This is a cross-post from A Rabbit’s Eye-View of the Hyperborean North.
I wrote previously about attempts by the screaming-at-mice brigade to browbeat a 91 year old man into submission.
The 91 year old man was Pete Seeger, who had had the temerity to agree to perform in an online concert for With Earth and Each Other, a micro-level activism group for cooperation between different nationalities and ethnicities in the Middle East; and connected to Arava Institute (which, amongst others, had successfully challenged the IDF’s blanket ban on student visas from Palestinian Territories), and the free-thinking Jewish National Fund.
Attempts at McCarthyite control (which Seeger had seen-off almost 60 years ago) ensued on a Facebook page set-up by one of Seeger’s fans, including regular cuts ‘n pastes from Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolition.
Any domestic action group against zoning violations and planning permission disputes is not to be discouraged, but as far as I could see, Halper is supportive of a all-level boycott against Israel to ‘embarrass’ her in ways not applied to any other country and its social structures.
Typical responses from the screamers-at-mice was that they would support any boycott if it were called for whichever disenfranchised group was being discussed. Quite apart from their guaranteed ignorance of the human plights in the named countries, it raises the question of how far this Yasmin Alibhai-Brown style moral purity test would go. Possibly leaving the only individuals and countries worthy of receiving international trade and cultural/academic exchange being themselves, Costa Rica, the Principality of Sealand and a mangy dog (until, that is, Sealand was expelled for its role in the guillemot genocide, and Costa Rica for the oppression of the macadamia nuts community).
Plus, if I am correct about Halper’s position, he goes from ultimately good intentioned in my eyes to a malign influence in that he would avail himself of the comforts and benefits of living in Israel whilst ostracizing those who disobey him. As the Chancellor of Haifa University said to Ilan Pappe, perhaps he should boycott himself.
Alas, despite their best efforts to cling to an unmoderated and, until they arrived, unread Facebook fanpage, it all came to nowt, as the online concert with Seeger’s performance went ahead on 14 November (as shown on the Facebook page for With Earth and Each Other).
Having failed to force Jethro Tull and LCD Soundsystem, they now have failed with Pete Seeger.
For the next time, Bohica.