Joy Wolfe: On Habima Theatre Company, Boycotts and BUYcotts

A guest post by Joy Wolfe, StandWithUs UK chairwoman  and co-President of the Zionist Federation

StandWithUs UK and many other UK organisations and individuals have applauded the high profile figures (Arnold Wesker, Ronald Harwood, Maureen Lipman, Simon Callow, Louise Mensch MP and Steven Berkoff) who have opposed calls for the Globe Theatre in London to disinvite the world-renowned Israeli Habima Theatre Company.

We also congratulate Howard Jacobson on his positive stand in supporting Habima.

Boycotts of any kind are totally counter productive and do nothing to help the Palestinians.

Hopefully the BDS brigade will think again about disrupting a performance that the majority of the audience wish to support and enjoy.  However, if they do press ahead with their publicly declared threat to cause a disturbance I hope they will be quickly ejected and face legal consequences.

Cultural, academic and trade boycotts are particularly counter productive when Israel has so much to offer the international community.

Not only are they counter productive but often have the exact opposite of the desired effect as people often go out of their way to support companies and shops that are targeted.  Recently in Canada, a targeted shop the boycotters were trying to disrupt was inundated with pro-Israel customers who previously had never even heard of the company.

Another example of a misguided attempt to help the Palestinians was the failed April 15th “Welcome to Palestine” flytilla, when over 1500 pro Palestinian protesters had planned to fly into Israel to disrupt Ben Gurion Airport before moving on to carry out alleged humanitarian visits to “Palestinian prisoners”.

In a brilliantly crafted response, Israel had alerted airlines to the fact that those denied entry into Israel would have to be flown home at the airlines’ expense.  As a result, hundreds were refused boarding at a number of European airports and around 40 who did succeed in arriving in Israel were sent home with a pithily written letter noting all the genuine human rights issues around the world, not least in Syria, where their protests would be better directed.

In the meantime, despite the best efforts of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) campaigners, there are so many positives to prove just how unsuccessful they are.  Israeli trade with the UK has never been at a higher level, academics from Israel and the UK are working together in many cooperative projects, Israel has just signed a new aviation agreement with the EU, and Israel and the UK have an extensive programme of business and academic joint projects.

We should reduce our efforts to counter BDS activists, and similar reactive measures, which give them the added oxygen of the publicity they seek, and concentrate instead on spreading the good news about Israel’s achievements and cooperation with grass-roots Palestinians, which are much more positive and effective ways to create an atmosphere more conducive to moving the peace process forward.

16 replies »

  1. With results like these perhaps Israel need MORE campaigns from the BDSers (Bullshit, Dogma & Sanctimoniousness)

    The flytilla letter is a hoot. The one thing the snactimonious activist can’t stand is ridicule.

  2. Seems that everything Jew-haters touch turns to dust. They are so effin’ inept in this game.

    From BDS to flytilla and such nothing has panned out for that fascist crowd. Everything is a PR fiasco one way or another.

  3. While I find Jacobson’s McCarythism accusation way OTT (there is no government authority behind the campaign, and the latter focuses on specific activity of specific companies), the protesters are basically up their own netherregions. Claiming the Globe is “complicit with human rights violations and the illegal colonisation of occupied land” is just silly – and, as Maureen Lipman (hey, whatever happened to her?!) says, not very mature.

    • pretzelberg, when you examine the activities of the BDSers you see that few if any of their activities are particularly mature. Almost all who are fanatical about BDS are either victims of arrested development, stuck in adolescence or, like the daft old bats from Manchester who tried to join the floptilla, have emotional voids in their empty lives and are trying to fill them.

      BDSers are cognitively immature, too, and lacking in insight which makes them excellent dupes for the Islamists which pull their strings. They don’t even realise that they are being used.

      All of this is immensely satisfying to me. I do love it when every plan they make comes to nothing either because of their own stupidity and cognitive backwardness. Long may it continue.

  4. I was wondering if the BDS mob would threaten to cause a disturbance.

    This is now the standard anti-Israeli tactic where actual violence is not possible – simply scream and shout, do not let the other side speak or perform.

