Archive | June 25th, 2010

LEBANON & ZIONISM

NOVANEWS

Here’s a Cif piece from yesterday by Palestinian-American freelance journo, Ahmed Moor. Israel’s friends are often citing the oppression of Palestinians et al by Arab states without considering the fact that Israel’s existence is predicated on the oppression of the Palestinians.

In his article, Moor sets out a key difference in the mistreatment of Palestinians in, in this case, Lebanon, when compared to others.

The vast majority of the 400,000 Palestinian refugees (10% of the population in Lebanon) who were born and raised in Lebanon do not have anything approaching the privilege I do.

Today, Lebanon is the most hostile country to Palestinian refugees after Israel. They are second-class citizens here, but they are not the only ones.

Foreign guest workers also have a notoriously hard time in Lebanese society. Racism is so widespread (see Nesrine Malik’s recent Cif article) that African and Asian guest workers are openly barred from attending the beaches where Lebanese people frolic.

And that’s saying nothing of the often inhumane working conditions they are subjected to on a daily basis.

There is an anti-Syrian current, as well. I remember encountering a barking dog while hiking somewhere in the northern part of the country. The owner rushed up and quieted the animal, remarking to me: “See how quickly he calmed down when I told him you’re not Syrian.”

The difference, of course, is that the Syrians, Ethiopians, Filipinos and others have consular support and countries to return to (although that is a serious problem for many guest workers, who are functionally indentured servants). The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have no such recourse

Of course, the main difference between Lebanon and Israel, Lebanon being a legitimate state, Israel being an illegitimate one, is no excuse for Lebanon’s sectarian structure nor its racist behaviour.

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ZIO=NAZI & HOLOCAUST CARD

NOVANEWS
June 24, 2010

I used to think that Israel’s playing of the holocaust card was all about emotion but there’s money to be had as Norman Finkelstein points out in the Holocaust Industry and now it turns out there are passports to be had.

While the world’s attention has been diverted by the flotilla and the World Cup, the case of the murder of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai has rumbled on with one country after another expelling this or that Israeli diplomat/Mossad agent.

Well in Germany events have taken a twist given the way in which the German authorities believe the Israelis acquired a German passport. Here’s Der Spiegel:

The day the Mossad operation on German soil began was a clear, sunny Sunday in late March 2009. Alexander Verin, who holds an Israeli passport, had an appointment with an attorney in Cologne to discuss naturalization.

Verin was accompanied by a man named Michael Bodenheimer, who claimed that he was an Israeli of German descent. Bodenheimer wanted to apply for a German passport, but Verin, who had made the appointment, was doing most of the talking.

The two men explained that Bodenheimer’s father Hans had emigrated to Israel to escape Nazi persecution. As proof, the Israelis showed the attorney what they claimed was the parents’ marriage certificate, as well as a passport.

In such cases, which number around 3,000 a year, Article 116 of Germany’s constitution provides for a relatively straightforward naturalization procedure.

The two Israelis were staying in a Cologne hotel. Bodenheimer would later rent an apartment on a run-down street in Cologne’s Eigelstein neighborhood, in a nondescript, sand-colored apartment building with a pizza takeout restaurant on the ground floor, near the railroad station. It was the perfect, cheap apartment for someone who didn’t want to be noticed.

On June 16, 2009, the attorney submitted the naturalization application to a registry office in Cologne. A German passport was issued in the name of Michael Bodenheimer two days later. It looked like a routine procedure.

But it was everything but routine when the passport was used in January in connection with the murder of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

I remember thinking at the time of the killing of al-Mabhouh that the Israelis were happy to implicate so many of their allies in the killing and nothing would come of it. In fact, I thought that the elements of the job that looked botched were as deliberate as the killing itself but now Poland has made an arrest that could be deeply embarrassing for Israel:

on June 4, 2010, Polish police arrested a man at Warsaw airport who German investigators believed was Alexander Verin. He now goes by the name Uri Brodsky, at least according to the passport he was carrying.

German federal prosecutors had issued an arrest warrant for the man, who they believe is an agent, on the basis of suspected involvement in intelligence activities on German soil and helping to obtain documents illegally. It is possible that his real name is neither Verin nor Brodsky.

