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 31 December 2013

The Hero of Piccadilly ("I'm An Arab Myself") (video)

We've met this young man before.  More power to him!  Watch the "Christian" judeophobia at work.

For his previous appearances on this blog see here and here

Time For The Vicar To Hang His Head in Shame?

Photo: Richard Millett
On my penultimate post (which concerns the heinous replica "Apartheid Wall" outside St James's Church, Piccadilly, which according to a church steward cost 30,000 quid !!!; they must hate Jews, mustn't they, to deprive the deserving poor of such funds, which came from private donors including the sponsoring charities!), a Christian reader, Colin, has left the following comment:
"As a Christian this just so disgusts and sickens me!! Are they evil or ignorant, and if ignorant, why dont they have the humility to listen and learn?! Do you know if this church has replied to any of the excellent e-mails etc sent to them? Profoundly, profoundly disgusted."
One of the many condemnations of the church's behaviour (in collusion with Interpal and other Israel-demonising bodies) comes in the form of an Open Letter from a distinguished British scholar, Professor Denis MacEoin, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, proving his doughty pro-Israel credentials yet again:
"....Throughout the Middle East, Christians are dwindling rapidly in numbers, mainly because extremist Islamic groups drive them out. Israel is the only country in the region where Christian numbers have been growing steadily since 1948. It goes without saying that Israel is the only country across the Islamic world where Jews can live safely, after almost a million were killed or driven out of Arab lands in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Those few Jews who live in Iran live on a knife-edge.
 ... [Y]our church has constructed a mendacious wall on its premises in order to make an ignominious political point, something I would not have believed your church capable of.
It is mendacious because it pretends the entire separation is a wall, when the wall covers about 1%. It is mendacious because it does not mention the 30 or so security walls and fences that have been built by other countries, many much longer than Israel’s.
It is mendacious because it carries no message to explain why it is there, when it is explicitly there to deter violent attacks from the West Bank into Israel.
 It is mendacious because it carries no statement alerting onlookers to the fact that the barrier has already saved thousands of lives.
 Or does saving lives really not matter to Christians. Or are Jewish lives not as important as the lives of suicide bombers and other terrorists? If you seek fairness ­ and I suspect you do in a muddled way ­why did you not contact the Israeli embassy, who could have loaned you something apposite: a bus, on board which passengers died when a suicide bomber detonated himself?
 From the moment Israel was established, the Palestinians and their neighbours tried again and again to fight wars and to inflict wounds on Israeli civilians. The Palestinians were offered a state of their own but rejected it and turned to 65 years of violence. Why is this not made clear?
 Sadly, large numbers of people on the far political left, aided and abetted by a surprising and disappointing force of Christians, have become fiercely one-sided. I have attended a Christian conference where much of the discourse verged on anti-Semitism. These people will not engage in open debate, they stamp their feet and shout, to drown out pro-Israel speakers, they lumber into a controversy about which they know little or nothing.... [My emphasis]
 In an age when anti-Semitism is growing daily, when Jews are fleeing European countries, when calls to exterminate the Jews are easily found on the Internet, what on earth are you thinking, to dice so freely with the very forces you might otherwise despise. Why do terrorists win your sympathy more readily than Jewish children murdered in their beds? The Palestinians still freely quote the words of the 1967 Khartoum Declaration, ‘No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel (as a Jewish state)’. Doesn’t that tell you how hard it has been for Israel to make a peace agreement? Why don’t you publicize that? It is Palestinian refusal that has blocked peace, not Israeli aggression. Why don’t you say so? Surely you believe in the truth and the virtue of speaking the truth. Why should well-meaning Christians let themselves be guided by hardline communists and anti-Semites? It seems altogether confused to me...."
Professor MacEoin notes:
"An Anglican priest, Stephen Sizer, who was responsible for your wall, is a fanatic whom all Jews I know consider to be an anti-Semite, bringing back to modern churches a theology that we thought had been discarded. Supercessionism is just another way of saying that Christians are superior to Jews, that Jews have denied God and are destined to go to Hell. It is not a pleasant doctrine, and it shocks me that you make room for it." [My emphasis]
Colin, in his comment quoted above, asked me:
"Do you know if this church has replied to any of the excellent e-mails etc sent to them?" 
At the time of writing I do not.

But I do know (hat tip: reader P) that Stephen Sizer has been receiving emails from people linking to articles supportive of Israel.

And does he reply to them?  I've no idea, but from what reader P has sent to me it doesn't seem like it.

For what has this man of the cloth, Stephen Sizer, done with emails received from "Zionists"?

He's posted them to his Facebook page like badges of honour, where they can be read by followers who express sentiments such as this:


 And, as we saw earlier, this:

Here are screenshots of what two of these "Zionists" linked to; the emailers are, respectively, a man and a woman.


On Facebook, Stephen Sizer has also posted the email addresses of the people who've thus contacted him.

Surely he has not done so without the permission of the "Zionists" concerned?

Surely he does not hope his followers will contact those "Zionists", to harass them a bit?

Ah, but Stephen Sizer is an ordained minister of the Church of England.

And that wouldn't be Christian behaviour, would it?

After all, Jesus told his followers to "turn the other cheek".

2013: A Sea Odyssey

Frederick Marryat ... Herman Melville ... Herman Wouk ...

C.S Forester ... Alexander Kent ... Patrick O'Brian ... Richard Woodman ...

Master spinners of sea yarns, and Daphne has enjoyed them all.

So I'm delighted (hat tip: reader – or maybe I should say pirate – P) to discover a newcomer to the genre of maritime fiction.

And as yarns go this one's a caulker – sorry, make that corker.


That's a rum yarn alright.

Mind you, the author is known to excel at yarns.

This, for instance:

But back to the sea tale.

Remember how, in Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian's Captain Aubrey responded when Dr Maturin described the Surprise as "a somewhat aged man of war"?: 
"She's not old. She's in her prime."
Well, here's to a few more broadsides!


(One coming up, soon after this.)

