Israel boycotters can't even hold the line

George Galloway's latest Early Day Motion reveals the cloud of confusion that lingers within the anti-Israel crowd

by on 5 July 2013 10:51

On Wednesday evening, at the Spectator's Summer Reception, I spoke to a man who worked for YouGov, and had looked at polling on public perceptions of the State of Israel in Europe.

He said to me that in his opinion, per all the evidence he has seen, that Israel is becoming less and less popular in Europe, and that the Jewish State's public relations efforts were, in his opinion, dire. 

He may well be correct, although I did quiz him on the reliability of such polling in the face of evidence that has also shown that people are willing to lie to pollsters just so they don't appear 'out of step' with what the liberal elite wants them to think.

Israel, it could be argued, would be an excellent example of how most people are unaware or indifferent to the facts on the ground, but will happily toe the Guardian/BBC line, for fear of being labelled a 'supporter of apartheid' or something equally risible. 

Nevertheless, it struck me hard on Wednesday morning, when I read about George Galloway's latest Early Day Motion in the British Parliament, that another reason that the anti-Israel and pro-boycott crowd are so effective at digging their nails into the skin that is the public conscious, is that they'll say anything to confuse the issues and muddy the waters.

Or perhaps I'm giving them too much credit?

Perhaps there is no great over-arching strategy out there to throw all the fecal matter they can and simply hope that something sticks. Perhaps these people are just confused themselves. 

George Galloway for instance, as we know, refuses to debate Israelis. A little boycott of his own that he gets to pop in his narcissistic suitcase each week as he flits and slips between the offices of al-Mayadeen TV and Press TV. Those bastions of freedom. 

And yet, he'll congratulate McDonalds, that evil American corporate giant. He wrote in EDM 342 this week:

That this House congratulates the fast-food chain McDonald’s for refusing to open a branch in the occupied West Bank; notes that the company has a long standing policy not to operate across the pre-1967 green line; further notes that the chief executive of McDonald’s Israel, Dr Omri Paden, is a founding member of the anti-settlement organisation Peace Now; and calls on all companies worldwide to follow the company’s lead and not to set up businesses in the occupied territories.

But wait! Aren't we supposed to be boycotting McDonalds, not congratulating them, George?

The anti-Israel site 'InMinds' seems to think so. As does the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, and a whole host of other knee-jerk armchair activists. Google it. (Oh but you can't because Google recently bought Israeli company Waze, right?)

I guess what I'm asking at the end of all of this is, does the European public really have a big problem with Israel? Is it (still) as inherently anti-Semitic as it once was (or is it worse?)

Or are the (intentional or not) s**tstorms of confusion whipped up by the other side responsible for perceived notions about Israel and the Palestinian territories?

Or is it all of the above?

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