What is clear, however, is that the arrest has triggered a crisis in Israel that has sparked questions within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, cast a shadow on German-Israeli relations and could in fact turn into a serious political test of the relationship between the two countries.

 It is the first arrest worldwide that is directly related to the Dubai murder. German officials in Berlin are outraged that the Mossad apparently obtained a genuine German passport under false pretenses that involved — of all things — a fake story of Nazi persecution.

If the Polish government extradites the Israeli to Germany, he could face up to five years in prison. It would deal a major blow to German-Israeli relations if a German court, under the eyes of the world’s media, sent a Jewish agent to prison because he worked for the Mossad.

And now there will all sorts of wrangling with senior Israeli politicians going on record to say how their man must be sprung from Polish or German authorities but:

German law forbids foreign intelligence services from conducting unauthorized operations on German soil, and it does not provide an exception for the Mossad. The Israelis did not request German permission to conduct the operation in question, because the Germans would never have permitted the use of a passport to facilitate a murder. And once a case has been opened in a constitutional democracy like Germany, the wheels of justice start turning.

I don’t think the sheer arrogance of Israel’s operations in the international arena can be divorced from their zionist ideology but they seem to be getting more accident prone lately and their allies are losing patience with them.

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HA’ARETZ: ONLY BOYCOTT WILL PERSUADE ZIO=NAZI REGIME

NOVANEWS
June 22, 2010

From Ha’aretz, June 22:

Only a boycott will persuade Israel

by Ayala Shani & Ofer Neiman

“Israel won’t change unless the status quo has a downside” – these words were written by journalist Tony Karon, a Jew from South Africa. This sentence reflects the rationale behind the broad BDS campaign – which includes sanctions, institutional boycott, and divestment – which has begun trickling down into public consciousness in Israel.

Instead of a defensive, self-righteous response along the general lines of “the whole world is against us”, it would be best to learn the facts about the campaign and peer into the collective mirror, which reflects grievous and systematic violations of human rights and international law.

The current movement originally started with a call to action issued in 2005, signed by more than 170 organizations from Palestinian society: citizens of Israel, refugees in exile, and Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and in Gaza.

The call to action was published in Hebrew, too, and citizens of Israel are requested to express their support of it. It is for this purpose that the Israeli group “Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within” was founded.

The BDS movement that has developed in response to the Palestinian call to action does not have any formal, focal leadership. Regular citizens around the world, including many Jews, initiate activities and take part in them.

The goal of the movement is to demonstrate to Israel the international community’s disgust and rejection of its actions, so that Israel will act for the immediate termination of the occupation, for the end of discrimination against the Arab citizens of Israel, and for recognition of the refugees’ right of return, as phrased in United Nations Decision 194.

 Elements of the oppression which the movement wishes to put an end to match the legal definition of the crime of apartheid – systematic and institutionalized racial separation, as practiced in old South Africa.

The movement does not promote any specific political solution (one state or two, the return of any particular number of refugees), but rather, strives to change in a nonviolent way the balance of power that makes it possible for Israel’s governments to violently withhold the basic rights of millions of people, and to renounce their accountability with unfounded statements (“the Arabs are to blame for the refugee problem”, “the settlements are legal”, “there is no siege upon Gaza”.)

It will be stressed here that the boycott is not a personal boycott on Israelis but rather, a boycott of official Israeli institutions and of events taking place under their auspices. Thus, for example, there is no call to deny an Israeli researcher her right to lecture abroad.

There is a call to avoid holding international conferences in universities in Israel which proudly proclaim their contacts with the military establishment.

Is Israel being singled out? As was true about white South Africa, the world is justly sensitive to situations where a population that has civil rights determines the fate of a population which has neither civil rights nor the right to vote.

Fairness is not always a feature of international relations, but Israel enjoys many international privileges, such as membership in the OECD. The citizens of China, where grievous human rights abuses take place, have never been given the opportunity to express a lack of confidence in the government that forcibly suppressed the student demonstrations in 1989.

In contrast, the citizens of Israel cast their votes again and again for parties (including Kadima and the Labor Party) and governments under whose administration settlements are built, people are tortured and arrested for years with no trial, unarmed citizens are shot, and land and water resources are plundered.

