Radiohead Report

As you may have heard, Radiohead‘s Tel Aviv concert went ahead. By all accounts (locally) it was a great success.

This is how the Guardian chose to headline its report:

This is how the Guardian, had it been a bit more frank, should have headlined its report:

And this is how the Guardian, had it been completely honest, should have headlined its report:

The Guardian’s (rarely seen) honest face

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The lost art of Celtic spelling

As seen on a recent visit to Herzliya:

celltick

Obviously, it’s not actually a misspelling of Celtic, but it did stop me in my tracks and make me look. Celltick is another example of Israeli technology and know-how in the international world of telecommunications.

[I am tempted to do a drive by posting at some Scottish BDS site, like Celts for Palestine...]

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Brian Eno and BDS (Updated)

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

In June of this year, at an anti-BDS meeting (“Ambassadors Against BDS”), Danny Danon was quoted as follows:

“BDS is modern anti-Semitism, and we must unite as one body in order to expose its true face and put an end to it.”

Fast forward to this week, and the public announcement of Brian Eno. He told the Batsheva Dance Company to stop using one of his pieces of music after he found out its Italy tour was sponsored by the Israeli embassy in Rome.

I know what my conclusion about Mr Eno is.

UPDATE

I just came across this up to date piece at the Jerusalem Post:

Eminent Hebrew University historian Prof. Yehuda Bauer slammed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement on Tuesday night, at a speaking event in London at London’s Jewish community center, the JW3.

The Jewish Chronicle quoted Bauer, 90, as saying the BDS Movement does not want “a better Israel, they want no Israel at all.” He made the remark during an interview conducted by Labour MP Tulip Siddiq.

“Now of course, they love Jews. Especially dead Jews. The ones who died in the Holocaust, they’re marvelous, they were terrific. Live Jews is something else,” he was quoted as saying.

Bauer unequivocally equated anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism, describing the former as an empty slogan. “They want to destroy the Jewish state; they want to destroy it because it’s a Jewish state. That means you are an anti-Semite.”

Read it all here.

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Social experiment surprise

Or not, as the case may be.

From AntiSemitismWatch:

How is this for a social experiment? Last week, some students at University of Chicago proposed a resolution to the College Council to divest from Chinese weapons manufacturers, in protest of China’s severe human rights abuses and its long-standing occupation of Tibet.

Members of the council were quick to condemn the resolution, and for good reason. The members noted it was political, and disrespectful to Chinese students. Other members noted that Chinese students should be given time to respond to the presenters with a counter-presentation. One representative even suggested that the College Council issue an apology to Chinese students for even considering the resolution. The resolution was tabled indefinitely.

Can you see what’s coming?

Curiously, when a few weeks earlier the same College Council passed a nearly identical resolution condemning Israel, no one suggested an apology. These same representatives argued why it was their moral imperative to condemn Israel. They were determined to push this through at all costs, and despite requests, they didn’t even offer the other side an opportunity to present.

The details are worth reading (see here) for they clearly illustrate the inbuilt bias being expressed towards Israel and Jews. Maybe it’s shocking. Maybe it’s expected. But for sure, it is at the core of BDS.

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We are listening

David Collier has an interesting post at the Tower about the BDS movement – What the Anti-Israel Boycotters are Saying When They Think We’re Not Listening – based on his experience of attending several of their events.

“…BDS is a movement that has reached its verdict beforehand. It does not ask if Israel is guilty. Instead, it seeks to determine the correct punishment for a “criminal” that is already condemned. So when you respond to a potential BDS supporter with facts, you are simply irrelevant to them. It is like bringing evidence to a sentencing hearing that should have been presented during the trial itself. You are simply too late.”

How are these lies created? Read the whole thing – it is highly recommended – and find out.

For my part, it hardens my belief that the overwhelming majority of the BDS movement is driven by antisemitism, pure and simple.

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Dershowitz defeats BDS at Oxford Union

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

As you may read at these websites – Jewish ChronicleJerusalem Post, Haaretz, Arutz Sheva – on Sunday, Professor Alan Dershowitz won a debate on BDS at the Oxford Union. The motion Is the BDS movement against Israel wrong? was carried by 137 votes to 101.

While the result has no practical impact at Oxford, or anywhere else, it was somewhat unexpected given the generally vicious anti-Israel climate in UK universities, and the UK generally. That Guardian advert promoting BDS by 343 UK scholars is only one recent example. (Did the Oxford Union react against that, I wonder? People do not like to be told how to think, in my experience.)

Funnily enough, despite plenty of previous mentions of the Oxford Union for past debates, you will struggle in vain to find any coverage of Dershowitz’s victory against BDS in the Guardian, or the BBC. Why?

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Bank on that memory loss

It’s generally accepted that to be a good liar, you need to have a good memory. You cannot rely on records of events, so you need to remember what you represented happened, or was said, or whatever.

Based on the episode of George Galloway, the charge of antisemitism, and the actions of the lawyers acting for him, it seems that practitioners of BDS need a good memory too.

