Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This 'mad, terrifying obsession'

Melanie Phillips complains in the Daily Mail that the BBC is now "peddling the ancient racial libel that the Jews exercise a unique control over the levers of power," which she calls "unvarnished Judeophobia." You can read the details here.

She continues by pointing out that actors including Emma Thompson, Richard Wilson and Alexei Sayle have called for a boycott of Israel's Habima theatre which has been performing Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice - "oh the irony of it!" - in Hebrew at the Globe in London. This, she says,

. . . was on account of what they described as Israel's 'policies of exclusion' against the Palestinians and its 'human rights violations and the illegal colonisation of occupied land.'

Dear oh dear - does one laugh or cry at such mindless parroting of demonstrable untruths? Quite apart from the fact that Habima is totally apolitical and a call for such a cultural boycott is, as the author Howard Jacobson put it, Kafkaesque, have these high-minded souls called for a boycott of Lebanon where Palestinians are excluded from citizenship? Have they called for a boycott of Syria where countless thousands have been slaughtered? Have they called for a boycott of Iran for threatening a second genocide of the Jews and jailing, torturing, stoning and hanging its own dissidents, women and gays?

Have they indeed called for a boycott of the Palestinian Authority for censoring and intimidating Palestinian and western journalists, and for brainwashing Palestinian children with Nazi-style propaganda in order to raise them to hate and murder Jews and Israelis?

No, of course not. The only country they want to boycott is the one country in the whole of the Middle East that is a true democracy, that affords human rights to all its citizens, that allows freedom of worship to all religions, that treats women as equals and safeguards the welfare and liberties of gay people - and treats in its own hospitals, alongside its own citizens, Palestinians from these 'excluded' territories including those who are trying to murder as many Israeli citizens as possible.

This irrational obsession is madness. It is terrifying. And no one in the wider community is saying anything about it.