Those following this blog will know of the Los Angeles Israeli consul general report scurrilously accusing the refusenik groups Combatants for Peace and Breaking the Silence of financing their U.S. tours with U.S. Palestinian funding. The report also claimed the refuseniks were misleading American college students into believing that the former represented the Israeli government, and that they did serious damage to Israel.
Yediot Achronot was responsible for this sterling piece of “investigative journalism” (aka “yellow journalism”). But either Yediot or the foreign ministry was so chicken shit they only published this in the Hebrew print version. They never published it on the Hebrew language website and the English version online was tempered so as to eliminate the most egregious charges from the original.
One of the local leaders of Brit Tzedek here in Seattle passed on this e mail from JConnect promoting a speaking engagement by the San Francisco Israeli consul at the UW Hillel:
Israeli Consulate General Speaks on the Shifting Conflict in the Middle East
Thursday, Feb 22 at 7 pm at the Hillel Center (4745-17th Ave E in the U-District)
Join us in welcoming the representative for Israeli Diplomacy for the Pacific NW Region of the US, Consul General David Akov. Akov will be speaking to the topic: The Shifting Conflict in the Middle East – Extremists vs. Moderates.
The program will illuminate the current Israeli government perspective on what it sees as threats as well as the many view points being taken in communities throughout the world, with a specific call for communities in this region. The Consul General will field questions from the crowd at the end of his talk. Anyone and everyone is invited to attend, but please do RSVP now on our website. There is no cost and parking is available. Please join us in showing the Israel Consulate that the Seattle community is concerned with these issues.
Is it just me or do you start to see this as a pattern? As part of an orchestrated foreign ministry counter-offensive against Israel’s critics in the American Jewish community? Even the choice of Hillel as the event’s venue seems calculated since that group was the only American Jewish group singled out for criticism in the report according to Yediot.
At any rate, if you live in the Seattle area do consider joining us at the event. We’re attending because we don’t want the Israeli government to think that we’ll take any spurious attacks on ourselves or our Israeli allies lying down. I believe the best way to counter these attacks is by facing down your opponent and showing them you are not intimidated and that you are not going away. Let them know that if they want to speak public falsehoods about you, you’ll call them out for it.
A Hillel staff member will be calling Akov to ask whether his talk is in direct response to the Seattle visit of Combatants for Peace sponsored by Brit Tzedek. I might just call the consul myself and try to ask the question directly. I’ll let you know what, if anything, I find out.
UPDATE: I did call the SF consultate and their director of communications contacted Consul Akov, who told her he did NOT plan to address the refusenik tour or the L.A. consul general’s report unless it was brought up in the Q&A.
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