The System Works But We Should Not be Happy

March 30, 2011 by Raffe Gold
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Earlier this week former Israeli President Moshe Katsav was sentenced to seven years jail for rape. The result did not shock the Israeli people who had been avidly following the trial since Katsav resigned from his office in disgrace. When the sentencing was announced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset that it was a sad day for Israel but that ‘no one is above the law’ and that Israel should be proud of her justice system.


Raffe Gold

A similar mentality existed throughout the Israeli street as a number of people to whom I spoke were shocked at how a statesman could pervert his office and the entire nation but that the country was on the path of repair in part because he was sentenced by the state. However this crime should have no up side. It should remain a blight on the Israeli people and the now-former President should always be remembered with scorn and hatred for what he did. However the attempt to paint a positive light, even in the darkest of hours, is what Israel has been forced to resort to. It has been forced into this position by the extremists who consistently plague the Jewish State with unfair and immoral criticism

Israel’s Supreme Court and judicial system is among the most equitable, uncorrupt and fairest in the world. It is a staunch defender of Palestinian rights when the Government goes too far. Yet despite the prosecution and verdict of Katsav, and despite the many social and judicial stances, which Israel takes to ensure it is a nation whose basis for existence is upon the bedrock of morality and equity, Israel continues to be demonised by those who use anti-Zionism as a veneer for anti-Semitism

This last month has played host to Israel Apartheid Week. On college and university campuses across North America, Canada, England and a smattering of other countries lectures will be held and protests will be organized in order to show support against Israel. A primary theme will be the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) that seeks to shun Israeli academics, musicians, researchers and cultural icons, divest from Israeli companies regardless of their output or policies and sanction Israel for its presence in the West Bank. IAW hosts a number of various events including mock checkpoints, lectures and protests rallies and its advocates are armed with the latest booklets from various NGOs to give their words legitimacy. IAW is but one aspect of the de-legitimization campaign that Israel faces daily from extremist groups throughout the world who have decided that because they cannot defeat Israel militarily they will defeat her in the court of public opinion. Because of this unfair bias and immoral comparisons to the racist Apartheid South Africa Israel’s standing in the world has dropped dramatically, a recent BBC poll put Israel as the fourth least popular country with only Iran, Pakistan and North Korea voted receiving less. These numbers are unacceptable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs employees who try so hard to present Israel in a positive light and to the scores of advocates world-wide who point to Israel’s liberal attitude to gays, women, Muslims, and other minorities especially considering our immediate neighborhood. Because of this they grasp at straws to try and turn the tide of anti-Israelism throughout the world. Much was attempted to show Israel’s good global citizenship when the Israeli army’s aid delegation went to Haiti, and recently to Japan, to help those affected by the natural disasters. Reporters accompanied soldiers as they set up hospices and treated the scores of wounded, while back home much fanfare was made of the Haitian mother who named her child ‘Israel’ after an Israeli nurse safely delivered it. These successes, along with the accomplishments of Israeli Arabs and other minorities and Israel’s medical and technological achievements, are energetically touted by the MFA through press statements, Email, Twitter and YouTube. Wherever people can receive news the MFA is attempting to influence their opinions.

The MFA is hard at work because the de-lgitimizers are working harder. They have ensnared various pop singers such as Elvis Costello to boycott their planned performances within Israel. These, whilst few in number, have made Israelis feel like pariahs in their own home and have  had a significant effect on national morale. The severance of ties between left-wing universities and their Israeli counterparts has ensured that essential research remains unfulfilled endangering medical breakthroughs, scientific discoveries and scores of other academic collaborations remain stagnant. Lack of contact may endanger these breakthroughs

The cultural, academic and social boycott of Israel is often considered a ‘non-violent’ form of protest. Many of its proponents wax lyrically about how they are following in the footsteps of those who defeated South African Apartheid as if the two situations are at all comparable. The extremists who devised the boycott do so forgetting the fact that Israel removed itself voluntarily and at considerable risk to national security from both Lebanon and Gaza and were greeted with rockets, they attempted to forge peace with the Palestinians but were rejected over and over and that Israel has consistently ensured the freedoms of its religious minority since its inception. None of these allow it to be branded with the hateful word ‘apartheid’ as doing so simply reduces the severity of the government that ensured Blacks were racially segregated from whites

The BDS extremists cloak themselves in honeyed words of peace and reconciliation yet their agenda is anything but. They have but consistently viewed Israel as a colonialist power hell bent on the domination of the Palestinian people despite all evidence to the contrary. Their extremist position, being echoed now by more and more people, has ensured that Israeli hasbaraists are forced to dig to the bottom of the barrel to prove what we all know; that Israel is a moral state grappling with the fight against terror. Hopefully no other Israeli statesman will be sentenced to jail time but if they are we should simply condemn their acts and not celebrate the fact that the system works.

Raffe Gold has recently made Aliya from Sydney

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