Friday, September 25, 2009

That's How The Light Gets In.

In his Concert for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace, Leonard Cohen sang for 47,000 people at the Ramat Gan stadium in Tel Aviv today, donating the $1.5-$2 million in proceeds to coexistence projects that defy the bullying of the "Boycott Israel" movement. Cohen had planned a concert in the West Bank city of Ramallah, to raise money for a Palestinian prisoners' charity. But "Boycott Israel" campaigners scotched the event.

Two years ago, our own Bryan Adams ran into the same sort of difficulties. He'd planned two fundraising concerts for One Voice, in Tel Aviv and in the West Bank city of Jericho, but the Jericho concert had to be called off because of "security" concerns. Pro-boycott activists also threatened to blow up the Palestinian One Voice offices if the Jericho concert went ahead. The Tel Aviv concert was then cancelled by the Israeli planners in solidarity with their Palestinian comrades.

One of the beneficiaries of Cohen's concert is the Parents' Circle, a grassroots organization of bereaved Palestinians and Israelis dedicated to reconciliation as an alternative to hatred and revenge. A fine CBC portrait of the Parents' circle is here. For proper international solidarity, there is also Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine. And there is also surfing.

Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in. That's how the light gets in.


Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

We kinda need a reverse "Ain't gonna play Sun City" for Tel Aviv.

7:39 AM  
Blogger mikeal said...

Anyone interested in proper solidairty should also probably read the meticulous Goldstone report, which is bear 500 pages long, and in detail rips apart the mythology and utters lies which were spread by thiose who seeked to defend Israel conduct as it committed war crimes in Gaza. Just saying

11:11 AM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

Like you've read it...!

Dov Landau of Haaretz has beautiful ripped apart that report's underlying premise (which, considering who commissioned it, was no surprise). I also note you haven't responded to my outing you as a presumptuous twat who appears to want re-education for anybody whose "motivations" appear to veer from the party line (ie doesn't agree with your position). "Just saying." have a nice day.

12:30 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

Lets be absolutely clear. Judge Goldstone is a man of impeccable international credentials, former judge of South Aftica's Constitutional Court, the first prosecutor at The Hague on behalf of the International Criminal Court for Former Yugoslavia, and anti-apartheid campaigner who, also, by the way, has long institutional connnections to Israel and describes himself as a Zionist. For the latter reason he was by his own admission reluntant to take on the job. Not only that but the Goldstone report already confirms what several reliable reports already issued, condemning Israel's tactics as violations of the laws of war and international humanitarian law, including by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a variety of respected Israeli human rights groups. Testimony is taken, too, from IDF soldiers who talk about the loose commnds given and why so little care was taken to avoid killing civilians, on top of the direct targetting of civilians and infrusture, which are defined as war crimes.

Viley and others have not bothered to contridict any of the allegations made from Goldstone, they just attack the messanger preferring to shut their ears and close their eyes to war crimes committed by a state, that they believe, in a fairy tale sense, can do no wrong. Its time for them to wake up

1:51 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

First of all, you friggin' idiot, i did not attack goldstone. go back and read my post. second of all, there are plenty of cogent critiques of the process and the details in the UNHCR report, one of which I mentioned by Landau. You might do well to actually read it. There are also many others. I don't have the time or inclination to repeat their arguments, but if you're serious and fair, which I strongly doubt, you'll at least read Landau's article to get a glimmer of why people don't think much of Goldstone's report, his super credentials notwithstanding. (And let's not forget, another chief investigator publicly stated Israel committed war crimes before she investigated anything.)
Third of all, this thread was supposed to be about Leonard Cohen, counterproductive boycotts, etc. Instead, here you barge in with your with your one track Israel = bad obsession, which makes you entirely blind to the fact that very few of us, and certainly not me, believe "Israel can do no wrong." In fact, you're projecting: You seem to have the attitude "Israel can do no right." Have you ever said anything whatsoever about Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Arab/Muslim attitudes to Jews, 800,000 Jewish refugees expelled from Muslim countries post 1948, or for that matter, so-called war crimes committed by other Western troops, Russians in Chechnya (I heard they killed upwards of 100,000 people there, not 1,400). No i didn't think so. It's YOUR motivations that are highly questionable. That, and the fact that you never respond to points but rather always simply try to hammer the same tired old point over and over again.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Odd how a post about events that expose the narcissism and the idiocy of the Boycott Israel campaign leads to a recurrence of the Let's All Slag Israel fetish that's the necessary component of the Boycott movement in the first place.

