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Israel NGOs: Riding tigers down the road to hell


A stabber got loose in Tel Aviv this week.  An 18-year-old man ran amok and stabbed some people and thank God, nobody died, but please don't think that's the point and the incident is over now because nobody died.  Four people were wounded, which is important to remember, but there's an even bigger lesson to be learned here.

The man - 18 is a man, I guess, technically - was a Palestinian man.  He was brought to Tel Aviv.  He was brought there by an NGO called "Natural Peace Tours," which honestly, I would have sworn was a made up name, it's so hokey.  It was their mission, apparently, to bring Palestinians to Israel for what this article calls "grassroots negotiations."

Grassroots negotiations?

First of all, let's be very clear:  "grassroots negotiations" is nothing, because anyone "grassroots" isn't in a position to either offer anything or give anything in return.  So through this NGO, let's face it, you're not negotiating.  At best, you're having coffee with someone, and that's very nice, I support that, but maybe - just  maybe - they could have thought about whether it was safe to do what they were doing.

Image result for tel aviv stabbing ngo

(“grassroots negotiation” in action)

When I mentioned this incident to a dear friend who lives outside of Israel, complaining about starry-eyed and idiotic NGOs, she said that at least they mean well.  Which I am absolutely sure they do.

But to be honest: I have less patience these days with people who mean well. 

The moral high road to hell

I always used to think the expression "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" meant that people were innocently trying their best and somehow missing the mark.  I thought it meant that nice people who had good intentions were sometimes ineffectual.  But how could you really blame them?  After all, they're NICE people.  And they mean well.

What I believe these days about the expression is different. 

I believe that sometimes people's good intentions actively lead them in the direction of evil.  And they are just skipping off, willy nilly, either 1) without looking out where they're going, or 2) believing that evil is a soft, cuddly puppy dog.  (Which it isn't.)

Whatever the case, I can't just write it off anymore as just an innocent mistake.  Because people are standing there pointing the way and they're ignoring it.  They're arguing with you. 

There's a scene with Steve Martin and John Candy in the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles, in which Steve and John are driving along down the highway while other cars are honking at them and signalling to them to turn around.  At one point, a couple shouts at them, "You're going the wrong way!!!"  To which John says, "They're drunk.  How would they know where we're going?"

You can watch the clip here.  Please do – it’s classic!


Going the wrong way

Some of these NGOs have only the vaguest idea of where they're trying to get to.  And many are going the wrong way, not in the sense that their destination is wrong, but in the sense that they're going to get people killed.

Whatever you may think of Dr. Laura (ha - there's a way to lose readers!), one of her classic expressions always was, "Don't bring home an elephant and then complain that it won't sit on your lap and purr." 

People actually do this all the time.  Literally, with animals.  They think they're going to adopt smuggle alligators, or tigers, or cobras, or whatever, and raise them at home because they're so cute.  And then they're surprised when the cute baby animals hit animal puberty and turn into - hey, who knew! - alligators, or tigers, or cobras, or whatever they're supposed to be, and turn on their loving human owners.

(A fun random example - here's a 17-year-old who sleeps with a six-month-old baby tiger but "doesn't believe people without proper training should be allowed to keep tigers as pets."  The “proper training,” in this case, would be a course entitled "How Not to be Food."  Because otherwise, no matter what, you are always at risk.)

The liberal NGO mindset

Don’t get me wrong.  I am a liberal at heart, I swear.  I love the idea of an open border, where Palestinians can come and go throughout Israel, visit friends and relatives in Yaffo, in Gaza, in the Galilee, hang out in Tel Aviv (where they'll find better bars than downtown Ramallah, probably).

But I don't like the idea of people getting stabbed.  And just to give you a sense of the starry-eyed cluelessness behind some of these NGOs:  a guy with the group connected with this stabbing said that the 18-year-old who did it was from a "very respectable family, both financially and on a personal level." 

I like that because it reveals his own hidden biases.  This guy thought he would be smarter than the "brutal" military people who usually make decisions about who's a terrorist.  He thought he'd drop racial profiling and conduct his own little due diligence.  What a jerk.

Let's look at this NGO guy's criteria for ruling out terroristic tendences:
a) "financial respectability" - ie, the guy had money.  So he didn't need to struggle against unequal social conditions.  But this fight is not an economic struggle.  It's about hatred.  Hatred against Jews, against Israel.  Hatred that won’t quit until we're gone.
b) "personal respectability"  - ie, he knew how to say the peace-hugging things that NGO people so love to hear.  Terrorists will lie, cheat, steal, and they do it every day to get what they want.

These folks are adopting tigers and expecting them to just kneel down and start purring.  And all of them are riding those tigers all the way to hell.

Hate is the best way to celebrate

I feel particularly strongly about this because in a few weeks, on Jerusalem Day, we will celebrate a massively significant milestone:  50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

This is a huge day for Jews everywhere, but particularly for Jews here in Israel.  And in its honour, a colloquium of writers from all over the world, led by leading American intellectual Jews Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, have created a book, Kingdom of Olives and Ash.

This is a book conspicuously NOT celebrating Jerusalem, or Israel, or the accomplishments of this tiny and besieged nation, but celebrating an NGO, Breaking the Silence, which claims to be a neutral observer but which in fact has already published a book, countless pamphlets, posts, articles, and screeds against Israel .  This book promises to be more of the same. 

Its full title is actually Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation.  You know, lest you make any mistakes about what you’re going to find inside or believe anyone in there was approaching the situation with anything like an open mind.

No, this is a book that announces one thing loud and clear…

“Happy birthday, Jerusalem!  On behalf of the world, let us spit in your face!”

As an organization, Breaking the Silence is not at all what it seems to be; it claims to be a grassroots organization of Israeli soldiers.  Yet it is almost entirely funded by Europe, including massive amounts from Germany, which adores Palestinians (Read Tuvia Tenenbom’s Catch the Jew to find out why.  Seriously, read it.).  This is not exactly secret.  You can find out more about this organization’s lies (and funding sources) here… or here.

And all I can think, when I see this book, and hear this terminally clueless, starry-eyed NGO guy talking about how people from good families don’t become terrorists or similar nonsense, is that they just don’t get it.   They're going the wrong way.

Do they mean well?  Absolutely!  Can we let them off the hook for spreading lies because they mean well?  No, I don't believe we can.  Because they're pushing, pushing, pushing, vigourously steering world opinion towards solutions that simply cannot work.  Shoving the world deeper into ignorance.

I can't forgive that.

The road to hell is paved with the wilful, forceful, noisy, and violent ignorance of well-funded terrorists and their European friends.  I just hope they get where they’re going quickly so they can leave the rest of us alone.

Shabbat Shalom!

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


  1. You have some good points, but I, as an Israeli, don't think the NGOs "mean well." They support those who want to destroy the State of Israel, including Haifa and Tel Aviv. They don't think we Jews have a right to live here.

    1. That's a reasonable position. I guess what people mean when they say these folks "mean well" is that they have weeping, bleeding, compassionate hearts - for one side at least - and I believe they absolutely do care about peace in the world. For some, this vision of peace does not include us. That is absolutely a problem, because erasing an entire people is called genocide... a terrible consequence of those hellishly good intentions.


I'd love to hear what you have to say.