its heavy social and historical price. We should learn from this experience. We must not go down this road and create a parliamentary investigation committee.

Knesset Chairman Reuven Rivlin has also declared his opposition to a parliamentary investigative committee. On 4 January he said to the Knesset plenum :

"Politicians do not interrogate politicians on their allegiance and their ability to perform democracy. A parliamentary investigative committee can look into matters that are not related to politics, [but] this is a tribunal of politicians on politicians, this is majoritization".

The promoters of the committee claim that they are interested in investigating the finances of left-wing NGOs. But why investigate, if all donations are already being reported to the Registrar of Associations ? Whoever knows of unreported donations should lodge a complaint with the police.

But this committee is not being created in order to discover the truth and prosecute crimes, for the Knesset is not an organ equipped to do so. This committee has been formed in order to fight acts that are legal. This is how McCarthyism works.

McCarthyism aims at intimidating people involved in legal acts from exercising their democratic rights. This is McCarthyism, and this is what the Likud and Israel Beitenu are suggesting : a lethal injection for democracy.

The promoters of the committee charge human rights organizations with "de-legitimizing the State of Israel". But they are in fact the ones who are de-legitimizing Israel. The committee they intend to create in the Knesset will become infamous worldwide, where it will be said – and rightly so – that such things should not be done.

The representatives of the CPI and DFPE in the Knesset have more than once warned of the slippery slope which leads away from democracy. Today, with the formation of this McCarthyist investigative committee, we have moved from slipping into freefall.

In face of the growing danger faced by the democratic space in Israel, organizations, movements and parties fighting against racism, McCarthyism and the danger of fascism have decided to march together in an emergency march of the democratic camp, on Saturday, 15 January in Tel Aviv. Jews and Arabs of various persuasions will march together, and declare for all to hear : we shall be a free people only in a democratic state !

List of participating organizations in the Emergency rally

Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) // Communist Party of Israel // ACRI (Association For Civil Rights in Israel // Meretz // New Israel Fund // Peace Now // The Kibbutz Movement // The Progressive Movement // The Green Movement // Physicians for Human Rights // The Geneva Initiative // Ha’Shomer Ha’tzair // Yisrael Hofshit (Free Israel) // Coalition of Women for Peace // Public Committee Against Torture // Yesh Gvul // Shutafut/Sharakah - Organizations for a Shared, Democratic and Egalitarian Society : Agenda, The Abraham Fund, Negev Institute - NISPED, Sikkuy, Kav Mashve, Keshev, Shatil // Gush Shalom // Yesh Din // Almuntada Altakadumi - The Progressive Circle in Ar’ara // Negev Coexistence Forum // Peace NGO’s Forum // Amnesty International Israel // Banki-Shabiba – Young Communist League // Hagada Hasmalit Alternative Cultural Center in Tel-Aviv // Tandi – Democratic Women’s Movement // Parents Circle – Families Forum // Social Workers for Peace and Social Welfare // Arab Movement for Renewal // Mossawa Centre – the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel // Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel // Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights // Machsom Watch // Tarabut-Hithabrut // Rabbis for Human Rights // Ir Amim // Maan – Workers’ Advice Center // Daam – Workers Party // Syndianna Galilee for Fair Trade // Israeli Children // Campus Le’Kulanu – Left Students Movement, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Haifa University // ASSAF - Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel // ICAHD - The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions // Social TV // Socialist Struggle // Labor Party Young Guard // HAMOKED – Center for the Defense of the Individual // BINA – Center for Jewish Identity, Hebrew Culture and Social Justice // AIC – Alternative Information Center // Our Heritage - The Charter for Democracy //

<FONT color=#ff0000 face=Arial>Pétition
Non au terrorisme de l’Etat d’Israël
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