Home > Suppression of Dissent > Yediot’s Sima Kadmon methodically deconstructs the anti-NIF smear campaign

Yediot’s Sima Kadmon methodically deconstructs the anti-NIF smear campaign

Other recent posts on the latest wave of suppression of dissent in Israel | Essays Hadas Ziv; Hagai El-Ad; Yariv Mohar; Aeyal Gross; Dorit AbramovitchAmir Paz-FuchsNews and analysis IDF joins assault on Israeli human rights community;Israeli media goes after New Israel Fund: “Responsible for Goldstone Report”; Hagee and CUFI fund anti-NIF campaign organizer; Two senior Maariv reporters attack the anti-NIF campaign sponsored by their newspaper; Following the Im Tirzu campaign: First Knesset steps against NIF; Israeli McCarthyism, circa 2010Debunking the Im Tirzu report part I: Keshev’s Yizhar Be’erDebunking the Im Tirzu report part II: Ha’ir media critic on journalism as propagandaDelegitimization and censorship continue: JPost stops publishing Naomi Chazan’s columns; Nahum Barnea: How US Jewish leaders stepped in to block the Knesset anti-NIF bill |

Sima Kadmon is senior political commentator at Yediot, second in stature only to Nahum Barnea. She devotes much of her Friday (February 5 2010) column to a methodical deconstruction of the motivation and methodology behind the Im Tirzu anti-NIF smear campaign. Kadmon adds domestic depth to Nahum Barnea’s exposé of the role mainstream Jewish-American leaders played in putting the brakes on the Knesset’s participation in the campaign.

Note how the column concludes with a quote from Meretz Chairman MK Chaim (Jumes) Oron, who was the first politician from the Israeli left to take a public stand on this issue.

Oron

The transition from a democratic to a fascist society does not happen in a single move, Oron said upon emerging from the plenum hall.  It is done in several steps – some of which may go unnoticed, some of which we may share, and others may be initiated or not opposed by the government.  In the end, the society finds itself in a totally different place, and then everyone starts asking how it happened.

I have a feeling, he said, that we are already on this slippery slope, and even more so over the past few weeks.  The powers that can stop this process have weakened.  This is a very critical moment, he said.  I hope it would make those who weep over the left’s defeat shake off their mourning mood and realize this is war.  This is a struggle for the future and shape of this country.

Here’s a link to a translation of an important op-ed Oron published on the issue of last Thursday (February4 2010.)

With reports such as these

Excerpt from column, Sima Kadmon, Yediot Friday Political Supplement, February 5 2010

Shoval

Ronen Shoval is a young, energetic, and ambitious man.  He is an obvious right-wing activist who established the Orange Cells in the universities and struggled hard against the evacuation of the Katif Bloc.  He demonstrated ceaselessly, raised the banner of the settlers’ struggle in the media, and became their darling.  He was even given a slot on the Jewish Home [Habeyit Heyhudi] list of Knesset candidates in the last elections.  Ronen Shoval, however, failed miserably in his war against the left, the media, and the Israeli Governments.  The disengagement happened and the media and the majority of the public supported it.

Then he had a revelation.  Shoval realized that the public does not want to listen to the weird pro-settler right, and decided he would be the wiser.  He dropped the Orange Cells and founded the Im Tirzu movement.  What is Im Tirzu?  It is, in fact, more of the same, but Shoval stated that his new organization is a “centrist, extraparliamentary movement that wishes to renew and bolster Zionist values in the State of Israel, and counter post-and anti-Zionist phenomena.”  On various occasions, Shoval explained that his movement will balance out Peace Now which, according to him, dominates the public discourse.

The next stage in Shoval’s plan was reaching the national media, deciding it was no longer the enemy but rather a tool to be used to promote his goals.  This right-wing activist studied the way Peace Now publish their reports about the settlers and how B’Tselem runs reports about human rights abuse, and decided he can do it too.  So he sat down and authored a report that aimed at portraying Israeli human rights groups as collaborators with the enemy.

