Monday, December 25, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 8 Comments
"John Berger rallies artists for cultural boycott of Israel," is the Guardian headline in much the same tone as the Guardian might report rallying artists to fight world famine or AIDS. Which is sensible enough since for Eurolefties Israel is in the same category as world hunger or AIDS, something very disgusting and awful they'd like to see blotted out.
What follows is Berger's call by artists, musicians and various useless cultural wastes of culture to boycott Israel in order to "force a change in Israel's policies." Signed are 85 names, of which only ten are listed on the off chance anyone has heard of them, and most haven't. There will no doubt be wailing and weeping in the cafes of Haifa at the prospect of being deprived of the films of Ken Loach, the writings of Arundhati Roy and the music of Brian Eno.
If you have no idea who any of these people are, congratulations you haven't missed much. They're mainly the sorts of people who would join Al Queda if Al Queda had a "pissy artistes impatiently awaiting their canapes" division.
In an introduction to a book of the aforementioned Arundhati Roy's essays, John Berger wrote, "the nineteen hijackers gave their lives on September 11 as did three hundred and fifty-three Manhattan firemen."
After the London bombings John Berger wrote, "The calm of Londoners, who suffered the outrage of the explosions and the ordeal of waiting for news from dear ones who may have been there impressed the watching world, as did the calm of Madrid's population the previous year. Such calm could hopefully encourage clear and, above all, precise thinking. In Spain, circumstances allowed it to do so, and one of the first acts of the subsequently elected government was to withdraw Spanish troops from the war in Iraq."
John Berger himself will give up his 50 shekels in royalties in hopes of bullying Israel with his own variation of the same message he delivered to New Yorkers and Londoners, your murderers are the innocent, stay calm and surrender and all will be well. Unfortunately for John to whom all Israelis and likely Jews are a single vague splotch resembling something between a praying Hassid and Ariel Sharon, the very small segment of Israeli society that would actually care about being deprived of the great insights of John Berger, Arundhati Roy and Eduardo Galeano are precisely the ones who are already as determined for Israel to surrender to its murderers as John Berger himself.
Little aware of the futility of his wasted effort, Berger will go on doing what the John Bergers of the cultural elite have always done, walk alongside the victims and scold and shush them to stop complaining, stop resisting, acknowledge the moral superiority of their murderers and bare their necks for the knife.
Now considering that it is the Palestinians who are currently killing each other (and inconsiderately upstaging Jimmy Carter's 'Blame Israel' book tour) perhaps Berger and Co. should deny the residents of Ramallah access to his great body of work. Without Berger's ranting essays about his childhood, American militarism and how hard it is to get a good pudding in France, the Palestinian Arab conflict will quickly lack fuel for its fire. Co-signer Director Sophie Fiennes (thoroughly obscure sister of Ralph Fiennes) will leave the battling hordes of Hamas without her copy of 'The Pervert's Guide to Cinema' no doubt sapping them of their will to resist. Then Brian Eno will move in denying Fatah gunmen access to his masterpiece album, "Ambient 1/Music for Airports." Without his collection of ambient music as a soundtrack to bore them to tears it is unlikely that Fatah will be able to fight on. And that will end the fighting right there.
If only it could be so easy.