I’ve never felt this more than tonight. There is deep evil afoot among elements of the IDF, Shin Bet, and in the halls of hasbara represented by Alan Dershowitz and the like. Much of it revolves around the hysterical reaction by the Israeli military and political elite to the Goldstone Report. We knew all this before. But the attacks have never been so vicious as those of the past few days, bordering on incitement to violence. The phrases being voiced remind me of the environment just before Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated by the same type of rabid Israeli nationalist as the ones calling for blood from Israeli peace activists. I know many of us have been critical of the Israeli left and the peace movement. I remain so. But it is now time to pick whichever portion of the Israeli left we can most support and do so wholeheartedly. The Israeli left is under attack as never before.
Two developments in particular have chilled me to the bone, and I thank Jerry Haber for posting about Dershowitz’s latest eruption and Didi Remez for posting about the IDF’s machinations against Prof. Naomi Hazan and New Israel Fund. And I urge you after reading this to do everything in your power to support the forces under assault. Make contributions to New Israel Fund. Send messages of support to Prof. Hazan. Call your local Israeli consulate to complain about the assaults on her and Justice Goldstone. This must stop.
I do not have a problem with anyone whether right or left expressing their views on the issues. It is good to criticize Goldstone or New Israel Fund if you feel they’ve got things wrong. But it is dead wrong to call your opponent “evil” or use Der Sturmer tactics to turn your opponent into a subhuman (note the rhino horn on Prof. Hazan’s head in the graphic I’ve posted here–the Hebrew word for “Fund” is the same as “horn,” which explains the rather foolish-looking horn on her head).
We MUST turn the conversation away from this assault and back on the substance of the Goldstone Report. We must support the UN process outlined in Goldstone which could bring the report for consideration by the Security Council and International Court of Justice if the Israelis and Hamas refuse to investigate their misdeeds. This is where attention needs to be. And not on accusations of treason and other McCarthyite red herrings.
Please spend time reading the articles linked here and listening to the Dershowitz radio interview and disseminate this as widely as possible with the added message that we will not take our eyes off the ball that is Goldstone. We will stand by our allies in Israel and outside it when they are under attack.
Alan Dershowitz gave a radio interview to Israeli army radio, Galey Tzahal, in which he launched a full frontal attack on Justice Goldstone. Keep in mind that the Israeli officials discussing whether and how to create the least effective investigative panel that would satisfy the Goldstone conditions have bandied about the name of this thug as a potential member of the panel. Here are some of the interview’s key passages:
D: The Goldstone Report is a defamation written by an evil, evil man. Goldstone is an evil man. No one should mince words about it. He allowed his Jewishness, the fact that his name is Goldstone, and that he has connections to Israel–he allowed himself to be used to give…a heksher, a certification of purity to a defamation.
It would be as if the Czar when he wrote the Protocols of the Elders of Zion he asked a prominent to Jew to edit the report and sign the Protocols in order to show that it had credibility.
Galey Tzahal: Do you hint Prof. Dershowitz that he is a moser, someone who betrays his own people?
D: Absolutely. There is a prayer that is said every day for people like him: La-malshinim al t’hi tikvah (“there shall be no hope for the betrayers”). He is a man who uses his language, his words against the Jewish people. I regarded him as a friend. I now regard his as an absolute traitor.
Eyal Nir, on my Facebook page makes a perceptive comment (Hebrew) about the Protocols: either Dershowitz is claiming that the Protocols were based on true testimony or he’s claiming that Goldstone is the same type of fraud as the Protocols. Perhaps Dersh wants us the believe Cast Lead never happened or all those Gazan civilians didn’t die? Can anyone doubt this man is a charlatan?
Later in the interview Dershowitz says he hasn’t been asked to serve on the committee. With mock modesty he ventured Justice Aharon Barak as a better candidate for the panel. Jerry Haber points out that when the Goldstone Report was first issued Defense Minister Barak approached Dershowitz and Barak to spearhead the campaign in Israel’s defense. You can see what Dersh’s reply was. Barak refused. And given this performance, how likely does anyone think it will be for Aharon Barak to answer this tainted call to serve?
