Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The American Left takes Lessons in McCarthyism from the anti-democratic Israeli Left
– discovers the blood libel:
The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel
Those who purport to care about the tenor of political discourse don't
help civil debate when they seize on any pretext to call their
political opponents accomplices to murder.
By GLENN HARLAN REYNOLDS
Shortly after November's electoral defeat for the Democrats, pollster
Mark Penn appeared on Chris Matthews's TV show and remarked that what
President Obama needed to reconnect with the American people was
another Oklahoma City bombing. To judge from the reaction to
Saturday's tragic shootings in Arizona, many on the left (and in the
press) agree, and for a while hoped that Jared Lee Loughner's killing
spree might fill the bill.
With only the barest outline of events available, pundits and
reporters seemed to agree that the massacre had to be the fault of the
tea party movement in general, and of Sarah Palin in particular. Why?
Because they had created, in New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's
words, a "climate of hate."
Pima County, AZ Sheriff Clarence Dupnik held a press conference during
which he blamed vitriolic political rhetoric for provoking the
mentally unstable, and lamented Arizona's becoming the "mecca of
prejudice and bigotry." Video courtesy of AFP.
The critics were a bit short on particulars as to what that meant.
Mrs. Palin has used some martial metaphors—"lock and load"—and talked
about "targeting" opponents. But as media writer Howard Kurtz noted in
The Daily Beast, such metaphors are common in politics. Palin critic
Markos Moulitsas, on his Daily Kos blog, had even included Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords's district on a list of congressional districts
"bullseyed" for primary challenges. When Democrats use language like
this—or even harsher language like Mr. Obama's famous remark, in
Philadelphia during the 2008 campaign, "If they bring a knife to the
fight, we bring a gun"—it's just evidence of high spirits, apparently.
But if Republicans do it, it somehow creates a climate of hate.
There's a climate of hate out there, all right, but it doesn't derive
from the innocuous use of political clichés. And former Gov. Palin and
the tea party movement are more the targets than the source.
Jared Lee Loughner, the man suspected of a shooting spree that killed
a Federal Judge and critically wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle
Giffords, had left a trail of online videos in which he railed against
the government. WSJ's Neil Hickey reports.
American journalists know how to be exquisitely sensitive when they
want to be. As the Washington Examiner's Byron York pointed out on
Sunday, after Major Nidal Hasan shot up Fort Hood while shouting
"Allahu Akhbar!" the press was full of cautions about not drawing
premature conclusions about a connection to Islamist terrorism.
"Where," asked Mr. York, "was that caution after the shootings in
Set aside as inconvenient, apparently. There was no waiting for the
facts on Saturday. Likewise, last May New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
and CBS anchor Katie Couric speculated, without any evidence, that the
Times Square bomber might be a tea partier upset with the ObamaCare
So as the usual talking heads begin their "have you no decency?"
routine aimed at talk radio and Republican politicians, perhaps we
should turn the question around. Where is the decency in blood libel?
To paraphrase Justice Cardozo ("proof of negligence in the air, so to
speak, will not do"), there is no such thing as responsibility in the
air. Those who try to connect Sarah Palin and other political figures
with whom they disagree to the shootings in Arizona use attacks on
"rhetoric" and a "climate of hate" to obscure their own dishonesty in
trying to imply responsibility where none exists. But the dishonesty
To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of
Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a)
asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which
based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b)
you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to
score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?
I understand the desperation that Democrats must feel after taking a
historic beating in the midterm elections and seeing the popularity of
ObamaCare plummet while voters flee the party in droves. But those who
purport to care about the health of our political community
demonstrate precious little actual concern for America's political
well-being when they seize on any pretext, however flimsy, to call
their political opponents accomplices to murder.
Where is the decency in that?
Mr. Reynolds is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee. He
hosts "InstaVision" on PJTV.
