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Posts Tagged ‘leftists’

What Freedom Of Speech?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

           The latest headliner in the campaign to silence critics of Israel’s radical Left is Prof. Zvi Hacohen, the new rector at Ben Gurion University. A professor in chemistry and “desert research,” Hacohen was cited at length in Haaretz (Sept. 15) denouncing people, especially students of the Zionist Im Tirtzu movement, who dare criticize leftist sedition.
 
            Hacohen calls all such critics of anti-Israel extremism “McCarthyists.” Leftists denouncing Israel as a Nazi country, a fascist apartheid entity in need of obliteration, are simply exercising their legitimate academic freedom, but anyone who denounces those leftists for what they say and do is guilty of “McCarthyism” and so must be suppressed.
 
            Radical leftist academics who call for a world boycott of Israel are engaging in legitimate use of academic freedom, they insist, but others who call for boycotts of such boycotters of Israel are fascists and guilty of “incitement.”
 
            Hacohen denounces students at his own university and others (I assume he means the www.Isracampus.org.il  watchdog group, Israel’s equivalent to Campus Watch in the U.S.) for recording the public lectures of radical anti-Israel faculty members and then making them public. He also is upset when they cite verbatim the seditious public pronouncements of those faculty members. Hacohen insists it’s McCarthyism to protest the anti-Israel indoctrination that is the main (if not the sole) activity of the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University, and he denounces students from Im Tirtzu for calling on donors to place their contributions to the university into escrow until the university makes needed reforms.
 
             Hacohen is just one of Israel’s many increasingly hysterical radical leftists inside (and outside) academia who demand that freedom of speech for non-leftists be suppressed.
 
             Leftists in Israel are free to endorse violence, to call for Israel to be destroyed, and to endorse anti-Semites and terrorists. They are free to promote lawbreaking and violence. They are free to call on the world to boycott Israel and to impose upon Israel by force an outside “resolution” of the conflict along lines the vast majority of Israelis oppose.
 
             Yes, it may be upsetting to people, say the leftist poseurs, but offensive speech needs to be protected in the name of democracy.
 
Or does it? A young Jewish woman named Tanya Susskind drew a protest poster of the Prophet Muhammad as a pig. Her drawing was distasteful, but no worse than those Danish cartoons that were judged to be protected speech. She was sentenced to more than two years in prison. Israeli soldiers who recently had their photographs taken alongside handcuffed or blindfolded suspected terrorists have been prosecuted for insensitivity. Why was their behavior not considered protected freedom of expression?
 
In a similar manner, Israel has criminalized and banned the various Kahanist factions of followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. They are denied freedom of speech under Israel’s silly “anti-racism law,” a law that has never been used to prosecute a single anti-Semite. Their crime? They express political opinions Israeli leftists find repulsive.
 
            A professor at the University of Haifa was ordered by the Attorney General’s Office to report to the police for interrogation concerning things he was accused of saying about Arabs in class – statements he denies having made. But even if he had said negative things about Arabs, why was that not protected speech? Is protected speech in Israel limited to the rights of anti-Semites and traitors to smear Jews?
 
Just what happened to the idea that freedom of speech protects unpopular and even offensive opinions? Leftists expressing anti-Semitic or anti-Israel radical ideas are never prosecuted in Israel. The most the government ever did was deny entry into Israel to a few foreign leftist professors who had been maintaining intimate association with terrorist organizations like Hizbullah.
 
Let us go back to Prof. Hacohen, the rector. We know what upsets him, but what does not upset him? He is not disturbed that entire departments at his own university operate as open anti-Israel indoctrination camps. He is not disturbed that faculty members at Ben Gurion University are leaders in the international campaign to boycott Israel, to “divest” from Israel, to place sanctions against Israel. He is not disturbed about BGU faculty members who associate with Holocaust deniers.
 
Prof. Hacohen is not concerned about reports of leftist faculty members at BGU harassing and penalizing students there who dare dissent from the anti-Israel ideology poured out in classroom indoctrinations. He is not concerned that anti-Israel radicals are being hired and promoted on the basis of “academic records” consisting of nothing more than anti-Israel hate propaganda. He is not concerned about BGU faculty members who endorse terrorist violence. He is not concerned about Arab and Jewish leftist students marching about his campus giving Heil Hitler salutes.
 
The only thing he seems worried about is that some Zionist students at BGU wish to express their opinions and criticize treasonous behavior. He demands that they be silenced. He insults the students at his own university, calling them “McCarthyists.” He demands that criticism of treason be silenced in the name of protecting academic freedom.
 

The academic freedom of which he dreams is the sort to be found in North Korea.

 

 

 

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.

When Naivet? Becomes Sedition

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The most dramatic and important political change in Israel over the past 20 years has been the transformation of the Israeli Left from a movement of political naivet? to one of, in an increasing number of instances, political sedition.

For most of its history, the Israeli Left was a well-meaning if rather clueless political camp. Its core belief was that a more accommodationist set of policies could buy Israel peace with the Arab world.

Throughout the 1970s and much of the 1980s, the Israeli Left insisted that endless Israeli “goodwill gestures” would prove to the Arabs that Israel’s intentions were benign, and as a result the Arabs would be persuaded to come to terms with the Jewish state.

