Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Israel haters amongst the leftist elite have signed an absurd screed called the Toronto Declaration. The declaration protests the Toronto Film Festival's including Tel Aviv as a sister city. Calling it the "smiling face of Israeli Apartheid", the signees allege that Toronto is the agent of the "Israeli Propaganda Machine." They complain that the festival makes no mention that Tel Aviv was built on the remnants of destroyed Palestinian villages. Canadian filmmaker John Gregson says that to celebrate Israeli cinema is a tacit endorsement of Israeli occupation. He withdrew his film "Covered" to protest the focus on the festival's showcase of Israeli filmmakers.
There are many familiar names among the signatories, joining such astute political scientists as Annie Lennox, Ken Livingstone and Bianca Jagger in their own recent pillory of Israel. There are the obligatory jewish signees, fashionably self hating. And the message perfectly timed to coincide with the Jewish High Holy Days.
My father was born in pre independence Palestine. I have heard the firsthand stories of the massacres of jews in Hebron in 1929. I know how the Jordanians and Egyptians treated their jewish inhabitants and let the donkeys defecate next to the Wailing Wall. It is hard for me to understand why these brave signees have not lent their names in the condemnation of Hamas rocket or suicide attacks against Israel. Or for the release of Gilad Shalit.
Why is Israel subject to this double standard from the "liberal elite"? Where were their voices during the Syrian extermination of the town of Hama or during Black September? Why have they not taken up for the oppression of the kurds? Or honor killings throughout the arab world? Or the genocide in Sudan? Or that the Q'uran and Sunna expressively espouse a theology that calls for warring with the jewish people.
Not as sexy as bashing jews, I'd say... The arab and persian world are not content to belittle and deny the holocaust, an action that the Mufti of Jerusalem had his hand in. They want to deny the jewish footprint in Israel, they forbid mention of the jewish temple, which the Moslems built the Mosque of Omar on top of thousands of years after its construction. They neglect to mention a continuous jewish presence in Jericho for over 5000 years. For a people with such ties to the land, it is a wonder that the palestinians can not understand that jews feel an equally compelling connection.
I have lived in Israel for two protracted periods. There are things to like and not like about the country and the government. But be objective. The Palestinians have never honored their ceasefires, the islamists will not accept Israel's right to exist. It appears that neither will the liberals...
(p.s. Viggo Mortenson, you sucked in Lord of the Rings)
You declare that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely anti-Zionist. And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountaintops, let it echo through the valleys of God s green earth: when people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews.
Martin Luther King, Harvard University, 1968