Israeli anti-democratic leftists joining the chorus:
The writer, Orly Azoulay, is the wife of Tel Aviv University extremist
anti-Israel professor Adi Ophir. Azoulay attempted to build an
academic career out of producing anti-Israel propaganda collections of
photographs. See this piece on the defaming duo:
"Just like before the Rabin murder, the writing was on the wall before
the Arizona massacre as well. Nobody spoke about the gun explicitly
and nobody called for squeezing the trigger, yet the music on the
political scene played like an invitation to murder."
By the way, the following is a quote from a NY Times story concerning
Giffords and it is not a spoof: ""When I volunteered at her
campaign," Ms. Shenkarow continued, "there were people from all
denominations, including a guy dressed in drag." Rabbi Stephanie
Aaron, the leader of Congregation Chaverim, has been Ms. Giffords's
friend and spiritual adviser.
Report: How Arab money is transferred to Israeli Left
After Knesset approves establishment of inquiry commission into
activity of leftist groups in Israel, Im Tirtzu report reveals money
trail, which it says begins in Arab countries and ends with
pro-Palestinian activity in the Jewish state. B'Tselem: Claims
A report issued by Im Tirtzu supports the government's decision to set
up an inquiry commission into the activity and funding of left-wing
organizations in Israel.
The report, published for the first time by Ynet Monday night, claims
that Arab and European countries support Palestinian funds which
donate to leftist movements in Israel "in order to influence public
and legal discourse in Israeli and international media."
According to Im Tirtzu, a centrist extra-parliamentary movement that
"strives to strengthen the values of Zionism in Israel," the findings
prove the need for the establishment of an inquiry commission. The
report focuses on two Palestinian organizations – the Welfare
Association and the NGO Development Center –which it claims work
together to fund pro-Palestinian activities in Israel and the
The report states that the organizations' yearly budget, which is
estimated at tens of millions of dollars, comes from a number of
sources: Countries and organizations in Europe - including the
European Union, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland and Denmark – as well as
Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab
Emirates, Algeria and Qatar.
According to Im Tirtzu, large banks, such as the Islamic Development
Bank, as well as Arab funds, also allocate money to the Welfare
Association and the NGO Development Center, which then transfer 97% of
the funds to Palestinians in the territories and some 3% to leftist
The report also claims that the Welfare Association is directly
involved in Arab activity in Israel, including a campaign against
obligating Arab youths to participate in Israel's National Service
Im Tirtzu said that among the Israeli organizations to receive funds
from the Welfare Association are Adalah, Mada al-Carmel and the
According to the report, $2.65 million were allocated by the Welfare
Association to finance activity in Israel, specifically to boost the
socio-economic status of Arab-Israelis and to preserve and foster
Palestinian national identity.
The Welfare Association also supports two local councils – Nazareth
and Kafr Kana.
Over the past few years the Welfare Association's annual budget stood
at roughly $40 million, making it one of the key channels for the
transfer of funds to the Palestinians.
'Funding from Saudi Arabia'
A Ynet inquiry revealed that Iran, Syrian and Lebanon are members of
the Islamic Development Bank, which is one of the Welfare
Association's financial backers.
In 2000, Following the outbreak of the second intifada, the bank
established two funds to assist the Palestinians "in the face of
continued Israeli aggression" – the Al-Aqsa Fund and the Al-Quds
The report shows that between 2005 and 2008 the Welfare Association
transferred nearly $3 million to Israeli organizations working, among
other things, to strengthen Arab identity, promote the right of return
agenda and support the campaign against National Service for
In 2006, the NGO Development Center (NDC) was founded on the
organizational infrastructure of the Welfare Association to launch
projects in the Palestinian sector. The NDC projects were funded by
the World Bank and a number of European countries.
According to Im Tirtzu, the NDC is involved in the funding of Israeli
and Palestinian organizations promoting activities against Israeli
policy and the IDF.
