Thursday, May 27, 2010
Sink the Bismarck, er, uh, we mean the “Rachel Corrie”!!!
A Good title would be: Sink the Bismarck, er, uh, we mean the "Rachel Corrie"!!!
(A lousy title: A chutzpa to Corrie's memory)
By JUSTUS REID WEINER AND ITAI ERES
Radical groups are hijacking her name for their purposes.
International "activists" are at it again. A nine-ship flotilla of "peace activists" is on its way from Turkey, Greece and other European countries toward the Gaza strip, laden with left-wingers and a variety of goods to supplement those available to Gaza residents. This represents the latest effort by a radical group known as the Free Gaza Movement (FGM). In an attempt to galvanize support and sympathy, and achieve a better result than the three earlier abortive attempts, the group has chosen to name the lead ship the Rachel Corrie.
For those who don't recall, Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American student activist killed in a tragic accident in 2003 while attempting to block an IDF bulldozer.
Corrie arrived in Israel as part of an independent study program during her senior year at Evergreen State College. It was there that Corrie first heard of going to Gaza with the loosely affiliated assortment of left-wing radicals known as the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Evergreen's faculty also displayed gross negligence in allowing her to spend a semester abroad, for course credit, in the West Bank and Gaza during the height of the second intifada. After a mere two days of ISM "training," Corrie and her fellow activist trainees were sent to the Rafah crossing, described by IDF spokesman Capt. Jacob Dellal as "the most dangerous area in the West Bank and Gaza."
Ironically however, Corrie is perhaps a more apt reference than the FGM organizers realize. The tragedy of her death is that it was completely avoidable. Moreover, her behavior, flouting local and international law, raises the question of what role, if any, small groups of extremist activists have in interfering in the counterterrorism measures of a democratic state.
Despite dishonest testimony by the ISM, subsequent developments revealed that the driver of the bulldozer likely couldn't even see Corrie. The most startling discovery was the recklessness of the ISM in dealing with its volunteers. They were encouraged to prevent the demolition of buildings and smuggling tunnels by using their bodies as shields against trucks and bulldozers. Although the volunteers were provided with visibility vests and megaphones, it was only a matter of time before the folly of the ISM led to catastrophic results.
If playing chicken with cars is suicidal, doing so with an armored bulldozer, more difficult to control and with less visibility, borders on insanity. Yet that is exactly what the ISM advocated, while making sure to record all their encounters for use in the event of just such an accident. As one of Corrie's colleagues stated, "Several times we had to dive away at the last moment in order to avoid being crushed. This continued for about two and a half hours."
WHILE THIS may not have been exactly what Evergreen College envisioned as Corrie's independent study, the ISM was complicit in these dangerous antics, having promoted activism that would "more directly challenge the Israeli military."
The ISM views its volunteers as pawns in a political game, fully aware that some gambits require the loss of a pawn. Corrie's death, a terrible accident for the IDF, became a propaganda weapon for the ISM.
ISM is an organization that recognizes a Palestinian "right" to resistance via "legitimate armed struggle." Its "accolades" include preventing IDF demolition of bomb-making factories and weapons-smuggling tunnels as well as the aiding, abetting and protecting of terrorists. In addition, the ISM also encouraged confrontational, reckless resistance by its international volunteers.
In 2002, in the midst of a violent takeover of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem by Palestinian terrorists, 10 ISM members ran in to act as human shields. The same year as Corrie's death, a popular bar in Tel Aviv, Mike's Place, was attacked by two suicide bombers who had had tea with ISM members only five days earlier.
The ISM's behavior is typical of such radical groups. Purporting to protect human rights, they are often callous toward human life in general. What legitimacy is warranted by NGOs that have no respect for the lives of their volunteers?
Additionally, these groups fail to recognize that Israel abides by both local and international law. It has a well-developed judicial system, with the authority and will to limit its executive and legislative branches, one that has already delineated Israel's commitments, obligations and rights in Gaza. The potential harm to local interests and stability caused by the audacious interference of a handful of people from other continents is tremendous. Individuals in Europe or North America may read about the plight of Palestinians in Gaza and wish to help, but chartering boats to sail to foreign waters is a misguided effort.
To promote their personal delusions, the ISM and FGM neglect any legal, judicial, diplomatic or otherwise politically palatable routes. While their personal risks are less than those taken by activists illegally entering Iran, North Korea or China, they still choose to waste public and private resources while violating domestic and international law.
The Rachel Corrie ironically represents a seaborne version of the organizational callousness and disregard that led to Rachel Corrie's death in 2003. With such dubious priorities, these activists continue to be a part of the problem, not a legitimate attempt at a peaceful solution. Instead of being embarrassed by their role in Corrie's death, these radical groups are hijacking her name for their current efforts to help Hamas dominate Gaza.
