By Vacy Vlazna
Israel, a leading innovative armament designer, producer and exporter has released worldwide, against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), a new weapon – a mutation of the pesky and potentially lethal horsefly – the harassfly hatched in the Department of Hasbara in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Whenever there is a BDS action or an event promoting cultural and/or political awareness of Palestine within seconds you’ll hear their drivelling droning of ‘zzz-hasbara-antisemitism-hasbara-zzzz-incitement-to-hate–zz-racism-zzz-hasbara-zzzz-delegitimisation-zzzz-victimisation-zzz”
The buzzing comes from a variety of species; Shurat HaDin (Israel), Israel Lobby (USA), CRIF, LDJ, (France) JBD (Australia), the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism (LD) plus the swarms of students from the seven Israeli universities recruited and paid to write pro-Israel tweets and Facebook messages to normalize and whitewash Israel’s apartheid policies and its aggressive illegal military occupation of Palestine.
The Israel Law Center or Shurat HaDin (SHD) is particularly nasty attacking with the sharp bite of anti-semitism/ racism, persons or groups who dare to support Palestinian political and human rights.
Supposedly inspired by Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center that confronted the Klu Klux Klan, it follows it should be challenging Israel considering the damning statement by author Alice Walker (who knows firsthand) that Israel’s apartheid occupation is “so much like the South of, you know, I don’t know, 50 years ago, really, and actually more brutal, because in Palestine so many more people are wounded, shot, killed, imprisoned.”
Boasting to be a ‘world leader in combating the terrorist organizations,” SHD is a noisy, annoying pest to free speech. It has, unsuccessfully, tried to suck blood-money ($5million) out of ex-US president and Nobel prize-winner, Jimmy Carter for consumer fraud for publishing his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.
Apparently, to call Israel an apartheid state is a misrepresentation even though UN Special Rapporteurs, Dugard and Falk have denounced Israel’s apartheid practices as illegal under international law. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu denounced Israel’s apartheid under a universal moral law.
Shurat HaDin also attempted to sting World Vision for allegedly providing “financial aid to a Gaza-based terrorist group”, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, which is simply a humanitarian non-profit company. The charge was investigated by AusAID and the Australian Federal Police which concluded there was no evidence to support Shurat HaDin’s absurd claims.
Now BDS, a non-violent movement, is its target. SHD, lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission a complaint of racism and anti-semitism against Professors Jake Lynch and Stuart Rees of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, after Professor Lynch “had publicly announced his refusal to work with Prof. Dan Avnon, an Israeli professor from …Hebrew University in Jerusalem, … and also called for a boycott of Technion University in Haifa.” as well as their public support of BDS at Sydney University.
This ongoing matter goes way beyond the shocking interference by a foreign agent into the Australian right to freedom of speech, it is yet another unconscionable machination to safeguard Israel’s impunity to mercilessly persecute Palestinian families, steal their lands and livelihoods, contain the concentration camp of Gaza for armament testing and war crimes.
Both of the BDS foci, Technion and Hebrew universities, are accomplices to the war crimes in Operation Cast Lead and the recent Operation Pillar of Cloud through their military and R&D programs linked to Israel’s major arms companies, Rafael, Elbit, IMI, IAI.
BDS challenges Israel’s impunity particularly with the academic boycott of Israeli universities which have an unethical symbiosis with Israel’s armament industry and military- and so Shurat HaDin was let loose.
In 2007, an Australian local council, Leichhardt Council, voted to twin with the city of Hebron raising a cacophony of buzzing by Inner West Chavurah (IWC) and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) Then in 2008 the NSW Police anti-terrorist squad backed by the JBD and IWC coerced Leichhardt Library to close a photographic exhibition showing the dismal conditions of Palestinians living in settler-dominated Al Khalil (Hebron).
In December 2011, after Marrickville Council voted to support BDS, the Zionists were all a-buzz and by March 2011 the Council majority gutlessly retracted their BDS vote.
