The Haaretz Spy Scandal

The Jerusalem Post’s commentator Caroline Glick comments on Israel’s leftist-agendized media as epitomized by the Haaretz spy scandal:

When the gag order was revoked last Thursday, Israelis… learned that Anat Kamm, a reporter hired by the Walla Web portal when it was partly owned by Haaretz, had been under house arrest for four months. She is on trial for acts of espionage with the intent of harming national security that she committed not as a reporter, but during her service in the IDF… She continued reporting for Walla, while under house arrest until the end of March.

Haaretz staff reporter Uri Blau fled the country not to protect a source, but to evade punishment for possessing classified military documents in breach not only of the law but of a plea bargain agreement with the Shin Bet.

Kamm served in the IDF from 2005 to 2007 as a secretary in the office of the commander of Central Command. In the weeks before her release from service, she copied about 2,000 highly classified IDF documents onto two CDs and uploaded them to her home computer. After her release, she shopped the documents around to various military reporters and eventually gave them to Blau…. Such information in the hands of Israel’s enemies could cause the death of thousands of Israeli soldiers and civilians…

The Shin Bet launched its investigation of stolen IDF documents, which led it to Blau and then to Kamm after Blau published articles in November 2008 based on the documents he received from Kamm. At the time, the Shin Bet asked that Blau return all the classified documents in his possession. In return for his agreement to do so, the Shin Bet agreed not to prosecute him for illegally possessing classified materials. Blau returned 50 such documents and asserted that he had no more documents in his possession.

But then the Shin Bet found Kamm. And after confessing to stealing the 2,000 documents, she told them that she gave them all to Blau. When Blau found out that the Shin Bet knew he lied, and still illegally possesses thousands of classified documents, he decided not to return to Israel…

With the knowledge that their reporter lied to the Shin Bet and fled the country Haaretz chose to pay his living expenses in London and his legal expenses in Israel.

In her statements during her investigation published in court documents, Kamm revealed that she is a messianic leftist. She came to the army not to serve the country, but to transform it. It was only when she realized that she had failed to bend the IDF to her will that she decided to reveal its secrets.

Kamm’s treachery is a deeply disturbing comment on the mindset of the radical Left in Israel. But her crimes are even more alarming when we realize that Kamm is not a lone renegade. In her treasonous activities, she enjoys the support of a massive organization…

Haaretz has demonstrated that leftist traitors have a powerful sponsor capable of exacting painful revenge on the State of Israel for daring to prosecute them.

As for the State of Israel… the Haaretz spy scandal demonstrates is that the state is utterly unwilling to deal with this dangerous state of affairs. Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin stated that Israel will not change its screening process of candidates for military service. In the post-Kamm IDF, religious youths will continue to be grilled about their willingness to expel Jewish Israelis from their homes, and radical leftist youths will not be questioned about their loyalty to the state and willingness to keep the IDF’s secrets.

Ma’ariv and Globes both reported that thousands of Israelis canceled their subscriptions to Haaretz this week. Haaretz denied the reports. But really, it doesn’t care. Haaretz’s target audience is not Israeli. It is global. And there it remains the champion of those who seek an Israeli affirmation of their anti-Israel attitudes.

Once again, the real problem is not the bad apples in the barrel but the vast numbers of people that support them (and vote for them).

The Hidden Agenda Behind “Israel Apartheid Week”

The Jerusalem Post has published this piece by Dore Gold providing insight into the hidden agenda behind “Israel Apartheid Week”:

To begin with, in apartheid South Africa (1948-1994), blacks were not allowed to vote or to be candidates in the general elections, they could not attend white universities or be treated in white hospitals, and they were forcibly removed from white cities. Anyone who is the least bit familiar with Israel knows that Israeli Arabs vote for the Knesset and that there are Israeli Arab Knesset members, who also serve as deputy speakers of Israel’s parliament; an Israeli Arab judge sits on Israel’s Supreme Court; Israeli Arabs study in all Israeli universities and there are mixed Arab-Jewish cities, like Haifa, Jaffa, Ramle and Jerusalem.

Can you imagine the opposite happening in Jordan, where it is a capital crime to sell land to a Jew? Or any of the many Arab countries that won’t let someone visit if the person previously visited Israel?

What underlies the Israel Apartheid Week campaign… is a highly politicized interpretation of Israel’s history in which the Jewish people are viewed as a colonialist movement that recently came from Europe to usurp lands from the indigenous Palestinian population, rather than the authentic claimants to sovereignty in their historical homeland.

Prof. Moshe Gil of Tel Aviv University wrote in his 900-page monumental work, A History of Palestine: 634-1099, that as late as the seventh century, Jews still had a massive presence in most parts of what had been their sovereign territory up until the Roman invasion. Some suggest that the Jews were still the majority. According to Gil, on the eve of the Muslim conquests, the Jewish presence in the land was nearly 2,000 years old.

