In the second of my two interviews today at the Israeli Presidential Conference, we come to the effort to delegitimize the state of Israel through — ironically — human-rights laws and conventions that Israel had formerly championed as part of its mission to stop actual genocide. Retired Brigadier General Michael Herzog led a lively breakout session on the topic shortly after this interview took place; I attended it with my fellow blogger Carl in Jerusalem, whose detailed live blog of the session far outstripped the notes I took.
In our interview, Herzog addresses the issues of delegitimization, which has been frequently mentioned in other talks in the conference. For instance, the UK’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, expressly noted how opponents of a Jewish state use human-rights laws and conventions to promote a new brand of anti-Semitism. Herzog says that the forces of delegitimization are all around Israelis without it regularly piercing the consciousness (“like climate change,” Herzog says, but let it pass by for this discussion), but Israelis have to start pushing back against the calumnies that threaten Israel’s standing. Herzog says it’s moving from the Middle East to Europe and the US, from the sidelines to “center stage”; I use the example of Helen Thomas’ declaration that Israelis should move to Europe, but as Herzog says here, it goes far beyond that. Herzog can no longer travel to the UK thanks to their application of “universal jurisdiction.” Spain used to be a problem in that sense, too, but the Chinese put a stop to it. Watch the interview to find out why, and what Herzog thinks of the “Arab Spring”:
By the way, Gen. Herzog told me at the end of our interview that he follows Hot Air. Be sure to tell him hello in the comments!
Note: The Israeli Presidential Conference paid my travel expenses for this trip.