Two weeks ago, the Palestinians and their anti-Zionist Israeli and international partners finally produced a smoking gun. They had a videotape of evil settlers brutally attacking poor, defenseless Palestinians as they innocently picked olives with their enlightened supporters in a grove by the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron.
The local media went into a feeding frenzy. The footage led the television news broadcasts. Photos taken from the video were plastered across the front pages of the newspapers. Radio talk show hosts denounced the criminal settlers and celebrated the guileless Palestinians and their heroic Israeli supporters. The Olmert-Livni-Barak government was quick to weigh in, promising stiff punishment for the Jewish fascists involved and a curtailment of their supporters' civil rights.
In the weeks that have followed, and with elections looming, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have stepped up their attacks on the evil right-wing extremists. At Saturday night's memorial ceremony/political rally for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv, Barak called right-wing activists "cancers." He claimed that they are a "threat to democracy." And he pledged, "We will uproot this evil from within us."
The crowd loved Barak's statement. The few audience members who might have booed him had already been beaten and arrested by police for disturbing the peace. A handful of anti-leftist activists from the student group Im Tirtzu came to Rabin Square carrying signs decrying leftist demonization of the Right. The police beat them and carted them off before the rally began.
If it were true that settlers are marauding around Judea and Samaria beating innocent Palestinians, perhaps it would be possible to understand this assault against the Right. But as it works out, the videotape that was supposed to be the definitive proof that settlers are violent criminals was a fabrication. It was simply the latest anti-Israel snuff film brought to us by our friends at Pallywood Productions. These are the same creative filmmakers whose previous credits include the fabricated IDF shooting of Muhammad al-Dura, the Jenin massacre that wasn't, the Kafr Kana massacre that wasn't and a host of other notable blood libels.
The inconvenient truth that these activists remain liars was exposed at the remand hearings of the settlers accused of beating the Palestinian olive harvesters. As the NFC news Web site reported exclusively on Sunday, the Palestinians showed their film as evidence against the arrested offenders in two separate hearings before two different judges at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. And at each hearing, after viewing the film the judges concluded that through heavy editing, the video had inverted reality. Both stated that it was impossible to know who began the fight – the Palestinians and their Israeli and foreign supporters who beat the settlers, or the settlers who walked to the grove on Shabbat carrying nothing but their prayer shawls and hit them back.
The judges also noted that one of the Palestinians threw a large rock at the back of one of the settlers after he and his friends had disengaged from the fight. The judges expressed anger and amazement at the police for failing to arrest the Palestinian who had clearly attacked the Jewish defendant without provocation.
IT GOES without saying that the local media have chosen to ignore the court's exposure of the latest hoax. The truth doesn't fit their anti-right-wing narrative and so it isn't being covered.
What the local media and politicians such as Barak and Livni who seek to criminalize the Right for political gain refuse to acknowledge is that their embrace of these lies not only harms the settlers, it harms the country as a whole.
Although from the rap they've gotten from the political Left and its supporters in the media, it seems like right-wing extremists are both numerous and powerful, the fact of the matter is that the number of right-wingers who reject the authority of the state or would take the law into their own hands is tiny. And they are politically isolated both at home and abroad and have no money.
In stark contrast, the anti-Zionist, Israeli Left is an integral part of a well-funded international movement actively engaged in waging political warfare not against the settlers, but against Israel as a whole. The end of this political war is Israel's destruction. The anti-Zionist Israeli Left advances this destruction both by directly assisting terror groups and by indirectly assisting terror groups through activities aimed at delegitimizing Israel's right to defend itself.
The clear collusion between both Israeli and international anti-Israel leftist activists with terrorist groups like Hamas is nowhere more evident than in the terror-supporting International Solidarity Movement's newest spin-off, the Free Gaza campaign. On Saturday, this group broke the IDF's sea blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gazan coast for the third time in recent months by sailing a ship filled with rabidly pro-jihadist and anti-Israel European politicians from Cyprus to Gaza.
According to a credible source with close ties to the operation, the Free Gaza campaign works closely with Israeli far-left groups including Anarchists against the Wall, Gush Shalom, Gisha, Machsom Watch, New Profile and Women in Black. These organizations are generously funded by the US-based New Israel Fund, by European governments and by anti-Israel church groups like the Quakers. The Free Gaza campaign's first ship, which arrived in Gaza in late August, was led by Israeli anti-Zionist activist and former lecturer at Ben-Gurion University Jeff Halper.
