October 15th, 2018
Netanyahu targets Akevot’s funding

Prime Minister Netanyahu is working to stop a major funder from supporting Akevot Institute. This Friday, an investigative feature in Haaretz newspaper (PDF; online) exposed that Netanyahu is putting pressure on the Swiss minister of foreign affairs to withdraw his office’s support for our work to expand public access to archives in Israel.

A libelous de-legitimation campaign by far-right organization Ad Kan over the last few months has targeted our work, presenting it as no less than espionage for the Swiss and Norwegian governments(!), while weaving outlandish conspiracy theories  (read our analysis of the Ad Kan smear campaign here). This campaign is the background for PM Netanyahu’s appeal to the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the major funder of our Public Access to Government Archives program, to cease the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s financial support of our work.  Netanyahu is pursuing this both himself, directly to the Swiss foreign minister, and through the Israeli Embassy in Bern.

Netanyahu’s cowardly and anti-democratic attack on us is a new low in his own defamatory campaign against human rights and other civil society organizations. This is not just an attack on Akevot. It is an attack on transparency, freedom of information and the protection of human rights.  Haaretz’ editorial yesterday was devoted to this attack on Akevot: read it here: (PDF; online).

We are taking legal action and using public engagement to ward off this attack, and we need your support now more than ever. The funding earmarked for our work in the coming year to overcome unlawful barriers for public access to government archives has already been put on hold. We need your help and support. Please consider making a contribution through the crowdfunding page we have launched here.