[News] Israeli Think Tank Calls for Sabotaging "Delegitimizers" of Israel

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 21 13:01:34 EDT 2010

May 21 - 23, 2010

Reut Institute Admits Critics Have Many Valid Points

Israeli Think Tank Calls for Sabotaging "Delegitimizers" of Israel


While a report by an Israeli think tank has been 
widely condemned (1) for advocating that the 
Israeli government use its intelligence services 
to attack and sabotage non-violent human rights 
advocates, the report is worth detailed study 
because it is chock full of admissions of 
illegitimate features of the Israeli government 
it desperately seeks to protect.

The report, “Building a Political Firewall 
Against Israel’s Delegitimization,” is the 
product of a year of research by a team of Tel 
Aviv-based Reut Institute (2) investigators and 
includes contributions from more than 100 
individuals in Israel, the United Kingdom, and 
the United States. While the Israeli government 
did not commission the report, Reut officials 
gave a PowerPoint presentation, “The Challenge of 
Delegitimacy to Israel’s National Security,” to 
the Israeli Cabinet in February 2010 and to a 
large conference of Israeli government officials in March 2010.

The report describes the “new strategic threat” 
created by the human rights activists’ 
“fundamental delegitimization” of the Israeli government.

But the report also:
    * Validates two of the three demands of the 
rapidly growing Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions 
(BDS) campaign: for ending the occupation and for 
equal rights for all Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel
    * Admits the concern that Israel will become 
a pariah state if it fails to end the occupation and provide equal rights
    * Asserts that “earnest and consistent 
commitment to ending occupation” and “to the 
equality and integration of its Arab citizens” 
are critical to combating delegitimization
    * Notwithstanding the previous points, 
asserts that the demand for equal rights is one 
that “unbundles Israel’s elimination,” and 
therefore, actually providing equal rights is 
incompatible with the Israeli government’s continued existence
    * Admits that the Israeli government requires 
the ability to continue unilaterally launching “harsh” militarily attacks
    * Admits that the delegitimization crisis is 
“crippling” the Israeli government’s freedom to launch such military attacks
    * Admits the crucial importance for the 
Israeli government to overcome that crisis to 
restore its unbridled freedom to act militarily
    * Admits that in the past the Israeli 
government was successful at using peace moves to 
obtain the legitimacy it needed for its next war
    * Admits that its widely publicized 
withdrawals from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005 
were not effective to achieve legitimacy for its 
attack on Lebanon in 2006 or its most recent massive attack on Gaza
    * Admits that the failure of those peace 
moves to achieve legitimacy for the attack on 
Gaza had consequences that accelerated the 
delegitimization. Admits that “following 
Operation Cast Lead,” the intense criticism of 
the government “was expressed in the Goldstone 
report and in legal proceedings against IDF 
officers and Israeli politicians.” Admits that 
the legal proceedings restricted Israel military 
and political leaders’ freedom to travel “due to 
application of universal legal jurisdiction.”
    * Admits that “the Jewish world is growing 
more distant from Israel” and that “criticism of 
Israel is more prevalent within the Jewish world than in the past”
    * Admits that “too few of our people 
able to effectively respond to Palestinian claims 
or to campaigns which seek to de-legitimize the moral basis for Israel”
    * Admits that the so-called “delegitimizers” 
are a loose network of non-violent activists who “punch above their weight”

Despite the well-deserved condemnation the report 
has received for its proposal to attack human 
rights advocates, the admissions included in the 
report, taken together, make it a valuable 
resource: through these admissions the Reut 
Institute paints the Israeli government as 
essentially a rogue state needing to “overhaul” 
its methods to maintain its ability to continue 
being one. But the desperate methods the Reut 
Institute recommends risk further accelerating 
its decline in legitimacy, as happened when 
Israeli border guards denied entry to Noam 
Chomsky into the West Bank on May 16, 2010. (3)

The Expanding Repression of Human Rights Activists and Organizations

Identifying human rights activists in certain 
cities as the catalysts creating its legitimacy 
problems, the Reut report recommends that the 
Israeli government use its intelligence services 
to repress human rights activists in London, 
Toronto, Madrid, and the San Francisco Bay Area. 
If implemented, this policy would extend the 
repression of non-violent human rights groups 
that the Israeli government is carrying out 
inside Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian 
Territories (OPT) to people and groups in 
countries that are beyond the Israeli government’s nominal control.

