By Victor Sharpe
I just returned from the UK where anti-Israel boycotts prevail.
Boycotts are highly effective and Israel is in peril of losing traditional markets for its many fine products if the anti-Israel boycotters prevail in their relentless campaigns. While visiting England I helped organize counter boycotts and participated in a pro-Israel scheme called Buycott, which urged all Christians, Jews and others who support embattled Israel to individually purchase all Israeli goods they find on retailers’ shelves. This is a highly effective tool to blunt the power of the boycotters and bigots.
In one British town, Brighton, Israel bashers have repeatedly targeted a small factory that allegedly produces weapons parts despite its repeated denials. According to the local newspaper, The Argus, the anti-Israel demonstrators accuse the local EDO factory of providing systems to Israel to be used in what they call, “military action by Israel in Palestine.” The local police stated that they would work with the demonstrators and, “do everything we can to work with organizers when they identify themselves to ensure they get an opportunity to get their message across.”
The excuse for the boycott and demonization of the Jewish state was the anniversary of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which was finally launched against the Hamas terror machine in Gaza after years of Israeli forbearance in the face of a relentless Palestinian Arab missile barrage against Israeli civilians. It is, of course, instructive to note that the same Israel bashers, so concerned for the welfare of their beloved Palestinian Arabs, not once protested in the streets against Palestinian Arab aggression.
The Israel boycotters, calling themselves, “Smash EDO,” have shown themselves to be anything but peaceful. According to the Argus, the demonstrators have previously attacked the factory site and “in June 2008 got into the car park, smashing windows and spraying graffiti, in a demonstration which ended in violent clashes with police with a dozen people injured.” This, of course, is typical of the ‘peace and justice’ crowd who exhibit anything but peace and have a most strange and distorted view of what justice means. Again, according to the Argus, “ … last January, 2009, the factory was broken into overnight by a group who caused damage estimated at £250,000. Eight people are due to stand trial later this year.”
The boycotters often repeat the claim that Israel killed 1,400 Palestinians in Operation Cast Lead in contrast with low Israeli casualties. But what the boycotters fail to mention is that the vast and overwhelming Arab casualty figures were comprised of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen. The relatively few Arab civilian casualties in Gaza were primarily the result of the terrorists using their fellow Arabs as human shields; a despicable act and a crime against humanity. But that admission would be an inconvenient truth.
British universities are a fertile breeding ground for the most virulent anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activities. The immense numbers of Arab and Muslim students in British campuses fuel a perverse culture that feeds and supports the misplaced acts of violence against factories and companies such as EDO in Brighton. In politically correct Britain, where diversity and multiculturalism is the new secular religion, the mantra is that “Britain is now a multi-faith society.” Seemingly, the Queen as Defender of the Faith (meaning the Church of England) is all but forgotten. Islamic Sharia law is now more and more pervasive and Christianity receding. I wrote about this phenomenon in an earlier article titled: Less Steeples, more Minarets.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a media organ funded by British taxpayers. The tremendously influential BBC World Service is an arm of the British Foreign Office; it is essentially a state run media outlet. The World Service has been traditionally staffed by British Arabists who are no friends of the Zionist cause or of the reconstituted Jewish state. This has been the case for decades since not long after the time of T.E. Lawrence, who became grandiosely known as Lawrence of Arabia and who was reputed to have done much to destroy the occupying Ottoman Turkish control of the Middle East.
In fact it was a British officer and Christian Zionist, Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, who after witnessing in 1910 an anti-Semitic pogrom in Odessa, went on to do far more to help the British and Anzac forces defeat Turkey than T.E. Lawrence ever did or ever could. Meinertzhaghen said that he was influenced by the “Divine promise that the Holy Land, the Land of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, will remain forever as Israel’s inheritance.”
The BBC often produces documentaries and current affairs programs that harm Israel’s image, either by the sins of commission or omission. I viewed a TV documentary on BBC 2 called “Lost Kingdoms of Africa,” which purported to show the historical links between the Ethiopian dynasty of kings, which was brought to an end in 1974, and the Old Testament’s King Solomon.
The presenter, Gus Casely-Hayford, committed a spectacular sin of omission by ignoring completely the millennia old existence of the black Jews of Ethiopia, the Beta Israel, who have now mostly returned home to Israel after centuries of yearning to be restored to the ancestral Jewish homeland. Though this Jewish community was significant proof of the possible link between King Solomon and the origins of the Ethiopian dynasty of kings, Mr. Casely-Hayford strangely mentioned not one word about this compelling link, even after visiting Gondar and the Tigre province of Ethiopia where the Beta Israel lived.
Listening to the local BBC current affairs programs was dispiriting. Time after time, it gave air time to those in British society who wanted to bash President Bush and bring ex-Prime Minster Blair before a “Human Rights” tribunal on charges of war crimes in Iraq. But what I found most alarming is the ignorance of world affairs by so many Brits whose only source of news and opinion on the radio is primarily from the state run BBC. There is practically no alternate viewpoint such as conservative Talk Radio provides here in the United States. This dunning down of the British public under the almost all pervasive dead hand of government is a salutary lesson for America. It is little wonder that Talk Radio remains under the threat of the so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine,’ a leftist doctrine that is anything but fair.
It is the type of society that currently afflicts Britain that can occur here in the U.S for it is that form of statism, which allows the Israel bashers and boycotters to proliferate and succeed. They are now trying to export their virulent hatred of everything to do with Israel by targeting American companies such as Costco for selling Israeli products. They must not be allowed to succeed here.
Victor Sharpe is a writer on Jewish history and the Islamist-Israel conflict. He is the author of several books and has just completed Volume Two of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.