web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BDS movement’

German Jews Urge Boycott of Roger Waters

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Dusseldorf’s Jewish community is pushing for a boycott of a Roger Waters concert in their city.

Waters, the 69-year-old co-founder of the classic rock group Pink Floyd, has been widely criticized for his anti-Israel activities. At a concert in Brussels in July, Waters floated a giant pig balloon emblazoned with a Star of David, among other symbols. Waters has also called on musicians to boycott Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper called Waters “an open hater of Jews.” And the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman, in an open letter to Waters earlier this month, said his “views on Israel are in fact colored by offensive and dangerous undercurrents of anti-Jewish sentiment.”

According to German news reports, the Dusseldorf community is calling for a boycott of the concerts scheduled for Sept. 4 in Berlin and Sept. 6 in Dusseldorf.

Michael Szentei-Heise, the Dusseldorf community’s general manager, was cited in Der Spiegel as calling Waters “a spiritual arsonist who should not be given a forum in our city.” He said the stage set was reminiscent of Nazi Party rallies and propaganda. It would be “scary if tens of thousands attend this event and celebrate, dance and applaud to Roger Waters’ music despite the anti-Semitic and Nazi symbolism.”

Waters has told reporters that he uses numerous symbols on his set, and that he has many Jewish friends and even some family members. His sole concern is to protest war and fascism, he says. Earlier this month Waters drew some 28,000 fans to his Frankfurt concert.

Not long afterwards, Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli demanded that Waters remove her image from video art displayed at his shows. According to the Telegraph, she tweeted in Hebrew: “If you’re boycotting, go all the way.”

Frankfurt-based pro-Israel activist Sacha Stawski, in publicizing the Dusseldorf protest via e-mail, praised the community for taking a stand and suggested that Berlin Jews do the same, particularly given the venue. Waters is slated to play the huge Olympic stadium, which “is particularly reminiscent of the Third Reich party rallies.”

“One hopes,” Stawski wrote, “that there would be protests coming from Berlin, too, and maybe even charges filed [against Waters] for incitement of hate, because that’s exactly what’s going on here.”

Aging Rocker’s Failed Anti-Israel Crusade

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Back in 1976, when the burgeoning punk movement began transforming the rock’n’roll landscapes of London and New York, a young punk rocker named John Lydon scrawled the words “I Hate…” on his Pink Floyd t-shirt.

With this one stroke, Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, demarcated the past from the future: eschewing the lengthy and ponderous compositions of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, Rotten and his mates set about delivering sharp, angry tunes in a compact three-minute format.

Almost 40 years later, popular music has undergone numerous other transformations, but Rotten (who now calls himself Lydon again) and Waters have remained polar opposites. And as Israelis know better than most, that’s true both inside and outside the recording studio.

Back in 2010, Lydon rounded on critics of his decision to play a gig in Tel Aviv by telling them, “I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won’t understand how anyone can have a problem with how they [the Palestinians] are treated.”

By contrast, Waters, outwardly, a much more refined and eloquent fellow, has firmly hitched himself to the movement pressing for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Waters’s support for BDS is thought to be the reason that his scheduled appearance at the 92nd Sreet Y in New York City was canceled back in April, while more recently he tussled with the Simon Wiesenthal Center over an accusation of anti-Semitism that stemmed from a feature of his live show, in which a Star of David is projected onto a flying inflatable pig.

In his response to the Wiesenthal Center, Waters denied he was an anti-Semite, coming out with the standard response that hating Zionism and hating Jews are completely distinct. But a subsequent letter written in August to “My Colleagues in Rock’n’Roll” – his legendary pomposity remains unaltered – is certain to revive the charge. This time, it’s hard to see how Waters can wriggle around it.

The letter begins by citing another British musician, the violinist Nigel Kennedy, who slammed Israeli “apartheid” during a recent concert that was recorded by the BBC. “Nothing unusual there you might think,” Waters wrote, “[but] then one Baroness Deech, (nee Fraenkel) disputed the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and prevailed upon the BBC to censor Kennedy’s performance by removing his statement.”

