Breaking the Silence
The Zionist Council of NSW congratulates both the Zionist Federation and Board of Deputies of South Africa for its outstanding work in dealing with the farce that was the session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine held in Cape Town earlier this month…writes Ron Weiser.
Even the well known Judge Richard Goldstone wrote in the New York Times:
“It is not a “tribunal.” The “evidence” is going to be one-sided and the members of the “jury” are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known”
It should be noted that some of the 24 so called “witnesses” that appeared before the Tribunal included the New Israel Fund’s legal representative and some NIF grantees.
Amongst those NIF grantees that appeared was an organisation called Breaking the Silence (BtS)
BtS misrepresents itself as promoting human rights in Israel, but this small group focuses on European and North American audiences, repeating unsupported accusations of war crimes, as quoted in the discredited Goldstone report.
In March this year BtS hosted an exhibit in Sweden. BtS spokesperson Itamar Shaipra stated “We are the oppressors, we are the ones that are violating human rights on a daily basis. We are creating the terror against us, basically”
There is a general pattern with BtS claims, sensational unsupported allegations with names and documentation being extremely vague, headlines that damage Israel and the IDF, followed much later by reality.
Let’s be very clear. Any abuse of power is to be condemned, especially if it involves the deliberate mistreatment of other human beings.
Israel has a long and proud track record in dealing strongly and effectively with any such incidents that have occurred on rare occasions, in complete contravention of Israeli law and policy.
People who claim to have witnessed such incidents abrogate their duty and moral responsibility by not reporting them in a timely manner and to the proper authorities.
Coming to Australia and making unsubstantiated sensationalised claims about supposed incidents that are alleged to have taken place years previously and were never reported, should be treated with the scepticism they deserve.
We have all learned to be very wary of dramatic allegations of wrongdoing by the IDF which turn out to be groundless.
Some examples: the Mohamed al-Dura fraud in 2000, the Jenin “massacre” in 2002, the UN School “massacre” myth during Operation Cast Lead, the Goldstone Report’s allegation of “deliberate” targeting of civilians (now retracted by Goldstone himself) and so on.
We are sick and tired of reading these allegations on the front page of our newspapers, only to read the retractions months later on page 10.
As Mark Twain famously said, “A lie will travel half way around the world before the truth has even put its boots on”.
Dr Ron Weiser AM is the Honorary Life President of the Zionist Council of NSW