The enemy within

An interesting discussion took place in the comments to my previous post about the danger to Israel from boycotts, defamation and delegitimization.

It so happens that there is a huge and noisy discussion going on in Israel right now about the influence of foreign-funded NGOs whose purpose is the defamation, delegitimization and ultimate weakening of Israel. The counter-movement is being led by “Im Tirzu” (If you will it), a staunchly pro-Israel Zionist movement whose aim is to counter BDS, double standards and delegitimization of Israel.

Dry Bones hits the nail on the head

Im Tirzu caused something of a stir, if not an outright scandal, by producing a video of “The Foreign Agents” who subvert Israeli democracy:

Zionist group Im Tirtzu has released a powerful short video to accompany the shocking report it compiled, which examines 20 Israeli NGOs that receive foreign funding and are actively involved in anti-Israel activity.

The report illustrates how much money was received by each extreme leftist organization, all of which participate in or actively create programs and media that harm Israel. Such activity includes disseminating anti-Israel propaganda across the globe, working towards preventing the punishment of terrorists, and defending murders of Israeli citizens.

The foreign funding includes the New Israel Fund (NIF), foreign governments, the EU – and over 13 million shekels from a Palestinian foundation based in Ramallah.

Matan Peleg, the CEO of Im Tirtzu, told Arutz Sheva, “We knew that these organizations were sponsored by foreign governments, but we were very surprised at the sheer amount of foreign help that is going towards these organizations. I have no words to describe how bad the situation is.”

Here is their video clip:

It is shocking though not surprising to discover that 13 NGOs are actually funded by the Palestinians themselves – probably using all that international aid money that should be used to build up their own society rather than trying to bring our own society down.

A shocking report [click the link to read the full report] compiled by the Zionist group Im Tirtzu examines 20 Israeli NGOs that receive foreign funding and are actively involved in anti-Israel activity.

Some of the foreign-funded NGOs

The report illustrates how much money was received by each extreme leftist organization, all of which participate in or actively create programs and media that harm Israel. Such activity includes disseminating anti-Israel propaganda across the globe, working towards preventing the punishment of terrorists, and defending murders of Israeli citizens.

The foreign funding includes the New Israel Fund (NIF), foreign governments, the EU – and over 13 million shekels from a Palestinian foundation based in Ramallah.

Matan Peleg, the CEO of Im Tirzu, spoke to Arutz Sheva about why accepting money from foreign governments and promoting such organizations as “pro-Israel” to donors is such a problem.

“The damage that the New Israel Fund, in particular, is doing to the country, is that it is giving legitimacy to and claiming that extreme left wing movements and organizations that actually harm the country, are Zionist. The donors in America may not know all the details of what each organization does, and when the NIF presents itself as a Zionist fund for donating money to help Israel but they use this money donated to give it to organizations that harm Israel, that is a problem,” said Peleg.

Peleg admitted that while the NIF gives money to organizations that harm Israel, they also do give money to worthy causes as well.

With regards to the foreign government issue, Peleg said this is an even bigger problem.

The foreign governments are taking an active role in Israeli politics via these organizations and causing internal harm to Israel.

[…]The organizations listed in the report include: Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah, Yesh-Din, Doctors for Human Rights, Rabbis for Human Rights, Stoptorture, Gisha, Bimkom, Machsom Watch, Hamoked, Zochrot, Coalition of Women for Peace, +972 Mag, Who Profits, Ir Amim, Amnesty International, and Worker’s Hotline.

One of the most dangerous and vicious outfits mentioned above is called “Breaking the Silence” whose aim is to “expose” the IDF’s “war crimes”, especially in Judea and Samaria.  The trouble with BtS is that they are hypocritical as well as slanderous: the complaints are always anonymous, making it almost impossible for the IDF to properly investigate. Moreover, instead of trying to fix the IDF’s faults (and I’m sure there are plenty) by going via the usual routes of an internal complaints procedure, writing to the Ombudsman, the Defence Minister, or ultimately even going to the Israeli press, BtS slanders Israel in the international media – in English.  If their ostensible aim is to improve the IDF’s ethics, why not write in Hebrew in the Israeli media, or directly to the IDF?

Oz Keisar gives more background in Arutz Sheva:

An organization that declares that its purpose is to monitor the IDF, which is actually quite an important thing to do, seeing that we live in a democratic society, and the point of democracy is that the people are in charge. There is supposed to be government transparency and every citizen can know everything and express his opinion on it. Therefore Breaking the Silence is, in theory, a very important organization, because it monitors the IDF.However, if it is such an important organization, why are there so many complaints against it? Why are so many people against it?

After all, in the words of MK Zehava Gal’on (Meretz): “Breaking the Silence is an important organization whose essence is Ahavat Yisrael (love for fellow Jews) and love for the democratic Israel where one is allowed to criticize the government and even the army.”

[…] If that were true I would be happy, even very happy. However, if one were to ask the Minister of Defense of Israel, Moshe Yaalon (you know, the guy who is responsible for the IDF) about this “love”, he would answer that the IDF has looked into cases that Breaking the Silence reported, and found that almost all of the stories reported never happened. Therefore, he asked that instead of “reporting”  those cases they turn to the IDF, so that together, they can investigate, and if need be, correct whatever problems do surface in order to make the army a more moral place to serve.

