Op-Ed: Lara's Lies - Or How Peace Now Sees the IDF
Prof. Phyllis CheslerThe writer, a Fellow of the Middle East Forum and recipient of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has published three studies about honor killing and is at work on a fourth. Her new book, An American Bride in Kabul, (Palgrave Macmillan) has just been published to great acclaim. Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com
A fundraising brochure from Americans for Peace Now just arrived in the mail. The cover quotes Lara Friedman, their Policy and Government Relations Director. She states:
“Sometimes the Zimmermans of the world turn out to be Jewish and/or Israeli. Their actions bring shame to all of us and are a stain on our community, our religion, and the Jewish state.”
Shame on you, Lara Friedman!
Friedman equates the Israel Defense Force, (the IDF), WITH a 28-year-old neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, who is neither Jewish nor Israeli, BUT who is, in fact, a multi-racial Hispanic.
American.Zimmerman is the Sanford, Florida man charged with second degree murder in the tragic shooting of 17-year-old African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman has not yet been tried or found guilty--except in the media.
Within weeks, President Obama said that “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon. I think that Trayvon’sparents are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness this deserves and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
The IDF, several oceans away, are hereby implicated by Friedman in the assassination of the President’s (imaginary) son.
What if Trayvon looked like my son or your daughter? Would the American President take such an immediate and personal interest in the matter?
Does Obama only spontaneously weigh-in when the victims are African-American boys and men? He certainly jumped right in when his friend and former Harvard colleague, African-American Henry Louis Gates, the Director of the W.E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, had an altercation with Caucasian Sgt. James Crowley. Obama invited them both to the White House for a beer.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but Obama has not interjected himself so publicly when an individual woman of any color was battered, murdered, or honor killed in America.
But I digress. Let’s return to Americans for Peace Now.
For the sake filthy lucre, FrIedman’sbrochure is trading on white guilt—one of the reasons so many Americans and especially Jews--elected a half-white man who looks black, for President.Yes, President Obama is also eloquent, charming, and “cool,” (he is a Black Man whose demeanor “forgives” white America for its racism), but Obama had absolutely no political or business track record when he was elected
Lara Friedman’s comparison (between Hispanic-American George Zimmerman and the IDF) is beyond despicable. The IDF is an army sworn to defend Israeli citizens who are under the most profound siege; George Zimmerman is an isolated individual who was attacked and acted in self-defense (that’s his story) and/or who shot an alleged “intruder” all too quickly merely because he was Black.
But Friedman’s comparison gets even worse when I open the brochure. Here, she tells Big Lies about an Israeli soldier“ambushing a nine-year-old Palestinian boy” and about another soldier who “wanders over and kicks the child.” (She relies on B’Tselem’s Camera Project in Hevron).
I was not there, I did not see with my own eyes what happened, I do not even know if something like this did happen—and if it did, I view it as an aberration, not as official Israeli policy. And, I condemn it.
However, I am far too familiar with “Pallywood,” (Dr. Richard Landes’s most excellent phrase).The Western and the Islamist media fall for the most doctored and virulent anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian footage; Al-Qaeda jihadists in Afghanistan and Pakistan are shown anti-Zionist films of “Zionist soldiers” raping Palestinian Arab women and murdering Arab children before they are sent off to kill and die. Egyptians and other Arabs annually see the faked “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which includes the ritual Jewish murder of a non-Jewish child at Passover for his blood.
I also know that the inflammatory propaganda concerning the Muhammed Al-Dura and Rachel Corrie Blood Libels and the Mavi Marmara Ship-of-Assassins is not true. Al-Dura was not killed by Israeli soldiers and probably never died. The Israeli driver of the earthmoving machine absolutely could not see Rachel Corrie who was also deliberately in a military off-limits zone—and whom the International Solidarity Movement used as a martyr for their cause.
I also know that Palestinian children are heavily indoctrinated to hate and kill Jews at very young ages—I have viewed many such videos which MEMRI has translated into English.
I have been told that Palestinian children are paid $1.00 for every pipe bomb they throw. I know that Palestinian handlers sent Palestinian children between the ages of eleven and sixteen loaded down with explosives, to commit homicidal-suicide. Most important, I know that Palestinian jihadists use children as physical shields against Israeli security forces, knowing that Israel’ssoldiers will not fire upon children.
Lara Friedman does not seem to know any of this.
Friedman does not “contextualize” her Hevron-Based Anecdote. She quotes from radical left B’Tselem’s tape. The Palestinian child presumably cowers on the ground. Other Israeli soldiers say: “Only kicked him?That’s a shame…Too bad he didn’t kill him…That’s what needs to be done to all the kids there…I’d have murdered him.”
She continues in this vein and, after eight paragraphs, finally comes back to Zimmerman. She notes that American Jews were nervous when they first heard his name and were relieved to discover that this particular Zimmerman is not Jewish. Jews would have felt great shame if he were—and then Friedman makes her point.
“Why is that more American Jews don’t seem to feel similar shame when confronted with the abuses committed by fellow Jews in Israel and the West Bank?....Sometimes, the Zimmermans of the world turn out to be Jewish and/or Israeli.”
Lara Friedman’s pitches are successful.This heartlessly one-sided propaganda works. Americans for Peace Now claim an annual budget of two million dollars. Yes, they and/or their officers are connected with the New Israel Fund and with J Street.
Despite their claim to be “pro-Israel” and “pro-peace,” given our current historical and political realities, these groups in fact, constitute a very dangerous anti-Israeli lobby.