Israeli Occupation Archive: Communal Groups Mobilize Against ‘Delegitimizers’ of Jewish State

9 April, 2010 — Israeli Occupation Archive

Communal Groups Mobilize Against ‘Delegitimizers’ of Jewish State

Tony Judt: “[T]he ‘de-legitimization’ issue is a fraud… I know no one in the professional world of political commentary, however angry about Israel’s behavior, who thinks that the country has no right to exist… ‘De-legitimization’ is just another way to invoke antisemitism as a silencer, but sounds better because [it’s] less exploitative of emotional pain.”

Nancy Kricorian: “This is only a way of changing the subject… All we want is [for] Israel to respect human rights and international law. I don’t see how that delegitimizes Israel.”

IOA Editor: As always, the organized Jewish Community first tries to label us “anti-Semites” or “Self-Hating Jews,” but this doesn’t work nearly as well these days. Since the completion of the Reut ‘study’ — a consulting project conducted by propaganda experts for the Netanyahu government — the new term, “delegitimizers,” is in vogue. Much like the others, it is an empty charge designed to avoid the very specific reality of the Occupation and Israel’s legal responsibilities in connection with it.

When we criticize the Israeli Occupation, daily on these pages, we surely point to the complete immorality, illegality — indeed, outright criminality — of the Occupation. We are hardly alone in pointing this out: the UN Goldstone Report, and numerous others, have challenged the legality of such Israeli actions. None of this is a challenge to the legitimacy of Israelis, or necessarily of the State of Israel as such. Rather, it is about actions taken by Israeli governments which are systematically and persistently in clear violation of international laws and conventions.

Yossi Melman: Leaked espionage case shows Israel only targets the weak

The Anat Kamm affair raises serious suspicions that the law enforcement agencies in question – the Israel Defense Force’s information security unit, the Shin Bet, Israel Police and the State Prosecutor’s Office – are good at coming down hard on the powerless, while overlooking similar suspicions when attributed to senior officials. It’s the “sentinel syndrome”: the weak are persecuted and dealt with a heavy hand, while the deeds of the strong are slighted.

IOA Editor: Melman is the primary reporter covering the Israeli secret service agencies for Haaretz. As always, his is an Israeli-centered focus. This article is important because it covers the mode of operation of Israel’s various “security” agencies, and how they deal with those Israeli-Jews they deem to be their enemies.

‘Ex-soldier accused of espionage is made a scapegoat’

Anat Kam, the journalist and ex-soldier suspected of “serious espionage” for allegedly giving classified information to a reporter from Haaretz regarding the IDF’s rules of engagement has been made a scapegoat, her defense attorney told Army Radio Thursday. “Where’s the intent to undermine state security? The fact that she handed the information over to a journalist for him to publish,” Avidgor Feldman told Army Radio.

IOA Editor: While the story of the “whistleblower” — an innocent, well-meaning, and very naive young woman — is important, it is far more important not to forget the message while focusing on the fate of the messengers. The original news story was about senior IDF generals, including Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, knowingly violating Israeli Supreme Court ruling by ordering the assassinations of West Bank Palestinians who could have been captured alive. Much as it is important to cover Israel’s censorship practices and the limits to its democracy (which are both profound and numerous), the important story behind the current expose is the ongoing story of the Occupation: Israel’s 43-year long Occupation has been fraught with assassinations — “targeted,” mass-produced, or just random and wanton, the distinctions largely depend on circumstances, media vogue, or the commentator.

Liberal circles in the US and Israel, that are particularly critical of the current Israeli government, focus on this latest story as though it were the most important issue of the day. It is not. Important as it is to expose the IDF’s plans to act in contravention of Israeli Supreme Court decisions — as if these are the only legal matters the IDF routinely contravenes — it is the Occupation that looms large, and is consistently ignored or minimized by, among others, the very same critics who now cry foul about IDF violations of freedom of speech. The IDF record of violations is far, far worse than violating the right of publishing reports of its own planned crimes. Much as this is obvious to some of us, it appears many others conveniently overlook the most significant crime involved here: the Occupation itself.

A young woman naively thought she was doing the right thing — indeed, she was — by, allegedly, collecting IDF ‘top-secret’ documents pointing to IDF Occupation crimes and turning them over to a dedicated Haaretz journalist. He, too, did the right thing and published some of these crimes. Rest assured that Israel’s penal system will deal with these two heroes as it knows best: Ms. Kam is likely to spend many years in jail (a-la Mr. Vanunu), and Mr. Blau, should he return to Israel from his self-imposed exile, will face a similar fate. The arch-criminals are not about to surrender their empire on account of a couple of “whistleblowers.”

Therefore, even as we focus on the journalists, let’s be sure to keep a steady eye on the actual criminals, and on their empire.

‘Strip those who hurt state security of their citizenship’

B’Tselem: “B’Tselem would like to reiterate that this case deals with documents which indicate that the military has been conducting assassinations in the West Bank in the guise of arrest operations, thus contradicting Israel’s official statements and in violation of a High Court ruling…. B’Tselem research has shown that in many cases soldiers have been conducting themselves in the territories as if they were on a hit mission, as opposed to arrest operations.”

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