The Left insisted that Israel’s turning the other cheek in response to Arab terrorist atrocities was the most effective method to end them. It argued that Israeli retaliatory acts were actually causing Arab terror attacks. (Leftists everywhere have long been fond of Orwellian inversions of cause and effect.)

The Israeli Left dismissed the genocidal agenda of Arab terrorist groups as empty rhetoric. It believed Israeli self-abasement could buy friendship and goodwill from the very terrorists who hailed Hitler as their role model, who libeled Jews with the claim that they drink the blood of gentile children on Passover, and who denied there had ever been a Holocaust.

The Israeli Left of yesteryear – the Israeli Left pre-Oslo, pre-1993 – was wrong but for the most part not malevolent or self-hating. However misguided its policy prescriptions, its motivations were essentially pro-Israel.

Back in 1993 most Israeli leftists believed the Left’s ideas would benefit Israel and the Jewish people. (Today, all too many leftists support those same ideas whether or not they harm Israel and Jews.)

In 1993 most Israeli leftists believed Israeli concessions would lead to Arab moderation. (Today’s leftists know – but seemingly don’t care – that concessions are seen as signs of weakness that only inspire greater Arab violence.)

In 1993 most Israeli leftists believed in Israeli restraint because they thought it would stimulate Palestinian goodwill and most leftists thought Israel would emerge stronger if the Oslo accords were implemented. (Today’s leftists demand endless restraint even after witnessing the bloody results.)

In other words, the Israeli Left of 1993 was by and large a Left that could, if properly provoked, be awakened from its delusions. And in fact, many longtime leftists would move to the center and even to the right in the decade immediately following Oslo as Palestinian atrocities, endless violations of PLO commitments, and increasingly Nazi-like rhetoric from both Palestinians and Israeli Arabs continued to mount.

This is not to in any way excuse the old Israeli Left for its disastrous policies – policies originating out of fear and weariness rather than hard-headed realism.

Ultimately, the old Israeli Left got to implement its agenda in the great Oslo “peace process” experiment, with successive Israeli governments under Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert agreeing in principle to eventually abandon all or almost all of the “occupied territories,” even to divide Jerusalem and restore the Golan Heights to Syria’s ruling clique.

The result was escalated terrorism and a global campaign of delegitimization against Israel.

The Oslo policy of Israel’s old Left was based on a total loss of the ability to think rationally. It was a loss of historic proportions, a relinquishment of reality for a make-pretend universe, and a complete loss of the Jewish determination to survive as a nation.

How else to explain thespectacle of Israeli leaders meeting, back-slapping and kissing the same Arab fascists who murdered Jewish children and only yesterday denied there had ever been a Holocaust while at the same time insisting that if there had been one, the Jews deserved it?

* * * * *

 

Now, less than 20 years after the beginning of the Oslo “peace process,” Israel’s very continuation as a Jewish state is regarded as a legitimate topic of conversation in polite company. Even worse, it is the Israeli Left that more and more is leading the assault against its country’s legitimacy and very survival.

The “peace process” experiment proved beyond doubt that the Israeli Left’s perception of the problems of the Middle East had always been distorted. Perhaps the most egregious example of this was Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which served to convert all of Gaza into a Hamas terror base rather than the tranquil oasis the Left was convinced would follow.

The Gaza withdrawal produced a torrent of thousands of rockets from terrorists in Gaza on Jewish civilians in the Israeli Negev, which of course is located well within Israel’s pre-1967 “Green Line” border.

And thanks to Israel’s unilateral capitulation in Southern Lebanon in 2000, there was a barrage of thousands of Katyusha rockets from Lebanon into Northern Israel in the summer of 2006 as well as the seizure of much of Lebanon by genocidal Hizbullah terrorists. The Palestinian Authority of the “moderate” PLO entered into an open competition with Hamas and Islamic Jihad over which group could launch the most terrorism against the Jews.

The Oslo disaster also triggered a global upsurge in anti-Semitism and support for Arab demands around the world.

Israel’s endless self-restraint in the face of terrorism and its countless capitulations won Israel no friends. Even the White House responded to such displays of weakness by demanding that Israel agree to turn its holiest shrines over to terrorist control. The more Israel exhibited restraint, the more the world denounced it for its “violations of human rights” and “apartheid racism.”

Israeli displays of weakness have not only convinced the Arab world the Jews are on the run, they have resulted in a worldwide campaign of demonization against Jews, including – but not limited to – medieval-style tales of Jews trafficking in the body parts of dead Palestinians and Israelis engaging in Nazi-like war crimes.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have yet to comply with a single punctuation mark in any of the “accords” and agreements they have signed, yet the world insists in rare unison that Israel is the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

The failures of the “peace process” have also had interesting domestic political ramifications inside Israel. The de facto implementation of leftist thinking by the various governments of the Labor Party, Kadima and Likud has ultimately served to undermine the very survivability of the country. As a result, more and more Israelis have experienced a “dropping of the token,” as Hebrew slang describes a rude awakening.

As noted above, large numbers of Israelis abandoned the political Left as it became ever more difficult to deny that leftist-inspired policies had simply made the situation far worse and far more dangerous. The Meretz Party lost 75 percent of its electoral support within just a few years. Leftist organizations Peace Now and Dor Shalem are largely defunct.

