Having been encouraged back in February by the introduction of bills in Congress seeking to authorise state and local governments to divest assets from and prohibit investment in any entity that “engages in a commerce or investment-related boycott, divestment or sanctions activity targeting Israel,” many states have introduced anti-BDS legislation that criminalises the right to boycott which leading international legal experts regard “as a lawful exercise of freedom of expression”: a lawful exercise, incidentally, which Western governments were quite happy to encourage, support, and uphold against an Apartheid South Africa.
Earlier this month, in a move intended to dramatically broaden Department of Education probes of colleges and universities who tolerate criticism of Israel by students, the Senate unanimously passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act without any debate or fanfare. The bill’s objective is to do so by instructing the Department of Education on the use of the State Department’s definition of anti-semitism, which broadly includes criticism of Israel or attempts to “delegitimise” Israel’s status as a Jewish state, or even “focusing on Israel” for human rights investigations or urging peace.
Not to be outdone by their southern neighbours, earlier this month the Ontario provincial legislature passed a symbolic motion condemning the growing BDS movement which Palestinian rights activists in Canada claim was aimed at stifling criticism of Israeli human rights violations. The motion stated that the provincial legislature stands against any position or movement that promotes “any form of hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance in any way.” The motion was also endorsed by the (Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism), which Canada signed during the tenure of former prime minister Stephen Harper, a staunch supporter of Israel.
While hypocritical Western legislators with yellow streaks down their backs are always willing to subserviently prostrate themselves before the pro-Israel Jewish lobby and sanctimoniously condemn human rights activists seeking justice for the barbarically oppressed Palestinian people, they, however, remained inconspicuously silent when Yair Lapid — the blatantly obvious racist leader of Israel’s Yesh Atid party — told Channel 2’s “Meet the Press” program that “We need to get the Palestinians out of our lives. What we have to do is build a high wall and get them out of our sight . . . There will be no peace. We do not want two nations packed into a single state.”
Though such “hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance” may have been reported by The Times of Israel, it was mostly ignored by the mainstream Western media’s presstitutes who religiously — whenever negative news about Israel is concerned — always forget the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics which states “that democracy, a just society and good government require an informed public. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity. The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.”
There can be no greater threats to free speech than a “gagged” mainstream media and legislation that criminalises criticism of, or activism against Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories. An example of the success of this “war on truth” was recently confirmed by a statistically-significant survey that revealed 49.2 percent of Americans believe that it is the Palestinians who occupy Israeli land, and not the other way around. A simultaneous survey of Canadians revealed that 51.4 percent correctly believe Israelis occupy Palestinian land, while 54.6 percent of Mexicans also believe Israel occupies Palestinian territory.
A similar degree of lack of knowledge also exits in Europe where for example two-thirds of the British public are still unsure whether Israel is occupying the Palestinian territories or vice versa. In its relentless “war on truth,” the pro-Israel Jewish lobby along with its bought and paid for Western politicians, its media lackeys, and other sundry blinkered individuals and organisations, has just notched up another victory in its efforts to silence the voice of Western conscience: Britain has adopted a new legal definition of anti-Semitism which is based on one created by the Berlin-based (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) (IHRA), which according to its website is “an intergovernmental body whose purpose is to place political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally.” In her announcement the British Prime Minister pointedly ignored mentioning hate crimes against Muslims and other minorities and focussed on anti-Semitism: “It means there will be one definition of anti-Semitism — in essence, language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews — and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it.”
“It is also evident that in its determination to suppress free speech and the reporting of true facts, Israel frequently also deliberately targets journalists with The Foreign Press Association regularly reporting attacks which more recently included the following report:
“During an Israeli arrest raid Sunday in the West Bank village of al-Ram, Associated Press photographer Majdi Mohammed was hit by a rubber-coated bullet fired by Israeli forces from very close range. Majdi had been ordered to leave the scene and was walking away when he was shot in his upper back.
We have reason to believe that this shooting was intentional. The border policeman who we believe fired the bullet had shouted and cursed at Majdi moments before the shooting. Majdi was shot from a distance of just 10 meters, and the bullet struck him in an area that was not covered by his protective vest. Majdi’s vest clearly identified him as “press,” and he was nowhere near the stone-throwing protesters who were clashing with the forces at the time.
This is just the latest in a string of attacks by Israeli border police on journalists. Yet our repeated calls for Israel to uphold its commitment to honour press freedom and safety have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears.”