“Freedom of speech is under attack!”, they whined. When vanity masquerades as principle.

Cartoon, below, courtesy of our friends at Fresno Zionism.

Increasingly common complaints that free speech is under attack in Israel (dutifully parroted by Guardian writers such as Harriet Sherwood and Mya Guarnieri)  is nothing short of absurd to anyone who lives, or has spent any time in the country – a point Ron Dermer recently made with impressive rhetorical precision.  More and more it seems like far left groups are conflating the mere criticism, and public scrutiny, of their views (and their funding) with censorship.

The hyperbolic and, at times, hysterical reactions to recent Knesset legislation to form a committee to investigate foreign funding of NGOs, which actively engage in the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, is a perfect illustration of this dynamic.

It’s almost comical the degree to which those who engage in the most inflammatory and incendiary rhetoric about Israel are, themselves, so thin-skinned when their groups are criticized and scrutinized.

As Ann Herzberg of NGO Monitor so aptly put it:

“The right of expression always comes with the potential for disapproval. It is strange that groups claiming to be so well-versed in human rights seem so unfamiliar with the concept of free speech.

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