On the other hand, the people remaining within the ranks of the dwindling Left have become increasingly extreme. Indeed, many of them have emerged as a political Fifth Column. For reasons only psychiatrists might properly fathom, this rump political Left in Israel openly identifies today with the enemies of its own country, supporting all enemy demands without reservation.

The ugly and indisputable reality is that the contemporary Israeli Left consists of people openly calling on the world to impose on Israel sanctions and divestment schemes. It consists of people proclaiming that peace has been blocked because Israel is an evil entity. The Palestinian “right of return” that would annihilate Israel from within is now supported by hundreds of leading Jewish leftists.

The Israeli Left, particularly the academic Left, churns out enormous amounts of anti-Israel hate propaganda for all takers. It was the Israeli Left that invented for world consumption the “apartheid” calumny, as well as fictions about Israeli “war crimes.” (Does it even need to be said that no leftist has ever been indicted for this under Israel’s toothless anti-treason laws?)

The Israeli Left is also increasingly involved in law breaking and violence. The government turns a blind eye to this. Even though the original idea for Israel’s security wall had actually come from the Left (because leftists thought this would calm the situation and lead to Israel’s abandoning most of the West Bank to the Palestinians), week after week Israeli leftists now hold violent demonstrations against that wall, attempt to vandalize it, and physically attack Israeli police and soldiers. They also hold demonstrations demanding that large swaths of Jerusalem be kept judenrein – Jew-free.

To grasp the absurdity of this, try to imagine U.S. civil-rights protesters wearing Klan hoods and demanding that black folks be kept out of neighborhoods “where they do not belong.” Israel is the only country on the planet where domestic leftists lobby to force their country into giving up its capital city.

Most alarming, however, has been the Israeli Left’s adoption of the political positions and agendas of its country’s worst enemies regarding almost everything. Before any audience that will listen, Israeli leftists routinely denounce Israel as essentially a colonialist racist entity with no moral right to exist and certainly no moral right to defend itself.

There is not a single act of self-defense that Israel could undertake today against terrorists that would not be denounced by Israel’s Left as criminal, fascist, or racist (sometimes all three). Israel’s most visible leftists seem to have one position and one position only – total Israeli capitulation to terrorist demands, including “talks with” (meaning capitulation to) Hamas.

The old na?ve Israeli Left may have preferred that Israel seek to resolve its conflict with the Arab world through niceness, but it had no delusions about what ultimately lay at the origins and the heart of that conflict. The old na?ve Left understood that the Middle East conflict was caused by the Arab refusal to accept any manifestation of Jewish self-determination in the Middle East.

The Israeli Left of the 21st century, in stark contrast, believes the conflict stems from the temerity of the Jews in reestablishing sovereignty in their historical homeland. Israel’s very existence, in the eyes of a dismayingly large number of leftists, particularly those in academia and the media, is a crime in itself – the original sin, if you will.

More and more Israeli leftists openly mourn the very creation of Israel, joining together with Islamists in “Nakba Day” commemorations marking the “catastrophe” of Israel’s existence.

Israeli leftists routinely join foreign anti-Semites in promoting what they call the One-State Solution – in effect a final solution under which Israel would cease to exist altogether as a Jewish state and simply become absorbed into a larger, predominantly Arab, binational state.

That a growing number of Israeli leftists regard their own country as a paragon of evil is bad enough. Also growing, however, are the manifestations of open anti-Semitism among Jewish Israeli leftists. Their intellectual nexus is Israel’s professoriate (exposed in detail at www.isracampus.org.il).

Israeli tenured academics are the sponsors and initiators of campaigns all over the world to boycott Israel, including boycotts against the very universities that pay their salaries.

Hundreds of Israeli university professors have been involved in organizing mutiny and insurrection among Israeli soldiers, and some have even been arrested for violence. Israeli university authorities wink at such faculty behavior and sometimes condone or promote it.

Israeli students are increasingly complaining about being harassed by leftist faculty members if they dare express dissenting pro-Israel opinions in the classroom, and some claim their grades were lowered as punishment for this felony.

In-classroom anti-Israel indoctrination is becoming more common at Israeli universities. Israeli extremist academics have misused their classroom podiums to force-feed their students anti-Israel libel and anti-Jewish venom. Some courses consist of little more than North-Korean-style one-sided political indoctrination. “Academic” conferences held weekly on Israeli campuses are often anti-academic exercises in one-sided advocacy of leftwing positions.

Faculty hiring and promotion decisions are often subordinated to political bias and gestures of leftist political solidarity. Authors of tracts as openly anti-Jewish as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are granted tenure automatically. Israeli extremists with mediocre academic records are hired and promoted as acts of solidarity by other leftists within the university system. University officials often pretend that anti-Israel political propaganda is serious scholarship and research.

* * * * *

 

On the left wing of the Israeli political spectrum, the simple son of the Passover Haggadah has been replaced by the wicked son. This is not to say that every leftist is wicked or has evil intentions, just that the Left as a collective entity no longer has Israel’s best interests at heart.

The Left in Israel is at war with Zionism and Israel’s continuation as a Jewish state. It is also radically opposed to democracy and freedom of speech. For too many leftists, the highest form of democracy means issuing calls for foreign powers to neutralize Israel’s electorate and to impose an outside “solution” on the country – one to the liking of the Arabs – by means of threats and force.

