Thursday, July 14, 2011

Robert Naiman Steps In It

Fresh from his failed trip on The Audacity of Hope Robert Naiman is back to spin some lies about Israel in the pages of the Huffington  Post. His most blatant comes right in the title of the article, "Israel Bans Free Speech for Jews." Again, funny how Israel and Jews have nothing at all to do with each other until Mr. Naiman and his ilk feel like Jew-baiting. And of course this law would apply to everyone, not just Jews, so if Mr. Naiman was trying to imply that there was discrimination, then his title is just the first in a long line of fails. After this, the whole article is just one lie after another. Hang on to your hats, because it's going to come fast and furious:
"[TheIsraeli Knesset gave the campaign to boycott the Israeli occupation..."
Silly Mr. Naiman. He still thinks the BDS movement is only about boycotting "the occupation." What a fool. But there are none so blind as those who will not see.
"the right-wing Israeli government shone a spotlight on its illegal blockade of Gaza ..."
Bad timing on Mr. Naiman's part, seeing as how the UN just declared that the Gaza blockade is legal and denounced the "Freedom Flotilla." Maybe if he had waited a week we would have all forgotten that and would have believed him.
"A few hundred peace activists gave the Israeli government an opportunity to do so by announcing their intention to fly to Israel..."
A "few hundred" you say? Funny, because in their press releases leading up to the event the flytillists expected that it would be almost a thousand. But hey, better start rewriting that history now before you miss your chance right?
"The parliament of "the only democracy in the Middle East" has passed legislation to punish Israeli Jews who call for a boycott of the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank."
The lies here are twofold.
1: If Mr. Naiman had actually read the law he would have seen that it does affect boycotts of the settlements, that is true. But he also would have seen that it affects boycotts of Israel itself, which is really the purpose of the law. So either Mr. Naiman didn't read the law and therefore didn't know that (ignorance) or he is intentionally spinning the law to make it appear as if its sole purpose is to defend the settlements (dishonesty). Pick your poison.
2. His implication that Israel is now not a democracy or is becoming less democratic because of this law is a very common accusation. But unfortunately he didn't do his background research because if he had he would have found that most Western countries including America have the same law already, and have had it for years. The only exception would be the settlements of course, but the point is that the whole "free speech" issue has already been decided. The European courts concluded that advocating a boycott against Israel is a discriminatory practice and therefore not protected speech. Whether or not you think this is reasonable or not is your opinion, but the point is that Israel is hardly the first country to pass a law like this.

The next quote isn't a rely but rather a difference of opinion:
"Will this stop the boycott movement? It will surely promote it, by making it more sexy. Banned by the Israeli Knesset!"
As I said before, to anyone who is paying attention the vast majority of the BDS movements that take place don't take place in Israel. Those that do occur in Western nations who have already banned them (as I said above). The epicenter of BDS activity, the UK, is also one of the few nations who haven't  banned boycotts of Israel. Is that just a coincidence? I think Naiman was better off sticking with his accusations that this law makes Israel undemocratic, rather than counterproductive. It is unlikely that this law will change things much on the ground, except for deterring certain Israeli advocates of boycotts. And of course the possibility of lawfare cuts in both directions.

Still, at least Naiman didn't try and say that this law would mean boycotters could be thrown in jail, as some others think. After repeating his half-truth that "the boycott is against the occupation," he calls it a day. Just as well, in my opinion. You can tell the article was rushed, maybe Naiman should have stopped and actually read the law rather than Ha'aretz commentary about it.

4 comments:

  1. Two days and only 23 comments on Naiman's *article*.

    Silencing all opposing views seems to be the norm for his articles….what is Naiman or HuffPo afraid of, that they feel they must silence the voice of opposing views….
    after all, isn't that what Naiman himself is doing….voicing opposition?

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  3. The point is the Left advocates the delegitimization and isolation of Israel. And they have the chutzpah to attack Israel from defending itself with very mild measures from its enemies! In wartime, democracies have done far worse. The criticism of the boycott law has little to do with free speech and a lot to do with animus towards the Jewish State. Israeli Jews aren't fooled by the rhetoric of opponents of the new law. Robert Naiman doesn't get it!

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  4. By "Jews" Namian means himself.

    Robert Naiman is the only Jew that matters...

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