Two weeks ago a right-wing Israeli group called Ad Kan released an undercover video that claimed leftist Israeli activists were a driving force behind Palestinian violence. After the footage was aired on a major local news station three people were arrested on charges of conspiracy—one Palestinian and two Israelis. One of the arrested Israelis, the high-profile activist Ezra Nawi, was captured at the airport while allegedly attempting to flee the country. Now Ad Kan has released a second video, this time targeting the organization Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) as so-called “extremist Israeli activists” who “have a clear goal: to injure and kill IDF soldiers and police officers.”
This latest video states Israelis with the group Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) are agitators who organize riots against military forces at the expense of Palestinian West Bankers who would live in calm, if it were not for the presence of the Israeli leftists.
Like the first video broadcasted on January 7th, the inference from the footage is that leftist Israelis harm Palestinians by meddling with their own agendas. The first video heard activist Ezra Nawi casually discussing how he allegedly turned in a Palestinian land dealer to the Palestinian Authority, a offense punishable by death according to West Bank law, although the Palestinian government has a de facto moratorium on executions for the past decade.
AATW is a loose collection of Israelis who carpool to weekly Friday demonstrations in eight West Bank cities. Founded at the end of the second Intifada, AATW does participate in protests and coordinate internationals to join them, as the video explains. They are known to not participate in any violent acts. But with quick edits the footage shows left-wing Israelis discussing stone-throwing, seemingly giving their okay for Palestinians to lob projectiles and role flaming tires at soldiers.
“At the end of the day, the activities of AATW hurts first and foremost the Palestinians. When the activists return to the[ir] comfortable and quiet homes, the IDF continues its presence in the villages as a result of the violence and the friction only enflames hatred between the sides,” a voiceover in the video says in Hebrew with English translation by Calgary United with Israel.
One Israeli in the video is described by the narrator as “managing the throwing of rocks.” In B-reel of the demonstrations, masked Palestinians use slingshots to hurl stones at soldiers. Others wave Hamas flags. But it is the allegations at the close of the video that could bring legal troubles to the Israeli activists. As of last fall stone-throwing is punishable with a four-year minimum mandatory sentence.
The recording suggests AATW launders money through an American non-profit, an accusation that could have regulatory consequences if a law being debated in Israel’s parliament this week on foreign funding to non-profits is approved.
The “NGO transparency law” would require Israeli groups that receive more than half of their funding from abroad to disclose their sources in annual publications. When first proposed the bill controversially stated representatives of such groups would need to wear a special identifying badge when inside Knesset.
The law is tied up with a heated debate between Israel’s right and left, as it is a project of the far-right bloc and would effect almost entirely left-wing organizations. The discourse that propelled the bill surrounded accusations that anti-occupation groups are puppets of “foreign agents,” or provocateurs.
Ad Kan, the group that published both videos, states on their website their goal is “to restrict the ability of action and expose the real face of Israel’s delegitimization organizations.”
“The State of Israel is fighting for its right to exist!” the website says, “IDF soldiers and commanders accused of war crimes, the State of Israel is losing its freedom of action in its efforts to protect its citizens and maintain its character, while the Israeli economy is threatened by boycott on the part of foreign business entities and countries.”