Hans Lovejoy, editor of the Byron Shire Echo, posted on Facebook today that a local Israeli business owner is calling him an antisemite for publishing letters critical of Israel and is contemplating boycotting The Echo. No doubt the letters referred to include ones by Gareth Smith and Bassam and Anne Shomali.
Welcome to the club, Hans, of those who refuse to be bowed by the Zionist lobby – whose main work is to whitewash the crimes of the state of Israel and are labelled ‘antisemites’ for this reason. It’s clear there are many Zionists living and working in the northern rivers region. These Zionist fanatics equate criticism of Israel with criticism of Jews, forgetting that the severest critics of Zionism are Jews themselves, as they have seen the best libertarian and radical traditions of Judaism perverted by Zionism and watched Israel descend into Jewish fascism.
For too long, these local Zionists have been given a free pass, largely due to the a-political, apathetic and downright naive attitude of most folk living the sun-kissed life in the rainbow region. However, due to the courageous, decades-long resistance of Palestinians, due to the brave Israelis who speak out against apartheid Israel, due to social media like Facebook and to the efforts of independent media like The Echo, this veil of ignorance is being rent asunder. And Zionists don’t like what the rest of the world can witness, minus their hasbara. They will do their damnedest to stop the flow of information, using their power to prevent the truth from being known, even if it’s in the form of a letter to the editor.
It’s bizarre that the Zionist interlocutor should compared Hans to Rupert Murdoch – an arch-Zionist himself. Or want to boycott The Echo. It’s bizarre, because, more and more, it’s Zionist Israel that’s being boycotted via the very successful global, civil society Boycott, Disinvestments and Sanctions movement (BDS). Whether it’s the United Methodist Church, the largest Protestant church in the US with over five million members, divesting from Israeli banks that operate in the occupied territories (NYT, 12 Jan); or academic boycotts from institutions and unions in countries as diverse as the US, Canada, South Africa, India, Ireland, Chile & Brazil; or boycotts by artists and intellectuals including Gill Scott Heron, Cassandra Wilson, Carlos Santana, Naomi Klein, Jean Luc Goddard, Arundhati Roy, John Berger and Angela Davis, to name just a few, the BDS movement grows and grows.
Apartheid Israel’s days are numbered and Zionists everywhere, including here in the Byron shire, are very worried. And so they should be. Truth will out!
Harsha Prabhu, Byron Bay
Gareth W R Smith
Palestine Liberation Centre