Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What motivates some who want to boycott israel?

Norwegian columnist Morten Strøksnes has published a piece advocating boycotting Israel which is illustrated with the image above: an orange bearing a green Star of David with the word "Jude" ("Jew" in Norwegian) written on it in Gothic letters, like the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis. The blog Norway, Israel and the Jews points out that this unintentionally self revelatory propaganda goes so far over the line it could serve to illustrate an anti-boycott column. (Read here: Boycott the Jew-Orange!)

By the way, Morten Strøksnes is also the author of a column alleging that Israel is developing a secret weapon called an "ethno-bomb" which would somehow only harm Arabs. (Read here.) That very obviously false work of science fiction masquerading as reporting originated in a bizarre story published by the Sunday Times  in 1998. A planned second part to that article never appeared in the Times after experts on the subject denounced the story as an absurd fabrication. They rightly pointed out that, firstly, Jews and Palestinians are genetically virtually identical, and, second, that a weapon targeting genetic traits would be virtually impossible to create in any event. The editors of the Times apparently agreed and killed part 2. The story's authors have never identified their sources and have steadfastly refused to comment on the subject, although the story has since been republished widely in anti-Israel outlets (here for example), and its claims repeated as true by others (such as Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- read here). Strøksnes jumped on that weird bandwagon to claim that this story was not only true, but that it was also indicative of Israel's true nature. He went on to denounce Israel as having produced nothing of value beyond the Uzi submachine gun.

(By the way, the Sunday Times article quoted former MK and B'Tselem founder Dedi Zucker denouncing the planned weapon:
"Morally, based on our history, and our tradition and our experience, such a weapon is monstrous and should be denied".
Presumably, he was referring to fictitious super-weapons purported to be used by Jews against Gentiles. )


Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that a journalist would make such a stupid comment as to say that the Uzi is the only thing Israel has contributed to the world. I am under the impression that Israel's technological prowess has been under-reported. But that statement boggles the mind. Too bad we cannot forward him this video:


Anonymous said...

Sorry, one more point...

The use of a "Jude" star so similar to that used by the Nazis is particularly disgusting.

I don't believe that anti-Zionism is always the same thing as antisemitism. Someone can honestly believe that the Jews did not have a strong claim on the land. But this shameless use of Nazi imagery for what is meant to be a "progressive" campaign shows just how far-gone in antisemitism the left has sunk.

Images that we thought were relegated to history books and archives are now being used with aplomb. This is really creepy.


Anonymous said...

What a novel, creative way to tar all anti-Zionists, or non-Zionists, with one broad brush!

What motivates those who want to boycott Israel?

Why not ask: What motivates those who cannot utter the words "Middle East" without immediately wrapping themselves in the Israeli flag; and in the same breath affirming their deep, abiding love for the Jewish state?

It was Dr. Johnson who asserted that "patriotism is the last resort of every scoundrel." Bierce, another eminent lexicographer, however, demurred: He averred that--more accurately--it was the first.

What motivates those who want to unquestioningly support every Israeli government policy?

Perhaps a caricature or cartoon of
some sort might drive the point home??

Hey, the Julius Streicher school of defamation and propaganda wields a two-edged sword, you know. Personally, I wouldn't go there, though.

Peace, y'all,


Adam Holland said...


While your anger is palpable, your logic is cloudy. my post recounts the use of an offensive image by a pro-boycott columnist. I reprinted that image so the story could be understood. The image wasn't created to defame the boycott, as you seem to believe. If you are a boycott advocate, I can understand that you are angry that your movement would be associated with such an image, but it comes from your side of the debate, not mine. Sadly, your response to this is to claim that I and others who oppose boycotting Israel are somehow Nazis. If you can't see how offensive and wrong that is, I feel sorry for you. You seem intent on further discrediting your views with such intemperate, hateful rhetoric. That doesn't say much for your argument that the motivations for the boycott movement are pure.

As to your distorted characterizations of my views concerning Israel, they have no merit and you offer no evidence. Without explaining why, you call me a scoundrel. Is this merely a response to my opposition to the boycott? Who knows? It's easy to throw mud because it takes no thought. Why not try arguing your case instead? If you really have a case to make, make it. Otherwise, why bother to comment?

One last thing: why do so many angry, hateful people claim to be advocates of peace? Don't they understand that you can't yell at someone that he's a Nazi scoundrel then bid him peace in the same breath? That sort of stuff really comes of as kind of nuts, don't you think?

By the way, are you the same commenter who contacted me claiming to want information about Cynthia McKinney's finances? If so, you seem to be playing a game of trying to get attention by taking controversial positions that are not really yours. You seem full of passionate intensity, but who knows what you really think and, frankly, who cares?

Adam Holland said...

1) I've changed the title of the post to reflect the fact that this illustration reflects only a portion of the BDS movement.

2) How is it that Samuel Johnson's statement that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" is so misunderstood by so many? He wasn't condemning all patriotism, only false patriotism intended to disguise the misdeeds of scoundrels. Somehow, that distinction is lost on people who oppose all patriotism.


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