Respecting Lebanon's Sovereignty: Foxman Defames

From the archive (legacy material)

Ran HaCohen | | 31 July 2006

Nothing compares to Israel’s open, independent, and pluralistic media in times of war. Saturday we had the pleasure of watching Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman give an especially repulsive horror show on Israeli public television (Channel 1). Foxman was invited to the studio to comment on Kofi Annan’s announcement that four UN observers had been apparently killed by Israel deliberately. From the odd choice of “expert” for this subject to the style and content, the “interview” – in a prestigious foreign news weekly magazine – looked like propaganda from the darkest regimes. Moderator Yaakov Achimeir stated time and again as a matter of fact that the observers had been killed “by accident,” so that the only realm left to investigate was Annan’s personal psychopathology for suggesting otherwise.
Foxman cooperated enthusiastically. Annan had gained a lot of respect for his successful efforts to globally commemorate the Holocaust. In a dirty trick of demagoguery, Foxman explained these efforts away by saying the UN secretary-general (or “the secretary of state,” as Foxman repeatedly misnamed him) liked only dead Jews, not living ones. Foxman also accused Annan of having “guilty feelings because of the Holocaust”; one could actually gain the impression that Hitler’s extermination units had consisted predominantly of black Ghanaian children like Annan was at the time.
“Can anyone imagine,” the infuriated demagogue rhetorically asked, “that the Jewish people would intentionally kill UN observers?!” Yes: Foxman actually used the term “the Jewish people” as the agent of the killing, following the footsteps of traditional anti-Semitism and its notorious blood libels, in which the entire “Jewish people” was blamed for whatever individual Jews had or had not done.
At this lunatic stage, the moderator tried, not once but twice, to add even more fuel to the fire by “suggesting” that the UN wanted to see Israel wiped off the map. Alas, Foxman wasn’t ready to go that far, and just reminded viewers that the UN had given Israel its “birth certificate,” but had been in a “love-hate relationship” with the Jewish state ever since – again, because the Gentiles love us only when we are dead and buried, not when strong and “defending ourselves.”
Prior to the interview, moderator Achimeir described Foxman as a friend of Annan’s, and wondered whether the two would ever speak to each other again after the interview. I for my part would warmly advise Annan to keep away from a “friend” like Foxman, as long as the latter’s mental condition has not been professionally diagnosed as non-contagious.
What the Observers Observed
The four UN observers killed by Israel last week had called the Israeli liaison officer 10 times urging him to stop bombing them. The Israeli army promised it would stop. It did stop, but only after the observers were killed. The following chronicle, copied from official reports of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, is dedicated – among the dead – to the four unarmed UN observers, from China, Finland, Austria, and Canada, who were just carrying out their peaceful mission. Among the living, the chronicle is dedicated to all those who keep saying that Israel has respected Lebanon’s sovereignty since 2000, when it ended its 22-year-long occupation; and to those who find the Hezbollah’s breach of Israel’s sovereignty an excuse good enough to devastate an entire prosperous land.
See the full details at Lebanon – UNIFIL – UN Documents –