Melanie Phillips: Those nice Israel-bashers’ Achilles’ heel
Ban and others committed to universalism think this equation is fair. In fact, it diminishes Jew-hatred and sanitizes Islamic aggression. Which is why progressives who think they are pure because their hearts so conspicuously bleed for the oppressed are not pure at all. They are morally corrupt.Gerald Steinberg: How NGOs Became a Weapon Against Israel
They aren’t driven by compassion for any kind of victim. What drives them instead is hatred of supposed victimizers in the “powerful” West.
Their purported even-handedness thus camouflages a moral degeneracy.
For while denouncing Israel, they support Palestinians who throw gays from the top of tall buildings, who abuse women and children, who jail, torture and kill dissidents. They support the racist ethnic cleansing of Jews from a future state of Palestine. They help incite false grievances that kill.
They have the blood of innocents on their own hands.
But they think of themselves as fair, decent, progressive. This is where they are vulnerable. For like Ban, they also tend to be remarkably thinskinned.
That’s because their image of themselves really is all that matters to them. They don’t care about the world’s victims. They care about being seen to care.
They think of themselves as nice people. We have to show them that they are not. Self-regard is everything to them. It is therefore their Achilles’ heel.
We should puncture it.
For Israel itself, however, the stakes are even higher. In question is Israel’s right to reassert its national sovereignty in the face of foreign manipulation, demand transparency from unelected groups that campaign intensely against the policies of its elected government, and counter an international campaign of hate and defamation that potentially threatens Israel’s very existence.Ami Ayalon: Protesters silencing speakers like me won’t solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem
Ironically, the NGOs and their patrons have made this controversy inevitable. They are answerable to no one but themselves, keep their own internal affairs completely secret in a manner they would condemn if the Israeli government did the same, and resort to hysterical and often slanderous rhetoric almost reflexively when anyone questions their activities or ideology. In the face of this, the rising anger and mistrust directed toward them is completely understandable.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the proposed NGO law is, contrary to the claims of many inside and outside Israel, entirely compatible with democratic norms. It does not restrict these groups’ freedom of speech or assembly in any way. Countries like the U.S. and India have similar laws that are observed without controversy. Comparable laws have been passed in Israel that have left NGOs and their activities undamaged. And there is no reason for organizations to fear simple transparency; in fact, if they support democracy and open government, they should welcome it.
The NGO wars will undoubtedly continue, as both the Israeli people and the NGOs escalate their rhetoric and entrench their stands. The sight of Ezra Nawi conspiring to murder a Palestinian was a hammer blow to the NGO network, but there may be more revelations coming, and the network will unquestionably keep fighting against its critics. But the debate should be based on the facts, not on wild and unjustifiable accusations of McCarthyism and government suppression. The NGO law would be an asset to Israeli democracy, and those groups that claim to care so much about precisely that should embrace it. (h/t Yenta Press)
I came to the UK two weeks ago, at the invitation of the British Jewish organisation Yachad, to present my ideas for how Israel and Palestinian people might create a step-change that may bring about the forging of a political agreement. There is nothing more urgent than finding a way to end occupation and create two states, both for the sake of the Palestinian people and Israel. Both peoples deserve to live in secure, democratic, independent states, and I wish to see the Israel that my parents built remain true to its Jewish and democratic values.
Having spent my career serving in Israel’s navy and security establishment, having been present at numerous peace negotiations, and served as an Israeli cabinet member, I believe I have some ideas as to how this might be achieved.
I spoke to more than 1,000 people over the course of the week. But it was only at King’s College London, where I was speaking at an event jointly hosted by the KCL and LSE Israel societies along with Yachad, was I met with violence. A window was smashed, students were pushed and the event was cut short due to the disruption.
It is worth noting that in comparison to the audience inside the room, who came from a wide variety of backgrounds, and listened and engaged with what I had to say, those responsible for the chaos outside were small in number. Nonetheless, their behaviour has no place at a London university that is committed to free speech. In a democratic society, unless someone is guilty of hate speech or inciting violence, you have a right to express any opinion you want and people have a right to disagree with it, but not through violent means.