Why did Waters think it necessary to point out the maiden name of Baroness Ruth Deech, a noted academic and lawyer? The answer is obvious: before she was Deech, a name that resonates with English respectability, she was Fraenkel, a name that sounds positively, well, Jewish. And much as she might try to hide her origins, the intrepid Waters is determined to out her, along with her nefarious Jewish –sorry, I mean, Zionist – agenda.

Sarcasm aside, this is anti-Semitism of the ugliest, most primitive kind. Appropriately, Waters’s letter appeared first on the website of the Electronic Intifada, a U.S.-based outfit that has emerged as one of the prime organizing platforms of the BDS movement.

The Waters letter ends as follows: “Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”

In case it’s not clear, in the BDS movement, such elaborate formulations are code for “until such time as the state of Israel, which was born in a state of original sin, is finally eliminated.”

Here’s the rub, though: ten years ago, when the BDS movement was a relatively new phenomenon, statements like these would have set off a minor panic in the Jewish world. These days, we’re far more sanguine, and we’ve learned that Israel can survive and flourish no matter how many graying prog-rockers like Waters dedicate their lives to removing the world’s only Jewish state from the map.

As unpalatable as this may be for Waters’s digestion, the plain truth is that the BDS movement has failed. Its original aim was to replicate the massive outcry against South African apartheid during the 1980s, when songs like “Free Nelson Mandela” and “(I Ain’t Gonna Play) Sun City” ruled the airwaves. Instead, it has remained a fringe movement, a minor irritant that has had precious little impact on Israel’s economic life and garners media attention only when someone like Waters decides to shoot his mouth off.

Goal of the BDS Movement: Delegitimize Israel

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

The BDS movement is a Palestinian-led attempt to harm the Jewish state by  misappropriating the language of the civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. While it portrays itself as a national self-determination and human rights campaign, the BDS movement denies two key facts: 1) Israel itself represents the national self-determination of the Jewish people, and 2) the political landscapes of Israel and apartheid-era South Africa bear no resemblance, making any attempt to compare the two nothing more than anti-Israel propaganda.

While there are 49 Muslim nations, Israel is the only Jewish state in the world. After countless expulsions, the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms of Eastern Europe, the Holocaust, and other atrocities and persecution throughout thousands of years of history, the need for a sovereign nation in the Jewish people’s historical homeland cannot not be denied.

Despite the historical record, BDS completely denies the Jewish people’s legitimate claim to the land of Israel. BDS also conveniently ignores the fact that Israel is not an apartheid state and that  prominent South Africans who lived under the apartheid regime repeatedly confirm this.

Once BDS’ deceitful ruse is exposed, it is clear that its true goal is simply to eliminate the State of Israel.  According to BDS’s founders, the movement seeks to destroy the Jewish character of the State of Israel by promoting the so-called “Palestinian right of return,” which is the main obstacle to peace and – if implemented – would turn Israel into the twenty-third Arab state and the fiftieth Muslim-majority nation. BDS also wants to force Israel to withdraw from all “disputed” territories, regardless of current realities on the ground or treaties to the contrary.

Omar Barghouti

BDS’s true colors were revealed when movement head Omar Barghouti said, “If the refugees were to return, you would not have a two-state solution; you’d have a Palestine next to Palestine solution.” Pro-Palestinian activist Norman Finkelstein claimed that the BDS Movement wants, “the end of the occupation, the right of return,” and “equal rights for Arabs in Israel.” He recognized that the result of implementing all three is that there’s no Israel!

Indeed, BDS has no interest in promoting a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Barghouti rejects peace talks with Israel or cooperating with liberal Israelis who support a two-state solution and instead advocates one-state in which the Palestinian Arabs are the majority. In other words, even if a Palestinian state was instantaneously created based on the 1967 borders, BDS would still lead an international campaign to boycott Israel.