This is a phenomenon that needs to be understood and internalized – and actively fought – by all non-leftist Jews in Israel and throughout the Jewish world if the Jewish state is to survive.

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

Israeli Left’s Checklist For Academic Freedom

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

With so much recent debate in Israel about academic freedom, I thought it would be constructive to describe the current politically correct ideas about academic freedom held and proliferated by the academic left:
 
● There is only one correct point of view, that of the radical left. It is the main function of universities to operate as centers for the proliferation of radical leftist ideology and for indoctrination into progressive thought.
 
            ●* There is no reason for any courses to provide students with any point of view other than the correct one. Students should express correct ideas if they expect to pass the course.
 
● Faculty members who express opinions that leftist colleagues and students might find offensive must be prohibited and suppressed. Ditto for those who dare to criticize organizations like the New Israel fund; that criticism makes some people feel offended and sad.
 
● While faculty members who express opinions leftist students might find offensive should be fired or at least disciplined, there is nothing wrong with radical anti-Israel faculty members using their classrooms to lecture students on why IDF soldiers resemble Nazis, why terrorist attacks against Israel are morally just, why Israel should be destroyed, why Jews are morally inferior.
 
● Academic freedom means anti-Israel radical faculty members have the right to denounce and demonize Israel and call it foul names, but no one has the right to criticize radical anti-Israel faculty members or accuse them of disloyalty.
 
● Criticism of anti-Israel faculty members is McCarthyism and must be suppressed at all costs, at all times. It is also incitement.
 
● There are those who claim real commitment to freedom of speech is exhibited by defending the free-expression rights of those with whom one disagrees. This is nonsense. Politically-correct defenders of academic freedom should not be expected to criticize the anti-democratic suppression of the freedom of speech of people on the right.
 
● Because there is only one correct view, and it is a radical leftist anti-Israel view, those adhering to this view must be hired and promoted even if they have no academic publication records at all or only very thin ones. This is how one shows solidarity in the struggle for peace.
 
● Leftist anti-Israel faculty members are entitled to unlimited freedom of speech, but donors to Israeli universities, elected politicians, students, and non-leftist faculty members are not. They have no cause to interfere in university matters that do not concern them.
 
● Israeli taxpayers are not entitled to any accountability or say in Israeli universities. It is their job to pony up the funds that keep anti-Israel faculty members in their cushy jobs, where the latter can, without interference, advocate attacks against, harm to, and boycotts of those very same taxpaying citizens. Taxpayers who express reluctance to finance academic sedition are anti-democratic, unhygienic troglodytes.
 
● Students who dare disagree with the correct ideas of radical anti-Israel faculty members should have their grades lowered.
 
● Students who go to prison because they refuse to serve in the IDF deserve university backing and support, but those who go to reserves do not – and should be barred from entering classrooms in uniform.
 
● Calling for world boycotts of Israel is academic freedom. Denouncing such callers as traitors is McCarthyism.
 
● Academic diversity means having Ashkenazim, Mizrachim, women and Arabs in the same department all expressing the same leftist anti-Israel ideas. It never means including non-leftists in an academic department to achieve diversity by expressing dissident non-leftist ideas.
 
            ● There is no reason for students to be exposed to any ideas other than those of the radical anti-Israel left, including in course readings and lectures. There is no reason for leftist faculty members to balance their own biases in class by mentioning the views of those who disagree with them.
 
● Faculty chat lists should be censored so that leftists may freely insult non-leftists, but no one should be allowed to answer them in kind.
 
● Whenever a radical leftist is presented with documentation of facts that contradict leftist theology, the leftist must insist that no facts have been presented at all.
 
● No facts contradicting leftist theology are admissible. They must be dismissed as being “right-wing.”
 
● The only permissible set of policies that may be advocated for Israel is that of accommodation to the just demands of the Arabs. If peace has not been achieved, it is because Israel has not been accommodating enough.
 
● Churning out anti-Israel hate propaganda must always be counted as scholastic achievement and research.
 
● Watchdog groups like Isracampus or NGO Monitor should be suppressed for their questioning of leftist orthodoxy.
 

● Critical thinking must never involve criticism of the radical left.

 

 

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

Israelis As Nazis, 1982

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. For those who labor under the mistaken assumption that media liberals and leftists turned against Israel because of its handling of the two Palestinian intifadas, or because of what they perceive to be the neoconservative hold on the Bush White House (particularly during Bush’s first term), or because they lay the blame squarely on Israel for the collapse of Oslo and the failure of the Clinton initiatives at Camp David and Taba, it might be instructive to take a brief look back at what liberals and leftists were saying about Israel a quarter-century ago.

Columnist Nicholas von Hoffman, who recently described Israel as “not good for much beside limited or mass destruction” and who decries “the Israeli-American war against the Palestinians,” was already secreting his anti-Israel bile back in 1982 when he wrote, “Incident by incident, atrocity by atrocity, Americans are coming to see the Israeli government as pounding the Star of David into a swastika.”

The late columnist Carl Rowan also looked eastward and beheld the Fourth Reich rising in Jerusalem: “In their zeal to ensure that the Jewish people never suffer another Holocaust, Israel’s leaders are imitating Hitler.”

