President Reuven Rivlin denied Tuesday that he will be receiving a citation of honor from the New Israel Fund (NIF) on Thursday.
The President's Residence issued a statement that said: “The President is not receiving a citation from the New Israel Fund. The President is receiving a citation of appreciation for his activity in all aspects of bringing Jews and Arabs closer in Israel.
"The Jewish-Arab Center at Givat Haviva does much to build a joint society, and holds varied activities that connect between the two nations,” the Residence said in a statement. “The President will receive the citation on May 28, at the Third Givat Haviva Conference for a Joint Society.”
"Givat Haviva operates alongside the Shatil organization, which – like many organizations connected to Jewish-Arab activity – receives funding from the New Israel Fund. To say that the President is receiving a citation from the NIF is to go too far, and even to mislead.”
Arutz Sheva notes that Shatil is the NIF's operational arm, and that the Jewish-Arab Center at Givat Haviva is supported financially by the Fund. Shatil guides the actions of the organizations that the NIF funds.
MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) asked Rivlin Monday not to attend the event, and to decline the honor.
"President Rivlin, they are using you,” MK Smotrich said. “They are using you in order to receive government legitimization. They are using you in order to receive recognition."
"Do not assist an organization that strengthens the de-legitimization of the state of Israel,” he implored.
"Mr. President – an organization that passes information to the Goldstone Report and promotes it is not worthy of having you receive an honor from it and grant it recognition,” the rookie MK continued. “An organization that besmirches the soldiers of the IDF is not worthy of having you receive an honor from it and grant it recognition. An organization whose flagship groups are Adalah, Breaking the Silence, Betselem, Machsom Watch and Who Profits from the Occupation – is not worthy of having you receive an honor from it and grant it recognition. Forego the badge of shame.”