In a recent interview, Haaretz correspondent 
Gideon Levy described the Israeli government’s 
“systematic” efforts in curbing the activities of 
human rights activists inside Israel and the OPT.

“In the last year there have been real cracks in 
the democratic system of Israel. [The authorities 
have been] trying to stop demonstrators from 
getting to Bilin [a West Bank village, scene of 
frequent protests against Israel's wall]. But 
there's also a process of delegitimizing all 
kinds of groups and [nongovernmental 
organizations] and really to silence many voices. 
It's systematic -- it's not here and there. 
Things are becoming much harder. They did it to 
"Breaking the Silence" [a group of soldiers 
critical of the Occupation] in a very ugly but 
very effective way. Breaking the Silence can 
hardly raise its voice any more. And they did it 
also to many other organizations, including the 
International Solidarity Movement, which are described in Israel as enemies.”

On April 5, 2010, the New York Times published an 
article by Isabel Kershner, “Israeli Rights 
Groups View Themselves as Under Siege,” which 
confirmed Levy’s account and demonstrated that 
Reut Institute concerns about delegitimization 
were well received at the highest level of the 
Israeli government. In her article, Kershner 
described the “increasingly hostile environment” 
in which various prominent Israeli human rights 
organizations are forced to operate. In addition, 
Kershner reported that Prime Minister Benjamin 
Netanyahu had identified “the delegitimization of 
Israel abroad” as “a major strategic threat.” 
Referring to international rights groups that 
have been critical of Israel, such as Human 
Rights Watch, Kershner quotes a senior Netanyahu 
aide saying that the Israeli government was 
“going to dedicate time and manpower to combating 
these groups.” Consistent with that statement, a 
newly proposed law within the Israeli Knesset 
would stifle the work of Israel-based human 
rights NGOs involved in efforts to prosecute 
Israeli officials for “breaches of International 
Humanitarian Law, or war crimes.”

Thus, at the highest level, the Israeli 
government recognized the strategic threat posed 
by the loss in Israeli government legitimacy and, 
consistent with the Reut Report, declared that 
the legitimacy war is on for human rights critics 
both domestically and internationally.

Identifying Israel’s “Delegitimizers”

Consistent with traditional divide and rule 
strategy, the Reut report distinguishes between 
those who merely “criticize” Israeli policies and 
those who “delegitimize” the State, inviting 
repression against “delegitimizers” while 
advocating engagement with less severe “critics.” 
According to the report, delegitimizers include 
those who: (1) single out the Israeli government 
for its failure to abide by international law and 
seek to hold its political and military leaders 
accountable under universal jurisdiction; (2) 
label recent Israeli military attacks on 
Palestinians and neighboring countries war 
crimes, crimes against humanity, or aggression; 
(3) describe Israeli settlements in the occupied 
territories as “illegal and immoral”; (4) demand 
an end to discrimination against Palestinians 
within Israel’s 1967 boundaries; (5) criticize 
the Israeli blockade of Gaza as illegal 
collective punishment; (6) label the Israeli 
government as a “pariah, apartheid state”; (7) 
refuse to accept Israel’s “right to exist” (4) or 
the right of the Jewish people to 
self-determination; or (8) call for a one-state 
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to the Reut report, these 
“delegitimizers” also include supporters of the 
BDS campaign. The BDS movement was inspired by 
the US civil rights movement, the United Farm 
Workers grape boycott, and the boycott, 
divestment and sanctions campaigns against South 
African apartheid. It had been building outside 
of Israel and the Occupied Territories for 
several years and was reinvigorated in 2005 when 
hundreds of Palestinian non-governmental 
organizations called upon activists to focus 
their efforts on three concrete objectives: (1) 
ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of 
land acquired by force in 1967 and dismantling 
the wall; (2) equal rights for all 
Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel; and (3) 
permitting the return of Palestinian refugees to 
their homes and villages within Israel and the 
OPT. These demands were chosen, in part, because 
each is thoroughly supported in international 
legal instruments and customary legal norms 
binding upon the Israeli government.

