This last month and a half has been a tough one for Israel -- more so than usual -- largely because the bad guys, supported by a horde of misinformed, self-proclaimed “human rights” seditionists have been gaining dangerous ground.
Granted we are used to dealing with a world that is unfriendly, a one-sided world that ignores all that is done TO the Jewish state, or BY the Jewish state (unless it can be interpreted negatively, that is).
Many of us try to remain optimistic, brushing aside the pathetic calls for Israel’s destruction emanating from the Arab and Muslim world. Rocket attacks from Gaza are just part of who we are. Denial of our right to have our own state by a virulently anti-Zionist (the currently PC term is post-Zionist) international radical left and extreme right are just part of our daily fare. This is the price we Israelis pay to maintain self-determination.
No other nation in the world deals with so much unwarranted hatred than Israel and her citizens. Why shouldn’t we feel “special?”
Sadly, things are getting even worse for us here, though.
It is now patently clear that Palestinian leadership is not the least interested in making peace. They are using the proximity talks to corner Israel with unacceptable demands and then point the finger at her government after the Palestinians thwart the negotiations. This has been the Palestinians game forever.
This is sad for both Israel and the Palestinians. Sad for us because the peace we want so much and are willing to give so much to get will not happen. Sad for the Palestinians because they are still incapable of realizing that they will not break us, even with economic and political warfare.
Our situation here in Israel is getting worse not because of the threats mentioned above, that we have dealt with since the creation of our democratic nation. No, our situation is getting worse because those who should know better, those who have the opportunity to take a difficult, but brave, stance have chosen the easy, but cowardly, path.
Today -- although the fascist anti-Israel camp will try to dazzle and fool you with lies of Jews running the media and silencing those who oppose Israel,-- it is almost impossible to be pro-Israel on university campuses, media outlets and in the art world. The attacks on pro-Israel professors, artists and writers have reached a level that has not been seen since Nazi Germany. In reality it is the Pro-Israel professors, academics and Historians that are being silenced. The Ben Whites of the world do not hesitate to try and muzzle anyone who does not openly support a call to rip the nation of Israel apart.
The excuse these modern day fascists in sheep’s clothes use is Israel’s policies in the territories. These policies, proposed in the year 2000, were giving 97% of Judea and Samaria (West Bank is the modern, western name for these lands), East Jerusalem, three quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem, all the Gaza Strip and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees to the newly founded state of Palestine. All of this meant ending the occupation. This was rejected by the Palestinians. As they have always done, the Palestinians and Arabs rejected Palestinian statehood for yet another attempt to destroy Israel.
This fact alone should clarify where the boycotters of Israel really sit. They do not want peace, nor are they boycotting Israel because of the Occupation. If they truly wanted to boycott someone for the occupation, then they should boycott the Palestinians for rejecting peace in 2000, and again in 2008 when offered by Ehud Olmert.
No, if they really wanted to boycott someone they would boycott the Arab world for its backing of a colonialist policy that has kept Israel as an Island Ghetto sitting amongst the Arab World. They would boycott the Arab world for keeping the Palestinians as refugees in their states, a political game piece, instead of giving them citizenship. They boycott Israel because they are either completely ignorant to the history of this conflict (which does not excuse them), or because they are ant-Zionists who will do everything to delegitimize the Jewish state.
Just to put an artistic flourish upon the endless crap Israel has to endure from the non-Middle Eastern outside world, performers Gil Scott-Heron and Elvis Costello pulled out of commitments they had made to perform in Israel,
Gil Scott Heron was right: “The revolution will not be televised.” But there also won’t be any revolution thanks to his cowardice. Instead of doing his research and taking the time to examine our conflict here, Gil Scott-Heron caved in to some pseudo-intellectual neo-brownshirts shouting slogans at his concert in London.
As many artists of pre-World War Two Europe did, Gil Scott-Heron caved in to fascism to avoid walking a difficult but morally correct path. Heron would rather sell out to the people who sold his ancestors into slavery (Arabs controlled the African end of the Slave trade and sold Black Africans to White Europeans), than to rally to the side of the Jews who stood side by side with America’s African American brothers during the Civil Rights Movement. Gil should read some more Martin Luther King Jr. history, so he can realize that King -- as much as today’s revisionists would like to deny -- supported Israel and Zionism wholeheartedly. Heron knows that “hatin’ Satan” has never been easy, but apparently even the greatest of self-proclaimed fighters can be intimidated. On the streets of New York City we say that “Punks like this are never around when the beef cooks in our part of town.”
Elvis Costello’s weak excuse is no better. If he had a conscience, he would tell those trying to scare him into canceling his concert in Israel to go stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Instead he, too, behaves like a craven -- omitting all Israel has done to erase the settlements, create peace and establish a Palestinian State -- and spits in our face.
These artists and their ilk do nothing for peace; they have surrendered their dignity to extremists, racists and fascists. They have surrendered to this despicable boycott -- to protect their wallets and for no other reason. Heron and Costello have seen first hand what the modern day left-wing Brownshirts will do to discourage any artist who supports Israel, the atrocious attacks on Sir Elton John being one example. Unlike Gil Scott-Heron and Elvis Costello, Sir Elton John has remained steadfast in the face of a barrage of attacks. He has remained strong because he knows better than anyone: Israeli acceptance of homosexuality runs contrary to the homophobic policies of the Palestinian Authority, the entire spectrum of the Arab world and all countries embracing Islam.
The boycott of Israel -- unlike the one against Apartheid South Africa -- is wrong. Israel is more than 80% Jewish. The whites of South Africa made up less than 10% of that country. Israeli is a democracy in which thirteen members of her parliament are Israeli Arabs.
No, this boycott is against resolving the conflict; this boycott is a profoundly anti-Zionist one (remember, the Arab members of the UN once succeeded in having Zionism classified as racism). The boycott, its backers and those who have been too cowardly to stand against it are not just enemies of Israel and the Jewish nation; they are also enemies of democracy and human rights.