Monday 30 December 2013

More Regarding That Infamous Piccadilly Wall

Writes the estimable Raheem Kassam of Israel's security barrier:
'....As early as 2006 it was reported that since the fence’s erection, there was an approximate 90 percent decrease in the number of successful terror attacks registered. A drop of approximately 70 percent was also recorded in the number of casualties resulting from terror attacks.
But it is much easier to stand around a fake wall in London than convey the ultimate truths and realities of the situation on the ground in Israel and the West Bank. In fact, if “Bethlehem Unwrapped” campaign were being honest about the security fence, it would have erected just a metre or two of concrete, and a simple wire fence for the rest of their demonstration, because these are the real proportions of the make-up of the real security fence.
Just 10 percent of Israel’s “apartheid wall” is actually a wall, while the rest is a simple wire fence: a fact that you would not find out at the St. James’s Church demonstration....'
'....The “wall” that has been erected outside St. James’ Church is hopefully just a result of your own ignorance and generalisations concerning the complex situation here in the Middle East....' writes an Israeli victim of Islamic terror, a woman left for dead by her would-be murderers, but who survived, unlike her butchered friend (Kassam's must-read article provides the background).

Her words take the form of an Open Letter to the church authorities, and is a must-read in its entirety.

She says in part:
'The wall is cemented together by a superior theology that tells its people that G-d gave up on the Jews. This is the same theology that lies behind radical Islam. G-d tried the Jews, then the Christians, but ultimately it was the Muslims who He ultimately chose.
The wall, is just one brick in a global wall of an Islamist agenda, an agenda that will stop at nothing until the destruction of the Jewish State. To your own cultural detriment, it is a wall that obstructs truth and ultimately seeks not only to destroy Israel but every Judeo-Christian society.
The wall inflames an ancient conflict that for those like myself, who live in this region, long not for an exacerbation in hatred but for a quenching of hostilities.
The wall is an affront to Kristine Luken and other victims of terror who may well have been alive today had there have been a wall erected on the other 90 percent of land that separates us from our Palestinian neighbours.
The wall is an injustice to Christians living under Muslim despots. Ironically it is the State of Israel, that you deem pariah and unjust, that is unique in the Middle East because unlike all of our neighbours, our Christian population is flourishing and our Christians have full religious rights.Please write on your wall, under the cross, now obscured by the crescent…. “R.I.P Kristine Luken.”'
Read the entire piece here


Here, to a not-too-intrusive background of the tinkling of spoons and the clinking of coffee cups, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev talks (audio only, I'm afraid!) to the incomparable Elder of Ziyon about the peril posed to Israel and other nations by Iran, prospects for peace, and what a Palestinian state should not resemble.

And here's Danny Ayalon (Israel needs many more natural communicators of his calibre) explaining, in language even a five-year-old should be able to comprehend, the truth about Palestine and about its Christians:

 Hat tip: reader Ian G of the  Almond Rod blog

Sunday 29 December 2013

West Bromwich Albion Player Gives Antisemitic "Quenelle" Salute

Anelka behaving badly
Racist chants, taunts, and gestures by white football fans aimed at black players are, rightly, condemned by all decent people.  Still occasionally seen at football matches in Britain, such chants, taunts, and gestures are nowadays more widespread in the stands at matches on the Continent, especially in certain Central and Eastern European lands.

Yesterday a new racist gesture infected a football match in Britain.  It was not given by a white neo-Nazi or half-drunk scumbag making "monkey" noises at black players.

It was, instead, made by a French player, Nicolas Anelka, who like Dieudonné, the notorious French antisemite who invented it, happens to be black. He apparently made it as a triumphalist gesture after scoring a goal for the English team for which he currently plays, West Bromwich Albion, against West Ham.

To quote from the SkyNews report:
'Richard Ferrer, of the Jewish News, told Sky Sports News: "Prior to this blowing up this afternoon it wasn't something I was familiar with. But after doing a little bit of research, the 'quenelle' - as it is known in France - is a reverse Nazi salute. The arm is upright and saluted in the infamous Nazi gesture. But this, as you saw, is arm down, with the other arm touching the shoulder.
"This is either a lack of awareness on Anelka's part, or something more sinister...he must be aware of the 'quenelle's meaning and the baggage it carries. Surely he was making a statement? It's a major concern for the Football Association."
European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor said: "This salute is merely a lesser known Nazi salute and we expect the same kind of punishment to be handed down by the authorities as if Anelka had made the infamous outstretched arm salute."....'
Anelka, meanwhile, has tweeted:
"This gesture was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonné."
(Apparently Dieudonné himself has claimed that the quenelle is merely "an anti-establishment gesture.")

Whatever Anelka's motive for making it, and despite Dieudonné's claim, the "quenelle" salute (as we saw here) is an acknowledged antisemitic gesture, and as such has no place in the sporting arena, or any other public venue.  The French Minister for Sports has already denounced what Anelka did.  The West Bromwich Albion coach has taken a more phlegmatic view.  The Football Association has launched an investigation. Read and see more of Anelka's salute and reaction to it here and  here

And this story suddenly got most interesting indeed! (hat tip: reader Ian) See here!

Young Israeli Pawns: David Singer on the World Chess Federation's shoddy gambit

Here, entitled "Palestine: International Scandal Checkmates Israel," is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

'The 2013 World Youth Chess Championships just held in Abu Dhabi have been marred by the scandalous behaviour of the 120 national Chess Federations that agreed to compete against Israeli players as an unidentified group under the banner of FIDE – the World Chess Federation.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), like most Arab countries, does not recognise Israel. In 2009, the country denied Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe’er a visa to compete in the Dubai Tennis Championships, garnering widespread condemnation.

The invitation to compete was clear and unambiguous:
"The UAE Chess Federation and Al Ain Chess Club, under the auspices of FIDE, have the honor to invite all FIDE member federations to participate in the World Youth Chess Championships 2013 (Under 8, 10,12, 14, 16 and 18 years old – open and girls) scheduled 17 (arrival) – 29 (departure) December 2013 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates."
Somewhere thereafter the World Chess Federation became a willing player in excluding Israeli children aged 8-18 playing under their national flag and national identity.

Palestine – a member state of UNESCO whilst still claiming to be stateless – has been calling for inane and senseless academic and economic boycotts to be instituted against Israel in support of Palestinian statehood.

Yet Palestine is a member of the World Chess Federation and was represented by two players whose country was designated as "Palestine".

The ultimate insult to individual Israeli competitors was the failure to list their country as "Israel" in the players' biographies. Instead they were identified as citizens of "FIDE" – a place with no Capitol, area or population.

Palestinian competitors fared slightly better – players at least having their country identified as "Palestine" in their biographies – although that country too is listed without a Capitol, area or population.

