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GIVEN Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s penchant for slandering political opponents as anti-semitic for criticising its activities, B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad may be the latest to bear this calumny.
The Israeli human rights group leader accepted an invitation from the UN security council to testify on his government’s treatment of the Palestinian people — and told the truth.
Tel Aviv’s UN ambassador Danny Danon reacted in a style favoured by Israel’s politicians and diplomats, distorting facts and abusing its critics.
He accused El-Ad of staging a “circus,” before berating him in Hebrew, which security council delegates don’t understand, declaring: “Shame on you! You are a collaborator!”
While Britain’s UN ambassador Karen Pierce complained that use of an unauthorised language put council members at a disadvantage, Danon’s comments were intended for a domestic audience.
Israel’s dominant right wing refuses to argue with internal critics on the basis of facts and persuasion, preferring to abuse them as “appeasers” of whichever enemy is currently designated “today’s Hitler.”
Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by a zionist terrorist after being castigated by Netanyahu’s ilk as a traitor for signing the Oslo agreement with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
By doing so, Rabin’s enemies alleged, he betrayed Israel’s security and integrity.
By this was meant frustrating the ability of those committed to expanding Israel’s colonial conquests on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Syria’s Golan Heights and anywhere else identified as essential to Israel’s security or with an historical claim to it.
In reality, it wouldn’t have done so and, after Rabin’s murder, the land-grabbers have had a field day, with most Israelis supportive of expansionism or cowed into silence by the “lesson” that this foul deed was intended to convey.
Danon is not the only minister to abuse the B’Tselem director. Netanyahu recently denounced him to Christian media outlets as “a disgrace.”
His choice of audience is no accident. US Jews are increasingly seen as too critical of Israeli policy, unlike so-called Christian Zionists whose creed includes total support for Israel and settlement of all Jews in the Holy Land — albeit with a sting in the tail when Jews in the final days must choose between acceptance of Jesus Christ as their saviour and eternal damnation.
Current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who was previously seen, not without justification, as a collaborator with Tel Aviv and Washington, is now accused of inspiring a “rampant culture of hate” during his 13 years in office and “enabling an imminent war” between Hamas and Israel.
“Far from a peace partner, Mahmoud Abbas is the obstacle for peace,” Danon told the UN security council.
The threat to Palestinians termed an “obstacle for peace” is similar to that for Israeli Jews called traitors or collaborators.
El-Ad is neither supportive of nor silent in the face of his government’s criminal conduct.
He, in common with a number of Israelis, Jews and Arabs, is brave enough to withstand the abuse — and the implicit death threats — to stand up for justice and decency.
El-Ad is prepared not only to expose the predicament into which expansionist zionism has condemned Palestinians but to decry “the indignity, the outrage, the pain of the people denied human rights for more than 50 years.”
His call to the world not to stand idly by but to take action against “the continued dismantling of the Palestinian people” is a brave challenge.
What a pity that Britain’s national broadcaster the BBC decided to confirm its usual bias by not publicising that challenge.
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