A poster on the DPAI facebook page Red Hot Chili Peppers: Defy Injustice, Cancel Israel brought this group to my attention: Creative Community For Peace , (CCFP) ” a nonprofit seeking to counter artist boycotts of Israel”. Ironically the poster had read about the RHCP page in this article “Music moguls to artists: Don’t boycott Israel” and joined the BDS page, thanks for advertising for us, zionists! The article recounts a meeting with over thirty “leading music executives, talent agents and entertainment lawyers” organised by CCFP as a means to counter the growing BDS movement which has had much success in appealing to artists and, through information and dialogue, persuading them to either cancel their dates in apartheid Israel or to pledge not to perform there.
According to the article, the meeting started off with slides of many of the artists who have cancelled gigs in Israel (testament to the effectiveness of BDS) and then went on to trot out some familiar lies about the purpose of the campaign. These lies are not new to BDs campaigners and activists and are to be found wherever zionist supporters of apartheid Israel attempt to smear those who would stand with the Palestinian people in their struggle for justice. As there are propaganda (hasbara) manuals and guides produced by Israel and its patrons, the lies are readily to hand but are as transparent as they are predictable. One of the primary lies about the BDS movement is that it is: “a very well-organized, very well-funded movement,” – the irony of this, coming from the Israeli state and its paid propagandists, is delicious.
Another falsehood trotted out is that: “it’s not about debating Israel’s policies. It’s really about undermining our right to be a state for Jews.” This could not be further from the truth, the BDS campaign is all about debating and highlighting Israel’s policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, home demolition, war crimes and imprisonment. BDS is about fighting Israel’s crimes against humanity. When faced with real debate and facts, zionists retreat behind the well-worn accusation of anti-semitism, while simultaneously refusing to enter into real discussion. Defending the indefensible is impossible you see, so to counter a rights-based campaign rooted in truth and a struggle for equality, the only option is lies and smears. Evoking the Nazis is an especially debased tactic and does such disservice to those who were murdered by that terrible regime as to demonstrate that it is zionism itself that is anti-semitic. As I have written numerous times, these tactics are nothing new but I do believe their frequency is making them increasingly less credible, even to those who might ordinarily be amenable to them.
A further tactic and one that is less distasteful than those above, but is certainly more pathetic, is to enumerate Israel’s ‘achievements’ as a counter to the boycott. Invented something great, brought medical aid somewhere, done something big in technology? Well that’s ok then, we’ll overlook your dropping of white phosphorous on unarmed civilians, we’ll ignore the thousands of children you have killed and maimed etc….. really? All that cash and expertise and this is a strategy? It’s the indefensible you see….
Amidst all the falsehoods in the article (I’ve given myself a headache reading it), there are real whoppers about Macy Gray and her performance in Israel, among them that she was the subject of death threats during efforts to dissuade her from playing as well as this bizarre and racist claim: “As an African-American, Gray was particularly sensitive to accusations of apartheid”, of course no-one accused Gray of practising apartheid, how absurd! The apartheid nature of the Israeli state was pointed out to her, naturally, and she saw it for herself when there. The article goes on to say that she met Palestinian and Israeli groups but completely omits her later comments that she was mislead and regrets breaking the boycott. Selective hysteria indeed.
This meeting, the newly formed CCFP, the Reut Institute report and the paying of hasbarists to troll the internet and post hate about the Palestinian people and rubbish about Israel’s ‘democracy’, prove that BDS is biting, and big time. At the meeting, Ran Geffen-Lifshitz, CEO of Media Men Group, a music publishing company based in Tel Aviv stated: “If you boycott Israel in art, the next thing is boycotting Israeli manufactured goods, then a boycott of Israel as a tourist destination.” Absolutely! Along with the cultural and academic boycott of Israel comes the consumer boycott, and if you must fly to Tel Aviv, make it to visit Palestine.
Post script: Thanks to the CCFP for providing us with the roll of shame of those who played for apartheid. The BDS movement also has a growing list of those who have chosen the right side of history, who have not sold out their consciences, who have acted with integrity and stood with the Palestinian people. I know which list I’d prefer to be on.