One would be hard put to find a more blatant case of discrimination, racism and apartheid – played out against children to boot.

What mindless morons representing Chess Federations in competing countries like America, Australia, England, Norway, Sweden, Canada and France allowed this farce to be perpetrated?

What have their Governments had to say about this pernicious and underhanded behaviour?

Barack Obama and the European Union share a common silence in failing to raise their voices in protest against delegations from their respective member Federations acting in this manner.

Even worse, Israel seems to have accepted its children being treated as non-entities. Why were they not withdrawn from the competition when this heinous conduct was revealed?

JWire has reported the following:
"Moshe Slav, president of the Israeli Chess Federation told J-Wire: “It’s true that we were asked to play as the FIDE and that our flag and country name be removed from the tournament web site…but the request was made by Israeli security in order to safeguard the participants.”
Even the Israeli Chess Federation’s web site is carrying an announcement stating that the official web site for the Abu Dhabi tournament “which lists all the players and nationalities took down the Israeli flag and has even gone so far as to rename them from the country “FIDE” attributing them the FIDE flag as well. It is a very unfortunate precedent for the World Youth and unheard of until now.” They add that the Israeli flag was featured when the web site went public but has since been removed...
Moshe Slav added: “Our hosts were very good and I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin and the Limor Livnat the Minister for Sport for the wonderful help they provided. Sending the delegation was very costly and I would like to publicly thank through J-Wire those who helped fund the delegation’s costs.”
Did those contributing funds understand that the Israeli delegation would be treated in this shabby manner and that apparently the Israeli Chess Federation would roll over and allow the children to be compelled to play under the cover of anonymity?

At a time when Israel is being accused of alleged discrimination against its Arab and Bedouin populations by a bevy of non-Government organisations (NGOs) funded by wealthy overseas funds including substantial funding from the European Union – the double standards revealed in the course of this highly discriminatory competition beggars disbelief.

Yet it appears no protest has been raised by any of these NGOs. Obviously, discrimination against the Jewish population of Israel is acceptable. Indeed one would not be surprised if these NGOs took the view that Jewish competitors – be they adults or children – deserve to be discriminated against in international forums and events such as these championships.

The views of funding organisations such as the Soros Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund need to be sought out and clarified.

Will this practice now become acceptable at all future international meetings where Israelis attend?

It is about time Israel sat up, took notice and condemned such decisions in the strongest terms and demanded the same rights as are conferred on competitors from other countries – instead of being constantly denigrated and delegitimised in an increasing number of cases of overt Jew-hatred justified as being necessary in the pursuit of the human rights of others.

The World Chess Federation and the member Federations that engineered this blatant discrimination against Jewish children should hang their collective heads in shame.

I have requested the International Chess Federation to respond to this article prior to its publication – but no response has so far been received.'

Saturday 28 December 2013

Lies, Damned Lies, & False Prophets

The Israel-haters' massive erection
There have been a number of excellent ripostes (there's one on the replica wall at St James's, Piccadilly itself in this picture by L.K., and may such messages keep coming) by outraged friends of Israel to the monstrous act of infamy committed by the left liberal ratbags and their misguided clerical allies who joined forces to erect this now-notorious eight-metre high gimmick (recommended on the tourist circuit) in Central London. (Elder of Ziyon has blogged about it here and there's a spoof on it here) (Update: hat tip: reader Fleur - great piece by Melanie Phillips here)

Among the sponsors of this Israel-demonising gimmick (which, I understand, cost several thousand pounds) is, as I've remarked before, the controversial charity Interpal.

Sam Westrop noted in October that one of Interpal's trustees, Ibrahim Hewitt of Leicester University, has said:
 "By their behaviour in vandalising and destroying Mosques and Churches, the Jews have demonstrated that they cannot be entrusted with the sanctity and security of this Holy Land". In a pamphlet written by Hewitt, entitled What Does Islam Say?, he advocates the death penalty for apostates and adulterers, and demands that homosexuals suffer "severe punishments" for their "great sin" [Ibrahim Hewitt, What does Islam Say?, The Muslim Educational Trust, April 2004].'
This video shows Interpal trustee Essam Mustafa (pictured, with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh; for Interpal and Hamas see also here and  here and here) arriving in a car with  Haniyeh to a joint Hamas-Interpal press conference in Gaza.

Recently, though, the British Charity Commission cleared Interpal of suspected links to terrorist organisations.

One of the best representative ripostes against the replica wall in Piccadilly comes from Jerusalem-based Michael Dickson, Israel director for StandWithUs, who has sent an open letter to the authorities at St James's Church, which begins:

"What a mean-spirited, one-sided and divisive stunt you chose to politicise your church with this Christmas.
In an ideal world there would be no walls.
In an ideal world there would also be no suicide bombers – radical Islamist Palestinians who hate the Jews that live close to them so much that they are willing to indiscriminately kill them and others – be it in a shopping centre, disco, pizza restaurant or if they are sitting at their Passover Seder.
Be in no doubt that Israel built a security barrier only after enduring a wave of horrific terrorism that left thousands dead and maimed for life.
Your completely partial representation of the situation negates their loss of life and shows gross insensitivity to their families – and by extension to all Israelis and the Jewish community in the UK, none of whom were untouched by these murders...."
Will such a riposte change anyone's mind?  Obviously, all who support Israel hope that it will. But, let's face it, several decades-worth of propaganda in favour of the people once known solely as "Arabs" (Israel, you're your own worst enemy sometimes; why did you aid and abet those who seek your destruction by adopting the new-fangled term?) has worked its egregious magic, especially on the generations that have reached maturity or been born since 1967 and have thoroughly digested the lie that Israel is not a valiant David but a militaristic Goliath.

But it is not only this latest obscenity on the part of certain Israel-hating elements within and without the Christian communion that have been roundly denounced for collusion in the demonic, financially wasteful  initiative (just think of the needy who've missed out on funds) that the charity-sponsored Piccadilly gimmick is.  That bizarre propaganda campaign of recent years, repeated by Mahmoud Abbas a few days ago, that Jesus the Judean, Jesus the Jew, was Jesus the Palestinian, has been coming in for its share of much-deserved criticism and contempt.

