Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Enemy Within - Israel's Fifth Column

1. http://www.jewishmediaresources.com/article/974/
The Enemy Within
by Jonathan Rosenblum
Yated Ne'eman
June 26, 2006

Long ago the prophet Yeshaya warned, "Your ruiners and destroyers will
come from amongst you" (49:17). It is doubtful whether that the truth of
those words has ever been more evident than today.

Last week the leaders of the Presbyterian Church, meeting in Birmingham,
Alabama, engaged in three days of searching debate over whether to rescind
a 2004 resolution calling for divestment from Israel. Similar resolutions
have been passed in recent years by the Anglican Church of England and the
American Episcopalian Church.

Divestment resolutions are of immense propaganda value because they embed
in the public mind a connection between Israel and the former apartheid
regime of South Africa, against which divestment was pursued with great
effect. Fear of being labeled an apartheid regime . with a minority of
Jews ruling over a majority Arab population . was a major impetus behind
Ariel Sharon.s decision to withdraw from Gaza.

Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein was one of two representatives of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center in Birmingham lobbying for rescission. He had expected a
large Palestinian presence there as well, given the importance of the

The Palestinians, however, were largely absent. They were not needed. In
their place were dozens of Jews lobbying in favor of retaining the
divestment resolution: Tikkun, Machsom Watch (the organization in which
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.s daughter Dana is active), Jewish Voice for
Peace. Norman Finkelstein, who has been dubbed the Jewish David Irving,
and whose book The Holocaust Industry was called by a New York Times
reviewer a new variation on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was there
as well, generously offering his latest screed against Israel to every

Dr. Yehuda Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel
Pearl, who identifies himself as a man of the Left, was stunned by the
vitriol heaped on Israel by these Jews. His voice quivering with passion,
he asked them: If you consider Israel.s behavior too harsh, why don.t you
go to Israel and demonstrate at IDF headquarters, where you might have
some effect. But the only beneficiaries of retaining the divestment
resolution here will be those who killed my son.

Fortunately, the Jewish haters of Israel did not prevail. A new resolution
passed, which not only apologized to the Jewish community for the hurt
caused by the earlier resolution and termed the process by which it was
adopted deeply flawed, but removed any mention of divestment. (To be sure
the new resolution was far from perfect; it called for Israel to dismantle
the security fence beyond the 1967 borders, which it called Palestinian

THE LEAD ROLE PLAYED BY JEWS in the attack on Israel was part of a larger
pattern. The various resolutions in favor of an academic boycott of
Israeli universities and academics passed in recent years by British
academic unions were, in large part, the brainchild of Haifa University
Professor Ilan Pappe, and its main proponents in England were Jewish
professors Stephen and Jacquelyn Rose.

When the Ontario branch of Canada.s largest union voted recently to
boycott Israel, it was privileged to receive a letter of support from 25
Israeli academics, most of them currently teaching at Israeli academic
institutions, expressing their support for "your courageous initiative and
fervent hope that it will set an example for many others to follow."

The Western press feels little need to check itself when reporting from
Israel because it can always find support for any charges it makes, no
matter how preposterous, in the Israeli media itself. At international
conferences to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Israeli
"representatives" . usually someone like Gideon Levy or Amira Hass from
Haaretz . consistently outdo their Palestinian counterparts in their
condemnations of Israel.

Among the major sources for the notorious paper by Harvard Professor
Stephen Walt and University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer, in
which they charged that American foreign policy had been kidnapped by the
"Israel Lobby" were Israeli journalists and academics. What Israeli Jews
say about Israel is perceived as carrying special force, no matter how
unsupported, because surely no Jew or Israeli would say anything bad about
Israel unless it were true.

Ha.aretz publisher Amos Schocken does not lag far behind his star
reporters. After the Knesset passed a law denying residency to
Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens . i.e., to citizens of a
quasi-state at open war with Israel . he wrote in Ha.aretz that Israel had
shown itself to be an "apartheid state," that has no interest in peace
with its neighbors.

