Monday, January 09, 2017

By Petra Marquardt-Bigman

As every Jew-hater knows, there’s no limit to Jewish cunning. It’s not just that “the Jews are our misfortune,” as the Nazis put it so pithily; it’s also that even if there is something that would seem to be very bad for the Jews themselves, any decent Jew-hater will know that the Jews could still be behind it. Take it from the Hamas Charter (Art.22):

“They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”

Veteran anti-Israel activist (and Hamas fan) Ali Abunimah usually tries to avoid such crude echoes of the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” but his efforts to appear a bit more sophisticated can’t quite conceal how much his obsessive demonization of the world’s only Jewish state is indebted to the oldest hatred.

As reflected in Abunimah’s Orwellian definition of antisemitism, he is an ardent admirer of the Stormfront-style rants of Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad, who has repeatedly peddled preposterous claims about a meeting of minds and happy collaborations between Zionist Jews and the Nazis. A more recent version of the same theme is the idea that Israel somehow controls or collaborates with jihadi terror groups like the savage Islamic State (ISIS) and various Al Qaida-type groups. But as every good Jew-hater knows, you can’t expose Jewish evil-doing without suffering a backlash – orchestrated by the Jews, naturally!!! – and so Abunimah recently concluded that he was facing an “uptick in attacks” that had to be “related” to an article in which he was supposedly “detailing Israel’s alliance with al-Qaida’s Syria branch.”

However, as Abunimah knows full well, the “attacks” he complains about have nothing to do with Israel; instead, he is facing well-deserved criticism from erstwhile fans who largely share his views on Israel but are appalled by his failure to condemn Assad’s pivotal role in the carnage in Syria. It is of course understandable that Abunimah is frustrated to see cracks in the unified anti-Israel front, but as I have described in two previous posts (here &here), this controversy has been going on for a while and it seems to continue unabated. In his frustration, Abunimah is now resorting to his usual cheap tactics, and he is trying to discredit his critics by falsely claiming they are somehow collaborating with “extreme hasbarists” like yours truly… The terrifying result is a “Troll equivalent of Israel-Jabhat al-Nusra alliance.”

So what about these alliances between Israel and Islamist terror groups that Ali Abunimah sees everywhere?

The article in which Abunimah is supposedly “detailing Israel’s  alliance with al-Qaida’s Syria branch” is a downright ridiculous attempt to reduce a publication of roughly 260 pages – the latest issue of the annual “Strategic Survey for Israel” published by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) – to a few cherry-picked points.

Abunimah devotes one section of his article to the topic “Israel and al-Qaida in Syria” – a title that already indicates his agenda. He starts out by noting – doubtless with great satisfaction – that Israel continues to regard what he fondly calls “the Lebanese resistance movement Hizballah” as a serious threat. Abunimah then quotes comments on the situation in Syria from page 248 of the report:

“From Israel’s perspective, the best scenario is the disappearance of the Assad regime, along with the removal of Iran and Hezbollah from Syria on the one hand, and the defeat of the Islamic State and the establishment of a moderate Sunni regime in Syria on the other.”

It’s safe to assume that if this is Israel’s preferred scenario, Abunimah is ardently hoping for the opposite: that Assad will remain in power, backed by Iran and Hezbollah; perhaps he’s even hoping that the terror group Islamic State will be able to avoid defeat and will eventually get around to attacking Israel.

What bothered Abunimah enormously is that the report also argued that Israel’s best-case scenario had “materialized in limited form in the Golan Heights, where moderate Sunni rebels are successfully combating both the Assad regime and the Islamic State.”

Abunimah proceeded to claim that “Israel has long provided aid and support in the Golan Heights to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida’s franchise in Syria” and he misleadingly asserts that “Moshe Yaalon, one of the report’s authors, publicly acknowledged the Israeli assistance to Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in 2015, when he was Israel’s defense minister.” But Abunimah’s own link undermines his claim, because the relevant Times of Israel article emphasized that Israel’s “general policy” was not to get involved in the war in Syria, and that Israel only “provided humanitarian assistance to wounded Syrian fighters located near the shared border … under two conditions – that the fighters don’t let Islamic extremists … get close to the border, and that they don’t hurt the local [i.e. Syrian] Druze population.”

Since Abunimah obviously favors Assad and would surely be pleased to see al-Nusra attack Israel, it is not surprising that he is upset about Israel’s conditional humanitarian assistance, designed to keep the border quiet and to keep the relatives of Israel’s Druze population safe. The fact that he spins this as “Israel’s alliance with al-Qaida’s Syria branch” just goes to show what a manipulative liar he is.

But Abunimah’s attempt to vilify Israel as having an “alliance with al-Qaida’s Syria branch” is also particularly pathetic in view of the fact that Hamas and Hezbollah – the Islamist terror groups Abunimah likes to glorify as noble “resistance” movements – are really not picky about their alliances: plenty of reports reveal the collaboration between Hamas and the Islamic State group’s Sinai branch, and it is well documented that Hezbollah has been very busy helping Assad butcher Syrians. Of course, these are alliances that Abunimah would warmly endorse – not least because when it comes to individuals and groups that want to destroy Israel, it’s quite obvious that as far as Abunimah is concerned, no alliance is too sordid. And as long as Abunimah hopes the “resistance” he champions will eventually turn on Israel, he couldn’t care less how many Arabs were killed by these groups before they get down to the eagerly anticipated business of killing Jews.

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