Antony Lerman, expert on the discourse of antisemitism and on Israeli lobbying says Israel re-made its dominant role in the diaspora by finding antisemitism lurking everywhere which only Israel could define and combat.
Caryl Churchill wrote the play Seven Jewish Children in response to the 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza. It has been produced by student and professional theatres in many countries. British Israeli student Eran Kahane produced a version at York university where he also supported Israeli apartheid week. He is standing for the post of president of the Union of Jewish Students. Predictably, if dismally, he has been attacked as ‘antisemitic’ as has Churchill’s play. The York Jewish Society complained that the university failed to ‘look after’ them leaving them to be the lone complainant about the play. Perhaps they were alone in seeing antisemitism in the play.
It’s possible the management of Habima has strong Zionist views about treating all the land between Jordan and the sea as Israel’s by divine right. Its crass decision to perform at one of the most hardline settlements is likely to limit its touring future as the decision delivers a seal of approval to the settlement despite the universal anti-settlement policy abroad.
It appears that popular support for BDS is strong enough to cause severe anxiety amongst Israel’s best friends. In the UK the Cabinet Office stepped in to ban local governments from adopting any BDS position. In the US it’s state governors. In France it was the highest court of appeal. What they have in common is the fear that local governments are more likely to respond to BDS lobbying. Democracy it’s not.
Israel is in serious danger of being excluded by FIFA from world football. The reason: its settlement teams. Since 1998, FIFA has recognized the Palestinian Football Association and the league it operates, and it sees the West Bank as Palestinian territory. A few days ago, 66 members of the European Parliament signed a sharply worded letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, calling on him to enforce its rules.
This consists of two articles from Open Democracy by two JfJfP signatories in sharp disagreement. The first by Labour History professor Mary Davis attacks what she thinks is the monolithic view of Zionism – she doesn’t name who she means. JfJfP website has consistently pointed out the lack of consensus on what Zionism and especially anti-Zionism mean. Then she suddenly launches into an attack on BDS as monolithic. Where has she been during all the arguments about boycotting only settlement products or companies which profit from the Occupation? Jonathan Rosenhead responds, equally surprised at Mary’s lack of homework before going into print.
The BDS movement is causing serious anxiety in Israel’s ruling circles and they are throwing money at efforts to crush (‘neutralise’) it. The first target of Israeli cyber attacks is the Palestinian BDS HQ. The second is any website which supports BDS. It’s the loss of reputation as much as of sales that so disturbs them. Web agency Deflect analyse it.
Several national and state governments have prohibited any action which supports BDS. All these orders have bypassed elected bodies – in the UK it came direct from the Cabinet Office. Any representative assembly would have certainly raised questions about freedom of speech, assembly and peaceful protest. Why, asks the Intercept, are the normal defenders of free speech silent on this?
This is an impressive analysis of the political economy of Israel by CUNY doctoral student Joshua Sperber. He is critical of BDS supporters for targeting the client state, Israel, rather than the patron, the US. Why expect Palestinians to sidestep the source of Israel’s military power? Regular readers will recognise themes from Moshe Machover and Jeff Halper.
On March 28 a conference was held in Jerusalem on “Stop the Boycott”. It was organised by Ynet/Yedioth Ahronoth (Latest News). It chose former comic actor Roseanne Barr as its chief speaker. Lars Faaborg-Andersen represented the EU despite appeals from European Jewish groups, including JfJfP, not to attend. Tzipi Livni was the most prominent speaker to say if the conflict was stopped BDS would be too.
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