Reviewing Trashy Hasbara against BDS

By Vacy Vlazna

Boycotting Israel is Wrong: The progressive path to peace between Palestinians and Israelis by Philip Mendes, Nick Dyrenfurth is a slipshod diatribe against the principled efforts of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

It beggars belief that this silly book, riddled with hasbara and anti-arabsemitism, is written by academics with research skills: Monash University’s Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth who, once wrote that Australia’s exPrime Minister John Howard “speaks fluent spin”- Dyrenfurth should know!

Hasbara is pro-Israel propaganda, in short – spin and lies justifying decades of Zionist war crimes and crimes against humanity. Greater than arms and security, Israel’s largest export industry is Hasbara swallowed and regurgitated mainly by western US-allied governments and their mainstream media Murdoch Fox News, CNN, BBC, ABC, etc:

“Israel has already poured hundreds of millions of dollars into what in Hebrew is called hasbara, or information for the outside world (hence, propaganda). This has included an entire range of efforts: lunches and free trips for influential jour-nalists; seminars for Jewish university students who over a week in a secluded country estate can be primed to “defend” Israel on the campus; bombarding congressmen and -women with invitations and visits; pamphlets and, most im-portant, money for election campaigns; directing (or, as the case requires, har-assing) photographers and writers of the current Intifada into producing certain images and not others; lecture and concert tours by prominent Israelis; training commentators to make frequent references to the Holocaust and Israel’s predic-ament today; many advertisements in the newspapers attacking Arabs and praising Israel; and on and on. Because so many powerful people in the media and publishing business are strong supporters of Israel, the task is made vastly easier.” — Edward Said

The book does have some compensatory tidbits. It gives a vaguely interesting over-view (once the hasbara has been filtered away) of the BDS movement worldwide, it points out who is worthy of trust (BDS Activists) and who isn’t (anti-BDS)… and … resolutely confirms the spreading success of the BDS strategy through the authors’ irrational scrambling to debase and discredit BDS.

In a nutshell, it trumpets- BDS is freaking out Zionists.

Mendes and Dyrenfuth’s, faux premise is that BDS is an apocalyptic bogeyman de-scended from Nazis that is out to destroy the Zionist enterprise of establishing Eretz Israel “from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates”, Genesis 15:18-21.

To the authors, this relentless unholy real-estate creep – which since 1947 has al-lowed for Zionist terrorists to massacre, to demolish homes, (30,000 demolition or-ders since 1992) and 385 villages, to coercively deport 700,000 indigenous Palestini-ans, to detain and imprison over 1 million Palestinians, to daily uproot, since 1967, 800,000 olive trees ( and livelihoods), to finance over half a million illegal rabid Jew-ish settlers on stolen Palestinian land, to perpetrate three monstrous high-tech mili-tary assaults on besieged Gaza – must be preserved and protected from BDS and the Palestinian Right of Return sanctioned in international law which the zionist spin in-sists would be the end of the innocent and benign ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East.

What really feared is,

“the end of Israel as a Jewish supremacist state, that is one which allows people like Mendes & Dyrenfurth, simply by virtue of their having Jewish mothers,* to swan in or out of Israel (im)proper as they please, while denying the same right to its original, indigenous non-Jewish inhabitants, ethnically cleansed in 1948. IOW, to discriminate in favour of Jews but against non-Jewish Palestinians.” — MERC

The bogeyman furthermore will eat up Israel, Gaza and the West Bank and spit out “a secular democratic state in the entire area of historic Palestine, where everyone en-joys equal rights, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or any identity attribute”. This vi-sion of a truly egalitarian one state provokes in the authors catastrophic horror.

This so-called horror is sheer mendacity. The present ‘facts on the ground’ substan-tiate the existence of a one state dominated by Jews who control the Palestinians un-der a crushing and brutal military occupation and apartheid policies.

Notwithstanding, armed to their lying teeth, the authors soldier on attacking BDS with volleys of high speed strike hasbara:

“ the boycott involves a McCarthyist form of blacklisting “- BAM!!
“ The BDS movement promotes hate speech” – BAM!!!
“ the core agenda of the BDS movement is anti-Semitic” BAM BAM!!
“ BDS movement’s ongoing ethnic stereotyping of all Israeli Jews as evil” BAM BAM!!!
“ the real core aims of the BDS movement, namely to demonise and isolate Isra-el as a precursor to its destruction.” BAM BAM BAM!!!!

And, now, wait for it- for the holocaust bomb,

“The potential destruction of the world’s largest Jewish population just seven decades after the Holocaust would have a catastrophically traumatic effect on almost all of the seven million Jews living outside Israel.”

“For many Jews, this indiscriminate attempt to boycott a Jewish-owned business is frighteningly reminiscent of the Nazi boycott of Jewish commerce in the 1930s.” KABOOM!!

At this point, Mendes and Dyrenfurth are struck with selective dementia. Forgotten is the remarkable 1930’s boycott of Nazi products well organized by American Jews.

Ultimately Mendes and Dyrenfurth have compiled a combo of Zionist clichés: anti-semitic-BDS-thugs-have-exploited-and-coerced-self-hating-Jews-to-help-destroy-poor-misunderstood-Israel-and-deligitimise-its-right-to-exist-by-using-Nazi-tactics-that-raise-the-spectre-of-the-imminent-holocaust-that-will-befall-all-Jews.

This hackneyed scaremongering is no less than psychological abuse by Zionist ka-pos who keep Jews, from childhood onwards, as eternal victims locked in a cruel mind-games ghetto.

Speaking of ghettos, who and what will shield and free little Hamza Almadani, 3, the thousands of Palestinians maimed for life and Palestinian families from Israel’s ar-mament testing range we know as Gaza? Who and what will prevent other children from losing an eye like Yahiya al-Amudi 10? Who and what will end the torture of Pal-estinian children in Israeli prisons or save them from being shot in the back like Mo-hammed Kasbeh,17?

Definitely not ‘civilized’ western nations, their governments, churches and media, nor Arab countries shackled to US dollars. Palestinians are, moreover, abandoned by a spineless UN, and betrayed by the treason of the Palestinian Authority that collabo-rates with Israel.

Apart from BDS friends and actions, Palestine is alone.

For all their back-slapping as ‘progressives,’ Mendes and Dyrenfurth’s intention to smear and thereby demolish BDS, a non-violent stratagem (with action as its prime mover) to advocate for Palestine’s political and human rights, is a violent act. An act that is regressive morally for its Machiavellian motive to prolong the ethnic cleansing of all of Palestine.

– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Hel-sinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. She contributed this article to


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