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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Right’

Yet Another Case Of Leftist Treason

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
              It was even before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir that the Israeli Left, led by the Haaretz newspaper, chanted in unison what has become one of its fundamental political axioms: political violence is a congenital inclination of the Israeli Right and is committed exclusively by right-wingers.
Naturally, after the assassination of Rabin the assertion became a matter of unchallengeable theology.
The media obsession with the alleged violent inclination of the Israeli Right long served to obscure the congenital inclination towards treason and espionage by a great many members of the Israeli Left. The simple fact of the matter is that every single incident of anti-Israel espionage has involved left-wing Israelis.
The scandal that was just made public in Israel, after a local court order prohibiting its publicity was lifted, involves Anat Kamm (spelled Kam in some news accounts), a young leftist who leaked classified military documents to Haaretz. She stole more than 2,000 such documents and passed them on to her Haaretz handler, a leftist journalist named Uri Blau, now in hiding in the UK. Haaretz ran some stories using information extracted from some of the material.
            As alluded to above, Kamm is far from the first Israeli leftist to be involved in treason and espionage. In the 1950s the Israeli communist parties were rife with Soviet collaborationists. Closer to our own time, Mordecai Vanunu, the notorious nuclear spy, was a member of the Israeli communist party. Marcus Klinberg spied in Israel on behalf of the Soviets for years. Azmi Bishara, who spied for Hizbullah, was a leading member of Israel’s Arab Left.
            The worst espionage-cum-terror ring that operated in Israel was organized in the 1970s by kibbutz-born communist Udi Adiv. Leftist Tali Fahima was imprisoned for helping her Palestinian boyfriend plan terror attacks.
And of course there are hundreds of Israeli academic leftists who currently promote boycotts of Israel as well as mutiny and insurrection by Israeli soldiers.
Haaretzhasnever run editorials about the inclinations of leftists to engage in treason and espionage. The Right almost universally denounced Yigal Amir. The Left is celebrating Anat Kamm as a great patriot.
After the assassination of Rabin, every Israeli newspaper and leftist commentator denounced Bar-Ilan University, where Yigal Amir had been a law student. Many even called for shutting the university down. Not one of those same people has called for closing down Tel Aviv University, where Kamm was a student in the history and philosophy departments and where, together with the sociology and political science departments at TAU, one would have to search long and hard to find faculty members who are not leftists or out and out communists.
Not a single mainstream media outlet in Israel is denouncing the radicals at Tel Aviv University for inspiring and breeding Anat Kamm, nor are pundits calling for the university to undertake a complete “critical self-examination” to understand its own guilt, which is what they had demanded of Bar-Ilan.
             In 1940 Winston Churchill shut down all the newspapers and media operated by the British Union of Fascists, the pro-German party led by Oswald Mosley. It was one of his first acts as prime minister. Some 740 leading members of the party, including Mosley, spent the duration of the war in prison. Like Haaretz, their newspapers had launched a “peace campaign” (with Nazi Germany) and reflexively supported the enemies of their country in just about everything.
Until now, Haaretzwas a newspaper given to political stands many deemed treasonous but not a newspaper actually involved in treason and espionage. It has a market share in Israel of 6 or 7 percent, and I suspect that at least half its subscribers get the paper in spite of its anti-Israel ideology and thanks to its business supplement The Marker, the best in Israel. (I am one such subscriber.)
              But now we have discovered that Haaretz has gone beyond merely championing dangerous appeasement. Will Prime Minister Netanyahu have the courage of Churchill and shut down the newspaper for the duration of Israel’s war with Arab jihadists? (At least two Knesset members have called on Netanyahu to do just that.) Will he imprison extremists supporting the country’s enemies in time of war?
            What Kamm did was worse than what Jonathan Pollard was convicted of in the U.S., so Kamm and Blau should be sentenced to a prison term at least as long as that being served by Pollard.
Haaretz for its part is bragging about its role in the espionage and trying to spin it as a great act of patriotism. Really. After all, among the classified documents stolen by Kamm and passed on to Haaretz were a couple that described Israeli military plans to continue targeted assassinations against Hamas terrorists despite an Israeli Supreme Court order commanding the military and executive branch to stop those assassinations.
            Now, if the Israeli military was indeed planning to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling, it should be cheered for doing so. Because the ruling that prohibited targeted assassinations of terrorists was itself grossly illegal and unconstitutional. It was one of the worst outrages by Israeli Supreme Court justices dedicated to “judicial activism,” the anti-democratic doctrine of judicial tyranny that insists that the court need not base its rulings on actual laws or constitutional powers.
          There is absolutely no legal basis for the Israeli Supreme Court to interfere in the management of Israel’s war against terrorism. The court has no legitimate standing to dictate to the military how it should pursue its tasks.

