Cynthia and Jello

Green irrelevance Cynthia McKinney has been cuddling the Libyan regime recently, managed to shoehorn a little anti-Israel morsel into a bizarre ramble which neglected to challenge Ghaddafi administration on, well, anything at all.

It is of course in the punk DNA to resist mindless pressure from self-interested lobby groups. US Green Jello Biafra did a bit of research and decided (sorry for linking to a weird anti-Zionist Jewish nationalist site) to play a gig in Israel in defiance of the anti-Israel cultural mafia, which has ratcheted up the acrimony to a degree which has bowed others like reeds in the wind. Consequently he is currently being denounced by a well-resourced network of anti-Israel activists.

In the face of all this Jello Biafra arrived at the possibility that boycotting Israelis doesn’t after all have any bearing whatsoever on Hamas’ maximalism, Islamic Jihad’s terror campaign, or the reach of Iranian weaponry, and can only fuel the Israeli defencist right, its narrative of embattlement, and that ‘goddamn wall’.

If it’s true that the boycott is gaining ground among the Israeli left (and I am not sure that it is – we get a few handfuls of ostentatious Israeli boycotters writing in English because they’ve lost/abandoned their constituency in Israel and feel they owe themselves a bit of recognition without being nearly fussy enough about where it’s from) that is probably because the left is shrinking and allowing itself to be dragged to one pole. So Jello is right to resist the hectoring, right to play Israel, right to scrutinise on behalf of Israeli society’s most disadvantaged (uh, not segregated). He seems like somebody who’ll know what to do to avoid being ‘claimed’ by any Israeli official who supports discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, and other than that you get the impression he’ll use his judgement. If the anti-Israel lobby doesn’t nobble him first.

To end let’s hear from three people who probably know better than most boycotters:

Falastin, objectified, essentialised and generally let down by a British left which typically doesn’t have a clue about Palestinians, and doesn’t care to:

“There were demonstrations every day outside the Israeli embassy and we would all go together.

I would be wishing it never happened, and that we wouldn’t need to protest because the Palestinians shouldn’t be having missiles thrown at their schools and Mosques. But my lefty friends were busy making Lowey’s tune the soundtrack to the suffering of the Palestinians. For them, the deaths of innocent women, men and children was just a memory that they could romanticise just like they did everything else.”

Ofri Ilani on an Israel far left shredding itself:

“I will allow myself to say that if the Left was a little less exclusive and spent less time on all kinds of self-purification, it could have been considerably larger. Many, many people identify with the need for peace and social justice, but simply can’t be bothered to deal with all that fear of denunciation crap, and rightly so.”

Alex Stein on more confused thinking.

For some of this, HT Bob.


Not forgetting:

Further addendum:

As predicted here come the heavies of the anti-Israel lobby with their petitions and pious bias. I’m sorry to say, in line with the attacks, my response has reached new depths of repetitiveness.

  1. What happened in 1948 wasn’t ethnic cleansing. The evidence is there in any well-regarded history book (try Morris’ 1948) and in the current population of Palestinian citizens in Israel (roughly one quarter).
  2. Israel under the current government has lost some of the ground it gained towards equality. But it has never been an apartheid state, and if Palestinian leaders stop hedging and accepted a two state solution rather than cagily holding out for the whole of the land (“From the river to the sea…”) that would help Israel tackle its religious maximalist minority in the settlements.
  3. Unlike apartheid South Africa, there is virtually no support in Israel for the boycott. You don’t boycott an entire country because of pressure from an international lobby which demonstrates zero interest in understanding the situation!
  4. Blood money? Rubbish. (Do you ever wonder who funds the anti-Israel lobby?)
  5. Over the course of the boycott campaign, the situation has only worsened. And before boycotters leap to blame Israel, there are other parties in this conflict. If you want to make Israeli voters feel even more defensive, then go ahead and boycott and shout your foolishness from the rooftops. I doubt Jello Biafra will cave in and join you though.

22 thoughts on “Cynthia and Jello

      1. Mira Vogel Post author

        Here’s what I get from the NJR site:

        1. Zionism isn’t a Jewish movement. In fact Zionism is a major Jewish movement, since that unfortunate episode not all that long ago – you may recall – when anti-Zionists didn’t prevent a few million Jews getting killed in Europe.

        2. Blame Zionism for antisemitism. This is basically advice to go soft on racism and bigotry. It’s the same as recommending that we blame Islamists for hatred of Muslims. (Or rich Jews for the aforementioned European episode.) The fact is, antisemitism existed before Israel, now it’s really at home within contemporary anti-Zionism. Not distinguishing between antisemites and the Israeli government may be convenient for an anti-Zionist, but it’s counterproductive. And a betrayal of anti-racist principles.

        3. Action against antisemitism hamstrung and eclipsed by anti-Zionism. Antisemitism tends to make Jews and everybody else feel more sympathetic to Zionism as a bog standard state nationalist movement for self-determination. Anti-Zionists can’t stand that! So I bet the only antisemitism NJR will talk about is the stuff from the political right which allows the left to posture as heroes. Sure enough, one lonely entry on European antisemitism (neo Nazis) and nothing on US antisemitism since February.

        4. The strange biologically deterministic vision of ethnic pan-semitic unity? Besides being way too genetic for comfort there’s no mention of Islamism or pan-Arab nationalism. Just the Zionists getting a ticking off. No Arabic language. Totally, exceptionally, singularly aimed at Jews. If this improbable merger comes to pass, it will be despite NJR.

        1. Bill Weinberg

          Your jaundiced interpretation. We never said anything like what you post above. I urge readers to check out the website for themselves. The Semites are a linguistic not “biological” group.

  1. This machine kills fascists

    Jello Biafra. Top guy.

    His band Dead Kennedy’s weren’t half bad either. Be yourself. Think for yourself.

    refreshing to read this

  2. Pingback: Blogs in June 2011. « ModernityBlog

  3. modernityblog

    That site is weird, advocating a boycott of Israel. Going about Pan-Semitic, which is intellectual nonsense. On European antisemitism it has three, yeah, just 3 articles and they are of a poor quality. Bits on the “Lobby” etc. Very disjointed.

  4. antigermantranslation

    I think New Jewish Resistance is completely wrong to see Jello’s visit to Israel (without endorsing its government) as “equally problematic” as McKinney’s endorsement of Libya’s brutal totalitarian regime. While I have some sympathy with critics of Israel, to compare a gig in Tel Aviv to advocacy for Gaddafi is silly and trivialises the Libyan struggle for freedom.


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