While dividing the opposition is crucial to the 
strategy proposed by the Reut Institute, the 
strategy could backfire if human rights workers 
subject to attack are able to maintain unity and 
parry the illegitimate tactics with broad based 
campaigns to defend any human rights workers subject to attack.

Israel’s Loss of Legitimacy: Strategic Costs for Israel

The report makes clear that re-establishing 
Israel’s global reputation and legitimacy is not 
merely a matter of Israeli pride, but also a 
strategic necessity. The Reut report states:

“In the past few years, Israel has been subjected 
to increasingly harsh criticism around the world, 
resulting in an erosion of its international 
image, and exacting a tangible strategic price. (par. 1)”

The report details the extensive political and 
military costs suffered by the Israeli government 
as a result of progress the “delegitimizers” are 
supposedly making toward “branding Israel as a pariah state.” (par. 106)

1. Ability to make war

The report states that the delegitimacy crisis is 
“crippling Israel's unilateral option by limiting 
military use-of-force.” (par. 106). Thus, the 
report admits concern that, having “come to 
represent violence, aggression, disregard for 
human rights, etc.” (par. 120) the Israeli 
government’s ability to act on its own to launch 
further attacks on neighboring countries and 
further bombard civilians living under occupation 
is being limited by the Israeli government’s loss of legitimacy.

While this is a source of deep concern for the 
Reut Institute, if true, it is, of course, a 
source of guarded relief for others.

2.  Weakened ability to use peace moves to gain 
legitimacy for making future war

In connection with its discussion of maintaining 
the “unilateral” option to militarily attack, the 
report includes startling admissions about 
Israel’s decisions to withdraw its military 
forces from Lebanon and Gaza. According to the 
report, the Israeli government leveraged its 
withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza to obtain 
legitimacy for future “harsh military responses.” The report states:

“Israel’s unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon 
(May 2000) and Gaza (August 2005) reflected a 
logic that, in the absence of a partner for a 
political process, Israel could unilaterally 
withdraw to a recognized international boundary, 
and thus secure international legitimacy for 
harsh military responses in case of future 
provocations across the border. The combination 
of military force and international legitimacy 
were expected to create effective deterrence. (par. 106)”

As such, the report admits that the Israeli 
government used peace moves to “secure [the] 
international legitimacy” necessary to give the 
government greater latitude to engage in harsh 
military operations. But the report notes that 
this strategy was only “partially successful” 
during Operation Cast Lead when Israeli military 
forces harshly attacked the civilian population 
in Gaza and drew intense international criticism.

3.  Discrimination and Segregation Within Israel

According to the report, the legitimacy crisis 
risks “breaching of Israeli sovereign discretion 
and internationalization of the issue of Israel's 
Arab citizens.” (par. 106). Thus, the report 
admits that the crisis is allowing world 
involvement in the government’s systematic 
discrimination against non-Jewish populations 
inside Israel. Human rights organizations, both 
inside and outside Israel, have criticized the 
lack of equal rights in Israel, including both de 
jure and de facto segregation and discrimination 
against Israel’s Arab citizens on the job, in 
schools, and across Israeli society. In a report 
addressing legitimacy, it is remarkable that the 
Reut report fails to mention the numerous 
international legal instruments that make 
provision of equal rights mandatory for 
legitimacy, including the UN Charter, UN General 
Assembly Resolution 181, the Universal 
Declaration of Human Rights, and the 
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The report identifies as delegitimizers both 
those who call for equal rights and those who 
respect the right of Palestinian refugees to 
return to their homes within Israel’s 1967 
borders. According to the report, these demands 
“unbundle Israel's elimination:”

