Tuesday, May 24, 2016

From Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chief Mick Napier this past Saturday, a message on Facebook declaring, with regard to his group’s latest picket of a Barclays Bank branch in one of Scotland’s major cities: “Very good response from public today while pointing out Barclays' profiting from Israeli massacres via its investments in arms supplier Raytheon. The suits who profit from Israeli mass murder are even worse than the killers.” And a very good response from Napier’s followers, with numerous “Likes” and a large number of “Shares”. Runs one early comment: “History repeats itself, Barclays were a target of anti-apartheid movement (South Africa). As I recall they were very slow to get the message then.” Napier’s reply: “Exactly. All those who were too young to play a role against Apartheid South Africa by pressurising Barclays to divest have a chance to oppose the much worse Apartheid system in operation on Israel / Palestine by forcing Barclays to divest from the Israeli arms supply chain. [Emphasis added]
On the same Saturday, south of the Border, in London, fellow anti-Israel fanatics from the “Football Against Apartheid” group persist with their campaign to have “Apartheid Israel” expelled from FIFA (the Fédération Internationale de Football Association ): see this video:
To quote its maker, anti-Israel activist Alex Seymour (aka Seymour Alexander): “Manchester United playing against Crystal Palace, two teams with Football Against Apartheid supporters amongst their fans. We were at the magnificent stadium at Wembley to leaflet and spread the word amongst football's devotees that Israel, as the only country in the world currently practicing apartheid in both sport and in day to day life, should not be allowed to get away with it and has to be penalized where it will most affect the man in the Tel Aviv street, by being excluded from FIFA, as part of the general BDS campaign to free the people of Palestine from the yoke of Israel's near 50 year occupation.”
Watch the video carefully, and you’ll see the proud sign “The Emirates FA Cup”. Yes, that’s the trophy that the victorious team’s captain (in this case Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, whose team won the game by two goals to one) got to lift at the end of the match, to the jubilation of Man U’s supporters.
The Emirates Football Association Cup. Think about that for a second. Get the irony? The man with the Irish accent (a fixture of the campaign to have Israel kicked out of FIFA) and the buttonholed interviewees who eagerly join him in frothing about Israeli “apartheid” seem either blissfully unaware of, or blithely indifferent to, human rights abuses in the Emirates. Could that be because the Zionist Entity is not involved? I mean, if it’s an unjust society’s associations with FIFA they want to rant about and demonstrate against, the Emirates would not be unreasonable start.
After all, the Emirates has a legal code based on a strict interpretation of Sharia that involves many offences against modernity and many violations of human rights: flogging and stoning of offenders; incarceration and torture of political dissidents, including agitators for reforms during the so-called Arab Spring; abductions and sinister disappearances of people who incur the state’s displeasure; the inevitable subjugation of women; latter-day slavery and sexual abuse of domestic workers; judicial whippings … Need I go on?
(Heck, unlike traduced little Israel the Emirates don’t even have a free press!)
Here’s another of the “Kick Israel out of FIFA” videos, earlier in this year’s football season, courtesy of Alex Seymour.

To quote him: “The local Derby between 2 top London teams (result a 2:2 draw) brought out the crowds on a damp Saturday and our leaflet volunteers were kept busy updating sympathetic soccer fans on the latest murderous activities of the Israel army of occupation in Palestine. Those killers whose favourite sport is not football but the kidnapping, torture and murder of Palestine children, poor innocent victims of the Zionist project that will never even have the chance to kick a football without the fear of an IDF sniper terminating their short life so that the murdering 'sportsman' can the same evening go brag about his brave exploits in the pubs of Tel Aviv.”
Notice how our Irish friend exploits the “apartheid” slur when speaking to the young black woman. Notice how she accepts the validity of the slur without demur. All this, notwithstanding the fact that condemnation of the “apartheid slur has been made by South African black people, notably Christian Democrat leader Dr Kenneth Meshoe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v27sNLIEOes), his daughter Esther (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz49wS_oVsM) and more recently Zimbabwe-born University of Witwatersrand law student Leon Jamaine Mithi (http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/05/calling_israel_an_apartheid_st.html). All of those named consider the apartheid analogy an insult to black people who suffered under white minority rule in South Africa. In Mr Meshoe’s words: "The very idea that Israel is an apartheid state cheapens the word apartheid – it's an insult to every South African who endured the inhumanity and pain of it."
