From: Calev Ben-Dor [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 7:49 AM
Cc: 'Daniel Scott'
Subject: Meeting in the SF Bay Area
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is Calev Ben Dor and I am a senior analyst at the Reut Institute, a strategic policy group based in Tel Aviv, Israel. I am writing to ask whether you would be willing to meet with us while we are in the San Francisco Bay Area, February 24th - March 2nd.
My team's focus for the past two years has been on the erosion of Israel's international status, with a focus on a growing trend to negate Israel's right to exist or the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. We very clearly separate this from criticism of Israeli policy, even when that criticism can be considered harsh or biased.
We are planning a study visit to the Bay Area to better understand Israel-related dynamics there and would appreciate the opportunity to get your perspective.
Please let me know if this would be possible and when would be convenient. Our coordinator, Daniel, is cc'd and can follow up on scheduling, and I am happy to answer any questions.
All the best,
Calev Ben Dor
Calev Ben Dor Analyst
We were by no means alone, this same outfit sent out invites to many organizations in the Bay Area that are involved in questioning US policy in regards to Israel. To our knowledge, all declined. Stop AIPAC did send a reply that we would be happy to meet with them once certain conditions were met, including Israel's full compliance with international law and human rights standards. They did not respond back, and it seems unlikely that Israel will meet those modest demands before Reut leaves town again, which is unfortunate.
What it the Reut Institute?
Background article from the Electronic Intifada:
An extraordinary series of articles, reports and presentations by Israel's influential Reut Institute has identified the global movement for justice, equality and peace as an "existential threat" to Israel and called on the Israeli government to direct substantial resources to "attack" and possibly engage in criminal "sabotage" of this movement in what Reut believes are its various international "hubs" in London, Madrid, Toronto, the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
The Reut Institute's analyses hold that Israel's traditional strategic doctrine -- which views threats to the state's existence in primarily military terms, to be met with a military response -- is badly out of date. Rather, what Israel faces today is a combined threat from a "Resistance Network" and a "Delegitimization Network."
The Resistance Network is comprised of political and armed groups such as Hamas and Hizballah....
The "Delegitimization Network" -- which Reut Institute president and former Israeli government advisor Gidi Grinstein provocatively claims is in an "unholy alliance" with the Resistance Network -- is made up of the broad, decentralized and informal movement of peace and justice, human rights, and BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) activists all over the world. [Read the whole thing]
Notice that Reut considers the San Francisco Bay Area a "hub of delegitimization". So it is no wonder they wanted to make a special visit here.
Stop AIPAC will continue to work to delegitimize Israel's human rights violations, its systematic oppression of Palestinians. We will continue to support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the apartheid regime. We are very happy to be able to work with so many sister organizations, especially in the Bay Area, that share the goal of a decent and just future for all in the Middle East.