According to the reports published by Im Tirtzu, between 2008 and 2009
it transferred close to $2.4 million to Israeli organizations and
about $3.5 million to Palestinian organizations. In 2009 alone, the
organization transferred nearly $2 million to 13 different Israeli
organizations, including B'Tselem, Mossawa, Adalah, Breaking the
Silence, Yesh Din, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the Public
Committee against Torture, HaMoked Center for the Defense of the
Individual and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
Fifteen left-wing organizations declared last week that they have
"nothing to hide," following the motion to establish an inquiry
commission. However, the report said that "an intensive and thorough
examination of the funding sources of these organizations and of
public documents and online sites of Arab foundations, Islamic banks,
Arab media and international research – finds there is extensive
support of Arab sources funding extreme left organizations in Israel."
Im Tirtzu claimed that "Arab money funds these organizations working
to de-legitimize the State of Israel, calling to boycott Israel,
aiding to put Israeli officials on trial for war crimes, strengthening
the Palestinian identity of Israeli-Arabs and disconnecting their
affinity to Israel, as well as strengthening the Palestinian-Islamic
hold on Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, the Negev and Galilee."
B'Tselem officials responded to the claims: "Unlike the unfounded
report of Im Tirtzu, the B'Tselem organization is funded by four
Israeli-friendly countries: Switzerland, Denmark, Holland and Sweden.
The money comes from the countries themselves and the NDC is used to
transfer the money. Im Tirtzu is welcome to file a complaint with the
police if they have further accusations and claims."
Breaking the Silence is blaming Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
"Apparently the foreign minister, who's being treated as a
persona-non-grata by the western world, has decided to turn Israel
into a leper and ruin its relations with Switzerland, Denmark, Holland
and Sweden. Breaking the Silence received donations only from friendly
countries and if the foreign minister, the government and their
strategic partners from Im Tirtzu wish to turn them into enemy states,
they have the diplomatic tools to do so," it said.
The Adalah organization also rejected the claims, saying, "The Welfare
Association is an international foundation which has been operating
for dozens of years, supporting human rights organizations and social
organizations, enjoying a well respected and important status in
European countries, with its headquarters in Geneva. No one has ever
disputed its integrity. It was never claimed that the foundation
supports or funds any illegal activity. And so its support of
renovating of structures in Jerusalem is not only legal but blessed,
and follows the norms of the international law. As far as the NGO
Development Center – not only is it a completely legal foundation, but
it is also supported by many west European governments."
Yuval Mann and Avigail Lushi contributed to the report
See also: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/141662
Links Between B'Tselem, Terror Funds Reported
3. The newest bogeyman in Israel is a threatening tape supposedly
sent to the Deputy Prosecutor Shai Nitzan. The tape, posted on the
web, carries the images of the Kahanists, which does not necessarily
prove they are behind it. For what it is worth, they deny being so.
While I have no problem denouncing whoever is behind the tape, I
think it also behooves us to recall the long anti-democratic track
record of political persecution operated personally by Shai Nitzan. I
re-post here an older piece about him:
THE BUKAY AFFAIR AND ISRAEL'S PROSECUTORIAL DOUBLE STANDARD
By: Steven Plaut
Date: Wednesday, December 16 2009
An outrageous assault by Israeli authorities against academic freedom
of speech took place in recent days in what is becoming known as the
Bukay Affair. The affair combines leftist undermining of democracy,
the attempt at thought control by governmental officials and the
police, harassment of a university lecturer by an over-zealous
prosecutor, and an attempt to create in Israel a political Inquisition
against incorrect thinking.
The saga revolves around Dr. David Bukay, a lecturer in Middle East
Studies at the University of Haifa, with expertise in Arab history.
Bukay speaks Arabic better than I speak English. He has conservative
points of view and is very outspoken about them. His articles are
carried by numerous journals.
About five years ago Bukay was the victim of a smear campaign at the
University of Haifa. At the time, an Arab student who was active in
the university branch of the communist party sat in on one of Bukay's
lectures without being registered in the class. The student then ran
to the Arabic press in Israel and claimed that in his lecture Bukay
had repeatedly made derogatory comments about Arabs. The student
claimed Bukay had said in class that all Arabs should be shot.
It turned out the story was planted and spread by an Israeli leftist
who later issued a retraction and an apology to Bukay, admitting the
entire story had been a tissue of lies. But the retraction did not
help. Anti-Semitic websites, including some run by neo-Nazis, still
carry the story of Bukay's alleged racist statements against Arabs.
