[Opinion] The Knesset’s propaganda circus

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The Knesset hosted a conference on July 1 concerning the rights of children—specifically, Palestinian children.

This circus, titled “A generation without a future: Children under occupation,” was the initiative of Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova, Meretz MK Michal Rozin, and Joint Arab List MKs Ayman Odeh and Dov Khenin. It was attended by European Union Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret, Dutch Ambassador to Israel Gilles Beschoor, Deputy British Ambassador to Israel Tony Kay, Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine director and BDS advocate Omar Shakir, and representatives from organizations like B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Physicians for Human Rights, Gisha, Moked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Combatants for Peace.

In recent years, nongovernmental organizations and U.N. agencies are increasingly accusing Israel of abusing and falsely arresting Palestinian minors, while at the same time turning a blind eye to the minors’ involvement in terrorist activities.

In November 2017, NGO Monitor alerted Israeli lawmakers, government offices and civil-society entities that this issue would become central this year and would be used to launch a political attack against us.

Many of these initiatives focus on children, especially the documentation of supposed violations by Israeli security forces. Many of them are funded by the countries whose representatives attended the conference. This quasi-propaganda campaign is being led by the Defense for Children International-Palestine, which supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, and has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group.

Just last week, the Arab Bank and Citibank stopped providing services to the group as a result of these terror ties. As part of its propaganda efforts, the DCIP has tried to have the Israel Defense Forces added to a UNICEF blacklist of organizations that violate children’s rights. Among the organizations that appear on the list are terrorist organizations like Islamic State and Boko Haram.