Moreover, there was a constant effort of Jews to return to their land in the centuries that followed, despite the dangers. By the 1860s the Jews, in fact, reestablished their majority in Jerusalem, well before the arrival of the British Empire. When the League of Nations decided to recognize the Jewish claim to a national home in 1922, it specifically recognized the pre-existing right of the Jewish people to what was to become British Mandatory Palestine.

Israel Apartheid Week is not about respect for human rights; it is an incredibly hypocritical initiative that ignores the apartheid practiced by the Palestinians themselves, who make the sale of land to Jews punishable by death.

If it is Israel that wants Apartheid, why is it that the Arabs (and their Apartheid Week supporters) insist that all Jews be removed from the territories in order for there to be peace?

Knesset Bill Compels Registration of Foreign Funded NGOs

The Jerusalem Post reports that a Knesset bill compelling registration of NGOs funded by foreign states has received backing from the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.

The report states:

NGOs that receive funding from a “foreign political entity” would have to register with the Political Party Registrar and declare in all public appearances that they represent an organization that receives funding from such an entity, according to a bill sponsored by Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin…

…Its aim is to “increase the transparency and to correct lacunas in the law regarding the funding of political activity in Israel by foreign political entities.”

The bill defines “political activity” as “activity aimed at influencing public opinion in Israel or one of the branches of government in Israel regarding any element of Israel’s domestic or foreign policy.”

The legislation is part of a campaign against Israeli human rights non-profit organizations that receive funding from foreign states and the European Union for their activities.

One of the apparent side-benefits of such legislation, should it become law, would be to provide transparency regarding possible funding from foreign states for organizations such as the New Israel Fund.

The report continues:

According to the bill, no organization in Israel would be allowed to receive money from a foreign political entity unless it registers with the Registrar of Political Parties. The registrar would be responsible for the registry completely independent of his registry of political parties…

Each time the organization receives funding from a foreign country, it would inform the registrar and provide details regarding the identity of the donor, the sum donated, its purpose, and the commitments made by the recipients to the donors.

Any organization that receives financial support from a foreign country would make note of this fact in any document it writes that involves political activity. Any member of such an organization would have to declare the fact that he receives financial support from a foreign country whenever he makes a speech having anything to do with the subject for which he received the money.

All the senior members of the NGO who meet the criteria of the bill and do not register would be liable to one year in jail.

J Street Opposed at University of Pennsylvania

As the New Israel Fund faces Knesset sub-committee investigation for allegations regarding funding of organizations who contributed to the Goldstone Report, J Street, another organization known by many for its efforts to force Israel to hand over Judea and Samaria, felt heat in the United States.

Israel National News reports that attempts to build support for Washington lobby J Street met heavy opposition at University of Pennsylvania’s Hillel.

The report notes:

J Street, the Washington lobby with strong connections to the Obama administration, held an event at the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday evening, February 4th… The organization, which advocates strong American pressure to force an Israeli surrender of Judea and Samaria…, created a stir in the Jewish media and blogsphere for two weeks with the planned visit of director Jeremy Ben-Ami to the University’s Hillel building.

Z Street, a local pro-Israel organization initially attempted to pressure the University to withdraw its invitation to J Street’s Ben-Ami but when Hillel responded with claims that it was merely renting space to the powerful Washington lobby, Z Street settled for a room in the Hillel building to hold a simultaneous pro-Israel event. The group brought Mitchell Bard, who attracted most of the students concerned with events in the Middle East, and left J Street an audience comprised mainly of elderly Jews from the Philadelphia area.

Roz Rothstein of the California based pro-Israel StandWithUs organization, traveled… to attend the J Street event and confronted Ben-Ami with her concerns about his activities…. “First, how does J Street justify pressuring the democratically elected government of another country to change its policies through lobbying elected officials in the United States? Second, how can people living in the safety of the United States make policy decisions for another country, possibly endangering its citizens? I tried to find out what Ben-Ami thought. I asked him the questions that were on my mind but did not get answers.”

Brian Finkel, founding president of the University of Pennsylvania’s Zionist Freedom Alliance chapter, organized student activists to stand by the entrance to J Street’s event handing out flyers revealing information about the influential Washington lobby, including the massive donations it accepts from people with clear and public anti-Israel agendas.

“J Street asked Hillel staff for permission to use the main auditorium in the Penn Hillel building for a local launch and national webcast to its followers. Permission was granted, but without any consultation with Hillel students. This unilateral action by Hillel staff was met with tremendous anger and frustration from students, whose voices and opinions were entirely ignored in the process. ZFA decided to give those students a voice.”