BDS protesters

Thus, the BDS Movement has more in common with the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses than it does with past boycott movements aimed at achieving social justice because its main purpose is to harm Jewish interests. As the Simon Wiesenthal Center pointed out, “Unlike the Montgomery Bus Boycott— which invoked Christian love against white racism—BDS habitually crosses the line from legitimate criticism of Israeli government policies to historically toxic language demonizing the Jewish State and its supporters everywhere.”

While the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa fought to give black South Africans equal rights within their own country, the BDS movement attempts to deny the Jewish people their homeland.

Visit United with Israel.

French-Speaking Belgian Students Join the Boycott Israel Fad

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

The Federation of French-speaking Students in Belgium (FEF), a body boasting some 120,000 students in the country, has almost unanimously called for “a freezing of relations with Israeli universities.”

The move was initiated by the University of  Louvain (UCL), according to Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir.

The  2012 the General Assembly of the Louvain students last December voted for a motion requiring that their university take a “clear and progressive” stance by supporting “a freezing of relations between the UCL and Israeli academic establishments until they publicly recognize and denounce the violations of various international law conventions committed by Israel.”

The FEF decision, which was inspired by the UCL students motion, stresses “the “gestures already made by their institution in favor of Palestinian universities” .

The boycott motion was approved by 85 percent of those able to vote, and only six percent voted against the motion, while nine percent abstained.

The universities that are  members of the federation, have agreements with Israeli universities, such as Tel Aviv and the Technion, that FEF president David Méndez Yépe charges “are preferred partners of the arms manufacturer Elbit. They conduct research on the development of drones responsible for causing damage and destruction in Palestine, and their programs are used by the Israeli army.”

Israeli Arabs Launch ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

What began as an anti-Israel campaign throughout the world, is coming to Israel, with a conference on “Israeli Apartheid” to be held Wednesday in the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth, Maariv reports.

The conference, held as part of the “Apartheid Week,” will feature Dr. Yousef Jabareen, senior lecturer at Haifa University, who will speak about “racism within the Green Line,” and Dr. Haidar Eid, a professor from a Gazan university, who will speak over Skype about “the similarity between Palestine and South Africa before the removal of Apartheid laws.”

Event organizers are young Arab activists who are members of the local branch of the BDS movement, which leads the international boycott campaign against Israel.

Raja Zaatara, one of the organizers and a member of Hadash party politburo, said: “The green line has a policy of apartheid and the territories have a regime of apartheid. In Israel there are dozens of laws explicitly speak about rights that are exclusive to the Jews, for example, the Law of Return, and various real estate laws.

“If anyone in the U.S. or in Europe chooses to boycott Haifa University because it discriminates against Arabs, or Tel Aviv University because it runs more than 50 projects for the Army, I can quite understand them,” said Za’atra. “If I was a Belgian or French citizen, I would be boycotting Israel in order to influence the situation. The boycott is a legitimate tool of civilian struggle.”

Abir Cobti, a female political activist and one of the organizers of the conference, says that the purpose of the event is to help isolate Israel in the international arena. “We will continue to engage in promoting economic boycott against Israel as a legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people.”

The “Im Tirtzu” movement, dedicated to reviving Zionist values in Israel, criticized the participation of Dr. Jabareen in the Nazareth event.

“This is yet another play of the Theater of the Absurd, which continues to break new records. Arab citizens of Israel—Israelis such as Dr. Yousef Jabareen, who lectures in Israeli academic institutions and even heads an academic institute in Israel, taking part in a conference accusing the state of Israel of apartheid,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman, Ronen Shoval. “This conference is part of hallucinatory Antisemitic propaganda campaign against Israel and against Israeli democracy. “

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-arabs-launch-israeli-apartheid-week/2013/03/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: