I sat mesmerized. The event was fantastic beyond even my own imagination. I recognized a few people, and they recognized me. I was not there in a press capacity, but actually came because I have been following the actions against my people for many years. But midway through the evening, one of the organizers whispered in my ear: “It is good my father is not here. He reads Hebrew, you know” (referencing my weekly column in Hebrew that has never stood silent in the face of Israel hatred).
Just a week earlier, I sat at a presentation by a local Israeli philanthropist about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction Israel movement (“BDS”). It was an “intellectual salon,” held by a local non-profit that I support. A theoretical study, much like looking at slides of archeological findings rather than venturing into the field, participating in digs and learning first hand the craft and science.
Neither the philanthropist nor any of those who heard his presentation was among the audience for the discussion of “Peace in Israel/Palestine.” A missed opportunity, like so many others.
Quite a pity, because if anyone wants to learn about BDS first hand, or preempt what takes place at major churches in the USA or in Corporate America, one should come to the lion’s den and witness the work on the ground, be exposed to the elements, learn to identify the currents and understand the motivation behind the action plan. How else would one be expected to attempt to control the situation as it dynamically develops into a most successful frenzy against Israel and the Jewish people?
Faith without action is dead, but here there is so much action driven by misguided believers, that the success refuels the faith and the end result seems closer than ever.
“Bring BOYCOTT! To your community or campus” says one of the handouts. “The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) created the exhibition to educate audiences about economic activism and to inspire people to act on their principles.” And we are offered an exhibition “available for presentation in school, community and gallery settings without charge.”
Changing Hearts And Minds One Drip At A Time
We are called to learn about major US BDS campaigns at endtheoccupation.org/bds, bdsmovment.net, and pacbi.org. Like IS, they understand the strength of disseminating information. Moreover, they are not limited by a short time horizon. They know that success does not happen overnight. They will lose once, twice, thrice, maybe even four, five or six times. But then the tide will turn and they will start winning. In the meantime, the poison continues to drip. Drip, drop, drip, drop, until a critical mass is achieved and a torrent finds its way through.
How and why? Because by then, they will have changed the hearts and minds of the general population. Lies told often enough become “truth,” to the point reasonable (and reasonably-informed) people become confused. It seems logical that Israel is the Goliath. Israel with her military might. Israel that engages in ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Alas, the Jewish experts on “BDS” were not present. This is truly a pity, for “expertise” is learned by experience, not solely by assigning someone to create a presentation from the Internet.
None of the organized Israeli or Jewish community was there either. We must not dismiss what was taking place as an extreme outer fringe of lunatics. While this may be exactly the case, they are most effective in what they do, and we fail, exactly because we refuse to study what they do; until it is too late. One virus can kill millions.
Tales of the Middle East
Our IS-style, militant Muslim speaker states he recognizes Israel’s existence, but not her “Right” to exist. This he fights with all his might, and he is quite effective in garnering supporters to the cause.
He tells us of going to what-today-is-known as Beer Sheva (the capital of the Negev, Israel’s southern part). He asked to see the house where his father once lived, and to which he still holds keys, but the woman who opened the door spat and slammed the door in his face.
I wonder how can it be that Israel has allowed a person like him, a clear and present danger to her very existence, entrance. Israel, after all, does engage in all unspeakable and disallowed manners prohibited in the USA (like “Profiling”). Then I remember, stories may not be true to the facts, any connection to reality is purely coincidental and the story of people coming to see their “properties” I know first hand.
My uncle’s wife, who inherited with her twin sister their parents’ house in Israel’s artists’ village Ein Hod, receives many visitors who come to see and buy artwork. One such group asked her permission to pick up some fruit from a pomegranate tree planted, so they said, by their parents. They, too, so they claimed, have keys to the house.
My uncle’s wife is not a woman with whom to meddle. Her deceased parents planted the tree when she was a kid, she said and escorted the uninvited guests out, without permitting them to enjoy the fruits.
I also recalled another story, one told by someone affiliated with AFSC. Reportedly, the “sister,” “mother,” or otherwise the storyteller herself was detained at an Israeli checkpoint for so many hours that she lost her baby (apparently she was in advanced stages of pregnancy and the wait was bad for her).
Such a story is so far from the truth (as Israel’s enemies routinely are permitted inside Israel for medical treatment, and Israeli doctors – both Jewish and non-Jewish – treat them as they would any human being, with the utmost care, professionalism and concern) that I would normally dismiss it.
In Judaism, bringing a new life to the world is one of the most important happenings, for people are all created in the image of the Almighty, and the sanctity of life is greater than anything else.
Thus, when a woman fails to reach a hospital in time, it does happen that she gives birth on the side of the road, with the person helping the delivery then appearing on the nightly news, alongside the mother and newborn. However, something fantastically flawed is happening routinely at “Checkpoints.” The Arab women seem to always be detained on their way to Israeli hospitals … and without fail to lose their babies.
But again, why let facts stand in the way of fiction, especially when the later serves a greater purpose? For some reason people are so quick to believe a negative.
There are so many dead newly born infants, due to the mothers being detained or refused passage at “Checkpoints” (most of which were dismantled long ago) that it has reached the proportions of a plague. Except this specific plague – alongside several others – are only in the minds and on the lips of Israel’s haters.
We Demand, You Submit
Welcome to the world of AFSC, JVP, MSU, CAIR, MPAC and like-organizations.
