The Jerusalem Post headlined the following in its culture section on July 12, 2015, “Irish Dance Competition canceled due to BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Pressure.” The Israeli “feis” (Irish Dance Competition) website was attacked by a radical political group called Irish-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) led by Raymond Deane, Kevin Squires, and Amanda Crawford. The first-ever Irish dance festival set to take place in Tel Aviv, Israel was cancelled due to a campaign of terrorist–like threats to performers, the school, students and parents. The IPSC website proudly featured a congratulatory message from Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian co-founder of the BDS movement.
The underlying truth about this story is that Irish leftists have banded together with Arab Islamists in a show of blind hatred toward the Jewish state. Of all the violators of human rights worldwide, the Irish-leftists condemn and seek to eviscerate only one “violator” – Israel. They have not threatened to punish Irish performers going anywhere else in the world except to Israel. According to the likes of Deane, Squires, and Crawford, the Assad regime in Syria, with the blood of 250,000 civilians is legitimate. Iran, whose ayatollahs hangs gays and lesbians, and oppress its Kurdish, Baluch, and Arab minorities, is fine as well. Turkey’s brutal suppression of its Kurdish minority is not a problem. China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Myanmar, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe, to name a few, all gross violators of human rights, are exempt by IPSC. Only Israel is guilty.
“Human rights must take precedence over trade,” proclaims the IPSC website, yet the only country that observes human rights and religious freedom in the Middle East is Israel. Only in Israel are Arabs free. Palestinian-Arab-Muslims make life for gays, lesbians and Christians impossible. There are numerous stories of gays who fled to Israel after being tortured by the Palestinian Authority. According to Yossi Klein Halevi, “One young man discovered to be gay was forced by the Palestinian Authority police to stand in sewage water up to his neck, his head covered by a sack filled with feces, and he was then thrown into a dark cell infested with insects. During one interrogation, Palestinian police stripped him and forced him to sit on a Coke bottle. When he was released he fled to Israel.”
The Gatestone Institute International Policy Council, reported (February 15, 2012) that ”In recent years the Christian population has declined not only numerically, but also as a proportion of the overall population (in the Palestinian Authority areas and Gaza). This decline has been due to a number of factors: Christian emigration, a higher Muslim birthrate, poor economic conditions, the rise of Islamist groups, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad, growing insecurity, the use made of Christian towns such as Beit Jala as a base by Palestinian fighters for sniping against Israeli areas in Jerusalem, and Christian concern about their fate in the political future.”
The Palestinian legal and judicial system does not provide protection for Christian land owners, and enforces discrimination in educational, cultural, and taxation policies against Christians. Religious freedom in the Palestinian controlled territories is a wish, not a reality. Christians have suffered harassment, intimidation and maltreatment at the hands of the Palestinian-Muslim authorities. Christian businessmen have been extorted, and their property confiscated. Christian women have been abused and raped with impunity. Christian girls are “abducted, and have been subjected to forced marriages with Muslims,” which also means forced conversion to Islam. There have also been attempts to impose the Islamic dress code on Christian women.
The IPSC website is replete with circulars heralding: “Remember the Children of Gaza,” but do they remember that for years the children of Israel had to stay in bomb-shelters because Hamas in Gaza targeted their schools and kindergartens? Does the BDS movement or IPSC bother to present the facts about Gaza? How about the 10,000 rockets fired from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians? When Israel finally retaliated against the Hamas jihadists who share the same ideology as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and the Muslim Brotherhood, (establishing a global Caliphate and making Islam reign everywhere) Hamas criminally and deliberately used women and children as human shields. Hamas counted on the fact that Israel would never intentionally target innocent civilians, especially children.
Barghouti’s BDS calls for: an end to Israel’s “occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories since 1967, including dismantling the Wall and colonies; an end to Israel’s system of racial discrimination against Palestinian citizens; and respecting the UN-sanctioned, fundamental right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.” Barghouti, who advocates academic boycott of Israeli universities, has himself received an MA degree from Tel Aviv University. The same Barghouti rejects the two-state solution or any deal between the Palestinians and Israel on that basis.
The New York Daily News (February 25, 2013) had this to say about Barghouti: “skilled as a propagandist, he piles falsehood upon falsehood to present Israel as relentlessly oppressing the Palestinians in violation of human decency, and to hold Israel exclusively responsible for the ills afflicting them.”
It is apparent that Barghouti and the BDS movement seek to delegitimize the Jewish state and bring about its demise. The “right of return” of the Palestinian refugees to Israel is a formula devised to bring about an end to the Jewish state. Jewish refugees from the Arab states, more numerous than the Palestinians, were settled in Israel. Palestinian refugees should have been allowed citizenship in Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Instead, Barghouti’s Arab-Muslim brothers chose to use them as a political tool and Barghouti is doing no less.
The allegation about “Israeli occupation” is another falsehood. If Arafat would have accepted the generous terms offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in July, 2000 at the Camp David Summit, a Palestinian state would have been a reality today. Approximately 95% of the Palestinians are governed by the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, and Gaza is ruled entirely by Hamas. The “Wall,” which is mostly a fence, has saved thousands of Israeli lives from Palestinian terrorists. Take away the terror and there would not be a fence, check-points, or any other preventive measures.
Since the anti-Semitic ‘fest’ called the UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa (August 31 to September 8, 2001), a new coalition of forces has arisen, which might legitimately be called the Red-Green Coalition. Radical Islamists who call for the killing of Jews and Christians, and for the takeover of the free world in the name of Islam, have joined forces with the so-called “progressive” radical left who never miss an opportunity to justify the triumphalist quest and murderous actions of the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah.
The Red-Green alliance brings together genocidal Islamists who oppress their own people and others, and those hypocritical leftists, the likes of the radical IPSC who profess to act in the name of human rights for the Palestinians. The true reason for the alliance is more mundane: a mix of anti-Semitism, and nihilist passion to transform the free world. These leftist radicals hone in on Israel’s and America’s “misdoings,” but give a free pass to the barbarism of the Islamic world. Israel is their current target for destruction. America and the free world will be next.
As for the IPSC, theirs is a hollow victory in preventing the Irish dance competition in Israel, but for Irish dance and culture it is a regrettable loss.