Sunday, June 12, 2016

Those Who Could Stop It Remain Silent

In Israel, the voices arrayed against the Netanyahu government are becoming louder. Murray Dobbins writes:

In the space of two days, new critics emerged from within the highest positions of Israel state power. Moshe Ya'alon -- until recently the Israeli Defence Minister -- and Major General Yair Golan, the Israeli army's deputy chief of staff, confirmed what many of Israel's most vociferous (and vilified) critics have been saying for years: that Israel is heading down the road of extremism and racism.

Golan issued a warning that linked attitudes and actions in pre-war Germany with trends in Israel today. ''It's scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here,'' he said.

And political commentator Michael  Brizon has entered the fray:

Israeli political commentator Michael Brizon, who writes under the pseudonym B. Michael, concluded the failure of Western governments to criticize what is happening in Israel is itself a new form of anti-Semitism. Writing in a Haaretz op-ed titled ''Yet Again the Jewish People Face Great Danger and the World Is Silent,'' Brizon lamented the fact that the greatest danger to Israel is now from within, not from its traditional enemies. ''With our very own hands, we anointed the Huns who rule over us."

The irony for Michael is palpable: Israel's promise has been lost, he wrote, and ''all that remains is a big mouth, brandished fist, and endless hidden hatred, militarism, paganism, and self-righteousness. And the world is silent.''

That silence is what terrifies Michael: ''...if you persist in your silence, you indifferent world, that will be categorical proof that you really are anti-Semitic, exactly as we've always been told.''

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, is not bothered by Netanyahu's policies:

As if to prove the point, just days after this piece was published, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order intended to punish companies and groups that join the BDS campaign -- the Boycott, Divest, Sanction campaign to peacefully pressure Israel to comply with international law and recognize Palestinian rights.

''If you boycott Israel, New York will boycott you,'' Cuomo said. Officials have been directed to compile a list of companies and groups that have signed on to the BDS campaign.

The Trudeau government is also opposed to the BDS movement.

The Holocaust happened because those who could have stopped it remained silent.



Pamela Mac Neil said...

Trudeau seems to have no problem Owen violating Canadians right to freedom of speech by supporting this BDS motion. The silence and support of Israels, violence, land theft and oppression of the Palestinian people is obscene.What's incredible about it is that the Israels don't hide this Palestinian genocide. They are doing this in front of the whole world. As Trudeau sits in his PMO, in our free and peaceful country, travelling with no real fear of violence, he has just given Israel permission to continue with the slaughter of the Palestinian people. This PM seems to have a problem when needing to make a decision between principle and politics, he chooses politics. If our own PM is not concerned with human rights, then to me he is a complete write off.

Owen Gray said...

Trudeau's unwillingness to criticize Netanyahu is truly disturbing, Pam.

The Mound of Sound said...

Every few days I check out the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. It's a left of centre paper but it's mainstream, not fringe media. A few weeks ago I found an op-ed discussing the BDS movement. The writer said BDS was not the best weapon to restrain fascism in Israel, it was the ONLY weapon that could possibly work. This would explain why Cuomo, Ambrose and Trudeau rose up, not against Israeli fascism, but to attack BDS. Talk about taking the small-l liberal out of the big-L Liberal Party. I cannot see how anyone who considers himself progressive can support today's Liberal Party. That defies reason.

Owen Gray said...

To see names like Cuomo and Trudeau -- names traditionally associated with Liberalism -- attack BDS is truly baffling, Mound.

the salamander said...

.. once upon a time, quite recently.. I had some delightful chats with a client - a wealthy widowed Paediatric specialist , originally from South Africa, who'd married a former British immigrant that became a Canadian.. I was quite taken aback by her vehement perspectives regarding Israeli Apartheid ! In her view as a non jew. Israel could do no wrong. When I mentioned the Israeli naval shelling that targetted 3 young Palestinian boys on a sunny beach, she became quite stony.. said they had no right to be there. When I asked if she meant the Israeli vessel, she seized on that as proving I was anti-semetic..

It can be quite stunning to encounter such values, views or confusions.. such dogged ignorance in someone otherwise seen as an exemplar

Owen Gray said...

Some beliefs defy reason, salamander. And some people believe that particular groups of people are incapable of error.