Boycotting Israel, Banning Women And The Crazed Right Wing

There is an up-and-coming election in Israel, and my bet is that many Western “anti-Zionists” would pick Benjamin Netanyahu, if they had a vote.

They must positively love Israel’s politically clumsy and callous Prime Minister.

Ever opportunistic those actively behind the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) see a marvellous opportunity, after the recent bloodshed in Gaza and the proposed building of settlements in the E1 area of Jerusalem.

Pro-boycotters are planning to make another move to foment more hostility towards Israelis.

It has to be said, the evidence suggests that pro-boycotters are not terribly concerned with human rights in the wider Middle East, as can be seen by Western attitudes to 20+ months of slaughter in Syria.

The conflict in Syria has resulted in some 40,000 dead Syrians, millions displaced and hundreds of thousands injured, yet not one Western organisation has ever demonstrated outside any Syrian embassy. Not one. Let alone proposed a boycott of Assad’s murderous government.

A similar complacency has been shown towards the imprisonment and torture of human rights activists in Bahrain. Not a single demonstration by Westerners or a proposed boycott of the awful Bahraini regime. And so on.

Across the Middle East in the last few years there have been numerous, hundreds of instances of human rights abuses by the various monarchies, potentates and dictatorships but you would not find an instance of a proposed boycott against them. Not a single demonstration by Westerners outside their embassies.

However, that is not true when Israelis pop into the picture.

Once that happens Westerners become extremely indignant, passionate and will organise demonstrations outside Israeli embassies at the drop of a hat. There is a sense that Western activists are concerned with the Middle East, but only a small part of it.

Still, we should not object to Westerners when they point out human rights abuses, even if it is obviously rather selective and particular. Highlighting abuses of human rights is good, even if certain obsessive Westerners mostly tend to focus on one country in the region.

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Elsewhere, the Church of England has a serious problem with women, or at least putting them in positions of power. Therefore, we should not be too surprised when these poor misogynist attitudes are reflected in the activities of their co-religionists.

As Huff Post reports:

“A university’s Christian society has banned women from speaking at events and teaching at meetings, unless they are accompanied by their husband, it has been revealed.

The Bristol University Christian Union (BUCU) had originally decided women would be allowed to teach at meetings after their international secretary resigned in protest, the group changed its policy. “

- – -

Right Wing Watch has a good page on the crazy antics over at WorldNetDaily:

“5. Obama is a Gay, Secret Muslim, Foreign-Born Imposter

The group’s most well-known “reporter,” Jerome Corsi, believes that President Obama wears a Muslim ring (confusing loops with Arabic), was married to his male Muslim roommate, orchestrated the murder of his gay ex-lovers, was born somewhere outside the United States and his father may be Frank Marshall Davis.

6. Gays Behind the Holocaust and Preparing to Lead the Next One

WND columnist Scott Lively, who is best known for his work in shaping Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, is the author of the book, The Pink Swastika, about how gays were behind Nazism and the Holocaust in order to have “vengeance against the people whose moral laws had relegated pagan homo-occultism to obscurity and ignominy.” WND Super Store sells his bizarre book and WND editor Joseph Farah eagerly endorsed Lively’s claim while warning that the gay rights movement may bring Nazism to America. Another WND columnist, Erik Rush, even maintained that gays are planning a Holocaust against Christians, and WND commentator Judith Reisman argued that gay-straight alliances are modeled after the Hitler Youth. WND’s Molotov Mitchell has also praised Uganda for making homosexuality a capital offense because the founders would’ve agreed.

7. Obama is Orchestrating the Next Holocaust

If gay people don’t do it first, then President Obama must be the one behind the next holocaust. Farah claimed that he discovered proof that Obama wants a new Holocaust in a speech he delivered at Buchenwald where he used the line, “We are here today because we know this work is not yet finished.” Farah admitted that he is taking the line, which was about the need to combat Holocaust denialism, out of context. But since Obama has a tendency of “speaking in code” to Muslim audiences, Farah explained, then he must be sending a secret message to Muslims to kill Jews: “So, I ask you, am I really taking Obama’s words at Buchenwald out of context? Or am I the only one seeing them in context?

