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.”
For some of this, HT Bob.
- Ian Anderson to boycotters: don’t fucking tell me what to do
- Editors: putting the independent back into indie
- What will Johnny Rotten do in Israel?
- Vanessa Redgrave on the importance of standing with the Israeli peace bloc
- 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).
- 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.
- 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!
- Blood money? Rubbish. (Do you ever wonder who funds the anti-Israel lobby?)
- 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.