Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Friday, 19 February 2010

Defend With Confidence

The Jew-hating anti-Israel industry has been in full swing since the release of Richard Goldstone's biased report, slamming Israel for daring to defend itself from terrorist attacks coming from 'Aza.  Unfortunately, on the side of the defence there are two groups, not one as there should be to provide a unifed defence of Israel.
The first group is the one that knows that Israel had every right to level the entire 'Aza strip in retaliation for the thousands of rockets fired deliberately at civilian targets from that large open sewer.  They know the facts and have no hesitation to point out that Israel not only committed no war crimes but exercised incredible self-restraint in the fact of  an enemy that did everything it could to maximize the death count of its own civilians.
The second group knows all this is true but isn't quite as confidence.  They say that Israel had a right to retaliate against the attacks from 'Aza but put too much stock in Arab lies about what happened during the incursion and wonder: were we moral enough during that war?  Might we have committed some crimes?
Thus when the newest edition of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Goldstone report, was released, the two groups reacted predictably.  The first dismissed it as a pack of lies not worth the paper it was written on.  The second studied it and wondered if any of it was really true.
Imagine the following: A, a wild punk, attacks B on the street.  B, a trained martial artist, used his fighting skills to defend himself and then gives a couple of quick blows to A to convince him not to continue the altercation.  By any reasonable perspective, B is beyond reproach.  Instead of killing his opponent as he could have easily done, he did what he could to end matters quickly and with minimal damage.
Along comes Goldstone to write his report.  This is what he writes: A was bothering B.  B, a superior fighter, attacked A all out of proportion.  The end.
In the wake of the Goldstone report, Jew hating groups led and funded by the New Israel Fund have gone out of their way to villianize Israel.  This being the post-Zionist age, none of these groups openly admit they hate Jews and Israel.  Some, like J Street, profess to be quite pro-Israelis although a search for any statements defending Israel in their repertoire is one of futility.  Nevertheless they have put great effort into demonizing our State for their own ends.
Fortunately, a group called Im Tirtzi has pulled the pants down on the New Israel Fund and its anti-Israel activities.  In a detailed report, it shows how the NIF has funded anti-Jewish and anti-Israel groups whose reason for being is to attack Israel, aiding and abetting the enemies of the Jewish people.
Some, like Shmuel Rosner, aren't so confident in their defence of Israel and when Im Tirtzu is able to show who the treasonous amongst us are, they pull back and try to minimize the damage to the enemy the pro-Israel crowd as wrought.
Others, like Rav Yonasan Rosenblum, pull no punches when it comes to defending Israel and pointing out that wishy washy allies are no allies at all:
The NIF would prefer its donors to think that it is involved in social welfare projects or pushing religious pluralism. It tells donors that it does not fund groups that call for disinvestment or boycotts of Israel, or who negate the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, or which advocate the Palestinian right of return, or which engage in propaganda. Each of these claims is false. Im Tirzu shone a light on the activities of the NIF that the organization would rather hide. But increasing public knowledge is precisely what the marketplace of ideas is supposed to do.
Many on the Left employ a double standard concerning free speech. They want their own speech as advocates or professors immunized from criticism – thus Professor Newman's outrage at groups, such as Campus Watch, which publicize what professors say in and outside of the classroom. On the other hand, they develop an elaborate set of rules to disallow the speech of others as incitement, Islamophobic, homophobic, sexist, racist, or McCarthyite.
Neve Gordon is an egregious example. He publishes a widely disseminated op-ed in the Los Angeles Times calling for a boycott of Israel, but whines when others point out what kind of people head Ben-Gurion University's Political Science Department and files libel suits to silence critics. Similary, NIF's CEO Larry Garber equated criticism of NIF's funding of organizations that call for an end to Israel as a Jewish state with "contemplate[ing] ethnic cleansing."
Finally, the Goldstone Report is a crucial public issue demanding the most robus public debate. The Goldstone findings place Israel in an intolerable bind, unable to defend itself. In his Brandeis debate with Dore Gold, Goldstone could provide no answer to Gold's question: What should Israel do in response to rocket attacks? If every Israeli response to terrorists using civilian populations as a shield is automatically labeled a "war crime" or "disproportionate," Israel is left with the unpalatable choice between swallowing terror attacks or risking international condemnation and possible sanctions. All those concerned with Israel's security have a right to know who laid the groundwork for Goldstone.
SHMUEL ROSNER, also writing in these pages, did not accuse Im Tirzu of stifling free speech. He did, however, describe Im Tirzu's campaign as "ugly, brutal and quite disgusting." Presumably, he was referring to the billboards and newspaper ads depicting Chazan with a horn coming out of her head (a visual pun on the identity of the Hebrew word for fund and that for horn). Those ads undoubtedly succeeded in drawing much more media attention to Im Tirzu's thoroughly researched 135-page report.
For those who still believe that Richard Goldstone meant well with his report, that at worse he was simply assuaging his liberal Jewish conscience by sticking up for the "underdog", there is a final nail in the casket for such incorrect beliefs.  A friend of mine (who actually attended the same school in South Africa as Goldstone) pointed me in the direction of an excellent open letter to Goldstone, one which undermines any claims at a sincere desire to see justice performed. 
The letter writer, a schoolmate of Goldstone's, meticulously builds his case based on openly known facts as well as personal recollections.  His conclusions?
My final conclusions are indeed very sad ones. From all of the above, it is logically obvious that because of all your brilliant qualities, attention to detail, shrewdness etc:
1. You know and understand that your report is null and void.
2. You know exactly that I am right about the Arab truth, Arab facts and Arab information.
3. You know that the I.D.F. is the most moral army in the world.
4. You know that we did our best to avoid civilian casualties.
5. You know that our Israeli cause is just.
6. You know that everything that so many people have emailed to you is correct.
7. You know that your desire to become Secretary General of the U.N. is so over-powering that you do not care about Israel or her survival.
8. In other words, you are the instigator, architect and the driving force about everything in your report ie: the facts have become Goldstone facts the same as Arab facts, the information has become Goldstone information the same as Arab information, the truth has become Goldstone truth the same as Arab truth.
9. You have created in your name a Hamas report that they cannot do.
Now, in all of this there is the inevitable rebuttal: But you're saying it's forbidden to criticize Israel!  Of course it's not.  Criticizing Israel in terms of economic policies, the state of its health care system, the wealth gap between the richest and poorest, all those are legitimate targets.  Twisting facts and then damning Israel for defending itself from attack is not.
The Goldstone report is the modern day equivalent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and those who give any credence to it are haters of the Jewish people.