8. Secession Now

WND is extremely sympathetic to the secessionist movement, they only differ on the reasons. Farah believes that America may be forced to “literally…break-up” the nation if states continue to legalize same-sex marriage and WND columnist Vox Day called for a white supremacist secession movement to repel the “African, Asian and Aztec cultures” and “immigrants from various non-European nations.” Mitchell even released a video criticizing Abraham Lincoln for his stance against secession. “

There is a peculiar commonality between these attitudes, one that thinks engendering hostility towards Israelis is going to help peace in the Middle East? How treating women as second-class citizens is the way to run an organisation in a modern society? Or that bigoted stupidity aimed at President Obama is convincing?

In all these instances there is a detachment from reality, a falling back on hostile, essentially reactionary attitudes and we should think on, how terribly misplaced they are in the 21st century.

Not that I expect any these points to reach home or resonate with their proponents.

From experience, I have found that those who have, er, issues with Israelis, women or President Obama are generally not amenable to reason or intelligent discussion, on these topics. Pity though.

6 comments

  1. Not sure why you apologised for western racists rather than draw the obvious inference that those who work themselves into a frenzy to condemn human rights abuses only when Jews are the alleged perpetrator are anti-Semites. In any case most of the accusations levelled at Israel by these same individuals are egregiously false.

    What we have is a situation where self-titled defenders of human rights ignore real human rights abuses but start frothing at the mouth on the basis of easily refuted. falsehoods because Jews are supposedly responsible. This is bigotry and prejudice at its worst and you have nothing to say…

  2. Stephen, several points:

    1. We are reading the same post? I have, not nor would I, apologise for western racists. I assume that your glasses are faulty? Because you had them on you’d notice I was using sarcasm and understatement. might I suggest that you read it again with emphasis on the concluding paragraph.

    2. I will apologise for the fact that I don’t call those individuals antisemites for the simple reason I don’t believe they are.

    3. I doubt we will get into a long discussion on this, but so there’s no ambiguity I view an antisemite as someone who is *actively* racist towards Jews. Someone who consciously wakes up and has animus towards Jews on his/her mind. Someone who dwells on these topics and seeks to ferment racism towards Jews. That’s my shorter definition, were a wider one please see the EUMC document.

    4. Concurrently I think there are a lot of negative perceptions, racist attitudes and stupidity towards Israelis and Jews and that was the purpose of this post, to highlight them, because once you start shouting “antisemite” you completely closed down any discussion, any thought and I want people to **think** why there is a dual standard when it comes to Israelis. I believe the one way to combat racism is to get people to think about it.

    5. I want people to try to understand where these notions come from (and no, it’s not because everyone in Britain is an antisemite, that’s a far too crude, devoid of analysis approach). There’s something a bit deeper than that and by reflecting on why certain nationalities, ethnicities or nations provoke indignation, but mass murder some 133 miles away from them doesn’t is worthwhile thinking about and getting people to ponder that particular point.

    Again, please reread the post I make no apologies, and certainly not for racism. I have pointed out an anomaly and I want people to think why that occurs in the West, what prevailing attitudes bring that about, how and where is it manifest, etc

  3. “Still, we should not object to Westerners when they point out human rights abuses, even if it is obviously rather selective and particular. Highlighting abuses of human rights is good, even if certain obsessive Westerners mostly tend to focus on one country in the region.”

    1) Its far from clear that this paragraph is sarcastic, which was the basis of my comment. Apologies for suggesting you were apologising for racists its just that others make this point in all seriousness. People bend over backwards to apologise for or mitigate anti-Semitism. Without a clarification it didn’t seem so unusual….

    2) I think when you analyse what most people who describe themselves as pro-Palestinian have to say there is a clear prejudice against Jews in their statements and/or analysis in respect of the conflict. One example that I read yesterday “Israel is in breach of more UN resolutions than any other country” it sounds nice but is factually incorrect (the key word here is breach). Its an old tactic to alter the meanings of words in order to bash Jews. I think this leads to point three…

    3) I think your definition of anti-Semitism is somewhat wide of the mark. I think the biggest problem with racism is that it is done unconsciously- its far from clear that a conscious malignant intent has anything to do with the problem. Whilst it might not be a good thing to call someone a racist to their face when trying to get them to think, its not out of place to call a spade an earth moving tool when you’re writing a general article.

    4) I’m not sure why you think its appropriate to fail to label anti-Semitism. One of the biggest misnomers is that anti-Semites want to kill all Jews (some do of course) but like the majority of racisms, anti-Semitism in its most common form is a mild, irrational hostility.