Nor do the intemperate attacks on Israel come exclusively from academics
and fringe figures. Avraham Burg, former chairman of the Jewish Agency,
Speaker of the Knesset, and Chairman of the Labor Party, published a piece
in 2003 in numerous international papers, in which he placed the entire
onus on Israel for the failure to achieve peace. He mentioned Palestinian
suicide bombers only to express his understanding: "Having ceased to care
about the children of the Palestinians, [Israel] should not be surprised
when they come full of hatred and blow themselves up in the centers of
Israeli escapism."

After Yasir Arafat turned down a Palestinian state at Camp David and
launched a new intifada against Israeli, Israel Prize winner and former
Education Minister Shulamit Aloni, wrote an article in Le Monde in which
she had not one word of criticism for the Palestinians and not one good
word to say about Israel.

Neve Gordon deserves mention. At a time when Yasir Arafat was offering a
safe haven in his Ramallah compound to the murderers of Minister Rehavam
Ze.evi, Gordon violated an army order and entered the compound to serve as
a human shield for Arafat, along with 250 members of the infamous
International Solidarity Movement. Once there he was photographed holding
hands triumphantly aloft with Arafat, and telling journalists that charges
of Arafat.s involvement in terrorism against Israel were Israeli

Gordon is a frequent critic of Israel.s "fascism" and "state terror." And
he once wrote a letter to Ha.aretz justifying Palestinian terrorism
against Israeli civilians as the only language that Israel and Ehud Barak

Gordon has led a campaign falsely accusing his former army commander, Gaza
Brigade Commander Gen. Aviv Kochavi, of "war crimes." As a consequence,
Kochavi was warned by the IDF not to take up advanced studies at the Royal
College of Defense Studies in England, out of fear of a "war crimes"
prosecution. Gordon formerly headed an organization called Physicians for
Human Rights (though he is not a doctor), whose website carries cartoons
of Israelis oppressing Palestinians, which Bar-Ilan University.s Gerald
Steinberg writes, can only be characterized as "anti-Semitic."

Finally, Gordon is an ardent supporter of the aforementioned Norman
Finkelstein, whose works he views as in the finest tradition of the
Biblical prophets, afra l.puma. Gordon.s laudatory reviews of
Finkelstein.s book The Holocaust Industry are carried on various neo-Nazi
and Islamist sites, including that of Ernst Zundel, who was deported from
Canada to stand trial in Germany for Holocaust denial. In that book,
Finkelstein argues that the numbers of those killed in the Holocaust are
grossly exaggerated, as part of a systematic manipulation by world Jewry
to deflect criticism of Israel.s "racist" and "Nazi" treatment of

Gordon stands for the proposition that as far as the Israeli legal system
in concerned there is no such thing as traitorous speech. On the other
hand, calling such speech by its name may be libelous. While Gordon does
not exactly restrain his tongue or his pen, he would prefer others to
restrain theirs when speaking about him. Thus he slapped a libel suit on
Haifa University economics professor Steven Plaut, for whom Israeli.s
anti-Israel academics are something of a pet peeve and who devotes much
time to exposing and ridiculing their antics.

Gordon chose the venue for his libel suit with care. Even though he lives
in Jerusalem, and Plaut in Haifa, he sued in Nazareth, where he had the
best chance of drawing an Arab judge. His strategy was a reprise of that
used by Southerners at the height of the American civil rights movement in
the .60s to bankrupt the civil rights organizations and their leaders with
a series libel suits tried before red-neck Southern juries in places like

The United States Supreme Court put an end to the practice in the 1964
case of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which made it virtually impossible
for a public figure to sue for libel absent a showing of reckless
disregard for the truth. That expressions of opinion were beyond the reach
of libel law did not even need stating.