If you understand Hebrew, also listen to the remainder of the interview with Shulamit Aloni who savages Dershowitz, calling him a “patriot nutcase” and Ehud Barak, saying she believes he deliberately wanted to kill Gaza civilians during Cast Lead. She also calls him “the most dangerous man in Israel” and a “Napoleon” (which is rendered even funnier by the fact that Barak is quite short).
Didi Remez translates part of the story by Maariv’s Ben Caspit which reveals that the Knesset’s foreign affairs and security committee will deliberate about New Israel Fund’s alleged role in collaborating with the Goldstone Report by passing incriminating IDF documents to it, thereby blackening Israel’s name in the process. These documents were forwarded to the Attorney General by the Shin Bet, requesting an investigation be launched.
In an earlier story on the affair, Caspit writes this incendiary claptrap about NIF (as reported in Noam Sheizaf’s blog post):
“Israel’s image is at an all-times low. International pressure is mounting, and with it the calls for boycott. All this was fueled by the Goldstone report, which was in itself fueled by Israeli sources. The funding for these sources is provided by, amongst others, the NIF. The question is whether the New Israeli Fund is indeed for Israel.”
Caspit mentions 300 grassroots and social organizations receiving funds through the NIF, and asks: “is all this activity just intended to serve as a front for radical subversive activity, acting against the very foundations of the state?”
Other Knesset members are proposing ending cooperation between all government agencies and NIF grantees (NIF funds various social justice, human rights and anti-poverty NGOs and initiatives in Israeli Jewish and Arab communities).
The far-right nationalist group, Im Tirtzu, is campaigning against NIF and Naomi Hazan, its Israeli chair, placing the ad displayed here in the Jerusalem Post. The Israeli right have demonstrated outside Hazan’s home dressed in in mock Hamas kefiyes and thanking her for her support.
Here are some of the shenanigans the Israeli right and intelligence services have planned for NIF:
..The materials exposed…are familiar to the IDF authorities and the legal authorities in Israel. Some of them were given half a year ago to the Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Avichai Mandelblit.He checked the material and gave it to the Atty. Gen., with a recommendation to open an official investigation. No such investigation has been made so far. The Shin Bet is also familiar with the material and the sensitive issue. Taking action against this is not simple because NIF is a registered association in the US. Also, it is noteworthy that a large part of the fund’s activities in Israel are devoted to social and public issues of the first order.
“It will be hard to connect this activity to political subversion,” said a security source, who is well familiar with the affair. “But on the other hand, there is clearly a worrisome pattern here that is causing Israel serious damage and helping its worst critics tie the IDF’s hands and undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish state in general and its right to defend itself in particular.”
Im Tirtzu is now planning to launch a large public campaign, both against the New Israel Fund in general and personally against its head, Prof. Naomi Hazan. Dozens of movement activists demonstrated last night in front of Hazan’s house dressed up as Hamas activists and carried signs thanking Hazan and the fund.
For the past few months and until tonight, I’d broken off contact and support for NIF over the treatment of fellow blogger, Shamai Leibowitz several years ago. Since Ben Caspit played an instrumental role in this affair as a conduit of the Shin Bet in smearing Shamai, it’s appropriate to bring it up now. Shamai came to the U.S. to study international human rights and receive a law degree from George Washington University. He came with the support of an NIF fellowship. Leibowitz taught a State Department language, culture and politics course for new U.S. diplomats being sent to Israel. That is, he taught the course until Aipac found out about it and conveyed this information to the Israeli government, which in turn leaked the information to Caspit, who published it as a juicy piece of gossip: defender of convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti teaching U.S. diplomats about Israeli culture. You get the drift. Shamai lost the job.
Later, Shamai made a speech endorsing the BDS movement in Cambridge which was also reported back to the powers that be in Israel. Such pressure was exerted that NIF dropped Shamai from the program. When I learned of this I was so angry I wrote to the then NIF director, Larry Garber, berating him for his betrayal of Shamai. He never responded. That’s when I cut my ties to NIF.
But as far as I’m concerned, the Israeli power structure is out to castrate NIF and I simply won’t allow it to happen. It’s all hands on deck. Do not let this ship go down.
Those of you who follow the Israeli media closely should note the role that Ben Caspit is playing in this little escapade. Some journalists’ interests are so closely allied with the security services their salaries might as well be paid by them. Caspit is one such.
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