Human Rights Industry Speak 101

The travesty that is the anti-Israel ‘Human Rights Industry’ encompasses varied entities, ranging from full-fledged terror-apologist (or terror-supporting?) organisations like the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) to individual career-propagandists in the guise of “Peace-Activists.”

There is now a complete overlap in the motives, means and end-goals of this industry, which is a sister-concern of the well-oiled Pallywood propaganda machine. Rightfully so, I refer to anyone subscribing to extremist anti-Israel views as a “Pallywooder.”

These Pallywooders are dedicated to anti-normalization with Israel, support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and claim to ‘seek justice’ for Arabs living under Israeli rule. They say that International Law is on their side.

(I will admit that there most certainly are a number of genuine people on the other side, who honestly seek peace for both parties, and don’t subscribe to any destructive anti-Israel philosophies. The people in the latter group are completely exempt from being classified as “Pallywooders.” However, they are a fast-shrinking minority.)

Pallywooders are bold, audacious, omnipresent, energetic, and sometimes even thuggish. They are not time-constrained, however, their decibel levels and perennial Facebook/Twitter presence shouldn’t be a source of alarm for Israel’s defenders.

Devoid of logic, these Pallywooders’ selective renderings of legalities and purposeful obfuscation of facts are packed to the brim with the silliest of contradictions. Their purposeful misrepresentations are brutally self-defeating and can be easily dismissed. This leaves a lot for us in the pro-Israel community to be ecstatic about.

Here, I intend to demystify the ludicrous contradictions and logical fallacies employed by Pallywooders, and create a ready-reckoner for their cleverly (or foolishly) encrypted propaganda.


Gone are the days when being “pro-Palestine” meant being a supporter of a Two-State Solution. Today, if you’re a so-called pro-Palestinian peace activist, it means you’re for a single bi-national state. In short, ALL of Israel is “Occupied Palestine.”

Now here are the standard Pallywood slogans with a detailed explanation of their inherent contradictions:

“End the Illegal Israeli Occupation

The expression “Illegal Israeli Occupation” is a source of subterfuge.  Selectively spouting clauses from various statutes of International Law, Pallywooders protest for an end to the “Illegal Israeli Occupation,” but fail to define what they mean by “Occupation.”

Pallywooders brutalize Israel day in and day out on this issue, but seldom dare to clarify whether they’re talking about the Israeli administration of territories captured in self-defence during the Six-Day War of 1967 or about Haifa and Tel Aviv.

If probed, they’ll slyly admit that they mean the latter.

People are certainly entitled to their extremist views, but why the need to obscure their true demands? The answer is simple. The same International Law that they confidently brandish for their cause ALSO spells out Israel’s rights.

Accepting the law in its entirety would obviously require respecting Israel’s right to exist, and hence the selectivity. Hypocrisy?

Since the UN General Assembly vote to elevate “Palestine” to the status of ‘Observer State,’ rabid anti-Zionists have proclaimed that International Law is positioned against Israel. Unfortunately for them, this recognition as ‘Observer State’ falls STRICTLY within the framework of a Two-State solution. The law is not on their side when they chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” That reality doesn’t faze the Israel-haters’ euphoria.

• “End the illegal blockade of Gaza

This is the part where Pallywooders completely forget about the UN. Quite a convenient move, since the UN Palmer Commission Report states that Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal under international law. It also says that Israel has the right to enforce that blockade, even in international waters.

“Israel has become so right-wing”

For anyone who has debated people from the other side, a recurring lament among Pallywooders is that the Israeli political spectrum has supposedly shifted very much to the right. They often attack Israel on this, and Naftali Bennett, Moshe Feiglin, Caroline Glick, among many others, are the Pallywooders’ favourite punching bags. Their pro-annexation views are supposedly very extreme. Time and time again, a pro-Israeli is force fed a diet of the supposed “right-winged-ness” of these Israelis

Even a simple Google search would tell you that pro-annexation Israeli right-wingers such as Naftali Bennett, Orit Strock, Yoni Chetboun and others from the Bayit Yahudi party are strongly opposed to the security fence — another common complaint of the Israel haters.

How are the end goals of, say, the admirable Naftali Bennett any different from the “One-State” goals of these anti-Israel charlatans?

Why would they attack Israel’s now powerful right-wing, as a means to delegitimize the nation, when the right’s views are no different from theirs to begin with? Isn’t that contradiction downright silly?

You might think that Pallywooders supported left-wing politics in Israel, given their repudiation of the right. However, how much love did the Palestinians and their apologists in the West have for Israel when the left was in power? How many full-scale wars and terror attacks were waged on Israel during the left’s reign? Did the Palestinians take advantage of the more-than-generous offers made by left-wingers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert? They did not! Almost immediately after refusing Barak’s offer, they started the Second Intifada.

It’s very interesting to note that every last supporter of Israel (whether left-wing, centre, or right-wing) is constantly labeled  a “Right-Wing Zionist.”

The reasoning is simple: it’s NOT about a Two-State solution. Israel supposedly having veered to the right is just an excuse. The fact that Israel EXISTS is what irks its detractors. So, whether Israel’s left-wing or right-wing is in power, haters want the Jewish state eliminated, but the “right-wing” classification works perfectly as a pejorative. Often times, this smear sways many a bleeding heart liberal in the West, as it appeals directly to the core of their beliefs.

Today, the Israeli left, which is so dearly embraced by these terror-excusing Pallywood propagandists, is very much dedicated to a Two- State solution. From Gershon Baskin to Amira Hass, from Bradley Burston to Larry Derfner, from B’TSelem to Peace Now or even the Jewish Voice for Peace, anyone on the Israeli/Jewish left is dedicated to a Two-State solution. Even Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein advocate for it.

