Netanyahu Takes His Siege Against Human Rights NGOs to the US Day-long conference apparently encouraged by the Israeli government labels Israeli human rights workers as traitors.
March 17, 2010 Max Blumenthal
As the anti-Goldstone, human rights-bashing Lawfare Project’s opening event on March 11 wrapped up, I asked its chairman, Columbia University Law School Dean David Schizer, for an interview. Schizer, who had just attacked the Goldstone Report from the podium, pointedly refused to speak to me and looked for the exit. As Schizer was leaving, he was politely confronted by Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Franke, who heads the school’s Program in Gender and Sexuality Law.
“Why didn’t you invite any speakers with an alternative perspective?” Franke asked Schizer.
His reply was curt. “We invited one or two but they couldn’t make it,” Schizer claimed before hurrying away.
Schizer was understandably nervous about his exposure. After all, he had just presided over a day-long conference during which Israeli human rights workers were labeled as traitors while Judge Richard Goldstone and human rights groups were compared to “anti-Semitic street gangs.” After several speakers had harshly condemned legal efforts against the construction of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Schizer appeared beside them to lend his credibility to their views.
Held in the ornate NY County Lawyers Association meeting room in downtown Manhattan, where the walls were adorned with portraits of the pioneers of international jurisprudence, the Lawfare Project’s conference had the look of a non-partisan academic conference. However, the event was organized by a network of American Zionist groups and conservative operatives with apparent encouragement from the Israeli government.
None of this should come across as extraordinary in itself. Israel knows nothing of borders. Zionists especially have a hard time recognizing such things. But read on.
As Scott Horton noticed at Harper’s, the Lawfare Project’s rollout event followed a remarkably similar conference in Jerusalem two weeks earlier. Both conferences followed legislation in the Knesset designed to force NGO’s to disclose their foreign donors so they can be more easily branded as a fifth column and to strangle human rights groups in Israel and occupied Palestine.
The presence of high-level Israeli officials like UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev at the Lawfare Project conference suggested that the Netanyahu administration was the hidden hand behind the event. If so, the Israeli government has deployed its American Jewish allies to take the fight across the Atlantic to groups like Human Rights Watch and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Both groups were attacked at the event as anti-Israeli and anti-American.
An NGO Monitor report was distributed to conference attendees identifying groups supposedly promoting “post-colonial ideology” as “anti-state,” “anti-democracy” and “anti-American.” The report identified NGO Monitor’s top targets: the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Al-Haq.
We have argued that Israel is as far from being a democracy as any state can possibly get. But to say "anti-American"? The conference was held in the U.S. and civil liberties as Americans know them were being blatantly attacked. That is anti American.
The attack on Al Haq highlights part of NGO’s Monitor’s not-so-hidden agenda: to allow the settler movement to usurp land in the West Bank without limitations. As Didi Remez reported, NGO Monitor has partnered with the Institute for Zionist Strategies, led by Yisrael Harel, who helped to found the Gush Emunim settler movement and lives in the religious nationalist settlement of Ofra. Remez also pointed out that NGO Monitor has made no demand for financial transparency from pro-settler organizations which are also engaged in what it would call “lawfare.”But here is the most disturbing to me, as an American.
NGO Monitor has also targeted US-based human rights group. It has gone after Human Rights Watch on the basis of the group’s contribution of reporting to the Goldstone Report and because Goldstone was at one point a HRW board member. The Center for Constitutional Rights was singled out because its founder, Michael Ratner, went on the recent Viva Palestina mission with Code Pink. None of the factual documentation these groups released was challenged by the NGO Monitor report or in Herzberg’s presentation. Instead, the groups and their leadership are being targeted with a scattershot of accusations that recall McCarthyism in its crudest form.McCarthyism is correct. In it's crudest form? No. This is calculated and the sword is much sharper. McCarthy didn't have the Patriot Act ( a Zionist tool) to use as a weapon in his witch hunt.
The NGO Monitor report and the speakers at the Lawfare Project event expressed alarm about the effectiveness of the global BDS movement and its success in exposing apartheid practices in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Speaker Richard Heidemann, the Honorary Chairman of B’nai Brith, said that the fight against BDS was essential to the Lawfare Project. “We have to stand up against slander, we have to stand up against boycott,” he proclaimed. “If you were accused of apartheid, wouldn’t you consider taking action?” However, he proposed no specific measures or tactics other than making vehement statements.
BDS is working. Peace activism is uniting Jew with Palestinian-something that now gets people tagged as "traitors" and "anti-democratic". As to "anti-American", Zionist can hardly make these types of accusations since they have no such respect for American values themselves as is evidenced by the complete allegiance to the anti democratic Nazi state of Israel.
Again, read the rest at the source.