Israellycool » boycott Down Under Punditry in the Middle East Wed, 20 May 2015 21:23:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Orim Takes On BDSHole Natalie Bennett Tue, 19 May 2015 21:06:26 +0000 It’s been a while since I posted a video (or anything on Israellycool mind you). But no better place to resume duties on the front line than with the ‘Queen of BDS’ Natalie Bennett of the Green Party. Watch how she dodges my question. I then proceed to disrupt the event just to make the evening uncomfortable for her and her minions.

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Roger Waters Takes Aim At Dionne Warwick Fri, 15 May 2015 08:04:23 +0000 Guess who is flapping his gums again, this time against singing great Dionne Warwick, who rejects BDS and is to perform in Israel in a few days?

roger waters spray painting wall israelSinger and U.N. global ambassador Dionne Warwick recently released an interesting if puzzling statement asserting that she would, and I quote, “never fall victim to the hard pressures of Roger Waters, from Pink Floyd, or other political people who have their views on politics in Israel.”

“Waters’ political views are of no concern,” I assume she means to her, the statement read. “Art,” she added, “has no boundaries.”

Until today, I have not publicly commented on Ms. Warwick’s Tel Aviv concert or reached out to her privately. But given her implicit invitation, I will comment now.

First, in my view, Dionne Warwick is a truly great singer. Secondly, I doubt not that she is deeply committed to her family and her fans.

But, ultimately, this whole conversation is not about her, her gig in Tel Aviv, or even her conception of boundaries and art, though I will touch on that conception later. This is about human rights and, more specifically, this is about the dystopia that can develop, as it has in Israel, when society lacks basic belief in equal human value, when it strays from the ability to feel empathy for our brothers and sisters of different faiths, nationalities, creeds or colors.

It strikes me as deeply disingenuous of Ms. Warwick to try to cast herself as a potential victim here. The victims are the occupied people of Palestine with no right to vote and the unequal Palestinian citizens of Israel, including Bedouin Israeli citizens of the village of al-Araqib, which has now been bulldozed 83 times by order of the Israeli government.

I believe you mean well, Ms. Warwick, but you are showing yourself to be profoundly ignorant of what has happened in Palestine since 1947, and I am sorry but you are wrong, art does know boundaries. In fact, it is an absolute responsibility of artists to stand up for human rights – social, political and religious – on behalf of all our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed, whoever and wherever they may be on the surface of this small planet.

Forgive me, Ms. Warwick, but I have done a little research, and know that you crossed the picket line to play Sun City at the height of the anti-apartheid movement. In those days, Little Steven, Bruce Springsteen and 50 or so other musicians protested against the vicious, racist oppression of the indigenous peoples of South Africa. Those artists allowed their art to cross boundaries, but for the purpose of political action. They released a record that struck a chord across the world. That record, “I Ain’t Gonna play Sun City,” showed the tremendous support of musicians all over the world for the anti-apartheid effort.

Alas, it is Waters who is – to quote his own words here – “showing [himself] to be profoundly ignorant of what has happened in Palestine since 1947.”

Either that, or he just refuses to acknowledge real facts.

Facts like:

  • The Jews’ indigenous right to a homeland in the land of Israel
  • Israeli being attacked by 5 Arab nations in 1948, following the palestinian Arabs’ rejection of the Partition Plan, in an attempt to destroy her and drive the Jews in to the Sea
  • Subsequent wars of annihilation initiated by the Arabs
  • The palestinian’s use of terrorism and refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state
  • Israel’s right to defend herself in the face of this terrorism and the real security considerations that give rise to policies that are discriminatory
  • Israel’s belief in in equal human value, as evidenced by the rights of minorities, Israelis working against racism and discrimination that exist in Israel like every other country in the world, as well as Israel’s disproportionate representation in overseas humanitarian endeavors
  • Human rights violations by the palestinians against Israel AND palestinians
  • Illegal Bedouin appropriation of lands and the rationale of court decisions behind the razing of places like Al-Araqeeb

I could go on and on as to the extent of Water’s ignorance but I think you get my drift.

In short: Waters is out of his depth and Dionne Warwick is quite simply delightful.

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Blumen Fail: Max Blumenthal’s Web Address Still Advertising Israeli Company Sun, 03 May 2015 19:01:00 +0000 Last month, I posted about Israel hater Max Blumenthal’s stunning hypocrisy: having his personal website created with Wix, an Israel-made product.

When this was pointed out to him, Blumenthal used a rather lame excuse.

Well, apparently it is hard to get it replaced. Because 3 weeks later, and still looks like this:

That’s a big advertisement for an Israeli company right there.

Looks like his “web designer” is snoozing on the job. Perhaps Max should chase him down to make the changes.

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Robbie Williams: Israel “F—n Amazing” (Updated With Video) Sat, 02 May 2015 19:43:23 +0000 No, I did not go to the concert tonight, but others have, and Robbie Williams has apparently not just wowed the crowd with his performance, but also his excitement for Israel.

