Sunday, March 06, 2011

Hard Left's Obsession with Israel Ignores True Victims of Human Rights Abuse; Roger Waters of Pink Floyd Joins the Boycott Campaign Against Israel

Alan Dershowitz is a man of the left. In an earlier time he would have been described as a liberal. Yet nowadays Professor Dershowitz, like Senator Joe Lieberman, is frequently pilloried by the hard left, because he refuses to suspend common sense and common decency when it comes to criticism of the United States of America and Israel.

Professor Dershowitz swings back at his critics and connects with this column posted at Hudson New York , entitled, "How the Hard Left, By Focusing Only on Israel, Encouraged Arab Despotism." Here is an excerpt:

Now the hard left is finally talking about torture and other undemocratic abuses in Egypt and Jordan, as well as the despotism of virtually all Arab regimes. Do you recall any campus protests against Egypt or Mubarak? Do you recall any calls for divestment and boycotts against Arab dictators? No, because there weren't any. The hard left was too busy condemning the Middle East's only democracy, Israel. Radical leftists and campus demonstrators, by giving a pass to the worst forms of tyranny, encouraged their perpetuation. Now, finally, they are jumping on the bandwagon of condemnation, though still not with the fury that they reserve for the one nation in the Middle East that has complete free speech, gender equality, gay rights, an open and critical press, an independent judiciary and fair and open elections.

The double standard is alive and well on the hard left, and its victims include the citizens of Arab regimes who suffer under the heal of authoritarian dictators. Even more important they include victims of genocides, such as those perpetrated in Rwanda, Darfur and Cambodia—victims who did not prick the consciences of the hard left because the perpetrators were Arabs or Communists, rather than Americans or Israelis

Yes, as Professor Dershowitz notes, the double standard lives on, and nowhere does it thrive more heartily than among the politically correct artists of popular music, now leading the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel ("BSD"). In today's Jerusalem Post one may read how Roger Waters, the former bassist and lead singer of Pink Floyd, has declared his support for BSD, joining folk music legend Pete Seeger. Waters is quoted as saying, "For me it means declaring my intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their government's racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.”

Mr. Waters apparently was particularly appalled by his visit to the security barrier separating the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories from Israel. It is not reported that he ever visited the former site of Sabarro's restaurant in Jerusalem, or any of the many other sites of the Palestinian suicide bombings that murdered hundreds of Israelis. Here are the photos of two victims of one of those attacks, Dr. David Applebaum and his daughter Nava, murdered at the Cafe Hillel bombing in Jerusalem in 2003.

Dr. Appelbaum was the head of the emergency room at Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and founder of Terem, the first network of emergency medical service clinics in Israel in addition to the Red Magen David. He personally saved the lives of hundreds of Palestinian Arabs as well as Israeli Jews and Arabs, and the emergency clinics he founded continue to do so until this day. He had taken Nava to Cafe Hillel as a last special father-daughter outing before Nava's wedding, scheduled for the next night. Their murderer was a Hamas terrorist dispatched from Ramallah, now thankfully on the other side of the security barrier that Mr. Waters so despises.

Of course, the purpose of the security barrier was to prevent such terrorist outrages, and it has been largely successful. But apparently Israeli lives are less important to Mr. Waters than offenses to his political aesthetic. Mr. Waters, please explain to the holy neshamot (souls) of David and Nava Appelbaum why you see fit to support a boycott, divestment and sanction campaign against Israel, but not against Hamas.

By the way, Mr. Waters never joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Mubarak's Egypt, pre-coup Tunisia or Libya. That is of course because, as Professor Dershowitz points out, there never were any such campaigns. Indeed, while the world watches the spectacle of Mohammar Qadafi using fighter planes, tanks and machine guns to mow down thousands of Libyan citizens, a number of music industry notables such as Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, and Mariah Carey have been embarrassed by revelations that they performed at private concerts for the Qadafi family. (Usher was paid to appear with Beyonce, although he apparently did not actually perform). Now these celebrities, who are shocked, SCHOCKED, to find out that they performed for the murderous despot's clan are scrambling to donate the huge fees they earned to human rights organizations. It is a virtual cinch that some of the NGO's receiving the Qadafi-sourced booty from the embarrassed celebrities themselves sponsor and support the BSD campaign against Israel.

As Professor Dershowitz notes, "There is only one acceptable standard of international human rights: the worst must come first." By that standard, Mr. Waters should be ashamed of himself. Take your boycott, sir, and shove it up your Dark Side of the Moon.


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