Speaking at a Jabotinsky Institute event on Sunday, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said that "the generation of Herut princes is divided. The new Likud isn't committed to the ethos of Herut, (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky and (Menachem) Begin."
Rivlin was criticizing a ministerial committee's decision to approve legislation aimed at limiting the ability of non-profit organizations in Israel to receive foreign funding.
The legislation is expected to mainly hurt leftist Israeli groups, which rely heavily on donations from abroad. "The Likud princes are isolated in their homes. When a Likud prince goes out to defend freedom of expression, he is seen as detached from reality," the Knesset speaker said.
The right-wing Herut movement, which was founded by the late prime minister Begin in 1948, was the ideological standard-bearer of the Revisionist movement. It formally merged into the Likud party in 1988.
Addressing the social protests in Israel, Rivlin said, "If Likud strays from (Israel's deep-rooted principles), it will not endure."
The approval of the legislation was heavily criticized by Labor Party leader Shelly Yachimovich, who said the Likud government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to "wage war against the justice system, hurt freedom of expression and distance itself from the enlightened democratic world."
According to Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima), the legislation is part of an attempt to violate human rights under the auspices of a "frightened government."
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