Columnist and author Pete Hamill cited an unnamed “Israeli friend” who supposedly said of Israel, “Forgive me, but all I can think of is the Nazis.” (One of the Monitor’s journalistic rules of thumb: When a reporter quotes anonymous sources, they invariably agree with the reporter’s agenda or story line – assuming the sources are even real in the first place.)

The late Alfred Friendly, former managing editor of the Washington Post, was in fine frenzy: “[Israel’s] slaughters are on a par with … Trujillo’s Dominican Republic or Papa Doc’s Haiti. Still absent are the jackboots, the shoulder boards, and the bemedalled chests, but one can see them, figuratively, on the minister of defense.”

Columnist Richard Cohen, who just a few months ago tried to backpedal from his statement that Israel is “a well-intentioned mistake,” had this to say 25 years ago: “Maybe the ultimate tragedy of the seemingly nonstop war in the Middle East is that Israel has adopted the morality of its hostile neighbors. Now it bombs cities, killing combatants and non-combatants alike – men as well as women, women as well as children, Palestinians as well as Lebanese.”

Columnist William Pfaff suggested that “Hitler’s work goes on” – and speculated that Hitler may “find rest in Hell” with “the knowledge that the Jews themselves, in Israel, have finally … accepted his own way of looking at things.”

The late NBC News anchor John Chancellor, reporting from Lebanon, delivered a series of commentaries sharply critical of Israel, including this historically illiterate blast: “What will stick in the mind about yesterday’s savage Israeli attack on Beirut is its size and scope…. Nothing like it has ever happened in this part of the world…. What’s an Israeli army doing here in Beirut? The answer is that we are now dealing with an imperial Israel which is solving its problems in someone else’s country, world opinion be damned [emphasis added].”

NBC’s Tom Brokaw, interviewing Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, burnished his progressive credentials with this bit of nonjudgmental gable: “…the PLO, or the terrorists as you call them [emphasis added].”

Reporters and anchormen weren’t the only media types to take the sledgehammer to Israel. Zev Chafets, in Double Vision, his 1985 study of anti-Israel media bias, noted that editorial cartoonists were particularly vicious and inclined toward the Nazi imagery favored by so many pundits:

Artist Steve Benson compared Ariel Sharon with Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and showed goose-stepping Israeli storm-troopers guarding a death camp labeled BEIRUT; Tony Auth depicted the ghost of a Jewish inmate of Auschwitz looking at a bombed-out site in Lebanon and, in horrified recognition, saying, “Oh, my God.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal ran a picture of Begin looking into a hole where Lebanon had been, captioned “A final solution to the PLO problem,” and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner carried a Bill Schorr cartoon in which Begin said, “For every problem, there is a final solution.”

The Indianapolis Star carried one cartoon by Oliphant of a wrecked city with a sign saying WARSAW GHETTO crossed out and the words WEST BEIRUT substituted and another with Israeli soldiers saying, “We are only obeying orders.” The Arizona Republic ran a picture of Begin wearing a badge saying NEVER AGAIN, and an Arab standing next to him wearing a button saying UNTIL NOW.

Chafets’s book, by the way, is as powerful today as it was when first released, not least because many of the journalists whose work he critiques are still active.

Ten Years After: The Metamorphosis Of Israel's Left

Friday, January 2nd, 2004

In a recent opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post, Sarah Honig, one of the paper’s better
columnists, raised the question of whether Israel’s Left should be regarded as stupid or
crazy. She raised the question in response to the latest gambit by Yossi Beilin, the Mother
Hen of the Oslo debacle, and his friends — the so-called ”Geneva Understandings,” which
would be better termed the Geneva Misunderstandings.

Honig’s question deserves to be taken seriously. The most correct answer to her question is that while many leftists are indeed crazy or stupid or both, increasingly Israel’s Left is composed of people who are evil.

This third possibility should be taken very seriously. The growth of the simply evil among
the stupid and the crazy on the Israeli Left has a simple explanation. While the Israeli Left at
the time of the Oslo Accords consisted mainly of the naive and the foolish, these people have,
over the course of the past ten years, in large part disappeared from its ranks. In most cases,
they simply became less foolish and naive over time, and consequently abandoned the Left.
They were mugged by reality and succumbed to the years of daily empirical demonstrations
that the Left’s understanding of the conflict in 1993 was simply wrong, demonstrably wrong,
disastrously wrong.

These were the people whose earlier beliefs had remained open to a certain amount of testing, whose minds had not been hermetically sealed shut. When the actions of their erstwhile ”peace partners” proved just how wrong they’d been, they had second thoughts. They awoke and sniffed the coffee the rest of us had long been sipping. Among the manifestations of those second thoughts were the near-complete implosion of the leftist Meretz party, which lost half its Knesset representation, and the landslide defeat of Amram Mitzna and the Labor Party in the last Israeli national election.

As the naive abandoned the Left in droves, a process of adverse selection occurred. Many if not most of those who remained on the Left despite the bloody years of Oslo are today are evil. They constitute the Satanic Left. Some of them used to be foolish leftists who evolved
into evil leftists. They remain on the Left because they are motivated by hostility to
Israel, animosity toward Jews, and classic self-hatred.

That a political movement like the Israeli Left could be taken over by those motivated by dislike of their own country and hatred of their own people should not come as too much of a
surprise. After all, the American campus Left is also today little more than a movement of
anti-Americanism. It will support any Third World butcher it thinks is sufficiently hostile to
the United States and the West. It supports everything imaginable that can harm the
United States.

