Thursday, April 18, 2013

Caroline Glick lays a smack-down on English anti-Zionism

What follows is a passionate rebuttal of anti-Zionist thought at a debate in England earlier this year.

This just crossed my desk thanks to a colleague; and even though the events took place in January, it's a good example of how twisted the anti-Israel movement has become among the so-called intelligentsia in Britain.

For those of you who don't know, Caroline Glick, the woman you're about to watch and hear, is senior contributing editor of The Jerusalem Post and an outspoken defender of Israel's right to build settlements on the West Bank as well as its Jewish statehood.

Watch as she attacks arguments made against Israel's legal rights to exist as a Jewish state. And after you watch, read how she feels about the reception she received in London while speaking at the event. Then, mourn the loss of intelligent debate about Israel.

Here's the text of the motion that was debated:

"Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy: If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future" which took place at the Royal Geographical Society Jan. 15, 2013.

And here's an excerpt from Glick's blog, which doesn't paint a rosy picture about prospects for Jews in England.

"The public atmosphere in England regarding Israel is ugly and violent. 

The resolution we debated read: 'Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy. If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future.'

My debating partner was Danny Dayan, the outgoing head of the Yesha Council. 

We debated Daniel Levy, one of the founders of J-Street and the drafter of the Geneva Initiative, and the son of Lord Michael Levy, one of Tony Blair's biggest fundraisers; and William Sieghart, a British philanthropist who runs a non-profit that among other things, champions Hamas. Levy has publicly stated that Israel's creation was immoral. And Sieghart has a past record of saying that Israel's delegitimization would be a salutary process and calling for a complete cultural boycott of Israel while lauding Hamas. 

We lost overwhelmingly. I think the final vote tally was something like 500 for the resolution and 100 against it.

A couple of impressions I took away from the experience: First, I can say without hesitation that I hope never to return to Britain. I actually don't see any point. Jews are targeted by massive anti-Semitism of both the social and physical varieties. Why would anyone Jewish want to live there?

As to visiting as an Israeli, again, I just don't see the point. The discourse is owned by anti-Israel voices. They don't make arguments to spur thought, but to end it, by appealing to people's passions. 

For instance, in one particularly ugly segment, Levy made the scurrilous accusation that Israel systematically steals land from the Palestinians. Both Dayan and I demanded that he provide just one example of his charge. And the audience raged against us for our temerity at insisting that he provide substantiation for his baseless allegation. In the event, he failed to substantiate his allegation.
At another point, I was asked how I defend the Nazi state of Israel. When I responded by among other things giving the Nazi pedigree of the Palestinian nationalist movement founded by Nazi agent Haj Amin el Husseini and currently led by Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, the crowd angrily shouted me down. 

I want to note that the audience was made up of upper crust, wealthy British people, not unwashed rabble rousers. And yet they behaved in many respects like a mob when presented with pro-Israel positions."

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