Many people around the world ask, therefore, whether there is good reason for a normalization with Israel. Port workers in Sweden and Norway, countries which have historically been very sympathetic to Israel, refuse to unload Israeli container ships.

Artists wonder why they must perform here and enhance the sense of “business as usual” when the very fact of their performance will be portrayed as support of Israel’s policy.

A deep-reaching public discussion is needed at this time, not only about the question of whether the boycott is or is not justified but about Israel’s policy. Many Israelis acknowledge the heinous acts being done in our name, under our very noses.

It is appropriate for an effective and nonviolent campaign against these actions should have their support.

The authors are active in the Israeli group: “Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within.”

This article was originally published in Hebrew in Haaretz Online, June 22 2010.

Translated from Hebrew by Dena Bugel-Shunra, of Shunra Media.

UPDATE: Here’s evidence of the persuasive power of BDS, in particular cultural boycott. The Jewlicious blog, whose founder is involved in Birthright and is to the right of the spectrum, runs an article on how deeply concert cancellations are penetrating the Israeli consciousness.

It even has some pro-BDS quotes, certainly a first for a Jewlicious post: Cultural Boycott? Recent Cancellations by International Musicians Spur Debate in Israeli Public:

Yoana Gonen, from the Coalition of Women for Peace, voiced her support of the international musicians’ decisions to cancel due to Israel’s current political situation. “I hope that the BDS movement will succeed […] If this international momentum is lost, maybe we all will be doomed to more decades of occupation, siege, poverty, bombings and separation,” wrote Gonen in a Facebook note that evoked massive feedback.

“And maybe, [we] should all take a deep breath and stop blaming the artists who refuse to come here and the activists who wrote to them […] and start crossing [our] fingers in hopes that this movement will succeed.”

Other publications have supported the cancellations as well as raised hope for a change in the political atmosphere within the Israeli public. A piece by Rogel Alpher, published in newspaper Ha’ir Tel Aviv was named, “The Pixies and Elvis Costello are right. We are the problem.” Alpher wrote, “Cultural terrorism? I’m for it […] it finally stimulates political thought that has disappeared from the Israeli public for too long, it takes out the apathy that has taken us over […] Cultural terrorism is a good thing: nobody dies from it. It’s effective.

It works […] until now, leftists didn’t go out into the streets to demonstrate, to act […] now leftists will rise to fight for their right to be part of this world…”

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INTERNATIONAL LAW & THE COLONISation of palestine

NOVANEWS

I’ve been trying to condense my thoughts about a book I read recently titled, From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1891-1949 and now I don’t have to because I’ve just read a review that I couldn’t have put better myself. It’s in Electronic Intifada:
 

Zionism, it was proclaimed in the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, “aims at the creation of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine to be secured by public law.” The choice of the words “public law” was a compromise between the delegates representing different streams of political Zionism.

 As David Vital explained in The Origins of Zionism, one branch of Zionism wanted to explicitly refer to the “law of nations,” while the other was willing to make do with “law” only (364-370).

Law, or to be more precise, international law, has always been central to political Zionism. After all, international law reflects the aggregation of the agreements, opinions and interests of those who decide what the law is.

 There is little doubt that when the Zionist Congress met in 1897, the law was what the imperial powers decided was law. In order to create a new political entity, one needed the recognition of those powers, and the recognition of the law to gain legitimacy. Hence the centrality of law to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Yet at the same time, most of the Palestinian arguments and demands are based on international law. This leaves a lot of ambiguity about what the law is, its interpretation and how it interacts with other historical events and political realities. Victor Kattan’s new book From Coexistence to Conquest attempts to clear up this ambiguity.

The full review is here. And here’s the Amazon comments section. And here’s the front cover:

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ZIONIST LOBBY IN CANADA

NOVANEWS

June 19, 2010

The Israel lobby in Canada is as nasty as it is anywhere if the case of Canadian MP, Libby Davies, is anything to go by. They are not content with hassling people who have made comments condemning this or that atrocity by the racist war criminals of the State of Israel, they have to get in people’s faces now, ask them what they think of something or other and then go nuclear when they get an honest response. See this from Straight.com:

Vancouver East MP Libby Davies got bushwacked by a pro-Israel activist posing as a neutral – if not pro-Palestinian – blogger. After a rally for the Palestinians criticizing Israel’s deadly assault on the aid flotilla, a man approached Libby asking for an interview.