In 1993, most Israeli leftists sincerely believed that if Israel were to recognize and legitimize the PLO, make goodwill gestures to the Palestinians and release them from Israel ”occupation,” offer the Palestinians their own state alongside Israel, allow Arafat and the
leadership of the PLO to relocate from Tunis to the West Bank, and show itself somewhat
flexible in terms of the status of Jerusalem, then the Palestinians would respond to such
generosity with their own generosity.

The Left genuinely expected that demonstrations of Israeli goodwill would trigger outpourings of Palestinian goodwill and moderation, that good sportsmanship would be rewarded with niceness. A decade of goodwill measures later, we now have ample proof.

The Left was, of course, totally wrong. Israeli niceness did not produce Palestinian niceness but rather Palestinian Nazification. Israeli goodwill gestures triggered Palestinian fanaticism. Israeli offers to compromise produced Palestinian digging in of heels and insistence that only Israel’s destruction through some imagined ”right of return” was an acceptable solution.

When Israel turned over the bulk of the West Bank and Gaza to the PLO, along with perhaps 95 percent of the Palestinian population, those areas were not used by the PLO for nation building and economic development. Instead, they were used solely for perpetrating endless terrorist attacks, rocket attacks, and mass murders against Jews.

It became evident very quickly that Palestinian terrorism was not being caused by Israeli ”occupation” but rather was skyrocketing as a direct consequence of the removal of Israeli occupation. Each and every Israeli concession and offer to compromise was met with escalating Palestinian savagery and barbarism. It became obvious that the terror bonfire was not being fanned by any construction of Israeli settlements but rather by Israeli offers of appeasement that included proposals to remove those settlements.

We are now more than a decade after the infamous White House handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat, orchestrated by Bill Clinton. Frankly, intelligent people should have seen in 1993 that Oslo was not a peace process at all but rather a process of appeasement and defeatism that would end not with a suppression of Palestinian terror but rather with its escalation to unprecedented levels.

In fairness, honest people with good intentions could well have believed in 1993 that Oslo was the path to follow. They were motivated by wishful thinking, by a complete misunderstanding of the Middle East conflict, and by exhaustion.

Fast forward to 2003: Every single day since the Oslo Accords were implemented has served up new empirical proof that those accords were founded on a totally incorrect concept of what the Middle East conflict was about. The Middle East conflict was not about any need for Palestinian ”self-determination” but rather about the total refusal by the Arab world to acquiesce in any form of Jewish self-determination.

The problem was not Israeli unwillingness for territorial compromise but Arab rejection of any territorial compromise if it allowed the continued existence of even a truncated Jewish state. Oslo proved that the Arabs would not be satisfied with some form of Palestinian statehood restricted to the West Bank and Gaza, but would demand all of Israel, perhaps in the name of the right of ”self-determination” for the Arabs of Nazareth and the Negev and Jaffa.

If the years of daily proof were insufficient, surely the events at Camp David II should have been more than enough to convince even the most diehard idealist and obstinate naif on the Israeli Left of the errors of his or her ways. At Camp David, Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians virtually all of the West Bank and Gaza purged of their Jewish settlers, all of East Jerusalem including the Western Wall, swaths of pre-1967 Israel, financial tribute, and admission of tens of thousands of Palestinian ”refugees” into the areas that Israel would retain as partial implementation of the Palestinian ”right of return.”

The PLO response to this suicidal offer was complete rejection and the launching of what has now become universally misnamed the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which should in fact more properly be dubbed the Oslo Pogroms. Characteristically, the Left’s response to these pogroms has been to engage in revisionism, denying that Barak actually made a generous offer at Camp David.

It’s been said that remarriage is the victory of hope over experience (as well as common sense). Israel’s leftist politicians continued to court the ugly Palestinian bride who had divorced them over and over and over. To believe after Camp David II that offers of generosity by Israel could ever defuse Palestinian barbarism was take to refuge in fantasy.

While the ranks of the Left in Israel have dwindled, as a cultural/political force the Left has retained much of its powers, including a near-totalitarian hegemony over Israel’s media and universities.

Who exactly are these people still on the Left? They are people who insist that Israel continue to pursue the failed Oslo ”strategy” — as if the past ten years of failure never took place. Beilin’s Geneva Misunderstandings are perhaps the best illustration. Going somewhat beyond even what Barak had offered at Camp David, they are once again based on endless Israeli concession, appeasement, and capitulation to Arab demands with absolutely no quid pro quo. The only thing the Beilin plan offers Israel is a promise of yet another empty rhetorical commitment by the PLO to suppressing terror, which is the same old used Edsel the PLO has been reselling to Israel over and over for the past decade.

The official canon being promulgated by Israel’s Left today is increasingly one of treason. A growing number of Israeli Leftists promote a one-state or binational solution, according to which Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish state. It would be entirely enfolded into a Palestinian state stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan with the Arabs the majority and the Jews a minority, tolerated at best like the other non-Arab or non-Muslim minorities in the Arab world.

