Perhaps I should have turned my headline round to read that antisemites are stupid in the first place, but I feel it works whichever way you look at it.
Two prime examples occurred in England this past week. In the prestigious Kings College of London University, not a place which one would have considered to be a hotbed of anti-Israel activity, a speech by Ami Ayalon, formerly head of Israel’s Shin Bet and currently a leftist peace activist, was violently interrupted by a gang of pro-Palestinian (read: anti-Israel and anti-Jewish) activists (read: thugs) who screamed, ranted, raved and threw objects including chairs into the hall until the police were summoned and brought matters under control.
The British blogger and pro-Israel activist Richard Millett documented the entire event and it is a shocking and scary thing to behold.
I was patiently queuing for Ami Ayalon’s joint KCL and LSE Israel Societys’ talk outside the Norfolk Building of King’s College, London tonight. I had arrived early and was near the front of the queue but soon the doors were closed as the room held only 50.
50 to 60 people were left shut outside on the street, among them 15 fuming anti-Israel activists who had planned to get in and disrupt the talk.
These activists from SOAS, KLC and LSE Palestine Societies had already handed out leaflets attacking Ami Ayalon and Israel. But with their being shut outside chaos ensued with the police being called.
The activists’ leaflets, after falsely incriminating Ayalon and Shin Bet in war crimes, accused Ayalon of being “overtly racist” for supporting a two state solution because this implies “Israeli Jews must always be a majority…due to a fear of losing the ethnic and colonial supremacy Israel has enjoyed since 1948”.
As soon as the doors shut the frustrated anti-Israel activists pounded the doors and the windows looking into the talk. They screamed “Free Free Palestine”, “Viva Viva Palestina” and “From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free” and smashed a window.
They then climbed the windows to unfurl a banner. A fire alarm was set off and eventually police vans and police cars pulled up and 20 police constables protected the building.
Ayalon’s talk lasted an hour. Ironically, Ayalon was talking in front of a white board describing the rules for “safe spaces” at universities. But there is no “safe space” for an Israeli-Jew at British universities.
You can see the horrifying video below:
What makes this particular demonstration more interesting than your common-or-garden anti-Israel riot, and goes to prove my thesis that anti-Israel bigots are stupid, is that the activists were protesting against someone who ostensibly would be, if not on their side, then certainly sympathetic to their complaints and willing to listen to their grievances.
Edgar Davidson describes the irony of Ami Ayalon being the target of such a demonstration and explains how crawling to the Israel-haters does not save a person from being targeted – if that person is Israeli:
As I reported earlier Yachad is the anti-Zionist group (fraudulently claiming to be ‘pro-Israel’) that partners with B’Tselem who are so anti-Zionist that they hand over Arabs who sell land to Jews to be tortured and murdered by the Palestine Authority.
But, no matter how low Yachad stoops to kiss the boots of Israel haters it will never be low enough, and this was proved by what happened yesterday at Kings College London. It is Yachad who brought the leftist former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon to the UK for a lecture tour. Ayalon has been a vocal critic of the Israeli Government, demanding that Israel make major unilateral concessions to the Palestinians. His claim that Israel is ‘heading toward being an apartheid state’ is contributing to the international delegitimization campaign and much of what Ayalon has said has been used by Israeli haters in their propaganda. This includes his disgraceful contribution to the film the Gatekeepers which many believe was an act of treason against Israel. But while Yachad brought him to the UK to speak about Israel’s faults, Ayalon is still an Israeli who believes in a (much reduced) Jewish State. And in the eyes of our enemies that makes Ayalon a ‘war criminal’ who, like every other “Zionist”, must be silenced.
So Yachad – whose members are normally among those protesting when Israelis speak in the UK – found themselves on the receiving end of the Israel haters’ venom.
Davidson notes that the violence was so outrageous that the item was picked up even by the UK’s mainstream media – not known for their pro-Israel line. Of course the Guardian, as expected, did not see fit to mention this disgusting protest.
In addition to reports at the Jewish Chronicle, The Algemeiner, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, and Haaretz, the story was covered by most major UK media outlets, including LBC, Evening Standard, Huffington Post UK, Times of London, The Independent, The Telegraph, Daily Mail,Scottish Daily Mail, and even the BBC.
The BBC’s item is interesting for its fairly neutral video report of the riot. The Independent posted several tweets on the violent protest:
The University itself issued a statement, which, it is gratifying to note, takes the issue of Jewish students’ safety seriously:
Universities create environments in which debate from all sides on issues of political, scientific, moral, ethical and religious significance is possible, and King’s is no exception. The safety of our students, staff and the general public is paramount to us and we are committed to acting as a responsible organisation.
Professor Ed Byrne, President & Principal, has appointed Ian Creagh, Head of Administration and College Secretary, to conduct an urgent investigation of the events around last night’s talk to establish what happened and what action might need to be taken as a consequence. Professor Byrne will also be writing to students to remind them that violent protest is totally unacceptable and that we expect them to be tolerant and respectful of others’ views and opinions.
We are proud of our diverse community and are absolutely committed to respect for all of our staff and students and to peaceful and respectful dialogue where people have conflicting views. We do not, and will not, condone the use of any form of violent protest.’
Let’s see if they carry through on their promises.
On the same day as the anti-Israel riot in Kings College, a more sinister anti-Israel initative was promoted in the UK by a group of 71 doctors signing a letter demanding that Israel be expelled from the World Medical Association:
A group of 71 British physicians have begun to exert pressure on the World Medical Association (WMA) to revoke the membership of the Israel Medical Association (IMA), it was revealed in a Knesset meeting on Wednesday.
