Monthly Archive: March 2009

The Lambeth Walk: The Shministim 0

The Lambeth Walk: The Shministim

Last week was ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ 1 – a global round of hand-wringing, generally upon university campuses, about Israel and its propensity for unashamed self defence. The vast majority of the protests and events took place in North America, (although there was this 2 programme of lectures in London) and concentrated on spreading the usual propaganda about ‘occupation’, ‘racism’ and ‘apartheid’, false comparisons to South Africa, lies about war crimes. There were some ugly incidents, such as the one at the University of Toronto where the following happened 3 hat tip: Vlad Tepes Blog ]: ‘Tonight at the U of T Israeli Apartheid Week event, two Jewish students were assaulted by the Palestinian Security team for being disruptive (asking a legitimate question does Israel have a right to exist ) The Palestinian security smacked a student in the head and grabbed him by his neck, while another security officer told a second Jewish student to Shut the F**ck up or he ll saw his head off All of this was done in a crowded lecture room with over 100 witnesses!!’ It was also reported that after the above incident was brought to the attention of police, nothing was done, which sadly does not surprise me.

Anyway, to coincide with this event the RMT 5 London Transport Region & Finsbury Park RMT and Workers Liberty 6 organised 7 a lecture tour of the United Kingdom by Tamar Katz. She is one of the ‘Shministim’, Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in the IDF (2 years of national service is mandatory in Israel for women, 3 for men). Here is the reason 8 she gives: I refuse to enlist in the Israeli military on conscientious grounds.

I am not willing to become part of an occupying army, that has been an invader of foreign lands for decades, which perpetuates a racist regime of robbery in these lands, tyrannizes civilians and makes life difficult for millions under a false pretext of security. I oppose the anti-Palestinian policy of attrition and the oppression, not because I prefer the Palestinian society to the Israeli one, but out of an understanding that this policy has led us down a dead-end road politically and to immorality, forced especially on soldiers stationed in the Occupied Territories. I am not willing to become on of those holding the gun pointed indiscriminately at Palestinian civilians, and I do not believe that such actions could bring any change except ever more antagonism and violence in our region.

Personally, I vehemently disagree with all she says and all she stands for. However, in some ways I think it is a testament to Israel as a free society that such people exist within it, however misguided they are. I wonder what would happen to a group of Palestinian school pupils who vocally supported Israel and denounced violent attacks upon it?

There are more like her, though, profiled here 9 by ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’. Two things primarily concern me about this; firstly the way that their cases are becoming a cause celebre for the radical left and even Islamists here in Britain (if you click on the links for the groups which organised this tour, that should speak for itself). Secondly, just how frighteningly misguided these young people and their shills here in the West are.

Here 10 is a blog post on Katz’s tour by a supporter of the Green Party. It calls her a ‘war resistor’ and opens with the line: “Just seen this…great, great, the Shministim are one of the great hopes in the Middle East!” Are they? Hope for what, exactly?

In a conflict between two parties, peace cannot come from one side alone unless it is absolutely and mercilessly crushed. However well intentioned these people are, peace cannot come simply from Israeli conscripts laying down their arms. Unless of course, Israel disappearing is your vision of peace.

But it’s not mine. A vibrant, free, Western society will not be willingly snuffed out – we all realise the kind of violence it would take to conquer Israel and make her submit. This young woman and her ilk are idealists.

They see that war and violence are inherently wrong, and think the world would be different somehow if the strong laid down their arms and let the weak do as they please. I see that as chaos, anarchy, and it would create an evil far more profound than the current Israeli military presence in parts of Israel’s borderlands. Tearing down the existing order always does.

The campaign calls this woman a hero, and pretends her cause is moral. It isn’t moral, and the word hero should never be used in such a glib fashion. The true heroes are the young men and women who put on their uniforms and fight; not because they love war or violence (or because I do), but because they are prepared to stand up for what they believe in against an implacable, unenlightened foe.

More than that, the fact they are willing to serve and risk all is the only thing which stands between the likes of Miss Katz and death or slavery. Whatever they think of her, they allow her to exist; the reverse is not and cannot be true. They fight for their country, their homes, their families, their own rights and their very existence as a nation and a people.

They also fight for freedom – and that includes giving the Shministim and their ilk the right to their own opinions. Many are maimed or pay the ultimate price for these things – they give their lives. That, to me, is infinitely more heroic and selfless than strutting around Europe at the invitation of a proudly Marxist political party, pretending you’re superior because you were punished according to the law for your own free actions – whilst knowing the people you see as dupes or pawns are keeping your family safe as their own lie awake wondering if there will be a phone call or a midnight knock, and just how bad the news will be.

When the two concepts of heroism are confused or swapped, we are finished. But fortunately, some people still recognise the truth; this 11 is the story of Yaakov Wolf, a 20 year old British Jew from London. He miraculously survived having his throat torn open by a mortar blast whilst fighting in Gaza for a cause he believes in and identifies as his own – a free Israel, safe from terrorism and violence.

Miss Katz may think she wants the same, but sadly she’s the dupe, being used by forces which conspire against her country and her people whilst shamelessly using her as a mouthpiece.

References ^ ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ (apartheidweek.org) ^ this (london.apartheidweek.org) ^ happened (vladtepesblog.com) ^ Vlad Tepes Blog (vladtepesblog.com) ^ RMT (en.wikipedia.org) ^ Workers Liberty (en.wikipedia.org) ^ organised (www.workersliberty.org) ^ reason (december18th.org) ^ here (december18th.org) ^ Here (another-green-world.blogspot.com) ^ this (www.thesun.co.uk)