As she always does, because she never hides her views, she complied. He immediately set her up with what he called a “background question.” He asked when the occupation began, 1948 or 1967.

Libby hesitated then said 1948. She made the point that the date was not important – that whatever the date the occupation was the longest in the world – and far too long.

The next day the interview appeared on YouTube. But in 24 hours it had gone nowhere – just 28 views. Then the most vociferous supporter of Israel in the NDP caucus, Thomas Mulcair, got wind of it and it escalated out of control.

He went on a relentless campaign to punish Libby. The spin he helped create was that if Libby believed the occupation began in 1948 then she, ipso facto, believes that Israel has no right to exist. Libby has always gone to great lengths to make it clear that she supports Israel’s right to exist and the two-state solution endorsed by the NDP. But suddenly Jack Layton was in full-panic mode.

He apologized to the Israeli ambassador. He hung Libby out to dry. He forced her to issue a public apology.

Apology? For what?

Some have criticized Libby’s statement as evidence that she does not know the history of the occupation which most mainstream commentators date from 1967 – when Israel militarily occupied the West bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights. But Libby’s problem was not that she didn’t know enough. She knew too much.

Sadly, she did indeed apologise and the lobby seems now to have gone into a feed frenzy. Her apology is here but she has many supporters in the comments that show people are far more focused on the truth that she told than the backtracking and apology.

I’m grateful to Dawg’s Blawg for linking to us here at JSF. If I hadn’t tracked a couple of hits from there today I wouldn’t have picked up this story.

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DON’T MENTION THE FLOTILLA

NOVANEWS

The Israeli government has asked that its supporters from various zionist parties in occupied Palestine refrain from copycat flotilla exercises aimed at discrediting the Turkish government. See this in the Jerusalem Post:

A group of Israeli left-wing activists who were angry about the Turkish attacks on IDF soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara two weeks ago decided Monday to cancel the flotilla that they were planning to Cyprus to protest the Turkish occupation of the island’s northern half.

The Jerusalem Post reported exclusively on June 5 about the planned flotilla, which was to be led by former MK Alex Goldfarb (Tzomet, Yi’ud) and Modi’in Meretz activist Pinhas Har-Zahav.

Of course, the segregationism and ethnic cleansing supported by all zionist parties isn’t everyone’s idea of left wing but I said this is from the Jerusalem Post. But why would the Israeli government want to call a halt to a hasbara by deed action?

Israeli government officials persuaded the activists to cancel the voyage, because they were worried that the media attention would remind international media of the Gaza flotilla when most of the world’s attention had shifted to other issues like the British Petroleum spill and the World Cup.

“The publicity we already received did its part in reminding the world [that the Turks are occupiers],” one of the organizers of the flotilla said. “Personally it’s depressing for me that we didn’t get to go.

But the government officials we spoke to were professionals, and they told us that doing it now was not right for the state, so we listened to them.”

Spoken like a true left wing activist, a left wing zionist activist, ie, in plain English, an extreme right wing activist.

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BDS: A MORAL STRATEGY

NOVANEWS
June 17, 2010

This is from the Israeli Occupation Archive by Stéphane Hessel, “diplomat, former ambassador, French resistance fighter and BCRA agent. Born German, he obtained French nationality in 1937”. It is an article decrying the inaction and even connivance of western governments with regard to Israel’s criminality and suggesting what can be done about that. It’s BDS, of course!

The Freedom Flotilla brings to mind the kind of civil society solidarity initiatives which brought an end to segregation laws in the US and apartheid in South Africa, an analogy impossible to ignore. Like the apartheid regime of South Africa, Israel’s reaction has been to label this non-violent act an “intentional provocation.”

As in the case of South Africa, the call for international solidarity, in the form of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) came from an overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society unions and organizations in 2005, and is being embraced by citizens of conscience and social movements worldwide.

The BDS initiative calls for effectively isolating Israel, its complicit business, academic and cultural institutions, as well as companies profiting from its human rights violations and illegal policies, as long as these policies continue.

