A boycott worth boycotting

(Most of this post originally appeared as a comment at PP’s blog, but I liked it too much to just let it linger in comments limbo, so I’ve stretched it out as a post in its own right. I am not treating the subject very seriously at all, instead taking it off on a surreal tangent. If you want to see an intelligent response to the issue, read the whole of PP’s piece.)

John Berger (a writer of some repute, apparently – at least, that’s what it says on his profile), has written an article on Comment Is Free, calling for a global cultural boycott of the Israeli state due to the ‘illegal occupation of the Palestine territories of the West Bank and Gaza’. So far, so Comment Is Free. It’s the sort of thing you’d be surprised not to see written on the site.

Anyway, he rambles on and on about who should be joining the boycott, and why, and how. But the most bizarre passage has to be this:

How to apply a boycott? For academics it’s perhaps a little clearer – a question of declining invitations from state institutions and explaining why. For invited actors, musicians, jugglers or poets it can be more complicated. I’m convinced, in any case, that its application should not be systematised; it has to come from a personal choice based on a personal assessment. 

Yeah, sounds great John. But, err, sorry, can we back up there for just a minute? Jugglers???? Is there a cultural exchange programme for jugglers going on that I wasn’t aware of? I’m trying to understand why there would be much demand for jugglers being invited to Israel at all. But the idea of jugglers being invited, but declining for political reasons has flipped my Surreal-O-Meter into hyper mode. I can just picture it…

We proudly present JAZ: Jugglers Against Zionism. A two hour juggling extravaganza highlighting the plight of the Palestinians crushed under the military and ideological weight of Israeli occupation. From the people that brought you Sword Swallowers Against Israeli Aggression and the award winning Fire Breathers For Palestinian Freedom. 

“Unquestionably the finest political juggling act I have ever seen.” – John Pilger

“The way these jugglers captured the plight of the Palestinian people by throwing three squishy balls up in the air brought a tear to my eye.” – Robert Fisk

“Bush and Blair should be forced to watch this brave juggling performance. At gun point.” – George Galloway

COMING IN 2007: Midget Pyramids on Motorcycles will push Israel back to its pre-1967 borders. Book your tickets now!


Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Uncategorized
3 comments on “A boycott worth boycotting
  1. tafka PP says:

    Glad you put this up for your faithful to see…

  2. Anonymous says:

    A counter-boycott should be organized.

  3. Citizen Sane says:

    We should boycott the works of John Berger? I’ve managed to do that my entire life without even trying….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Citizen Sane
Citizen Sane

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,305 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: