None of the actions mentioned in this post will be much of a surprise to those of you who follow the antics of the BDS anti-Israel brigade, but I thought it worth listing some of the most recent events so that one should not imagine that this new kind of anti-Semitism, (and yes, anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism) has dissipated into the ether.
One of the most egregious acts occurred just last week and was widely under-reported (if that is not a contradiction in terms). It only came to light when the main protagonist, Yaniv D’Or, an Israeli opera singer, posted what happened on his Facebook page. The Algemeiner picks up his story and quotes from Facebook:
“During a performance in Johannesburg a group or (sic) protestors stormed the Lyric Theatre and shouted some strong pro palestinians slogans as I was singing the wonderful melody of Eli Eli which is written by Hannah Senesh at the time of the holocaust.
“They hated me for the wrong reasons. I am a proud Israeli and British citizen and very much supporting freedom for Palestine…
“I continued singing as if nothing happened in hope it was a one off incident. I was so wrong. After the break without any particular reason another protestor (female) stormed the stage as I was singing and started shouting again pro palestinian slogans, this time also exploding stinky bombs on stage.”
D’Or proceeded to lead the woman off stage, where security personnel took over.
The hatred of these protestors is beyond belief. Do they think they are going to win over any sympathisers with their ridiculous antics? In fact they aren’t interested in winning over hearts and minds. Their only intention is to wreck and destroy anything to do with Israel and anything that might show Israel in a positive light.
An absolutely disgusting example of utter anti-Israel and antisemitic actions, although not strictly in the BDS category, can be seen in France (h/t Reality) where a Paris suburb plans to honour the Palestinian terrorist who killed Israeli MK Rechavam Zeevi:
JTA – A French town is scheduled to host a ceremony on Wednesday honoring several Palestinian terrorists.
Among the terrorists are Allam Kaabi and Salah Hamouri, who are are scheduled to appear at the Bourse de Travail building, which belongs to the municipality of St. Denis, a suburb of the French capital.
Kaabi, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), planned and carried out the 2001 assassination of Israel’s tourism minister, Rehavam Ze’evi. Hamouri, also of the PFLP, was arrested for plotting to assassinate Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Hamouri was one of the 1,027 prisoners exchanged in 2011 for Gilad Shalit, a citizen of France and Israel. He is scheduled to appear at the Sait-Denis event.
The event is organized by the “national collective for just and viable peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” a group known by its French acronym CNPJDPI. Also present will be a representative of Amnesty International, Martine Brizemur, according to a statement by the organization. The men scheduled to speak are described as “recently released prisoners” in the statement.
It is no surprise that Amnesty International feels able to attend such a scandalous event. Amnesty’s notoriety with regards to its biased attitude towards Israel is well known and amply documented. But shame on Paris that it is permitting such a revolting “honour” to be given its name. So much for “Liberté, égalité et fraternité”.
Lest one think the USA is immune to Israel-hatred of this sort, a particularly nasty BDS event took place at Brooklyn College in New York.
First, college president Karen Gould distinguished herself for what amounted to an anti-anti-BDS position, like that of the anti-anti-communists of the late Cold War era–those who didn’t necessarily support communism, but who considered anti-communists to be the far greater threat to world peace and American national interests. In her two statements on the affair, she strongly (almost glowingly) defended the Political Science Department whose formal vote triggered the crisis. Unlike Mayor Mike Bloomberg and CUNY chancellor Matthew Goldstein, she couldn’t bring herself to condemn BDS. In her first statement on the event, she implied, without saying so outright, that BDS could be considered as among the “issues of importance to our world.”
Second, the Political Science Department distinguished itself for its hypocrisy–wrapping itself in claims of “academic freedom” while refusing to explain to students or to the public whose tax dollars help fund its members’ salaries and why it voted to formally affiliate itself with the event. [...] And the sole department member to publicly offer a rationale for the departmental vote offered criteria (speakers who “are heterodox and that challenge the dominant assumptions of society”) that would seem to justify departmental sponsorship of a David Duke campus appearance.
Finally, the event provided a reminder–if one were needed–that few segments of American society are more hostile to Israel than a typical college campus.
Four Jewish students protesting the Brooklyn BDS meeting were kicked out. However the college is now investigating the entire incident itself and found itself culpable for the fiasco. At least that is a start, although there is no guarantee there won’t be such events in the future:
The major finding of the report: “It is clear that there was no justification for the removal of the four students.” An initial college statement that “official reports” indicated that the students had engaged in disruptive behavior was not accurate. And while there’s no reason to believe that the students were removed because they’re Jewish, “a more plausible inference can be drawn that the removal of the four students was motivated by their political viewpoint.”
To conclude today’s sorry tale of woe we cross over to Ireland (via Engage) where the Teachers’ Union of Ireland has voted to boycott all academic collaboration with Israel:
A motion, calling for all members of the union to end work with Israeli counterparts, was passed unanimously at the TUI annual conference in Galway on Thursday.
The union called on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to increase its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against “the apartheid state of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank”.
The motion doesn’t bother to maintain the fiction of the “institutional boycott”. This is a boycott of scholars and students on the basis of their nationality. This is a boycott of a significant proportion of the world’s Jewish academics and students for reasons which are nothing to do with anything that those academics have said or done. Nobody but Israelis are to be boycotted.
Rob Harris at Eirael expands on the hypocrisy of the TUI boycott:
Whether or not one thinks Israel is violating the rights of Arab-Palestinians, the singling out of this small nation above all others must surely seem an oddity to all but those who obsessively hate Israel.
Numerous Irish academic institutions have strong links with regimes that possess dubious human rights records. Moreover, one would think this issue would be a source of even mild concern to those supposedly interested in human rights because these links have grown ever stronger, such as with Russia, and particularly China, the developments of which have been well publicised. Consequently, the obsession over a few rather tenuous academic links with Israel is outlandish, to say the least.
As musician and academic Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh noted, perhaps with a hint of sarcasm in a letter to the Irish TimesThere seems to have been no discussion of the extensive academic ties that Trinity College, Dublin Institute of Technology and University College, Dublin all have with Russia and China, despite the former country’s illegal occupation of parts of the sovereign state of Georgia… This is all the more surprising given that it was the Dublin Colleges Branch of the TUI that sponsored the anti-Israel motion.
Neither were any corresponding demands placed by members of the TUI onto the opposing Arab-Palestinian side. It should be recalled that the Arab-Palestinian education system & academia has been used to incite extreme hatred and violence throughout the Palestinian populace for decades, thereby dealing a death-blow to any chance of a peace process, thanks to a permanently radicalised populace. It would seem that even an education system using children in endeavours to exterminate another state, going as far as to institute militaristic camps is not worthy of censure!
The BDS movement seeks to isolate Israel economically, academically and culturally, in a quest to bring a remarkable nation to its knees. Whether or not such an action is deemed offensive from a moral perspective, simply from a position of self-interest, boycotting Israel’s education and academia is likely to make Ireland the worse off if it takes hold and spreads to other Irish academic unions in the long run.