Military Intelligence monitors “de-legitimization”

The army joins the fight against “de-legitimization”, will watch BDS groups

Silently, without a shred of public debate, AMAN-Research – the research arm of military intelligence, possibly the most error-prone part of the IDF – created (Hebrew) a new department. Its office would be to proudly represent the army in the new Zionist front, the fight against the bogeyman of “de-legitimization’. In plainer words, uniformed military officers will monitor political activity – for the time being, only outside of Israel – to ascertain whether it is hostile to Israel and “de-legitimizes” it.

Ironically, like the government’s entire obsession with it, this act will deepen Israel’s de-legitimization: Democratic countries, even those claiming to be the sole democracy in the Middle East, do not send troops to shadow civilian activists. When AMAN-Research investigates organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, it is undermining the legitimacy of Israel. It’s a wonder this paradox hasn’t caused a rip in the space-time continuum.

What is “de-legitimization”? It is the new cry of “anti-Semitism!”. When people on the right want to condemn something strongly, they say it “de-legitimizes” Israel. Just like the use of “Anti-semitism!” didn’t actually denote anti-Semitism, but rather the fact the speaker is very upset and has neither the will nor the ability to confront facts, so the use of “de-legitimization” is intended to denote the subject as a person unclean, an untouchable, because he refuses to accept holy maxims, such as that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel according to the Torah of Israel, and anyway he is busy making love to Ahmadinejad or, at the very least, fantasizing about it. (The credit for the latter image belongs to right-winger Avisag Haiq. Those of you unfortunate enough to know Hebrew may read her here. I take no responsibility for any desperate act this text may drive you to, such as the – appropriate! – gouging out of your own eyes).

If anyone needed any proof for this, the Foreign Ministry – led by one of the more prominent supporters of the fight against “de-legitimization” – keeps providing us with dissidents, who told Haaretz that, come to think of it, there isn’t any clear definition of “de-legitimization”. Which is to say, the IDF and the foreign ministry (as well as other ministries, such as the office for strategic threats, whose minister, Bogie Ya’alon, is one of the fuzzy thinkers who brought us the whole idea) are fighting, and expanding public funds fighting, something they didn’t bother to define.

Now, any balanced, detached onlooker, being asked to explain why Israel is getting such a bad press, would answer concisely: Because of your apartheid regime. For 44 years, Israel maintains a regime which grants superior rights to a chosen people, while granting lesser rights to Palestinians residing in Israel (who hold Israeli citizenship but are deprived of rights and equal power by various methods, some legal, some informal); even less rights to Palestinians residing in Eastern Jerusalem (who are considered residents only, and whose residency is often revoked), and those Palestinians living in the West Bank and until recently the Gaza Strip were systematically denied their rights.

This apartheid (Hafrada, in Hebrew; separation) policy is accompanied by a vast emigration of population into the territories Israel has officially refrained from annexing, under the publicly-stated goal of depriving Palestinians of their lands and preventing a peace which will force a withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers back to the 1949 borders. Until recently, Israel managed to delude the world into thinking that the 44-years old occupation is only temporary; the blinkers having been removed from its eyes, the world is somewhat upset. And, in addition to all this, Israel is officially the country of only a minority of the residents between the sea and the river. It is officially a Jewish state. As such, it cannot be democratic.

So if AMAN-Research wants to find the guilty parties in the “de-legitimization” of Israel, it ought to have pointed a finger at every Israeli government since 1967, and to a lesser extent those in office since 1948. One assumes this is not likely to happen any time soon, and that a military intelligence organ will soon join the choir screaming that anyone saying anything nasty about us wants us destroyed.

For the time being, AMAN is content with passive monitoring of forien organizations; later, it is safe to assume – such tasks are notoriously prone to mission creep – it’ll reach the conclusion passive monitoring isn’t enough, and that infiltration of the hostile groups is essential. This is liable to prove hilarious on YouTube, as short movies of inarticulate, painfully-obvious Israeli agents trying to engage BDS activists in dialogue will swamp it. Then the farce will turn to tragedy, when the military will reach the inevitable conclusion it must also follow those Israeli citizens who are in contact with the dangerous revolutionaries abroad. The IDF spokesman has already claimed recently that “de-legitimization” is a campaign overseen by Iran. The latter and its agents are certainly within AMAN’s mandate.

The only comforting bit in the news about this new department is that it is headed by a mere major. The IDF apparently didn’t realize the potential in “de-legitimization” busting; otherwise, it would have funded a shiny new division, led by a brigadier general.

Give them time.