    5) The situation is so bad in respect of the bias against Israel that even when we defend ourselves against clear aggression from a group that wishes to kill every Jew on the planet, the mainstream media still do their best to emphasise Palestinian suffering with the clear inference that Israel is wrong. Jews do not have “permission” to defend themselves from lethal threats- that’s a big problem

  4. Stephen,

    Only a few comments now as time is pressing and I am writing something else, hopefully we can expand on this as it is a good topic?

    1. I try to read people’s comments in good faith, and all I ask of intelligent readers is that they do the same.

    So logically it seems ridiculous that I would highlight antisemitism and racism in his blog and then be told I’m apologising for it? Far better to read my post as they if are written in bemusement or sarcasm, than literalism

    3. I am sure you would. But it’s **my** definition, and how I see things, which I am perfectly prepared to defend in a logical, rational fashion.

    And here is the problem, if you define everyone or nearly everything is antisemite then the word and meaning loses its significance. How we define things is critical to understanding, and I choose to use that word rather carefully.

    I have no problem pointing out the real McCoy, but I believe we need to differentiate between those genuine Jew haters, the stupid, the overall sentiment in society and that within supposedly “pro Palestinian” circles in the West.

    I am sure you agree that if we don’t differentiate between things we can’t understand them?

    Plus, I think we should be trying to explain the nature of this racism, getting people to understand how it seeps, unconsciously, into a worldview of the Middle East and for them to avoid it.

  5. Okay my problems with your definition is as follows;

    1) No-one (except you) is saying that everything should be classed as anti-Semitic, only that actions, language etc, which discriminate against Jews ought to be challenged. A good example woud be the recent Steve Bell cartoon which apparently unintentionally played on anti-Jewish stereotypes. Allowing someone to claim “I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m anti-Zionist” when what they are saying/doing has nothing to do with Zionism or where the logic behind the analysis is reliant on an anti-Semitic stereotypes (Ken Livingstone also springs to mind) lets people off the hook for racism and means that next time others who have heard the same things go unchallenged won’t consider something racist. Incidentally, Steve Bell might have been a bit more convincing if he has apologised for any offence caused to Jewish readers…

    2) Your definition of anti-Jewish racism has a higher threshold that those for other racisms, which is in-itself discriminatory. Giving favourable or unfavourable treatment to different people without good reason is called discrimination. Discrimination on the grounds of race, culture or ethnicity is called racism. Racism against Jews is called anti-Semitism. Is it really that difficult?

    3) It deliberately avoids calling someone out for discriminating against Jews for fear of weakening the fight against anti-Semitism, in effect giving a pass to racism. Your thinking seems to be that we shouldn’t refer to certain forms of anti-Jewish racism as anti-Semitic because then anti-Semites will say that racism against Jews doesn’t matter! Can you not see the absurdity of this position?

    Its absurd to say that someone who is filled with righteous indignation when a Jew commits a crime but is indifferent when other nationals commit crimes is not a racist. Its absurd to say that someone who invents a lie about Jewish people is not a racist. Repeating a fabrication (for example “Jewish/Israeli/Zionist Lobby”) might not make someone racist but those who when presented with the facts, having been informed that such a claim is racist respond indifferently probably are.

    Sadly there are few genuinely open minded people… I don’t include you in this, yet so many people only object to discrimination against dead Jews but find every excuse under the sun to forgive those who have it in for Jews.who are still alive.

  6. Stephen,

    1. Perhaps I misreading you but when you argue “rather than draw the obvious inference that those who work themselves … are anti-Semites. ” suggest to me (and I freely admit I could be wrong). that you are implying anyone concerned with activities, etc in Gaza/WB (and nothing else) is an antisemite.

    Please do clarify.

    2. “Your definition of anti-Jewish racism has a higher threshold that those for other racisms, which is in-itself discriminatory.” NO, it does NOT.

    There is a distinction between the **idea*** of antisemitism, and the person an antisemite. I am making that distinction, it’s not a higher threshold merely the same way I would differentiate between potatoes, apples or oranges. They might look the same, to the casual observer but they’re not.

    My definition as I pointed out is the universally accepted one of the EUMC, but please let us not get bogged down in definitions, because it precludes a wider discussion of the evidence.

    3. I believe you are conflating one thing with another on this. There is a need to differentiate between the person, the ideas they put forward and the wider prevailing climate.

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