Finkel, who previously served as Hillel’s Israel chair, described J Street as “an extremist Washington group that lobbies the United States government to impose policies on Israel.” On Wednesday evening, Finkel brought Dan Pollak, Director of Government Relations for the ZOA in Washington, to speak about why J Street poses a danger to the State of Israel. The event drew students and Philadelphia community members alike, prompting a lively debate about J Street’s true motives.

During the period that the Z Street sponsored Mitchell Bard event attracted students away from Ben-Ami’s presentation, the ZFA distributed flyers explaining why the school’s pro-Israel students were opposed to – and ashamed of – J Street’s presence at their Hillel. The flyers included many anti-Israel statements made by J Street leaders and showcased how J Street seeks to undermine Israel’s sovereignty and security by imposing its political agenda on an independent state…. After handing out all of their material…, the Zionist students entered the event but were prevented from asking questions.

ZFA told… that their protest was not only directed at J Street but also at the Hillel staff who, in their view, pushes an extremist political agenda. In recent years the Penn Hillel has brought fringe groups to campus such as Rabbis for Human Rights and Breaking the Silence, each of whom receive generous funding from European governments hostile to the Jewish state.

One should note that the abovementioned organizations: Rabbis for Human Rights and Breaking the Silence are among those mentioned in the Im Tirzu report as alledged recipients of NIF funding that gave testimony which appears in the Goldstone Report.

The Israeel National News report continues:

“Its time for us to take back our Hillel and give students a voice again,” Finkel said. “Hillel exists so that Jewish students can have a safe haven on campus. It is hard enough to advocate for Israel on campus without your own Hillel giving space to dangerous and manipulative anti-Israel groups like J Street…. What right do American extremists like J Street have to impose their will on a foreign country?”

This just goes to show that pro-Israel activists can do the right thing, even against a highly-funded organization like J Street.

Report: New Israel Fund Gives Money to Anti-Zionist NGOs

The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick provides background behind student movement Im Tirzu’s much-publicized report showing that a number of anti-Zionist NGOs were funded by the leftist New Israel Fund. The report, together with a petition of support for the report from a host of senior military reserve generals has prompted announcement of an investigation of NIF by a Knesset sub-committee.

Glick notes:

Im Tirzu published a detailed report demonstrating that 16 anti-Zionist NGOs funded by the post-Zionist New Israel Fund worked hand in glove with the UN Human Rights Council and Richard Goldstone to bring about the establishment of the Goldstone committee and give credibility to its allegations that Israel committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. According to the Im Tirtzu report, 92 percent of Israeli allegations that Israel committed war crimes in its campaign against Hamas came from these 16 NIF-funded organizations.

Im Tirtzu’s report was prominently covered by Ma’ariv last weekend. The media coverage provoked calls in the Knesset this week to investigate the NIF and its operational arms in Israel, both through regular committee hearings and perhaps through a parliamentary investigative panel.

These calls are extraordinary because they represent the first time in a decade that the legitimacy of these NGOs has been seriously scrutinized.

Israel National News reports that leading the reserve general signatores on the petition are:

former Head of the National Security Council, Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland; former Head of Southern Command, Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog; former Head of Ground Forces Command, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yiftach Ron-Tal; former Head of the National Security Council and Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan…

Glick continues:

What is most encouraging about the aftershocks of the Im Tirtzu report is that the Left’s attempts to demonize it have so far failed. Indeed, the loudest voices calling for an investigation of NIF and its sponsored organizations have been MKs from Kadima.

THE HARSH truth is that the main cause of Israel’s poor performance in Cast Lead and the Second Lebanon War was the Olmert government’s ideological dependence on the far left and its central contention that it is Israel’s presence in contested areas rather than our enemies’ commitment to Israel’s destruction that causes wars. Owing to their allegiance to this falsehood, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni were unable to prosecute the wars to victory militarily, justify the limited steps they did take to defend Israel diplomatically, or discredit the rising chorus of Israeli NGOs arguing that Israel had no right to defend itself politically.

Since Cast Lead, however, two important things have happened. First Kadima was replaced by the Likud. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rightly recognized the Goldstone Report as a strategic attack against Israel. If Israel has no right to defend itself; if its moves to do constitute war crimes, then Israel cannot fight, cannot win and will be destroyed. Rather than give credence to the report, Netanyahu has made discrediting it one his primary aims in office. And to counteract its force, among other things, for the first time since the start of the Oslo peace process with the PLO, Israel’s government is asserting the Jewish people’s right to Judea and Samaria.

If the government seizes the opportunity to weaken these subversive groups, not only will it be making it clear that the political open season on Israel is over. It will be clearing the way for any future war to end not only in military victory, but in political victory for Israel as well.