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Be More Negative about Israel

I am proud to announce that, in my own small way, I've joined the ranks of Pamela Geller, Michael Oren, and other truth-tellers: a speech I was scheduled to give about Israel got cancelled because it was too positive.

It all started some months ago, when I was talking about Israel to a fellow we'll call "Fred." One thing led to another, and I ended up offering to give a presentation about the "startup nation" to a local business group he was a member of. Although I didn't know him very well, Fred, an older retired gentleman, was always friendly whenever we talked, and he seemed enthusiastic about my speech.

Last week I sent him my PowerPoint, which, as promised, focused on Israeli innovation, with some names and dates thrown in. Imagine my surprise when I got the following in response:

"My main suggestion is to avoid a talk of all hype and occasionally indicate where Israel could be more open and sensitive to world opinion."

Well, I don't happen to think that Israel needs to be more "sensitive" to a world that dislikes it. I told Fred that.

"Pure propaganda, we don’t need," Fred responded. "I’m thinking this is not a good fit for our club. I think we should cancel."

Wow.

Are statistics and history now considered "propaganda" if they show Israel in a positive light? Should Israel feel guilty it has produced 12 Nobel Laureates, or that it invented drip irrigation and the Intel 8088 chip, and the Palestinians didn't?

What exactly does Fred want Israel to be more open to?  The constant stream of criticism leveled at it by the UN and its hideously corrupt Human "Rights" Council, where countries like China and Cuba sit in judgment of the only democracy in the Middle East?

Being "more sensitive" means apologizing: for winning more wars, sustaining fewer casualties, being smarter than the enemy. Being sensitive means not firing back if Hamas is shooting at you from a mosque, because "world opinion" will not like it. What other country is expected to put the world's opinion above the safety of its own citizens?

As it happens, Fred cancelled my speech the same day 13-year-old Hillel Yaffa Ariel was murdered as she lay sleeping in her bed. Her crime was being Jewish. She was stabbed 18 times by a Palestinian teenager, whose mother later praised him as a shahid, a martyr.

How would Fred like Israel to handle this? Should they be "more open" to the idea that "the Occupation" excuses the most depraved attacks, and have the good taste  not to complain so much when a 13-year-old is savagely butchered?

Elie Wiesel, who died yesterday, said “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Fred might want to think about that.