Reut Institute, a leading Israeli national security and socioeconomic policy think tank, has released its preliminary report on “The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall” In an extraordinary exercise in doublethink, Reut scratches its head over Israel’s declining diplomatic status in the aftermath of its assault on Gaza and the Goldstone Report, and concludes that, yet again, it is the victim. The culprits here are twofold:
The Resistance Network – which operates on the basis of Islamist ideology and includes Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas; and the Delegitimization Network – which operates in the international arena in order to negate Israel’s right to exist and includes individuals and organizations in the West, which are catalyzed by the radical left.
The Report’s analysis is drenched in the language of victimization: the Resistance Network is “rooted in, and nourished by, Israel’s entrapment in the Palestinian arena.” (The Occupier is entrapped!) This Network ”sabotages every move directed at affecting separation between Israel and the Palestinians or securing a two-state solution.” The Delegitimization Network “tarnishes Israel’s reputation, ties Israel’s hands in defending itself against military assaults, and advances the ‘one-state solution’.” Together they present “an existential threat” to Israel.
Reut brags that it is “comprised of the best-and brightest young full-time professionals, trained to specialize in analyzing complex and dynamic environments…” But never once do they consider that military attacks on civilian populations, siege, Occupation, confiscation of Palestinian land , or any of Israel’s other violations of International Law have anything to do with the global outcry against Israel. Indeed, the word Occupation is mentioned only once in the entire report, and then in quotation marks as if it were a bogus concept: “The Resistance Network”, Reut pouts, “increases the burden of the ‘Occupation’.”
Pernicious as is the report’s cause-and-effect logic, the ”policy options” for countering the anti-Occupation movement are sinister. Such options include having the government:
- Identify and focus on “global hubs of delegitimization (such as London, Toronto, Madrid and the Bay Area)” in order to “sabotage network catalysts”
- “Rebrand Israel”, specifically in terms of its humanitarian aid, to counter the portrayal of it as “an apartheid, pariah state.”
- Build a network of personal relationships with “elites and ‘influentials’” in the identified hubs.
Ali Abunimah provides an extended analysis of the significance of the Reut Institute Report and explains why threats of “sabotage” must not be taken lightly.
Muzzlewatch considers Reut Institute’s earlier presentation on “Delegitimization” to the Israeli Diplomatic Press.
A full report by Reut Institute on “Creating a Political Firewall” is due in the coming days.