Once the story began to spread, it became evident that none of the
other students in the classroom had heard Bukay make any of the racist
statements he was alleged to have made. Many of these students claimed
the Arab student had fabricated the entire story. Hundreds of Bukay's
students backed Bukay. Many wrote the Haifa University chiefs to give
their side of the story.
In any case, because of the uproar, the rector at the University of
Haifa, himself no right-winger (he was a founder of Peace Now),
appointed a committee of investigation to look into the charges
against Bukay. The committee found the charges were lies.
But in response to the media uproar, the Israel state deputy
prosecutor, Shai Nitzan, decided to open a criminal investigation
against Bukay for the "crime" of "incitement." That is the catch-all
anti-democratic nonsense charge that was used in a wholesale manner
after the Rabin assassination to persecute, intimidate and indict
numerous rabbis, public figures, and protesters.
Nitzan evidently believes that left-wing lawyers should be able to
dictate the content of university lectures and the police should
indict those who say things Nitzan considers to be incorrect.
For about four years the story was nearly forgotten. Until last week.
What changed? The same Shai Nitzan, still the deputy director of the
Israel Prosecutor's Office, ordered Bukay to come to the Haifa police
precinct as part of the renewal of the earlier investigation into
alleged criminally incorrect thinking and speaking by Bukay in his
At the Haifa police precinct, Bukay was ordered to sign a written
confession that he had made anti-Arab statements in the classroom. He
was ordered by police operating under Nitzan's instructions to sign an
apology for those statements, under threat of being prosecuted for
"incitement" and "racism" if he did not do so. And he was ordered to
promise in writing to refrain from ever again making such statements
in his classroom.
Bukay refused to sign.
Maariv deputy editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote in response to this that
interrogating and prosecuting lecturers for what they say in the
classroom is without precedent in Israel or any democracy. He reminded
readers that Israel is filled with far left anti-Israel and
anti-Semitic academics who routinely use the classroom to support
terrorism against Jews, to call for Israel's annihilation, to denounce
Israel as a Nazi-like apartheid regime, and to urge law breaking.
Not a single one of the latter has ever been interrogated, let along
prosecuted. Yet here we have the spectacle of a naked political
persecution of someone accused of having made politically incorrect
statements in his classroom - a claim he denies.
Now as it turns out, even if Bukay had made the anti-Arab statements
he was falsely accused of having made, they still should have been
protected speech - as are outbursts that are made in scores of Israeli
university classrooms on a daily basis by Israel's tenured radicals.
Since when is it the job of the police to arrest and prosecute people
who make offensive or incorrect statements?
But, alas, Israel has a long history of selective
protection of freedom of speech. Countless Israeli right-wingers have
been indicted and prosecuted for "racism," "sedition," and
"incitement" - while Jewish leftists and Arab radicals never have
been, even when cheering on terrorism and demanding that Israel be
The courts have repeatedly endorsed anti-speech prosecution and
litigation directed against non-leftists while protecting and
defending the most outrageous hate speech of leftist traitors. In one
infamous court case, an Israeli sitting judge ruled that leftist
sedition is protected speech while criticism of leftist sedition is
One thing is certain. Israeli democracy is under attack by Shai
Nitzan, and Israeli freedom of speech and academic freedom will not be
safe until he has been summarily dismissed from his position.
4. Europe's Irresponsible Gaza Policy
The unconditional removal of Israel's defensive measures would only
help Hamas's military build-up.
By AVIGDOR LIBERMAN
In the past nine years, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have launched
more than 11,000 rockets and mortars at towns in southern Israel. This
extraordinary situation, unlike anywhere in Europe, has compelled
Israel to take appropriate actions to fulfill what is any government's
primary duty: the protection of its citizens. I have no doubt that any
other country would have employed similar, if not more extreme,
measures to fight a threat of this magnitude.