As pro-Israel Christian Jim Fletcher wrote recently:
'.... What began as a clever propaganda ploy by Yasser Arafat—as part of his lifelong attempt to erase Jewish history—has been picked up by American evangelicals. That Jesus of Nazareth was born and lived as a Jew is an obvious historical fact, just as, for example, Robert E. Lee commanding the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. The background of Jesus Christ, however, inarguably the most famous person in history, is of great importance. His life as a Jew is increasingly being called into question by Muslims, who are working overtime to open “interfaith dialogue” channels with American Christian leaders.
The revisionists originally were the usual suspects: Arafat, mainline church scholars, media types. But now this revisionist history has burrowed-into the American evangelical community.
In February, 2000, popular author Philip Yancey referred to Jesus as a “Palestinian rabbi” in the pages of Christianity Today.
Ed Stetzer, president of research at LifeWay—the resource arm of the Southern Baptist Convention—referred to Jesus as a “Palestinian Jew” in a September 12, 2011 blog post entitled “Monday is for Missiology: Some Thoughts on Contextualization.”
In a banner above his May 9, 2012 blog post, “Solidarity Fast With Palestinians?” Assemblies of God minister and Palmer Theological Seminary Professor Paul Alexander referred to Jesus as “the Palestinian Jew.” Alexander, professor of Christian Ethics and Public Policy at Palmer (the seminary of Eastern University) has long advocated for the Palestinians.
Knowingly or unknowingly, some evangelical leaders are advancing a false narrative concocted by the likes of Arafat and the PLO....'
Fletcher continues:
'British writer Paul Wilkinson is also very familiar with this type of anti-Israel agenda:
“The portrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ as a Palestinian refugee who lived under military occupation has, in recent years, been used as a powerful propaganda weapon against Israel by an increasing number of pro-Palestinian Evangelicals. This blasphemous depiction of Jesus ominously echoes what Palestinian authors, clerics, and political leaders have been saying publicly of late in a brazen attempt to claim Christ as one of their own. By propagating their Islamicized version of ‘replacement theology’ (now rebranded ‘fulfillment theology’ or ‘messianic fulfillment’ by leading pro-Palestinian Evangelicals such as Stephen Sizer and Gary Burge), Islamic scholars have endeared themselves to many in the Church who have cast off the restraint of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. The forging of unholy Evangelical-Muslim alliances in the name of ‘dialogue’ and ‘bridge-building’ is reminiscent of the unholy alliance which suddenly developed between Herod and Pilate during the trial of Jesus – they were sworn enemies who united against a common enemy; today the common enemy is Israel. Like the false prophets of old who prophesied lies in God’s Name, pro-Palestinian Evangelicals, or ‘Christian Palestinianists’ as we might call them, are running with a message they believe is from God, but God has not sent them, for they have not stood in His council (Jeremiah 23:9-32).”' [My emphasis]
Remarks Evelyn Gordon in a great article here:
'Christmas this year brought the usual spate of Palestinian historical revisionism, including the by-now routine claim that Jesus was a Palestinian. This, as Jonathan Tobin noted, tells us a lot about the Palestinian mindset and prospects for peace. But to me, the most striking aspect of this story is that objections to such historical revision come almost exclusively from Jews, whereas many Christian churches and organizations seem to have no problem with it. After all, it’s not only Jewish history and the Jewish religion Palestinians thereby erase; they are also erasing Christian history and the Christian religion.
What, for instance, becomes of the famous scene of Jesus evicting money-changers from the Temple if, as Palestinian officials claim, the Temple never existed? (They refer to it strictly as “the alleged Temple”; for examples, see here and here.) Or what becomes of Mary’s husband Joseph, who was “of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4), if, as Palestinians claim, the Davidic kingdom never existed?
Even if you want to claim, in defiance of all the evidence, that Jesus himself wasn’t a Jew, his entire story as related in the Gospels takes place in a Jewish state with a largely autonomous Jewish political and religious leadership, albeit subject to some control from the Roman Empire. According to the Gospels, it is this Jewish leadership that arrests and tries Jesus, though the Romans ultimately crucify him. If no Jewish state with the power to arrest and try ever existed (as Palestinians, again, routinely claim; see here or here, for instance), how did this most foundational of all Christian stories ever occur?
Granted, the Christians most sympathetic to this Palestinian revisionism generally represent liberal churches that aren’t wedded to a literal reading of the Bible. Nevertheless, belief in Jesus is ostensibly fundamental even for liberal Christians–and absent the historic Jewish kingdom of the Gospels, there quite literally is no Jesus...'
 (Privately advises a scholar, pertinently:
'... the New Testament itself says that Bethlehem where Jesus is supposed to have been born is called Bethlehem of Judea, in the NT [book of Matthew 2:1]. Get that. The NT itself says that Jesus was born in Judea. No mention of  Palestine. Apparently, this is a usage of Judea in the narrow Jewish sense referring only to the former kingdom of Judah, not the broad Greco-Roman usage of Judea which referred to the whole country, all of the Land of Israel, roughly speaking. I deduce from the fact that the same chapter of Matthew calls the country "Land of Israel" twice [2:20-21].')
To quote Professor Phyllis Chesler:
'Lets' set the record straight before the year ends:
Israel is not an apartheid Nazi state. Islam is the largest practitioner of both gender and religious apartheid.
Infidel violence against or hatred of Muslims is a mere drop in the bucket. Muslim-on-Muslim violence is a pandemic and indigenous feature of Muslim-Muslim relationships, beginning with the endless religious feuds between Sunni and Shiia Muslims.
Today, Muslims are torturing, exiling, and blowing each other up in Egypt, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan—to name only a few Muslim-majority countries.
While the West may be imperfect, mea culpa, mea culpa, Islam has a very long and bloody history of imperialism, colonialism, anti-Black racism, conversion via the sword, slavery, and the above mentioned apartheid.
The miserable Brits have just built a large "Security Wall" at St James Church in Piccadilly and plan to use it to continue demonizing the Jewish state for the next twelve days. It is an "art installation," political theatre, very trendy.
Not shown, never mentioned, are the names or graves of Israeli civilians, including children and the elderly, who were being blown up and butchered during the height of the Al Aqsa Intifada; not mentioned are those who were disabled for life; but mainly, it is forbidden to say that the "security wall" worked, that the number of Israeli civilian casualties plunged because it existed. [Emphasis added]
Jesus was not a "Palestinian." He was a Jew, some say he was a rabbi, and that the Last Supper was a Pesach seder. The attempt to appropriate Jesus as a victimized "Palestinian" by the very Muslims who are slaughtering Christians all over the Middle East and who have driven Arab Christians out of Bethlehem is typical, disgusting, and must continually be exposed.
Israel may not be a perfect nation but its Arab citizens, both Muslim and Christian, are the only Arabs in the Arab world who enjoy religious freedom, can vote and express themselves freely, and who have been peacefully elected to Parliament.
As Hamad Amar, a Druze citizen of Israel and the Speaker of Israel's Knesset has written in The Hill, an American Congressional blog:
"In our whole region consisting of over 350 million Arabs, there are only 1,658,000 Arabs who have complete political and religious freedom and have the right to vote in full democratic elections. It is no coincidence that all of these Arabs live as full and equal citizens in the one Jewish State."  [Emphasis added]
Israel values human life, its enemies value death, murder, martyrdom. To redeem Gilad Shalit, Israel released terrorists with blood on their hands to return as glorified heroes and to resume their "careers" as terrorists. Jews value life this much....'
As for Hamas, its Islamist vision was displayed yet again very recently, when Gaza's Interior Minister, Sharia-advocate Fathi Hammad, declared publicly:
“We shall liberate our land, Allah willing. We shall liberate our Al-Aqsa Mosque, and our cities and villages, as a prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic Caliphate. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are at the threshold of a global Islamic civilization era....
The fuel and spearhead of this era will be Gaza, and its mujahideen and leaders will be from Gaza, Allah willing....
[Addressing Fatah:] We just sit and talk to the Jews. Enough with that! Come join us, the legions of the believers, which have translated the Koran into victory, the law of the Prophet's ancestors into glory, and Jihad into liberation....
We shall be coming with a third Intifada, an armed revolution, a Jihadi revolution, Allah willing.... Gaza and the West Bank will fuse together, along with our brothers within the 1948 borders, in a second Battle of Hattin [the first was in 1187], in order to uproot the Jews”.
Yet, despite such vows (showing that while the threatened Caliphate will begin with Israel it will not end there), despite Islamism's misogyny (St James's Church, Piccadilly has a female pastor, by the way), and despite ghastly Islamist persecution of their fellow believers in Jesus, even unto death, the truly warped phenomenon of Christians who stand with Islamists persists.

