Thursday, April 2, 2015

First the Apology, Then the Re-Education

The Zionist bullying of the Red Rattler Theatre continues:

"The AJN understands that the Red Rattler's board is taking steps to ensure that the situation is not repeated." (Theatre apologises for rejecting Hillel show, The Australian Jewish News, 27/3/15)

The "situation," of course, being that someone from the board told a "Jewish organisation" (Hillel) that the RRT does "not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine." (See my 23/3/15 post Back to Marrickville.)

Now if Hillel were merely a Jewish organisation, all it had to do was point out that it has nothing whatever to do with Israel or its colonisation and occupation of Palestine.

Except that then it would have had to explain away its Vision Statement, which advocates "an enduring commitment to Israel" and its promotion of Israel's Jews-only Taglit-Birthright Israel program, both indicating an explicitly Zionist agenda.

No, bluff and bully's obviously the way to go here:

"That includes a new process for approving events, education for the staff member who sent the response, including a visit to the Sydney Jewish Holocaust Museum, and a meeting between Mendelevich, Alhadeff and employees and board members from The Red Rattler." (ibid)

Think about this for a moment. A holocaust museum doubling as a re-education camp, not for anti-Semites, but for anti-Zionists! It doesn't get much more Orwellian than that.

Nor is entry to the camp voluntary for our hapless anti-Zionist. Please note the opening word of the penultimate paragraph of the AJN's editorial on the subject:

"When the employee attends the Sydney Jewish Museum and learns about the Holocaust, we only hope he/she understands the slippery slope that anti-Semitism can lead to." (Rattled by theatre, AJN, 27/3/15)

Let me conclude with the following enlightening analysis of Hillel by Arab-American academic Steven Salaita:

"Hillel is almost always involved in the promotion of Israel on campus either as a sponsor or an organizer. Hillel is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has a presence on every major campus in the United States. A close reading of its educational materials illustrates that it is deeply committed to Israel and eager to promote the state as a beacon of modernity through slick promotional campaigns. Criticism of Israel is verboten in Hillel discourse. The organization has been working hard since the emergence of pro-Palestine voices to prepare its local chapters for what it conceptualizes as an onslaught of perplexing and aggressive opposition. It is also invested in marketing strategies for Israel that ignore its military occupation of the West Bank and emphasize instead its wealth of American-style modernity. Hillel doesn't treat the Israel-Palestine conflict as a solvable dispute that requires dialogue and a just resolution. It approaches the conflict as a propaganda contest in which Israel must be defended as a matter of principle. Hillel's depoliticization of Israel's colonial mandate facilitates its marketing strategy. When groups opposed to Israel's policy criticize the state, Hillel relies on a decontextualized victimology, one that evokes the Holocaust and anti-Semitism without mentioning Jewish violence in Israel, to reframe the issue from one of decolonization to one of unfair persecution. Because Israel is inscribed in the daily observance of Jewish culture, to criticize it is to simultaneously perform an attack against the Jewish people. This logic underlies Hillel's claims to multicultural belonging.

"In campus promotions, Israel is usually described as follows:

*A land that's fun and effervescent
*A fabulous place for study abroad
*A great opportunity for American Jews to connect to their culture
*A promised land of multicultural splendor, representing Jews from over 50 countries
*A thriving democracy surrounded by hostile, undemocratic enemies
*An exotic nation housing an uninterrupted ancient culture
*A place with a punchy, unlikely origin as a David against intractable Arab Goliaths
*The exclusive territory of Jews from around the world

"The most noteworthy facet of these representations is of Israel is not what they describe, but what they omit. There is rarely mention of Arabs and Palestinians as anything other than existential threats to Israel. There is never acknowledgment of Israel's military occupation or even of its colonial origin; Israel is invented as a timeless entity liberated from the tyranny of Great Britain and the obstructionism of the Arabs. These portrayals represent more than just putting a good foot forward. They arise from a meticulous campaign to market Israel on college campuses as a modern antidote to the barbarity of the Arabs and their dubious supporters." (Israel's Dead Soul, 2011, pp 18-19)


Anonymous said...

Zionists are something different from Jews. Or are they?

"Jewish organisation" (Hillel)... Vision Statement, which advocates "an enduring commitment to Israel" and its promotion of Israel's Jews-only Taglit-Birthright Israel program, both indicating an explicitly Zionist agenda.

German judge rules: Anti-Zionism is code for anti-Semitism

“It’s a very brave verdict… The court has said clearly what our political scientists have known for decades,” said Gelbart (Nathan Norman Gelbart, the head of Germany’s Keren Hayesod (United Jewish Appeal). What the political scientists have known for decades? That Jew=Zionist.

“It will cause a lot of attention, especially among those who claim they’re not against Jews, but only against Zionists,” he said. Gelbart, who is a lawyer, explained there are many politicians from across the political spectrum, including parties in the German parliament, who use the word “Zionist” to express hatred against Jews while avoiding prosecution.

I wonder where the "anti-Zionist Jews"(?!)fit in.

MERC said...

And black is white and white is black and up is down and down is...

Anonymous said...

Well put Steven Salaita, game set and match.

Why do I suspect this stunt was a Zionist/Hillel set up timed for the state election?

Could opinion polling for the seat of Newtown, which includes Marrickville, have predicted a win for the Greens?

The Red Rattler board members seem to be a pushover for the Zionist/Hillel operators.

Now that the election is over it might be time for the Red Rattler board members to think of their reputation, their role and their members self respect and revisit their open ended and ongoing surrender terms to these bullys.

The Zionist/Hillel operaters have dozens of venues to stage their propaganda. This stunt is more agit-prop.

I can't help remembering the illegal campaign postering, with outragous lies and slanders, against the Greens at the previous election. Dr John Nemish from the Jewish Board of Deputies was charged by police after his associates were identified from photographs.

There were no apologies for this illegal agit-prop, only threats.

This stunt is merely the next round as promised.

MERC said...

Yes, the timing is most interesting.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if some Palestinian group had demanded to put on a play, for instance 'My Name is Rachel Corrie', at a theatre in Rose Bay, for example?

Would there be sackcloth and ashes followed by various acts of obeisance and groveling by the Rose Bay theatre for refusing the play?

Perhaps the Palestinians should ask Red Rattler to provide their theatre for the abovementioned play. At least there would be plenty of bums on seats as opposed to on stage as evident with the Hillel production.

Anonymous said...

Nemesh please!
not Nemish.

and The board of Deputies had nothing to do with it.

It was a lone operation, and Nemesh is proud that it was.

Had others offered sums of dosh, perhaps the campaign in 2011 would have been even more colourful.

But then as the judge said---the greens campaign was a DISGRACE whilst Dr John Nemesh left the court as an anti green hero.