The root of the problem lies in the weaponry, money and personnel that
are constantly being smuggled into the Gaza Strip through tunnels that
have been burrowed underneath the border separating Gaza from the
Sinai Peninsula. The Gaza Strip has been ruled by the Iranian-backed
Hamas since its coup d'état against Fatah in 2007. The aggression and
terrorism of the Hamas regime is the reason the government led by
former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert instituted the restrictions on Gaza
in 2007 and was compelled to conduct the defensive Operation Cast Lead
In light of these facts, the European Union's recent "Conclusions on
the Middle East Peace Process" calling for an "immediate, sustained
and unconditional opening of crossings" to and from Gaza are puzzling
and unlikely to assist efforts toward progress in our region. It
confuses the source of the current problem with one of its
symptoms.This is unfortunate, because there is much that the EU and
Israel can jointly do to improve the current state of affairs.
The unconditional removal of Israel's defensive measures would be
counterproductive and only help Hamas's military build-up, which
continues largely at the behest of Iran. Moreover, if the crossings
were unconditionally opened, Iran will immediately take advantage of
this situation through its proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah. These
terrorist groups will be able to destabilize the Palestinian Authority
in Judea and Samaria. Such a demand is irresponsible, immoral and
The EU also seems to ignore the plight of Israeli soldier Gilad
Shalit. Kidnapped by Hamas more than four years ago, he remains cut
off from the world and his family. To this day, not even the Red Cross
has been allowed to visit him, in utter disregard of the most
fundamental humanitarian principles. Rather than pressing for Gilad
Shalit's release and searching for ways to effectively stem the flow
of weapons, the EU is pressuring Israel to rescind the necessary
The root of the problem: the tunnels for smuggling weapons into Gaza.
As existing and previous attempts to stanch the smuggling have clearly
failed, a different approach needs to be considered. If the EU wishes
to genuinely address the source of the problem, it should contemplate
stationing an effective European or international force along the
Philadelphi Corridor and at the Rafiah Crossing, the Egyptian-Gaza
border areas under which most of the tunnels for weapons smuggling
into Gaza have been built. To elicit a change in the situation, such a
force would have to be robust in both operational capabilities and
mandate and willing to confront Hamas. We cannot allow a return to the
ineffective EUBAM mission, which unilaterally vacated its positions at
the Rafiah Crossing upon Hamas's seizure of power in Gaza.
I can affirm that a cessation of the smuggling will lead to the
lifting of restrictions. However, the State of Israel cannot be
expected to forgo its fundamental security interests without the
removal of this grave threat and the ongoing assault against Israeli
towns that it continues to fuel.
The State of Israel and the EU have a joint interest in the emergence
of a regime in Gaza that will recognize Israel and prior signed
agreements and which will completely desist from terrorism. Such an
outcome will come about solely through development and economic
growth. Israel and Europe should enhance their cooperation in stemming
the flow of weapons and in promoting economic development in Gaza, in
a manner similar to what we are witnessing in Judea and Samaria (the
Economic growth and the consistent rise in the standard of living
among the inhabitants of Judea and Samaria are living proof of
fruitful cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
With improvements in the security situation in Judea and Samaria,
Israel relaxed the security measures and enhanced the mobility of the
Palestinian population. Over the past year, more than two-thirds of
the road-blocks have been removed. The Palestinians made the most of
these new conditions. Their economy is booming and tourism to the area
has witnessed a dramatic increase. This basic pattern can serve as a
model for Gaza.
During the past year, the Israeli government has taken courageous
steps designed to modify and improve the economic environment in Gaza.
There has been a substantial increase in the quantities and variety of
products and there are mechanisms in place to facilitate the sale of
Gaza products abroad. In addition, our government is promoting
infrastructure projects with third parties such as European countries,
the United States and United Nations agencies.
I believe that close coordination between the EU and Israel can bring
about a greater change in Gaza, both with respect to the regime in
control and with respect to the standard of living. Such coordination
will have to include an effective response to the weapons smuggling
and a steadfast stance against Hamas and other terrorist
Mr. Liberman is deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Israel.