But that, of course, is not how Haaretz is spinning it. Haaretz strongly supports judicial activism because judicial activists in their rulings usually impose items from the leftist agenda upon the country.

            Kamm, meanwhile, has become the poster girl of Israel’s Far Left, which is increasingly open and brazen in its treasonous political positions. For years now, all too many Israeli leftists have supported the enfoldment of Israel into a Palestinian “bi-national” state, promoted the Palestinian “Right of Return,” organized lawbreaking and insurrection by soldiers, vandalized Israel’s security wall, engaged in violent hooliganism against soldiers and police, and in some cases even cheered on acts of Arab terror and served as human shields for murderers.

Actual espionage is but a mere baby step beyond all that.

 

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.

Litmus Test For Nakba Law Opponents

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

            The Israeli media and the Israeli Left (but I repeat myself) have been hysterical in recent weeks over a proposed bill that would make it illegal to hold anti-Israel “mourning” events on Israel’s Independence Day, events that would declare Israel’s very existence a “nakba” (or catastrophe in Arabic).
 
            Nakba commemorations are in essence events during which Jewish leftists and Arabs call for Israel to be annihilated. The anti-nakba bill would, if passed, ban these, and has triggered hysterical opposition. 
 
            There are two groups of people posturing their outrage at the proposed law. One group consists of free speech absolutists; the other of anti-democratic haters of Israel, many of them people with a neo-fascist disdain for freedom of speech. The first group truly believes in freedom of speech, even for radicals, traitors, and extremists. The second group agrees with Israel’s enemies that the very existence of the Jewish state is a catastrophe.
 
            There is a very easy litmus test to distinguish between these two groups. If the opponent of the law is someone who spoke out clearly in the 1990s against the “anti-incitement” campaign, aimed primarily at the Right, that person is part of the first group, the free speech absolutists. But if the person endorsed that campaign against “incitement” or simply kept quiet and failed to speak up against it, he belongs to the second group.
 
            Immediately after the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995, the Israeli political establishment launched a broadside assault against freedom of speech in Israel. It repeated endlessly the idea that Rabin had in effect been killed by the exercise of free speech on the part anti-Oslo dissidents. Hundreds of people were investigated and interrogated on suspicion of “incitement.” The “judicial activists” in Israel’s legal system failed to protect the victims of the anti-democratic witch-hunt.
 
            In the anti-democratic hysteria after the assassination, Israelis were carted off by the busload to be interrogated for “incitement.” In some cases the circumstances were comically absurd. A man was arrested for cracking a joke in a bank: when the clerk had asked, “Who’s next in line?” the man responded, “Peres.” A Zionist Federation employee was arrested for “incitement” while drinking at a caf? because an eavesdropper claimed he was “inciting.” Moshe Feiglin was convicted of “sedition” because he dared to hold anti-Oslo protests that blocked a traffic artery.
 
            The notion that Rabin was killed by freedom of speech was repeated endlessly by the political elite and assumed the status of revealed truth. The government approved a decision to make a growing list of organizations on the Israeli Right illegal. Kahanists were criminalized and denied freedom of speech under Israel’s arbitrary “anti-racism laws,” which have never been used to prosecute leftist or Arab anti-Semites.
 
            A series of aggressive measures designed to prosecute those engaging in “incitement and agitation” was instituted. Right-wing protesters of various stripes were arrested and prosecuted for various charges.
 
            In this atmosphere, countless legitimate exercises of freedom of speech were persecuted and suppressed. A faculty member wearing a pro-settlement button at the Weizmann Institute was threatened with expulsion. A Haifa teacher-rabbi was fired by his school for expressing the opinion that Rabin’s political ideology should not be taught as theology in schools. Rabbis writing scholarly articles on rabbinic law were arrested for “racism” and “incitement.” Police were ordered to tear down posters on public billboards placed by anti-Oslo protesters. Israelis wearing shirts with politically incorrect slogans and those with rightist bumper stickers on their cars were harassed and interrogated by the authorities.
 