Unfortunately, Israel.s protections of free speech lag considerably behind
those of the United States. Nazareth proved to be Gordon.s Alabama; he
drew the Arab judge he sought. And she did not disappoint. She socked
Professor Plaut with an 80,000 shekel judgment plus 15,000 shekels in
court costs.

The decision bordered on the unbelievable. Part of the judgment was based
on a satirical e-mail sent to Gordon consoling him on the death in a
targeted killing of Hamas. leading bomb maker. Plaut denied that he had
written the e-mail, and testified that he had done nothing more than
forward it to his e-mail list. There was no evidence to the contrary.
Nevertheless the satiric joke . a clear expression of opinion -- was
deemed libelous.

Judge Reem Nadaff also found a posting by Plaut where he described
Gordon.s scholarly publications as paltry to be libelous. Yet that
description was unquestionably true at the time made. (That it is no
longer true is more a testament to the standards of left-wing scholarly
journals than to Gordon.s scholarship.) Judge Nadaff nevertheless entered
judgment against Plaut for failing to remove the offending articles from
various websites later, when the description no longer applied . a novel

Most of Nadaff.s opinion focused on discussion of two headlines of
articles written by Plaut. She emphasized the particular power packed by a
headline, even though neither of the headlines in question . "Haaretz
promotes Jews for Hitler" and "Judenrat for Peace" . even mentioned Gordon
by name.

In the first article Plaut blasted Ha.aretz for picking Gordon to review
Norman Finkelstein.s The Holocaust Industry and then printing his
laudatory review. Plaut denied even writing the headline in question,
which he said was composed by an editor. In any event, "the Jews for
Hitler" being promoted by Ha.aretz obviously referred to Finkelstein,
whose book Ha.aretz was criticized for reviewing favorably. Contrary to
what Judge Nadaff wrote, the plural "Jews" did not necessarily include
Gordon. Plaut mentioned some other lovely Jews in the piece, including
Noam Chomsky and the editors of Tikkun magazine. Moreover, the most
reasonable understanding of the headline is that "Jews for Hitler" is a
metaphoric club of which Finkelstein is the prime example.

Along the way, Judge Nadaff wrote a mini-essay on how discussion of the
Holocaust is taboo in Israel and anyone who questions the received
orthodoxy is subjected to vicious condemnation. She seemed to view it as
her duty to defend forms of Holocaust denial in Israel by hitting those
who express contempt for the deniers with libel judgments.

"Judenrat for Peace" savaged Gordon for his visit to Arafat.s Ramallah
compound. Nadaff read the title as a literal statement that Gordon . who
was not mentioned by name in the title . was a collaborator with Hitler in
his plans to destroy the Jewish people. Yet Plaut was clearly engaging in
a Holocaust metaphor: Just as during the Holocaust the Judenrat assisted
in the killing of their fellow Jews, so do Gordon and his ilk today. While
that may not dovetail with Judge Nadaff.s estimate of Arafat, evidence of
his role in financing in directing terror attacks against Israeli Jews
right up until his death is hardly in short supply.

Judge Nadaff basically created a new rule -- Holocaust metaphors are
beyond the pale . ignoring in the process plenty of Israeli case law to
the contrary, as well as much case law to the effect that public figures,
like Gordon, must expect to be subject to the harshest criticism.

The only consolation in Judge Nadaff.s astounding opinion is the
revelation that not all the "destroyers" come for within.

2. Quote of the day: "I wish 10 months ago they had hit a strategic
facility -then we would not be in this mess"

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 2 July 2006

"I wish 10 months ago they [AL: the Palestinians] had hit a strategic
facility in Ashkelon - then we would have taken action and we would not be
in this mess today."
Former commander of Israel's Southern Command, reserve Maj. Gen. Yom-Tov
Samia, commenting on the situation in the Gaza Strip today in a live
interview broadcast on Israel Radio this morning

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

3. http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2006/06/29/pf-
EDITORIAL: It's time to stand with Israel

4. Calling a Treasonous Spade a Spade:

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