Round Up: More Interesting Takes On Hypocritical British Boycotts
They all have something interesting and poignant to say, and I strongly suggest going through them all. The only good thing about this and the blatant increase in Antisemitism and Antisemitic "incidents" occurring since about 2000 in Europe and Great Britain is putting things out in the open. Now, we really know how they feel. Fine, bring it out in the open. If the Brits want to go through with this boycott, they better put their money where their mouth is. LITERALLY. I want to be able to hear the noise all the way from Israel of computers being thrown out the window throughout British universities and professors' homes. I can gurantee that every single computer they use has an intel chip that was designed in Israel. I better hear the pitter-patter of medication falling to the floor, because I can guarantee that they use generic drugs created by Israeli pharmeceutical companies like Teva. I better hear the crashing of MRI, CAT, and PET scan machines, because they either have components that were created in Israel or were wholly invented here. I better not hear that any British academic came to the world renowned Biotech conference being held in Israel over the summer. Oh yeah, revolutions in Biotech has become Israel's new pet project. When the Brits come to visit the poor Palestinians, I better not hear that they checked into any Israeli hotels because they were frightened for their lives or wholly unsatisfied with the conditions in the hotels in Gaza or the West Bank. If these boycotts are simply in name only, then they will be revealed for the Antisemitic "intellectual elites" they really are. They are nothing but wolves in peace clothing, hoping to eliminate the Jews by other means.
OK, enough of my ranting, here are the articles from people who can write far better than your humble blogger:
OK, enough of my ranting, here are the articles from people who can write far better than your humble blogger:
An Open Letter to the People Known as Members of Britain's University and College Union
Eli E. Hertz | May 31, 2007
Writing this letter is a good way for me to discuss your horrible denial of facts and the disrespect that you bestow on your parents, grandparents and your British people's history.
Did you know that your government was the leading force among the fifty-one member countries - the entire League of Nations - that unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:
"Recognition Has Been Given to the Historical Connection of the Jewish People with Palestine and to the Grounds for Reconstructing their National Home in that Country."
Did you know that your country's hero Sir Winston Churchill had that to say about Jewish "Occupation" of Palestine:
"When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a centre in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride."
My friend - the British world of academia: It is not "The Occupation" Arabs reject; they reject the right of Israel to exist as a legitimate, secure, Jewish political entity and you choose to collaborate with this call to genocide.
Palestinian Arabs have underscored their rejectionism with wave after wave of terrorism at every juncture - that is, before the 1967 Six-Day War and even prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and this too is being ignored by you. READ THE REST...
If we talk academically, you would be most interested in how your people described Jewish academic's achievement in a visit to Jewish Palestine in 1937:
"The Daniel Sieff Research Institute [today part of the Weitzman Institute of Science] at Rehovot is equipped with the most delicate modern instruments; the experiments conducted there are watched by chemists all over the world: yet from its windows can be seen the hills inhabited by a backward peasantry [Palestinian Arabs] who regard it only as the demonstration of a power they hate and fear and who would like, no doubt, when their blood is up, to destroy it."
You should ask yourself: What kind of a society do you support? - A society that consciously and purposely sacrifices its own youth for political gain and tactical advantage. Today the overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs nurture a blind hatred of Israel. They created a cultural milieu of vengeance, violence and death - preparing their children to be sacrifices in a death cult - your silence is noticed.
I suggest you tell your Palestinian friends to invest in Biotech, not bombs. Build computer chips, not Kasam rockets. Teach medicine, not hate. Look to the future, not the past. Stop blaming Americans and Jews for all their problems, and take responsibility for their own actions.
My British academic: Do you fully comprehend what you are doing? If you are indeed aware that the path you have embarked on leads to hate and destruction, and if you have freely chosen to walk in that direction, then you and your Arab friends are truly beyond hope.
Before you continue to dishonor your own history, think it over.
Eli E. Hertz, New York.
(Reprinted from email)
Britain's obsessive boycotters
GERALD M. STEINBERG, THE JERUSALEM POST
May. 29, 2007
While Israelis are targeted by rockets from Gaza and officials from the "elected Palestinian government" threaten attacks by female suicide bombers, calls for anti-Israeli boycotts based on human rights claims would appear to be both immoral and absurd.