As the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Dr Ephraim Mirvis, who grew up in South Africa, wrote recently (http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2016/02/i-grew-south-africa-so-believe-me-when-i-say-israel-not-apartheid-state):
Under apartheid, a legal structure of racial hierarchy governed all aspects of life. Black South Africans were denied the vote. They were required by law to live, work, study, travel, enjoy leisure activities, receive medical treatment and even go to the lavatory separately from those with a different colour of skin… It was subjugation in its rawest form… I found myself confronted every day by a society that would routinely degrade and demean black South Africans, not just culturally or socially, but also in the eyes of the law… Contrast that with Israel, a country whose Arab, Druze, Bedouin, Ethiopian, Russian, Baha’i, Armenian and other citizens have equal status under the law. Anyone who truly understands what apartheid was cannot possibly look around Israel today and honestly claim there is any kind of parity. They would need only to visit Hand in Hand, an organisation that runs schools where Jewish and Arab pupils learn together, or meet the Israeli-Arab judge Salim Joubran of the Supreme Court of Israel. They might note the appointment last month of Mariam Kabaha as the national commissioner for equal employment opportunities in the economy ministry, or hear that just this month, Jamal Hakrush became the first Muslim Arab to be appointed a deputy commissioner of the Israel Police. Indeed, the difference is so stark that one might argue there is a good case for ignoring the apartheid slur altogether. Yet the tragic reality is that every time the word is used in the context of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the two sides become polarised yet further and peace becomes ever more distant. As the word “apartheid” is an icon for malevolence, it can only be received by Israel with resentment and suspicion. In turn, extremist forces in Palestinian society can only benefit from a reinforcement of the notion that the very existence of Israel is illegitimate. In short, the apartheid slur provides fuel for those who seek to polarise and it obstructs those who seek peace….
But do those who peddle the slur really seek peace on a two-state basis, or do they seek the end of Israel? One academic pedlar of the slur, and one who maintained that all South African black people agreed with it, was the ghastly (now dead) Dr Patrick Wolfe, a Yorkshire-born (non-Jewish) academic in Australia, who can be found on video telling an Arab interviewer at great length how Israel compares to apartheid-era South Africa; Wolfe made contentious and highly unpleasant comments about Jews (including a blanket denial of the Jewish genetic origins of Mizrahim) and about Zionists, which should not surprise those who recall that in Arena journal during 2012 he wrote an article, dedicated to the memory of Edward Said, called “New Jews for Old” – the new being the Mizrahim who “replaced” the “constituency” of six million (“or however many there were” as he told the above-mentioned interviewer) that the Ashkenazi Zionists lost in the Holocaust. Here’s Wolfe’s abstract:
“For the Western world, as Edward Said pointed out, the final taboo is not our own national narratives but Israel's. Indeed, Said's magisterial output can reasonably be read as an engagement with the West's elementary myopia concerning Zionism. Where my own case of this myopia was concerned, the initial illumination did not come from Said's work, which I had yet to encounter, but from Maxime Rodinson's Israel - A Colonial-Settler State? When, having read Rodinson's book, I later came across Said, I read him first and foremost as a Palestinian. Accordingly, as I began to think about trying to register my debt to Said for this article, I went back to Rodinson's book. For something like thirty years I had held onto the crystal-clear insight that it had given me. Israel's relationship to Palestinians is like Australia's relationship to Aborigines. In both cases, European intruders have striven to dispossess indigenous peoples and replace them on their land. The name for this relationship is settler colonialism. Since that time, I have recurrently attempted to refine my understanding of the central concept/project of settler colonialism, which, being an exercise in replacement, I have seen as primarily governed by a logic of elimination.”
Clearly Wolfe, like others of his ilk, did not wish long life to the state of Israel.
In the course of a recent article by Nada Elia, who’s on the steering collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/israels-global-reach-1504043065) we read:
“…. As more people all around the globe join in the struggle for justice and equal rights for all, they are realising that Israel’s oppression is not confined to occupied Palestine, but reaches into their own lives, wherever they may be. And wherever the crackdown on BDS is happening, people are becoming acutely aware of the fact that Zionism functions as a global apparatus that seeks to shut down the will of the people everywhere, and erode our freedoms, in order to increase the power of politicians, multinational corporations, and the global arms and security trade. The net effect of this crackdown on popular dissent is an increased determination to resist Zionism, and to engage further in the global intifada that BDS represents. Fighting Zionism, then, is a global responsibility, if we cherish our human rights wherever we may be. The alliances that are forming to confront and defeat it - alliances such as Gaza to Ferguson, indigenous rights groups, prison abolition networks, and more - are organic, growing out of a deep conviction that we are fighting a racist ideology and its violent manifestations in various parts of the world. And because of the global reach of Zionism, global solidarity and international alliances are key to our struggle against this oppressive system.”
