29 June 2012

The bad and the good news for Israel in the JC

So, we've been away for most of June, which means that I've not had the pain of reading about what the bad guys have been doing. But no sooner do I come back than I find the following, most of which could be labelled dreck, if no-one objects to that word.

First off we have this, which is all about something called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and is not about Israel at all, except insofar as it characterises Israel as (altogether now:) uniquely evil in the region, if not the world. Among the major leaders are the Quakers, who seem to have left their balance behind them, as far as the Middle East is concerned.

The Board of Deputies, not always noted for getting angry enough to make their points successfully, says of this body that "EAPPI participants spend only a single day in Israel out of three to four months in the region, while a preparatory two-week training programme includes just two hours on Israel. Volunteers have 'virtually no contact' with mainstream Israelis..."

How familiar does that sound? To me (even if you, dear readers, are feeling more generous), this sounds like the usual 2000 year old hate fest. Or, as the Tom Lehrer song had it, listing all the religions that hated each other, "and everyone hates the Jews!" I know, I know, I'm really too young to be so bitter and twisted. But still...It gets no better: Jon Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Board, has an article on the same page, where he notes that he attended a meeting of this organisation, purportedly an overview of the Holy Land. However "[w]hat they will instead get is a crash course in the brutality of Israelis, the suffering of the Palestinians and no context or deeper explanation of why things are as they are. The speaker is, after all, from...EAPPI, a pressure group with a particular agenda to focus on the all the perceived iniquities of Israel."

So what, you might reasonably ask, is the good news? Or is that it, and what comes next is really bad? No, I'm happy to say. On the front page of the same issue of the JC is this. And it is good news: FIFA has refused to bow to a demand by the Palestine Football body to remove the Under-21 version of the Euro-Cup from Israel, to be held next year. It was, says Michel Platini, President of FIFA, awarded to Israel in an open and democratic vote. This in response to a demand by the President of the Palestine FA to remove the competition from Israel, in effect, a demand to boycott Israel.

Read and enjoy at least the last item.

By Brian Goldfarb.


shira said...

the Under-21 version of the Euro-Cup here??? crap!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Well, as you probably know, my opinion is that football in Israel should be strictly forbidden as it covers us with shame all over. But what to do about it if I am not the PM. Or king, for that matter...