Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Back to School -- Israel Advocacy 101
Welcome, returning students for another year of Israel Advocacy. Remember – college campuses are intellectual war zones where you have to battle against Palestinians and their supporters, including all those anti-Israel, leftwing Jewish professors. Prof. Haber is here to help you answer the critics. Remember Rule Number 1 of Israel Advocacy: Always defend Israel’s policies as moral and reasonable, no matter what they are. When Israel changes its policies, as a result of international criticism, or legal action taken against it, defend both the changed policy and the original policy. When all else fails, talk about suicide bombing and Qassam missiles, and how Israel lives in a tough neighborhood. Here is a concrete example. 1) The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had a policy called by the soldiers “The Neighbor Practice” (Nohal Shakhen), in which Palestinians were coerced into being used as human shields for IDF soldiers when entering houses suspected of harboring militants. One Palestinian was killed in this manner. Somebody questions you about this policy. Advocacy Response: Talk about suicide bombings of innocent Israeli civilians, and mention that the IDF is the most moral army in the world. Explain that if anything happened to the Palestinians, it was the responsibility of the terrorists inside. 2) It is pointed out to you that as a result of criticism, the IDF changed the policy to what soldiers called, “The Voluntary Neighbor Practice.” This, too, led to civilians being hurt, and was criticized by human rights groups inside and outside of Israel as unethical and as violating the code of war. As a result of legal action taken by the aforementioned human rights groups, the Israeli High Court instructed the Israel Defence Forces to suspend the “Neighbor Practice.” Advocacy Response: Hold up the High Court decision as an example of Israeli democracy. (Reread your Dershowitz here.) When asked about the previous practice that has been declared illegal, defend it by referring to 1) above. If you have to mention the human rights groups that brought the suit, accuse them of leftwing bias and praise the Israeli ones as shining examples of Israel democracy. When all else fails, talk about suicide bombing and Qassam missiles. 3) According to the IDF soldiers cited on the front page of today's Maariv, the illegal “Neighbor Practice” continues, in defiance of the ruling of the High Court. Only now it is called “Outstretched Arm.” The difference now is that the Palestinian civilian cannot be a neighbor but has to live in the house, and once he is out of the house, cannot be sent back in. But the soldiers often ignore these provisions. The IDF spokesman responds to the news report that when that happens, the IDF investigates. Advocacy Response: OK, this is a bit tricky, but here is how you handle it. First, say that you have not read the press report, that you want to investigate the story, and that you will get back to the person you are talking with when you have done so. (Of course, you shouldn’t.) If the person is insistent, defend the new practice using 1). Spend a lot of time talking about suicide bombings and Qassam missiles. Oh, and tell them that the IDF regularly investigates cases of abuse. After all, it is the most moral army in the world. 4) You are asked, “What happens if human rights groups successfully petition the High Court about the new policy”? To answer this, go back to 2). And don’t forget suicide bombings and the Qassam missiles. Oh, and you can throw in the withdrawal from Gaza. You see how simple that was!