Israel’s Struggle for Democracy

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According to its Mission Statement, Im Tirtzu is a Zionist, Tel Aviv based civil organization claiming a centrist approach to socializing what it refers to as a second Zionist revolution, promoting Zionist values and Israel’s crucial interests. It claims to represent these interests through a broad social campaign of instilling or renewing Zionist values through education, culture, art, intellectual and political avenues. It purports to represent common Jewish interests based in a new centrist axis.

Organizational efforts have focused primarily on college campus recruitment. Im Tirtzu recruitment entices the support of Jewish under-grads under the premise of its benign centrist ideology in an effort to create a student based grass roots movement as a political buttress for its overall national objectives. It also acts to reverse what it refers to as anti-Zionist propaganda by faculty and other elements.

One of its objectives is to foster public consolidation in a national referendum under its vision of demographics and security with respect to Israeli expansionism (a right wing objective). It specifically targets the quandary of a rapidly growing Jewish community juxtaposed with the Arab presence and public relations challenges posed by increasing attention to Israeli human rights abuses. Especially since the 2009 incursion into the Gaza Strip and in light of the subsequent Goldstone report issuing complaints and evidence from witness accounts of attacks on civilians by the Israeli Defense Forces.

Im Tirtzu also receives much of its funding from a New York City based 501c3 tax-deductible charity addressed to Marcus Brothers Textiles, Inc. An organization accused of funneling US tax exempt donations directly into Israeli settlement programs, including benefits that support armed anti-Arab militias and community religious leaders endorsing harsh measures against Arab statehood.

The Zionist organization has also waged a public protest campaign against the US based charity NIF (New Israeli Fund), who’s Israeli NGO recipients are said to have contributed 90% of the human rights complaints covered in the Goldstone report. Tirtzu members have staged a mock demonstration at the home of NIH chairwoman Naomi Chazan and published an unflattering cartoon caricature of her wearing a rhinoceros horn bearing the acronym ‘NIF’.

NIF supports Israeli human rights groups actively opposing internal policies that encourage land grabs for Jewish settlements, human rights abuses and security initiatives that choke Arab commerce and create severe poverty conditions.

Israeli human rights groups have historically opposed the extreme ideology of Zionist organizations which garner a methodology of violence, backed by policies designed to disenfranchise Arab citizens beginning in 1948, when Israel became an internationally recognized state.

The ways in which Israeli Jews find their community morally polarized over democratic principles also reflects a social trend occurring in the Islamic world and in the west, in which extreme ideologies initiate civil and governmental movements that profit from internal conflicts.

On the 2nd day of February 2010, The Jerusalem Post quoted NIF’s CEO Daniel Sokatch relative to the attacks by the extremists as; “just another in a series of attempts to quash freedom of speech in the human rights and civil rights community in Israel.”

In the historical perspective of Israeli political initiatives, the well known US based lobby AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) is the most powerful and influential agent of foreign interests in America’s political history.

AIPAC was created as an extension of the American Zionist Council and in the early 1960s, under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, pres. Kennedy ordered the lobby to register as an agent of a foreign government.

By re-incorporating under the title, American Israeli Public Affairs Committee; it has been able to exist legally as a front organization on behalf of a foreign government, incrementally imposing its clout in US – Middle Eastern affairs during the past 40 years.

Many critics of US policy complain that while the Israeli government regularly commits acts of war (IE Operation White Lead) against Arab families in the Occupied Territories, rockets fired at illegal Jewish settlements receive disproportionate priority in western media. A dilemma attributed in part to the political entrenchment of AIPAC and various public relations pressures by attorneys. While Hamas and other extremist groups top the news, the covert activities of Zionist extremists are obscured by coverage of the war on terror.

Although US media does not offer news on a ground level to provide an accurate picture of internal Israeli political undercurrents, one can read comprehensive news publications like The Jerusalem Post and the Jewish run human rights information center in the Occupied Territories, B’tselem.