First, a recap, from the Times of Israel:

“A phalanx of lawyers is coming forward on Twitter to offer free legal help after the controversial anti-Israel MP George Galloway threatened to sue upwards of a dozen people over allegations of anti-Semitism. In a letter sent by his lawyers, Galloway has demanded £6,000 ($9280) per person upfront for legal expenses, a threat which one lawyer described as “outrageous.”

Galloway’s lawyers, Chambers and Co, in Bradford, where he is MP for Bradford West, have written to people who used the social media site in the wake of his appearance on BBC’s Question Time last month. The program, which was filmed in Finchley in the heart of north-west London’s Jewish community, erupted when a member of the audience accused Galloway of bearing some responsibility for the rise in anti-Semitism in the UK. Galloway strenuously denied the accusation.

But the fallout from Question Time continued on Twitter with many people attacking Galloway. One was the Guardian journalist Hadley Freeman, who deleted her Tweet on February 10 when Galloway threatened to sue her. However, he is apparently proceeding with his lawsuit and she is now being advised by her newspaper’s lawyers.”

So, Galloway is taking action against those he perceives have called him an antisemite. (I wonder why that might be?) Chambers, his lawyers, rather heavy-handedly (to put it mildly) demanded £6,000 (or possibly £5,000) as expenses. The approach has been drawn to the attention of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and it’s going to be very interesting to see the defense put forward.

Meantime, Private Eye has a piece in its latest issue:

pe

Buy the magazine or get a subscription to read the whole thing! For example, there you will see this cracker of a postcript to the article:

“All should boycott the drug launderers HSBC,” Galloway tweeted furiously last summer, during a campaign against the bank for its closure of certain Muslim groups’ accounts and its financial involvement with Israel. The account into which Chambers wants tweeters to pay Galloway’s “costs” of £5,000 is, naturally… at HSBC!

  1. George says boycott HSBC.
  2. George’s lawyers say pay George damages – to HSBC!

Ha bloody ha!

While this episode is not exactly doing anything to enhance the reputation of George Galloway, it may be that the big losers will be his lawyers. It’s difficult to be sympathetic. I may need to rethink that last sentence. Let’s try again: it’s impossible to be sympathetic. Much better!

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Letter of the week

By way of follow up to my post Send in the clowns, here’s the wonderful letter appearing in today’s Guardian, from Ashkelon resident Stephen Malnick:

“As a citizen of Ashkelon who was nearly killed in the recent conflict with Gaza when part of a missile missed my car by a few metres, I have a message for those artists with a selective communal conscience. I do not want you to visit my city and insult 120,000 people who were under daily attack in violation of international law. There are no military targets in Ashkelon but lots of Jews.

After you make a stand against the extrajudicial killing of people in Gaza, and after you make a stand on the whipping of a blogger in Saudi Arabia, and you apologise to the citizens of Ashkelon, I will consider extending you hospitality.

I will continue my daily tasks, including treating Gazans who are brought to the medical centre I work in for advanced medical treatment. Odd, isn’t it, that they visit but you won’t? Even odder that I will welcome them and not you.

Well done that man!

Silly artists. And looking sillier by the day.

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Send in the clowns

February 12, 2015

Bassem Eid, in a blog posted at the Times of Israel (“We Palestinians hold the key to a better future”) says:

“Despite what we tell ourselves, Israel is here to stay. What’s more, it has a right to exist. It is the nation of the Jews but also a nation for Israeli Arabs who have better lives than Arabs anywhere in Arab countries. We must accept these facts and move on. The antisemitism promoted by Hamas, Fatah, and the BDS movement is not the answer for us Palestinians.”

 

February 13, 2015

In a letter posted at the Guardian, Peter Kosminsky and 99 other members of the British arts establishment, declare:

“Along with more than 600 other fellow artists, we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel. We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government.”

 

Declaration of BDS

In short, it’s a BDS declaration. Yes, the self same BDS that Bassam Eid, and others, have rightly pointed out, serves to promote antisemitism. (And many critics of BDS, rightfully in my view, go further than that. A discussion for another time and place.)

Meantime, we have a challenge. It’s a tough one. You have to think long and hard about it: who has a better – and, frankly, more honest – appraisal of the situation?

On the one hand, Bassem Eid. Per the TOI, he is described as the founder and former director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG). He is, openly, both an advocate for peace with Israel, and a critic of terrorism. His post includes this important context:

“I am a proud Palestinian who grew up in a refugee camp and raised a large family. I want peace and prosperity for my people. I want an end to the misery and the destruction.

After 66 years of mistakes and missed opportunities, it is time for us Palestinians to create the conditions for peace and to work for a better future. It is time that we stopped pretending that we can destroy Israel or drive the Jews into the sea. It is time that we stopped listening to Muslim radicals or Arab regimes that use us to continue a pointless, destructive, and immoral war with Israel.”

On the other hand we have several hundred British artists

I think the artists have proven, were it ever in doubt, that fame, fortune, and fashion (in varying qualities) often qualify you to be important, significant, knowledgeable, and righteous. But only in your own eyes.

BDS have sent in the clowns.

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