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WATCH: Incitement against the Israeli Left just got a lot scarier

Four Israelis who work for leading human rights organizations woke up to a new, frightening reality after a video accused each one of them of being a foreign agent working to defend Palestinian terrorists.

A new video entitled “Foreign Agents – Revealed!” was released on Tuesday by Im Tirtzu, a neo-Mccarthyite, extreme right-wing group notorious for its public attacks against left-wing academics and organizations. In 2013 an Israeli court ruled that the group bears similarities to a fascist movement. Its leadership enjoys ties with Likud and Yisrael Beitenu politicians.

The video plasters the faces of the heads of four Israeli human rights organizations — The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem and Hamoked: The Center for the Defense of the Individual — directly accusing them of being “planted” by different European entities (Holland, Germany, Norway and the European Union, respectively) to aid and abet terrorists. I wonder whether any of these European entities has a problem with being accused of planting operatives in an “enemy” country.

In response to the video, B’Tselem head Hagai El-Ad, who was targeted in the video, told +972:

“The government has no idea what it is doing, so its emissaries are busy dealing in incitement. We will continue to document and expose the occupation and its injustices, and resist Israel’s half century-long military control over millions of Palestinians.”

Meretz MK Michal Rozin has already demanded the attorney general investigate it. According to attorney Michael Sfard, the legal definition of incitement is very narrow, and therefore it probably won’t apply here. It requires a call to commit an offense against someone, the reasonable likelihood that someone can and will commit that act, and that the distributor of the material is interested in that happening or at least doesn’t mind.

However, Sfard says it definitely is incitement in the social, political and ethical sense of the term. “Soviet-style incitement, talking about people as if they are foreign agents working for the enemy.” According to Sfard, there is a legal definition of incitement to racism that does not include the call to harm someone – like what Netanyahu did on Election Day (even though the Attorney General acquitted him). Such incitement creates an atmosphere of hatred for a person based on their being attributed to a specific group.

“If there was a parallel to the law on incitement for racism that included incitement against political groups, this would qualify,” Sfard told +972.

The past few months have been a scary time for human rights activists in Israel. The recent incitement against activists from Breaking the Silence — which came from right-wing and centrist leaders alike — has created an environment in which Israelis working for organizations that deal with Palestinian human rights are endangering themselves. They are being silenced, they are the target of slander and lies, and their actual physical safety may be in danger.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Gustav

      I am not in favor of incitement against anyone.

      The trouble is that the left itself is guilty of incitement against Israel because they endlessly repeat their simplistic one sided stories and weird theories about how we need to take risks for peace but the Arabs need not.

      And that in turn evokes hatred against the left or rather the extreme left coz there are plenty of decent center lefties who are not offering their and their families throats for cutting by nationalist and/or supremacist Islamo fascist Arabs.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Words mean something. You can’t just call anything you disagree with “incitement.” To do so is actually incitement. “There are plenty of decent center lefties who are not offering their and their families throats for cutting” is incitement.

        +972′s articles are anything but simplistic. It’s their complexity that bothers you. Your fulminations against +972 are simplistic. “The Hundred Years War That They Started, And It’s All Their Fault”–that is simplistic in the extreme. “The Occupation is necessary for Security and it’s All their Fault”–that is simplistic in the extreme.

        Who said the Arabs need not take risks?

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          I can do anything that you do Benny in reverse. Even so, I am not as extreme as you are against us Benny. You have a simple recipee. You repeat your vilification against us endlessly and you deny or brush over anything that contradicts your narrative.

          …no according to you, the Arabs were not the first to resort to violence against us. You say my accusation is simplistic. No it isn’t. Read any respectable history book. They all echo what I say. The Arabs rejected the two state solution and they tried all means to stop the creation of the Jewish state. When they failed, their political attempts failed, they resorted to violence.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Yonatan

      Human Rights is a foreign concept in Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Naftali

      This is funny. All day, every day, your magazine incites against Israelis. demonizing us, calling us fascist baby killers, You claim that you want free speech but claim incitement when the shoe is on the other foot. Hypocrites

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        That’s not true. This magazine has pointed out that an Israeli court ruled that Im Tirtzu bears similarities to a fascist movement and that its leadership enjoys ties with Likud and Yisrael Beitenu politicians. And it has pointed out, as have many others, that the government knows the identity of the Dawabshe baby killer but refuses to arrest him. But this magazine has never called Israelis fascist baby killers.

        And guess what, it turns out that Naftali Bennett’s own campaign manager and public relations guru Moshe Klughaft produced the Im Tirtzu video. And, Naftali, it’s reported that the spokesperson of the anti-shtulim campaign is Dana Mizrahi, until recently employed by, yes, Naftali Bennett.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Benny in denial again.

          This magazine consists of wall to wall one sided stories along the lines of…

          Israel = BAAAAD!!!!!!!

          Arabs = GOOOOOD (and poor victims).

          Anyone who even tries to deny it is an idiot or more likely, takes others to be idiots.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Transparently false. Just in the past week Amjad Iraqi and Inna Michaeli have written pieces that look critically at aspects of Arab political and social culture.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yea? What did they say which negates what I said above, Benny-leh?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Read it and see, child! I’m not spoon feeding you!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Not interested. You brought up the articles without even providing links. But you are too lazy to make your point?

            I stand by what I said. Let me say it again…

            This magazine consists of wall to wall one sided stories along the lines of…

            Israel = BAAAAD!!!!!!!

            Arabs = GOOOOOD (and poor victims).

            Anyone who even tries to deny it is an idiot or more likely, takes others to be idiots.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            I think this magazine and their fearless internet warrior, Benny, should rename their Palestinian Arabs to…

            TEFLON MEN

            …according to them, no matter what these teflon men do, or don’t do, nothing sticks to them. Everything is always Israel’s fault. Booooooooorrrriiiiiinnng!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Not interested.”

            The obnoxiousness! He accuses +972 of idiotic things. When I point to two authors whose articles in the magazine in the past week contradict him, he says “Not interested.” Too lazy to even look. The classic extreme right winger who just knows what he knows. What a joke.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            You are the obnoxious one Benny.

            You mentioned two articles without even giving a link to them. I asked you to summarize how those articles negate my accusation but you haughtily declined to give a meaningful response.

            So Benny, I stand by my accusation. This magazine (and the likes of you display extreme bias) all one has to do is read just about any article here and the attitude that comes through is…

            Israel = BAAAAD!!!!!!!

            Arabs = GOOOOOD (and poor victims).

            It is self evident. Wanna dispute it Benny? Then Give me more than just a lazy response. My evidence is just about any article here. What’s your’s?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            By the way, Benny, as usual, you are full of it. I looked at what Amjad Iraqi wrote in the last week.

            One article was about your new wunder kid, Odeh in which he vilifies the American Jewish leadership for disrespecting Odeh who he claims is all for coexistence. Note, he says Jewish leadership BAAAD… Arab leader is GOOD … and is victim…

            The other article is about an Arab Israeli soldier having been jailed because he mistreated some Arab demonstrators. The point which Amjad makes in that article is that the soldier was made an example of because he is Arab, not Jewish… Again the theme is….Israel=BAAAD, Arabs = Victims….

            You were lying through your teeth as usual, eh, Benny-leh? Have you no shame?

            Reply to Comment
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