The intellectual dishonesty of Israel’s supporters is appalling. But in some odd way, it is also understandable. How else could they respond to the massively growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign?
When a non-violent campaign - empowered by thousands of committed civil society activists from South Africa to Sweden and most countries in between - leads a moral campaign to isolate and hold into account an Apartheid country like Israel, all that the supporters of the latter can do is spread lies and misinformation. There can be no other strategy, unless of course, Israel’s friends get their own moment of moral awakening, and join the BDS flood that has already broken many barriers and liberated many minds from the grip of Israeli hasbara.
According to their logic, and that of the likes of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, writing in the New York Observer on Dec 12, legendary musician and human rights champion Roger Waters is an “anti-Semite.” In fact, according to the writer, he is an “anti-Semite” of the worst type. “I’ve read some heavy-duty attacks on Israel and Jews in my time, but they pale beside the anti-Semitic diatribe recently offered by Roger Waters, co-founder and former front man of the legendary British rock band Pink Floyd.”
Of course, Waters is as far away from racism as Boteach is far away from truly representing the Jewish people or Judaism. But what has earned Waters such a title, which is often bestowed without much hesitation at anyone who dares to challenge Israel’s criminal policies, military occupation and insistence on violating over 70 United Nations resolutions, is that Waters is a strong critic of Israel. In a recent interview with CounterPunch.org, Waters stated the obvious, describing Israel as a ‘racist Apartheid regime’, decrying its ‘ethnic cleaning’ of Palestinians, and yes, refusing to perform in a country that he saw as an equivalent to the “Vichy government in occupied France.”
From watching to participating
There is no room for racism or hate speech in BDS platforms. What is equally as important is that there can also be no space for gatekeepers who are too sensitive about Israel’s racially-motivated sensibilitiesRamzy Baroud