(This photo, from here, merely hints at the forced conversion,  bloodshed and sorrow rampaging Islamists have caused and continue to cause, to some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, while in the case of the suffering Christian communities in Pakistan and other former colonies of European powers, who faithfully follow Jesus owing to missionary activity among their forebears, I would have thought that Christians, particularly leftist Christians who decry colonialism and its effects, might feel a special sense of obligation.)

As Evelyn Gordon goes on to observe:
'Many of these same liberal Christian groups have also turned a blind eye to the ongoing slaughter of Christians in Syria and Iraq, the worsening persecution of Christians in Egypt and various other anti-Christian atrocities worldwide, preferring to focus all their energies on vilifying the one Middle Eastern country where, to quote Israeli Arab priest Father Gabriel Nadaf, “We feel secure” as Christians. ...[T]his contrast between the terrible plight of other Middle Eastern Christians and the safety they enjoy in Israel is increasingly leading Israel’s Arab Christians to rethink their former identification with the state’s opponents; one result is that the number of Arab Christians volunteering for service in the IDF shot up more than 60 percent this year (though given the minuscule starting point, the absolute numbers remain small). But no such rethinking has occurred among anti-Israel Christians in the West....' [Emphasis added]
 But to return to that reprehensible replica wall.  If you're passing, add a pro-Israel message.  Am Yisrael Chai will do!

Thursday 26 December 2013

Hey, Jeff Halper! What do you think of this, then?

Those who have seen Richard Millett's latest blogpost, regarding the "Bethlehem Unwrapped" anti-Israel hate fest outside St James's Church, Piccadilly, crossposted on CiF Watch, will have seen a video featuring well-known Israeli dissident Jeff Halper. (The nimble black-clad black-hatted photographer clicking enthusiastically away in the background while Halper speaks is of course the Reverend Stephen Sizer, who's posted the fruits of his labours on his own blog and also on flickr.) (Marvellous article here by Robin Shepherd, incidentally, regarding Yuletide illwill against Israel)

I've no idea whether a certain British anti-Israel activist called Stuart Littlewood was at the event described.  But if Jeff Halper catches up with him on his visit to London I trust that Jeff will scold him for yet another of his descents into the dank dark pit of judeophobia.

You see, Jeff Halper wrote the Foreword to Stuart Littlewood's now-out-of-print Israel-demonising Radio Free Palestine.  He was presumably unaware when he did so that Littlewood (apparently a 9/11 truther: "We are not amused by indications that the official explanation of 9/11 doesn’t add up") has acquired quite a reputation for antisemitism.

As I've pointed out before, Littlewood is on record as making such foetid statements as this:
"Jews and Judaism survived 1800 years without the land of Israel, and most of today’s Jews, I’m told, have no ancestral links to that land at all. And Jews seem to like it here in the UK. They are allowed to occupy the highest positions and even make our laws. They are not leaving in droves for a squatter home on stolen Palestinian land."
And this, which was apparently picked up by a neo-Nazi British organisation and which at least one Palestine Solidarity Campaign branch linked to on its website:
"The Jewish population in the UK is 280,000 or 0.46 per cent. There are 650 seats in the House of Commons so, as a proportion, Jewish entitlement is only three seats.
With 24 seats they are eight times over-represented. Which means, of course, that other groups must be under-represented, including Muslims.
The UK's Muslim population is 2.4 million or 3.93 per cent. Their proportional entitlement is 25 seats but they have only eight – a serious shortfall. If Muslims were over-represented to the same extent as the Jews (i.e. eight times) they’d have 200 seats.
Jewish over-representation is only part of our problem. An even bigger worry is the huge number of non-Jew Zionists that have stealthily infiltrated every level of political and institutional life.
 ....Too many pro-Israel MPs speak and act as if they would rather wave the Israeli flag than the Union Jack...."
Recently, Littlewood wrote here regarding an eruv in North London:
'It seems that Jews in England can’t abide their own religious laws any more than their brethren in Israel can cope with international law and humanitarian law. Is this the thin end of a wedge to achieve annexation by the back doorlots of Little Israels in England‘s green and pleasant land? Bushey is already occupied territory, evidently. Whatever next?
 ....Last I heard, England is a Christian country still. Even David “I’m-a-Zionist” Cameron says so. Do we want microcosms of the state of Israel here?
It smacks of psychological warfare aimed at making non-Jewish communities feel vulnerable and unsafe. Presumably the aerial boundaries will be expanded as the ‘ingathering’ proceeds and uncomfortable non-Jewish residents are driven out. How long before those who complain about this creeping annexation of their neighbourhoods, however “symbolic”, are smeared with the anti-Semitic label?
When I was a boy living in Finchley, the bus route to the West End of London ran through Golders Green. Even in those far-off days it was a standing joke that you needed your passport for the trip. How much worse it must seem today now that Golders Green is pegged out with a demarcation boundary of 5.5 metre poles strung together with fishing line.'
 Does Jeff Halper really want to be associated with such a guy?

