People all over the world are entitled to their opinion about the state of Israel but when these opinions are those of dissent to what the state is doing Israel has decided to ban such people terrorists. With that name affixed to yours or the group to which you identify, Israel considers it a very real possibility you are a threat to their existence and liable to face preemptive action or even death. As a result the alternative rock group Pixies had better watch out the state of Israeli might very well target them.
In what I consider the ‘mother of all ironies’, the Israeli promoter for the bands appearance, which the band cancelled in protest of the murder of people on a relief convoy to Gaza, said
“I am full of both sorrow and pain in light of the fact that our repeated attempts to present quality acts and festivals in Israel have increasingly been falling victim to what I can only describe as a form of cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide,” he wrote.
“Fans cannot be punished for the deeds of their governments.”
Two things about what monsieur Shuki Weiss, the author of the above quote, said. The most onerous is his equating a group’s right for them to choose who they want to associate with to a term that has become synonymous to death and destruction, when most likely the reason for the Pixies cancellation was to protest against death and destruction of the Jewish state. The second point to be made is Weiss’ assertion that fans, read people, shouldn’t be punished for the actions of their government is probably something everyone in the Gaza strip is saying and has been saying since the Israeli blockade of that country.
Israel has claimed for itself ‘victim’ status which means anyone who offers any opposition to the State’s policies and/or its actions is considered a terrorist in the eyes of the Israeli establishment. While the old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me’ used to have meaning, now the tag of terrorism means extra judicial action might be taken against such people in ways only that State can decide. To make that point clear, here is another ominous quote from the same article
“The Israeli authorities must do what they can to fight against those who are doing everything they can to prevent artists from performing in Israel,” she (Moran Paz, a spokeswoman) said, without elaborating.
If the Pixies were to join a caravan seeking to give aid to Gazans, they most likely would be singled out for targeted assassination as were the people on the Turkish convey earlier last week.
The Pixies as well as Elvis Costello are entertainers who have decided to take a courageous stand against murder and the complete disregard for the rule of law which the Israelis have embraced for quite some time. Usually there is nothing wrong with such protest; Americans have the right to associate with whomever they want as well as the right to protest and the right to free speech. Unfortunately the Israelis don’t see things that way so they heap upon such people who dissent perhaps the ugliest and most incendiary term, terrorist, they can which means absent bowing and scraping before the altar of Israeli power in any act of penitence, such people are doomed to failure or worse, death. If nothing else the events over the last week have proven that to be true. But it is extreme chutzpah for someone to self-righteously declare that people shouldn’t be held accountable for what their government does, when that is exactly what the State of Israel is doing to the people of Gaza. Monsieur Weiss’ protestation would have more impact if he at first voted for people in Israel who would end the blockade (Miscellany101 wonders if such politicians exist in that country) or joined the next aid caravan headed for the strip. Absent those two actions, Weiss’ statements are hypocritical at best and inflammatory at worse but he is as entitled to them as The Pixies are to boycotting or refusing to play in Israel because of its high crimes. In fact, The Pixies are doing the state a favor by opposing Israel’s actions because they refuse to be enablers of a country that is headed to self-destruction. If it, Israel, takes just a minute or two to reflect on what it is that drove The Pixies to their decision, perhaps the state will change course. But who are we kidding…….Israel is inextricably headed towards international condemnation and perhaps war because of its racist policies which they seem to cling to more passionately than the religion they say is the reason for their occupation. So a hat tip to The Pixies for their telling truth to power. I wish I could shake their hands…..all of them.