Friday 17 May 2019

No Eurovision


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Did you boycott when Russia or Azerbaijan hosted? If not what makes Israel different?

Speedy said...

Although my immediate reaction is to dismiss this as left posturing laced with anti-semitism, I'll try to engage with the dialectic.

Israel is an Apartheid State.
No, it isn't - compared to the Apartheid State of South Africa. Arabs in Israel have equal rights to Jews, can vote, are represented in parliament, and didn't Israel even have an Arab president?

So, if Israel is not an Apartheid State, like Apartheid South Africa, apart from the fact that IT ISN'T, why should it be treated like one?

It mistreats the Palestinians and has/ occupies/ tolerates the occupation of Palestinian territories.
It does. Yet here, resting upon Occam's Razor, we have many unsupported assumptions, the chief of which is that somehow Israel behaves worse than any other state. Yes - it is whataboutery, but it matters: would Phil boycott Turkey (which surely behaves far worse to both its own people and the Kurds), Sri Lanka (which committed genocide against the Tamils), etc? I doubt it, and I doubt that most BDSM (mistake?) activists would - instead they are far more likely to go there on holiday.

Within this context,you have to ask why Israel is being singled out, especially with its unique history. And (back to Occam) you are left with anti-Semitism.

Yet, hold on - how can all these obvious non-racists, who I'm sure have as many Jewish mates as they have Muslim (ie, probably none) can be anti-Semitic? Hiding in plain view, is the distinction between the personal and the public (I'm sure Phil has a long word for it) - it's a bit like after Brexit when people voted to get rid of foreigners "I didn't mean you". Not foreigners they "knew". Were all Nazi party members actually anti-semitic? Or did they just buy into a bundle of policies consistent with their world view to serve their interest. "I've nothing against Mr and Mrs Rothstein who sold me the wedding ring, but the Jews are pulling the strings of international capital." Sighs.

Equally, the anti-Israel tendency on the Left is as deluded as the narcissistic-reasoning behind Hitler's "stab in the back" explanation for the German volk's loss of WW1. Israel acts as a symbol of America, which acts as a symbol for the victory of Western capitalism over socialism. But America is simply too big to boycott - in short it is more simple to boycott olives than Apples. Or Eurovision over Netflix.

Anti-semitism has always served a purpose. The Jew (or Jewish state) is the eternal other, which proves useful (ignore the fact that every time you use a USB it is thanks to an Israeli) in so many ways, and eternally reinvents itself (replace Zionist for Jew and see what you get). If only so much effort was put into fighting the class war, then maybe the modern Left would have actually achieved something.

As for me, I will be boycotting Eurovision, but because it's shit.

Phil said...

Yes, I would boycott those states if Eurovision was held there now. Then again, passing legislation that renders your state an ethno-nationalist state makes you a special case. Israel says it's the only democracy in the Middle East, and therefore is asking it be held to a higher standard than its despotic neighbours. Would you be so sanguine if any other liberal democracy behaved in the appalling way Israel does?

So yes, the occupation matters. Perhaps it wouldn't matter as much if Israel was groping toward peace, as it was in 1999 when Eurovision last visited. But it certainly does now with Netanyahu's continued encroachment on land in the West Bank and repeat punishment bombings of Gaza. Oh, and there is the small matter of the oppressed - you know, the Palestinians - and their worldwide solidarity movements asking Eurovision be boycotted.

If you're getting yourself into a lather because you think it's "anti-semitic" to stand up against ethno-nationalism and racism, then you're an idiot. It is that simple.

Howard Fuller said...

So now you would boycott Russia and Azerbaijan? Bit late for that. Still if it makes you feel better to have to justify yet again why you and the so-called "left" single out the Jewish state for special treatment. The descent of anti-Zionism into actual anti-Semitism is relentless and disturbing.

Not a mention of how Hamas oppresses the Palestinians and wastes the aid given on itself rather than the people it supposedly wants to "liberate". The Anti-imperialist brigade ignored the riots against Hamas. An inconvenience to the wider struggle to bring down "international capitalism" by adopting causes that are far more complex with potentially lethal consequences..

The genocidal policy of Hamas, it's step-sister Hezbollah and their clerical masters in Iran (which also seems to get a free pass from most of the left when they carry on oppressing women, hanging gays. then there's the nonsense about "genocide". The only people facing genocide in the Middle east currently are Christians. Ignored by you and the "left" as another inconvenience.

Lets criticise Israel, an nation under siege since the re-establishment of Israel following the Shoah. There are no "Palestinians", it's actually a recent construct . These people are Arabs. Used and abandoned by their brethren for political purposes over the decades.

The conflation of security against murderous terrorism by Hamas and Fatah as "apartheid" is absolute nonsense. Whilst the Arabs, sorry "Palestinians" live in poverty their leaders are all millionaires not having done a days graft in their lives.

Israel is not perfect. It's legitimate to criticise it's government and policies but while the comrades sing "from the river to the sea" as did so many Labour Party delegates then Israel's siege mentality will only harden. There will be no second genocide. We will never go quietly into the dark again. The left has become the enemy of the Jew.

Speedy said...

"If you're getting yourself into a lather because you think it's "anti-semitic" to stand up against ethno-nationalism and racism, then you're an idiot. It is that simple."

Clearly I am not, which is a relief, because although I may be an idiot, I wouldn't want that to be the reason.

Your problem is in your riposte - it is a liberal democracy, therefore it is not an Apartheid State (as you explicitly state).

Less than a year ago, Israel passed its controversial nationality law, but BDSM has been going for FAR longer, so I don't think that washes, and then the vote passed relatively narrowly. Many countries, like France, for example, have laws stipulating language etc (in fact, the UK too if we're talking about nationality tests) and saying your state is the homeland for the Jewish people is merely stating a fact.

Having said that, I don't want to follow you down this road, because (Occum again) you can find plenty of unattractive characteristics in many national constitutions as well you know, but why single out the Israelis?

Ah, yes, because it is a liberal democracy. You mean like the US? Like the UK? Like France? All these nations have very recently been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Arabs, let alone their continued backing of regimes like Saudi Arabia. Israel would have to do an awful lot more oppressing to reach the standards of those closer to Stoke.

Yes, I'm trolling a wee bit, but I will stop there - I simply want to address your specific arguments because on balance I simply don't think they add up, and historically speaking, given the debt Christian civilisation owes the Jews, it seems to me simply a new twist to an old trope.

Phil said...

I think this from Red Labour sums it up.

Many of us love Eurovision and the ideals it promotes. However we won’t be watching Eurovision as peace and solidarity is not what the Netanyahu government is about nor can we enjoy Euro pop at its finest when millions in Gaza continue to live under constant military attack and in appalling conditions.

Phil said...

And this from the UN.

Jason Schulman said...

Boycotting Eurovision is fine. But Israel isn't quite an ethnostate. Are Ashkenazi Jews and Mizrahi Jews of the same ethnicity? They don't look that way. Mizrahim look like Palestinians!

PlebJames said...

Excellent quote from Jeremy Gilbert

"...the fundamental purpose of antisemitism is always to cover up the truth of power relations, driving wedges between Jewish and non-Jewish communities who should be united in the assertion of their common collective interests."

Viewed in this light, the likes of Margaret Hodge are more antisemetic than anyone, as she would happily harm both the left and Jewish communities in furtherance of her career.

It is scary and depressing to see just how easy divide and conquer has been achieved.