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Monitoring Church Campaigns Against Israel

In old Europe, Easter was the traditional time for assault on the Jews: as is well-known, many a pogrom took place around that time, stoked by the canard that Jews killed Jesus.

These days, it seems to be Christmas that's the traditional time for an all-out assault upon the Jews, in the form of the Jewish State.  As I remarked here, Yuletide sees an intensification of that Open Season on Israel that takes place throughout the year.

This Israel-hating gimmick outside St James's Church, Piccadilly (photo taken by the intrepid Richard Millett; see more about it from him here), cost several thousand pounds.

I understand that the money for the erection of this eight-metre high replica of the separation barrier that keeps Israelis safe from suicide bombers was provided by the controversial charity Interpal among other sponsors, who of course might have put their funds to worthier use.

St James's, Piccadilly is well-known for its anti-Israel initiatives at the "Season of Goodwill".

It's  participated with gusto in the grotesque politicisation of much-loved traditional carols (an enterprise in which Methodist minister Dr Stephen Leah, secretary of the York PSC, has played a large part):

'A crude anti-Zionist parody of the Christmas Carol "Once in Royal David's City" will be sung in the Wren church of St James's, Piccadilly, later this month as part of an "alternative service of lessons and carols" protesting against Israeli policies towards Palestine.

This is the text of the parody:

Once in royal David's city
Stood a big apartheid wall;
People entering and leaving
Had to pass a checkpoint hall.
Bethlehem was strangulated,
And her children segregated.

Though this city is a symbol
To the world of peace and love,
Concrete walls have closed around her,
Settlements expand above.
And apartheid Israel stands
All around on stolen lands.

.... Whatever your views on Palestine, allowing a historic church and a much-loved carol to be used to disseminate political propaganda is indefensible, and a tremendous insult to Christians....' (So wrote the Daily Telegraph's Damian Thompson in 2008).

And of course it's not the only one to stage anti-Israel Yuletide fests.  It's hard to forget the carol service at Bloomsbury Baptist Church in 2009 (Professor Geoffrey Alderman wrote hard-hittingly about it here) which attracted this antisemite.

As for the Methodists and anti-Israel activity, there's a really great piece here

All this is depressing, but I'm pleased, at any rate, to see that there's a new website that monitors church-generated vilification of and activity against Israel:
"BDS in the Pews is a project of NGO Monitor.  It examines the role of churches, Christian aid societies, and faith-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in political campaigns against Israel.  This site provides analysis of the activities and funding of these groups, as well as their grantees, in the context of demonization and delegitimization campaigns...."
This is a website that I for one will certainly bookmark.

Update: A great post from Robin Shepherd here 
Further update: And one from Edgar Davidson here

To My Christian Readers

Thank you for following my blog.  May you have a Merry Christmas.  And of course Compliments of the Season to everyone else.

Interesting, not necessarily merry, Christmas-themed articles here and here
Richard Millett's report on the replica "Wall" (the one that defends Israelis against suicide bombers) outside St James's Church , Piccadilly here
(More photos of that, the church's latest Israel-demonising initiative, by an old chum of ours here)
And a special mention of Christian reader Ian G. for the many pro-Israel articles and articles of Jewish interest on his blog (born during the past year) here
Bibi's Christmas message here

Tuesday 24 December 2013

What The Vicar Told The Donkey

On my previous post I pose a question to the Reverend Stephen Sizer, regarding a certain Yuletide view.

Reader P, who follows the vicar's Facebook page, has sent me this screenshot, which he takes to be a response:

Assuming this rather discourteous post is aimed at me (is this how the Bishop of Guildford thinks it's appropriate for a clergyman to address persons who disagree with him?) I have this to say:

I did not mention a metal detector.  I used the words "SS insignia".  The SS symbol that is reflected in that mirror.  If the reflective side of the mirror were aimed at the donkey's leg, the donkey's leg would obviously be reflected in it.   But the reflective side of the mirror, the side that the viewer of the picture sees, is aimed at the IDF soldier. And what is staring back at that soldier?  Why, those unmistakable lightning shapes of the SS insignia.  The point of the picture is clear: that the IDF is behaving like the Schutzstaffel.

I'm sure you don't concur with that abominable slur on the IDF, vicar.

And I assume you have soundly rebuked your two Facebook friends (reader P has confirmed they are such) for posting the following piece of unequivocal antisemitism?:

You have rebuked them, haven't you?

Sunday 22 December 2013

"Photo speaks a thousand words, doesn't it?": Selected Yuletide views

First, a filthy (aren't they all, though?) blood libel (yes, it's attracting "Likes"!):

Second, this old chestnut, offered by Israel-bashing NGO War on Want in, and perhaps ever since, 2009.  ("No explanation required,"vicar? Ah, but there is, you know. Why's that SS insignia in the picture, for starters?):

Third, the sign on a front lawn in America (well done, that householder, and a very Merry Christmas to you!):

Not in Mint Condition: PSC chief Mick's grasp of history

We are becoming used to the ignorance of the history of Palestine on the part of many enemies of the Jewish State, who, whether from malice or  willful blindness, push the lie that Palestine was once an independent sovereign state wrested from its owners by the Zionists.

We are becoming used to a corollary of that ignorance, the obscene appropriation of posters (such as the one pictured at left) by a Yishuv artist, a refugee from Nazi Germany, by those who want the eradication of Israel.
But although we are becoming used to it, the degree of ignorance never ceases to amaze.

Nor should it, because it is a powerful propaganda tool winning hearts and minds among those who don't know the facts of history and make no effort to find out.

