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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Im Tirtzu’

Analysis: ADL ‘Disturbed’ by Video Depicting Left-Wing NGOs as Foreign Agents, But Aren’t They?

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday said it is “deeply disturbed by a video produced by the Israel-based organization Im Tirtzu, which labels leading Israeli human rights activists as ‘foreign moles’ operated by foreign governments.” Not dealing with the right-wing group’s accusation, the ADL condemns its “employing fear tactics to suppress left-leaning Israeli NGOs,” labeling the video “a form of incitement which crosses the line into hate speech.”

The video produced by Im Tirtzu (the name is derived from Herzl’s famous saying, “If you want it, it won’t remain a fable,” which became the unofficial slogan of political Zionism), titled “Foreign Agents revealed,” is about as harsh as an average negative ad in an average American election, and resembles one in its aesthetics. It depicts four members of left-wing Israeli NGOs that rely on foreign countries and organizations—many of which are hostile to Israel—for their funding.

MK Yoav Kish (Likud) is currently sponsoring a bill called the “Plants Law,” based on research showing several left-wing organizations as plants of foreign countries, promoting an anti-Israel agenda. The bill requires these NGOs to report on their activities, and prohibits any unauthorized collaboration with them on the part of the government and the army. Each request for such collaboration must receive a one-time special permission from the Justice Minister. The bill recommends a fine of $25,000 on foreign agent NGOs that fail to comply.

The video argues, in extremely dramatic fashion, that the recent Arab campaign of stabbing, rock and Molotov cocktail throwing and ramming by car of innocent Israeli civilians, is receiving aid and comfort from these NGOs, who defend passionately the civil rights of the attackers. (Only yesterday, one such NGO, Physicians for Human Rights, was successful in getting the Israeli Medical Association to change its rules on terrorist scene triage, commanding doctors to treat Arab murderers and their Jewish victims as equals—and PHR receives upwards of $2 million annually from foreign sources, according to NGO Monitor.)

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, and Carole Nuriel, acting Director of ADL’s Israel Office, insisted that “Im Tirzu’s highly disturbing video employs fear tactics to accuse Israeli human rights activists and organizations of being culpable in the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism. This is a form of incitement which clearly crosses over into hate speech.” They argued that “Whether one agrees or disagrees with the mission and work of the nongovernmental organizations singled out in the video, accusing them of supporting Palestinian terror in order to delegitimize their activities is outrageous and potentially libelous.”

The problem is that these organizations mentioned in the video do support and legitimize Palestinian terrorism. And they’re doing it with funding from anti-Israeli foreign sources.

The Public Committee Against Torture is responsible for a libelous anti-Israel campaign alleging that Israeli authorities place Palestinian “prisoners in iron cages (including children),” and maintain ongoing “torture-related policies and practices against Palestinian prisoners and detainees.” PCAT co-authored a 2011 report, “Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim,” together with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, claiming to “reveal… significant evidence arousing the suspicion that many doctors ignore the complaints of their patients; that they allow Israel Security Agency interrogators to use torture; approve the use of forbidden interrogation methods and the ill-treatment of helpless detainees; and conceal information, thereby allowing total impunity for the tortures.” The report utilizes unreliable sources, including “testimonies” from individuals convicted or suspected of security offenses and terrorism; presents inconsistent recommendations; erases the context of terrorism in the actions of security forces; and does not provide a lexical, legal, or consistent definition for the key terms “torture” and “ill-treatment.”

PCAT donors include: EU, Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Dignity (Denmark), Germany, Cordaid (Netherlands), ICCO (Netherlands), Kvinna till Kvina (Sweden), UNDP and others. They net about half a million dollar annually from foreign sources.

JNi.Media

What Are the Main Weapons Being Used to Fight Israel Today?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined in-studio by Knesset insider Jeremy Saltan, who heard Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon claim that while terrorism was yesterday’s war, BDS and Deligitimization are today’s strategic threat to Israel.

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by Erez Tadmor, associate editor at Mida magazine and co-founder of “Im Tirtzu,” an organization that fights anti-Zionism on Israeli campuses. As the head of the “message” team for the Netanyahu campaign, which yielded a whopping 30 seats for the Likud, he explains what Israelis want to hear, and how Netanyahu beat an international consortium against him.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Jewish Rights Activist Yehuda Glick Receives Human Rights Award

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the Jewish rights activist who was shot multiple times at point blank range just a few weeks ago, received a human rights award on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Glick received the award from the Israeli Zionist organization Im Tirtzu at the Second Zionist Conference.

Glick was shot on Oct. 29 by Islamic Jihad member Motaz Hejazi after leaving a meeting at which the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount was discussed. Glick was shot right outside of the Menachem Begin Center in Jerusalem, where the meeting had taken place.

Hejazi walked up to Glick, asked him to identify himself, shot Glick repeatedly, then took off on a motorbike. Hejazi was employed at the restaurant in the Begin Center, despite having been imprisoned in Israel for 11 years for terrorism offenses.