(On a humourous side note, and this is not uncommon, but you find many anti-Israel folk who claim Chomsky and Finkelstein are Zionists because of their support for a Two-State solution.)

Does this “Unholy Alliance” between the Israel haters and the Israeli/Jewish left not highlight a CRYSTAL CLEAR conflict of interests? Wouldn’t it be in the Israel haters’ best interests to coddle the right, which shares their end goals, rather than the left, which clearly doesn’t?

“Settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace” 

Incessant whining about the illegality of Jewish communities in the disputed territories, and how they are an obstacle to peace, don’t jibe very well with the stated goals of the anti-Israel bloc : a single bi-national state.

UN Security Council Resolutions 242 are 446 are often cited here, while willfully ignoring the fact that Israel’s LEGAL existence is ratified by the same resolutions. Ignoring that dimension of these resolutions, while quoting those sections that suit their agenda,  allows to them to continue dwelling under the illusion that “ALL of Israel is Occupied Palestine,” while also winning many uninformed people onto their side.

I keep hearing that further building in the disputed territories does jeopardize a Two State Solution, but that’s a dream come true for the anti-Israelis, in any case.

Continued settlement-expansion might force Israel to accept a single bi-national state, so why demonize Israel about the same “Settlement Enterprise” that fulfills the end goal of a One State, which is the outcome of choice for the anti-Israelis? Is the sheer idiocy of that contradiction not striking?

“Israel always has ulterior motives”

Every time Israel does something commendable, Israel-haters love stretching logic to absurd levels to substantiate their prejudices. As esteemed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz points out, when Israel highlights what a human rights oasis it is for Gay people, the anti-Israel bloc accuses it of engaging in a systematic effort to “Pinkwash” its supposed crimes against the Arabs.

What’s irrelevant to Pallywooders is that while Coffee Shop “Peace-Activists” like Code Pink make Youtube videos and Facebook pages in the comfort of their homes in San Francisco or New York, the vast majority of human-rights groups and activists who operate in the disputed territories are themselves Israeli and are strongly committed to a Two-State Solution. Examples: B’Tselem, Peace Now etc. So much for the “Pink-Washing” myth!

Dershowitz also talks about the downright bigotry of the anti-Zionists, who, when it was disclosed that the IDF has one of the lowest rape-rates against enemy civilians in the world, accused Israeli soldiers of being so racist that they did not find Palestinian women attractive enough to rape!

Let’s also remember the case of Yehuda Hiss, the former chief pathologist at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, who was involved in the controversy of organ-harvesting. Hiss removed and sold organs from the dead bodies of Israeli soldiers and civilians (both Jewish and Arab), but thanks to another career forger, Donald Bostrom, a Swedish journalist, this incident was spun as an IDF conspiracy to continue killing Palestinians in order to keep up its supposed lucrative organ-harvesting business. Bostrom based this claim on nothing but hearsay.

Even the family members of Bilal Ghanem, the Arab at the centre of Bostrom’s allegations, stated that they had never told him that Ghanem’s organs had been removed

After being ostracized by various elements in the Israeli and Swedish media, in an interview with Haaretz on November 4, 2009, Bostrom stated “I have no proof the IDF harvests Palestinians’ organs.”

But that didn’t stop another career liar and Armenian Genocide denier, Cenk Uygur, from perpetuating that conspiracy on an episode of his show, The Young Turks.

I’m sure I don’t have to say anything further about the validity of these claims, as the sheer ludicrousness and despicable racism behind these accusations make my point.


I DO NOT wish for this article to be used as a foundation to dismiss the grievances of the people living in the disputed territories. I do believe they have some very serious concerns that need addressing. As I said before, there are some very serious peace-partners on the other side who subscribe to the idea of a just peace for both parties. This piece doesn’t refer to them in any way. However, that group is a fast shrinking and increasingly obsolete minority.

I really wish I could say that the line of thinking I described in this article is only the mantra of a minority within the anti-Israel movement, but that would be a lie.

This is mainstream thought among the anti-Israelis, from career propagandists like Ali Abunimah, the founder of Electronic Intifada, and Omar Barghouti, founder of the BDS movement, to ordinary keyboard-warriors for the anti-Israel cause.

Conveniently, all of their legal expertise overlooks Israel’s clearly spelled out rights. Their cherry-picked renderings of International Law, to find a war-crime or conspiracy behind everything Israel does, make for extremely entertaining theatrics.

Conspiracy theories abound on EVERYTHING, and there is no commitment to honesty and integrity. They try to make up for their lack of facts with endless emotional sloganeering and half-truths in an attempt to appeal to the public’s righteous indignation.

Tragically, this ‘Human Rights Industry’ is no longer about human rights. Every effort is nothing more than a cheap and poorly planned mud-slinging campaign against Israel. It is anti-Israel demagoguery at its worst. Poorly planned, incongruous with reality, yet, well funded, which explains the minuscule amounts of successes.

The contradictions, hypocrisies, racism and lack of common-sense are mind numbing. Their activities are nothing more than a farce. With enemies like these, Israel doesn’t need friends and the Palestinians certainly need to get a few new friends.

I would appeal to all people within the pro-Israel community to use the above mentioned arguments in the course of their debates with the anti-Israel demagogues, as that exposes the flimsiness of their entire movements’ ideology. If used appropriately, they don’t have a prayer.

You can always contact Omar Barghouti, who advocates complete divestiture from ALL things Israeli, for his take on the things I’ve said here, but make sure you don’t disturb him during his classroom session at TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, where he’s currently pursuing his Master’s degree.

Stay tuned for Human-Rights Industry Speak 102.

About the Author
Cliff is an independent political analyst. Aside from his love for India, Israel, the Kurds, and the US, his passions include history, finance, mathematics, politics, and the study of international law as it relates to the Israel-Palestine conflict.