Izgad said...

I would not compare the Goldstone report to the Protocols. I would see it more as the Munich agreement. You, Czechoslovakia, an innocent country victimized by Nazi aggression must, for the sake of world peace, agree to accept a narrative in which you are now the aggressors and as such must make tactical concessions which guarantees your destruction.

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Have you ever read Ephraim Kishon's "The Mark of Cain"? He has a short story in there that's particularily brilliant. It starts off with a historical account of the negotiations leading to the Munich agreement but as the story goes on, he changes the names of the players, one at a time, to contemporary American, Russian and Israeli politicians of the day until finally you realize exactly what you just said.

Shalmo said...

by Jonathan Cook - Nazareth:

The Israeli government and its right-wing supporters have been waging a 'McCarthyite' campaign against human-rights groups by blaming them for the barrage of international criticism that has followed Israel’s attack on Gaza a year ago, critics say.

In a sign of the growing backlash against the human-rights community, the cabinet backed a bill last week that, if passed, will jail senior officials from the country’s peace-related organisations should they fail to meet tough new registration conditions.

The measure is a response to claims by right-wing lobbyists that Israel’s human-rights advocates supplied much of the damaging evidence of war crimes cited by Judge Richard Goldstone in his UN-commissioned report into Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

Human-rights groups funded by foreign donors, such as the European Union, would be required to register as political bodies and meet other demands for “transparency”.

Popular support for the clampdown was revealed in a poll published last week showing that 57 per cent of Israeli Jews believed “national-security” issues should trump human rights.

In a related move, right-wing groups have launched a campaign of vilification against Naomi Chazan, the Israeli head of an American Jewish donor body called the New Israel Fund (NIF) that channels money to Israeli social justice groups. The NIF is accused of funding the Israeli organisations Mr Goldstone consulted for his report.

Billboard posters around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and a newspaper advertising campaign, show a caricature of Ms Chazan with a horn growing from her forehead under the title “Naomi-Goldstone-Chazan”.

“We are seeing the evaporation of the last freedoms of speech and organisation in Israel,” said Amal Jamal, head of politics at Tel Aviv University and the director of Ilam, a media-rights organisation that would be targeted by the new legislation. The Israeli political system, he added, was being transformed into a “totalitarian democracy”.

Leading the charge against human-rights groups -- most of which are officially described as “non-governmental organisations” -- has been a self-styled “watchdog group” known as NGO Monitor. Its activities have won support from the government following the international censure faced by Israel for its attack on Gaza.

The bill, approved by a ministerial committee last week, is the product of a conference staged in the parliament in December by Gerald Steinberg, NGO Monitor’s director, and a settler-backed organisation known as the Institute of Zionist Strategies.

A professor at Bar Ilan University, Prof Steinberg presented a report to MPs and ministers that referred to peace groups as “Trojan horses” and argued for imposing constraints on funding from European governments and the NIF.