Our side is not present. Mainstream Jewish organizations refuse to participate in this charade. And “Charade” is exactly what it is: “an absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.”
There was nothing respectable or pleasant during the panel discussion, but the most illuminating point was the preface by the moderator, requesting the audience to respect the speakers and not interrupt, then proceeding without losing a breath to describe Taher Herzallah as one of those who heckled Ambassador Oren.
Heckled was the word used, not mine. Heckled: interrupt (a public speaker) with derisive or aggressive comments or abuse.
Permissible to them but prohibited to others. It is OK to interrupt any Israeli or Jewish speaker, permissible and necessary. Demand the “right of free speech” but deny it to anyone else.
Absurdity dances at Satan’s Ball.
Any pretense of civility and respect soon departed the hallway. At first, the Jewish speaker was treated with the title “Mr.” The “Mr.” was quickly dropped, the Jew was belittled (“how low would they – the Jews – stoop”) and eventually he was ignored altogether.
Likewise, the Muslims use the very same recipe time and again.
When one is unable to prevail on the facts, one would attack the other side, and if one is unable to eliminate the other side (America has not fallen yet, and one cannot simply beat up, behead or shoot those with whom he disagrees or those he does not like), then the appropriate course of action is to ignore, as if they do not exist. (Their day will come, have faith!)
What does one do in face of such hatred? Does one engage? Participate? Boycott? Ignore? There are various options, and generally we have chosen to stay away, close our eyes and hope that the storm will not gather strength but disappear.
Some major Jewish organizations prefer “to work quietly behind the scenes.” That, history teaches us, works as much as appeasement or Chamberlain’s “Peace in Our Lifetime!”
Thus joined a new word to our vocabulary (“delegitimization”) alongside “dehumanization” and rose a global movement of BDS, likely the most effective grassroots movement of the 21st Century.
The Jewish panelist (not the apologist) used everything in his arsenal: tact, respect, history, facts, reason, logic and commonsense. He even employed love and his own childhood. He did not get angry (even if inside he likely was close to exploding). He answered each point and expanded with statistics and explanation for those who actually cared to know.
Nothing helped. There is a “One State (Final) Solution,” and that state will not be a Jewish State. In fact, it should be free of any Jews, for they are colonialists who stole a land not theirs. They (the Jews) have no right to exist in this land, to defile it.
There was more: Peace in Israel/Palestine means that Israel must cease to exist. She was created in sin, and her poisonous fruits supported by phosphorus bombs and armament by the USA.
And a chorus line heard over and over again: Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing and colonialism, and must be stopped.
And a reminder, to those sensitive of heart or ear: We all crave JUSTICE, and nothing in the world is more urgent and more needed than to bring JUSTICE to the Palestinians whose country was stolen, who were forced out of their homes and who are subjected to continued ethnic cleansing and barbaric atrocities.
“Free Palestine! From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free!”
I was so entrenched in the proceedings, that I neglected to pay attention to the following logic: Israel claims it needs to protect its security, but there are really no longer any threats to Israel. With Egypt and Jordan she has peace lasting decades, Syria is embroiled with internal problems, as is Iraq. Lebanon is not a threat to Israel. It is all propaganda the claim that Israel’s security needs are pressing.
More misinformation is that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Lebanon is too, with a free press, and other pillars of what may be defined as a “democracy.” So we are told.
The best was reserved for last: Israel cares very much for gays. Jewish gays, that is, because she exposes Arab gays, or threatens to expose them unless they cooperate as a snitch with her Security Services.
The world transposed. Not an iota of self – or inner – responsibility. There is nothing wrong with Arab Muslim society hanging young gay men. [Apparently there is also nothing wrong with Arafat and others sleeping with young males and fulfilling their desires with minors, of both sexes.] Israel must be at fault. Somehow, she is always fully responsible. Much like a battered woman, the beating husband is never at fault.
One by one, any argument is toppled and counter-arguments are erected. Israel is at fault at everything, and buzzwords are repeated so often, that even I start enjoying the familiarity of repetition. Israel is Apartheid. Israel is modern-day Nazism. Israel the Colonialist, her army Goliath. Ethnic Cleansing. So many dead. Children detained, raped, murdered, all by Israel.
“Free, Free Palestine. From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free (of Jews)!”
Speak against Evil
It is the last evening (and last event) for the year. Tomorrow night the Jewish people all around the world will celebrate their New Year. They will once again pray “for next year in Jerusalem.” They will hope for the Messiah to arrive quickly, in these very days, with him peace will be ushered in and no more war.
I leave the event, not sure if anyone might dare attack me physically. After all, I represent everything they hate, for I am Israel.
I look forward my New Year, knowing that very difficult and dangerous days are ahead.
KPFK, Jewish Voice for Peace and United Methodists’ Holy Land Task Force have invited IS into a church near you. Tonight it was at the Culver-Palms United Methodist Church in Culver City. Several years ago it was at LAUSD. Soon it will be at a location near you.
One day we will wake up and realize that Israel’s fight is our fight. That Hamas, Fatah, Hizbollah and IS are one and the same. And most importantly, if we do not stand up and do battle, our fates will be one, and probably already determined.
Good people need to speak. We must take action to protect all that is dear to us: God. Country. Family. Values.
And the time to start is now.
See Part one of this story: Satan’s Ball: Ignoring And Excusing Hatred Against Israel