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About Ari Bussel
In the series "Postcards from Israel,” Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related - the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts - and so is this "point - counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives.
Past Articles
Fighting for Israel, But Why?
Stop Blaming the Messenger
A Changing Reality
Fighting for Our Country, Fighting for our Lives
The Second Disengagement

Ari Bussel & Norma Zanger
Fighting for Israel, But Why?
September 11, 2009
 

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.”
– Attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

 A senior minister of the Israeli Government is in Los Angeles this week with a message for Americans (Christians and Jews) to relate to the Administration: The Settlements are not the issue. The head of opposition from Israel, Israel’s foreign minister until just a few months ago, is arriving in LA toward the end of the week. She is coming with a completely different message than her counterpart, asking the very same people to send a contradictory message to the Administration.

 

Confused? No need to be.

 

Another visitor to Los Angeles and San Diego this weekend is Prof. Rivka Carmi, the president of Ben Gurion University in the Negev. Prof. Carmi is coming to meet with major donors who withheld University donations following an Opinion piece in the LA Times. Prof. Neve Gordon of BGU brands Israel an Apartheid state and calls for the world to "Boycott Israel.”

 

Professor Carmi will highlight all the good things happening at the University. Yes, she has been aware for years that there are a few bad apples, but as she wrote in a reply in the Los Angeles Times, "her hands are tied.” Professor Carmi may now have to deal with her major donors, who for some unknown reason took Prof. Gordon’s piece to heart, but she would like nothing better than to put a lid on the case and move on.

 

The call to "Boycott Israel” is neither new nor unique to Prof. Gordon. Professor after professor from Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Technion are standing behind Prof. Gordon. Some support his right to "academic freedom,” others his contention that for the sake of his two boys, Israelis and Palestinians, an effective, global boycott of Israel is necessary.

 

Confused again? Really, there is no need to be.

 

The Muslim Student Association at the University of California Irvine (UCI) has been highly successful at demanding free speech. The students as well as outsiders in their midst then abuse the right and perpetrate pure hate-filled speech. More worrisome is their denial of the same right to anyone who does not subscribe to their interpretation of radical Islam.

 

Freedoms are not absolute. The right to free speech doesn’t include the right to silence opposing views or espouse hate speech for propaganda. Academic freedom does not entitle rewriting history or spreading lies in the name of education. If misuse of freedoms is allowed, there is a danger the whole academic installation may collapse.

 

But let us focus on basics rather than on the academia.

 

A basic tenant common to Western Society is the Judeo-Christian belief that God promised the Land of Israel to the Hebrews. A Covenant, lasting for all time, for a thousand generations, between God and His people, serves the basis and the justification for the continued existence of Jewish people in the Land of Israel for over three millennia.

 

Today however, the Palestinian propaganda machine has excelled once again: The expectation of recognizing the (modern) State of Israel as a Jewish State and the Jewish Homeland is … RACIST? Is Italy racist because it is the home of Catholicism? Is Azerbaijan racist because it is a moderate Muslim country?

 

If there were no confusion thus far, now is the time. Israel is being challenged at the very essence of its being.

 

Confusion aside, the story continues.

 

At approximately the same time the Los Angeles Times published the Op-Ed "Boycott Israel,” the leading Swedish paper Aftonbladet published an Opinion piece by freelance journalist Donald Bostrom claiming (based on interviews with Palestinians) Israeli soldiers were harvesting organs from bodies of young Palestinian males.

 

Like Prof. Gordon, he was just "expressing his opinion.” He told CNN "he had no proof [emphasis added] that Israeli soldiers were stealing organs, and that the purpose of his piece was to call for an investigation into numerous claims in the 1990s that such activity was going on in the West Bank and Gaza.”

 

Two radical calls to action: one by the head of a department at a top university in Israel, another by a reporter in Israel. The Israeli Government Press Office is withholding the reporter’s credentials, and the university promised some internal action against the professor – nothing public of course – and wants the matter to go away.

 

Sweden’s foreign minister refuses to apologize and the paper’s editor-in-chief, Jan Helin, says he is not a Nazi. Is hatred and anti-Semitism confined to only members of the Nazi party?

 

The real question must be: is spreading lies and hatred to destroy a country protected or merely treasonous? As Joseph Goebbels was so fond of repeating, "Tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth.” How much easier it must be for Israel’s enemies when the world is so willing to believe lies about a people they despise?

 

Conclusion?

 

Israel must decide: Are settlements good for her or not? Should there be multiple representatives sending mixed signals to the US Administration via her support base? Is she a Jewish state or not? Is Jerusalem her capital or not? Is Jerusalem divisible or not? Is Israel an Apartheid state or not? Should we boycott Israel or not? In fact, is it important she continues to exist or should the format or location change?

To hear there are "bad apples” in the mix is insulting to one’s intelligence. If left to rot, the entire bag of apples will ultimately be tainted and destroyed.

 

Israel cannot allow herself to ignore the above incidents. Prof. Carmi and Ben Gurion University’s Board of Governors must not sleep until they send a clear public signal to all the bad apples. Anything less than decisive, immediate and forceful action would be capitulating to propaganda.

 

Supporters and lovers of Israel sit and worry over what is taking place, even as Israel’s enemies evaluate, learn and implement more distorted lies. The enemy sees the Op-Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times by an Israeli Jew was effective against Israel. If these lies have convinced the world there are many vocal, powerful professors in Israel that believe a boycott is warranted, who can imagine what the next lie and call to action will be?

 

If the libelous accusation about murdering Palestinians males to harvest their organs is effective, imagine the next episode in their scripted propaganda play.

 

Who better to invent horrific lies than those who invented the practice of strapping bombs to their own children and sending them to die as martyrs? It is no wonder few can compete with the Palestinians at evil lies, when normal minds cannot conceive of such tactics.

 

Even if you can’t imagine, no need to worry. Israel’s enemies will. They are incredibly creative. They have perfected the art of propaganda. A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, moving full speed ahead and the next installment is on its way.

 

Malcolm Muggeridge said "People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.” This is the key to the Jewish plight. As long as the world embraces anti-Semitism, it will welcome the lies.

 

Israel, please wake up. We cannot fight these lies when your own people call to support them. We cannot overemphasize the importance of Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria if you waiver about the about "settlements” and "East Jerusalem.” If you do not wake up, if the watchmen on the walls let down their guard, we will soon arrive at the end of days. Surely there are at least fifty righteous people left, forty-five, thirty, twenty, possibly even ten? Wake up before it is too late, or perhaps the eagerness to accept such treasonous lies is a sign it already is?
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