Saturday, May 11, 2013

Daily Mail uses photo of Jewish women being restrained as evidence of mistreatement of Palestinians

Douglas Murray is one of the UK's finest political commentators. He is also a staunch defender of Israel. But in an otherwise excellent article he has written in the Daily Mail about Stephen Hawking's boycott of Israel he has provided the opportunity for a bizarre blunder by the Mail's editors. Because Murray decided (wrongly in my view) to 'balance' his criticism of the boycott with comments like these:
I acknowledge that there are those who are concerned about Israel’s approach to the Palestinians
the Editor (I assume) decided it was an opportunity to smear Israel even in a pro-Israel article by posting a picture showing Israelis 'mistreating Palestinians'. 
Screenshot taken from Daily Mail online article, 11 May 2013

Hence we have this picture captioned
There are those who are concerned about Israel's approach to the Palestinians, but if these academics think a boycott is the right way to address those concerns they are profoundly mistaken 
Except that the women in the photo, including the one being held back by an Israeli policeman, are clearly orthodox Jewish women (12 May Update: Elder of Ziyon has confirmed that the photograph is from AFP, and shows Israeli police stopping a Jewish protest after the murder of Evyatar Borovsky).

Incidentally I believe the whole approach being used by the pro-Israel side to the boycott issue is fundamentally flawed. When the Nazis were boycotting Jewish shops it would have been bizarre to say things like "We recognise that these Jewish owners have not all led perfect lives and so we have some sympathy with your hatred of them, but we think that the goods they sell are fantastic not just for Jews but for Nazis as well. So please don't boycott them". The only sensible - and winning - response is to attack the people behind the boycott for what they are: modern-day Nazis who have no interest whatsoever in the welfare of the Palestinians; their sole objective is to destroy the Jewish state. That's why the image here (by Isreallycool) is so much more powerful than the message here.

Just about the  worst strategy that you can possibly take in confronting the boycotters is the one I heard from the Israeli goverment representative (I didn't catch his name) who was chosen to speak against Exeter University's Israel-hater and boycott leader Ghada Karmi on Nick Ferrari's LBC radio show this week. While Karmi was spouting the standard lies about Israel being an apartheid state (unchallenged by both Ferrari and the Israel rep) the Israeli's response was simply to play the kumbaya card saying that whatever our differences it was much better to sit down and talk rather than boycott. To see the futility of that approach you should read the staggering account reported here.


Andy said...

You can hardly complain about people boycotting Israel, when the Zionists have used the tactic so determinedly and for so long.

The really extreme case was in 1933, when "war" and years of boycott were declared on Germany by organisations claiming to speak on behalf of American Jews. And this was before Hitler had taken any measure against German Jews!

Anonymous said...

Andy, could you please cite a credible source for your accusation? Why would anyone have boycotted German before any measures had been taken against them? It makes no sense whatsoever, especially since German Jews felt that life in Germany was ideal before the rise of Hitler and Nazism.