I believe that the BDS initiative is a moral strategy which has demonstrated its potential for success. Most recently, German Deutsche Bank became the latest of several European financial institutions and major pension funds to divest from Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems. Last week, two main Italian supermarket chains announced a boycott of produce from illegal Israeli settlements. Last month, performers Elvis Costello and Gil Scott-Heron cancelled appearances in Israel.

Reminiscent of the South African anti-apartheid popular struggle, the current generation of students across university campuses is actively calling upon their administrations to adopt divestment policies.

I don’t want to get overconfident but the movement against Israel is growing and growing, as is the gulf between governments and governed in western countries.

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ZIONIST M.PHILLIPS UPSIDE WOWN

NOVANEWS
June 15, 2010

Well almost. This is a send up in The Guardian by John Crace of Melanie Phillips’s latest book, World Turned Upside Down. I wasn’t sure if she really had written the book and given it that title since the title is the same as that of a Leon Rosselson song covered by both Chumbawamba and Billy Bragg but here’s the piece in the Guardian:

This book arose from a sense of perplexity that almost everyone in the world thought I was clinically mad. Everywhere I looked there were people who believed boarding a humanitarian aid convoy in international waters and murdering nine people was a little bit naughty. So I did what I’ve always done as a columnist for the Daily Mail; go where my bigotry leads.

Conspiracy theories abound in public life. Almost all of them are based on myth. The simple fact is that global warming is a lie created by politically correct liberals who are holding the universe to ransom. The reality is that not a single glacier has melted in Israel over the last 50 years.

 Likewise, green activists try to claim the teeny oil-spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an environmental disaster. How much oil has been washed up on the beaches of Eilat? None.

The legitimacy of the war in Iraq has been similarly subverted. Hard-line Trotskyists say we were led into the war on a lie. This is not the case. After Saddam Hussein was toppled, Mossad found huge caches of nuclear weapons in bunkers throughout the country.

Understandably, Mossad chose not to go public with this because, as a responsible government agency, it didn’t want to worry anyone unduly.

Not that anyone has ever thanked Israel for this act of global compassion. But this is symptomatic of the way Israel is misrepresented. It is often suggested the Palestinians have an equal right to Israeli lands. This is demonstrably false.

If you follow the Old Testament family tree from Adam to Abraham, you can see God gave the country to the Jews. Indeed, it is a mark of Israel’s tolerance that it allows some so-called Palestinians to live in the Gaza slums. And how do the Palestinians repay Israel?

By throwing stones. How dare the world complain if Israel responds proportionately by returning the Palestinians to the Stone Age where they belong?

These falsehoods are presented as unchallengeable truths; in fact, they are anti-Semitic leftwing ideologies based on twisted evidence. We now live in a world of moral relativism where to believe in scientific inquiry or to be gay or a Muslim is socially acceptable.

How can any right thinking person go along with this new age of Reason? The Enlightenment has a lot to answer for. Surely it must be apparent to even Richard Dawkins that he couldn’t have written the God Delusion without God’s help? Though obviously not the Muslim God because he doesn’t exist.

Secularism is the curse of modern life. If everyone went to Synagogue to thank the Intelligent Designer there would be no more conflict. Instead there is a global coalition of Muslims, environmentalists and vegetarians whose sole purpose is to destroy the state of Israel.

The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre – co-ordinated by Osama bin Laden and George Monbiot – was nothing less than a dry run for a ram raid on the Burger King in central Tel Aviv.

Anti-Zionists claim the neocons are in the pockets of the Jews. Nonsense. Reason naturally aligns itself with reason. That is why no reasonable person can possibly be a Muslim. Many of the central tenets of Islam run contrary to Judaism and since Judaism is correct in every respect, ergo it must be irrational to be nice to Muslims.

 Yet such is our topsy-turvy world it is the Jews who get demonised for trying to do everyone a favour by preventing the Palestinians from becoming a recognised terrorist state.

The anti-Semitic lies proliferate at a terrifying speed. The most pernicious is that Israel has no sense of humour. What’s not to laugh about Mossad agents flying in to Dubai and taking out an Arab?