Australia has stringent quarantine requirements that should include harassflies that can devastate the right of all Australians to freely defend the human rights of any suffering members of the human family.
French solidarity with Palestine is persistently bitten by the vicious LDJ and CRIF. France extends impunity and legality to the militant, racist Jewish group, Ligue de défense Juive (LDJ), banned in Israel and USA as a terrorist group, which conducts military training in officially known places, and recruits only members with military backgrounds. In 2011, the LDJ sent militants to ‘defend’ Israel’s illegal colonies.
When arrested for attacks on ‘anti-Israel’ bookstores, theatres, exhibitions, performances, the French court grants suspended sentences not imprisonment and the union of Jewish businessmen collects monies to pay their fines. On 28th June 2012, LDJ filmed their thuggish street attack with red oil paint on Olivia Zemor, president of CAPJPO, and displayed it on their website. On 6 July 2012 the writer Jacob Cohen was similarly attacked.
In June 2013, the violent LDJ closed the doors with bomb threats and threats to the lives of the staff of the famous Paris museum “Jeu de Paume” in the Tuilleries Garden to prohibit the beautiful exhibition by Palestinian photographer Alham Shibli. After an international campaign to the Minister of Culture, Aurelie Philipetti, the doors were opened again.
The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) is a hysterical biter that engorges on multiple court actions against BDS activists. To date, French courts have ruled on the right of citizens to call for a boycott of Israel and its products. There was a favorable BDS trial result on September 12 and another trial is to be held on October 30, 2013.
It would take a book to chronicle the interference and power of the Zionist lobby in the USA. In fact Mearsheimer and Walt have done exactly that with, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Jewish American Dick Platkin and Jeff Warner have revealed, in their Mondoweiss article, ‘The new anti-Semitism, and the campaign to silence American critics of Israel’ the Israel Lobby’s ‘slanderous campaign to discredit or silence American critics of the Israeli government’ that targets university campuses in California and elsewhere.
The London Declaration on Combating Semitism (LD) was purposely designed to sting by limiting its definition of ‘antisemitism’ to hate crimes against Jews and criticism of Israel because a broader definition of ‘semite’ must include Arabs. Paradoxically, the European Ashkenazi Jews, who are the majority and the elite in Israel, are mainly responsible for the antisemitic oppression of the semitic indigenous people of Palestine.
According to Gilad Atzmon the LD is a panic measure by Israel “to interfere with freedom of expression that is still regarded by some as a precious human value” and Stuart Littlewood exposes its purpose to criminalize criticism of Israel and exposes the absurdity of …
“Commandment no.1 states that ‘Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the state of Israel as a Jewish collectivity’.”
Oh dear, how confusing. Here I was foolishly thinking the state of Israel was indeed some sort of Jewish collective since its founding document says:
“We, members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz Israel and of the Zionist movement hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles… We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding…”
Politicians from the US, UK and Canada have shamefully sealed the fate of Palestinians under illegal Israeli occupation by signing the London Declaration.
The majority of Australian politicians scrambled to sign the LD with the exception of Greens John Kaye and David Shoebridge who stated,
“It is a tragedy that the London Declaration is a flawed document. The fundamental intent – to combat and end irrational hatred against a people – is too important to be subverted by the political objectives of Zionism.”
Israel’s image as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ has been undermined by its own apartheid policies that subjugate the Palestinians; its image of being the ‘most moral army in the world’ is blown to pieces by its own horrendous war crimes during Operation Cast Lead; its image as the universal victim was shot to pieces by its own commandoes who murdered 9 humanitarians on the Mavi Marmara, and Israel’s image as a defender of democratic free speech has been revealed as a sham by its fanatical buzzing to smother the BDS movement.
Yet, ironically, every demented buzz in the pro-Zionist media or by Zionist lobbies, kindly, provides invaluable awareness-raising of Israeli hypocrisies and breaches of international law and, as a generous bonus, creates thousands more supporters for BDS. In effect, Israel is the greatest supporter and advocate of BDS.
– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.