Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Media Boycott of Israel

Despite the fact that it is terribly subjective, the BBC website is typically my first port of call for checking the news. I can imagine a fair few readers might be disappointed by that, but you needn't worry too much though; I am familiar enough with the warped mindset of the politically correct British that I can "translate" the babble that passes as reporting into an educated guess as to what has actually occurred.

This afternoon I read an interesting story, detailing how the Edinburgh International Film Festival has returned a £300 grant to the Israeli government after a prominent film director called for the event to be boycotted. The director in question, one Ken Loach, is a socialist and was upset by the Israeli government potentially subsidising the cost of a film festival.

I wasn't particularly surprised that somebody who was involved in the arts had decided to boycott Israel - it's really rather trendy to be anti-Zionistic these days, and even more so if you are hatefully and intolerantly anti-Zionistic. Ken Loach, a man who described a report on rsing anti-semitism as a fraud and stating that: "If there has been a rise I am not surprised. In fact, it is perfectly understandable because Israel feeds feelings of anti-Semitism."

Funnily enough, actor and ex-Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona recently compared his famously vocal and blunt former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson to Ken Loach: "Ferguson and Ken Loach are where they are because they have an enormous amount of humility." Although Eric was being quite serious, his suggestion is hugely ironic given both parties' well-documented lack of humility.

While I am not surpised that a left-winger has decided to denounce Israel publicly and petulantly make a point that they know Israel will not be able to defend, I was slightly peeveed by the statement consequently put out by the spineless chaps at the Edinburgh International Film Festival: "Although the Festival is considered wholly cultural and apolitical, we always acknowledge and consider the opinions of the film industry as a whole, and as such accept that one filmmaker's recent statement speaks on behalf of the film community."

Unfortunately, being spineless doesn't detract from the festival boss's ability to be downright pompous and act as spokesmen for an entire industry. Their claim that Loach's objectionable statement is no less than a universal truth is an assertion that even the staunchest of anti-Zionists might realise as being rather uncredible.

Of course, if Mr Loach and the film industry want to make an example out of injustice and abuse in the Middle East, they need not look further than the case of Farfur the fake Disney mouse. Alternatively, they might want to sample the atttiude of Israeli children towards Palestinians (first video clip below) and contrast that with the way Palestinian children are brought up to regard Israel. (Second clip below.)

Ultimately, instead of dismissing Israel out of hand, the world would do well to pay close attention to what really happens in Israel, and try to understand what's happening when the TV cameras aren't rolling. This heart-warming video speak volumes about how Israel truly regards the Palestinians:

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad I came across your blog.

    I actually posted about the same story not too long ago, but approached more from the anti-boycott perspective than the angle you took.

    Also, I should say, I agree fully with the "subheading" you use for your blog. Zionism and Zionist is not a slur. It's not a bad word and it's not a bad thing to be or believe in.