Blogs versus the Boycott

Do homosexuals have a right to live? Do Blacks? What about Muslims?
In my mind those questions are simply indecent to ask. They trivialize genocide.

Yet when it comes to Israel, its right to live is a wide open question for the hard Left, its hands still dripping blood from a century of Marxist terror. Whether Jews should be allowed to be a free people in Israel is the central question raised by the British boycott campaign against two Israeli universities.

The boycott question will be decided in just a few days, on May 26. The tiny clique of radicals who run the 50,000—member British academic trade union, the Association of University Teachers, earlier had passed a resolution boycotting the universities without a general membership vote, saying, in effect, that Israel has no right to exist. That is the meaning of the boycott, as the authors themselves like to boast.

In the age of instant commentary it may be getting harder for radical cliques to speak for tens of thousands of scholars. Even before they bulldozed their resolution through ——— without bothering to give opponents a chance to speak ——— millions of people around the world were shocked by the news. As soon as the AUT bosses acted, many more learned about other incidents ——— mob actions at Oxford, Jewish students being spat upon on other British college campuses, and the slimy demagogy employed by the British Labour Party to bait the Muslim vote just a month ago.

World reaction came within hours. The blogosphere responded in real time, and internet petitions were organized. Scholars from Sweden, Germany and the United States, emailed academic colleagues in Britain, signed up as symbolic faculty members of one of the targeted institutions, Bar—Ilan University, and asked organizations like the National Academy of Sciences USA to post official protests on the web. The opposition now comes from Al Quds University in East Jerusalem, the American Federation of Teachers, and several local chapters of the AUT. The flimsy factual reasons given for the boycott campaign were exposed almost immediately. If the radicals succeed, they may yet hear a bigger response.

British bully and demagogue George Galloway graced America with a visit last week, taking the opportunity of appearing before a US Senate Committee to accuse two Senators of being "neocons" and "Zionists." A Zionist is one who believes in the right of the Jewish people to live in peace in the land of Israel. It is the worst insult George Galloway can think of. Galloway was Saddam Hussein's favorite shill in the British Isles, collecting charity funds, supposedly in order to help Iraqi children, which were siphoned off to his own benefit. Everyone knows he is a scoundrel, but no British newspaper has yet dared to criticize his rant against two polite and slightly puzzled US Senators. Only the web took him apart.

A hatred for Zionism has now become all the rage ——— literally ——— in sophisticated Europe. Leftists claim they do not really hate Jews, just Zionists, but that is a distinction without a difference. A yearning for Zion is so much part of Jewish identity that we can read it literally in the Psalms.

    By the waters of Babylon,
    there we wept and there sat down;
    Hung our harps on the willow trees;
    Zion yet we remembered thee!
    Then our captors required of us;
    "Sing a song of Zion now!"
    Could we sing the Lordıs songs
    by the waters of Babylon?
 
    Let my right hand forget its skill,
    if I forget Jerusalem;
    If I fail to remember thee,
    let my tongue cleave unto my mouth!
    But we thought of Jerusalem
    when we sat near Zion's streams;
    Far above even our chief joy,
    We remembered Jerusalem.
 
The year was 586 BCE, the first exile of the Jews from their land. As Christians, Jews, Muslims and many agnostics know very well, it is Psalm 137. It has not lost its relevance.

What about Palestinians ? No doubt they have the right to exist in their land as well. That's what this agonizing dispute is about. It is hardly the first struggle over land in human  history. Most have been settled peacefully, and over time, this one will be as well. Israel is even now organizing a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. On the Palestinian side there may be some cautious moves toward peace.  But the radical Left seems to want to make the agony worse, in the hope of eliminating Israel altogether.

The PC crowd keeps alive the memory of the Trail of Tears in 1828, when the Cherokees of Georgia were driven from their lands. Some four thousand people died. But their memory is exquisitely selective ——— they have forgotten all about the Twin Towers massacre only four years ago.  They tell us that the Cherokees should be given back their lands in Georgia, but that doesn't apply to the native people of Israel.

One of the pernicious results of the boycott campaign is to legitimize an indecent question. The only decent answer is reasoned outrage, and now we have a way of expressing it. The vote is on May 26. Please express your feelings. 