“Delegitimizers make a set of separate demands 
from Israel that together amount to elimination 
of Israel or to the rejection of the right of 
Jews for self-determination. For example, they 
call for 'the return of individual Palestinian 
refugees to their homes' or for 'full and equal 
right of the Arab minority in Israel'. (par. 102)”

Along with equal rights, the right of refugees to 
return is one of the most fundamental articles of 
international law, supported by the Fourth Geneva 
Convention, the 1907 Hague Regulations, UN 
General Assembly Resolution 181, UN Security 
Council Resolution 194, the Universal Declaration 
of Human Rights, UN Security Council Resolution 
242, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (5)

By claiming that respect for Palestinian rights, 
whether as refugees or as Israeli citizens, would 
result in the “elimination” of the Israeli state, 
the Reut Institute gives its stamp of approval to 
the view that underpinnings of the Israeli 
government are incompatible with universally 
accepted human rights codified in basic 
instruments of international law. Thus, without 
intending, the Reut Institute lends its 
authoritative voice to human rights advocates who 
condemn the discriminatory Israeli form of 
government as outside the law and therefore illegitimate.

4. The Occupation

In discussing the occupation, the report notes 
that the Israeli government faces a “conundrum” 
that threatens its national security:

“[A]ny territory Israel withdraws from will be 
used as a platform for hostile military 
activities against it. This threat will increase 
if the Palestinian state controls its own 
airspace and borders. According to this logic, 
Israel must retain control in the West Bank, and 
potentially renew its control over Gaza. (par. 108)”

The report, however, also acknowledges the 
strength of certain practical arguments in favor of ending the occupation:

“Israel's political logic: To leave – If Israel 
fails to end its rule over the Palestinian 
population in the West Bank or reoccupies Gaza, 
demographic trends will erode Israel's 
fundamental legitimacy, and ultimately render it 
a pariah state. As such, Israel must urgently end 
its control of the West Bank. (par. 108)”

However, the report separately mentions the 
“foundational value” of Zionism of “sovereignty, 
ownership, or control of the Land of Israel, 
which represents the cradle of Hebrew 
civilization.” (par. 76). The foundational 
Zionist goal of obtaining, maintaining, and 
expanding control over Palestinian land may do 
more to explain the reluctance to withdraw from 
occupied territory than the pretext concerning national security.

It is also remarkable that a report focused on 
legitimacy should omit mention of the numerous 
legal instruments and decisions that render the 
Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian 
territory illegal and illegitimate: the continued 
occupation places the Israeli government in 
violation of UN Security Council resolution 242, 
General Assembly resolution 2625, article 2, 
section 4 of the UN Charter, the 2004 decision of 
the International Court of Justice, the 150-6 
vote by the UN General Assembly demanding Israeli 
compliance with that decision on July 20, 2004, 
and the 157-7 vote by the UN General Assembly in 
2006 supporting the rights of the Palestinian 
people to self-determination and to an 
independent state, and which stressed the need 
for the Israeli government to withdraw from the 
Palestinian territory it has occupied since 1967. 
Furthermore, the introduction and maintenance of 
settlers in Palestinian and Syrian occupied 
territory places the Israeli government in 
violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN 
Security Council resolution 465. Also, the 
“targeted killing” of civilians, torture or 
inhumane treatment of prisoners, unlawful 
confinement of civilians, and the extensive 
destruction and appropriation of property not 
justified by military necessity and carried out 
unlawfully and wantonly in Gaza and the West Bank 
places the Israeli government in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

But even the practical argument against the 
occupation provided in the report validates the 
view that continuing occupation, rather than 
efforts of “delegitimizers” is increasingly 
responsible for the Israeli government losing 
legitimacy and becoming a pariah state.

