The other big BDS news story that broke while I was riffing on Rules for Radicals was the Rolling Stones flipping Roger Waters the bird (figuratively, anyway) as they played to a packed 50,000 person stadium in the Zionist Entity, providing one of the best examples yet of the kind of fun (enjoyed by Jews and Arabs alike) that the Squaresville killjoys of BDSland would like to make history.
By now you know the drill:
- A big name band puts Israel on its tour schedule
- The boycott brigade bombards the band’s web sites with sorrowful appeals to not play “Sun City” (assuming everyone will automatically accept their Israel = Apartheid South Africa comparison, just because they refuse to respond to anyone pointing out it’s a propaganda lie)
- The band in question sends the BDSers some friendly (“our music promotes peace”) message or simply tells those harassing them to piss off
- Said band comes to Israel where both they and their fans have a grand time
- The boycotters either ignore what just happened (while insisting that we accept some obscure Icelandic mariachi band’s giving into their bullying as a sign of immanent Israeli collapse), or accuse the rockers they were recently showering with praise of being nothing but a bunch of immoral slime-balls only playing Israel for the shekels
Now I’m all in favor of the kind of fun an event like the Stones concert brings to tens of thousands, and in no way want to diminish the kind of knock-on effect (as in the photo above) that arises when groups like the Stones say Yes to Israel and No to BDS. But I’m also going to stick to my guns regarding how much (or little) concern I have for celebrity opinion on the great issues of the day.
As you can read here, here and here, BDS has a strange symbiosis with celebrity, given the shot in the arm they receive PR-wise when this or that artist decides to succumb to their lies and moral blackmail and declare themselves a boycotter of the Jewish state (even if they never had any plans or intentions of visiting in the first place).
But even with the Stones tour demonstrating that looking to music and film stars to spread your message is a double-edged sword (with #BDSFail lighting up the Internet during the band’s visit to Israel), my preference is still to say thank you to folks like Jagger for not falling for the BDSers lies, for showing their Israeli fans a good time, and for enjoying themselves in ways that are only possible when you visit the real Israel (vs. the nightmare hell-hole of the boycotter’s fantasies) – so long as I’m not asked to take their political pronouncements any more (or less) seriously than I would those of my pharmacist.
In fact, the only reason such visits have become political events in the first place is because the BDS “movement” has insisted on it. Had they just kept their mouths shut, visits by The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Paul McCartney and hundreds of other artists would be treated as what they are: decisions by talented men and women to perform for fans around the world, including fans in nations where debates and even conflict might be part of the political landscape.
But just as every global conflict in the world (save Israel) is not being dragged into student governments for a vote, rock-and-rollers playing any political hot spot (again, save Israel) does not trigger global harassment campaigns like the ones we’ve seen play out again and again whenever the Jewish state is chosen as a concert site.
In other words, the Stones (and all the rest) have become political events for one reason and one reason only: the boycotters demanded that this be so. And if even Keith Richards can notice that Israel bears no resemblance to the dystopia described by the BDSers in their endless Facebook comment spam, think about how clear this message comes through to those who haven’t put their brain and body through a half century of sex, drugs and rock & roll.