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Israel tracks the ‘delegitimizers’

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The Reut institute, a Tel Aviv thinktank, has presented a report on the delegitimizers of Israel to the Israeli cabinet. Some of the language recalls the "loose coalition" language of Walt and Mearsheimer, accurately describing the Israel lobby. The Reut Institute was praised by Arianna Huffington on her visit to Israel. From Haaretz– oh and why can’t the American press cover the delegitimizers? I remember Benny Morris striking the gong on delegitimization in the New Republic a couple years ago. Hey, this is a story:

The report cites anti-Israel demonstrations on campuses, protests when Israeli athletes compete abroad, moves in Europe to boycott Israeli products, and threats of arrest warrants for Israeli leaders visiting London.

Reut says the campaign is the work of a worldwide network of private individuals and organizations. The network’s activists – "delegitimizers" the report dubs them – are relatively marginal: young people, anarchists, migrants and radical political activists. Although they are not many, they raise their profile using public campaigns and media coverage, the report says.

The "delegitimizers" cooperate with organizations engaging in legitimate criticism of Israel’s policy in the territories such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, blurring the line between legitimate censure and delegitimization. They also promote pro-Palestinian activities in Europe as "trendy," the report says.

The network’s activists are not mostly Palestinian, Arab or Muslim. Many of them are European and North American left-wing activists. The Western left has changed its approach to Israel and now sees it as an occupation state, the report says. To those left-wing groups, if in the 1960s Israel was seen as a model for an egalitarian, socialist society, today it epitomizes Western evil.

The delegitimization network sees the fight against the former regime in South Africa as a success model.

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