Sunday, April 20, 2014
BDS and Israel, a study in Hypocrisy
We are always being asked why this noxious poison of antisemitism refuses to wither? The commitment within Liberal and Socialist traditions of adherence to human rights and ‘equality’ has always carried within this promise the germ of antisemitism. Though antisemitism transmogrified into anti-Zionism a denial of the connection between the two ideologies was always an essential element of the propaganda war against the Jews both as an identifiable religious group and as individuals that enabled the racist to exist so comfortably within a human rights skin.
The reason is an original sin of prejudice born out of a time of radical change that engendered fear and a search for the comfort of familiarity. Acquaintance with chauvinism and narrow-mindedness encouraged the inclusion of a prejudiced narrative in the founding traditions of the radical movements. It was simple and when required it explained away the failure to attract sufficient followers needed to seize power. Marx would have made a good Nazi. Much of what he wrote was a new way of thinking but he peppered his narratives with bigotry and prejudice so that his acolytes could take comfort from the familiarity offered by the poisoned pen of other nineteenth century writings. Some of the most prominent and enthusiastic supporters of twentieth century liberal tradition lacked the intuitive abhorrence of violence which their desire for liberal Nazism quite unsurprisingly failed to inoculate them against.
Both pre-Shoah Christianity and Islam were founded on a mission to conquer the globe for their adherents and history has shown us that unfortunately, people in power will justify any atrocity and every abomination if provided with the excuse. Civilizing the world pacified the heretofore unconquered natives but it allowed those who controlled the forces of conquest and colonization to reap enormous profits from the suffering of those same natives. And Islam was no different to Christianity in this respect, in many ways it was far worse because it provided the means by which the international slave trade prospered. While Christianity continues to grapple with its malevolent past, Islam has not even recognized that its past is toxic. Theologically, it is not possible for it to even begin on that journey.
There are those within the Muslim world such as Omar Barghouti who are intellectually as well as emotionally incapable of granting Jews equality of any kind. I will return to him later. A hate industry from which the intellectual bully and the thug profit equally is seductive to the thinking hypocrite because it mobilizes militant foot soldiers as well as some within the academic community. We live in a world that is divided between western civilization and the rest. The “West” has deified freedom of speech (even when it only selectively applies it in Europe) while those that oppose Western civilization worship selective censorship. There is no middle ground to protect all communities from its abusers.
It is a simple issue that far too many people are happy to ignore. Israel is a state that would have come into existence as a predominantly Jewish state without the added burden of European history because it was an act of self determination made inevitable by historic Arab persecution against non-Arabs, and by Muslims maltreatment of non-Muslims. The denial of a Jewish right to self-determination is therefore an act of racism.
And Israel is a state like any other state. It has a Right of Return; so do at least 37 other nations in the world. No one judges that right, or declares that it is racism, except when Israel practices that sovereign right. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13 is controversially recognized as referring to the Right of Return. Repatriation is viewed internationally as creating a safe haven for Diaspora populations living under threat. We in Britain also have such an Act of Sanctuary which was enacted to protect “our own” from the threat of persecution.
Any nation or organization or individual working to overturn that right must prove it does so with equal vigour against all other political, racial, religious or national entities. Otherwise it is antisemitic. It really is that simple. Israel has allowed its enemies to hijack the debate over the nature of the conflict.
There can be no resolution of the conflict while the Arab and greater Muslim world views the right to rule over and to terrorize ‘its’ Jews as theological or racial holy writ. The same applies to Christians who throughout the Muslim world are a persecuted minority but who continue to support a Muslim-Arab anti-Jewish narrative.
Christians no longer fulfill the ethnic cleansers dictum “First the Saturday people (Jews) and then the Sunday people (Christians)” uttered by Yasser Arafat. Before the Arab Spring it was easy to blame persecution of Christians on Israel because a willing Western audience would accept whatever lies were easiest to understand. It is much easier than an alternative explanation that we are at war with Islamists who happily torture and murder adults as well as children, for their faith. But al Qaeda and Salafist groups everywhere have rarely hidden their animosity towards Christians as well as Jews and everyone else not like them. That includes the wrong kind of Muslim. They have hurt far more Muslims than they have infidels. This prejudice is why President Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority will not recognize the validity of a Jewish state even as he creates one more Muslim state based on Arab apartheid principles.
The global Muslim nation has attempted on numerous occasions to criminalise the defamation of religion. But to be more specific, the ‘legitimate’ criticism they attempt to outlaw applies only to Islam. When Muslims refer to the pantheism of Hinduism as abomination, or the Christian trinity as idolatry, or to Judaism as corrupted by interpretation, their derision may be theological but scorn remains abusive and it leads to incitement. Intellectual or academic debate must be without limits or those limits must be equally, tenaciously applied, or it is no more than selective censorship harnessed as targeted provocation. It is the responsibility of society to manage what is permissible because without restriction, society will fall. But equally dangerous is discrimination. It erodes the law. The Islamic faithful call this subversion of debate ‘justified’ criticism but selective bigotry is a weapon of cultural conquest. By owning or controlling the narrative, history becomes no more than strings of words subject to manipulation by those willing to abuse it. In the attempt to stifle debate it is cultural colonialism and it is as dangerous as any physical act of conquest enacted in the past. It represents the slavery of the mind - as pernicious as any physical act of slavery because without the former the latter is not possible.
Like all conflicts, there are conflicting truths and conflicting narratives. And here is the problem. To the racist, conflict resolution is an exercise in futility unless the inherent superiority of one side over the other is acknowledged and therefore there can only ever be one truth and one narrative (or set of truths).
Omar Barghouti is one of the leaders of BDS (the Movement for the Boycott, Divestment and Slander [Sanction] of Israel). As explained by The Institute for National Security Studies (TAU) the BDS campaign was initiated at the First Durban Conference (the "World Conference against Racism"), held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. BDS is an integral part of the global campaign to delegitimize Israel currently being waged (mainly in the West) and led by networks and activists affiliated with the far left and radical Islam. The ultimate goal of BDS is to cause the collapse of the State of Israel.
Omar Barghouti is very eloquent, so much so, his anti-Zionism sounds rational. His honeyed tongue and unassuming personal demeanour does not however, hide an uncompromising antipathy towards Jewish rights in the greater (fascist) Arab world.
I have taken a section of speech by Omar Barghouti in which he sets out his vision for a post-Jewish Palestine and rephrased it to express the only possible hope for a future unencumbered by conflict and strife.
Please emphasise that it is in the spirit of our non-violent response to BDS that we borrow Omar’s finely crafted words (and re-craft them to express the Jewish vision for a peaceful Middle East):
“The post oppression identity of the indigenous Israelis and the indigenized Arab settlers who have acquired rights by their conquest over time must be rebalanced through a process of ethical decolonisation also known as de-Arabisation. All Arab colonial privileges must be abolished. Not just in Israel, but also across the Near-East, where the regions legitimate refugees have lost their ancestral homes to the racist Arab colonialist entity, ethical co-existence has to be re-established with all the marginalised non-Arab nations.”