This repellent sentiment, with its suggested overtones of Israel as “Jew among the nations”, the scapegoat sought out for obloquy to explain the world’s ills, has attracted comments from someone called Anthony Shaker. Whether this is the Dr Anthony F. Shaker who from April 2013 until March this year was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University (https://www.mcgill.ca/islamicstudies/people/visiting-scholars) I am unable to say, though a look at some of the latter’s online output such as this http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/18/are-western-policies-evil-or-desperate/ suggests that it very well might be.
The commenter called Anthony Shaker says:
[First, in reply to a commenter called “Ribon”]
“You conflate everything into the single point that every Zionist is fixated on: the survival of the Jewish-only race colony. You distort everything with this racist drivel about Muslims, Palestinians and everyone you hate for self-serving reasons. You stand for brutality and murder, and the world will not stand for it anymore. So, you can huff and puff all you want, Sleezy Ribbon [sic], but Zionist Apar[t]heid is the same dead end that Afrikaaner Apartheid was to South Africa. Time to clean up your act or leave. There is no in-between. You are a foreigner in the Middle East and nothing will change this.
[Secondly, addressing the article’s author, the following ordure]
Thank you for this timely article. People have almost forgotten that Zionism is an ideology that predates Nazism, which it has inspired. Hitler homed in on its most exclusivist, most racist features. In Mein Kampf, he openly expressed his admiration for its proponents' "racial consciousness." In short, before WWII Zionism served as a model for one of the most macabre chapters in human history. Both during and after the war, Zionist organizations helped demolish mainstream Jewish identities, above all in United States, taking over one Jewish community after another. So, people also forget that Zionist Jews were a tiny, fanatical minority before World War II. 
What happened after WWII has been the tragedy of tragedies for the rest of humanity: Zionism being held up as "the highest aspiration of the Jews," and war after war in the Middle East. No one is supposed to dare say a word against this delusion, even though many Jews despise the suspicions it is bringing upon them. There have always been "Christian" Zionists around. Sadly, today there are too many non-Jewish Zionists pretending to love the Jews, while loathing the very ground they stand on. They don't want Israelis back into their countries as refugees from Israel's Apartheid regime, so they keep harping about the BDS and the threat it poses to Israel's "right to exist." Israelis are leaving in droves. Israel's millions of victims are so many cockroaches to the "friends of Israel." We all have to be say clearly that Zionism is an ideology of racial self-worship. It has to be stamped out, like other pernicious totalitarian ideologies. It has pushed the world to the edge of the abyss, and it is high time that citizens everywhere take a firm stand and try to stop this global menace.
(Emphasis added.)
In her article Nada Elia wrote, inter alia:
The otherwise reputable publishing house, McGraw-Hill, caving in to Zionists, has destroyed textbooks that depicted the “loss of Palestinian land” postcard, apologised to its critics, and offered a refund to customers who bought the book before it was removed from its inventory.
On my own blog, Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer has several recent guest articles pointing out how mendacious the “loss of Palestinian land” map set (referred to above as a “postcard”) is, and how justified and necessary McGraw-Hill’s withdrawal of that particular slur made in the book Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World against Israel is.
One of the pro-Israel quotations I have on my blog’s sidebar is one by Singer:
”There is a war of lies and deceit on the internet generating unbelievable hate by denigrating and delegitimising the legal rights conferred on the Jewish people by the League of Nations in 1922 and the United Nations in 1945. The idea that there are two narratives on the Arab-Jewish conflict is rubbish. There is only one – the factual truth that details the return of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in its ancient biblical, ancestral and historic homeland after 3500 years of dispersion with the unanimous endorsement of the nation states then comprising the League of Nations. These misleading maps were deliberately prepared to date from 1946 – intentionally papering over the momentous events that had occurred between 1917 and 1945. Attempts to unravel binding precepts of international law established between 1917 and 1945 – and failing to insist on their being upheld and enforced – has a lot to do with the sorry situation the world finds itself in today. Generals can’t fight a war without soldiers. Jews around the world need to join the fight or vacate the internet to the Jew-haters and their lies that repeated often enough eventually become accepted as truth.”
As evidenced not only by the maps, but by the “apartheid slur and other tropes, never was a truer warning expressed.

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