Israeli Leftists are increasingly recruiting themselves to serve the very worst anti-Semites of the planet. There are today Israeli leftist professors promoting the views of Holocaust deniers. Scores of Israeli professors endorse the boycotts being organized by overseas anti-Semites directed against Israel, including even boycotts of the Israeli institutions that pay them their salaries. Israeli leftists are regulars on Islamist fundamentalist websites and are the universal
legitimizers of the very worst haters of Jews throughout the world. There exists today a true
axis of evil which links Jewish leftism with Islamofascism.

Israel’s Left has always been fundamentally anti-democratic, opposing the right of free expression for non-leftists, demanding that non-leftists be prosecuted as ”inciters.” The Left has long insisted that Yitzhak Rabin was in fact murdered because non-leftists and Oslo opponents were permitted to exercise their right to free speech. But lately the Left’s anti-democratic inclinations have taken a turn toward extremism and outright subversion.

Israeli leftists have long held themselves as being above the law, with no need to submit to the will of the majority, because their motives are so nice and pure. Leftists (and Arab fascists) feel they should be able to call openly for violence with impunity. Leftists believe they should be excused from serving in the army or obeying laws or paying taxes if the policies being implemented by the government or the army are not those advocated by the most extremist leftist 5 percent of the electorate.

The Left has for years been trying to foment mutiny among Israeli soldiers. It has organized groups who refuse to report to duty as long as Israel ”occupies” any portion of the West Bank and Gaza. These are people who explicitly refuse to submit themselves to the will of the majority of their fellow citizens. These are not people willing to promote their ideas through persuasion and argument, but rather through subversion and defiance of the rule of law. Their most recent gambit is to organize mutiny among Israeli pilots in the air force, who will refuse to shoot at terrorist mass murderers until Israel ends its ”occupation” on the leftist terms of surrender opposed by the bulk of the electorate.

In 1993 most Israeli leftists supported the Left because they believed its ideas would benefit Israel and the Jewish people. Today most leftists support those same ideas because they know they will harm Israel and Jews.

In 1993 most Israeli leftists believed in leftist ideas because they thought ”Palestine” would pursue peace. Today those remaining on the Left support Palestinian statehood because they know ”Palestine” will pursue war.

In 1993 most leftists believed in leftist ideas because they thought Israeli concessions would lead to Arab moderation. Today’s leftists know that these concessions are seen as signs of weakness that catalyze and energize Arab violence and that is why they demand more of
them.

In 1993 most leftists believed in Israeli restraint because they thought it would stimulate Palestinian goodwill. Today’s leftists demand endless restraint because they do not want Israel to fight terror at all. They want terror to triumph.

In 1993 most leftists believed in leftist ideas because they thought Israel would emerge stronger if Oslo were implemented. Today’s leftists advocate the very same ”process” — witness the Beilin-proposed capitulations — despite the blood-drenched reality of the past ten years.

The Left of 1993 was by and large a Left that could be awakened from its delusions by Palestinian atrocities, endless violations of PLO commitments, Arab betrayal, and the
increasingly Nazified rhetoric of both Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.

By contrast, too many of today’s Israeli leftists do not need awakening because they have no delusions that negotiations will produce peace; they support Oslo-style surrender precisely because they know it will not lead to peace.

Too many Israeli leftists and their overseas apologists will do anything in their power to undermine the will of the electorate in Israel. They will undermine any government Israeli voters select. They have no scruples when it comes to collaboration with the worst anti-Semites on the planet.

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

Israel’s Left Wins Its Jihad Against Arutz-7

Friday, November 28th, 2003

Yet another nail was banged last week into the coffin of Israeli democracy. Last week the
McCarthyist Left in Israel succeeded at long last in shutting down Arutz-7, the main voice of
non-leftist dissidence in Israel. This under a government headed by Ariel Sharon.

Israel’s Hebrew-language media are the occupied territories of Israel’s Far Left. Haaretz is
considerably less pluralistic than was Pravda in the days of Gorbachev and is increasingly
advocating One-Statism, or the Rwanda Solution to Israel’s existence, where Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish state. Yediot Aharanot is just slightly less extremist than Haaretz and its Op-Ed pages have been dubbed by some wags “Fatahland.” Maariv is the most balanced of the Hebrew papers, although it also is more leftist than not.

The Jerusalem Post is balanced but has a tiny market share, read only by those whose primary language is English and whose lack of proficiency in Hebrew prevents them from reading the Hebrew press.

Israel’s three TV stations compete against one another over who can be the most extremist
and leftist, who the most biased. They are considerably less pro-Israel than the BBC and CNN. Most radio stations are still state-run and — by definition — that makes them leftist. The Likud has never challenged the hegemony of the Left over the state-owned electronic media when it has held office.

That leaves the “pirate stations.” Israel has a long history of “pirate” radio stations. These are broadcasters who operate transmitters technically outside the legal jurisdiction of Israel, at
sea on ships or just illegally from someone’s attic. Pirate radio exists largely because the
government has refused to sell broadcast licenses to private-sector groups.

The first pirate ship was that of leftist wacko Abie Nathan, who used it to broadcast obnoxious rock and roll noise mixed in with political caterwauling from the far Left. He was
allowed to broadcast unfettered for decades, starting in the early 1970′s, by governments of both Labor and Likud. He eventually went bankrupt and celebrated the shutting down of his “Peace Boat” by scuttling it smack in the center of Israel’s shipping lanes.

