This is not an every day occurrence and the reason it caught my eye. I have never yet read of any group or single person file a lawsuit against a Jewish body of any kind. This is the kind of news which will never get on the radar, for fear that the idea might “just spread”.

If you are Jewish (I am), care about Israel’s future (I do), and currently rubber stamp everything you hear about Israel (I don’t), you might not like what you’re about to read. And if you are American, (I am) feel you are patriotic (I do) and agree with the policies of this current administration (I don’t), reading about this will make you uncomfortable. The similarities in the tools used by both the American and Israeli administrations are troublesome, to say the least.  If you’re against the Iraq war, the neo-conservatives will brand you as un-American,  as not supporting the troops that keep you safe,  and as unpatriotic. If you’re against Israel’s occupation, the same neo-conservatives will tag you as anti-semitic, anti-zionist and a hate monger.

In Argentina last week, three men, Adrian Salbuchi, Enrique  Romero and Juan Gabriel Labaké, members of the MSRA (Members of the Argentine Second Republic Movement) who prepared a report for the CES (Centro de Estudios Sociales – Social Studies Center)entitled “Report on Anti-Semitism in Argentina – 2006” sued the Jewish NGO DAIA (Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas – Delegation of Israeli Associations in Argentina.) What happened?

“In their Report, the undersigned are insulted and slandered by the above, as they accuse us of “virulent Anti-Semitism” because of our global and national geopolitical analyses published as press communiqués of our group, MSRA and as reports in “El Traductor Gráfico” bulletin.  “Anti-Semitism” constitutes a crime of discrimination under the Argentine Discrimination Act, Law No 23.592 (i.e., Art. 3º defines “discrimination against persons or groups on account of their religious beliefs”).

Adding insult to injury, the CES gave their report ample local and international publicity through diverse channels and the media, also translating it fully into English, and authorizing its publication on the Internet by the powerful US-based Zionist organization, Anti Defamation League (ADL), a militant Zionist organization founded and operated by the Jewish Masonic lodge B’Nai  B’Rith, whose top officers recently met with Argentine president Cristina Kirchner and foreign secretary Jorge Taiana in Buenos Aires, requiring them to be more outspoken against so-called “Anti-Semitism” in Argentina.  In addition, the”Reports on Anti-Semitism” issued every year by the CES/DAIA are used as an official source of information on our country by the US Department of State.  All of this and other actions on their part have caused Plaintiffs severe moral, professional and economic damage and injury.”

Accused of anti-semitism, the writers are litigating for the right of freedom of expression, and by extension, the freedom to express what they view as distorted and filtered rhetoric in order for American Jewish neo-conservatives and Zionists to manipulate the information regarding control over certain territories.

If I weren’t reading “The Other Israel” right at this moment, this piece of news might have slipped through my fingers. This book is a collection of essays by Israelis intellectuals who present a diametrically opposed picture of Israel and its failure at achieving peace with the Palestinians. I have gone through the preface, written by Tom Segev, and 3 separate essays. All of the authors deeply love Israel; and who better to point out the faults of a loved one than by the one who loves?

They speak of arrogant righteousness, expansionism at human cost which you’ll hopefully never hear about, racist divisions which cannot be relevant in the 21st century, – and yes, they also criticize the blank check and pat on the back which Israel receives from its greatest ally, the United States of America.  One illustration of this is the cost of $3 billion dollars in building highways in and around Jerusalem which essentially make it impossible for Palestinian neighborhoods to remain cohesive; these roads were paid for by the United States.

Thus I was ripe and receptive to this piece of news, because of its sheer chutzpah. Imagine, 3 Argentine men going against the humongous “machine”, because Israel is strong, viable, and not a bit threatened by anyone in the neighborhood, including Iran (see comments by Tzipora Livni behind closed doors ). Israel continues to use the victim card to promote its agenda, much like John McCain uses the POW card in his campaign when all else fails.

It is irrelevant that these men win or lose the case as far as I am concerned. The mere fact that this has taken place is historic. There are laws prohibiting anti-semitic language, anti-semitic acts and I see the need for them where they exist: the recent case in Paris, for instance, where 3 young men were savagely attacked and beaten just because they were wearing their yarmulkes. That is pure and simple anti-semitism. There’s no debate. But when a report is written that describes a situation in part of the world that is highly controversial by people who are in turned accused of being anti-semitic, those writers have turned around and done the unthinkable. They are suing their accusers for libel.