Leonard's response to the boycott

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
meridianwoman
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:13 am

Re: Leonard's response to the boycott

Post by meridianwoman » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:29 am

I love Leonard Cohen, and that is why I protest his concert in Israel.
<http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/com ... 6906.story

Boycott Israel
An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save his country.

August 20, 2009

Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.
seadove
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Re: Leonard's response to the boycott

Post by seadove » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:32 pm

meridianwoman wrote:I love Leonard Cohen, and that is why I protest his concert in Israel.
<http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/com ... 6906.story

Boycott Israel
An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save his country.

August 20, 2009

Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.
Here is another good example of what I mean by disrespect. How can people outside Israel determine which territory belongs to the Palestinians and which belongs to the people of Israel when negotiations have not even reached there? How can you simply guard the so called "rights" of one people when you don't even know how much "rights" they are entitled to?

This is the height of disrespect. It's okey when you people don't know what you are talking about but to simply go about boycotting around senselessly without even determining the ownership without even waiting for a fair exchange of negotiation? You people have no patience? To simply attack one party alone and senselessly manipulating and bullying Israel in the culture and trade when all the while the Palestinians are even refusing to accept Israel as a jewish state. How can any country for that matter go about to forge a peace treaty with anyone when they declare that they will never accept our existance? And you people, for reasons very well known, i.e. antisemitism, are giving them the reason to not accept our existance.

And so long as this situation continues, this so called disrespect, there will never be peace in our region. Never!!
Habie
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Re: Leonard's response to the boycott

Post by Habie » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:03 pm

As a Jewish woman who lived in Israel for two years, watching with dismay the current rhetoric of Netanyahu and Lieberman etc and the equally rabid extremists on the other side, like everyone else I despair of ever seeing peace in that region... the entrenchment on both sides is so extreme, so inflexible, dialogue with the Other so apparently repellent to so many. I can't bear it when Jews have the temerity to systematically accuse any honest criticism of Israeli policy of antisemitism... to find such reactions on this Forum is very sad.

Such prejudice is everywhere; fixed opinions and inflexible hatred, on both sides. On all sides. Of all wars. It's enough to make you scream. American, Muslim, British, French, colonial - all forms of entrenchment and self-righteous murderousness are deplorable. Not to mention our attitude as a species towards the earth we walk on...

Leonard is doing what he feels is right by sharing his songs, and making a stand for dialogue with the financial contribution. I've always felt torn about cultural boycotts; awful to make ordinary citizens suffer in isolation for the sins of their leaders... but when it works, and hardline regimes are compelled to take softer actions, then it can be laudable... a conundrum I don't have definitive answers for.

Jenbr, I agree with you - Leonard is the kind of person who makes one want to be better. Not in every way (OK, he's not my personal role model in the conducting of love affairs, say...) but his ability to embody genuine humility, without false modesty, without any false notes at all, is inspirational. Who else could pull off repeating the same intro jokes at every concert in every city with the kind of sincerity and wit that makes them sound fresh every time? Who else puts such graceful emphasis on the word 'friends' (to describe his band, his audience, his teacher, his world)...? Who else is so talented and so witty without ever being sarcastic or self-important? Who else makes you feel grateful for their gratitude?

I hope the Tel Aviv concert is a momentous occasion, and a gentle one. I hope the Palestinians AND Israelis feel it is their concert, their visit from a poet troubadour to give them a few hours away from hatred. I know it's in Tel Aviv, therefore not by any stretch neutral territory, but the intention is clearly one of gathering and connection, and I hope all but the angriest will take it that way.

Shalom aleichem / Salaam aleikum.
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Susy
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Re: Leonard's response to the boycott

Post by Susy » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:55 pm

Friends all over the world...Habie,Jenrbr and Seadove I like to read all your comments, and in my bad english writing I`d like to say ...in my mind I think it would make Our Man satisfied and happy to play his so beautiful songs to more than 47000 people (for the Israelis and the Palestinians) even if for only a few hours away from hatred. Seadove be sure that I know what I`m taking about ,I myself and thats no secret was born only a few days after Israel was "born",I alwaysread the news ,TV and so on ,and I do have one wish ...lets be PEACE even only for a few hours ,days ,years for BOTH sides...I sure know thats a dream,but without dreams now and then a human being can not live .I can not be there but wish you ALL a very beautiful dream who will last a long time !Greetings Susanne :)
Susy
seadove
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Re: Leonard's response to the boycott

Post by seadove » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:16 am

Thank you Suzanne for you wishing us peace in the region.

As I said before all over the forum peace will come when the Palestinians respect our basic needs. If they go on and on about not recognizing our existance, for g-d's sake, and continuing to show us so much disrespect, like wishing we would float in the Mediterranean, I would rather have no peace at all. At least we'll go on living, if you can call that living.

:(
Bird off the Wire
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Re: Leonard's response to the boycott

Post by Bird off the Wire » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:08 pm

A ray of hope! I'm from Ireland and 15 years ago, positions in Northern Ireland were every bit as entrenched as the Israeli/Palestinian one. I certainly never felt there would be peace in that region in my life time. Polically the hardliners at either end were the DUP and Sinn Fein parties. But thanks to the tremendous efforts of many people and after a long and, admittedly tortuous at times, process we now have peace and stability in Northern Ireland with a powersharing Executive made up of politicians from all parties there, but, significantly led by a Chief Minister from the DUP and a Deputy Chief Minister from Sinn Fein.

Did they all suddenly decide to become friends and see the errors of their respective ways? No, by hard bargaining they arrived at a stage where they could work together but this meant huge compromises on both sides.

For example, our people in the Republic of Ireland deleted by referendum a clause in our Constitution claiming a right to Northern Ireland, people convicted of the most heinous crimes were granted amnesties, weapons were decommissioned etc etc etc.

I feel something similar can and must be achieved in Israel/Palestine but only if both sides are willing to make huge compromises. Hopefully the concert in Tel Aviv will be a small step in that direction.

Incidentally, Leonard performed in both Dublin and Belfast on the Irish leg of his tour with people travelling without fear to either city (from South/North; North/South). As you will see on the concerts forum all Irish concerts were hugely successful and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
seadove
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Re: Leonard's response to the boycott

Post by seadove » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:37 pm

I just want to mention that the Israeli people are looking forward to Leonard Cohen performing on the 24th of September but not one of us are connecting this toward him bringing about any peace in the region. For us he is one of us who will sing his marvellous songs and awaken our nostalgia from days gone by and that is all. He is and never was any part of a peace process in this region. Between you and me let's keep him that way, a consensus, where everyone loves him for his songs alone.
oskie98
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Re: Leonard's response to the boycott

Post by oskie98 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:47 pm

The problem is that the peace (between 2 parties) cannot be established by whatever enormous effort of only one side. And unfortunatelly in the Middle East conflict only Israel really seeks the peace. There is no will for a peaceful coexistence on the Palestinian side IN GENERAL. Their goal is different. To establish Palestine without ANY Israel anywhere around .... Publicly they can talk whatever they want (and need) - and what the West wants to hear - but if you look for example into the the textbooks of Palestinian kids - the truth reveals. You can read the facts on the website of EUfunding organization:
http://eufunding.org.uk/Textbooks/Europ ... ldren.html
The excerpt:
EU Funding: An Overview of the Problems
The European Union, and European governments and organizations are deeply engaged in providing financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.
This has led to two extremely serious problems. One is the continuing problem of hate-centered education under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.
The other is the diversion of funds from their intended and much needed purposes to the nurturing and financing of corruption and terror.
http://eufunding.org.uk/default.html
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