5. The BDS Campaign

The report notes the negative effects the BDS 
campaign has had on Israel’s international image: 
“Although the tangible economic implications of 
the BDS campaign have been limited, the thrust of 
its damage has been in branding Israel as a 
pariah state.” (par. 106). At the same time, 
however, amazingly, the report admits that two of 
the three demands of the BDS campaign are 
legitimate. The report’s authors deserve credit, 
if not for acknowledging the justice of these 
demands, at least for acknowledging their importance to legitimacy:

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict provides the 
main leverage for Israel's fundamental 
delegitimization. Clearly, Israel's earnest and 
consistent commitment to ending 'occupation' is 
critical to combating delegitimization and 
failure to exhibit such a commitment adds fuel to its fires. (par. 48)”

“Clearly, here too Israel's credible commitment 
to the equality and integration of its Arab 
citizens is vital to combating delegitimization, 
while failure to exhibit such a commitment will 
create fertile grounds for its cultivation. (par. 48)”

However, the Reut Institute does not 
wholeheartedly advocate changing policies to 
actually achieve legitimacy in these two areas. 
The express purpose is merely to combat 
delegitimization. Something less than an actual 
change in Israeli policy is indicated by the 
report’s insistence that full and equal rights 
for Palestinians “unbundles Israel’s 
elimination.” The report appears to be suggesting 
that the Israeli government can resolve its 
legitimacy crisis merely by exhibiting a 
commitment toward ending the occupation and 
providing equal rights, but can stop short of 
actually realizing these objectives.

Notwithstanding these limitations, the report’s 
admissions that the Israeli government fails to 
meet legal standards concerning equal rights and 
ending occupation validate the position of human 
rights organizations and advocates.

Actual Sources of the Legitimacy Crisis: Operation Cast Lead

During Operation Cast Lead from December 27, 2008 
to January 18, 2009, Israeli planes, ships, 
artillery and invading ground soldiers attacked 
Palestinian civilians, civilian housing, and 
civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, 
schools, and UN facilities. News media showed 
dramatic bombings with white phosphorus. Evidence 
gathered by investigators from such human rights 
organizations as Amnesty International, Human 
Rights Watch, the National Lawyers Guild, and 
Physicians for Human Rights Israel presented 
compelling evidence that Israeli forces intentionally targeted civilians.

As a result of the largely unexpected worldwide 
criticism of the Israeli government during and 
following the operation, the United Nations Human 
Rights Council launched an independent mission 
under Justice Richard Goldstone to investigate 
violations of international law committed by 
civilian and military authorities in Israel and 
Gaza. Substantial evidence gathered by his UN 
mission demonstrated that Israeli political and 
military leaders willfully failed to distinguish 
between military and civilian targets, used 
disproportionate force, and targeted civilians in 
violation of international law. The resulting 
report, known as the Goldstone Report concluded:

“While the Israeli Government has sought to 
portray its operations as essentially a response 
to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to 
self-defence, (6) the Mission considers the plan 
to have been directed, at least in part, at a 
different target: the people of Gaza as a whole. (Goldstone par. 1883)”

Rather than analyzing whether Israeli government 
acts could have been illegal and therefore could 
have contributed to its legitimacy crisis, the 
Reut Report instead recommends solutions to 
prevent, control, and limit criticism by 
targeting the human rights activists who gave it 
voice. With such advocacy, the Reut Report 
implicitly acknowledges the hopelessness of 
refuting the charge that Israeli leaders directed 
their forces to act outside the law. Instead, the 
Reut Institute chillingly seeks to retain for 
Israeli government officials the freedom to act 
militarily without restriction on targeting civilian populations.

Comparison with Apartheid South Africa

For the report’s authors, attempts by activists 
to draw parallels between the actions of the 
Israeli government and apartheid South Africa are 
particularly troubling. In this connection, the 
report discusses “the ideological foundation for 
comparing Israel with apartheid South Africa”:

“Israel's delegitimizers claim that both cases 
involve a foreign minority – in both cases white, 
rich, and powerful – that took control of land 
belonging to local indigenous populations, 
dispossessed them of their property, and 
exploited them as labor while employing brute 
force. In recent years, the Delegitimization 
Network has significantly succeeded in branding 
Israel as an apartheid state by deploying related 
terminology and using similar means to wage a 
global campaign against it.” (par. 96)”

Thus, the Reut Institute clearly articulates the 
case for the comparison. But the report does not 
attempt to distinguish Israeli government 
behavior from apartheid South Africa’s. By 
contrast, Israeli historians, including Benny 
Morris, who, in Righteous Victims, and Ilan 
Pappe, who, in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 
each confirm the violent ethnic cleansing and 
dispossession of the indigenous population.

