Thursday, May 26, 2011

B'Tselem: The World's Most Destructive Anti-Israel Organization

A really important piece at the new Commentary, from Noah Pollak, "The B'Tselem Witch Trials." Grab a cup of coffee. In fact, you might want to print this one for reference. I'd have to post extremely long excerpts not to do damage to the argument, but two parts stuck out for me in particular. One is the discussion of Anat Biletzsky, a Professor of Philosophy at Tel Aviv University and Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. Here's a passage, and this is even segmented:

Biletzky’s activism reached its apogee in 2004, when she helped write what is known as the “Olga Document,” a rambling tract named for the location in Israel where it was written. Israel, the letter says, is a “death trap” and “the biggest ghetto in the entire history of the Jews”; “military operations and wars has [sic] become the life-support drug of Israel’s Jews.” It goes on to state that “we are living in a benighted colonial reality—in the heart of darkness”; and that Israel seems “determined to pulverize the Palestinian people to dust” by subjecting them to “the nightmare of apartheid, the burden of humiliation and the demons of destruction employed by Israel unremittingly, day and night, for 37 years.” Out of “racist arrogance,” the document claims, Israelis across the political spectrum “depict the Palestinians as subhuman.”

The Olga Document continues: “We are united in a critique of Zionism, based as it is on refusal to acknowledge the indigenous people of this country and on denial of their rights, on dispossession of their lands, and on adoption of separation as a fundamental principle and way of life.” Besides adopting the self-evidently racist claim that only Arabs are “indigenous” to the land of Israel, Biletzky also called for the repeal of all laws and the end of all practices that make Israel a Jewish state. This, she said, along with creating an Arab majority in Israel through the Palestinian “right of return,” would finally absolve Jews of the moral stain that is Israel.

Biletzky has also acknowledged that she has been working to end Israel as a Jewish state since the late 1960s. She stated that “Israel [today] is like the Nazis or like Germany in ’34” and that life for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza “is something that I do not hesitate to call a concentration camp.”

Biletzky is not merely an apologist for terrorism. At times, she has given terrorists moral support, as she did in the case of Azmi Bishara. He was a member of the Knesset from the Balad Party, an anti-Zionist Arab faction. In 2006, Bishara fled Israel after coming under investigation for espionage and high treason. When the gag order on the case was lifted in May 2007, it was revealed that Bishara had acted as a paid informant for Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War, apparently helping the group select targets in Israel for missile attacks. It was also discovered that he had stolen millions of shekels from Arab charities. Biletzky responded to these devastating revelations by publishing a statement of solidarity in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that read, in its entirety, “Azmi Bishara—we are brethren.”

Throughout her history of apologetics for violence and terrorism against Israel’s Jews, as well as her advocacy for the dismantling of the Jewish state, Biletzky has always been called a human-rights activist. For reasons that may be disturbing to contemplate, the journalists who eagerly report her organization’s accusations against Israel have never taken her biases into consideration when assessing the veracity of B’Tselem’s accusations. Most telling of all, perhaps, at no point did members of B’Tselem itself—its board, its employees, or its army of supporters—protest the extremism in its own ranks.
Also, Pollak's conclusion answers some questions relating to the development of the international campaign of delegitimation against Israel:
The story of those Israeli Jews who have made careers out of attacking Israel’s right to exist, such as Biletzky and [Oren] Yiftachel, illustrates the degradation of the once mighty Israeli peace movement. Originally, the movement sought legitimacy and prominence in Israeli politics, and received it for a time—and because it was part of the political process, it was constrained by the need for electoral support and popular legitimacy. Yet the collapse of the Oslo Accords in 2000 and the Palestinian terror war that followed presented the peace movement with an existential crisis: With whom, exactly, were Israelis supposed to make peace? The withdrawals from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza five years later, and the entrenchment in the vacated territory of Iranian-backed terrorist groups, further disillusioned Israelis and called into question the central proposition of the peace movement: if Israel makes the right concessions, peace will follow. And so, over the past 15 years, the peace movement has fallen from a position of influence in Israeli politics to one, today, of irrelevance, an anachronism that no longer has realistic answers to Israel’s problems.

What remains of the peace movement is a white-hot core of activists who refuse to acknowledge their failure and yet cannot gracefully recede from the political stage. They have discovered an innovative formula for rebuilding their political relevance completely outside the democratic political arena: reconstitute themselves as NGOs and conceal their political agenda in the apolitical rhetoric of human rights and international law. In this guise, the peace movement no longer has any need to win elections or offer a serious platform for governance. The NGOs instead position themselves as a blunt opposition force working against mainstream Israeli society, which is viewed as unsophisticated, provincial, racist, and stricken with “security hysteria.” This “human-rights community” has thus not only opposed every consensus Israeli security measure—Operation Defensive Shield during the
intifada, the security fence to stop suicide bombers, the targeted killings of terror-group leaders, the Lebanon War, and the Gaza War—but has branded them war crimes and human-rights violations for which Israel should be punished.

In these circumstances, where there is no point in trying to succeed at the ballot box, leftist Israeli activism now directs itself internationally in the hopes that fomenting a narrative of Israeli criminality will invite enough sanction and condemnation from Europe, the United Nations, and America to force Israel to accede to the demands of these otherwise powerless radicals.

The policies they support would constitute nothing less than Zionism’s destruction. And they apparently have no compunction about seeking its destruction from without, since they have learned to their disappointment and rage that Israel is too strong a nation to allow itself to be destroyed from within.
The full article is here. At top is a recent B'Tselem video. The destruction of Israel. Once again, that's what all of this is about.

3 comments:

Norm said...

Donald,
Thanks for linking us to this article. Raised my blood pressure a few points but we need to know exactly who are our enemies.

Mr. Mcgranor said...

Do not give all the credit to the Left. We on the reactionary Right also oppose them--and i am not talking foreign fascism either.

Donald Douglas said...

Norm: I'm going to assign this article for my readings in international relations, my fall elective course.

Thanks for commenting.