Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

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)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Anti-Israel Activists Target The Yardbirds

"Philistines For Palestine".
That is the heading of a corker of an editorial in The Australian regarding the unconscionable behaviour of the anti-Israel yobs at the IPO the other evening.
I'm grateful to reader geoffff for copying out a representative part:
"It may be that music calms the savage beast, but some of the most sublime music in the civilised world could not tame the brutish, selfish arrogance of an ill-mannered, unrepresentative minority. Their action represents a dark moment in public culture and civility and does nothing to further their cause. We have said before that, given the history of Nazi Germany, there is something deeply offensive about targeting Jewish businesses. That is equally the case for these latest attacks on an Israeli orchestra that adds to the extraordinary contribution Jewish musicians and composers have made to classical music. The terrible events of May 1933, when more than 25,000 books were burnt on huge public bonfires in Berlin, were directed at Jewish intellectuals and the culture they had helped build in Germany. That night, and the cultural "cleansing" that followed, remains a deeply distressing reminder of the collapse of the basic values that must underpin a civilised society. To see culture, which should be above partisan politics, attacked as it was in London is alarming. That it should happen at the Proms, perhaps the world's best-known classical music festival, dating back to 1895 and with broad appeal, is doubly upsetting. The Proms represent the tolerance and inclusion that are the best hope for world peace."   
Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/philistines-for-palestine/story-e6frg71x-1226128429189

But, of course, the wretched, repellent "cultural boycott" against Israel is two-pronged: it tries to prevent Israeli artists performing abroad, and it tries to dissuade non-Israeli artists from performing in Israel.
Now, a quartet of Jewish anti-Israel activists (Professor Haim Bresheeth, Mike Cushman, Professor Adah Kay, 
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead) has written an "Open Letter" to 1960s group The Yardbirds, making the apartheid slur and imploring them not to perform in Israel, where they are scheduled to appear in October, at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv.
The letter runs in part
"As ancient geezers ourselves, we support the principle of keeping going.   So, the Yardbirds still playing gigs – excellent.   The Yardbirds playing a gig in Israel, which illegally occupies Palestinian land and shows no sign of withdrawing – surely not.  
Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty, founder members of the band –  when you were enjoying such success during the 1960s, the British Musicians’ Union had a policy of boycotting apartheid South Africa.   We’ve been looking on-line for evidence that the Yardbirds broke that ban, and we’re happy to say we can’t find any.   The world famous Yardbirds appear to have respected the South African liberation movement’s call for artists and musicians to assist them by denying legitimacy to the racist state.
Have you thought through the implications of your appearance at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv on October 29?  .... [Y]our performance at the Barby will in effect tell ... that you side with the Israeli military occupation, that you don’t mind helping to airbrush the cruelties of racism and ethnic cleansing, and that you’re happy to behave as if there isn’t a Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice....
There’s a wave, Yardbirds – a whole international wave of people supporting justice for the Palestinians via consumer boycotts, academic boycotts, cultural boycotts.   You can cancel your gig and ride that wave – or you can let one night at the Barby dash you on the shore.   Please think again.   Please don’t go."
Read it all: http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/2011/09/yardbirds-for-israel.html

2 comments:

  1. "...Now, a quartet of Jewish anti-Israel activists (Professor Haim Bresheeth, Mike Cushman, Professor Adah Kay, Professor Jonathan Rosenhead) has written an "Open Letter" to 1960s group The Yardbirds, making the apartheid slur and imploring them not to perform in Israel, where they are scheduled to appear in October, at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv."

    Wow, disgusting. What these "Jewish anti-Israel activists" fail to appreciate is that their safety, in fact their very lives, depend on the future existence and security of the State of Israel. Turn the clock back 70 years, and with no Jewish state to which they could flee, this quartet would have found Europe quite inhospitable, even deadly. The reason they are no longer in danger is not because the world has learned better, quite the contrary. The failure by this group to understand this rather self-evident connection can only be called shameful and ignorant. Three are called "Professor" - not of history, I hope.

    I hope the Yardbirds ignore the BDSers and play in Israel, where I expect they will be welcome and received warmly. As for the "quartet of Jewish anti-Israel activists", I have nothing but contempt.

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  2. You can bet the pressure will be on the Yardbirds from now on, Samson - let's hope they show their mettle and treat the boycotters with contempt.

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