J.J. Goldberg

Knesset Slimers Retreat After Foxman Slams Defamation of New Israel Fund (update)

By J.J. Goldberg

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The threatened Knesset investigation of the New Israel Fund by the Israeli right has been halted, for now, following several angry phone calls to Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin from irate American Jewish communal leaders, warning that an Israeli investigation could backfire on other Jewish organizations involved in Israel. Abe Foxman of ADL is quoted telling the New York Jewish Week it was “absurd to blame Goldstone on the NIF.” He told Barnea himself that the probe was “almost undemocratic.”

(I had previously written mistakenly that Foxman had called Rivlin. My apologies.)

The nastiness of the attack and the determination of the attackers shouldn’t be understated, though. The main victim, NIF president Naomi Chazan, a former deputy speaker of the Knesset, was summarily dropped without explanation as a columnist by the Jerusalem Post. She was also dropped as a visiting lecturer at a Jewish community event in Melbourne, Australia, to be co-sponsored by the Union for Progressive Judaism and the Zionist Council of Victoria (state), after the Zionist council pulled out. The Zionist council’s chief was quoted in The Age, an Australian daily, as saying “we don’t want to have anything to do” with the NIF. But the head of the Union for Progressive Judaism told another daily, The Australian, that the cancellation was a mutual decision between his group and Chazan “because both realised the controversy would detract from fund-raising.” Uh-huh.

Also worth a read: This eloquent column, translated from Maariv, by the widely respected chairman of Meretz, Chaim “Jumas” Oron, warning that attacks of this sort on dissenters by free-lance bullies — right down to the Nazi-style caricatures of Jews with horns — are the first step down the slippery slope toward fascism.

Here’s the Der Stuermer-style caricature of Chazan with horns that was run as a newspaper ad in the Jerusalem Post and carried as signs by protesters outside Chazan’s home.

And this report about two Maariv reporters who publicly attacked their own newspaper for giving front page coverage to Im Tirtzu and effectively providing the launching pad for the sliming of NIF.

Bill Pearlman Sat. Feb 6, 2010

Foxman should stick to making idiotic pronouncements about Rush Limbaugh. The NIF is a threat to national security and should be treated has such.

Larry Snider Sun. Feb 7, 2010

It is difficult to imagine the report and attack from Im Tirtzu on the NIF and the Israeli human rights groups carrying the weight that it has without the support of a viral internet and serious right wing supporters. I am pleased to learn that Abraham Foxman and the ADL has responded to the incitement. The issue of the Goldstone report requires a comprehensive response by the Israeli government far beyond their attack on its authors that incorporates an independent analysis that truly defines the theory and function for fighting and winning a short war in Gaza in Dec 08/Jan 09 and answers all the critical questions inherent in Goldstone.

Bill Pearlman Sun. Feb 7, 2010

The Goldstone report was a hit piece. And it got it s "hecsher" from the UN's resident pet Jew, court Jew, . Whatever you want to call it. Perhaps Larry, you might want to don a uniform, grab a rifle, and hit the streets of gaza. Then tell us what they did wrong.

David Sun. Feb 7, 2010

Is there any place we could see a point by point rebuttal of the issues stated on the Tertzu poster. They seem pretty specific. Also, the horn on Hazan's forehead looks more like a fake unicorn's rather then a devil's.

Nurit Fri. Feb 12, 2010

As an Israeli living in Tel Aviv, I can tell you, NIF's cartoon "broygez" is typical far-lefty hypocrisy....after years of cartoons comparing Israel to Pharoh, Haman and worse, comparing IDF soldiers to Nazis, yes Nazis, etc... (see Tikkun, Jews Against the Occupation etc.. let alone all the NIF funded groups) the anti-Zionist left is getting all apopleptic reacting to the Im Tirzu cartoon. Sorry for not buying into the phony self-righteous arm flailing.

You reap what you sow. Far-Lefties suffer from blowback, too.

for the record, I support a 2 state solution etc...

But unlike the cabal of Israel bashers such as NIF, J-Street and other patronizing American Jews whose main connection to Judaism &Israel seems to be absolving themselves from the false accusations against it, I don't think a just peace will ever happen by Jews blaming everything on Israel while whitewashing the relentless Palestinian atrocities.

The jig is up with these phony "pro-Israel" groups. Orwellian in name and naive (or worse) in their mission, they do one thing and that is delay real peace and aid and assist in the demonization of Israel.

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