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Monday, July 6, 2015

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The Vulture Club’s dirty war

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The greatest threat to Israel is not from Iran and its allies. Although these challenges are escalating, we have enough capabilities and experience to deter or defeat them.

Instead, the main danger is from westerners who exploit the language of democracy and human rights to wage a dirty political war aimed at wiping Israel off the map. This war is conducted in the United Nations, the media, universities, anti-Israel churches and, recently, in social media such as Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter.

The vicious nature of this assault and the banal thinking of its leading generals were exposed recently in a Facebook forum known as the “Vulture Club,” described as a “close-knit, but informal brotherhood” active in war zones that comes to life “when the blood is flowing.” Chatting among themselves, journalists from leading media platforms, such as the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, repeated clichés on the manipulative power of the (Israeli and Jewish) “lobby.”

One of the main “vultures” is Peter Bouckaert, the “emergencies director” of Human Rights Watch. Bouckaert attacked a recent Israeli government report as “typical IDF lies” and lashed out at some journalists (not fellow vultures) for not censoring the evidence exposing huge holes in the story claiming that the Israel Defence Forces had deliberately killed a Palestinian boy, Mohammad al-Dura, in October 2000. Bouckaert displayed his underlying scorn, writing, “As usual, it takes them [Israel] a long time to really build up the falsehood.” In fact, the real “falsehood” was the al-Dura myth, created by the Palestinian propaganda machine and spread by Bouckaert and his journalist friends in the “Vulture Club.”

Bouckaert and Human Rights Watch have had years of experience in leading the anti-Israel war. They played a central role at the infamous 2001 NGO Forum of the UN anti-racism conference, and Bouckaert headed Human Rights Watch’s intense campaign to label IDF responses to Hezbollah terror (initiating the 2006 Lebanon War) as “war crimes.” In the process, the agency published hundreds of pages of pseudo-reports filled with contradictions and unsupportable allegations.

When these fictions, which transformed thousands of Hezbollah fighters into innocent civilians and heroic “civil defence workers,” were exposed, Bouckaert invented new ruses, disguised as “research methodologies,” such as counting graves marked with Hezbollah symbols. His journalist friends in the Vulture Club helped to transform the fiction into headlines.

From the al-Dura and Lebanon war myths to the discredited Goldstone report on the December 2008 Gaza war and beyond, these demonization campaigns feed the boycott movement and the “Israel apartheid” myths. This hatred is widely supported among European elites, building on traditional antisemitism as well as radical post-colonial ideology, and strong efforts are being made to spread the virus to North America. 

The moral failure here isn’t limited to the war against the Jewish nation’s right to sovereign equality, but reflects the wider façade of “progressive” values, human rights and justice. Power is always subject to abuse, and all too often, those who gain power as liberal watchdogs end up becoming intolerant anti-progressive abusers themselves, like the “vultures.”

Professional and responsible journalists, as well as officials of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), are supposed to probe and expose abuses of power, rather than expand their own power to promote personal agendas and hatreds.

In order to defeat this dirty war, it’s necessary to expose the hypocrisy of the “vultures” and their funder/enablers, including major foundations as well as governments, primarily in Europe. Allies who understand the dangers from exploitation of core moral values are also important – this is not only Israel’s battle. The United States, Australia, or Canada are also falsely charged with “war crimes” or “violations of international law,” although the threats of isolation and boycotts are less significant.

The fact that Bouckaert and his fellow vultures are obsessed with Israeli self-defence, instead of travelling the world seeking some means to stop the hideous slaughter in Syria, speaks volumes. Their duplicity is obvious, and the sooner they’re discredited, the quicker the battered moral foundations of human rights will be restored.

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