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Where are the Demonstrations, Flotillas, and Calls for Boycotts by Artists and Intellectuals?
by Pilar Rahola
(translated and abridged by Dr. Norman Berdichevsky from the Buenos Aires blog El Rejuente.il)
What would happen in our cities if what has been happening in Syria actually occurred in Israel? I mean instead of an Arab dictator massacring an Arab population as usual in a situation outside of the Arab-Israeli conflict, what would happen? The streets would be full of demonstrators demanding the excommunication of Israel, many universities would be instituting boycotts, the usual suspects among artists and intellectuals would be making videos bent on proselytizing and in the shadows of their consciences, the old idea would be circulated that the Jews are the world’s problem. And all of this would happen with the understanding that there is nothing else of concern in the world.
The fact is that in Israel nobody is being massacred for demonstrating, there is no dictator killing the civilian population and the bellicose conflict of decades continues to be nourished for all eternity by Israel’s neighbors in a war that never ends. I include the Iranian menace of massive destruction and although missiles may daily land in Israel amidst its population and fanatical groups of an Islamist army in the South and North continue to rearm, when Israel fires a single bullet, our streets erupt in indignation. Israel has never had the right of self-defense and for many, neither the right to exist. But when the bullets fall are those of old time friends of the Socialist International, those that until a short time ago were considered as the liberators of peoples, - What a powerful silence!
Wasn’t it just a caser of amnesia regarding those former friends of the socialist international – Mubarak, Ben-Ali and even Gadafi? And of course, Syria – that great ally of the Soviet bloc, “The Paradise of the Fight for the Peoples of the Third World against Zionist and Yankee Imperialism. The victims of the Arab and Muslim dictators were never of interest. In fact, the son (Baashar al-Assad) is only honoring his father (Hafez al-Assd) with his methods and with total impunity.
But, no matter. There are neither marches, nor boycotts nor indignant artists. Nothing There are no tears for the dead of Syria – because all the tears have been wasted against Israel. If it were a matter of the oppressed peoples, there would be an incredible amount of work before arriving in Israel, beginning with Syria and Iran and descending southwards towards Yemen and Arabia. Nevertheless, it is only Israel that exists, which tells us much about prejudice and enormous moral hypocrisy.