When journalist Peter Beinart criticized a video that The Israel Project produced of a recently-held anti-Israel event on Capitol Hill, he failed to mention that every speaker opposed Israel’s existence, and instead misleadingly directed his criticism at the group that exposed the speakers’ inflammatory rhetoric, the CEO and president of The Israel Project wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Forward. The Israel Project publishes The Tower.
The event in question took place in early June under the sponsorship of Defense for Children International — Palestine (DCI-P) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), both of which support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, Josh Block observed. The BDS campaign seeks to delegitimize and isolate Israel, according to its founders and supporters, in an effort to bring about the end of the Jewish state.
Each speaker, including Jennifer Bing of AFSC, Brad Parker of DCI-P, Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch, and Nadia Ben-Youssef of Adalah, supported the BDS campaign through their organization or as individuals.
Another speaker at the event, Yazan Meqbil, is a Palestinian student attending college in the United States whose Twitter timeline reflects clear support for BDS.
Ben-Youssef was explicit in her attack on the Jewish state, arguing that Israel’s very founding was illegitimate. “Nakba. Remember that name, say that name. It means catastrophe in Arabic, and it refers to the founding of the State of Israel in 1948,” she said.
Defending an event where all speakers support a movement that aims to bring about Israel’s destruction hardly comports with Beinart’s claim that “it’s important to have one country on earth that assumes a special obligation to protect Jewish life,” Block argued.
Three audience members who attended the event on behalf of The Israel Project observed in an op-ed published Tuesday that the panel failed to consider the responsibility that both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority shoulder in limiting the opportunities available to Palestinian children and endangering their lives.