Will they like me?

I went to the cinema last week. The film featured a well known British actress who played her part with conviction. As the film developed, I remembered she doesn’t like Israel. I don’t mean doesn’t like it in that it is too hot or the people unfriendly. I mean doesn’t like in that she has irrationally selected it above all other countries to champion a boycott of its people.

I wondered then whether she would like me; my sense of humour, my taste in clothes or choice of music (many people don’t). Would she like it that I am a Jew and further, believe in my people’s right to self-determination? Would she recognise that Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East or join the increasing mob of celebrities who support the big lie, that the most important and serious issue in the entire world is the conduct of Israel. These celebrities have subscribed to the age-old hatred of Jew hating and initially I didn’t understand why.

I believe now that I have worked it out. This is not about presenting an opposing philosophical point of view nor an alternative political ideology. Those celebrities — and indeed anyone — who claim that the Jewish State existence with its dynamic and pluralistic society is entirely responsible for instability in the Middle East simply wish to see a return to the subservient vulnerable Jew and their familiar role as a victim. I believe that it really is nothing more sophisticated than that.

These people embrace or excuse organisations such as Hamas which openly seek the death of the Jews. This is the same organisation which oppresses women, kills gays and incidentally any journalist who dares to publish the truth about their loathsome conduct and tactics. They would never support the Ku Klux Clan or the English Defence League, but they happily line up alongside Hamas and other Jew hating organisations such as BDS because they are just that, Jew haters, but they just don’t see it.

The excuses run deep and wide — ‘we are not against Jews just Israel’, ‘we just want peace’ and the best one — ‘Jews will be a target so long as Israel behaves as it does’. So, back to the Middle Ages we go — it’s our fault for being Jewish. The only way out now is to take the route available then — conversion. Not literally to another religion but away from seeking self respect, away from being in charge of our own destiny and ultimately away from being able to protect ourselves. Back we go to the good old days of oppression, expulsion and ultimately extermination.

“Too much” I hear. They don’t mean this, they are just having their say which they are entitled to do. Well, they are entitled to an opinion but not entitled to seek to destroy me, and that is what is happening. Demonisation of Israel and blaming Jews for being victims is just the beginning. Questions on where Jews stand on Israel will come next — it has already arrived in Spain — and then a requirement for people to state whether or not they are Jewish. Sound familiar? Well, we are on that trajectory.

So, “Ms Actor”, if you believe that a thousand women being victims of honour killing annually in Pakistan is less important than Israel, or the massive loss of life in Sudan, or the 10,000 deaths in the religious war in Nigeria, then you need to be ready. Ready for someone like me to tell you exactly what you are: a racist and an anti-Semite.

About the Author
Robert Festenstein is a solicitor based in Manchester with considerable experience in Court actions. He is active in representing groups opposing BDS and fighting the increase in anti-Semitism, particularly amongst the left-wing in the UK.
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