And, of course, the propaganda has been swallowed, and pushed in its turn, by people who really ought to know better.

The Reverend Stephen Sizer, for instance, who as we saw recently condemns me as "blind" for linking to an Elder of Ziyon poster that points out the truth.

Why, some of the usual suspects even tout The Palestine Post as proof that there was once an independent state of Palestine!  Do they honestly not realise that the newspaper was a Yishuv enterprise?

Here's the latest example of this twisted history that's come to my attention: Scottish PSC chief Mick Napier's inclusion of a picture of a Palestinian  coin (dated 1927, with inscriptions in English, Hebrew, and Arabic) on his Facebook profile.

Hard as it is to credit, Mr Napier and the commenter shown seem to believe that the Palestine mentioned on the coin was an Arab sovereign entity, which minted its own coins.

Come on, guy and gal! You're having a laugh, aren'tcha?

Date of coin:1927.  Currency of Mandate Palestine.  Minted by the Mandate authorities, the British.


Of course, many people will argue that the fact there was never a sovereign state of Palestine does not preclude such a state in the future.

Point taken.  But please do not stoop so low as to propagandise on the basis of a false version of history which demonises Zionism and aims to delegitimise the only Jewish State in the world.

Friday 20 December 2013

As BDS Gains Ground in the Highlands, Scottish PSC Chief Slams "Scottish Zionist Leaders"

Yesterday, at a full meeting, members of Scotland's Highland Regional Council voted to condemn
“the Government of Israel for its continuing illegal occupation of Palestine’s East Jerusalem and the West Bank and for its continuing illegal blockade of Gaza”
and welcomed
“the decision of the United Nations on 29 November 2012 to grant ‘non-member observer State’ to Palestine.”
Exults Mr Mick Napier, chief of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign:
' This decision of the Council provides a basis for current work across the region to extend the BDS campaign....
Highland Regional Council covers over a third of the Scottish mainland and is the seventh out of thirty two Scottish councils population size.
The Highland Council vote took place without any preparatory work beforehand and thus casts a very bright light on the current state of British opinion at local government level. Zionists are acutely aware of the pariah status of Israel in popular opinion across the world and throughout the UK. How much longer will Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and the Charities Commission be able to protect the apartheid state from popular opinion as Israel crosses red line after line of sustained criminality?'

And he claims:
'Scottish Zionist leaders reacted to the impending vote in their usual irresponsible and reckless manner, defending Israeli crime by manipulating the fears of Scottish Jews. Three days before the vote, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities [SCoJeC]spokesperson Linda Martin warned darkly in the local press of possible physical attacks on Jews if Israel was criticised.
Ms Martin claimed somewhat disingenuously that “The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities has no collective view on Israeli policies.” Their claimed neutrality towards Israel’s crimes is manifestly untrue, however, since SCoJeC’s leaders never criticise any Israeli massacre and miss no opportunity to smear criticism of Israel with wholly fabricated claims of anti-semitism. These antics have laid SCoJeC’s leaders open to severe criticism from within the Scottish Jewish community.
Ms Martin is reckless: she and SCoJeC claims to be “concerned at recent research findings that reveal verbal and sometimes physical attacks on Jewish people in Scotland because of their perceived identification with Israel”. Such efforts to implicate the Scottish Jewish community in the crimes of the state of Israel have been vigorously repudiated by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. She also claims that “disproportionate criticism levied at Israel by some politicians makes people feel alienated and vulnerable.” There is, however, no reputable research in the public domain that Scottish Jews are “physically...attacked because of their perceived identification with Israel”. Perhaps Ms Martin can point to some, bearing in mind that Zionists have a long record of exaggerating and welcoming real anti-semitism to support their efforts to persuade Jews to emigrate to Israel/Palestine. Political Zionists, open supporters of Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing, also whinge loudly when they come in for the severe criticism their racist and violent policies deserve.'
I think Mr Napier must be unaware of the sentiments expressed by some anti-Israel elements in Scotland, as seen in the following photos.  If he knew about them, he would surely empathise with the fears of Scottish Jews.

An Italian Politician Regarding How The Obama Administration Unleashed "Israelophobia"

Wow! What a sizzler of an article here by Italian politician Fiamma  Nirenstein (pictured) regarding hatred of Israel.

In the course of a long but most readable analysis she observes:
'The problem of the Jews today, the world over, is not anti-Semitism but a new branch of it: "Israelophobia." The most productive fight for world Jewry and its allies at the moment would be not against anti-Semitism, even though Israelophobia is a part of it, but against Israelophobia itself.....
 No one, either on the left or right, believes Israelophobia to be a violation of human rights, or defends the Jewish people from this all-encompassing prejudice that covers the history and character of the Jewish people with lies. An attack on Israel is seen, rather, as a legitimate critique of a sovereign country; the revival of anti-Semitism (which is what it is) against the Jewish people is therefore considered not important.....There seem three main reasons why Israelophobia exists:
◾The worldwide spread of a Muslim presence never before seen, including its globalization on the Internet, its proliferation of anti-Israel propaganda, and its power in institutions.
◾The spread of the culture of "human rights," in which anyone who appears to be an underdog must be "good," and anyone who appears not to be an underdog or victim must therefore be "bad."
◾The current government of the United States of America.
....The current U.S. Administration has sincerely promoted a positive relationship between America and Islam that, in addition to being politically questionable, makes room in the world for the most brutal anti-Semitism. The decline of American influence has left a vacuum that has been filled by all kinds of alternatives to democracy - ideological and otherwise, from the al-Nusra Front to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as to Russia, China and Afghanistan.
The current Administration probably did not foresee this disastrous side effect, but it seems clear is that in designing the policy that prohibited the use of the word "jihad" in official U.S. documents, no one stopped to think about how many times that term has been used to explain terrorism against, for example, Israel. That point apparently does not strike anyone there as relevant to the president's international policies. Hatred toward the Jewish state, even in its most extreme forms, was apparently not regarded as having any political significance, and therefore has not, in recent years, been subjected to any ideological or moral sanction.
....These events are a subsection of Israelophobia in a world that legislates to have a smoke-free environment, but not against child-marriages or honor killings or female circumcision, and that has never felt the need to deal with terrorism against Israel, or with the human rights to which the Israelis might be entitled....
But Israelophobia has nothing to do with legitimate criticism of the State of Israel: it is not based on any observation of reality. It is an obsession, the clearest expressions of which are the UN's "Zionism is Racism" resolution of 1975; the fury with which nine motions were recently passed against Israel at the UN General Assembly, which were commented on even by a translator accidentally speaking into an open microphone; and when the UN General Assembly pushed through a total of 23 similar resolutions, in all of which legitimate defense becomes the cruelty of a "racist" and murderous country.
There needs to be a strategy which considers the consequences of Israelophobia. It would encompass the history of Israel, its values, its actions, its right to defend itself -- and the verbal and physical abuse to which it is constantly subjected. It is also necessary to continue fighting anti-Semitism. Any other option will allow terrorism -- against both Jews and non-Jews -- to grow.'
Be sure to read it all!