IMA representative Dr. Ze’ev Feldman announced the disturbing new step during a Knesset Science and Technology Committee meeting on the subject of boycotts against Israeli academic institutions.
“The sword of the boycott has been raised against the scientific medical community in Israel,” he declared, warning that Israel’s medical doctors are “in grave danger.”
“The professional British journals have adopted the idea of letters to the editor that libel Israel doctors,” he added. “They claim our doctors perform medical torture on Palestinian patients.”
Committee chairman MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) blasted the efforts of the anti-Israel British doctors, noting that “the phenomenon of academic boycotts is spreading and is connected to the economic and consumer boycotts against Israel.
Likud MK Anat Berko noted that the Israel boycott movement doesn’t discriminate against different political opinions, saying that “even when left-wing lecturers speak abroad, their lectures get blown up. It’s because they’re Jewish, no matter their political belief.”
“It is ironic that the WMA ethical programme was born in the wake of World War II, when Nazi doctors committed inhuman experiments on children, exterminated the handicapped and murdered six million Jews and others.”
“The prejudices of seventy one British doctors bent on Israel’s expulsion have turned them into ethics abortionists.”
I’m sure these 71 saintly medics took into account all the amazing medical devices and inventions that Israel has produced over the last decades and will not take advantage of their life-saving or life-enhancing qualities.
Another occurrence of supreme anti-Israel stupidity happened in America last week where a national conference of gay activists cancelled an event with an Israeli gay association:
A Wider Bridge, which works to build connections with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals and groups in Israel, says that the National LGBTQ Task Force canceled the reception with leaders of Jerusalem’s Open House, scheduled to be held at the Creating Change conference in Chicago, which takes place from Wednesday to Friday.
The organization announced over the weekend that it would move the reception, scheduled for Friday, to a new location outside the conference venue.
A Wider Bridge, in an email blast and a statement on its website, called for the event to be included on the conference’s program, and for an apology from the National LGBTQ Task Force for the cancellation.
“We are saddened by what appears to be capitulation to the intimidation of a small number of anti-Israel extremists who want to shut down the voices of those who don’t adhere to their rigid and exclusive party line. As LGBTQ people, we are all too familiar with being oppressed through shaming, the closet, and imposed silence, and we see great danger in allowing this kind of censorship and blatant double standard to become the norm in our community,” said Arthur Slepian, executive director of A Wider Bridge, in the statement.
Of course nowhere in the original announcement of the cancellation is it mentioned that only in Israel – in the entire Middle East – can gays of all preferences feel safe and have their rights ensured by law. The wilful blindness of the anti-Israel queer activists makes no sense logically besides being of course utterly bigoted on the moral plane.
A very interesting article by James Kirchik in Tablet Magazine talks about this incident and expands on the idiocy of the LGBT anti-Israel activists, and explains that the linking of all the radical-chic progressive causes with anti-Israel activity is called “intersectionality”. The author then describes How Intersectionality Makes You Stupid: (emphases are mine):
This is an edifying moment for gays, Jews, and the broader left. Were they to let this act of blatant discrimination stand, the leaders of the Task Force would have betrayed all these communities by succumbing to the heckler’s veto. In the loftier precincts of progressive journalism, higher education, and the non-profit world, those hecklers tend to be proponents of “intersectionality,” a voguish theory purporting that power is inextricably linked to aspects of identity like race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation, and that an individual’s “marginalization” is thus determined by their accumulation of various traits. Across the country, pseudo-intellectual totalitarians posing as outcasts regularly intimidate earnest but spineless liberals into capitulation. From the Oscar red carpet to Yale University quads, whoever shouts the loudest and claims victimization on account of more facets of their identity can expect to get what they demand, regardless of the quality or even logic of what they have to say.
[…] Because of intersectionality’s insistence that identity politics trumps all, reflexive condemnation replaces reasoned discussion, and those claiming to represent a higher good smother the rights of individuals. Likewise, intersectionality compels one to adopt agendas that have nothing to do with his or her own. Worse, in the name of “solidarity” with other supposedly “oppressed” groups, it leads to alliances with those actively hostile to one’s cause. This is how a gay rights organization led by well-meaning progressives can be duped into disinviting private citizens of the one country in the Middle East respecting the humanity of gays, all at the behest of people who use cultural relativism to excuse Muslim societies that throw homosexuals from the tops of buildings. Denouncing A Wider Bridge as an “Israel advocacy organization,” Spade accused it of promoting a “regime producing colonization and genocide,” a morally scandalous statement not just for its tacit comparison of Jews to Nazis, but also its deliberate elision of the very real genocides taking place in nearby Islamic lands. In a world of people who want to murder them for being Jewish, denying the rights of Jews—and Jews alone—to live their own national life is a moral evil no different than targeting LGBT people or anyone else for being who they are—and that would be true even if Israel wasn’t the sole bastion of LGBT rights in the Middle East.
Read the rest of Kirchik’s article for his recommendations on how to combat this “intersectionality” and how the Jews can and should stand up for their rights without letting themselves be intimidated. But the above paragraphs on their own are sufficient to explain the phenomenon.
The concept certainly explains the stupidity of the anti-Israel and anti-Jews “activists” (read: haters and bigots) but it does not excuse them.