By Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post
Courtesy of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Thursday Israel will again be the target of a jihadist-leftist propaganda assault. A flotilla of nine ships which set sail for Gaza from Cyprus earlier this week is scheduled to arrive at our doorstep.
The expressed aim of the flotilla’s organizers is to unlawfully provide aid and comfort to Hamas — an illegal terrorist organization. Since it seized power in Gaza three years ago, Hamas, which is openly committed to the genocide of world Jewry and the physical eradication of Israel, has transformed the Gaza Strip into a hub of the global jihad. It has been illegally holding hostage Gilad Schalit incognito for four years. And it is continuously engaged in a massive, Iranian-financed arms buildup ahead of its next assault.
Beyond providing aid to Hamas, the declared aim of the “Free Gaza” movement is to coerce Israel into providing Hamas with an outlet to the sea. This too is in contravention of international law which expressly prohibits states and non-state actors from providing any support to terrorist organizations.
IN SENDING out the latest group of ships, Turkey and its Irish, Greek and Swedish partners seek to appropriate the imagery of the Jewish pre-statehood struggle for independence from Britain. In a bid to appease Hamas’s jihadist precursors, in 1939 Britain’s Mandatory authorities broke international law and prohibited Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine. The League of Nations’ letter of mandate for Britain specifically enjoined the British to facilitate Jewish immigration to the land of Israel. Yet following the Arab terror war from 1936-1939, the British issued the White Paper that all but prohibited Jewish immigration. This move blocked the one place on Earth where European Jews were wanted from accepting them and so trapped 6 million Jews in Hitler’s Europe.
In the aftermath of the war, the British maintained their prohibition on Jewish immigration. To fight this British policy, the Zionist leadership in pre-state Israel organized the Aliya Bet program of illegal immigration. Jewish agents scoured the world for ships large enough to bring Europe’s Jewish refugees to the land of Israel.
The ship most emblematic of the era was the Exodus. The Exodus which set sail from France in July 1947 with 4,515 Jewish Holocaust survivors on board was the Zionist response to a new British policy to force illegal immigrant ships to return to Europe.
The British rammed the Exodus in Haifa. They boarded and killed three Jewish defenders. They then forced its passengers to board British prison ships that would return them to Europe. French authorities denied the ships the right to land in France, so the British sailed on to Hamburg, Germany, where the
refugees were forced to disembark.
The international outcry against Britain in the wake of the Exodus affair shamed London into cancelling its new policy. It also paved the way for Israel’s independence 10 months later.
Now the Turkish, Greek, Swedish and Irish governments are colluding with Hamas to purloin the imagery of the Exodus and the heroism of the Jewish people in the years leading up to statehood and project that imagery onto a terrorist organization that seeks to complete Hitler’s work. They further seek to invert reality by portraying Israel, which in accordance with international law is trying to contain and defeat Hamas, as a combination of the German Nazis and the British imperialists.
SO FAR, they are getting away with it. So far, for their efforts on behalf of a genocidal terrorist organization Erdogan and his ilk are being extolled as human rights champions. Barring any unexpected events, Israel will suffer yet another public relations disaster on Thursday when the ships approach Gaza.
How has this happened? How is it that we have become so overwhelmed by the Left’s propaganda that most of our political leaders and intellectual elite are incapable of even describing the evil that it being advanced against us?
Over the past generation, the Left has commandeered our language. It has inverted the terminology of human rights, freedom, morality, heroism, democracy and victimization. Its perversion of language has made it nearly impossible for members of democratic, human rights respecting, moral societies to describe the threats they face from their human rights destroying, genocidal, tyrannical enemies. Thanks to the efforts of the international Left, the latter are championed as the victims of those they seek to annihilate.
Two incidents in recent weeks make clear just how disastrous the Left’s wholesale theft of language and through it, their inversion of reality has been for Israel.
Last Monday, Noam Chomsky arrived at the Allenby Bridge and requested a visa to enter Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The police at the border refused his request. The radical leftist Israel-basher made a fuss and waited around for several hours before he went back to Jordan.
Chomsky left Jordan at the end of the week and travelled to Lebanon. For the second time in four years, on Friday Chomsky toured southern Lebanon with a Hizbullah guide. Now an official guest of Hizbullah, Chomsky is scheduled to give an address in Beirut Tuesday to celebrate the IDF’s pullout from south Lebanon 10 years ago.