All I can say is thank God there are still some fearless media outlets, such as Fox News and the Daily Mail, who are prepared to stand up for the truth. Hey? What’s with the strait-jacket? Where are you taking me?

Digested read, digested: Black is white.

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ZIONIST INQUIRY INSULTS INTELLIGENCE

NOVANEWS
June 14, 2010

No surprises there, I know. According to The Guardian, Israel’s inquiry into the flotilla attack has the backing of Barack Obama. That of itself should show how useless it is going to be to those of us who want the truth out. But it gets worse.

Richard Silverstein in Tikkun Olam draws attention to what he calls a “searing editorial” in Ha’aretz bemoaning the fact that the head of the inquiry is actually opposed to its existence:

Netanyahu’s panel will have no powers, not even those of a government probe, and its proposed chairman does not believe in such a panel. In an interview to Army Radio, Tirkel said there is no choice but to establish a state committee of inquiry.

He opposed bringing in foreign observers and made clear that he is not a devotee of drawing conclusions about individuals and dismissing those responsible for failures. When a Haaretz reporter confronted Tirkel about these remarks, the former justice evaded the question saying, “I don’t remember what I said.”

The disagreements that erupted at the week’s end between Netanyahu and his deputy, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon, over the question of whether Ya’alon was updated in time about the action underscored the suspicion of serious faults in the decision-making process with regard to the flotilla.

Instead of being part of the whitewash, Tirkel, whose dodging of his earlier statements does him no honor, should return his mandate to the prime minister and demand that Netanyahu establish a government committee of inquiry with real powers.

But even a searing Ha’aretz editorial doesn’t convey the fully farcical nature of the inquiry.

The Guardian reports that Obama is happy and that’s that. It mentions the international observers who are intended to soft-soap world opinion but says nothing of their backgrounds.

The observers are Lord (David) Trimble, former Ulster Unionist Party leader, and Ken Watkin, a former Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces.

So what about Trimble? Here’s the BBC:

David Trimble recently joined an international “Friends of Israel” group set up by Dore Gold, a close associate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

And what about Watkin? Here’s his Wikipedia entry:

Ken Watkin was implicated in the Canadian Afghan detainee issue, in which several detainees arrested by the Canadian Forces went missing or were tortured following their transfer to the Afghan National Police and National Directorate of Security. According to a report in the Toronto Star, while acting as the Judge Advocate General, Ken Watkin advised the Canadian Forces command that they could be “criminally negligent” for transferring detainees to a risk of torture in Afghan hands.

Mr. Watkin refused to answer questions when called to testify in Canada’s House of Commons about whether he was directed to authorize the transfers or had knowledge of Canadian diplomatic reports of torture, and claimed that solicitor-client privilege owed to the Government of Canada prevented him answering the House’s questions.

Yup, these are just the people you’d want to observe an inquiry established by the State of Israel to look into the international legal aspects of an attack by Israel on a boat in international waters.

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MACO.CO.IL

NOVANEWS

Dana International goes nationalist after Spanish & Turkish gigs nixed

According to a Hebrew-language newsite Mako.co.il June 9, Israeli chanteuse Dana International was livid after the recent cancellation of gigs in Spain and Turkey. International had been scheduled to perform at the European pride festival in Madrid.

 Then Israeli commandos slaughtered nine Turkish activists in the assault on the Turkish seige of Gaza-breaking aid ship Mavi Marmara, prompting global revulsion, protests, and stepped-up BDS activity:

“After what has happened, and as human rights campaigners, it seemed barbaric to us to have them taking part,” Antonio Poveda, president of Spain’s Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, told the British daily The Guardian. “We don’t just defend our own little patch.”

Poveda told the French news agency AFP that because Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai had not condemned the attack, the invitation would be withdrawn. The float was sponsored by the Tel Aviv municipality. (JTA, June 14)

Incensed by the cancellations, International decided to rally round the troops. From Mako (Google translation a bit rough):

“Dana was offended, angry Dana, Dana did not shut up”

Performances by Dana International in Spain and Turkey were eliminated, but is not going to shut up. Tomorrow she will stand for an interview with foreign media print shirt wearing a symbol of the IDF, in solidarity

“The army soldiers are above everything.”

