Peres urges no probe of left-wing groups

Israeli President Shimon Peres has called on the Knesset to reject proposed legislation that establishes a committee to investigate the funding of left-leaning human rights groups.

By a vote of 47-16 two weeks ago, the Knesset gave preliminary passage to the measure. The parliamentary panel would probe the funding and activities of left-wing and human rights organizations and NGOs.

“The investigation of organizations and foundations, whether from the left or right, must be left to law enforcement authorities,” Peres said in a statement Jan. 17. “They possess expertise, are objective and hold the appropriate investigative tools. The establishment of such a parliamentary investigative committee harms Israeli democracy and is unnecessary.”

Peres quoted Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who said that politicians should not be judges and judges should not be politicians. — jta