Choose to shout or choose to listen on Israel and Palestine

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Israeli diplomat, Yiftah Curiel, visited Scotland for the first time on Wednesday. He set aside some of his time to speak to students at the University of Glasgow about Israel, Europe, trade, culture, and peace. But during his talk, some people decided they didn’t like MrContinue reading “Choose to shout or choose to listen on Israel and Palestine”

Eyal, Gilad and Naftali — a response

How should Israel respond to the brutal murder of three schoolboys? “Proportionately,” The World says. “With restraint.” As if it is the hallmark of a civilised society that it views coolly and dispassionately the slaughter of its young. “They were illegal settlers,” say the fellow-travellers with Palestinian rejectionism. “They shouldn’t have been there in theContinue reading “Eyal, Gilad and Naftali — a response”

A hechsher for a blood libel

They came with hatred in their hearts and knives in their hands. The Turkish flotilla that laid siege to Israel’s embargo on Gaza on 31 May 2010 did so with full knowledge that the Israeli and Egyptian blockade was in place to prevent the import by Hamas of weapons from Iran. The “humanitarian activists” on boardContinue reading “A hechsher for a blood libel”

Watchman on the Walls

From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel By Robert S. Wistrich University of Nebraska Press, 648 pages The volume, character, and tone of Judeophobia to be found in the public discourse around the world, whether in the form of classical Jew-hatred or the more respectable negation of the validity of the State ofContinue reading “Watchman on the Walls”

A Long Way From Cable Street

Professor Robert Wistrich is the world’s foremost scholar on the ideological pathology of anti-Semitism. A former leftist, he has drifted to the Right in recent decades and in doing so has noted the growing clamour by some on the Left to reboot long-standing reactionary prejudices against Jews as “criticism” of the state of Israel andContinue reading “A Long Way From Cable Street”

Liz Lochhead’s selective boycott

The poet Liz Lochhead, known to a generation of Scottish schoolchildren as “the one that’s not Carol Ann Duffy”, has joined calls for a boycott of Batsheva Dance Company. Batsheva is an Israeli troupe which – unless Lochhead gets her way – will be performing at the Playhouse on Thursday as part of the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland’sContinue reading “Liz Lochhead’s selective boycott”

The chutzpah industry

People with ‘#justice’, ‘#humanrights’ and ‘#TeamHamas’ in their Twitter bios are furious right now. It’s not because of the Israeli doctors who in January saved the life of 12-year-old Palestinian girl Aya Almasal after her heart stopped en route from Gaza to Haifa for (free) treatment for a cardiovascular condition. Nor is it Israel’s newContinue reading “The chutzpah industry”

Redeeming the promise of ‘Never Again’

Concentration camp survivors sing Hatikvah (The Hope) inside the newly-liberated Bergen-Belsen, April 20, 1945 ‘I was in Dachau and Belsen. I saw chambers where hundreds of Jews were put to death every day. … I saw the gallows in Belsen where Jews were hanged each Jewish holy day, while the rest were paraded to witnessContinue reading “Redeeming the promise of ‘Never Again’”

What’s the matter with Thomas Friedman?

It’s a question Israelis and Israel advocates of all political stripes have been asking in recent months. What has caused Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist and pro-market liberal, to lurch from centre-left defender of the State of Israel to increasingly shrill basher of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli government, and the state itself? WeContinue reading “What’s the matter with Thomas Friedman?”