web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Why The Left Hates Im Tirtzu

           Israel’s Im Tirtzu student organization bills itself as the “Second Zionist Revolution.” Until a few weeks ago, that sounded like youthful bravado. But the group has raised eyebrows – and hackles – with its unprecedented grand slam in the Israeli media against the New Israel Fund.
 
           Led by Hebrew University graduate student Ronen Shoval, Im Tirtzu has emerged as the leading campus organization among Israeli students. It is solidly Zionist and nationalist, and has both secular and religious members.
 
Im Tirtzu had been making headlines even before the controversy surrounding NIF. It earlier collected complaints from students at several schools, especially Tel Aviv University, concerning harassments of Zionist students by anti-Israel faculty radicals. Many students claim they are penalized by leftist faculty members if they dare challenge the classroom biases imposed on them.
 
In response to Im Tirtzu’s complaints, the administration of Tel Aviv University launched an investigation into those abuses and the matter was also raised for debate in the Knesset.
 
The New Israel Fund is a left-of-center outfit funded in part by American Jews but mainly by the Ford Foundation and some groups in the EU. Critics of NIF sometimes claim the “New Israel” it seeks to fund is really Palestine.
 
Some of what NIF funds is harmless, or even beneficial, like shelters for battered women. But the bulk of its funding goes to leftist political activism inside Israel.
 
The current media frenzy began when Im Tirtzu released a 120-page report on the activities supported by the New Israel Fund. As Im Tirtzu’s Shoval told me: “Supposedly in the name of freedom of speech, the New Israel Fund has financed a massive campaign of defamation against Israel and its soldiers, but then has demanded that Im Tirtzu be silenced. Inventing imaginary war crimes by Israel is NIF’s idea of progressive democracy, but criticism of NIF by students is incitement and must be suppressed.”
 
The new controversy was triggered by the UN’s Goldstone report, which denounced Israel for war crimes and human rights abuses supposedly committed by Israeli soldiers during Operation Cast Lead while glossing over the thousands of rocket attacks that had made military action necessary in the first place.
 
The fairy tales of Israeli “human rights abuses” and “war crimes” by Goldstone were taken not from the usual anti-Israel propaganda websites and media outlets but were provided to the Goldstone “investigators” by numerous radical Israeli propaganda groups.
 
The funding of these extremist groups has long been the focus of the NGO-Monitor watchdog group, headed by Bar-Ilan University professor Gerald Steinberg. His website exposes non-governmental organizations that pretend to be human-rights or peace organizations but are in fact nothing more than Bash-Israel hate groups. They invariably get the bulk of their funding from outside Israel, often from sources hostile to Israel.
 
            The Im Tirtzu students gathered data from NGO-Monitor and other sources and issued their devastating report (which includes 60 pages of tables). According to it, 92 percent of the anti-Israel smears in the Goldstone report came directly from organizations financed by the New Israel Fund.
 
Within days, the Israeli daily Maariv carried the story of the Im Tirtzu report on its front page, with several news and opinion pieces congratulating the students for their work and denouncing the New Israel Fund.
 
             The Maariv story was followed up by the rest of the Israeli mainstream media. Only Haaretz, the daily described by some wags as the Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew, denounced the students as “inciters” and “right-wing extremists” and launched a shameless campaign of vilification and defamation against them.
 
The Knesset announced it would hold hearings into Im Tirtzu’s findings. Within days, public statements endorsing the student report and denouncing the New Israel Fund were being published, notably one by a group of Israeli army generals.
 
            Meanwhile, Im Tirtzu students escalated their criticism of the current president of the New Israel Fund, former Meretz MK Naomi Chazan. They mischievously issued a poster/advertisement with a cartoon showing Chazan with a rhino horn coming out of her forehead.
 
            It was all a play on words: “new fund” in Hebrew is exactly the same expression as “new horn.” So the poster shows Chazan wearing her “new fund” as a rhino horn on her forehead. The cartoon also played on the Israeli slang expression l’hitkarnef, literally “to become a rhinoceros,” a popular term referring to “selling out.”
 
          Chazan and her leftist legions were not amused. She and NIF decided to bully the students by threatening to sue. They also instituted a lawsuit against the Jerusalem Post for running the Im Tirtzu ad. The Jerusalem Post responded by sacking Chazan, who had been a Post columnist. A “progressive” group of Jews in Australia, hearing about Chazan’s behavior, decided to withdraw an offer to host her for a speaking tour.
 
           Leftist groups, led by the anti-Israel Human Rights Watch, repeated their familiar take on democracy: Israelis denouncing and demonizing Israel build peace and progress, but people denouncing leftists threaten democracy itself.
 
           A few dozen far-left academics, joined by some others, placed large ads in newspapers denouncing Im Tirtzu and endorsing the agenda of the New Israel Fund. Leftist professors filled the chat lists with messages insisting Im Tirtzu was a clear and present danger to democracy and freedom of speech in Israel.
 
           Several tenured leftists insisted that Im Tirtzu’s exercise of freedom of speech would lead directly to political murder, repeating the old calumny about how right-wingers exercising their freedom of speech caused the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Others, led by Haaretz writers, argued that the rhino horn in the Chazan cartoon was anti-Semitic.
 

          That so many of Israel’s leftists have stooped to such nonsense shows only one thing: They are in a high state of panic over the appearance of possibly the most important authentically Zionist grassroots movement in Israel in decades.

 

 

Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why The Left Hates Im Tirtzu”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
British-accented executioner for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) dubbed by the media, "Jihad John."
ISIS Living High Life in Raqqa, Using Yazidi Females as Human Shields
Latest Indepth Stories
The New York Times building is only the cover page for what goes

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

ISIS Released Map

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

More Articles from Steven Plaut
brant

“Jewish Voices for Peace,” a Hamas lobby created by Jewish anti-Semites.

The same by any name

The real enemy of Israel is not Arab fascism but Jewish leftism.

Neo-Nazis claim that Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is in fact a Mossad agent named Elliot Shimon

One grey night it happened, Bibi caved no more
& Poof that Foggy Bottomer, he vanished from our sight

It’s six K, five K, four K, Graft !
(Daylight come and da jail’s his new home)

In 2012, an initiative was begun in the Knesset led by David Rotem (from the Yisrael Beitenu party), to cut the stipends and pensions paid to convicted murderers and terrorists by 50 percent.

When the Temple was in existence, Jews were religiously obligated to eat roast meat at least once a year.

I have frequently drawn up lists of what I love most about Israel, and Arik Einstein has ranked high.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/why-the-left-hates-im-tirtzu/2010/02/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: