Be careful what you say about Israel, terrible critics

Israel lobby J Street has been attacked by the Left and the Right. Here’s Roberta Seid from hardline Zionist group StandWithUs – some background on its tactics here – explaining that it’s acceptable to criticise Israel but in reality any criticism is clearly aimed at weakening Israel:

Of course criticizing Israeli policy is not inherently anti-Israel. Israelis do it all the time. There clearly will be different policies heatedly debated as Israel tries to deal with the difficult situation it is in today.

I think Sharansky did an excellent job clarifying when criticism of Israel crosses the line from being reasonable to unreasonable.

The line between what is legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Israel positions are those I mentioned in answer 1 above. I think Sharansky’s “3 D’s” are a good litmus test:…  Delegitimization of Israel; Double standards when judging Israeli actions; Demonization of Israel, particularly misrepresenting all it has done for peace and to improve the condition of its minorities. To his 3 D’s, I would add “decontextualization” – ignoring the context for Israel’s actions and drawing moral equivalencies between Israel and terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah which would probably fit in Sharansky’s “demonization.”

More specifically: 1) Forcing Israel to adopt policies that are against the will of its democratically elected government; 2) Blaming Israel alone for the ongoing conflict and calling for pressure only on Israel to change policy, as J Street does; 3) Ignoring context, particularly…  the serious security threats Israel faces and could face in an imposed solution, and ignoring the failures of the PA and the problematic reality of it being able to be a peace partner when it is a divided between Hamas and Fatah.

Doesn’t leave room for much else, does it?

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