They Call it Lawfare

Two weeks ago I saw Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor give this speech at the Italian Parliament. Italy is so far the only European country to have pulled out of the Durban II Conference in Geneva, which will be held next month from April 20-24.

Anyway, the point is that NGO Monitor has assigned itself the task of carefully monitoring all those saintly NGOs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc…who are themselves on the prowl for every Israeli human rights violation–even when there are  none. These NGO’s display what is called the “halo effect”, which is basically a form of infallibility. Many people feel that their humanitarian status makes them unbiased and therefore moral, and people like to have their morality spoon fed to them, especially when it comes to Israel.

In Durban, NGO participants singled out Israel for attack. Palestinian NGOs distributed copies of the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and leaflets depicting Hitler and the caption, “What if I had won?” The answer: “There would be No Israel and No Palestinian bloodshed.”

So much for blessed neutrality.

War crimes, human rights violations and International Law are invoked these days in the destruction of Israel’s credibility. As Melanie Phillips wrote, “Israel and the Jews are being systematically delegitimized and dehumanized–a necessary prelude to their destruction.” This is the new strategy, same as the old. If you can’t destroy Israel with human bombs, Kassam rockets, daily death threats and Israeli bulldozers, you might as well give lawfare a shot.

4 thoughts on “They Call it Lawfare

  1. Absolutist language on any side of conflicts in the middle east is absurd. There are no Israeli human rights violations?? Like Jenin, Sabra Shatila, Gaza, didn’t happen??

    As someone fundamentally committed to the security and vital prosperity of Israel I find this sort of other worldly zealotry infuriating. ALL sides have to address reality and take responsibility for counterproductive murderous policies. Pretending they don’t exist is fundamentally counterproductive.

    Israel will cease to exist as a Jewish state on the basis of demographics alone. It’s only hope is to become a credible pluralistic polity BEFORE it is overwhelmed by non Jewish populations, which WILL happen. Killing more and more people while pretending they are not is the road to destruction for Israel. The hardliners are dooming that which they pretend to protect. And they are doing so with precisely this sort of unreal infallible righteousness, characteristic of violent fundamentalisms of every stripe.

    This blog was recommended to me, but if this sort of critique exemplifies the kind of “free thought”the author promotes, I doubt I’ll be checking in too often. I’m sure that will be a welcome development, as the last thing a supposed free thinker trapped in ideological rigidity might want is the challenge of a broad horizon.

  2. Barney,

    Thanks for your thoughtful response.

    Two things: “free thought” does not presuppose that I have thoughts others will agree with, actually, it has more to do with a non-orthodox, non-religious outlook. That people may disagree is not only a given, but a virtue of free speech. And I openly advocate this.

    I never hinted that Israel has never made its mistakes, but Jenin was not one of them. The idea was that, even if Israel is extremely prudent, its enemies pounce on it like a cat to catnip.

    Your commitment to Israel’s security baffles me in light of your subsequent reflections.

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