            The assertion that Rabin was killed by the exercise of freedom of speech was absurd and false. There is no reason to think Yigal Amir would have behaved any differently if opponents of Rabin’s policies had all spoken in gentle, calm tones rather than shouting angrily.
 
            And if “vile speech” causes assassination, Israel would have witnessed an endless slaughter of its political leaders going back to independence (if not beforehand). Israeli political discourse has always been characterized by rhetorical overkill, ad hominem slander and high-decibel shrieking.
 
            Vile speech is not a monopoly of hotheads of the Israeli Right, as the anti-Begin demonstrators in 1982-83 proved during Israel’s Peace in Galilee campaign in Lebanon. Their slogan was “Begin and Sharon are Murderers and War Criminals.” No one was prosecuted for voicing those sentiments.
 
            (Likud is just as capable – and culpable – as Labor when it comes to jumping on the anti-democratic bandwagon. It was Likud that closed down the rightist radio station Arutz 7. And it was Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who told his cabinet on February 13, 2005, “Anyone who speaks or writes against the [Gaza] Disengagement Plan is guilty of incitement.”)
 
            Many of the people now outraged at the idea of an anti-nakba law cheered on the 1990s campaign against the Right. The far-left Israeli daily Haaretz, leading the campaign against the anti-nakba law, led the effort in the 1990s to suppress “incitement” and the exercise of free speech by those opposed to the Left’s political agenda.
 
            So here is the test: You do not like the proposed anti-nakba law? Then prove to us you are opposed to other infringements of freedom of speech in Israel. Show us what you said or wrote against the 1990s campaign against “incitement” and freedom of expression on the Right. Let us know what you have done to fight other measures designed to suppress freedom of speech, including the infamous anti-democratic SLAPP suit filed by the ultra-leftist academic Neve Gordon.
 

            If you can’t, or won’t, do that, your hypocrisy stands exposed in all its stunning ugliness.

 

 

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

Israeli Voters Step Decidedly To The Right

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

          The Israeli election was on the surface a tie between Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, and Kadima, led by Tzipi Livni (who replaced Ehud Olmert as party chief). While Livni loudly proclaimed victory because Kadima had come out one parliamentary seat ahead, the election was largely a victory for the Israeli Right.
 
The average Israeli has abandoned the Oslo-era delusion that the way to bring about peace is to engage in unilateral concessions and rank appeasement. In 2009 virtually everyone in Israel understands the abandonment of Gaza to the Hamas terrorists was an act of incredible folly.
 
As a result, it now looks all but certain that it will be Netanyahu, not Livni, heading a new coalition government. It is not completely out of the question that Likud and Kadima will form some sort of rotating unity coalition, but I would bet the little I have left in my pension fund that this will not happen.
 
After the split with Kadima several years back, the Likud in the previous parliament had retained only 12 Knesset seats (the rest were basically hijacked by ex-Likudniks who had migrated to Kadima). In the 2009 election, the Likud parliamentary representation jumped to 27 seats – the most dramatic development of the election.
 
Meanwhile, Kadima won 28 seats, down by only one from its number in the previous Knesset. Kadima had been widely expected to lose far more, and its success in preventing this was largely thanks to the wave of national solidarity that accompanied the bloodying of the Hamas savages in Gaza.
 
So, in a sense, Livni and Kadima were the big winners of the military campaign in Gaza, but their newfound favor in the eyes of voters was not enough for the party to retain power. Kadima also benefited from a manipulative news leak, not necessarily factual, just hours before the voting that a deal had been reached to get Gilad Shalit released from his Hamas captivity. In addition, Kadima’s worst handicaps, the corruption scandals involving Ehud Olmert and former finance minister Avraham Hirshson, had been removed from the front pages. Livni was able to convince the public that their stains had not sullied her.
 
If the rebound of the Likud was the most dramatic success story of the election, the most noteworthy failure was the near-demise of the leftist Meretz party, allied closely with Peace Now. Meretz garnered merely three Knesset seats – fewer than the communist party.
 
Part of the reason for Meretz’s demise may be attributed to Israel’s far-leftist daily Haaretz calling for people to vote against the party. Meretz, while leftist, is nominally Zionist, while Haaretz is not even that.
 
The other spectacular loser was the Labor party under Ehud Barak. Its Knesset strength sank to an all-time low of 13 seats, despite the fact that Barak himself was widely considered to have performed well in the Cast Lead attack on Hamas.
 
