Monday, February 6, 2012

Israeli Demonization Week

by Mark Tapson

The title above may be a bit confusing, since the left and their media cohorts essentially treat every week as Israeli Demonization Week. So to be more precise: the official, organized, designated demonization of Israel known as Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is gearing up to launch later this month.

IAW is an annual (2012 is the eighth) international series of events held in cities and on campuses across the globe. It aims “to educate people about the nature of Israel” – by which it means to spread disinformation and propaganda – “and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns” in order to delegitimize it. They demand full equality for Arab citizens of Israel (who already have it), an end to what they falsely call the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands, dismantling of the security wall that protects Israelis from Palestinian terrorist attacks, and the Palestinian right of return, which would essentially mean the end of Jews in Israel.

The IAW program begins in Europe in late February, shortly afterward in the United States, then Canada, the “Arab World” (as the website refers to it) and South Africa early in March, and finally in “Palestine.” Its speakers, conferences, rallies, workshops, panel discussions, film screenings, protests, even “flash mobs” will help hammer home their monstrous lies about Israel. The speakers featured this year at IAW include:

Max Blumenthal, a vicious character assassin masquerading as a journalist. In addition to playing an entire deck full of race cards against Republicans in his capacity as smear merchant for such entities as Media Matters, the Nation Institute (funded in part by George Soros), and the Huffington Post, Blumenthal kicked off the Internet frenzy over The Path to 9/11, a $30 million ABC miniseries in 2006 about the history behind the 9/11 attacks. He claimed ridiculously that the project was a secretive “propaganda operation” on the part of a stealth conservative cabal in Hollywood, and sparked death threats against the director and writer thanks to his lies about their political agenda.

Palestinian-Canadian attorney Diana Buttu is an international law expert and former advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization. CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, notes many instances of the media-savvy Buttu’s distortions and outright lies about Israel; for example, she buttresses her argument that Palestinian violence is the result of Israeli military occupation with her often-repeated claim that not a single Israeli died from suicide bombings during the period of the Oslo peace process. CAMERA points out that in fact, 24 Israelis died from suicide bombings during this period, and 14 more by other means at the hands of Palestinian terrorists. Not to mention the Arab violence against Israelis that predates the latters’ control over the West Bank and Gaza. Jew-hatred, not “occupation,” is to blame for terrorism against the Israelis.

Nada Elia currently teaches Global and Gender Studies at Antioch University-Seattle. She chairs the Anti-Militarism and Occupation taskforce of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence, and is a member of the Organizing Committee of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, which focuses on boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions and which includes such Israel-haters on its Advisory Board as Bishop Desmond Tutu, whom she calls a mentor, and academic Hamid Dabashi. At IAW in 2010 she stated proudly,

BDS is in everyone’s mainstream consciousness. BDS is on everyone’s mind. BDS is a global movement. BDS today is a strategic threat to Israel.

It is indeed in the mainstream consciousness. That’s because language is one of the keys to delegitimizing Israel, and the left is so successful at manipulating language, especially their demonstrably false allegation that Israel is analogous to South Africa’s racist former regime. This tool of language has become the favored bludgeon for the anti-Israel movement to gain international support and turn Israel into a pariah state. It is particularly effective among the sadly impressionable minds on college campuses, where leftist and multiculturalist indoctrination is routine.

But South Africa was a uniquely repressive system through which their white minority brutally enforced its domination over the black majority through separation laws. No such laws exist in Israel; Arab citizens of Israel have the full range of civil and political rights, including the right to organize politically, the right to vote and the right to speak and publish freely.

Nonetheless, the haters’ strategy is very effective. Jewish-Canadian, anti-Israel activist Judy Rebick admits in a video from last year’s IAW that the left’s relentless labeling of Israel as an apartheid state is “a brilliant propaganda tactic,” because countering the false charge that Israel is the new South Africa forces Israel’s defenders to repeat the word “apartheid” constantly; the repetition thus gives the association more power and familiarity in people’s minds, creating a tar baby that Israel can’t shake off. As always, the left knows very well how to use language as a weapon to stay on the offensive, forcing their opponents into reactive mode at all times.

For example, talk radio host Dennis Prager’s short article addressing this charge against Israel not only mentions the offensive word thirteen times, the very title of the piece is, astonishingly, “Israel: An Apartheid State.” Sure, the content of the article is a reasoned refutation of the label, but the constant association “Israel=apartheid” is even more psychologically effective. It may be among the world’s greatest lies, as Prager calls it, but until Israel and its supporters learn to make an end run around such linguistic assaults as those of the IAW hate-fests, or go on the offensive themselves, they will always be operating from a defensive stance, and the lie will keep gaining ground.

Mark Tapson


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