Reut Institute

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The Reut Institute is an Israeli think tank. It describes itself as an "an innovative policy group designed to provide real-time, long-term strategic decision-support to Israeli leaders and decision-makers."[1]

'Eroding Israel's legitimacy'

In January 2010, the Reut Institute published an article highlighting activities "portrayed as protesting against Israeli policies", when "in fact they are frequently manipulated in order to blur the difference between valid criticism of Israeli policies and attempts to undermine Israel's right to exist."[2]

Examples cited included the UN Goldstone Report, attempts to prosecute Israeli officials for war crimes, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.[3]

The Delegitimization challenge

In February 2010, the Institute produced a report entitled 'The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall'.[4] This analysed "the erosion in Israel's diplomatic status over the past few years, which reached its peak with the Goldstone report" and the "frustrating outcomes of the Second Lebanon War (07/06) and Operation Cast Lead (01/09)."[5]

An executive summary of this report interpreted the situation in terms of two forces, a 'Resistance Network' composing Islamist and Arab nationalist opponents of Israel, and:

The Delegitimization Network, primarily comprising organizations and individuals in the West - mostly Arab and Islamic groups, so-called post-Zionist Jews and Israelis, and elements of the radical European political left - negates Israel's right to exist based on a variety of political and philosophical arguments.
Both groups take their inspiration from the collapse of the Soviet Union, East Germany, and apartheid South Africa.[6]

The summary argues that "Israel must embrace a network-based logic and response by: Focusing on the hubs of delegitimization such as London, Toronto, Madrid, or the Bay Area and undermining its catalysts".[7]

One activist criticised by the Reut Institute, Ali Abunimah, commented on this report:

It blames "delegitimizers" and "resisters" for frustrating the two-state solution but ignores Israel's relentless and ongoing settlement-building drive — supported by virtually every state organ — calculated and intended to make Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank impossible.
It never considers for a moment that the mounting criticism of Israel's actions might be justified, or that the growing ranks of people ready to commit their time and efforts to opposing Israel's actions are motivated by genuine outrage and a desire to see justice, equality and an end to bloodshed. In other words, Israel is delegitimizing itself.[8]

People

Board

David Alexander | Noa Eliasaf - Shoham | Michael Orenstein | Yoav Shapira | Noam Bardin[9]


References

  1. About Reut, Reut Institute, accessed 26 February 2010.
  2. Eroding Israel’s Legitimacy in the International Arena, Reut Institute, 28 January 2010.
  3. Eroding Israel’s Legitimacy in the International Arena, Reut Institute, 28 January 2010.
  4. The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall, Reut Institute, 14 February 2010.
  5. The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall, Reut Institute, 14 February 2010.
  6. The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall, Reut Institute, 14 February 2010.
  7. The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall, Reut Institute, 14 February 2010.
  8. Ali Abunimah, Israel's new strategy: "sabotage" and "attack" the global justice movement, The Electronic Intifada, 16 February 2010.
  9. Managing Board, Reut Institute, accessed 26 February 2010.