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)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

To Boycott, Or Not To Boycott? Eli Answers The Global Question

As many readers will be aware, the Globe Theatre in London has become embroiled in calls for the odious "cultural boycott" of Israel, a  number of theatrical figures, including Seven Jewish Children playwright Caryl Churchill, and such well-known names as Emma Thompson, Cherie Lunghi, Miriam Margolyes and Mike Leigh, having signed a letter that appeared in the Guardian.  It deplored The Globe's invitation to Israel's National Theatre, Habima, to perform The Merchant of Venice at an international festival in May:
'The general manager of Habima has declared the invitation "an honourable accomplishment for the State of Israel". But Habima has a shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory. Last year, two large Israeli settlements established "halls of culture" and asked Israeli theatre groups to perform there. A number of Israeli theatre professionals – actors, stage directors, playwrights – declared they would not take part.
Habima, however, accepted the invitation with alacrity, and promised the Israeli minister of culture that it would "deal with any problems hindering such performances". ...
We ask the Globe to withdraw the invitation so that the festival is not complicit with human rights violations and the illegal colonisation of occupied land.'
Eli E. Hertz, who runs a most valuable resource site about the Middle East, has written an interesting open letter in response.  Access it here
Hat tip: reader Shirlee

2 comments:

  1. I'd be less polite than Eli Hertz. Much less.

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  2. One response to boycotts is tally up all the intellectual property these institutions licence from Israeli academic and commercial sources and increase the fees by a factor of 100. That way, they're still free to be hypocrites but they have to pay for the privilege. If UK universities for instance want to boycott Israeli academics, feel free, or not. But if they want to use any of the work product of those institutions it will cost them. Or they can licence Arab technology such as it is. This is much harder to do with consumer grade goods and services like medicine, phones and computers but, at the least Israel needs to highlight this and play the boycotters game with the boycotters rules and advertise quite publicly all the benefits they SHOULD boycott as a result of it having origins with Israel. In fact I would demand it. I would send Israeli emissaries to the BDS community exhorting them to boycott and abandon all these 'tainted' things. And I would heavily publicize it. I am sure Emma Thompson can get a smartphone with 100% Arab technology inside. And then she can hold it up as a shining example.

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