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Reut Institute Maps Israel’s Intelligence War Against Enemies

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  • Lee February 15, 2010, 11:46 PM

    I think Reut with an Aleph means vision in Hebrew rather than friendship.

    Also i am not sure how their suggestion of ‘driving a wedge between soft critics of Israeli policy and delegitimizers of its existence’ fits in with your claim that they ‘treat all Israel’s critics as, if not terrorist, then fellow travelers and accomplices.’

    • Richard Silverstein February 15, 2010, 11:49 PM

      Thanks for that correction. I presume you’re right & it comes from the root for sight. I’ll correct that error.

      This rpt suggests that all NGOs that are critical of Israel including ones that are as mild as NIF are enemies plain & simple. It doesn’t distinguish. And in the current political climate in Israel we can certainly say that no such distinction is made.

      • fiddler February 16, 2010, 4:13 AM

        While the report borders on the fascist in viewing any criticism as disloyal – and requiring such loyalty in the first place – it does make a distinction between “soft critics” and “delegitimizers of Israel’s existence” in that the former are allegedly redeemable for the tribe. In the view of the report, wedging them away from the “delegitimizers” removes them from their “useful idiot” status.

        • Warren February 16, 2010, 7:44 PM

          Interesting point, fiddler.

          But this is the false empty dichotomy you hear a lot from Israel policy defenders, ‘soft (read acceptable) critics’ and then ‘delegitimizers’, whatever the latter really means, as if that’s the whole universe. Anything beyond soft, gingerly criticism skirts with the ‘delegitimizing’ position in this perspective.

          The oldest hasbara refrain in response to any real, substantive, forceful criticism of Israeli behavior is, “but Israel has a right to exist”. Only soft-pedalling rationalizing apologetic ‘criticism’ is acceptable, which of course makes sure to emphasize that the other Palestinian (or more broadly Arab, or Persian) side is far, far worse and less human than ‘we’ are.

          And of course underpinning this false dichotomy is the highly politicized use and understanding of the Holocaust and the ideological narrative constructed around that horrible historical event, by Israel’s boosters & defenders in this context. For we all know that substantive fundamental criticism of Israel is really just a mask for the world’s congenital and perpetual hatred of the Jews (as the narrative goes). It doesn’t really have to do with Israel’s actual behavior in the world and toward its neighbors.

          As lunatic as the above narrative is in the context of the actual history and present of Israel and the Palestinians, this is the underlying recurring thrust of the hasbarists. I can’t always tell how many hasbarists actually believe their own empty ‘existential’ rhetoric, or whether it is merely a strategic ideological and rhetorical tack that they know is effective because of the place of the Holocaust and historical European Jewish suffering—also very much ideologically framed—in American political and cultural consciousness. Probably some of both, but more of the latter.

  • Cborg February 16, 2010, 10:45 AM

    Why not get into bed with the one staters. Israel will never do as you want it too

    • Richard Silverstein February 16, 2010, 9:03 PM

      Israel will not do so willingly. But in the very near future it may have little choice. Remember S. Africa!!?!

  • Leonard Fein February 16, 2010, 5:37 PM

    Have we read the same report? Re’ut is a sober advocate of a two-state solution. The report says that if the two forces it identifies coalesce, that solution is impeded. Is that not so? Or do you not accept the distinction between “soft critics” and those who challenge Israel’s very existence? In no way does the report suggest that “mild” critics are “enemies plain and simple.” It is preposterous to suppose that the Re’ut people are happy with Im Tirtzu or NGO Monitor. Those are not the kinds of NGOs Re’ut seeks to “harness.” Reality check, please.

    • Richard Silverstein February 16, 2010, 8:58 PM

      Reut is spouting gobbledy gook in this report and the fact that you would defend it indicates that you have lost yr political bearings. Reut is basically speaking on behalf of, or directly to Israeli intelligence. Is that where you see your allies in Israeli society??

      It is Israel & Israel alone that is responsible for destroying the viability of a 2 state solution. No one else is to blame & for Reut to attempt to do so indicates it’s mendacity and bad faith.

  • Gene Schulman February 17, 2010, 12:07 AM

    Bravo, Richard. I have been wondering what happened to Leonard since he disappeared from Americans for Peace Now. It seems that he and J Street are pushing for a two state solution that the beneficiaries of which are doing everything to prevent. Utter hypocrisy.

  • Cborg February 17, 2010, 6:13 AM

    [comment deleted for violating comment rules]

  • Leonard Fein February 17, 2010, 11:48 AM

    Gene: Yes, the prospective beneficiaries are surely not cooperating. Often, they appear to be subverting. So? Does that mean that those of us who endorse a two-state solution should simply tell them to go to hell, they deserve what they get? I fail to see the hypocrisy of opposing government policies that are offensive.

    Richard: My political bearings are hardly the issue here. Your ideological bearings, which enable you to say that “Israel and Israel alone” is to blame, as if we were witness not to a genuine tragedy but to a villain vs. a hero, are the issue. But: It’s your blog and your Manichaean view that prevails here. So I will withdraw from this argument.

    • Richard Silverstein February 17, 2010, 12:53 PM

      My political bearings are hardly the issue here.

      You mean yr liberal Zionism and your affection for the noxious Reut Institute are hardly the issue? On the contrary, they are precisely the issue.

      Excuse me, I didn’t realize Palestine was somehow responsible for issuing the Reut report & the atrocious policy suggestions it contains. BTW, are you also in accord with Reut’s suggestion that Israel should “sabotage” the work (& possibly lives) of its ideological opponents? Just curious where you come down on such hanky panky.

      I’m also rather surprised considering yr intelligence that you resort to the usual false attribution of views to me I do not hold–namely that only Israel is at fault for this tragedy. However, I know we part company in where we attribute the vast share of responsibility for this tragedy–to Israel far the stronger party politically, economically, militarily. With far the more intransigent gov’t & far the more brutal & lethal policies. And last I checked it was Israel holding conquered territory for 40 yrs. & not the only way round.

      You might learn something if you hung around here longer instead of vanishing as you have. But I agree it’s far more conducive for you to hang out at the usual liberal Zionist spots than here.

  • mary February 17, 2010, 8:17 PM

    I read today in Haaretz that has both Lieberman and Ayalon saying that “radical Islam” is responsible for the negative image of Israel around the world, that somehow I guess “radical Islam” is controlling all the news outlets, human rights organizations, and people like me, and that Israel’s poor image has nothing to do with its atrocious actions and policies. I laughed aloud, imagining radical Islam being behind the phosphorus bombings of Gaza, the building of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the most recent (probable) Mossad adventure in Dubai. The Reut report seems to be tailor-made to reinforce the state of denial that is Israel.

  • Julia February 23, 2010, 9:29 PM

    Saw this on mondoweiss.

    This is like…insane.
    I am serious, these folks have totally lost it.
    How to they expect this kind of nonsense PR to work?

    They are demanding war with Iran, decimiating Gaza, pissing off everyone from Turkey to Russia…I mean deliberately insulting and pissing off almost everyone on earth with petty thug behavior…and think a PR campaign is going to help that?

    Beam me up Scotty!

    The leading peace advocates and writers in the US need to be careful…don’t stop but be careful…I’am serious.
    Calling you existential threats is the step before some nut among them or some nut they have riled up tries to disappear you for good.