“Dana is very offended, Dana angry, the first time she encountered such a thing,” says Shai Kerem, personal administration of Dana International, after her impressions in Turkey and Spain were set months in advance were canceled, apparently due to the situation of Israel’s new community International.

“Dana was supposed to appear in Spain at the Pride Parade which is very disappointing,” adds Kerem. “We must not forget that this is also an economic injury, and of course a professional hit, and emotionally.

She then appeared there before, then suddenly not? This is an unpleasant feeling and hope that murky cloud will disappear and so the following performances.”

I can tell you that it will not pass in silence,” [said Kerem]. “Tomorrow arrives a Dutch television crew to do a story about the night life of Tel Aviv and Israel, yes it happens now. Dana, who always goes with her truth, will stand for an interview tomorrow with a special T-shirt printed with the IDF logo and she will be photographed with that.

To say that as far as she is concerned the Israeli army is beyond all political debate. The soldiers and the army are doing the work for all of us and they are beyond all controversies. “

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to locate a picture of International in her IDF shirt. Given the rising global outrage at Israel’s behaviour, such a sartorial choice may not have been the best PR move, lest she find herself getting further cancellations.

 But it reflects the rising wave of jingoism amongst Israelis, 91% of whom favor military interdiction of the impending further seige-breaking flotillas. International’s taking part in Israeli government-sponsored gaywashing of Israel’s repression of Palestinians made her a legit boycott target.

Further reflections on what happened in Madrid from Ali Abunimah can be seen at his blog. See also this Oct 1, 2009 article on a Palestinian queer activist in Ha’aretz, “‘Stop using Palestinian gays to whitewash Israel’s image.”

And check out Palestinian Queers for BDS

In San Francisco, Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT) are battling more gaywashing:

Israeli Government Out of Our Film Festival!

For the first time since 2007, the Israeli Consulate is a sponsor of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. Queer communities have been targeted by the “Brand Israel” campaign as a receptive audience, and a useful cloak for Israel’s oppressive policies. But we are not so desperate for acceptance that we will ally ourselves with racists and murderers.

Picket opening night
Thursday June 17, 6 p.m.
Castro Theater, San Francisc.

And in Toronto, LGBT leading activists are now in “open revolt” against the organizers of that city’s pride events, after the organizers succumbed to pressure to bar Queers United Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) from participating in the parade, because of their use of the phrase “Israeli apartheid.”Muzzlewatch has the latest as of June 11.

Lastly, if anyone should come across that picture of International in her IDF T-Shirt, I’d be much obliged. & if anyone can clear up the Hebrew Google Translate above, that’d be fabulous.

UPDATE: 6/20 Thanks to an Israeli reader, we now have evidence that Dana did not disappoint. In a recent appearance on “Israeli Idol,” as one of the judges, Ms. National indeed appeared proudly sporting an IDF t-shirt. Here’s a couple screenshots:

Click on the right-hand pic to enlarge, and “Israeli Defense Forces” in English can be clearly seen under the Hebrew letters for IDF (Zadik, Hey, Lamed, aka, “Tsahal”) on Dana’s shirt.

The hasbara outfit “Israel 21c,” which describes itself as a ” nonpolitical, nonprofit organization that informs Americans about 21st century Israel, its people, its institutions and its contributions to global society,” and has partnered with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and with AIPAC, reported June 10 that International is taking part in an all-Israeli “rock against the boycott” concert:

In a column she wrote in today’s Yediot Aharonot, Dana expressed regret at the cancellations, both her own and those of the foreign artists who bailed, and said that music and politics should not be mixed.

She added, however, that there’s enough major talent in Israel without any help from abroad, and jumped aboard a planned gala concert later this month at Park Hayarkon or Rabin Square initiated by the Culture Ministry and featuring the country’s top performers to specifically prove that point.

International’s comment about how music and politics shouldn’t mix brings to mind Elton John telling his Israeli audience that musicians “don’t cherry-pick our conscience” while playing his boycott-busting concert there recently, as noted by David Hirsh of the anti-boycott Engage site. Apparently playing Sun City during S. Africa’s apartheid regime and performing at the recent wedding of the homophobic, racist blowhard Rush Limbaugh (for a million bucks) didn’t prick Elton’s conscience either, if that’s any consolation to Hirsh.

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