But the small group that controls Britain's trade unions has managed to combine both traits, and it is escalating its political warfare in parallel with Palestinian violence. A vote on yet another anti-Israel boycott proposal is scheduled to take place at the end of May, this time by the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU).
This is the third such academic boycott campaign in Britain in two years, coming after a divestment debate within the Anglican Church, a "boycott Israel" movement led by British activists in the World Medical Association, and the adoption of a similar program by the National Union of Journalists. Beyond the obvious violations of the academic process inherent in a political boycott, this effort is part of a carefully prepared strategy aimed at isolating the Jewish state.
The crucial difference, however, between the previous attempts and the current boycott battles, including the UCU effort, is the presence of a serious counterweight on the political battlefield to challenge the anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic slogans and myths.
Sober and morally-minded British academics on the Left, led by a group known as Engage, as well as the "Fair Play Campaign Group," are particularly active. And under the IAB (International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom), many Israeli academics have also become active in countering the pervasive propaganda and misinformation.
FOR THE radicals, including obsessive ideologues affiliated with the Socialist Workers Party, history, facts and details are irrelevant. While always invoking "the occupation," the decades of Arab warfare, terrorism, incitement and rejectionism are erased from the record. This is not the result of ignorance but of willful conviction, and nothing will change their anti-Israel, anti-US and anti-democracy agendas. They will continue to use terms such as "apartheid" and "racist" to demonize Israel.
As made clear in recent statements, it is Israel's existence that they reject, and not specific policies.
However, the main purpose of the confrontations between boycott opponents and advocates is not to convince the fanatics, but to address the much larger group that knows very little about Israel and the conflict. After many years of avoidance, in the false hope that the absurdity of these boycotts against Israel would become obvious, there is now a coherent strategy that has a chance of success.
Via vigorous debate, the goal is to encourage those who are not obsessed by Israel to break with the radicals. In trade union votes, these moderate voices will determine the outcome, and persuading many of the injustice inherent in the one-sided singling-out of Israel can defeat the boycott resolutions.
This is a formidable task. The impact of the radical fringe has been greatly magnified by powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Britain that have also been campaigning for years. Well-financed pressure groups such as War on Want, Christian Aid, World Vision, Pax Christi, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch take the lead in singling out and systematically condemning Israel. They repeat the same invented histories, claiming that Israel was "founded in sin," and use invented evidence to condemn Israeli responses to terrorism and aggression. Many journalists who share these prejudices repeat the claims at face value.
AS A result, those who know little about Israel or the Palestinians accept the agendas of the activists. Having heard so much about Israeli "disproportionate response" against attacks from Hizbullah and Hamas, and about the "apartheid wall" (as opposed to a security barrier that has prevented untold attacks by Palestinian suicide bombers), members of the union leadership who focus on other issues accept the attacks against Israel.
There is evidence that some members of this group are beginning to question the obsessive anti-Israel propaganda. In 2005, after the leaders of the Association of University Teachers voted to endorse the boycott, members forced a second vote, which resulted in a reversal. They realized that a partisan boycott was unjust and antithetical to the principles of academic freedom. (A similar re-vote in the case of a second union - NATFHE - was avoided when this group dissolved in a merger with the AUT to become the UCU).
In the Anglican Church, in which the politics resembles the trade union movement, a majority of the leaders overturned the attempt to become involved in a one-sided and counterproductive political attack. More recently, many members of the National Union of Journalists are demanding a revote after being embarrassed by the obvious pro-Palestinian bias formally adopted by their organization, which showed that British media coverage of the Middle East was systematically biased.
These changes, while relatively small, demonstrate that attempts to demonize and boycott Israel are not inevitable, and that the inherently immoral and absurd nature of such campaigns can be exposed.
The writer directs the Program on Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University, and heads 'NGO Monitor.'
(Reprinted from email)
SHAME ON THE LEFT AND ITS VICIOUS HATRED OF ISRAEL
Thursday May 31,2007
ANTI-RACISM is supposed to be one of the guiding principles of our society, preventing discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin or nationality.
Yet it is a bizarre paradox of modern Britain that there is now a climate of increasing hostility towards Jews, particularly in those Left-wing intellectual circles which otherwise make a fetish of their concern for racial sensitivities.