In a statement at the time, Prof Steinberg said: “For over a decade European governments have been manipulating Israeli politics and promoting demonisation by funding a narrow group of favored non-governmental organisations.”

He has reserved special criticism for advocacy groups for the country’s Arab minority and for Jewish groups opposing the occupation, accusing both of promoting an image of Israel as an “apartheid” state that carries out “war crimes” and “ethnic cleansing”.

According to his report, 16 Israeli peace NGOs received $8 million in European funding in the previous three years.

Shalmo said...

Pressure has been building in the government for action. This month Yuli Edelstein, the diaspora affairs minister and a member of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, told reporters the cabinet had been “concerned for a time with a number of groups under the guise of NGOs that are funded by foreign agents”.

One of the MPs who participated in December’s conference, Zeev Elkin, also of Likud, initiated the legislation.

Although the bill will need to pass a vote of the parliament, backing from the government has dramatically increased its chances of success.

According to the legislation, human-rights groups will have to satisfy a long list of new conditions. They include: registering as political bodies; submitting ID numbers and addresses for all activists; providing detailed accounts of all donations from overseas and the purposes to which they will be put; and declaring the support of foreign countries every time an activist makes a speech or the organisation stages an event.

Senior officials in NGOs that fail to meet the requirements face up to a year in jail.

Hagai Elad, head of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, the country’s largest human-rights law centre, said there was “a very hostile political climate” and that freedoms were being attacked “one step at a time”.

“These are classic McCarthy techniques, portraying our organisations as enemies of the state and suggesting that we are aiding Hamas and terror groups.”

He added that NGOs were heavily regulated under Israeli law. “Which leaves me with a troubling question: given that we are already transparent, what is the real motivation behind this legislation?”

Caught in the middle of the campaign against the NGOs has been Ms Chazan, a former dovish MP.

Maariv, a populist newspaper, published a report last month by a right-wing group called Im Tirtzu that blamed Ms Chazan and the NIF for funding human-rights groups responsible for 90 per cent of the criticisms of Israel contained in the Goldstone Report that were from non-official sources.

A counter-report last week suggested that in reality only about 4 per cent of the citations were from NIF-funded groups, and many were unrelated to the Gaza operation.

But the attack on Ms Chazan has rapidly gained traction, with commentators denouncing her in the media and the derogatory billboard posters springing up across the country.

The campaign against the NIF was backed this month by a petition signed by a long list of former generals, including Giora Eiland, the previous head of the National Security Council, and Doron Almog, a recent chief of the army’s southern command.

Ms Chazan has also been sacked by the right-wing Jerusalem Post newspaper after 14 years serving as one of its few liberal columnists, while an article accusing Ms Chazan of “serving the agenda of Iran and Hamas” was distributed to foreign journalists by the Government Press Office.

Ms Chazan said: “They’re using me to attack, in the most blatant way, the basic principles of democracy.”

NIF has pointed out that Im Tirtzu’s funders include Christians United for Israel, a group led by pastor John Hagee, who made the headlines in the US presidential race in 2008 when in a speech supporting contender John McCain he said “Hitler was fulfilling God’s will”.


Garnel Ironheart said...

Blah, blah, blah. When the Oslo Discords were signed, the Israeli left spared no effect in doing the exact same things. It's only now that they're on the out that the tactics they had no problem with are suddenly unacceptable.
Good for the goose, good for the gander.

Shalmo said...

You started this post by lamenting about the so-called Jew-hating anti-Israel industry. Now that I have shown that the majority of the criticism with the Goldstone report is coming from within Israel,by JEWISH Israel citizens, you have turned tail into a demonization against the "left".

What is the left anyway? Or for that matter what is the Jew-hating anti-Israel industry you keep pestering us about?

These names mean absolutely nothing. They are terms you have invented to stock in anyone who does not agree with the zio-fascist agenda, even though the majority lauching the criticism are Jews themselves.

You don't speak for Jews Garnel, you may speak for hyper zionists like yourself, but not all Jews fit that category.

And don't bother with the self-hating Jew canard. Its 2010 and that card became meaningless a long long time ago

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

You're right and you're wrong, loser-boy.

You're right, Self-hating is a lousy term. Truth is, you love yourself a great deal. You're a Jew-hater, then.

you're wrong: you haven't convincingly me anything, not once in all your overlong posts full of stock anti-Jewish propaganda mixed with a smattering of outright lies and historical revisionism. You haven't once made a single point stick. You just keep repeating the same stock falsehoods on the assumption, like your inspiration Herman Goebels, that if you say the same thing enough times and ignore the refutations to your point that people will simply accept your version as the truth.

but we're called a stiff necked people for a reason.

Izgad said...

"Herman Goebels"