In penning earnest analysis of the comings and goings of an obscure and disappearing religious sect, I seem to have shirked my duties of late regarding other BDS news. And so to remedy that:
Story #1 – Elton John Plays in Israel
Elton (or, should I say, Sir Elton) decided to tell those demanding he boycott the Jewish state to take a long walk on a short flotilla vessel, playing to a crowd of 50,000 Tel Avivians last week. The response of those who failed to get this rocker to do their bidding was muted, with some mumbling about gay solidarity here (is Elton John gay?), some grumbling about John’s recital at Rush Limbaugh’s twelfth wedding there (I thought Limbaugh had gone deaf?)
There was no such below-the-breath muttering from the rock star himself who shouted to the crowd:”Shalom, we are so happy to be back here! Ain’t nothing gonna stop us from coming, baby,” and “We don’t cherry-pick our conscience.” before breaking into all the hits I used to enjoy on my eight-track tape player before settling down to an afternoon of watching Creature Double Feature on Channel 56.
While I make it a habit to not take political advice from celebrities whose reputation for wisdom (i.e. Martin Sheen) or toughness (i.e., Bruce Willis) comes from reading lines penned and polished for them by professional writers, I must say that Elton John’s one sentence about “cherry-picking” conscience said a hell of a lot more than the pages of mealy-mouthed HTML that accompanied the allegedly moral decisions by slightly less aging rockers like Elvis Costello and the Pixies.
As a final note regarding Elton John, it’s a little known fact that the signer had a huge impact on Israeli culture, notably with regard to customer service. Back in the day, the country prided itself on its informality and open hostility to manners, with Israel’s socialist origins making them especially proud of treating the rich and famous with contempt.
When they tried pulling this on Elton John during his first visit to play in Israel, making him wait in the regular airport passport line like every other Tom, Dick and Shlomo, the musician was so incensed he walked out of line and immediately flew back to England. It was only after the concert organizers pleaded with the singer, offering him (among other things) a talking parrot in his dressing room that Elton John returned to begin a history of playing to sold out Israeli audiences.
So the next time you’re in Israel and a waiter or security guard tells you to “have a nice day,” that’s one more thing for which you can thank Elton John.
Story #2 – Breaking the BDS Blockade
While the Turkish/IHH mercenaries who attacked Israeli soldiers during last month’s flotilla incident may have failed to break Israel’s of Gaza, they did succeed in breaking another boycott: the one being pushed by the BDS movement.
CitizenWald has the story of how the Gaza solidarity crew equipped themselves with night vision equipment from ITT and communications gear from Motorola, both sets of devices on the BDS proscription list. And so, we’re left with the delicious situation of BDS activists demanding that schools divest from ITT and Motorola in solidarity with a “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” that used ITT and Motorola equipment to support their “peace campaign” that involved beating and stabbing people while talking with each other over walkie-talkies in the dark.
Story #3 – BDS Protestors Defy China on Occupation of Tibet
Can you believe it? Early Sunday morning a group of protestors formally obsessed solely with Israeli villainy showed up at the sea port in Oakland California and prevented a Chinese ship from being unloaded in protest of China’s illegal, decades-long occupation and repression of the people of Tibet.
Okay, okay. As it turns out, the group gathered to do their protest thing on an Israeli ship, not realizing that the ship where they picketed was actually owned by that wondrous bastion of rights and freedom, the People’s Republic of China (not that nefarious rogue Jewish state of Israel).
In another example of the surreal nature of BDS politics, the Internet is aglow with BDSers patting one another on the back for this successful “operation,” even if the actual ship they targeted didn’t arrive in port until hours after they left (where, I believe, it was unloaded without incident).
In other words, this Potemkin protest was not about actually accomplishing anything beyond getting some credulous media to portray events as the divestors wanted, all so they could continue to dwell in their fantasy world where, unlike the real world, the BDSers are relevant to anyone but themselves.