Welcome to the SDL: Settler Defamation League
One of the most powerful Jewish lobby groups in the world today, 2nd only to AIPAC, is the Settler Defamation League (SDL) - primarily led by Israel's media, governmental and judicial officials, and other members of Israel's cultural elite - which aims to defame (by all means possible) any Jew who lives over the Green Line (Judea & Samaria), including anyone who believes that the Jewish People have a right to live in Judea & Samaria under the sovereignty of the Jewish State of Israel, and tirelessly works to create an atmosphere of hatred towards the "settler" public and its ideology, within the eyes of the general Israeli public.
Here is the latest example of the SDL's handiwork - an article by David Forman in the Jerusalem Post - Let's take a closer look at the tactics of the SDL, and see if they stand up to the test of truth:
Settlers, hands off the olive trees
There were a number of media reports last month about Jewish settlers in the northern West Bank cutting down hundreds of Palestinian olives trees. I believe these reports are true. In fact, it is almost impossible to keep track of how many times such heinous acts have been perpetrated against innocent Palestinian farmers.
How is it possible that the supposedly respectable Jerusalem Post suddenly has forgotten a basic principle of journalism, namely, the obligation of the paper to verify the accuracy of statements published in its pages, as opposed to publishing conjecture and passing it off as truth?
Forman starts off by saying that he believes the media reports about "settlers" cutting down hundreds of "Palestinian" olive trees to be true.
I find this statement to be strange. If these events truly happened, why does Forman need to qualify it by stating that he believed them to be true? If the "settlers" truly cut down hundreds of olive trees, then how could there be any doubt regarding the veracity of what took place?
Furthermore, Forman continues, that "it is almost impossible to keep track of how many times such heinous acts have been perpetrated".
Is it not the responsibility of a journalist to be able to prove his statements? Are we talking about tens of incidents? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? If these incidents are happening as often as Forman seems to imply, you would think that there would be someone keeping track of exactly how many incidents are taking place.
I recently joined a group from Rabbis for Human Rights on a mission to the South Hebron Hills. Our purpose was to aid farmers there who were cultivating their fields in preparation for the planting of olive trees... We wanted to protect these Palestinians from marauding settlers who, we had reason to expect, might prevent them from working their lands...
Rabbis For Human Rights is an organization that already has a history of fabricating false reports against "settlers", accusing them of cutting down "Palestinian" olive trees, and the fact that the basis for Forman's article are his activities with this organization calls the accuracy of the entire article into question.
YESHA RESIDENTS DENY CUTTING TREES; ACCUSERS REFUSE LIE-DETECTOR TEST
On Nov. 3, (2003) the branches of hundreds of Arab-owned olive trees were found to have been cut down near the small Jewish community of Mitzpeh Yitzhar in the Shomron. Suspicions were immediately focused on the Jewish residents living
nearby, and media reports and public officials took it for granted that they were responsible.
Police now feel that left-wing Israelis and the Arab tree-owners may have manufactured the entire incident as a provocation and a way to besmirch the Jewish population. The police have requested that Rabbi Arik Asherman of the Reform Movement and an Arab who filed charges against Jewish Yesha residents submit to lie-detector tests - but the two have, thus far, refused to do so.
The investigation began its about-face when a Jewish National Fund expert brought in by the police concluded that no lasting damage was done to the trees, and that the tree-cutters did not "cut down" the trees, but rather "pruned" them.
Here's another incident of "settlers" being falsely accused of cutting down "Palestinian" olive tress:
Tree-Cutting "Libel" - Once Again, Jews Stand Accused
The Jerusalem Post article continues:
There seems to be a coordinated plan by the government, IDF, civil administration and Jewish settlers to make the South Hebron area "Arab Free." This effort includes the destruction of houses, tents and caves. It apparently involves sealing wells, uprooting orchards, poisoning grazing fields and preventing Arab residents from farming their land and tending their livestock.
These measures appear to be carried out as if to exhaust the local Palestinian population, to further impoverish them and to run them off their land without compensation...
Notice Forman's statements:
* There seems to be...
* It apparently involves...
* These measures appear to be carried out as if to...
So, which is it? Are these accusations by Forman based on fact or mere conjecture and speculation?
On our trip, we encountered harrowing Jewish religious fanaticism... Within minutes, about 60 settlers from Susya appeared, rifles slung over their shoulders, descending upon the few Palestinians working their fields...
What is it exactly, according to Forman, that enables him to label these "settlers" immediately upon seeing them, as Jewish religious fanatics?
Is it because they are religious? Is it because some may have had beards? Perhaps they wore knitted kippot? Is it because they carried guns (legally)? Or, is it simply that anyone who lives over the Green Line immediately considered to be an extremist, no questions asked?
After the destruction of olive groves in the north, one would have expected the army to protect the Palestinians and to apprehend the criminals who destroy their property. This never happens, nor are perpetrators of virtually all settler violence against Palestinians ever arrested and tried...
How can it be that in the wake of so many incidents of "settlers" supposedly cutting down "Palestinian" olive trees - so many incidents in fact, that it is "impossible" to know exactly how many - that no "settlers" have been convicted for such actions?
Could it be, perhaps, as has been documented above, that those accusing the "settlers" of such actions have questionable credibility at best?
Postscript: As I write these lines, 140 trees were cut down in the Palestinian village of Burin.
Sure they were.