..."The division of Hebron is so important because it can be used as a precedent for the arrangement in Jerusalem," leftwing journalist and "historian" Tom Segev wrote recently in Ha'aretz. According to Segev, dividing Hebron will provide crucial ammunition to Israelis who favor dividing Jerusalem. "The evacuation of Hebron will give them an argument: We did it once.
It did not hurt. It works, somehow; it is worth doing. Come, let's try it also in Jerusalem. From this standpoint, it is worthwhile for the Palestinians to accept almost anything offered them in Hebron. The important thing is that there be a withdrawal and that it is seen on television"...
...Although it has always claimed to be non-partisan and non-political, the U.S.-based New Israel Fund is assuming a prominent role in the Israeli left's fight against the Netanyahu government. Avinoam Armoni, director of the NIF's Israel Office, recently announced: "You can expect to see NIF take a more public role both in Israel and abroad. We immediately supported some urgent efforts, right after the elections, to form vocal new coalitions lthat would be heard by the new government." Armoni himself has been chosen Acting Chairman of a new leftwing protest movement called the "Freedom Front"...Writing in the Forward recently, Leonard Fein, who is now a staff member at the New Israel Fund, denounced Prime Minister Netanyahu as "evil"...
...Kibbutznik and leftwing polemicist Eric Lee, writing in a recent issue of P.S., described his recent military reserve duty and expressed his hope that his unit will one day be assigned to "dismantle those settlements...I'd be delighted to help out in the redeployment of the IDF in Hebron." Lee noted that he will "do what I'm told to do [in the army]--as long as it's not illegal and not immoral." Isn't the dismantling of Jewish houses and mass forced expulsion of Jews from their homes immoral?...
...Former Meretz leader Shulamit Aloni has publicly defended Israelis who refuse to serve with the Army beyond the pre-1967 borders. "Refusing to serve has not caused any damage," Aloni recently told Ha'aretz.. "I justify moral refusal--it is a necessity in a democratic society"...
...Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, according to Hala Maksoud of the "moderate" American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In a recent letter to the Washington Times, Maksoud wrote that "Hezbollah is a Lebanese resistance organization engaged in the legitimate defense of Lebanese land under a brutal and illegal Israeli occupation. This hardly qualifies as terrorism." No word from Maksoud on what firing a rocket into a kindergarten in the Galilee has to do with "defending Lebanese land"...
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(Continued from p.7)
But more importantly, if there is one group that needs collectively to rethink its behavior after the events of the past year, it is the leadership of the left, which undertook and rationalized a campaign of anti-democratic McCarthyism against their political opponents' freedom of speech. If members of the left cannot come up with more persuasive arguments than demands for prosecuting its rivals for "incitement," then this should be seen as their admission of the moral and political bankruptcy of their policy positions.
The world recently commemorated the centennial anniversary of the Dreyfus trial. What better way for Israel to join in the spirit of that commemoration than halting at once the prosecution of people for their opinions and speech!
Steven Plaut teaches business administration and economics at Haifa University.