Hejazi was later killed in a shootout with police at his home in Abu Tor, a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Glick’s recovery is considered by many to be a miracle, and his attendance at a public function a mere six weeks after such a brush with death even more so.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israeli Arabs Launch ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

What began as an anti-Israel campaign throughout the world, is coming to Israel, with a conference on “Israeli Apartheid” to be held Wednesday in the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth, Maariv reports.

The conference, held as part of the “Apartheid Week,” will feature Dr. Yousef Jabareen, senior lecturer at Haifa University, who will speak about “racism within the Green Line,” and Dr. Haidar Eid, a professor from a Gazan university, who will speak over Skype about “the similarity between Palestine and South Africa before the removal of Apartheid laws.”

Event organizers are young Arab activists who are members of the local branch of the BDS movement, which leads the international boycott campaign against Israel.

Raja Zaatara, one of the organizers and a member of Hadash party politburo, said: “The green line has a policy of apartheid and the territories have a regime of apartheid. In Israel there are dozens of laws explicitly speak about rights that are exclusive to the Jews, for example, the Law of Return, and various real estate laws.

“If anyone in the U.S. or in Europe chooses to boycott Haifa University because it discriminates against Arabs, or Tel Aviv University because it runs more than 50 projects for the Army, I can quite understand them,” said Za’atra. “If I was a Belgian or French citizen, I would be boycotting Israel in order to influence the situation. The boycott is a legitimate tool of civilian struggle.”

Abir Cobti, a female political activist and one of the organizers of the conference, says that the purpose of the event is to help isolate Israel in the international arena. “We will continue to engage in promoting economic boycott against Israel as a legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people.”

The “Im Tirtzu” movement, dedicated to reviving Zionist values in Israel, criticized the participation of Dr. Jabareen in the Nazareth event.

“This is yet another play of the Theater of the Absurd, which continues to break new records. Arab citizens of Israel—Israelis such as Dr. Yousef Jabareen, who lectures in Israeli academic institutions and even heads an academic institute in Israel, taking part in a conference accusing the state of Israel of apartheid,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman, Ronen Shoval. “This conference is part of hallucinatory Antisemitic propaganda campaign against Israel and against Israeli democracy. “

Yori Yanover

Dubbing Political Foe ”Fascist” May Prove Costly to Facebook Defendants

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Can one cry “Fascism” in a crowded internet? A Jerusalem district court begins hearing testimonies on this issue today, with a plethora of unintended consequences paving its path. Is this a typical case of Left vs. Right, and if so, will a court decision necessarily benefit either of the sides? As of this morning, the relatively small but insanely vociferous world of Israeli online activists should start holding its collective breath .

Im Tirtzu (a reference to Zionist visionary Theodore Hertzle’s immortal slogan, Im tirtzu ein zu agada, roughly translated as ‘If only you want it, it won’t remain a dream’), describes itself as “an extra-parliamentary movement that works to strengthen and advance the values of Zionism in Israel.” Established by Israeli intellectuals, students and IDF reservists after the 2006 Second Lebanon War, its objectives are the renewal of the Zionist discourse, thinking and ideology, “to ensure the future of the Jewish nation and of the State of Israel and to advance Israeli society in coping with the challenges it faces.”

Im Tirtzu is mostly devoted to “combating the campaign of de-legitimization against the State of Israel and to providing responses to Post-Zionist and Anti-Zionist phenomena.”

With thirteen branches at universities and colleges throughout Israel, Im Tirtzu has become an influential organization in the Israeli public arena, with strong ties to Israeli politicians on the right, and “access to decision makers and high-ranking government officials in Israel.” They influence public opinion and can certainly be considered a factor in moving Israel’s popular public opinion to the right.

A year ago, Im Tirtzu filed a NIS 2.6 million suit against seven people who created a Facebook page called “Im Tirtzu – Fascists,” and the defendants are about to present their depositions today. The Facebook Seven are represented by Attorney Michael Sphard, Yishai Shindor and Shlomi Zacharia. The seven admit that the financial burden of the lawsuit could destroy them, and are planning to start a fund raising drive.

But perhaps a sincere apology would do them better, because, on the face of it, they’re not in good shape. The Facebook Seven’s defense boils down to the “if the shoe fits” argument, which may be hard to prove.

The defense is also expected to argue that presenting Im Tirtzu as fascists is protected by the principle of freedom of expression – it’s their opinion and they’re entitled to voice it. That argument, too, can be tricky in a country with tough libel laws like Israel.

One deposition comes from Professor Ze’ev Sternhell, who is presented as “an internationally-recognized expert on fascism.” According to Sternhell, Im Tirtzu’s ideology and actions contain elements of fascism.

The problem is that Professor Sternhell in one article openly called on terrorists to aim their weapons at settlements, and in another declared that only those willing to march on the settlement of Ofra with tanks would be able to stop the fascist wave threatening to drown Israeli democracy. As impassioned as his defense of the Facebook Seven may be, he can hardly be considered an unbiased expert.

A more useful argument is expected to be made by journalist and spoken Hebrew expert Rubik Rosenthal, in whose opinion the term “fascist” has lost its historic bite in the current Israeli discourse, being used by opinion-mongers on the left and on the right as a generalized insult, rather than the original characterization by Benitto Mussolini et al.