As David Hornik detailed in FrontPage Magazine on Friday, the leftist-dominated Israeli media went nuts when they discovered Chomsky had been turned away at the border. Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz heralded Chomsky as a great mind and proclaimed hysterically that the refusal to allow him to enter the country marked the end of Israeli democracy and the start of a slide into fascism. The Western media quickly piled on and within hours Israel’s right to deny its avowed enemies entry was under assault.
And Chomsky is Israel’s enemy. As Hornik pointed out, Chomsky has repeatedly defended Holocaust deniers while accusing Israel of being the ideological heir of Nazi Germany. When he hasn’t been too busy championing the Khmer Rouge and Josef Stalin, and attacking the US as the Great Satan, Chomsky has devoted much time and energy to calling for Israel’s eradication and defending Palestinian and Hizbullah terrorists.
IT WAS the government’s job to point this out. But instead, faced with the leftist onslaught against its right to control its borders, the government crumpled. Instead of explaining that Chomsky is an enemy of Israel and an abettor and defender of genocide, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev apologized for the unpleasant reception Chomsky received at the Allenby Bridge. Regev also promised that if Chomsky returns, he will be granted an entry visa.
The government’s cowardly handling of the Chomsky incident is testament to the Left’s success at intimidating Western leaders to the point where instead of standing up to leftist propaganda and lies, they accept them as truth and even collaborate in disseminating them.
Probably the PMO figured no one would listen if it told the truth about Chomsky. It probably felt that defending the decision to bar Chomsky from the country would only elicit a second barrage of media attacks.
And perhaps they were right. But the fact that the Left would have remained unconvinced doesn’t excuse the government’s abject surrender of the truth about Chomsky to Israel’s enemies on the Left who portray the MIT professor as a human rights activist and a great intellectual humanitarian. As David Horowitz and Peter Collier prove in their book The Anti-Chomsky Reader, there doesn’t seem to be a tyrant that Chomsky hasn’t championed or a victim that Chomsky hasn’t demonized in the entire span of his 50-year career as a radical activist.
The government is not alone in its fear of exposing and fighting the Left’s campaign to demonize the country.
THE RADICAL left’s ability to block voices of dissent from its anti-Israel and anti-freedom positions was similarly demonstrated two weeks ago at Tel Aviv University’s annual Board of Governors meeting.
For several years, a large, vocal group of tenured professors from the university have actively participated in the international campaign to boycott Israeli universities and academics while actively supporting Hamas and Hizbullah. That is, many Tel Aviv University professors, whose salaries are paid by university donors and Israeli taxpayers, have been using their university titles to undermine the university and to advance the cause of Israel’s destruction.
This year the university’s Board of Governors bestowed an honorary doctorate on Harvard Prof. Alan Dershowitz. In his acceptance speech, Dershowitz called these professors out for their vile behavior and named three of the most vocal enemies of the university and Israel on the international stage: Profs. Anat Matar, Rachel Giora and Shlomo Sand.
The university’s tenured anti-Zionist activists were quick to retaliate. More than 80 professors signed a letter to university president Joseph Klaffter demanding that the university disassociate itself from Dershowitz’s statements.
Klaffter was quick to oblige. At the Board of Governors meeting, Klaffter silenced board member Mark Tanenbaum when he tried to put forward a resolution calling for disciplinary action against university professors who use their university titles to defame the university or Israel. Klaffter, who isn’t even a member of the Board of Governors, reportedly grabbed the microphone away from Tanenbaum and adjourned the meeting. Klaffter justified his physical denial of Tanenbaum’s freedom of speech by claiming that he was defending academic freedom.
Like the Prime Minister’s Office’s apology to Noam Chomsky, Klaffter’s action — aside from arguably being prohibited by his own university’s constitution — was further proof of the Left’s success in appropriating the language and imagery of freedom and tolerance in the service of forces that seek to destroy freedom and end tolerance.
ON THURSDAY Hamas’s maritime enablers from Europe, Turkey and beyond will arrive at our doorstep. The navy will block their entry to Gaza. Israel will be demonized by terror-abettors disguised as human rights activists and journalists worldwide. And the story will pave the way for the next assault on Israel’s right to exist.
This endless circle of demonization and aggression will continue to widen and escalate until our political leaders and our intellectual elite reclaim our language from those on the terror-abetting Left. True, our reclamation of our language will not go unopposed. But if we do not reassert our right to describe objective reality, our inability to explain why we are right and our detractors serve evil will be our undoing.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post.