But sauce for the goose in Israel has never been sauce for the lemmings. When the Right
set up its own pirate radio station on a ship outside the territorial waters of Zion, the McCarthyist Left launched a jihad that from its first day was designed to shut it down. But despite the repeated legal and legislative attempts to silence it, Arutz-7 managed to struggle on — until last week.

A handful of other pirate stations, many with Orthodox religious orientation, have also
broadcast on and off. Unlike the United States, the Israeli government has never looked kindly on religious radio stations having a right to part of the airwaves.

Arutz-7 was a breath of fresh air in Israel’s near-totalitarian world of leftist media hegemony. It proved itself absolutely correct in its denunciation of the Oslo Accords, and in fact was the only media outfit in Israel that dared oppose the policies of Rabin and Peres.

The Left denounced Arutz-7 as ‘inciters’ — McCarthyist terminology for people who disagree with the Left — and the leftists made no secret of their belief that Arutz-7 was directly
responsible for Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination.

The Left had been filing petition after petition to shut Arutz-7 down. The same Labor Party that defended Abie Nathan’s ship to its last decibel led the jihad against Arutz-7. It was
joined by a host of leftists who have served as attorney general. Incredibly, some of the worst
assaults against Arutz-7 were carried out when the Likud was in office, since the Likud always
seeks to be the ‘me-too’ party and to out-Labor the Laborites.

Five years ago a leftist lawyer filed a suit to shut down Arutz-7 and indict its owners/ managers. It took five years for the court to find for the plaintiff and restore leftist hegemony over Israel’s media.

Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book ‘The Scout’ is available at
Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steven_plaut@yahoo.com.

Hide Your Wallet When You See A ‘Caring Leftist’

Friday, July 11th, 2003

I have long believed that the one time the Left is even more dangerous than when it is pursuing “peace” is when it suddenly gets all caring-pooh about the underprivileged. When leftists decide to go on a jihad against inequality, the time has come to hide your wallet and take
a long sabbatical in New Zealand.

Israel’s Caring Left has long insisted that the national budget must first and foremost be earmarked for helping out all those who would like a handout, and only when there are absolutely no cases of people unhappy with their material comforts and standards of living will we check if there is any cash left over in the till that can be used for national defense.

As a result of leftist agitprop, Israel has practically disarmed itself over the past decade, what with the Oslo Accords being so successful and all. Real spending on defense as a portion of
GDP is less than half of what it was before Oslo. Meanwhile, social welfare spending has gone through the roof. But the Israeli Left echoes the famous American labor union chief who, when
asked what exactly he wanted, responded, “More!”

As a result of the Oslo War Process and the world recession, Israel’s economy is in dire
straits and tax revenue is down. This means either the country shoots back into hyperinflation or the budget has to get cut. Cutting the budget pretty much means cutting some segments of social welfare spending, because that is most of what constitutes the budget, and any further cuts in the already-halved defense budget are a guaranteed one-way ticket to the concentration camps.

There are, of course, plenty of places to cut social spending and lots of pork. Instead, the
Left suggests raising taxes on the “rich” to, say, 110% of income. Guess how much new revenue that would bring in.

So the Caring Left took to the streets to demand that no social spending at all be cut.

Cutting social spending makes leftists feel sad. Spending other people’s money makes them feel happy. Since the average leftist has maybe five times the income and wealth of the average
Israeli, nothing is stopping Caring Leftists from helping out the poor through tzedaka (charity)
except their own hypocrisy.

The Histadrut Crime Family has exploited all these sentiments, shutting down the country
repeatedly in recent weeks in the name of preventing social spending cuts. Israeli businesses are losing contracts because foreign businessmen are afraid to enter the country - not because of the Oslo bloodbath, but for fear of being stranded when the Histadrut next decides to shut down the airport.

The Histadrut is itself in large part responsible for the stampeding social spending, because a good chunk of public spending is being used to bail out the Histadrut’s own insolvent pension funds. For years, the Histadrut ran its pension funds under the guiding principle that for every shekel you put in, we promise you four shekels plus interest, and then when we cannot pay
you what we promised, we will extort the government into ponying up the missing wampum and robbing the taxpayer.

This spring, the Histadrut was joined by a number of academic leftists who signed public
petitions endorsing the Histadrut?s “campaign” and its extortionate strikes. These were the same people who were among the early promoters of Oslo.

Finally, the newest cause of the Left is using suicides as a fig leaf to force the government
not to cut any social spending ? indeed, to expand it. It seems the Left has decided that all cases of suicide in recent months were due to the fact that the economy is doing poorly and some people are in financial distress. The ?proof? is that in some cases those who took their own lives were sad or left notes saying woe is me, etc.

(Following the Left’s twisted logic, no one ever commits suicide when the economy is doing well; half the population must have committed suicide back when Israel was poor and undeveloped; India is darned near empty these days due to the ‘fact’ that poverty produces
suicide.)

So the Knesset is considering new measures to stop Israeli suicides by pumping more money into social spending and handouts, and the Court is considering legal petitions by people
demanding Court-ordered increases in social spending to stop suicides, while the press is filled
with stories about suicides caused by economic hardship.

Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book ‘The Scout’ is available at
Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steven_plaut@yahoo.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/hide-your-wallet-when-you-see-a-caring-leftist/2003/07/11/

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