Those Damned Delegitimizers

It was an especially shrewd, if demoniacal, touch to coax the 47 defenders of the God-given Right Not to Have to Listen to Bad People to include settlements in its protected zone.

That delegitimization crowd is not only vicious but dangerous, all right. It's growing in strength and reach. It can worm its way in anywhere. Anywhere. Forget the flotillas and flightillas - the enemy is already within the gates. It's erasing the Green Line. It speaks piously, but trades birthrights for pottage.

Now these despoilers of Israel's reputation as a light among the nations have infiltrated the Knesset itself, and under cover of darkness - emotional and ideological darkness - have coaxed, suborned, seduced, bribed or otherwise ensured that 47 duly elected members would carry out their evil, self-discrediting work. Imagine! Agents of Hamas, Col. Gadhafi & Co. - aided, no doubt, by the ghost of the grand mufti himself - cunningly contrived this stampede in favor of a national gag order to ban any call to boycott anyone or anything Israeli, that is, tied to "the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage."

Diabolical timing, too. Just at this crossroads in world history, when Egypt and Tunisia - imagine, Arabs! - have been fighting and dying for a regime that would uphold freedom of speech and the press, Israel, the bastion of democracy in a neighborhood well known for its nastiness, has chosen to look like either an Islamist monstrosity or a craven apologist for the cottage cheese industry. How did Israel's enemies manage this insult to democratic rights, not to mention common sense? Did they pay off in dollars, euros or shekels? Won't this be the anti-boycott law that launches a thousand boycotts? Does the devil not quote Scripture?

It was an especially shrewd, if demoniacal, touch to coax the 47 defenders of the God-given Right Not to Have to Listen to Bad People to include settlements in its protected zone. For not so long ago, wasn't the mayor of Ariel suing in Tel Aviv District Court to refund the value-added taxes the locals had paid, on the grounds that "the Ariel local council and the municipality, composed of residents of the region, convenes in the region and is managed from Ariel," and therefore did not belong to Israel proper? For that matter, has anyone looked to see who paid for that mayor's campaign costs?

The delegitimizers are on the march, O ye naive of Israel, and let no one forget it! They dispatched dybbuks into the minds of rabbis to command them to prohibit Jews from renting to Arabs. They organized a Jerusalem Day march where people chanted "death to Mohammed" and "death to all leftists" while the police escorted them. There was a time when such things could not take place in Eretz Israel. But now the disguises of the delegitimizers are transparent. They will stop at nothing.

It's true, O Israel, that you did what you could to safeguard your institutions and dispel the danger of demoniac possession. You did indeed welcome the George Soros-obsessed American crackpot conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck, who showed up just before the debate to personally aerate the Knesset. Otherwise, who knows what might have happened? Soros himself, or one of his henchmen, might have parachuted into Jerusalem, to pay off even more MKs to make Israel look like a pathetically trembling, paranoid, stiff-necked nation. Had Beck not exerted himself, even Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak might have showed up to vote with the Delegitimizing 47, to augment the devil's own ranks. The mighty defense minister and the majestic prime minister themselves would have thrown their weight onto the side of the enemy!

Who's under whose control? Speak of the devil.

Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, is the co-author (with Liel Leibovitz ) of "The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election." He advocates a boycott of settlement commerce, and has written and spoken for years against boycotting Israeli entities strictly because they are Israeli.