The detailed report, published by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) highlights the Center’s Director Paul Beran’s longtime activism in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. In 2004 it says, he participated in the Presbyterian Church’s BDS campaign and claimed that he formed an alliance with an extreme anti-Israel group in order to counter criticism from “Zionists and their ilk.” The report details how following the failure of a similar BDS petition in Somerville, MA, Beran accused the town mayor, pension-fund manager and elected state representatives who voted against it of being “recruited by pro-Israel groups” and urged divestment activists to counter “Zionist backlash.”
The report mentions that in 2007 Beran protested the enrollment of former Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz into a Harvard Business School course, calling him “a noted war criminal,” although the General was never tried or found guilty of any war crimes.
Reached on the phone by the Algemeiner, Beran declined to comment.
The report finds that the Center’s speakers, recommended resources and course syllabi (some of which are available online) similarly reflect a one-sided focus. Recommended readings heavily favor anti-Zionist writings, including works by deceased professor Edward Said, a Palestinian advocate, and former Israeli professor Ilan Pappé, the driving force behind academic boycotts of Israel. (CAMERA points out that Pappé’s scholarship is now under critical scrutiny as he is charged with fabricating a quote that alleges to show how Israel planned to expel Arabs in an article published in the Journal of Palestine Studies and in his 2006 book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. He was also harshly criticized for promoting a graduate thesis centered on a bogus claim of an Israeli massacre of Palestinians that was formally recanted in a libel case). Also mentioned in the report is the Center’s recommendation of the propaganda film, Occupation 101, featuring such well-known defamers of Israel as Noam Chomsky and Richard Falk.
Leftist Gideon Levy argues that the Carmel forest fire shows why Israel has no military option against Iran.
Every cloud has a silver lining: Maybe lessons will be learned from the fire. Not only fire extinguishers, fire trucks and new planes, but also new thinking, and fire retardants that douse the really big fire.
The home front’s weakness should teach us that Israel apparently has no military option. This is a much more fateful lesson than all the fire’s other lessons, and it should be dealt with. The apocalyptic descriptions of a missile attack on the home front if Israel attacks Iran or Lebanon appear even more apocalyptic in light of Israel’s conduct when handling a medium-sized forest fire. Discussions on our future, therefore, should move to the arena that Israelis favor: the security arena.
Leave aside human rights and the occupation, don’t worry about morality and justice, forget about peace as a leftist delusion and ignore the Palestinian problem. The issue is Israel’s security interests, perhaps even existential interests.
The next wars will be home-front wars. This time the Israeli home front will be hit in a way we have never experienced. The first Gulf war and the Second Lebanon War were only the movie trailer for what could happen. An attack of thousands of missiles, as predicted by experts, will create a reality Israel will find hard to withstand. It isn’t equipped for it, as we saw on the Carmel, and it isn’t prepared for it, as we saw in the Lebanon war.
Any Israeli leader, even an adventurist and a former commando, should understand that the attack option is not really an option. It’s true that we succeeded in a few bombings in the past, but nothing lasts forever and the Scuds against us won’t always be hollow. A thousand new fire trucks and even the Iron Dome missile defense system will not provide protection. You can’t build a fortress for every citizen. This leads to the second, unavoidable conclusion, which should penetrate very deeply, not only among diplomats and commanders, but also among the many warmongers among us: the only existential option is integrating into the region (a term coined decades ago by Uri Avnery ).
Levy is one of Israel’s most extreme Leftist writers, and his article is obviously written with a note of glee. But he raises points that do need to be answered. First, the IDF has changed drastically since the debacle of the Second Lebanon War. It is no longer run by pacifists like Dan Halutz (who was the chief of staff) and Amir “Comrade” Peretz (who was Defense Minister). Even under the Olmert government, the IDF had changed, as was shown by the alleged destruction of the al-Kibar reactor in Syria, and more explicitly by Operation Cast Lead.
Second, there is no option of ‘integrating into the region.’ Levy and Uri Avnery and Israel’s other flaming Leftists willfully ignore the fact that Israel does not have and has never had an option of ‘integrating into the region.’ The Arab states – and particularly the ‘Palestinians’ – wish to extirpate our existence. No more and no less.
Third, yes the fire ought to raise fears in all Israelis that we are not equipped to cope with the fallout from Hezbullah and Hamas missiles. Hopefully, the Home Front will now deal with that situation. And given the havoc apparently wreaked by Stuxnet, we will apparently have more time than we expected to try to improve on that situation.
I saw many forums on facebook talking about the fires. I stayed out of them for the most part. I was thinking to myself… what could I say? “I’m sorry”? I hope Carl is right about Stuxnet’s effectiveness. Moving to Israel really is a leap of faith.
For those who don’t recognize him, the man in the picture is Dan Halutz, the IDF Chief of Staff who resigned in disgrace after the Winograd Commission report came out criticizing his (lack of) performance in the Second Lebanon War. I suppose we should be grateful – at least he resigned. Peretz dragged things out for months, while Ehud Olmert, who was also criticized by Wiongrad, was forced out due to his theft of public funds more than two years after the report came out.
Halutz has told Reuters that he ‘doubts‘ that Israel has the power to hit Iran.
Asked in a television interview about Israeli leaders’ vows to “take care” of the perceived threat, ex-general Dan Halutz, who stepped down as armed forces chief in 2007, said: “We are taking upon ourselves a task that is bigger than us.”
“I think that the State of Israel should not take it upon itself to be the flag-bearer of the entire Western world in the face of the Iranian threat,” Halutz, whose previous military post was as air force commander, told Channel Two.
“I’m not some passer-by … I’ve filled a few positions that give me a different level of information to the average person,” he said without elaborating.
That ought to do wonders for our deterrence capability.
Halutz apparently doesn’t understand the idea that even delaying Iran is worthwhile because things can change. He also doesn’t understand the possibility that it may take an Israeli attack to get anyone else to move. In other words, he has the same problem he had in 2006: He’s not a leader. He has nothing of the legacy of Nachshon ben (the son of) Aminadav.
I’d love to know how he became the IDF Chief of Staff in the first place.