We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

An Israeli Musician Hits the Right Note on the BDS Movement

In the Jewish Daily Forward Kobi Oz, lead singer of the Israeli group Teapacks, has written an open letter to Roger Waters, front man of the group Pink Floyd, who recently announced his support for a cultural boycott of Israel and encouraged other musicians to follow suit.

The case against the BDS movement is superbly outlined by Kobi Oz (pictured below), who says in part:
'Unfortunately, the Middle East isn’t the most stable place, so Israelis know we have to be very careful as we pursue peace. We could sign an agreement with a moderate regime and suddenly find ourselves confronted with a fundamentalist enemy. We withdrew from Gaza and got Hamas. We pulled out of southern Lebanon, and now Hezbollah dominates the Lebanese government. We gave back the Sinai, and now Egypt is a great unknown.
Still, we yearn for peace. We try to talk with our neighbors in the Palestinian Authority, where life is getting better for ordinary Palestinians. If Hamas’s leaders would stop the bombardment of Israeli civilians and stop calling for our destruction and start having a normal relationship with their brothers in Ramallah, I’m sure that most Israelis would want to talk to them, too. And our wall, which you want to see dismantled, will fall when we have lasting quiet. Insha’Allah.
But in the meantime there are events like the murders in Itamar. Terrorists sneaked into a family’s home while they were sleeping and cut their throats. That settlement was outside of our security fence — they did not have this “appalling edifice,” as you called it, to protect them. A father, a mother and three kids — one a 3-month-old infant — paid the price.
Should we give up the fence that has made the last few years mostly free of suicide bombers? If we did, would you stand by our soldiers when they go out to intercept terrorists, or would you continue tying our hands while we fight to protect our citizens’ lives? I didn’t hear your voice, or the voices of your friends in the BDS movement, when thousands of Qassam rockets were being launched at my hometown and neighboring communities after we got out of Gaza. We only heard the world’s voice when we fought back.
Lastly, I want to ask, when you demand that we “promote” the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, do you understand that this means Israel would no longer be a Jewish state? If so, why should the Jews not be allowed to have their one state, while the Palestinians get four states? (Let me count them for you: the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, the Hamas state in Gaza, Jordan with its Palestinian majority ruled over by a Hashemite king and an Israel that would have a majority of Palestinian citizens after millions of refugees’ descendants move here.)
Jews have come home to Israel after centuries of living under Christian and Muslim “hospitality.” My own parents immigrated to Israel from Tunisia; they had to give up all their property and start their lives over. Jews from around the world came to Israel to fulfill our ancient dream of returning to our homeland, and to bring an end to our long nightmare of having no country to call our own.
Now you, in effect, are demanding that we forget all our dreams and become a minority in our own homeland. Are you serious? Have you not seen how the Coptic minority is treated in Egypt? Have you not seen how the Kurds have suffered in Turkey and Iraq? We won’t share their fate — we have had enough of that already.
At your age you ought to be suspicious of open-and-shut narratives of the sort embraced by the BDS movement, and be willing to look more deeply at the other side. Of course, we Israelis have plenty of room for improvement and could do more to pursue peace. But you should understand that if we are cautious, it is because our very survival is at stake.
If you truly want to be helpful in bringing about peace, embrace the power of dialogue, not boycotts. Music is for breaking down walls, not for building new ones.'
Read more: http://forward.com/articles/136188/#ixzz1Hu7yBvlt
and http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/03/another-bandsman-on-bds-bandwagon.html

3 comments:

  1. כל הכבוד קובי אוהבים אותך!

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  2. Good on Kobi Oz. Even though i'm rather a boring Mainly-Classical-with-a-bit-of-Folk-thrown-in music lover, I will look out for stuff from the Israeli group Teapacks.

    Psssst, what did "landeoyhca" say above?

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  3. S/he said Kol Hakavod to Kofi ...

    ReplyDelete