Let Rachel Corrie rest in peace.
Justus Weiner is an international human rights lawyer. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and an adjunct lecturer at the Hebrew University
2. That Bumsky, Chomsky
Thoughts On Israel's Chomsky 'Ban'
By: Steven Plaut
Date: Wednesday, May 26 2010
It seems the only nation not allowed to ban people with belligerent, racist or hostile political views is Israel. Recently, MIT professor Noam Chomsky was prevented by Israel from entering the country via Jordan. Chomsky was on his way to give an anti-Israel speech at a university in Ramallah in the West Bank. (Instead he gave the speech by videoconferencing from Jordan.)
Chomsky had been in Israel for visits before, and the "ban" was evidently nothing more than some bureaucratic glitch in the instructions to Israeli border passport checkers. Chomsky was invited at the Jordan River to enter the country through the Tel Aviv airport. This did not prevent a worldwide campaign of anti-Israel vilification by the usual crowd blasting Israel for "banning" Chomsky, complete with denunciations of "Israeli fascism."
Chomsky himself denounced the Israeli decision to block his entry as "Stalinism." To tell the truth, when I first heard that Chomsky accused Israel of Stalinism I assumed he meant it as a compliment. Chomsky has gone out of his way to defend Stalin and publishes his articles on all the best Stalinist websites.
Ironically, the bureaucratic glitch resulted in Israel's accidentally doing the right thing.
Just a few individuals have been prevented from entering Israel because of their ties to terrorists or their involvement in anti-Semitic or anti-Israel political activities. One of them was Norman Finkelstein, the hatemonger fired by DePaul University, who was banned from entering Israel a couple of years back due to his public championing of Hizbullah terrorists.
Another was Richard Falk, the retired Princeton propagandist who's made a career out of denouncing Israelis as Nazis. Falk was denied entry into Israel as a UN "investigator," though earlier he had been allowed to enter as a private citizen.
In Chomsky we have someone who has pow-wowed with Hizbullah terrorists and promoted Holocaust deniers. Like Finkelstein and Falk, Chomsky has long led the campaign to boycott and "divest" from Israel.
The very same people who whined about Israel's refusing Chomsky entry into the country to engage in anti-Israel agitation were strangely silent when Britain banned 16 people on grounds they held politically incorrect opinions. These included radio host Michael Savage. Before that the UK banned Rev. Fred Phelps from entering the country because he is anti-gay. Few on the enlightened Left denounced the UK for fascism for those decisions.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders, a candidate for prime minister of the Netherlands, was barred from entering the UK because of his opinions. The Brits have banned a host of Israelis from entering their country, including activist Moshe Feiglin. Not a single Israeli leftist tearing out hair at the barring of Chomsky has spoken out against that.
The United States has banned all sorts of people, not limited to those suspected of having ties to terror groups. In some cases it was because of their political views. Journalist Robert Fisk was banned for that reason. Professor John Milios from Greece was banned. Tariq Ramadan, the darling of the pro-jihad Left, was barred until recently from both the U.S. and France.
Adam Habib, professor of political science and deputy vice chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, was barred from entering the U.S. for three years. Liberian President Charles Taylor and other leading Liberians were banned from entering the U.S. because of their support for rebels in Sierra Leone. Canada has also banned people because of their views or behavior, most famously George Galloway, the British member of Parliament who enjoyed close ties to Saddam Hussein.
Germany, Austria and some other European countries routinely ban neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers from entering their territories and sometimes jail them when they enter.
In the late 1970s, a professor of literature at the University of Lyon named Robert Faurisson wrote two letters to Le Monde claiming the existence of gas chambers in concentration camps used by the Nazis to exterminate Jews was a hoax. Faurisson was convicted of Holocaust denial and hate speech in two trials in France, in 1983 and 1990.
Faurisson has also suggested that the diary of Anne Frank is a Zionist forgery and has spent much of his career smearing Nobel Prize-winning Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
Noam Chomsky has long been Faurisson's most prominent defender. In the 1980s he signed a petition denying Faurisson was an anti-Semite and saluting Faurisson as a "respected professor."
In defending Faurisson, Chomsky wrote: "I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers or even denial of the Holocaust. Nor would there be anti-Semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the Holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of anti-Semitic implications in Faurisson's work."
Personally, I would have let Chomsky enter Israel and then immediately arrested him for Holocaust denial (if not the Holocaust of the Jews then surely the genocide against Cambodians). Holocaust denial is illegal in Israel, though the law is never enforced against anyone, even Arab politicians. Indicting Chomsky would have made such a wonderful legal precedent.