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Research Report

Building a Political Firewall against the Assault on Israel's Legitimacy London as a Case Study: Version A

Reut Institute
Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 2010
Published by: Reut Institute
Pages: 66
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)

    This draft document is a product of concern, hope, and confidence. Concern because our analysis covering the years 2006-2009 led us to conclude that Israel is subject to a systemic and systematic assault on its political and economic model, which aims to precipitate its implosion. This campaign is inspired by the collapse of countries such as the Soviet Union and apartheid South Africa.

    This assault is executed by two forces acting in parallel and with cooperation. The first is the Resistance Network, led by Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah, that rejects Israel's right to exist based on Arab and Islamist nationalist-religious...

  2. (pp. 23-26)

    In the Political Firewall document, Reut showed that Israel's delegitimizers are organized as a network (see Chapter 3, pp. 42-44). In this respect, they are no different from many other systems, in areas as diverse as biology, economics, terrorism, and the internet, that are also organized as networks and operate according to similar principles.

    In a nutshell, they operate within a flat and non-hierarchical structure without a command-and-control center and are diverse and highly resilient. Their actors possess independence of action.

    In other words, the assault on Israel's legitimacy is not the outcome of a 'headquarters-based conspiracy.' Rather, Israel's delegitimization...

  3. (pp. 27-30)

    The historical British nexus with the Palestine issue: The UK harbors a prevalent sense of historical responsibility for the current state of affairs in the Middle East, and particularly for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The unique association is rooted in the historical British presence in the Middle East and its role in legitimizing the idea of the Jewish homeland through the Balfour Declaration (11/1917), which made London the 'hub of legitimacy' for the Jewish homeland in the early 20th century.

    Three more recent societal dynamics have turned delegitimization from a marginal phenomenon to an increasingly mainstream agenda.

    From ambivalence to radicalization...

  4. (pp. 31-34)

    The assault on Israel's legitimacy is mainly concentrated in specific arenas, such as the judiciary; academia and campuses; churches; and, most vigorously, the trade unions.

    Certain groups exploit the legal arena to attack Israel. These efforts comprise attempts to utilize laws of universal jurisdiction in order to charge Israeli generals and politicians with war crimes; levy proceedings against Israel in the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice; and file charges against corporations conducting business with Israel.

    London is a hub for such 'lawfare'26 – In the UK, Holland, Spain, Belgium, and Norway, a network of lawyers has...

  5. (pp. 35-39)

    The PSC is the largest Palestinian advocacy organization in Britain, estimated at more than 3,000 members. Its head office is in central London, and 40 additional branches are located within the UK and internationally.43 It plays a leading role in all of the above-mentioned arenas, namely, campuses, academia, churches, and trade unions. Recently, the PSC has also started to lobby Parliament.

    In theory, the PSC is an apolitical Palestinian advocacy organization that seeks to promote human rights, international justice, and peace. It does not express explicit support for any political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and seemingly focuses on criticism...

  6. (pp. 40-45)

    In recent years organizations and individuals in London politically sympathetic to Hamas have created a convenient platform to spread the Hamas narrative and doctrine. The extent and character of such activity is unique to London, and contributes to London's status as a key delegitimization hub.

    The result of this activity is that the Hamas narrative has made significant inroads in mainstreaming itself within the London Muslim community. Moreover, in the eyes of some elements within Britain's liberal elite, Hamas represents the sole authentic and legitimate Palestinian representative.

    London serves as a convenient base for organizations politically sympathetic to Hamas and...

  7. (pp. 46-53)

    The assault on Israel's legitimacy poses a strategic threat to Israel, and is a grave concern to the Jewish World. Confronting it effectively requires a loosely coordinated and concerted response by Israel and pro-Israel communities, Jewish and non-Jewish, around the world. London's global influence in this context makes it central to this struggle.

    Caveat: This document focuses on the structural response to the challenge of Israel's delegitimization. Its scope does not cover a discussion of closely related issues such as the battle of narratives, i.e. the substantive response to delegitimizers' arguments, or the relation between Israel's delegitimization and anti-Semitism.