Highlighting the seriousness of the situation for 
the Israeli government, the report points to 
South Africa and the USSR, countries with 
powerful conventional and unconventional military 
forces, that were “brought down by delegitimization,” (par. 19, 82, and 120).

However, the Reut report omits mention of an 
ironic fact that although South Africa’s 
apartheid system was “brought down,” South Africa 
remained in existence and has fully regained its 
legitimacy post-apartheid. One could conclude 
from this fact that those who participated in the 
worldwide movement to end South African apartheid 
actually did much to legitimize South Arica while 
those who supported the racist apartheid regime 
were actually the true “delegitimizers.”

With the South African model in mind, one could 
well argue that it is such supporters of the 
Israeli government as the Reut Institute who are 
its foremost delegitimizers, while the human 
rights activists who hold Israeli political and 
military leaders accountable to ensure that the 
Israeli government solidly conforms to 
international law who are its true legitimizers.

Recommendations likely to further erode Israel’s legitimacy

The report’s recommendations are likely to 
further contribute to the erosion of Israel’s 
legitimacy. Calls to “attack,” “sabotage,” create 
“a ‘price-tag’ for attacking Israel,” and mount 
“a counter-offensive” against non-violent human 
rights advocates (par. 124) are unlikely to 
effectively stop the criticism or bolster 
Israel’s international legitimacy, and they open 
both the Israeli government and those of its 
supporters who accept the call to implement such 
tactics to further severe criticism.

As demonstrated by U.S. civil rights and anti-war 
activists in the 1960s, the Reut Institute’s 
recommendation to “attack” and “sabotage” those 
who speak out for human rights is likely to be 
counterproductive. While state and federal 
governments used similar tactics in the 1960s and 
early 1970s to counter civil rights and 
anti-Vietnam War movements, campaigners were able 
to respond with broadly supported free speech 
movements and mass defense campaigns. As in the 
aftermath of the shootings by the National Guard 
at Kent State and Jackson State in 1970, these 
mass campaigns were often effective, not only at 
countering undemocratic government tactics but 
also at winning even more support for the activists’ underlying demands.

However, as demonstrated by the South African 
example, there is a more straightforward solution 
for the legitimacy crisis than the one presented 
by the report. Namely, the Israeli government 
will gain legitimacy by meeting the requirements 
of the law. Under this approach, the Israeli 
government will gain legitimacy by going further 
than the Reut report’s recommendation, and 
actually ending the occupation and providing 
equal rights for all living under Israeli 
government rule, as well as by implementing the 
right of Palestinian refugees to return to their 
homes and villages and observing international 
law strictures against launching military attacks.

In the meantime, human rights workers who have 
been sharply critical of the Israeli government 
can take satisfaction from the fact that the Reut 
Institute has given its stamp of approval to many 
of their criticisms, even if it is also calling 
on the Israeli government to take illicit action against them.

James Marc Leas is a Jewish patent lawyer who is 
a co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild Free 
Palestine Subcommittee. He participated in the 
delegation to Gaza in February, 2009.

The author wishes to thank Noura Erakat for 
valuable editorial contributions but 
responsibility for the content rests entirely with the author.


(1)  See 
Israel’s Lawlessness with Spying and Smear 
Campaign,” by Naomi Klein; 
Institute Maps Israel’s Intelligence War Against 
Enemies,” by Richard Silverstein; 
new strategy: ‘sabotage’ and ‘attack’ the global 
justice movement,” by Ali Abunimah and his post 
original, uncensored version of the Reut Report; 
losing battle against the new world power,” by 
Cecilie Surasky and 
tank tells Israeli government to declare war on 
peace groups,” also by Cecilie Surasky.