    • Hi Akus
      The bds / psc Flytilla was sunk (pardon the mixed metaphor ) months ago . It was not enough though . To complete the job , we needed to apply the final coup de grace by scuppering their attempts to at least stage a pantomime demo . We needed to rub their noses in it . Needless to say there was no demo and although I’d love to tell you what caused their derailment even on a two bit demo , modesty ( and prying eyes ) forbids me ) . Sadly the guys and girls from Finklesteins favourite cult had a wasted day . Still there’s always some oranges to be swiped from tescos . That will sure show us
      And Israel for that matter 🙂
      Greenstein , Levy and Fink a busted flush if ever i saw one !

      • I forgot to mention that was Luton . Manchester also failed to take off but I think the yo yos managed to stage small demo .
        Come on Manchester ! Don’t let the side down !

  5. Ravaged by multiculturalism and political defeatism, England today is an effeminate society.

    In consequence, many there cannot accurately fathom what Israel is facing.

    Look at Cameron. The guy is an empty suit. He talks the talk but no one expects him to walk the walk. He is no wartime consigliere for sure.

    Miliband doesn’t fare much better either. He should have joined the IDF to man up. He looks like a college lecturer waiting for tenure. His brother though gives out more positive vibes about inner fortitude.

    Tony Blair had certain Churchillian qualities about him. No wonder the Guardian and alike savaged him so much.

    Anyone with a backbone to stand up to radical Islam
    gets politically destroyed in England nowadays.

    • English society is “effeminate”??
      And “ravaged” by multiculturalism?
      Have you ever even been there? The agrees for this post confirm yet again that CiFW posters tend to be right wing and racist.

      And Cameron “talks the talk but no one expects him to walk the walk.”
      Good God, are juvenile catchphrases all you can come up with? Nobody actually talks like that in the English-speaking world. Perhaps you’ve been watching too many war movies?

      “He is no wartime consigliere for sure.”
      – Hilarious! Now you’re quoting The Godfather!

      • Apart from the “effeminate” (which bluesea appears to equate with weak) I have no quarrel with what he says and I do live there.

        Successive dhimmi UK governments have bent the true meaning of “multiculturalism” out of shape – rather than it being a means of promoting understanding all different cultures and giving them equal respect, they have been far too afraid of the threats of acting out from Islamic factions here. Rather than stand firm, they have allowed Islam to hijack multiculturalism as it was originally conceived and to dictate its meaning, which is for Islam to be privileged above other religions and beliefs here in the UK. So yes, UK society HAS been ravaged by its governments’ bone headed enactment of multiculturalism.

        So stop shrieking and trying to stifle debate, pretzelberg, with your cries of “racist!” and “right wing!” when this is brought to your attention. When too many elderly in the UK are on or below the poverty line and get minimum state benefits and have to fight for every penny, and yet animals like Qatada and other parasites are given thousands of pounds a year in state benefits apparently without any argument, and Qatada has the barefaced cheek to be open about promoting extremism and wanting to undermine the very country which pays them, it’s neither racist nor right wing to yell that it has to stop! When was the last time human rights supporters campaigned for the elderly and disabled who are deprived of benefits in the UK because of the latest government rulings rather than for this swine and others like him?

        In case you are in any doubt about the lengths to which such people will go, I give you the following:

        No doubt this woman is as mad as the proverbial hatter but I have so little trust in the muppets who are running the UK that I believe they would welcome her and her children with open arms, and my money will go towards supporting them.

        • Dear Sarah,

          My apologies and all. I raced through it way too fast. I should have taken more time to elaborate things. I used shortcuts and trites instead. But you did catch my drift nonetheless.

          I’m an Anglophile . Among other things, I believe that without England getting the League of Nations Mandate, the Jews might not have had a state today.

          Shabbat Shalom

        • What are “dhimmi UK governments”??

          Qatada is a nasty man, no doubt – but who exactly are these other “parasites” you refer to?

      • What do you know about England and the ” English-speaking world”?

        BTW, ‘ agree ‘ is a verb and not a noun.

        You have nothing interesting or compelling to say. So I won’t waste my time.

        Get a life and stop bothering good people with your nonsense.

        • You talk about the UK being “ravaged by multiculturalism” but say I post “nonsense?
          You use teenager phrases like “talk the talk” and “wartime consigliere” but suggest that I should “get a life”?