And this:

Those are not the words of someone just being polite. Those are the words of someone who truly has loved being here.

Sounds like a big ol’ FU to Roger Waters if you ask me.

As does his copious use of the word “Israel” apparently.

Updated: Thanks to reader and friend Jonny, here is footage from the concert in which Robbie confirms he was looking forward to performing in Israel more than anywhere else.

Updated: Here he is repeatedly saying “Israel” before singing “She’s the One”

More concert video here:

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Robbie Williams Arrives In Israel To Entertain Us. Take That, Roger Waters! Fri, 01 May 2015 04:33:13 +0000 A few days ago, we again scooped the media with the post on Roger Water’s letter to Robbie Williams, urging him to join him on the dark side of the moron and boycott Israel.

Robbie Williams has responded.

robbie williams

photo credit: public relations/Sivan Faraj

According to this report, he will spend Shabbat dinner with Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb, who will presumably be warming up the Challah in addition to his performance on Saturday night.

Surely Waters has to realize he is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Way more performers have ignored his ramblings against Israel than have heeded them.

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Roger Waters Turns His Attention To Robbie Williams Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:41:15 +0000 Not long after failing miserably with Alan Parsons, rock’n’roll BDSHole Roger Waters has turned his attention to Robbie Williams, set to perform in Israel in a few days.

Robbie Williams:

One of the most horrifying incidents during Israel’s massive assault on Gaza last summer was the killing of four Palestinian boys playing soccer on a beach.  This war crime was meticulously documented by human rights organizations and by journalists on the scene at the Al-Deira Hotel. NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin tweeted that just minutes prior he had joined the children in their soccer game.  War-hardened journalists tweeted their eyewitness distress.

I bring up this gruesome scene because popular UK entertainer Robbie Williams, soon to play a May 2 concert in Tel Aviv, is known to be a huge soccer fan.  He is also UNICEF’s UK ambassador and a declared supporter of its Children in Danger campaign. Yet, sadly, when it comes to Palestinian children, like those killed on that beach in Gaza that day, Williams is showing a chilling indifference to their well-being.

London Palestine Action has pointed to his hypocrisy in that he purports to represent UNICEF while preparing to play a gig in Tel Aviv: “We hope UNICEF will remain steadfast in defense of children’s rights, including Palestinian children, and ask Robbie Williams to either cancel his Tel Aviv show or, step down as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador…”

UNICEF, as declared in its mission statement, insists that “the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress.”

Dear Robbie, playing this concert on May 2 would be giving your tacit support to the deaths of over 500 Palestinian children last summer in Gaza, including the four soccer players on the beach in Gaza, and condoning the arrest and abuse of hundreds of Palestinian children each year living under Israeli occupation, as has been documented by UNICEF itself.

To declare my own history, I confess I myself played a gig in Israel in 2006 before I knew any better. At that time and afterward, moved as I was, I listened to voices from all sides and made it my business to learn as much as I could about the situation in Israel and Palestine. I traveled widely in Israel and the West Bank and now nine years later having done my research, I have come to the conclusion that BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) is the most viable, peaceful way to end the suffering of, and forge a better future for, all the people of the Holy Land. I encourage you, Robbie, and all other artists, not to play in Israel until Israel complies with international law and recognizes the basic human rights of all the people of the region, including the Palestinian people, which, Robbie, includes Palestinian children playing soccer.

Since my 2006 gig, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has emerged as a dynamic force to be reckoned with. Covered heavily in mainstream media around the world, BDS has succeeded in publicizing the Palestinian people’s predicament, their lack of freedom, equality and access to justice.

Now, in 2015, there is really no excuse for musicians agreeing to play in Tel Aviv. The jury of world opinion is in; global civil society supports equal rights for all. We are approaching the same tipping point as when artists lent their support to the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

Those innocent soccer-playing children in Gaza were the victims of a violent indiscriminate Israeli attack.

That was more than nine months ago.  Since then, one of those kids, 12-year-old Montasser Abu Bakr, who was playing alongside his brother, and three friends, has attempted suicide and is regularly subject to uncontrollable fits of screaming and sobbing. This is one of the children whose “survival, protection and development” you, Robbie, have promised to uphold. Tragically, it is too late for Montasser’s dead brother and the other three children needlessly slain that day. But, Robbie, you can still stand up and send a powerful message as an individual and as a genuine human rights ambassador, that “business as usual” with Israel is unacceptable until such time as our Palestinian brothers and sisters are afforded equal human rights under international law and their children are not subject to this kind of obscene random slaughter.

As a UNICEF ambassador and a man of humanity and honor, you have, in my opinion, a duty to respect the picket line created by Palestinian civil society and a growing number of engaged musicians, artists and academics around the globe.  Not just Ken Loach andStephen Hawking and Elvis Costello and Brian Eno and me, but all the other artists, thousands and counting, standing up for the oppressed and the occupied, those subjugated people that Israeli officials describe as needing to be made to “lose weight, but not to starve to death” or, worse, as grass to be mowed.