The conclusion that his report attempted to draw was that the Goldstone report was, for the most part, fed by Israeli organizations that are, for the most part, sponsored by the New Israel Fund — a philanthropic fund that raises millions of dollars for worthy social causes in Israel.  Among others, it finances the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), and other civil rights groups.  The Shoval report attempted to besmirch the fund and the organizations it sponsors.  Keshev — The Center for the Protection of Democracy in Israel, examined the Im Tirzu report and issued its own report that clearly shows Shoval’s crude distortions and manipulation.  For example, citing statistical data, the Shoval report claims that 92% of the “incriminating” arguments against the State of Israel in the Goldstone report were cited from Israeli left-wing organizations.

Yishai

Keshev proved that the Im Tirzu report ignored the main sources that served Goldstone, mainly remarks by senior officers and cabinet members such as Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, and Minister Eli Yishai, as cited in the Israeli media.  Another important source was an article by Brig. Gen. (Res.) Gavriel Siboni of the Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies.

They presented the policy the IDF followed in Operation Cast Lead in no uncertain terms.  Defining the goals of the operation, Minister Yishai said:  “We can destroy Gaza to make them realize that they should not mess with us.  This is a great opportunity to smash thousands of terrorists’ houses and make them think twice before they fire their Kassams” — remarks that the Walla! news portal carried and the Goldstone report cited.  And this is only one of some 450 quotations from Israeli sources that the Im Tirzu report overlooked.

Orange Cells activist Shoval succeeded.  His dubious report caught the media attention and was extensively covered by Maariv last week.  Shoval has managed in lumping together important human rights organizations and a fund that provides millions of dollars for worthy Israeli causes with the Goldstone report.  After all, Goldstone, with whom Israel refused to cooperate, had been defined by the government as one-sided and biased, which is how the public views him.

This is war

Schneller

Last Wednesday, before Berlusconi arrived here, the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee convened and decided to establish a subcommittee that would look into the sources of foreign funds that sponsor Israeli associations.  Though this was not stated explicitly, clearly the target was the New Israel Fund.  The political argument behind the demand that the issue be investigated is that someone is financing anti-Israeli associations; that the fund is actually a cover for anti-Zionist activities; and that organizations such as ACRI, PHR, Breaking the Silence, Machsom Watch, and others are actually anti-patriotic groups.

Minister Michael Eitan was the only right-wing faction member who took the podium and presented a liberal view, advocating the right to voice stands even if he opposes them, and criticized the idea that politicians can establish a committee to investigate and inquire other politicians.MK Oron feared that large segments of the public might view this incident as yet another squabble between politicians, while the writing is right there, on the wall: Only two weeks ago, by a majority of 51 MKs against nine, the Knesset spiked legal suits and closed cases against people who opposed the disengagement.  The opposition nine comprised MKs Yuli Tamir, Dov Khenin, Nitzan Horowitz, Oron, Gilon, and four Arab Mks.

Ad from the anti-NIF campaign

Ad on page 3 of the January 31 edition of the Jerusalem Post.

The transition from a democratic to a fascist society does not happen in a single move, Oron said upon emerging from the plenum hall.  It is done in several steps – some of which may go unnoticed, some of which we may share, and others may be initiated or not opposed by the government.  In the end, the society finds itself in a totally different place, and then everyone starts asking how it happened.

I have a feeling, he said, that we are already on this slippery slope, and even more so over the past few weeks.  The powers that can stop this process have weakened.  This is a very critical moment, he said.  I hope it would make those who weep over the left’s defeat shake off their mourning mood and realize this is war.  This is a struggle for the future and shape of this country.

Surprisingly – or perhaps not – Shoval managed to harp on the McCarthyist sentiment in Israel, which worked very effectively with MK Otniel Schneller, for example. That same afternoon, a stormy debate already took place in the Knesset plenum, following demands by MKs that the Knesset discuss reports about the new fund.  The speakers used tough words such as traitor, fifth column, and collaborator, which were aimed at Naomi Chazan, former MK and New Israel Fund president, as well as Meretz MKs Chaim (Jumes) Oron and Ilan Gilon.  The fund was attacked in the name of patriotism and defending IDF soldiers and Israel’s durability.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 367 other followers

%d bloggers like this: