Boycott Wisdom

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This gem from the December 7, 2001 issue of Ha'aretz, a major Israeli daily, is reproduced in the Summer 2002 Middle East Quarterly (an excellent publication, I might add). It's worth reading now in light of the renewed boycott activity by the likes of Mona Baker, et al. I have no idea if it's true. But even if it's allegorical, it says a lot about the general mindset (i.e., generally mindless) of the boycott lemmings. (Here, by the way, is another example.)

Hard of Hearing in Hebrew

The "Alternative Nobel Prize for Peace" has been awarded in Sweden to Rachel and Uri Avneri for their activity in the left-wing Gush Shalom ("Peace Bloc") organization. It's an "alternative" award because its sponsors maintain that the official prize is awarded to the candidate who has the most powerful lobby behind him.

So it came as quite a surprise when one left-leaning Swedish paper announced that it had decided to boycott the alternative Nobel and not to mention it by so much as a word or even by allusion. The paper's editor explained that while the Avneris deserve the prize, it was totally hypocritical to award it, on the same occasion, to George Bush and Ariel Sharon as well -- the fomenters of war in Afghanistan and the occupied territories, respectively.

Had the alternative prize committee decided to be as conventional as the awarders of the real Nobel? Not quite. Hebrew, as everyone knows, is not in widespread use in Sweden. When the editor of the paper in question was told over the phone that the prize was going to "Gush Shalom and the Avneris," he heard "Bush, Sharon and the Avneris." Outraged, he decided to boycott the ceremony.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn B. published on July 23, 2002 5:40 PM.

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