More on same here:

2:45 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

If it wasn't clear, I was citing Burston approvingly.

2:47 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

Well, Viley, while J Street, a growing number of prominent liberal jews in the US, Amnesty International, B'tselem, the Red Cross, stalwarts like Uri Avnery, and a broad cross section of people of conscience around the world condemened Israel's attack on Gaza which occured while that population was being cruelly blockaded, and killed over 1400 people-- mostly civilians- you were on this blog offering grotesque apologetics for the assault, so, now, in the present, it's really no surprise that you seek to propogate hideous attacks against a meticulously documented report, which basically confirms what all the relevant independent investigations into Gaza has already uncovered. You've already given your game away.

I simply stated that those interested in offering solidarity should not close their eyes, nor attack the messanger, but grapple with Judge Golstone's findings. Just saying

2:48 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

For a passionate and very moving defence of an institutional boycott of Israel, which in some ways differs from an all out cultural one, interestingly opposed by people who were profoundly correct and moral about Israel/Palestine like the late Edward Said and Rick Salutin, I recommend that folks grapple with Neve Gordan's Haaretz piece

ps Terry do you group Goldstone's report as part as a blame Israel fetish?

2:54 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

1-Yeah, 8000 rockets, of which 120 were sent in one day 3 days before the attack on Gaza are "grotesque apologetics." No, buddy, the fact that you call them grotesque is what's truly grotesque.
2-Edward Said and Rick Salutin are "profoundly correct about Israel/Palestine" only in your tiny little mind.
3-Have you read Landau yet? Didn't think so.
4-You're damn straight i've "given my game away." Here it is again. The attack on Gaza was justified. More than justified, long overdue. Hamas used its own people as human shields for propaganda purposes. Ditto hospitals, schools, mosques etc. Institutionally Israel did try to minimize unavoidable civilian deaths. Yes, no doubt "war crimes" were committed by individuals and units, some by accident, some on purpose, as they are in any war. Very unfortunate.
If Israel wanted to purposefully target and terrorize the civilian population of gaza it would kill far many and unleash a far greater action, it has the capability, as you and yours continually remind us. Hamas remains dedicated to Israel's destruction. If there is a real "blockade" in gaza that actually causes significant humanitarian hardship, which I doubt, the Egyptians are equally culpable.
That's my position. I'm morally very satisfied with it. I think you, Said, Salutin and the rest are dead wrong and morally conflicted.

3:11 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

Burston's piece is nothing more than hatchet job which begins by discussing a one of the Israeli films at TIFF, conviniently ignoring, something the organizers of the Toronto Declaration said repeatedly; there protests had nothing to do with the films. That a diverse group of artist, filmakers and activists, alongside many Israelis and Jews, with Naomi Klein as their spokesperson felt that their solidarity with 1400 people killed in Gaza, and those blockaded and under a illegal occupation was more important that partying with Israel and participating in what was clearly a state driven branding campaign is to be celebrated, not spat on or dismissed. The fact that the Goldstone report came out during TIFF if anything acted to validate their critique

3:13 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

"Ditto hospitals, schools, mosques etc. Institutionally Israel did try to minimize unavoidable civilian deaths."

This claim is copiously refuted in detail by Amnesty International, the Red Cross, B'tselem, Human Rights Watch USA, Human Rights Watch Israel, direct testimony from Israeli soldiers who served during the Gaza operation, and now the 500 page Golstone report. We can believe all of this cross documentation which blatantly contridicts Viley claims or we can just buy Viley's fairy tale, which, I suppose, is also the offical word of the Israeli state and the IDF. Take your pick folks

3:18 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

Okay its confirmed Bradley Burston is a bigger flake than I thought. Notice in the article Terry links to, Bursten implores people, while dissing the Toronto Declaration and boycotts in general, to watch "Ajami" a film by Palestinian citizen of Israel, Scandar Copti. Bursden claims falsely that Copti and his film were being dissed by Naomi and her friends. Well, Earth to Bursden it turns out that the filmaker you so admire, Copti, was in full support of the Toronto Declaration and disgusted by the City to City initiative. Here's Copti in a recent interview

Your celebration comes at a time when trilateral peace negotiations are stagnant. Do you feel this is a development for Palestinian cinema, or is Israel using this opportunity to expand its public image with its Brand Israel campaign, which is meant to make Israel more ‘attractive’?