Dressed up as criticism of the state of Israel, anti-Semitism is becoming not just tolerated but even fashionable in some of our civic institutions, including the universities and parts of the media.
Thanks to the Left's neurotic hatred of Israel, we now have the extraordinary sight of self-styled liberal campaigners launching McCarthyite witch-hunts against anyone deemed to have Israeli connections, as in this week's debate at the University and College Union's annual conference at Bournemouth calling for a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions.
Respect for democracy, individual rights and freedom of speech are being crushed beneath the juggernaut of shrill indignation.
What is particularly disturbing is the way opposition to the Jewish state descends into vicious antagonism against Jews themselves, as shown by this sickening recent outburst from writer Pamela Hardyment, a member of the National Union of Journalists, which in April voted to boycott Israeli goods.
Explaining her support for the NUJ's stance, Ms Hardyment described Israel as a wonderful Nazi-like killing machine backed by the world's richest Jews.
Then, like some lunatic from the far-Right, she referred to the so-called Holocaust before concluding: Shame on all Jews, may your lives be cursed.
Such words could have come straight from Hitler or the most fervent supporter of Osama Bin Laden.
But Ms Hardyment is hardly unique.
This sort of seething resentment can be found throughout the Left, whether in demands that Israel be treated as a pariah state or in connivance at anti-Semitic propaganda. Typical of this approach was the opinion of Ulster poet and darling of the BBC Tom Paulin, who once argued that Jewish settlers in Israel should be shot dead. They are Nazis, racists. I feel nothing but hatred for them.
Yet Paulin would no doubt be outraged if some English extremist uttered the same sentiments about radical Muslims settling in Britain.
One of the most nauseating rhetorical devices used by hysterical campaigners such as Paulin and Hardyment is to draw an analogy between the Nazi regime and the modern government of Israel.
Such a link is not only historically absurd, since Israel is by far the most democratic and liberal country in the Middle East, but it is also offensive because it demonises the Jews and devalues the horror of the Holocaust.
The pretence that Israel's actions in its own defence against Islamic terrorists are somehow the equivalent of Nazi Germany's gas chambers is a lie worthy of Dr Goebbels himself. And the tragedy is that this continual assault on Israel has led to a rise in anti-Semitism in Britain, much of it fuelled by Islamic radicals.
In 2006 there were 594 anti-Semitic race-hate incidents in this country, a 31 per cent rise on 2005 and the highest total since records began in 1984.
I should perhaps stress that I do not come from a Jewish family. Like Tom Paulin, I hail from the Belfast middle-class. But I have been repelled by the anti-Semitism "disguised as support for the Palestinians" of parts of the British Left.
I first became aware of this nasty phenomenon when, in 1985, I attended the annual conference of the National Union of Students at Blackpool. There I was appalled to hear delegates calling for a ban on student Jewish societies, on the grounds that because such groups supported the state of Israel they were essentially fascistic in nature.
Yet, more than 20 years later, this sort of intolerance is no longer confined to the student debating floor. It now exists in large swathes of education, the press and the arts.
The boycott of Israel by academics was started by Professor Stephen Rose of the Open University, like Paulin another BBC favourite,who told his colleagues that you have no right to treat Israel as if it were a normal state.
The boycott is now so widespread that, in one grotesque incident, an Israeli PhD student had his application for Oxford initially rejected purely because he had served in his country's army.
The professor dealing with the case, Andrew Wilkie, said he had a huge problem with Israelis taking the moral high ground from their appalling treatment in the Holocaust and then inflicting gross human rights abuses on Palestinians.
Professor Wilkie would not have dreamt of turning down a Zimbabwean because of Mugabe's tyranny, or a Chinese applicant because of his own opposition to the occupation of Tibet.
This is what is so contemptible about the intellectuals' fixation with Israel.
They are guilty of the most bizarre double standards.
While they scream about the Jewish state, they remain silent about human rights abuses carried out by brutal regimes across the world.
And it is ironic that, on the day the lecturers debated a boycott of Israel, they also voted to refuse to co-operate with any attempt to crack down on radical Islam on campuses, claiming such a move would be an infringement of free speech.
Given some of the lecturers' enthusiasm for silencing Israeli opinion such a position is laughable in its hypocrisy.
United by anti-Semitism, the bigots of the academic Left and Muslim fundamentalism are destroying freedom of thought in this country.