Thursday 19 December 2013

The Cerebral Mr Davidson on Leftwing Hypocrisy Regarding Israel

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the cerebral British blogger Edgar Davidson doesn't post as frequently as I would wish, but when he does he always has something very worth saying.

His latest post is a corker, identifying with clinical precision the hypocritical attitudes of the Left vis-à-vis Israel.

Here's a taster:

What every Leftist believes

Academic freedom
    Academic freedom is sacrosanct and universal
    Boycott all Israeli academics (except for Arab Israelis of course)

Freedom of speech
    Freedom of speech is sacrosanct and universal
    No platform for Zionists, no platform for ‘Islamophobes’

Nuclear energy
    Must be banned in every country of the world
    Iran has an absolute right to nuclear energy

Nuclear weapons
    Must be banned in every country of the world
    Iran has an absolute right to nuclear weapons

    Religion is the opium of the masses. It should be ridiculed and banned
    All aspects of Islam must be respected


Read all of Edgar Davidson's insightful post here
Update: And see his great follow-up here

Frankly Farouk (video)

Here's PLO bigwig Farouk Qaddumi, frankly admitting in an interview earlier this month that the Arabs of Mandate Palestine supported the Nazis:

( video)

Wednesday 18 December 2013

In America The Academic Boycott Snowballs Onward

On 15 December the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association voted unanimously to support the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.

This makes it the third academic organisation in the United States to award pariah status to the world's only Jewish State.

 Here's its statement:
"The council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) declares its support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
A broad coalition of Palestinian non-governmental organizations, acting in concert to represent the Palestinian people, formed the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Their call was taken up in the United States by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. A NAISA member-initiated petition brought this issue to NAISA Council. After extensive deliberation on the merits of the petition, the NAISA Council decided by unanimous vote to encourage members of NAISA and all who support its mission to honor the boycott.
NAISA is dedicated to free academic inquiry about, with, and by Indigenous communities. The NAISA Council protests the infringement of the academic freedom of Indigenous Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the Occupied Territories and Israel who are denied fundamental freedoms of movement, expression, and assembly, which we uphold.
As the elected council of an international community of Indigenous and allied non-Indigenous scholars, students, and public intellectuals who have studied and resisted the colonization and domination of Indigenous lands via settler state structures throughout the world, we strongly protest the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the legal structures of the Israeli state that systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other Indigenous peoples.
NAISA is committed to the robust intellectual and ethical engagement of difficult and often highly charged issues of land, identity, and belonging. Our members will have varying opinions on the issue of the boycott, and we encourage generous dialogue that affirms respectful disagreement as a vital scholarly principle. We reject shaming or personal attacks as counter to humane understanding and the greater goals of justice, peace, and decolonization.
As scholars dedicated to the rights of Indigenous peoples, we affirm that our efforts are directed specifically at the Israeli state, not at Israeli individuals. The NAISA Council encourages NAISA members to boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state and we wish to place pressure on that state to change its policies. We champion and defend intellectual and academic freedom, and we recognize that conversation and collaboration with individuals and organizations in Israel/Palestine can make an important contribution to the cause of justice. In recognition of the profound social and political obstacles facing Palestinians in such dialogues, however, we urge our members and supporters to engage in such actions outside the aegis of Israeli educational institutions, honoring this boycott until such time as the rights of the Palestinian people are respected and discriminatory policies are ended."
As a distinguished American scholar, political scientist Michael Curtis,  author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East, opined not long ago:
"One never ceases to be amazed at the obtuseness on the issue of boycotts of proponents of BDS, some of whom are affiliated with prestigious educational institutions ...
In their partisan advocacy and hostility to Israel they show an astonishing ignorance of life in the Middle East countries as well as of the true nature of academic freedom.
Contrary to the expressed opinion of some BDS supporters there is nothing vague about academic freedom. It denotes a free exchange of ideas and opinions, an exchange in which the validity of those ideas can be examined and challenged, and which is not limited either internally in a particular country or externally. John Stuart Mill knew that free inquiry is the basis for acceptance or rejection of wrong or incorrect ideas and information.
Supporters of BDS have tried to qualify their position by suggesting that their call for action is against institutions not individuals. But this is a sleight of hand evasion of the truth.
A public university or academic institution even if funded wholly or partly by public funds does not take a stand, but individual academics who pursue knowledge or make pronouncements may do so. The President of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, like the President of Rutgers University in New Jersey, does not make pronouncements on abortion, or military cuts, or nuclear weapons in Iran.
Nor do the Presidents of Tel Aviv or Haifa universities issue proclamations as university policy on the nature and destiny of the disputed territories.
Much of the argument of the BDS people is equally ignorant and nonsensical: false accusations that Israel is an apartheid system; that its legal system rests on inequality; that its military authorities interfere with the access of Palestinians to higher education and to hindrances of free speech and assembly.
They refuse to acknowledge that the Israeli government probably has more internal critics than has any other country, that the academic system is open to all who qualify, and that academics contribute to scientific research that may be useful for public purposes in the same way as is the mode in Western countries. The BDS critics seem to know little of the real facts about the operation of Israeli universities in their call for boycotts....
One of the astonishing aspects of the ignorance of the BDS advocates, in Berkeley, New York, or Princeton, is that they take no heed of or are ignorant of the fact that Arab students will be severely hurt by any boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Can the conclusion be drawn that they think that Arabs should be punished, that Arabs are upholders of the system they regard as evil and apartheid, and that the Arabs are equally guilty of the collective and individual punishment of which they declare Israel is culpable?"
 More good sense from Michael Curtis here