At a time when the leader of the British Labour Party wants to argue that the foundation of the State of Israel was a racist act, it’s time for all good people to declare where they stand.
I shall be going to Israel next week for the first festival of Israeli music, curated by the composer Oded Zehavi. My expenses will be paid by the Ministry of Sport and Culture in Jerusalem. I am very happy for them to do so.
I would not dream of accepting money – like certain Labour Party leaders – for appearing on Russian or Iranian TV channels because I would be unable to criticise Russia or Iran on their turf. Israel, on the contrary, has invited me precisely in order to criticise cultural policy and that is why I am happy to take their money.
Why do I declare this now? Because it has become a shibboleth of the BDS movement that any artist accepting expenses from Israel will be subjected to their boycott. Dear readers, please boycott me if you feel that way. I’d be proud to lose acquaintances of that ilk.
Was the Soviet creation of a state of Armenia a racist act? Armenia is, after all, the only state in the world that has an Armenian identity, as Israel has a Jewish one.
The same goes for Finland. Or Moldova.
Those who call the creation of a Jewish state a racist act are irredeemable anti-semites. Must Jews alone be eternally stateless?