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(Jeff Haynes / Agence France Presse)

Israel’s Reut Institute claims “price tag” attacks on EI, Irvine 11 and Palestine Return Centre

Israel’s Reut Institute, which notoriously called on Israeli government agencies to “sabotage” and “attack” the Palestine solidarity movement – and then tried to conceal it – is claiming credit for “price tag” attacks on The Electronic Intifada, the Palestine Return Centre, the Irvine 11 and others.

In an assessment titled, “2011: The Year We Punched Back on the Assault on Israel’s legitimacy,” Reut lauds the emergence of “our network” and gives credit to the Israeli government for helping to set it up:

Critical contributions to this emergence include the Government of Israel (GOI) and the Jewish world’s mobilization against the political assault on Israel, progress in connecting between the hubs and catalysts within our network, and the widening of our network’s base (‘the broad tent approach’).

It is moreover troubling that the Reut Institute should attempt implicate “the Jewish world” in its efforts, something that will only please anti-Semites who incorrectly consider all Jews and Jewish institutions somehow complicit in Israel’s deeds.

Reut proudly associates itself with settler “price tag” terrorism and mosque burnings

It’s notable that Reut lists its claimed achievements against Palestine solidarity activists in a section titled “Putting a price tag and exposing the delegitimizers’ true agenda.”

Thus Reut proudly adopts the term “price tag” which is generally associated with mosque burnings, vandalism, tree felling, killings of people and their livestock and other violent attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

There can be no clearer indication that the Reut Institute proudly associates itself with and seeks to emulate on an international scale this type of intimidation.

Claiming attacks on The Electronic Intifada, Palestine Return Centre and Irvine 11

Among the “achievements” Reut claims for the Israeli-government “network” of which it is part:

  • The Dutch Foreign Minister, Uri Rosenthal, conducted an inquiry over his government’s indirect funding of Electronic Intifada, a Website that, among other things, compares Israelis to Nazis, following a report by NGO Monitor.

  • Israel’s Ministry of Defense outlawed the London-based Palestinian Return Centre, a Hamas-affiliated organization, also based on reports about its delegitimization activities, such as those by Harry’s Place, the Meir Amit Terrorism and Intelligence Information Center, Mapping the Organizational Sources of Global Delegitimization Campaign against Israel in the UK by Ehud Rosen from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and the Reut report on London as a Case Study of a Hub of Delegitimization.

  • “Irvine 11” – Ten of the eleven University of California, Irvine students who interrupted a talk by Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren were convicted for conspiring to plan the disruption (Los Angeles Times, 09/24/2011). The Jewish Community of Orange County played in important role in bringing about this outcome.

In making these claims, Reut repeats a number of distortions and libels against The Electronic Intifada and others. Reut also boasts about helping to force an American publication to shut down – demonstrating its and Israel’s hostility to free speech:

  • The Berkeley Daily Planet was forced to cease print operations (2/10) – Local activist John Gertz used his website www.DPWatchDog.com to mount a successful campaign against the publication, which was the most important mouthpiece for the BDS Movement in the Bay Area.

Pro-Apartheid and anti-free-speech intimidation, pressure

None of what the Reut Institute is claiming as “successes” will come as any surprise to readers of The Electronic Intifada. We have been reporting on this Israeli-government orchestrated campaign of intimidation and anti-free-speech pressure from the start, against this publication, against the Palestine Return Centre, and of course the Irvine 11.

We also exposed the Israeli government’s link to efforts to sue the Olympia Food Co-op over its boycott of Israeli goods, and the misuse of US civil rights legislation in an attempt to shut down free speech on campus.

No positive message and a reliance on dirty tricks

Notably absent from Reut’s list of perceived “achievements” including, it claims, working against the flotillas to Gaza, is any progress in actually improving the image of Israel. This is because the “network” which Reut orchestrates has no positive message. You can’t sell an apartheid settler-colony as something good. This is the biggest weakness and why Reut and its network must try to rely on dirty tricks and sabotage inspired by the vandalism of West Bank settlers.