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Saturday, 19 May 2012

UK is the World Centre of Boycott and the Political Struggle Against Zionism

It’s not often that I feel a surge of patriotic pride!  In fact truth to tell, I’ve never done so before.  It’s something to do with that phrase in the Communist Manifesto about workers of the world uniting and have nothing to lose except their chains.  Or in Dr Samuel Johnson’s immortal phrase, ‘patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.’
However when I read this I felt a surge of pride in our achievements, minimal though they are, to date.  The Knesset The Sub-Committee for Israel-World Jewish Community Relations (they issue orders to Jewish community leaders outside Israel and generally police the communities for any sign of dissidence) has named the UK the ‘Centre of Political Struggle against Israel.’  Quite what we've done to earn this accolade is difficult to say.

Despite the BBC’s wall to wall support for Israel – you cannot even mention the words ‘free Palestine’ together for fear of implying that Palestine is not free(!), opinion in Britain is over 4-1 against Israel.  Just 16% view it favourably and a whopping 68% have negative views.  Of course there is no trope too racist for the BBC not to adopt it when it comes to Palestinians.  The territories are, as Israel’s Goebbels Mark Regev repeats ‘disputed’.  Maybe in future the BBC will refer to the ‘disputed’ Falklands/Mavinas islands or the ‘disputed’ Gibraltar?  Or maybe it’s only when the powerful dispute something that it is an issue?  Or maybe ‘Free Tibet’ is not outlawed as the Chinese would certainly dispute it?
But however much our ruling class and their institutions, which of course the BBC is, try to swamp us with lies and half-truths, reality has a nasty habit of getting in the way.

Tony Greenstein

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 13:11 Alternative Information Center (AIC) 

Calling Britain “the European and even world centre of the political struggle against Israel”, the Knesset Sub-Committee for Israel-World Jewish Community Relations has scheduled a discussion on “the challenges standing before the Jewish and pro-Israeli community in Britain, and the range of possible responses to these challenges”.

The discussion was initiated by the Chairperson of the Sub-committee, MK Einat Wilf of the Atzmaut party of Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

Initiation of this discussion is a clear victory of the Palestinian-led, global movement for the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel; MK Wilf cited the recent call to boycott the Israeli Habima’s Hebrew-language performance of The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on 28-29 May 2012.

No fewer than 20 senior Israeli government ministries and NGOs will take part in this discussion, which will further include leaders of the Jewish community in the UK. Government offices to be represented include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption while semi-governmental bodies and NGOs represented include the Jewish National Fund, the World Zionist Organisation and the Shalom Hartman Institute.
 A date for the sub-committee discussion has not yet been made public.

BBC Poll: Israel ranked third most negatively-viewed country in the world (JPost)

Great going, "Brand Israel" campaign! Is this the best that hundreds of millions of propaganda dollars can buy? Bullying and intimidation don't seem to be working either. Deep down, the world is sick and tired of Israel's occupation, colonization and apartheid. Looking more like 1980s South Africa everyday.

Crucially, the table shows how undemocratic Western governments are when it comes to listening to their publics in regard to Israel. On average, two thirds of people in Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Australia and Canada view Israel in "mainly negative" light, while their governments bend over backwards to boost military, economic, academic and cultural ties with the apartheid state. Not sustainable, looks to me.


Poll: Israel viewed negatively around the world

Views of Israel's Influence by Country 2012
BBC survey measures public opinion on 22 countries, places Israel in company of North Korea, ahead of only Iran, Pakistan.

Israel retained its position as one of the world's most negatively-viewed countries, according to BBC's annual poll published Wednesday night. 

With 50 percent of respondents ranking Israel negatively, Israel keeps company with North Korea, and places ahead of only Iran (55% negative) and Pakistan (51% negative).
The 2012 Country Ratings Poll was conducted among 24,090 people worldwide, and asked respondents to rate whether the influence of 22 countries was “mostly positive” or “mostly negative.”

Evaluations of the Jewish state, already largely unfavorable in 2011, have worsened in 2012. Out of the 22 countries polled, the majority in 17 of them view Israel negatively, while only three (the US, Nigeria and Kenya) view Israel positively. In Kenya, negative ratings of Israel fell by 10 points to 31%, while the country experienced an even larger increase in positive ratings of Israel, rising 16 points to 45%.

Negative perceptions of Israel in EU countries have continue to rise, reaching 74% in Spain (up 8%), 65% in France (up 9%), while in Germany and Britain the negative views remain high but stable (69% and 68% respectively). In other Anglo countries, perceptions of Israel are worsening, including in Australia (65%), and Canada (59%).

Among Muslim countries, perceptions of Israel have continued to deteriorate. Of particular concern for Israel is the country sitting on its southern neighbor, Egypt, where 85% of the population views Israel negatively, up 7% since 2011. 

In Asian countries, public opinion on Israel is growing increasingly antagonistic. In China, just 23% of those surveyed view Israel positively compared with 45% negatively. In India, overall opinion has shifter from being divided in 2011 to leaning negatively. In South Korea, negative views of Israel rose a full 15% (to 69%), while positive views decreased 11% (to 20%)

The saving grace for Israel is United States, where the proportion of people viewing Israel negatively has decreased six points to 35% since 2011. This statistic marks the most positive views on Israel expressed in the US since tracking began in 2005.
 People viewing Israel negatively around the world cite the Jewish state's foreign policy as the main factor influencing their perception, while those who view Israel positively cite culture and Jewish traditions.

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