However, Breaking the Silence chooses not to do that, not to take advantage of a chance to correct problems in the IDF. They prefer to turn to the International media in order to get these unsubstantiated stories published. Therefore, it can be inferred that Breaking the Silence does not want to help the IDF improve itself, and only wants to besmirch the IDF – our people’s army. The army of the Jewish Nation!!

Indeed the danger of BtS has finally been recognized by the IDF and the Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon has banned Breaking the Silence from engaging IDF soldiers.

Similarly Education Minister Naftali Bennett has banned BtS from schools and the education system because of its subversive nature.

In case you think that opposition to BtS as well as other foreign-funded NGOs comes only from the right, centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid is planning to submit legislation to ban these groups from funding local organizations:

In a press conference in Tel Aviv, Lapid announced that, as part of his fight against Breaking the Silence, he plans to propose a bill that would not allow groups that promote a boycott of Israel to fund local organizations.

According to Lapid, “Criticism is constructive for our society, but there is a significant difference between criticism and defaming IDF officers and soldiers abroad. That is not criticism; that is undermining the foundations of the state. Organizations like Breaking the Silence have crossed the red line between criticism and subversion.”

Unfortunately President Reuven Rivlin undermined the almost across-the-board opposition to BtS when he attended the Haaretz Confernece in the US which was also attended by BtS.

A counter-organization against BtS has now been formed, as commenter Reality noted yesterday. This group of former IDF soldiers has formed to counter the malignant defamation being spread abroad about alleged human rights abuses committed by the IDF by the vicious organization “Breaking the Silence” (BtS).

Here are just a couple of Facebook posts which speak for themselves. I have quoted the English translation in case it disappears:

I too decided to break the silence:
Ramallah’s outskirts, April 2002.
During operation “protective wall”, in one of dozens operational activities in the area, we took over a terrorist’s house, arrested the terrorist and evacuated his family to the ground floor.
Under operational considerations we decided to take over the top floor so we can control the area, which was plagued with terrorists activity. After 2 days of staying we have been ordered to leave the house and move somewhere else.
It is hard to describe how the house looked like after a full army unit stayed there for 2 days, but what happened afterwards is quite easy to explain.
We split into groups, cleaning and tiding the whole floor, moving all furniture back in place, like no soldiers ever stayed in there.
However, we didn’t stop there – we collected money from every soldier in the unit and we left a generous amount to compensate the family for the inconvenience we caused them, even though it was a family of a terrorist with blood on his hands (who caused death to israeli civilians/ soldiers).
No soldier found this act of kindness weird or out of place. This is who we are, the IDF. But unfortunately, you will never hear of such stories.
They never reach the media and certainly not the U.N
It is time to tell the story of the real Israeli Defense Forces loud and with great pride – to me it’s the best in the world none like it.
You, too, break your silence, even if you are not funded by foreign countries

And here is another post:


A word on the subject of Breaking the Silence.

Is a more moral IDF important to you? Excellent! Form a movement called ‘Proud of a moral IDF” and go make a difference.

But the minute you decided to walk around the whole world and discredit the army as if it were a dark and benighted organization, you have lost your legitimacy.

This is exactly the point where democracy rises up to protect itself from groups who are determined to destroy it from within.

Of course, it is obvious than in an army that has to deal with thousands of daily activities, there will be mistakes and even inappropriate behaviors.

There is no army like ours that makes full accounting of itself!
We all read and report on trials and prosecutions of soldiers who crossing the red line.

So here I am, I’m also breaking the silence:

As part of an officers’ course we were sent on a military operation in Nablus.

One day we found ourselves being bombarded with stones and bottles from all sides in the center of the Nablus casbah. We went thruogh several very scary minutes, staying as close to the walls as possible, with no real ability to respond effectively.

We took advantage of a moment of respite to go out and give chase after a group of men that we identified.

During the chase an old man selling pistachios got caught up in the commotion.

The entire booth on wheels, completely laden, collapsed and goods were scattered.

When we finished the chase and returned to the rally point the old man sat shaking and crying.

Immediately the company commander went up to him, spoke to him and calmed him and gave him to drink from his water bottle.

At the same time, we collected the scattered pistachios, we set up the stall and we even bought one bag each from the old man.

We did not leave until he started smiling again.

I know this is nonsense and that it’s just one small event in the whole madness.
But for me this is the IDF, the most decent and moral army in the world.

So if you have decided to improve our military: Excellent.
But if you decide to fight, we will fight you.

Shavua Tov, Amen.

 There are dozens, probably hundreds more similar stories which have not been published – for the simple reason that the soldiers concerned don’t see anything special about them. This is standard IDF operating procedure, contrary to all the slander and defamation.

But in the current climate, where all means justify the ends for the anti-Israel NGOs, it is time for all of us to stand up and proudly declare how moral the IDF is. Last week it was a group of foreign military experts defending Israel from demonization in international institutions.

Today it is the turn of ourselves and our own soldiers to counter the enemy within.

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4 Responses to The enemy within

  1. Brian Goldfarb says:

    When the left of centre Yesh Atid are condemning these NGOs, then they really are subversive. And there are always limits to freedom of speech, being untruthful being one of them, just for starters. As always, there is a difference between suggesting or arguing that members of the IDF are doing this that or the other is one thing, but to invent actions and claim them as truth is another.

    It’s called lying.

  2. Steve says:

    13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – Official Trailer

    ps. Would you consider adding CC to your blogroll?

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