Eruption of violence comes as Israelis who opposed the war a year ago say they are being silenced and vilified
Rachel Shabi, Tel Aviv
The Observer, Sunday 27 December 2009
".....as allegations have emerged from Israeli human rights campaigners who opposed the war that they are facing concerted attempts to silence them.....
The shootings have come as Israeli human rights campaigners issued a stinging critique of how Israelis who opposed the war in Gaza have been treated by the state, claiming that they have been silenced, accused and vilified.
In its annual report, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel states: "Instead of taking an honest look at its reflection, Israeli society and its institutions chose to smash the mirror.".....
"There has been a huge change in the way the government treats those who dissent," says Michael Sfard, an Israeli lawyer representing several human rights groups. This process, he adds, has accelerated in the year since the attacks in Gaza: "The gloves have come off."
Sari Bashi, director of human rights group Gisha, says Israeli campaigners in this field "know that red lines were crossed in Gaza, that the Israeli military relaxed its restraints on the use of force and that terrible violations were taking place". But she accuses the Israeli government of using a "shoot-the-messenger" tactic to deal with such concerns.
"Instead of addressing credible claims of human rights violations, there have been attempts to undermine the legitimacy of anyone trying to raise awareness," she says.
One prominent issue has been a scrutiny of the funding of human rights groups....."