Meanwhile the Israeli Right experienced both success and failure. The most dramatic development there was the growth of Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu party. Lieberman originally built up his party with the support of Russian-speaking Jews from the old Soviet Union, picking up votes that once might have gone to Natan Sharansky (who has left politics). But the new Lieberman party reached out to all Israeli Jews.
 

In recent years Lieberman shifted rhetorically to the right, and so morphed into a bogeyman of the Israeli Left, which loves to accuse him of anti-Arab “racism.” The hysteria against him probably fueled his increase in strength to 15 Knesset seats, ahead of the Labor party.

Lieberman’s main electoral attraction was his tough, no-nonsense rhetoric. His party’s slogan was “Where there is not loyalty, there can be no citizenship,” a thinly-veiled threat against Israel’s increasingly radicalized and violent Arabs. His other slogan was “Lieberman understands Arabic,” implying that he, unlike mainstream politicians, is not fooled by the pleasantries spoken by Arab politicians to the Western press. His party knows what the Arabs really want.
 
            Lieberman’s success came despite the dirtiest political trick of the election. Just days before the voting, the country’s leftist attorney general, a man with a long track record of politicized prosecutorial decisions, announced that Lieberman and his daughter were being investigated for bribery and money laundering. The timing of the announcement – why not a year or even a month later? – was widely perceived in Israel as political persecution by a biased governmental zealot misusing his powers. That may have helped Lieberman win votes.
 
             Meanwhile, the rest of the Israeli Right performed poorly. The National Unity party had merged with the National Religious Party before the election to create the new Jewish Home faction. But no sooner were they merged than the internal bickering began, and half the new party’s leaders split away and renamed themselves National Unity. Thanks no doubt to the confusion, the two chunks together won only 7 seats – two fewer than what they held together in the previous parliament.
 
Hadash, the predominantly Arab Stalinist party, won 4 seats. It had been expected to do better thanks to one of its Jewish communist members running well in the Tel Aviv mayoral election, getting a third of the votes there, and because of the aforementioned Haaretz editorial attacking Meretz.
 
The three Arab pro-terrorism parties (including Hadash) together took 11 seats, up from the previous election, thanks largely to the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a ban on two of the parties that had been instituted by the electoral commission (on grounds that they are seditious pro-terror organizations).
 
           The religious parties did about as expected – 23 seats in all, including National Unity. This was four seats short of what they held in the previous Knesset. Evidently those lost seats went to Likud and to Lieberman’s party. The religious parties are considerably more likely to enter into a government coalition with Likud than with Kadima.
 
            It is also interesting to note who did not get in at all. The Pensioners Party (GIL), which had 7 seats at the peak of its power, did not win a single seat. None of the “green” environmentalist parties managed to get into the Knesset, including the largest one, led by Michael Melchior, a leftist rabbi who had been a Labor co-leader in the last election. The pro-marijuana Green Leaf party, a perpetual electoral nuisance, also came up empty, as did more than a dozen other loopy parties.
 
The Tel Aviv stock market, for its part, did not like the results of the election, with shares dropping the day after the vote by about two and half percent. What Netanyahu will do, if indeed he forms the new government, is not clear. He has a track record of moving to the political center (and even left of center) once he takes hold of power. Will he do so again?
 
Meanwhile, the BBC and most other international media outlets were hysterically reporting that the election results signaled enormous difficulties for any potential deals between Israel and the Palestinians. Some in the media were insisting the results meant the Oslo “peace process” was over. That,of course, is the very best electoral news of all.
 

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

Polls Point To Big Win For Netanyahu, Israeli Right

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

JERUSALEM – If the polls are right, the outcome of next Tuesday’s Israeli election is a foregone conclusion. Not only does Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud seem bound to emerge as the largest single party, but the bloc of right-wing and religious parties that it leads seems certain to garner a winning majority in the 120-member Knesset.

All the latest polls put Likud ahead of Tzipi Livni’s ruling Kadima Party, some by as many as 12 seats (34-22), others by as few as three (28-25), which theoretically is a small enough margin to be overcome via a coalition deal. But all the surveys without exception give the religious and right-wing parties a virtually unassailable lead, ranging from at least 10 seats (65-55) to as many as 18 (69-51).

That means Netanyahu is almost certain to be invited to form the next government.