Do homosexuals have a right to live? Do Blacks? What about Muslims?
In my mind those questions are simply indecent to ask. They trivialize genocide.

Yet when it comes to Israel, its right to live is a wide open question for the hard Left, its hands still dripping blood from a century of Marxist terror. Whether Jews should be allowed to be a free people in Israel is the central question raised by the British boycott campaign against two Israeli universities.

The boycott question will be decided in just a few days, on May 26. The tiny clique of radicals who run the 50,000—member British academic trade union, the Association of University Teachers, earlier had passed a resolution boycotting the universities without a general membership vote, saying, in effect, that Israel has no right to exist. That is the meaning of the boycott, as the authors themselves like to boast.

In the age of instant commentary it may be getting harder for radical cliques to speak for tens of thousands of scholars. Even before they bulldozed their resolution through ——— without bothering to give opponents a chance to speak ——— millions of people around the world were shocked by the news. As soon as the AUT bosses acted, many more learned about other incidents ——— mob actions at Oxford, Jewish students being spat upon on other British college campuses, and the slimy demagogy employed by the British Labour Party to bait the Muslim vote just a month ago.

World reaction came within hours. The blogosphere responded in real time, and internet petitions were organized. Scholars from Sweden, Germany and the United States, emailed academic colleagues in Britain, signed up as symbolic faculty members of one of the targeted institutions, Bar—Ilan University, and asked organizations like the National Academy of Sciences USA to post official protests on the web. The opposition now comes from Al Quds University in East Jerusalem, the American Federation of Teachers, and several local chapters of the AUT. The flimsy factual reasons given for the boycott campaign were exposed almost immediately. If the radicals succeed, they may yet hear a bigger response.

British bully and demagogue George Galloway graced America with a visit last week, taking the opportunity of appearing before a US Senate Committee to accuse two Senators of being "neocons" and "Zionists." A Zionist is one who believes in the right of the Jewish people to live in peace in the land of Israel. It is the worst insult George Galloway can think of. Galloway was Saddam Hussein's favorite shill in the British Isles, collecting charity funds, supposedly in order to help Iraqi children, which were siphoned off to his own benefit. Everyone knows he is a scoundrel, but no British newspaper has yet dared to criticize his rant against two polite and slightly puzzled US Senators. Only the web took him apart.

A hatred for Zionism has now become all the rage ——— literally ——— in sophisticated Europe. Leftists claim they do not really hate Jews, just Zionists, but that is a distinction without a difference. A yearning for Zion is so much part of Jewish identity that we can read it literally in the Psalms.

    By the waters of Babylon,
    there we wept and there sat down;
    Hung our harps on the willow trees;
    Zion yet we remembered thee!
    Then our captors required of us;
    "Sing a song of Zion now!"
    Could we sing the Lordıs songs
    by the waters of Babylon?
 
    Let my right hand forget its skill,
    if I forget Jerusalem;
    If I fail to remember thee,
    let my tongue cleave unto my mouth!
    But we thought of Jerusalem
    when we sat near Zion's streams;
    Far above even our chief joy,
    We remembered Jerusalem.
 
The year was 586 BCE, the first exile of the Jews from their land. As Christians, Jews, Muslims and many agnostics know very well, it is Psalm 137. It has not lost its relevance.

What about Palestinians ? No doubt they have the right to exist in their land as well. That's what this agonizing dispute is about. It is hardly the first struggle over land in human  history. Most have been settled peacefully, and over time, this one will be as well. Israel is even now organizing a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. On the Palestinian side there may be some cautious moves toward peace.  But the radical Left seems to want to make the agony worse, in the hope of eliminating Israel altogether.

The PC crowd keeps alive the memory of the Trail of Tears in 1828, when the Cherokees of Georgia were driven from their lands. Some four thousand people died. But their memory is exquisitely selective ——— they have forgotten all about the Twin Towers massacre only four years ago.  They tell us that the Cherokees should be given back their lands in Georgia, but that doesn't apply to the native people of Israel.

One of the pernicious results of the boycott campaign is to legitimize an indecent question. The only decent answer is reasoned outrage, and now we have a way of expressing it. The vote is on May 26. Please express your feelings.