Thousands of demonstrators protested the ‘anti-democratic’ actions of the government Saturday night, in particular the decision to create a Knesset commission to investigate the sources of funding for non-governmental organizations active in Israel.
I’ve already discussed this at length. Regardless of the applicability of this or some other remedy, no country can be expected to tolerate massive foreign-financed subversion.
Here’s how it works:
- Arabs claim that IDF soldiers or ‘settlers’ have committed some kind of atrocity: mistreating Arabs, uprooting olive trees, even burning sheep.
- An NGO like B’Tselem, funded by organizations and countries hostile to Israel — the New Israel Fund, the Ford Foundation, the governments of The Netherlands, the UK and Norway, and various left-wing church groups — ‘investigates’, meaning they uncritically accept Arab claims.
- The NGO holds a news conference or releases a report, which is picked up by the press as fact — period. Even when what is alleged is unlikely or impossible, there is no attempt at confirmation beyond the NGO report.
- Anti-Israel media then present it to the world in dramatic, emotional ways.
- UN commissions add it to their list of verified Israeli crimes. A case is built which can be grounds for future resolutions or, at some point, even sanctions.
- European activists file charges based on universal jurisdiction, so that Israeli officials become fugitives subject to arrest if they land in Europe.
This process is ongoing. Every day there are new incidents. It’s a highly leveraged attack, since it’s trivial to make up stories, but responding to them takes actual investigation, which is time- and resource-consuming, and in many cases nearly impossible. Anyway, even when they are proven false, the damage is done.
The demonstration, which was organized by a coalition of left-wing political groups and some of the same organizations that are at the center of the funding controversy, was aimed at Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose Israel Beitenu party introduced the bill to investigate the NGOs into the Knesset, and who has spoken strongly about the issue.
Lieberman was also attacked for championing a loyalty oath for Israeli citizenship, which his opponents consider ‘racist’.
Lieberman gives voice to a reaction against increasing — and increasingly damaging — anti-Zionist activities by extreme left-wing Israeli Jews and Arab citizens of Israel. In my opinion, such a reaction is justified and has been a long time coming, although perhaps Lieberman presents himself in a way that many see as demagogic.
Nevertheless, Israel is a small and vulnerable society and cannot survive if there are absolutely no limits on subversive behavior within the state.
There is now a counter-reaction from the Left, which is also spilling over into the US, with numerous articles springing up like mushrooms after a rain, all viewing with alarm various ‘undemocratic’ phenomena in Israel. As usual, Israel is expected to be more tolerant of ‘dissent’ than any nation in history, even when the ‘dissent’ is paid for by its enemies and involves deliberate violent provocations, such as occur every week at Bili’in.
In fact there is something profoundly undemocratic in Israel, but it is not the democratically elected center-right government. Rather, it is the undemocratic proclivity of the Left to try to deny the fact the Israeli public democratically kicked them out of power and reduces their influence with every succeeding election.
The public, who were the targets of the suicide bombers of the intifada, who continue to be the targets of Hamas rockets, and who will probably bear the brunt of casualties in the next war, understand that the ‘peace process’ failed because the Arabs didn’t want peace. They voted. The precipitous drop in the number of seats held by Labor and left-wing parties was a mandate that said: don’t inflict this on us any longer.
Those politicians, extreme leftists, anarchists and paid agents for the hostile European governments, who simply will not accept the verdict of the public, and who insist that the ‘peace process’ has to be jammed into them no matter what — they are the ones who are behaving undemocratically.
Barack Obama once said “elections have consequences,” but the establishment that ruled Israel from its founding until the shocking upset of 1977 has never understood this. They have always believed that they know better than the voters, and often made Faustian bargains with the Europeans or the NIF, for example, to get their way.
But — as literature has told us ever since the theme came into being — any profit from making a deal with the devil is short-term at best. Ultimately, you lose your soul.