This phenomenon is not exactly new, but lately it seems to become a mandatory part of every new anti-Zionist (or "anti-Zionist", if you will) initiative. It looks that one of the first items on the agenda during the first meeting of such enterprise (after choosing a nice name and collecting money for coffee and buns) is finding a suitable Jew to serve as a totem and as a shield for the whole business.
For some reason, people who invest their not inconsiderable effort and somewhat limited brainpower in their AZ activities consider having such a Jew on board (sometimes literally) to be an impenetrable shield against any criticism and an argument to beat any counter-arguments. You see, we have us a Jew here, so no matter what we say and, of course, no matter what you say, we are right.
An excellent demonstration of this approach was done recently by a member of the so called "Russell Tribunal on Palestine". The dialog started with Maurice Ostroff writing an open letter to the Russel Tribunal. In this well researched and detailed letter he explains why the tribunal is hopelessly biased and dissects its inherent folly. Starting with:
...the Tribunal appears to be reinforcing preconceived opinions and avoiding inconvenient facts. How else can one explain the careful selection of a jury comprising only prominent persons who have publicly voiced strongly anti-Israel statements and preconceived opinions? And how does one explain the fact that jurists and members of the public who attend will not be allowed to question speakers?But it's better to read the full text, of course. And what was the reply of the tribunal? Posted by Maurice Ostroff himself near the original letter, it says (full copy here for all to enjoy):
In this climate, unlike in a democratic debate or court of law where both sides are heard, even the most misleading statements will go unchallenged and the totally unjustified anti-Israel apartheid canard will be propagated, without the benefit of honest intellectual examination.
From: "Terry Crawford-Browne"Mr Crawford-Browne, a "former international banker who during the mid 1980s became a peace activist" who spends a lot of his time to "quickly collapse the Israeli economy", doesn't mince words, as you have undoubtedly noticed.
To: "'Maurice Ostroff'"
Dear Mr Ostroff
I write to acknowledge receipt of your letter to which I will reply next week.
Meanwhile, let me assure you, the Russell Tribunal is not an Israel-bashing or anti-Semitic kangaroo court, as Benjamin Pogrund, Richard Goldstone and others have so perniciously broadcast. We are nonetheless delighted to have the publicity in the New York Times and elsewhere, and hope that the Israeli citizenry will also take note of the disastrous situation to which the present Israeli government is leading not only Israel but the entire international community.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was established in 2009 after Operation Cast Lead. It is led by Stephane Hessel, a German-born Jew who fled Nazi Germany during the 1930s, fought in the French Resistance and was imprisoned at Buchenwald. The night before his execution, his bunkmate died of typhus so he assumed his bunkmate's identify and thus escaped execution. At 94 years old, Hessel is the last surviving drafter of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thus to declare that Hessel and the other Russell Tribunal jurists are maliciously anti-Semitic and that the Tribunal is a kangaroo court, frankly only discredits the critics who have a clue what it is about and, more pertinently, who don't even want to know.
So, to make this energetic reply even more energetic and short: look here, Mr Ostroff, and cry - no matter what you think and no matter what you say, we've already won the argument. You see, we got us a Jew!
All in all, I agree with Mr Crawford-Browne on one point: Russell Tribunal is not a kangaroo court.
Rather a monkey business.