The Free Gaza campaign is a clear assault on Israel's national security. Under the banner of "human rights," this new ferry service between Cyprus and Gaza is meant to compromise the country's ability to combat terror operations and to provide political support for Hamas. Crew members and passengers on board these boats meet with Hamas terror commanders in Gaza and coordinate future missions.
Their newest campaign is to prevent the navy from interdicting fishing boats. Hamas and other terror groups make wide use of fishing boats to import weapons and transport terror personnel from abroad into Gaza. By demonizing the navy for interdicting fishing boats, and in open collusion with Hamas, the activists provide political cover for weapons transfers and jihadist maritime traffic into and out of Gaza.
To date, Israel has chosen not to intercept the Free Gaza campaign's boats out of concern that taking such necessary action will prove a public relations disaster both at home and abroad. And this concern is reasonable. But by taking no diplomatic or military steps to prevent this terror-supporting traffic from continuing and expanding, the government allows these Israeli and European terror supporters to strengthen Hamas's war machine and legitimize Hamas's objective of destroying Israel.
Official Israel's failure to act against this breach of its security is directly related to its support of Israeli anti-Zionist groups when they direct their guns at the Israeli Right – rather than Israel as a whole. As a practical matter, it is difficult for the government to show that the Free Gaza campaign actively supports the war against Israel when it willingly embraces the bona fides of the Free Gaza campaign's supporters when they attack settlers, or when the government adopts these organizations' false assertion that the Right is the greatest threat to the country.
By the same token, it is difficult for the government to discredit films purporting to demonstrate the human rights plight of Gazans as Pallywood propaganda flicks when the government accepts these films as accurate when their culprits are right-wing activists.
BUT WHILE the domestic Left sees a distinction between its right-wing opponents
and the country as a whole, the international community sees no distinction between the two. Indeed, the international community has used the cover that official Israel provides anti-Zionist activists for their settler vilifying activities in order to advance the cause of criminalizing Israel as a whole.
Case in point is what has become known as the Durban II conference in Geneva. Durban I, it will be recalled, was the UN's 2001 "anti-racism" conference in Durban, South Africa. The conference, which took place the week before the jihadist attacks on the US, was an anti-Semitic hate-fest. The American and Israeli delegations walked out as Israel and the Jewish people were castigated as the greatest human rights abusers, genocide committers, apartheid propagators and general all purpose bad guys in the entire world.
The Nazi-like propaganda emanating from the conference led to violent attacks against Jews all over the world. Durban I's resolutions also provided the policy blueprint for much of political warfare that has been waged against Israel by so-called human rights groups ever since. These include the violent demonstrations against the security fence organized by anti-Zionist Israeli groups, the Free Gaza campaign they support, and the international boycotts against Israeli exports and academics they advocate.
Today, the UN is busily organizing its follow-up conference that will be held next year in Geneva. As the watchdog group Eye on the UN reported over the weekend, the conference's organizing committee just met and approved most of the resolutions it is set to adopt at Geneva. These resolutions again castigate Israel as the chief violator of human rights in the world. Israel is accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity and being an apartheid state. It is also condemned as the most serious threat to international peace and security.
But of course, what starts with Israel doesn't end with Israel. The conference organizers have used the basic unanimity about Israel's criminal nature to launch an assault against the foundations of Western civilization. In addition to the numerous and repetitious attacks against Israel and Jews, the conference organizers passed multiple resolutions calling for the abrogation of freedom of expression and the criminalization of political speech in order to outlaw discussion of Islamic terrorism and block counterterror efforts in the West.
Among the conference's chief organizers are Iran, Libya, Egypt and Cuba. Iran is the vice-chairman of the executive committee responsible for planning Durban II. Much of the language in the proposed resolutions is taken directly from resolutions passed at a planning session last year in Teheran.
Israel had no hand in organizing this conference, which, following Canada, it announced it will boycott. But over the years, it could have taken actions that might have tempered or weakened the international coalition arrayed against it.
If the government had outlawed anti-Israel groups like Machsom Watch, New Profile, Gisha, Gush Shalom, Women in Black and Anarchists against the Wall, rather than tolerate them on account of their activities against settlers, it could at least have weakened their efforts. Had they been disbanded, they would have had less capacity to legitimize and assist Palestinians and Europeans who engage in political warfare against Israel on the ground.
By refusing to recognize the international consequences of their domestic battle against their political opponents on the Right, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government and the local media have strengthened Israel's enemies in their battle to destroy the country.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.