But journalist Tomer Persico’s testimony will include a conversation he had with one of Im Tirtzu’s leaders, Ronen Shuval, in which the latter admitted to being influenced by “German romanticism’s ideologues,” those 19th-Century dreamers who gave life to the monstrous European fascism. If you note a contradiction between the former paragraph’s main point and this one, do read it once more and note that, indeed, this could be a case of having the cake while munching on it vigorously.

Incidentally, perfectly mainstream Zionist movements such as Beitar took pride in calling themselves Fascist, in the days before the term went gargoyle. Calling Shuval a fascist for identifying with the same sentiments that Likud’s ancient founding father Ze’ev Jabotinsky embraced before WWII may be just a case of unfairness, in which journalists of Tomer Persico’s ilk are known to dabble on occasion.

Professor Ze’ev Sternhell reads into texts written by Shuval “a clear expression of fascist thinking.” These include “references to the nation as an organic body.” But, of course, this would dub most hasidic and kabalistic writing equally fascist. Because, in history, thinking your nation is special is not a problem – thinking your nation is special so you should kill everybody else is usually where troubles start.

Other signs of fascist thought, according to Sternhell, include the view of an atrophied West and the sense that the situation in Israel is an emergency requiring extremist action and struggle against the “traitors.” This inclusive approach would probably dub as fascist both houses of the US Congress and a majority of publications on the shelf today in the areas of sociology, economics, poli sci, and religion, to name just a few thousand.

Yori Yanover

Campus Watchdogs: 10% of Israeli Academics Anti-Zionist

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Campus watchdog organizations Im Tirtzu, IsraCampus, and Israel Academia Monitor, have determined that approximately 10% of Israeli academics are anti-Zionist, according to a recent study.

Israel Academia Monitor released a statement refuting charges of McCarthyism: “We are not a right-wing organization, but rather an organization that is unaffiliated politically and that keeps its distance from politics. Our role is to protect the universities from political forces, and especially from the extreme left, that exploits the institutions for its needs and acts as if they were its private playing field.”

The study lists more than 1,000 Israelis, 800 of whom are academics.

Jewish Press Staff

Score Another Victory For Israel’s Radical Left

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Bank Leumi, the National Bank of Israel, initiated a campaign, called Two Million Good Reasons, aimed at rewarding Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with funding for their efforts on behalf of the good of society.

One hundred forty NGOs entered the contest, uploading videos to YouTube showcasing their volunteer work in an effort to amass the greatest amount of votes. Based on public support, the bank would distribute two million shekels ($540,000) between the sixty leading organizations.

Upon witnessing the widespread success of Im Tirtzu in the competition, the radical left in Israel vehemently lashed out against Bank Leumi for consenting to the movement’s participation. Members of Peace Now threatened to start a boycott and close their accounts at Bank Leumi unless Im Tirtzu were disqualified.

Despite accusations from radical leftists that Im Tirtzu has political affiliations, their real grievance stems from the fact that they are unable to tolerate views or beliefs that differ from their own. In fact, Bank Leumi initially announced that the mission of Im Tirtzu coincides, completely, with the guidelines of the competition. Moreover, one of the guiding principles of the competition was to promote Zionism. It was only after the bank found itself in the midst of a barrage of negative PR that is issued a statement closing down the contest.

Im Tirtzu prides itself on providing a voice that is diametrically opposed to the anti-Zionist and post-Zionist sentiments prevalent in today’s public discourse. At the same time, it prides itself on remaining apolitical, not affiliated with any political party or group. In fact, Im Tirtzu continues to receive support from across the political spectrum.

As an institution dedicated to the people of Israel and land of Israel, Im Tirtzu spends its time, energy and funding on programming and activities designed to assist, inspire and contribute to all walks of Jewish life. We promote Zionism on university campuses, help new immigrants with their absorption into Israeli society, support students in need of assistance, visit and support Holocaust survivors, work with farmers in the Negev and Galilee, volunteer in Sderot, help minorities acclimate to Israeli society, support soldiers, plant forests and stand firmly against anarchist demonstrations.

The objections to Im Tirtzu’s pro-Israel activities and advocacy come from many of those on the radical left who accept funding from foreign governments and impede, inhibit and undermine the sovereignty and democracy of the country.

Clearly, the thought of Im Tirtzu emerging victorious from this competition, with the support of the public, is something they simply could not bear.

Unfortunately, Bank Leumi succumbed to ugly left-wing threats. Im Tirtzu was in first place as the most popular non-profit organization when the bank decided to stop the project.

Thanks to its unrelenting efforts, Peace Now had its way with Bank Leumi. But this is hardly about one group or one competition. The leaders of Peace Now consider it legitimate to accept funding from foreign countries. By doing so, they undermine Israeli democracy. Not only do they silence the values of Zionism and nationalism, they undermine organizations that seek to improve the lives of sick children, Holocaust survivors, victims of cancer and so many other people in need.

Ronen Shoval is founder and chairman of Im Tirtzu.

Ronen Shoval

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/score-another-victory-for-israels-radical-left/2011/12/17/

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