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Jacob Dared To Dream


So there I was, standing in a very long queue waiting to enter Sadler's Wells to attend this past week's performance of the Batsheva ensemble dance company. The queue was a result of the enhanced security needed for this particular performance of an Israeli dance troupe coming in the wake of renewed conflict between Israel and Gaza. It always seems to bring out any and every anti-Israeli protest group. In this case, I believe I saw a good variety of signs accusing Israel of all manner of human rights abuse, genocide, ethnic cleansing. Just for good measure, I think I even saw a token one accusing it of women's rights abuses. It seems that now that a good momentum is established, and any type of accusation is acceptable, it also becomes routine and therefore acceptable to say just about anything heinous and untrue about the state of Israel without fear of the repercussions of any one calling you on the gross distortion, inaccuracy and outright lie of the accusation that you are making. Among those I read just this past week are that “.....approximately 750,000 non-Jews.... were ethnically cleansed in 1947-9 in order to ensure a Jewish majority in the new Jewish state.” That, “This group is dispersed around the world, mostly in refugee camps in the territories occupied in 1967 and the neighbouring states. Israel has persistently denied them their internationally recognized legal right to return.” By the way, this supposedly “true” statement was made by an Israeli teaching law in the U.K., as if by having those credentials it makes the unfounded claims he is making more legitimate. As we all know, terms like “ethnic cleansing” are highly evocative, and now, it seems, completely accepted when it comes to speaking about Israeli relations with Palestinians. Any one without a background in law will probably not have the tools to understand that there is no “internationally recognized legal right to return” in the case he is speaking about. In fact, most people do not understand the legal notion and definition of a right to return at all. But if it is claimed by a law professor, particularly one who claims to be Israeli, then I suppose it magically becomes a true statement.

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