Matisyahu in Spain and the BDS Inquisition

Matisyahu in Spain and the BDS Inquisition

  Picture: Sean Gallup-Getty Images Off-Guardian August 20, 2015 By Joshua Tartakovsky The decision to pressure a music festival in Spain to disinvite American-Jewish singer Matisyahu does smack of more than an iota of anti-Semitism. Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel traditionally make several arguments. The first is that Judaism is separate from Zionism. The second is that the state can successfully be pressured via a sanctions campaign against Israeli artists as well as artists who perform in Israel. The choice of Matisyahu as an artist to boycott reveals that BDS activists do not in earnest separate Judaism from Zionism. Matisyahu is an American-Jewish singer, not a citizen of Israel. Faced with accusations of anti-Semitism in the boycott of Matisyahu, Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada claims that any suggestion Matisyahu was picked out as a Jew is simply untrue. He argues, rather, that Matisyahu was chosen as a target because he performed at a Friends of the IDF and at an AIPAC event and because he also expressed support for Israel. The validity of these claims does not pass closer scrutiny. Simon Cowell also performed at a Friends of the IDF event, yet, to the best of my knowledge, there has not been a post-event campaign against him in the UK or an appeal to remove him from X-Factor. The Bright Star Church of God Ensemble performed at an AIPAC event and later in theChicago Gospel Music Festival. Yet, there has not been a request made to organizers of the festival by local BDS activists in Chicago or by Students for Justice in Palestine to boycott the group. As far...
The Aryan-Zionist Look /ה”לוק” הציוני – ארי

The Aryan-Zionist Look /ה”לוק” הציוני – ארי

משום מה, היו כאלה שמצאו לנכון להיעלב מכך שתיארתי את הרצוג כנער פוסטר ארי. כמובן שלא טענתי כי הוא נאצי, אבל מפלגתו היא גזענית, והפנטזיה להידמות לארים היא חזקה בדימיון הציוני. ייזכר כי כאשר אמיר פרץ נבחר לראשות מפלגת העבודה, אשכנזים ליברלים בעיני עצמם עברו לתמוך בלפיד בהמוניהם. הם היו מעדיפים אשכנזי בעל מראה ארי שייתן להם את האשלייה שהם באירופה. מפלגת העבודה כמו גם מרצ היו רוצים שהפלסטינים יישארו בצד השני של החומה רחוקים מעין. כפי שעמוס עוז אמר לאחרונה, ישראל צריכה להיפרד מהפלסטינים כי אם לא היא תהפוך ל”מדינה ערבית”. אם לא יהיו שתי מדינות, תהיה מדינה אחת. ואם זו תהיה מדינה אחת, זו תהיה מדינה ערבית. ואם זו תהיה מדינה ערבית, אני לא מקנא בילדי ובנכדי, כך כתב. הרצוג שאמר שהוא “מכיר את הערבים” כי היה בחיל המודיעין הישראלי, גזעני כמו עוז. הנה כמה פוסטרים ציונים ונאצים. ברור מי העתיק ממי. For some reason, some people took issue with the fact that I described Labour Zionist Camp candidate Issac Herzog as an Aryan-looking poster boy. I did not claim he was a Nazi, obviously, but his party is a racist one, and in the Zionist imagination the fantasy to look as an Aryan is a strong one. One may recall how when Morrocan-Israeli Amir Peretz became the leader of Labour, many Asheknazi Liberal Zionists moved on to support Ashkenazi Yair Lapid in response. They preferred an Ashkenazi with an Aryan look who gives them the illusion that they are European. The Labour party that Herzog represents, seeks to see the Palestinians on the other side of the Wall, far from sight. As Amos Oz wrote recently, ...
Netanyahu Siempre: A Few Questions for the Israeli Left

Netanyahu Siempre: A Few Questions for the Israeli Left

Following Netanyahu’s expected reelection by a large margin, here are a few questions to the Labour and Mertez parties and to the racist Ashkenazi Left in general:   Did you ever consider not mocking the Mizrahi Jews for their religious beliefs? No.   Did you ever consider forming a wide social party with Arabs and Mizrahi Jews at its core (along with all other discriminated minorities) that will challenge the neoliberal Zionist establishment? No.   Did you ever consider living with Palestinians as your neighbors in the same community? No.   Did you ever consider that the West which you try to emulate is entire hypocritical? No.   Would you have ever agreed to be in a party led by Ayman Odeh or Arye Deri? No.   Do you realize that you are not in Europe and that in some traditions it is common or people to have more than one wife?  No. So, enjoy Netanyahu.   As a side note, I must give a compliment to fellow Israeli citizens: They gave the finger to external forces, from the US to Scandinavian countries, who intervened in domestic elections and tried to topple Netanyahu. As I said in the past, what made me understand the Palestinians was not forcible arguments made by northern Europeans but real contacts with Palestinians and Muslims. Any additional headache for the Empire is a good thing. Secondly, I’m quite pleased that Netanyahu will continue, and will not be replaced by the Aryan boy-scout poster boy Herzog who probably is a closet-racist far more than Bibi but will never admit it. Thirdly, the Joint List as a third largest...
Why I boycott the Zionist elections

Why I boycott the Zionist elections

Wishers for peace, outsiders, or those who fail to understand both Israel’s current state and its history, and there are many of them, are somewhat excited about various polls that predict that Netanyahu’s Likud will be replaced by the Labour Party (the Zionist Camp) as the largest party in parliament. It bothers them little that Herzog and Livni defended Israel’s atrocities in Gaza, while Livni as a foreign minister carried them out in 2009, and that the two will present a progressive face to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza while making it more difficult to criticise Israel, unlike while Netanyahu is in power. In their simplistic understanding in which a change in parliament also means a change in governance, they fail to understand the broader reality: that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank went on under both Labour and Likud, that Labour as a founder of the state was responsible for grave crimes not only against the Palestinians but also against European Jews who perished in the Holocaust and Mizrahi Jews who were heavily repressed in the new state, and that settlements only expanded during the era of Labour. In other words, whereas while Netanyahu is in power it is clear that Israel is a state that keeps under its control millions of people who do not have the right to vote, Livni and Herzog will present a progressive face, while in the next clash with Gaza, thousands more will lose their lives. Israeli companies who profit immensely from the occupation, will continue to do so under both left or right governments.  This is...