April 25, 2007

Jews BIG in the Guardian

See this. A letter from JBIG in the Guardian about this NUJ boycott business:

We welcome the courageous decision of the National Union of Journalists to boycott Israeli goods (Letters, April 23). Given Israel's contempt for international law, with the complicity of the US and UK governments, pressure has to be increased by civil society if justice is to be achieved. A boycott of Israeli goods is a legitimate form of grassroots action and is particularly appropriate as Israel is destroying the Palestinian economy. Such a boycott has been called for by Israeli peace organisations.

As a result of its illegal occupation, Israel is able to flood the Palestinian market with its products, while preventing Palestinian farmers from growing and trading their own. We believe Israel's actions betray Jewish ethical traditions - the cutting down of olive and fruit trees is prohibited by Jewish law. The continuing occupation and exploitation of Palestinian land is a major obstacle to peace for Israelis and Arabs alike which has global implications for world peace.
Deborah Fink, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Mike Cushman, Sylvia Finzi, Tony Greenstein, Ruth Tenne, Deborah Maccoby, Prof Moshe Machover, Mike Marqusee
Jews for Boycotting Israel Goods

The letter is sandwiched between two from zionists, the last being from David Hirsh. So now they dominate Cif and the letters page but the JBIG crew did well to get published at all. Linda Grant said that certain intellectual Jews were only a phone call away from getting an opinion piece published but, for all that, we don't see many anti-zionist opinion pieces by Jews published.

One little piece of the first letter, by a Martin Sugarman caught my eye:
Dr Summerfield and others (Letters, April 21) whine on about the alleged impact on Palestinian healthcare caused by necessary Israeli security policies to protect its borders and population from murderous attacks by Palestinian terrorists, thereby justifying a boycott of Israel's medical profession - probably one of the most inventive and creative in the world.
Got that last bit? "Israel's medical profession - probably one of the most inventive and creative in the world." I thought zionist propagandists were the most inventive and creative in the world.

Now, that JBIG letter. It was very good I thought but I couldn't sign a letter that invoked "Jewish ethics" or law. I'm not sure what Jewish ethics are and I don't believe in Jewish law. JBIG itself might help undermine the persistent and false allegation that boycotts against Israel are antisemitic or "exceptionalistic" and that's a good thing.

Oh yes, I remember now. Why the headline? Obviously there was a bit of a pun or double entendre there. But what's the other entendre out of the double? Well it still troubles me that when the Guardian editorialised that journalists have compromised their independence by voting to boycott Israeli goods it may have chosen a self-declared zionist to do so. This would be outrageous hypocrisy even without taking into account the fact that the Comment is free space is a free for all for zionists and people can get banned simply on the say-so of one of them. Of course, I shouldn't then suggest that Jews are big in the Guardian. It's zionists who are big in the Guardian and with Freedland writing leaders and Georgina Henry banning anti-zionists because Linda Grant has told her to, the same Georgina Henry appointing recent settlers in Palestine because the same Linda Grant has told her to, they seem to be getting bigger. Now this is bad news. Georgina Henry said in correspondence that she was supposed to keep Cif interesting. Is the take of zionists on life in Palestine really keeping Cif interesting? Is she appointing zionists and restricting anti-zionists or critics of Israel because she thinks it sells newspapers or gets hits or is she taking orders from higher the Guardian's food chain? The Guardian has never been as hostile to Israel and zionism as zionists have made out (things are rarely as zionists make out) but now it seems to be more pro-zionist than at any time I can remember.

So, well done JBIG, you slipped through a tightening net.

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