To be clear, Robbie, whether intended or not, your decision to play in Tel Aviv gives succor to Netanyahu and his regime, and endorses their exceptionalist and deadly racist policies.

So, I say, please, Robbie, look inside yourself and find the soccer fan, the man, the father who can feel another father’s loss.

If you cannot see yourself in the eyes of a Palestinian father, you should do the decent thing and resign from UNICEF, or failing that, UNICEF should let you go.


Roger Waters.

PS: To all of you reading this who care about children, thank you, we are bound together by the love we have for children, not just Montasser Abu Bakr, his brother and his friends, but the other children in Gaza and the West Bank and Israel and all the other children all over the world who should have the right to live and play in peace and safety. Our love and goodwill extends to each of them equally as we strive to encourage the creation of a Holy Land worthy of that name.

No mention of Hamas using their children as human shields.

No mention of Hamas firing at Israeli children.

Just the usual one-sided drivel we have come to expect from Waters.

I trust Robbie will see through this and entertain us.

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Reader Post: A Shocking Headline – Israel Denies Entry To An Antisemite! Sun, 26 Apr 2015 18:05:45 +0000 Blade NzmandeI always find it amusing at the kind of people that criticize Israel.  I truly do.  I mean, to be honest, as a child of the Star Wars generation, I’ve always dreamed of travelling to distant galaxies.  But these people who criticize Israel – are actually living in those distant galaxies already!

The other day, Israel denied an entry visa to a South African Higher Education government minister, Blade Nzmande – a member of the South African Communist party, to visit PA controlled territories. Now Comrade Blade is a fierce critic of Israel and a big supporter of the BDS movement, calling for a boycott of a large South African retailer, Woolworths, for selling Israeli goods, as well as calling Zionism a form of colonialism.  So gee, I wonder why Israel won’t let this anti-Semitic fool into the country.

Anyway, of course there was an ‘outrage’ by the South African government, as there usually is.  They reacted with ‘fury’, I read. Now I too, have felt these feelings of ‘fury’ and ‘outrage’, like when I bought a packet of chips at the supermarket, and it was like only half-full!  I mean, what the-!!!  Just make the packet smaller, don’t tease us with false advertising of MEGA SIZE packet portions!

And of course the South African Communist Party released a strong statement, saying no foreign government will decide for us what to think, say or do.  Um, well hate to break it to you sunshine, but the Israeli government decided EXACTLY what you would do – and that is to get stuffed, because the doors of the State of Israel will not be opening for you.

But as the South African government stood shocked and horrified and appalled and outraged, at the lack of respect shown to their minister, they should probably save some of that outrage for what’s happening in their own country where a wave of anti-foreigner violence has left at least six people dead.

So while the South African Communist Party harp on about the ‘racist, apartheid Israeli regime’, I think they maybe should try do some of their own harping on the xenophobia happening in some parts of South Africa where foreigners are being forced to flee for their own safety.

Because meanwhile, back in ‘racist, apartheid Israel’, Arabs sit on the high court, are in charge of the Israeli elections, are members of parliament, and have more freedoms than any other Arab people in the entire region.

Sounds shocking!

Maybe the minister for Higher Education, should perhaps… oh I don’t know… get some education in the first place?

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Israel National Baseball Team Wins Tue, 21 Apr 2015 09:52:39 +0000 Well, they are the Under 14 Israel National Baseball team, and they came in 7th place out of 16.

closeu p;boy playing baseball for Israel

But that is quite an accomplishment coming from a country with almost no baseball culture, or knowledge of the sport. Last year the young Israel National Team won the European championship in the C division, so this year’s team competed in the 2015 European B Division.

Israel and Ukraine baseball

Here are some of the Israeli players with the opposing Ukrainian team.

Israel Under 14 Baseball team

Quite an accomplishment for these boys, to play in an European championship, against Ukraine, in Prague – and on Yom Hashoah.

Kol hakavod to the team and their families.

The Israeli Under 14 National Baseball team once again wins for representing Israel so well!

photo credit: Margo Sugarman

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Photo of the Day: Picnic Time Sun, 19 Apr 2015 19:19:13 +0000 Rosh Chodesh Iyar is a popular picnic time in Jerusalem, Israel’s Gan Sacher. Today was perfect weather for those mangals and BBQs,

Rosh Hodesh in Jerusalem

Jewish and Muslim families could be found in the park cooking dinner on their grills.

#ApartheidFail – as usual.


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Did Israel Haters Galloway And Lynch Both Condone Violence Against “Zionists”? Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:52:22 +0000 I’ll let you be the judges.

First up, we have this retweet by Galloway, brought to my attention by UKMediaWatch.

I have asked Galloway to explain himself, but so far no response.

Next up, we have Jake Lynch, who was himself part of a violent protest against the fabulous British Colonel Richard Kemp, and waved money in the face of an elderly Jewish woman (Sydney University has now threatened him with disciplinary action). He posted the below back in March. Note the comment I marked, which Lynch has left up for almost a month.

coward comment

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