The Palestinian led BDS campaign against apartheid Israel has many supporters worldwide and they are often the target of attempted bullying by zionists, particularly in online fora. Indeed, Israel pays students to spread hasbara (propaganda) on social networking sites. When artists decide to cancel dates in apartheid Israel, or when they make statements in support of BDS, they are usually subject to an onslaught of hatred from zionists on facebook, twitter etc -much of the commentary is so racist and vile as to astonish. Some examples include the vitriol directed at Joker (Dubstep) and the support for war crimes and apartheid on display on the Arch Enemy page. The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) group Don’t Play Apartheid Israel (DPAI) has created many facebook pages to support thePalestinian call for BDS and the administrators of those pages regularly have to delete hate speech.
The latest example of such personal targeting was posted on the Red Hot Chilli Peppers: Defy Injustice, Cancel Israel page this week 17 April) and is aimed at Israeli activist Tali Shapiro. In a blog about Shapiro’s open and public letter to the RHCP asking them not to play apartheid Israel, the blogger ‘BDS Gone Bad’ accuses her of dishonesty in this correspondence (while misspelling the band’s name…). “But Shapiro does not adress the subject honestly’ as an activist with a very clear and agressive agenda (legitimate as such), but first of all as a fan.” Bizarrely the blogger has also gone into Shapiro’s personal facebook page and looked for bands she ‘likes’, as many of these have been booked to play apartheid Israel at some stage, the alleged correlation is that Tali Shapiro cannot be a fan of a band she doesn’t ‘like’ on facebook or has recently ‘liked’ on facebook. Confused yet? I know I am. You see, the blogger had access to the page of a self-declared activist and someone who opens her letter to the RHCP thus:
“Dear Anthony, Flea, Chad and Josh,
My name is Tali. I’m a citizen of Israel from the privileged side of the apartheid, who supports the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions on the state of Israel. It doesn’t take much to get me to talk about the atrocities I witness here everyday, but I’d rather make it as brief as possible, so you’ll actually take the time to read this.”
So, the opening sentence of the letter states Shapiro’s support for BDS, it’s been published widely and her facebook page is open…..dishonesty? Absolutely not. The attack is, as usual, an attempt to obfuscate and to smear those who work for BDS as dishonest or being ‘political’. The notion that being political is a negative thing is a major component of the Israeli state narrative against solidarity actions and campaigns. It is constantly used as an accusation which is laughable since NOT being political in the face of the apartheid, occupation, ethnic cleansing, imprisonment and war crimes inflicted by Israel on the Palestinian people would be shameful.
Tali Shapiro is a committed BDS activist in a campaign that is gaining traction all the time. While there are people who have to be paid to spread propaganda for Israel and those who support the status quo as it enables their privilege at the expense of the rights of the Palestinians, there are many, many more Palestinians, Israelis, and people from all over the world who struggle together for justice for Palestine. BDS is biting, these attacks testify to it.