Thursday, September 24, 2015

How about Boycotting Reykjavik?

By Marion DS Dreyfus 

The mayor of Reykjavik, Dagur Eggertsson, is presiding over the decision of his municipal council to remove all Israeli products – not just those from inside the "Green Line" some countries have taken issue with.
Having once been to Iceland for several weeks, I cannot now revoke that visit, but I can promise never to visit again.  As a consequence of the dark northern city's unwarranted boycott of all Israeli products, moreover, an ill-advised illegal shunning of Israeli goods and produce, I shall make it my business to bruit this unwarranted, foolish, and adamantly malign act of total freeze-out of a member-nation of the U.N.
Let me say at the outset that unlike many room-temperature public supporters of the sliver of a country that could, in general I support the policies of the only democracy in the Middle East.  I have no problem with the energetic efforts of Israel to defend itself, as is the mandate of every nation attacked and aggressed against.  And further, I won't pander to those who smugly feign outrage at their cowardly non-comprehension of the threats facing this most offended-against nation.
Principled disagreement is not the sin.  Double-standard crowd ostracism does not merit applause or acceptance.  With this inane boycott of products and goods that come from the wee state that prevails, Iceland merely joins the craven ranks of those whose selectively celebrated niceties ignore the world's true bad actors, the tyrannies and dictatorships and monstrous tsunami killers who wield a wider zone of clout.  Israel is imperfect, perhaps, but her imperfections are galaxies easier to deal with, and her positive notes are far better, than the  countries who monotonously chill every U.N. vote and clamor for condemnation at all instances.  Beyond hypocrisy, a hard look reveals that the finger-pointing ought to  do a round robin and reach the sanctimonious who scruple against Israel.  Their records could do with a scrub.
Many nations condemn, like Iceland, to get in the good graces of those opposed to Israel existing, but who fig-leaf their dislike in vocal disagreement of  the Israeli prime minister's statements, the nation's "settlement" policy, or how Israel, attacked relentlessly with rockets and missiles shot into the midst of civilian areas, at kindergartens, houses of worship, and  supermarkets, defends herself in a stringent and careful manner, warning opponents when a strike is in the offing, advising civilians to take shelter via leaflets dropped from the air, even emailing and personally phoning local indigenous before letting loose any ordnance.  What army in the history of the world has gone to such lengths to avoid civilian losses?
Israel is in fact a country that provides freedoms unexampled in any of the other nations surrounding this tiny, beleaguered nation.  Israel provides freedom of movement, freedom for all women to work and educate as they please, freedom to marry whomever, freedom from forced conversion, freedom from the savage custom of cliteridectomy – widely and brutally practiced in Arab nations, impairing a woman's ability to bear children or enjoy conjugal relations without pain and suffering.  Israel amiably ensures freedom to travel and the touted freedom to disagree vociferously with the government.  Voting is easy and universal, and litigation is prompt, fair, and universally acclaimed for a justice system that is vigorously impartial.
Unlike the hypocritical condemning nations whose own houses need cleaning, in Israel one can work where and when and in whichever field and industry one chooses.  Notably, like the West, Israel is unperturbed when one travels abroad or leaves.  Women don't need the permission of their sons or brothers or fathers or husbands to drive or fly.   
Having been to the Emirates, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, and 90-some other countries, I can say with some assurance that Israel is far freer and more decent to its inhabitants and visitors than the vast majority of states.
Iceland's desire to hurt Israel because of its council's no-doubt uninformed and biased sentiments, lobbied by "Palestinian" or Arab agencies of hate and willful murder, hijrah, jihad, and abysmal sharia "law," abuses the education its decision-makers must at some point have received to treat people civilly as a universal principle.
Looking for fit subjects to boycott?  When does Reykjavik castigate nations that freely starve their people; use rape as a tool of political and religious control; deny rights to women, homosexuals, members of out-faiths; or abuse its residents in other ways?  Try looking at dictatorships where foreigners are domiciled in remote favelas after their sometimes abusive labors are completed.  You might look at the DPRK, where people are starved for contact with outsiders as well as basics like food.  You might try Saudi Arabia – or Bahrain, or Qatar, or the Emirates – where imported day workers have no rights or medical coverage, work for pennies a day, and leave as poor as they arrived.  Or any of the clashing nations of Africa or of South America.  Regard, maybe, the officious, dictatorial fiefdom of Cuba.
In fact, Iceland might look for countries where Jews are not even permitted inside altogether, lest they...what?  Become aware of the conditions to which the nationals are subject?  Or experience the crusted bigotry against an entire class of human being for historically inadequate and shameful reasons?
The clear bias is stunning, where Israel has been singularly brilliant at helping the world in medicine, physics, engineering, robotics, health care, automation, electronics, math – all the sciences, in fact.  And most of the arts.
Fact is, such bigotry is hard to square with Israel's outstanding human rights record.  Israel is usually the first to help, as it did in Haiti after the earthquake that leveled the island, or Nepal, where crack medical teams arrived with field hospitals and rescued thousands, without payment of any kind, for months.  
In Israel there is no "apartheid," as there is, functionally, in every Arab-dominated country, where Copts, Christians, Bahá'í, Druze, Yazidi, Kurds, and Jews are treated like infections to be sequestered and killed off.  There are Jews doing business in the Emirates – but no synagogue is permitted.  In Tunis, when I tried to attend a local ancient synagogue, I was told it was "closed for repairs."  All the time.
Good luck if you want to come into Muslim countries with an Israeli passport.
In Pakistan, when in Rawalpindi, foreign visitors are asked where they came into "so much money" – it can be as little as $20 – and questioned about where a male protector is.  I was followed and spat at while there.  Men tried to molest me.  In Turkey, there are no women on the streets after 6 pm, and men assume that all women from outside  this now-Islamist pen are brothel fare.  No second visits to Turkey for those reasons.
As I assume Mayor Eggertsson and his council think Israel has fewer rights than the countries they leave unmolested, unpunished, and unboycotted, I have to assume they are willfully ignorant, never reading a history or current newspaper to learn of these differences between democratic Israel and undemocratic others.
Otherwise, one is forced to the conclusion that this uncalled-for act is unavoidably anti-Semitic – an action bought and sold by Arab countries that are still slavers and oil hooligans.
Truth is, Israel doesn't need Iceland or their Scandinavia-redux puny shop shelves.  I found the country pleasantly backward, the food passable, the beds narrow, the sun in summer constant – but I shall, as I stated, warn all I know to pencil in anywhere else but Iceland when planning a convention, a meeting, a group tour, or a family outing.
We invite Iceland to abjure the medicines, cures, electronics, household wonders, and ingenious inventions of the can-do "start-up nation."  Return all the wondrous benisons of the Jewish people and the Israeli state on the ease and well-being of your little northern country of whale blubber, ale, and drugs.
How about our boycotting Iceland?  Do they deserve visitors, with their current atavistic mindset as primitive as the medieval latifundia?
Jews and decency-aspected Gentiles travel a whole lot.  It's a shame to deprive Iceland of all the silver and provided by the world of visiting tourists.

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