Sowing the Seeds of Hatred

So Seth Freedman – the darling of  CiF and the Israel-bashers – has given his seal of approval to Israel boycotts.
Indeed he says boycotting Israeli companies is “to be applauded”
I wonder if he used his computer to create and dispatch his article, or used his mobile phone to do any of the research.  If so, he does not adhere to his own principles. For if he supports boycotts (even though he wants to direct his divestment and boycotts at companies that “make money from piling misery on the Palestinians”) he needs to be consistent and not derive any benefit from the Israeli research and innovation in the technological, medical and cultural fields that has benefited us all. So throwing away his mobile phone and not using voicemail or computer should be top of his list when boycotting………
How ironic that the Israel-bashers in the UN benefit so greatly from Israeli expertise.
And which country is always among the first to offer practical assistance and aid when there is a disaster?
Who will forget that while people were dying in Iran following the earthquake in 2003, the Iranian government agreed to accept aid from “any country other than Israel”!
Just what good for the Palestinians do the boycotts Freedman advocates do? Is it not better to support the many joint Israeli-Palestinian projects and initiatives that can bring positive benefit to the Palestinian people who have suffered so badly from the devotion of their leadership to the destruction of Israel, rather than to the betterment of their own people?
Don’t the Palestinians derive more good from the Israel/Palestinian economic co-operation iniatives that have recently taken place or from the football tournament between Israeli and Palestinian children that Sir Bobby Charlton supported when he was in Israel in July?
Does that not bring more benefit to the relationship between the next generation of Palestinians and Israelis than teaching hatred on Palestinian TV childrens’ programmes and in school textbooks?
The espousal of boycotts by the likes of Freedman, Ken Loach, Neve Gordon, Jeff Halper, Naomi Klein and George Galloway does nothing to further the cause of peace or bring the benefits that would show the Palestinians that living in peace alongside their Jewish neighbour is far preferable to terrorism, suicide bombing and pointless hatred. And if the ‘Women for Peace’ and organisations such as B’tselem put their undoubted energies into positive projects rather than seeking out sticks with which to beat Israel, how much better things could be for grassroots Palestinians….
Palestinians should be asking themselves a lot of  “What if?” questions: What if in 1948 they had embraced their Palestinian state instead of going to war against the Jewish state that had been given legitimacy by an international vote? What if they had not initiated so many wars and wasted all their energies on fighting Israel rather than cooperating with her? What if the handshakes on the White House Lawn had not been cynical ploys to fool the world into thinking that the Palestinian leaders had a real interest in peace? What if the vast sums of international aid had been properly monitored and had gone to support the people and build up the infrastructure of the Palestinian state they deserve instead of funding terrorism, paying the families of suicide bombers, the ficticious salaries and lining the pockets and Swiss bank accounts of Yasser Arafat and many of his henchmen? Would the millions of dollars that Mrs Arafat continues to receive be better used in funding Palestinian families who have been forced to live in refugee conditions as political pawns?  And what if President Abbas did not speak with a forked tongue?
The problem with the Israel-haters and supporters of boycotts is they never let historical context or the truth get in the way of a good story. In the recent call for a boycott of the Toronto film festival (because they were showing films to mark the 100th anniversary of Tel Aviv), the co-director of the festival said that the status of Tel Aviv as part of Israel was still unresolved!
If that doesn’t show that the Palestinian message is one that claims the very heart of Israel – I don’t know what does.
It is time for the boycotters, Israel-haters and supporters of violence and war to wake up and recognise that the path to peace does not lie in demonising and badmouthing Israel, but in pursuing joint projects and cooperation that can bring benefit to both sides.
And it is time Comment is Free gave more space to positive aspects of solving the Middle East conflict than to fermenting more hatred from the pens of Seth Freedman and his fellow Israel bashers.

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