(2) “Reut is a non-partisan non-profit policy 
team that supplies its services pro-bono solely 
to the Government of Israel. . . They are 
described as ‘very influential and highly 
respected’ by Ido Aharoni, spokesman to Israeli 
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who noted that 
virtually every key ministry in the government 
has utilized Reut’s services.” 

(3) Illustrative of the risks is the fact that 
than 140 media outlets carried the story about 
the Israeli government’s May 16, 2010 decision to 
deny entry to MIT Professor Noam Chomsky for a 
scheduled lecture at Bir Zeit University in 
Ramallah. An 
in the Israeli newspaper 
noted that “Israel looks like a bully who has 
been insulted by a superior intellect and is now 
trying to fight it, arrest it and expel it.” A 
article in the 
York Times, by Ethan Bronner on May 17, 2010 
article in the Israeli newspaper Yediot 
by legal commentator Boaz Okun: “Put together, 
[barring Chomsky and other recent follies] may 
mark the end of Israel as a law-abiding and 
freedom-loving state, or at least place a large 
question mark over this notion.” A news article 
in the 
described an email to the Globe from Chomsky: 
“Chomsky said he believed he was being singled 
out for his criticism of Israel, as well as his 
plans to speak at a Palestinian university. ‘They 
are carrying out an action of a kind that I’ve 
never heard of before, except in totalitarian 
states,’’ he said.” As the Israeli peace group 
Gush Shalom put it in their weekly ad in Haaretz 
on May 21, 2010, “Those Who prevented Noam 
Chomsky From entering The country –Aided and 
abetted The worldwide campaign To boycott the 
Israeli universities.” With the wide reporting of 
the Israeli government’s own academic boycott 
against the world’s leading public intellectual, 
the Israeli government and its supporters may 
have trouble credibly arguing ragainst boycott as 
a form of non-violent resistance to occupation, 
discrimination, aggression, targeting civilians, 
siege and collective punishment of Gaza, and 
unwillingness to allow refugees to return to 
their homes because of their ethnicity.

(4) The so-called “delegitimizers” stand on solid 
ground: the idea that Israel, or any country, has 
a “right to exist” contradicts long-held 
democratic values. For example, the 
Constitution does not recognize any rights for 
the government, including the right to exist. 
Under the constitution government branches are 
granted or vested only with powers; rights are 
secured exclusively for the people, and these 
rights restrict the powers of the government. The 
constitution implements the idea articulated by 
Jefferson in the 
of Independence in 1776 that people are endowed 
with inalienable rights, that governments are 
created to secure these rights, and that 
“governments derive their powers from the consent 
of the governed.” In furtherance of this view, 
the declaration provides that “when a long train 
of abuses, and usurpations, pursuing invariably 
the same object, evinces a design to reduce them 
under absolute despotism, it is their right, it 
is their duty, to throw off such government and 
to provide new guards for their future security.”

The Reut Report, and much of Israeli propaganda, 
turns western democracy on its head, promoting 
the contrary view that it is the government that 
has a “right to exist” and that millions of 
people living under the rule of a brutal 
government can be required to accept that “right.”

  (5) In addition, article 6 of the Charter of 
Military Tribunal established in 1945 by the 
United States, France, UK, and USSR defined 
crimes against humanity to include “deportation 
and any other inhumane acts committed against any 
civilian population, or persecutions on 
political, racial or religious grounds.” Of 
course, in calling for refugees’ right of return, 
human rights advocates provide only a partial 
remedy for the illegal ethnic cleansing of 
Palestine. In addition, those responsible for, 
and those who participated in, the illegal ethnic 
cleansing operations should be held accountable.

(6) The Israeli government’s own Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs website shows that the Israeli 
government had already stopped Hamas rocket fire 
with a June 19, 2008 ceasefire. That ceasefire 
remained successful until Israel violated it with 
a lethal attack on Hamas members in Gaza on 
November 4, as more fully described in an article 
by the present author, 
Government Contradicts its own Self-defense Claim.”

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