The only question seems to be the nature of the coalition he forms. Will he go for a narrow right-religious government that includes the hard-line Yisrael Beiteinu party led by Avigdor Lieberman; two fervently Orthodox parties, Shas and Torah Judaism; and two national-religious parties, Jewish Home and National Union, associated with supporters of the settlements?

Or will he opt for a national unity government that also includes Kadima and/or Ehud Barak’s Labor Party? Netanyahu claims his biggest mistake as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 was in not forming a national unity coalition with then-Labor leader Shimon Peres.

It is a mistake he does not intend to repeat.

This time, Netanyahu says, he wants to establish the widest possible national unity government with the parties on the right balanced by Kadima and

Labor on the left. Likud insiders, however, suggest that he would actually prefer to leave Kadima in opposition, where he believes it will disintegrate as a political force. The thinking is that Kadima in opposition might split, with the hawks rejoining the Likud in return for government portfolios.

Moreover, including Labor without Kadima would be enough to enhance the otherwise hard-line government’s international image and, more importantly, give Netanyahu a degree of flexibility in the Cabinet in dealing with peacemaking initiatives.

Livni, who just four months ago seemed certain to become the country’s next prime minister, is now very much the underdog, and she is pulling out all the stops. Her most recent campaign tactic is to appeal for support as a woman. A campaign ad suggests that no one would question the prime ministerial credentials of a man with her record: army officer, Mossad agent, head of the government companies’ authority, minister of immigrant absorption, regional cooperation, justice and foreign affairs, and deputy prime minister.

Livni is also highlighting the “Obama factor,” arguing that an intransigent Netanyahu-led government would be almost certain to clash with a new U.S. administration bent on bringing peace to the Middle East. Israel needs to put a peace plan on the table now because time is running out, she declared Monday at a conference on national security.

As for Barak, the most significant element of his campaign is the way he has been targeting Livni, not Netanyahu. More than anyone else, he has played on the “think twice before voting for a woman” card. When Livni called for tough action in the wake of renewed rocket fire from Gaza this week, Barak referred to her as “geveret mebarberet” – the chattering lady – and said he found it difficult to see people who had never held a gun or fought a battle calling for military action.

In contrast, Barak, a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, highlights his performance as defense minister in the 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza. Given Israel’s tough security environment, he suggests that anyone who can manage the defense portfolio can also serve as prime minister.

But Barak’s chances of actually winning the election seem negligible. According to the polls, the best he can hope for is perhaps to supplant Livni as runner-up.

Whether or not Labor finishes ahead of Kadima, Barak’s post-election dilemma is likely to be whether to join a Netanyahu government that includes the hawkish Lieberman. As much as Barak would like to stay on as defense minister under Netanyahu, there are strong voices in Labor insisting that if Lieberman, who is advocating a “loyalty test” for Israeli Arabs and says only he knows how “to deal” with them, they will stay out in principle.

Netanyahu, however, will find it difficult to keep out Lieberman. Indeed, Lieberman has been the big story of the 2009 election. Latest polls give his Yisrael Beiteinu party about 16 Knesset seats, with some even placing it ahead of Labor as the country’s third largest party.

Lieberman, who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1979, started his political life close to Netanyahu in the Likud. In 1999, after a falling-out with the then-prime minister, Lieberman founded a small Russian immigrant party, which has since developed into a major force on the international stage.

The showdown with Hamas and the widespread criticism by Israeli Arabs of the devastation in Gaza has helped Lieberman’s cause. His main election slogan – “No citizenship without loyalty” – suggests that if empowered he would deny citizenship and its concurrent voting rights to Israeli Arabs. Lieberman’s many critics on the left accuse him of racism.

One thing that could prevent him from becoming a minister in the next government is the fact that police have just accelerated a long-standing criminal investigation against him involving the alleged laundering of huge sums of money.

The probe might actually help Lieberman win more seats – many see its sudden renewal just days before the election as a part of a conspiracy against Lieberman.

But if he is indicted or if the attorney general disqualifies him from serving in the new government because of the allegations against him, he would not be able to join the coalition, making it easier for Barak to lead Labor into a Netanyahu administration.

What could change things and have all the pollsters eating their hats? Thirty percent of voters say they are still undecided. If they have not been factored in by the pollsters, Feb. 10 could still provide a surprise twist or two.

(JTA)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global//2009/02/04/

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