Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 15 June 2015

An Aussie Academic Regarding BtS: "What is the Jewish value of vilifying one's own nation to the delight of its enemies? "

"There is a well-funded and powerful cottage industry of NGOs, journalists, academics and activists who are crystal clear about their unabashed anti-Israel ideology. The goal of their openly declared war is to damage Israel’s standing in the court of world opinion and to bring about its collapse."

That's the opening paragraph of a typically hard-hitting article written for his regular op-ed column in  Australian Jewish News last month by Dr Dvir Abramovich, a prominent Jewish Studies academic at the University of Melbourne, who's also chair of the local B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission.

Later in the article Abramovich justifiably declared:
'Billions of people are manipulated by a tsunami of malicious op-eds, dishonest news items, scurrilous caricatures and disparaging articles that are awash with crude fabrications. Too many adopt the skewed narrative, lock, stock and barrel.... 
Which brings us to Breaking The Silence (BtS) a radical Israeli NGO, with a budget of nearly four million shekels. Bankrolled mainly by European countries, and foreign entities, it is made up of former Israeli soldiers who are paid to collect anonymous testimonies and evidences of “crimes” so as to prove that Israel is guilty of “intimidation, instilling of fear, and indiscriminate punishment of the Palestinian population.”
In 2009, BtS accepted 75,000 shekels from Oxfam on the condition that it will interview as many soldiers as possible who will confirm the IDF’s “immoral actions”.
Last week, BtS published a new report relating to Operation Protective Edge which accuses the IDF of “indiscriminate fire on civilian targets” and “deliberate mass destruction”.
It has been reported that The Arab Human Rights Fund, which has links to Global jihad and the PFLP, provided BtS with US$300,000 to craft the report. Now Hamas is calling for Israeli “war criminals” to be brought to trial in the International Criminal Court.
Here are some BtS quotes, “Israeli self-defence measures are pretexts for ‘terrorising’ Palestinians”, and “We are the oppressors … we are creating the terror against us basically”. Got it? It’s the fault of terrorist Israel.
Unsurprisingly, reports from BtS (produced in English only for overseas consumption) which depict the IDF as dehumanising, unethical and as the worst serial violator around, are splashed across the international headlines, chipping away at Israel’s image.
BtS is a convenient pipeline, a weapon in the hands of Israel’s assorted haters. By its own admission, BtS is not a “normal human rights organisation”, or as Haaretz correspondent Amos Harel noted, “They have a clear political agenda, which is no longer really covered under the term ‘human rights organisation’.”
BtS deliberately withholds context, and uses misleading headlines and hearsay. There’s no description of the complex situation of fighting armed terrorists hiding in houses, or that the IDF sends leaflets to warn civilians, or that Hamas fired rockets from schools and hospitals, dug tunnels to launch mega-attacks, and used children as human shields.
The infamous Goldstone Report, referenced and thanked a BtS report 27 times, since it aided Goldstone to reach his discredited findings that the IDF “repeatedly opened fire on civilians who were not taking part in the hostilities and who posed no threat to them.”
The distorted accusations contained in BtS reports are impossible to verify because the group refuses to hand over their documents, or disclose the identity of those making the complaints, or provide the date or military unit detailed in their accounts, thereby preventing the IDF from investigating the “allegations”.
 As part of its propaganda warfare, BtS does global speaking tours, helping to fan the flames of rabid anti-Zionism, and denying Israel the legitimate right to protect its citizens from murder.
 For the real story, as told by Israeli soldiers, go to the Facebook page #my_truth.'
The following week, under the title "Breaking my Silence," a squalid defence of BtS appeared in the same paper.  It was written by a Tel Aviv-based former student of Dr Abramovich, a young woman named Kate Rosenberg who in Melbourne attended a Jewish day school and Habonim Dror.  Inter alia, she fumed:
"Dr Abramovich's words smack of a frightening growing trend in Israel which likens democratic values to being anti-Israel or to suggest that believing in the human rights of African refugees or Palestinians to [sic] being anti-Jewish."
In the current issue of the paper, a leftist in supporting her and BtS shows his naivety in the face of current reality in commending their work "in trying to bring Israel closer to the ideals of the 1948 Declaration of Independence."   But then, as another correspondent notes, BtS
"disqualifies itself from acting as an agent for change ... because its work is infested with an ideology that insists, in the face of overwhelming evidence, that only Israel and the occupation are blocking peace, not Palestinian extremism.
Hence, BtS is always quick to defend the rights of Palestinians, but never supports the right of Israel to defend itself from rocket and terror attack....
By highlighting and often inflating out of all proportion a few unfortunate incidents of the sort which are inevitable in any large-scale conflict, BtS sets out to delegitimise the entire IDF and its matters of fighting as inherently immoral in order to further its explicitly political ends...."
That the IDF behaved with commendable restraint in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge has been confirmed by such respected observers as Martin Dempsey (chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff), Michael Shmitt and John Merriam (US military law experts), Colonel Richard Kemp (former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan), and Australian general Jim Molan.  The fact that the ratio of civilians to combatants killed was 1:1 (compared to the norm of 3:1 in similar conflicts) underlines that.
 In a  splendid refutation of Kate Rosenberg's "grossly simplistic, Israel-bashing" piece, Dvir Abramovich writes inter alia:
"Rosenberg knows very well that BtS, which has close to zero electoral and public support in Israel, sends its "star recruits" to tour campuses around the world, unafraid unafraid to spread their animus-filled venom about the IDF.  There, they are free to brainwash impressionable students and to contribute to the chilling festival of demonisation....
Campuses have become hotbeds of anti-Semitism [I do wish the Aussie Jewish press would adopt the "antisemitism" spelling - D.A.] and anti-Zionism, and BtS adds dangerous fuel to the spreading fire of intimidation and hostility directed at Jewish students.
Irresponsibly, Rosenberg recycles the libellous Goldstone slander that the IDF indiscriminately fires on highly populated areas in Gaza....
The same soldiers who stand guard at night and risk their lives to ensure that Rosenberg can sleep comfortably, safe and sound, in her bed, are depicted as part of a vicious, murderous military machine....
BtS hurts Israel, empowers the BDS gang, and gives credence to those who want to put Israel on a list, as a recent UN draft report recommended, alongside ISIS, al-Quaeda, the Taliban, Syria and Sudan as an entity that systematically harms children....
Rosenberg speaks of the value of Achvat Amim.  Perhaps it's time to show a little solidarity towards her own country.  After all, what is the Jewish value of vilifying one's own nation to the delight of its enemies? ...."

Update: Excellent video here



  2. Lynne Newington16 June 2015 at 17:29

    Re What is the Jewish value of vilifying ones own nation to the delight of your enemies.
    Absolutely, I dislike it immensely when it relates to your own people, as a subscriber to J/Post it's most disheartening if I may say so.

    1. Absolutely. Thanks for commenting, Lynne.

  3. And re BDS, superb article by Douglas Murray:

  4. french anti-semitism?

  5. "Oxfam"
    Peter Singer (founder of Animal Liberation, Australian born Jew) who gives a significant part of his income to them inspired me - years ago - to give to them also. Along came the Sodastream affair with the delightful Scarlett Johansson who opened my eyes on what seems a systematic antisemitism in that organisation - confirmed on more than one ocasions since.
    Yet, they still seem to enjoy a great popularity among (stupid?blinded?) givers. These philantropists - who by definition are "good" people could not possibly be "Jew Haters"?....