The film is based on a story about a revenge murder. I think they chose the film because it is a good film. It is a film that didn’t scare them. It’s a film that’s humanising. It’s a very dramatic and powerful film.

People who go to see Ajami will have lots of room to interpret and think about the reality of the situation without feeling the message was forced, or someone saying "this is all your fault".

The film has a lot of self-criticism about the society I live in, but not from a director’s perspective or manifesto.

But will Israel exploit it? I’m sure they will. They tried to do so in Toronto, but I pulled my film out of the City to City whose focus this year was Tel Aviv, and had them place it in the world cinema category. I also did not go to Toronto because I was really upset with their decision. They want people to believe Israel is a diverse society that is accepting, which is not true.

In addition, Copti says:

I am happy that I’m being recognised as a filmmaker, and I value my rights just like any other citizen. But as a Palestinian citizen of the Israeli state, I have no equal rights. The idea of the citizen is non-existent for Palestinians living inside the Israeli state.

I am aware that Israel has exploited and tokenised Palestinians for their branding campaign, to show the world that Israel is a multicultural place that gives everyone an equal opportunity, even Arabs. Yet they won’t even use the word Palestinian because we’re not allowed to be Palestinian. Palestine does not exist for them.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...


"Live in this tainted Holy Land long enough, and you come to learn that there are two kinds of political activists, much as there are two kinds of artists.

"The first kind, the kind who changes the world, points to something that has yet to have been seen, something that seriously needs to be seen, and cries out, 'Look at this.'

"The second kind, the kind who changes nothing, barks in a voice every bit as insistent, 'Look at me.'

Mikael: "Look at me! Look at me!"

Burston: "This is what the BDS movement and the Toronto group cannot begin to accept. This is why they continue to alienate peace activists working in Israel and Palestine, and continue to blunder their way into doing the bidding of an eternal occupation.

". . .The vanity of the movement is matched only by its cluelessness."

4:26 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Burston on the "moral masturbation" of the Boycott Israel faction:

"Leftists abroad would do well to respect their Israeli counterparts for defying societal norms to work for the rights of people with whom their nation is at war. Perhaps the Israeli left deserves respect, as well, for having to do this while enduring the racist abuse of leftists abroad."

4:32 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"In South Africa, the worldwide boycott helped in strengthening the majority and steeling it for the struggle.

"The impact of a boycott on Israel would be the exact opposite. It would push the large majority into the arms of the extreme right and create a fortress mentality against the 'anti-semitic world.'"

- Uri Avnery, another "flake."

4:36 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"Boycott? A Jew-hunt Won't Help the Palestinians."

"It is fundamental to the demonisation of Israel and 'the Zionists' by much of the pseudo-left that Israel alone is blamed for the conflict, and serious people should not go along with this venomous historical myth-making."

- Sean Matgamna, Alliance for Workers Liberty.

Not a flake.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

The PACBI line:

Avoid dialogue with groups formed for purposes of enhancing empathy, health, cultural exchange; those who run dialogue and cooperative ventures [i.e. Combatants for Peace, One Voice, Parents' circle, Leonard Cohen concerts] are traitors who live on crumbs thrown to them by the Europeans and Americans; The real problem is that the Zionists stole the land of the Arabs; Israel is a European implant in Arab soil; All forms of 'resistance' (including terrorism) are legitimate under international law.

What PACBI doesn't tell you about its position:


4:47 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...


Tired of him.

This ends here.

5:25 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

thank you terry.

5:39 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

And there we find the acceptable limits of dissent on this blog. Talk about supporting boycotts!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Fabián said...

You are a hater, mikeal. Simply as that. An antisemtic hater.

10:42 PM  
Blogger mikeal said...

I'm on my way out, since I'm not willing to stay on a blog which censors and deletes my comments but I will say--loudly--that Fabians claims of anti semitism are disgusting and say a lot more about him than myself. The attempt to tar those who oppose racism, land theft, torture, house demoltions and the kind of barbarties described in Goldstone's meticulopusly researched report as antt semitic is not only pathetic but it cheapens the struggle against anti semitism and all forms of racism. Give your head a shake, fool

1:13 PM  

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