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Issue #1770      March 22, 2017

Israel’s increasing paranoia

Israel’s decision to deny Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) chairman Hugh Lanning access to its own territory and to occupied Palestine indicates the Zionist state’s contempt for freedom of expression.

Lanning and PSC are passionate about Palestinian national rights, but they rely on building support for the peaceful boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement as their weapon of choice.

The Israeli embassy’s attempt to brand Lanning as “associated with the leaders of Hamas, which is designated as a terror group across the European Union; a group whose anti-Semitic charter calls for killing all Jews” ought to embarrass those who uttered such a nonsense.

“Israel is seeking a peaceful resolution to its conflict with the Palestinians. Those who promote extremism should not be allowed to foment their hatred in Israel,” it added.

Promoting extremism and fomenting hatred are not the stock in trade of either PSC or Lanning. The embassy should cast an eye on recent conduct and comments by Israeli government ministers, right to the top, if it’s genuinely concerned about extremism and hatred.

The Board of Deputies, which purports to speak for Britain’s Jews, also gazed through the wrong end of its Zionist telescope.

“If Palestine Solidarity Campaign wants to avoid being treated like a pariah, it has to stop behaving like one,” its pompous president Jonathan Arkush declared, as though unaware that Tel Aviv’s denial of human rights to the Palestinian people has accorded Israel that status on a global scale.

The Morning Star spoke out against the Israeli Knesset vote for a blanket ban on anyone supporting BDS, dubbing it an illustration of weakness rather than strength.

Israeli government supporters’ overreaction reinforces that assessment.

It may be self-defeating too if a comment piece in Israel’s Haaretz daily newspaper by Canadian political science associate professor Mira Sucharov means anything.

Sucharov is a passionate Zionist who has spent three years in Israel, backs a two-state solution and supports a boycott of Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements.

She notes that BDS activists have criticised her stance as “letting Israel, the state that has illegally built and maintained those settlements for decades, off the hook” and wonders now if they are right.

“But as the prospects for a two-state solution rapidly dim and as liberal Zionism’s promise loses its lustre with every move to more deeply entrench the occupation … the call to BDS seems more justified,” she concedes.

When even die-hard supporters of Israel accept the moral force of BDS campaign arguments, this is more than simply a straw in the wind. It illustrates that the hackneyed Tel Aviv claim that criticism of Israel equates to an existential threat no longer holds water.

That didn’t prevent Interior Minister Aryeh Deri from insisting that Israel will “no longer look the other way on activists who want to undermine its existence,” but this argument is well past its sell-by date.

People understand that there is no threat to a nuclear-armed state that is the most powerful in the region and the close ally of the world’s only military superpower.

That is not so for the Palestinians who are denied national rights because illegal Jewish settlers are colonising the West Bank and east Jerusalem that they want for the independent state of Palestine, as desired overwhelmingly by the international community.

Britain’s government purports to favour an independent Palestine as part of a two-state solution, but its actions speak otherwise. PSC director Ben Jamal is right to demand that Theresa May condemn Israel for its reprehensible decision.

Morning Star

Next article – Israel’s “Apartheid Regime”

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