Friday, January 18, 2013
Let's all Spy on the Left!!
There is a fascinating story underway at the fringes of election-eve Israel.
Israel's fascist Left has long claimed that it is "McCarthyism" and
"spying" when critics of the Left cite verbatim what Leftists say and
write, when critics dare to publicize and expose what the Leftists
themselves write and do publicly. The Left also calls this the
building of "blacklists." This, coming from the very same people who
want all of Israel blacklisted! This has long been the "complaint" by
the Fascist Left against Isracampus.com and the NGO Monitor group,
both of which expose the political mischief and public anti-Israel
activities and publications of the Far Left.
Another group that has been very successful in exposing the Far
Left has been the Zionist student movement Im Tirtzu, headed by Ronen
Shoval, an up-and-coming leader with Naftali Bennett-like talents and
integrity. Shoval and Im Tirtzu have been keeping tabs and records
on what the anti-Israel leftist NGOs do and say. In other words, they
are engaging in journalism, or what the far leftists insist on calling
Shoval and his people have also filed a huge libel suit against a
small gaggle of leftists for setting up a Facebook group accusing Im
Tirtzu of being a fascist organization. The suit is for 2.6 million
shekels in Jerusalem District court. As part of their court action,
Shoval and his people are also keeping tabs on the radical political
activism of the lawyer representing the defendants, ultra-leftist
Michael Sfard, associated with Israel's "Association for Civil Rights
in Israel," a far-leftist group that has no interest in the civil
rights of Jews or in defending freedom of speech. Shoval dared to
provide information on Sfard's activities to two newspapers. I guess
that makes Shoval guilty again of journalism.
Haaretz is covering the story in detail, which is a bit amusing
because one of the defendants in the libel action is a Haaretz writer
and editor. Haaretz cites the claim by one of the far-leftist
defendants that reporting what leftist NGOs do is a form of terrorism.
Nevertheless, here is the Haaretz report, which I think speaks for itself:
Right-wing Israeli group admits using PIs to spy on leftist NGOs
Revelation made during libel trial filed by Im Tirtzu against eight
left-wing activists who established a Facebook page calling the
By Nir Hasson | Jan.18, 2013
The Im Tirtzu organization used private investigators to collect
information on human rights organizations, its leader told a court
Thursday. Chairman Ronen Shoval said his group also asked
investigators to snoop on the lawyers representing those groups.
Shoval was testifying in a NIS 2.6 million libel case at Jerusalem
District Court, filed by Im Tirtzu against eight left-wing activists
who established a Facebook page calling the organization fascist. (One
of the defendants is a Haaretz journalist.) The group styles itself as
a movement "to strengthen and advance the values of Zionism in
Im Tirtzu gave some of the information it collected to two newspapers,
Makor Rishon and Israel Hayom. In at least one case, Israel Hayom
decided not to publish the information as the newspaper feared it
might violate privacy rules as well as attorney-client privilege.
Most of the cross-examination of Shoval, conducted by Michael Sfard -
who also represents the Yesh Din rights organization - focused on
Shoval's political views. Sfard filed a complaint with the police two
years ago after he thought documents relating to Yesh Din had been
stolen from his office and given to right-wing newspapers.
In his testimony, Shoval spoke of the need to uncover "hidden
anti-Zionism" among political activists and organizations. When asked
by Sfard what methods were used to uncover such anti-Zionism, Shoval
said: "We read the publications and listen to the claims and look at
the motives people talk about, and then we reach conclusions."
When asked if Im Tirtzu had ever used material collected by private
investigators, Shoval said: "Definitely." In response to a question
that the organization had used documents obtained from Sfard's office,
Shoval replied, "We see you as someone who is consistently involved in
harming the State of Israel. Your ideological rejectionism from [your
time in the] army has continued until now, in providing your services
to organizations that consistently persecute IDF soldiers and identify
Zionism as racism.
"It seems to me that it is legitimate to send a private investigator
to the office of someone I view as a political opponent," Shoval
added. In response to Sfard's question regarding the legality of the
matter, Shoval said it was legal to do so.
Sfard later asked whether there were materials Israel Hayom had
refused to publish due to privacy issues. "There are a lot of
documents. This is an article from two years ago, I don't remember all
the details. It is possible there was what you say," Shoval said.
Shoval was later questioned by attorney Yishai Shneider, who asked
about sending private investigators to gather information on other
human rights organizations. Shoval said there were three or four such
events, but didn't remember exactly. He refused to name the
organizations but said Im Tirtzu's main interest was with groups
connected to the New Israel Fund. When asked whether his organization
had sent private investigators to the New Israel Fund's office, Shoval
said "No. But it is a good idea. [But] all within the framework of the
Shoval later accused Sfard of being a traitor, saying the state should
prosecute him: "I regret that until the court determines you are a
traitor, then you are not one."
At the time of the reports of Sfard's complaint to the police,
December 2010, Israel Hayom said: "The newspaper acted according to
the principles of the law." Makor Rishon said they had no stolen
documents and did not send "reporters or 'plumbers,' like in the
Watergate affair, and of course we have not stolen any documents. We
received the documents and cannot reveal their source, as is accepted
Yesh Din said on Thursday: "Secret surveillance of a human rights
organization is a despicable act of political violence."