Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Gown-gate:" the scandal of Israeli-made graduation gowns in Jordan!

Yes, it is true that everything Israel is, does, says, produces, exports, imports, etc. is political, is controversial at a fundamental level. If supermarkets in France sell orange juice from Israel, it's a political issue. If an Israeli ballet company performs "Don Quixote" in Worcester, Massachusetts, it's a political issue.  One professor at my own university even refuses to support a coexistence education program for Israeli and Palestinian youth, arguing--in front of her own students in a public forum--that any program involving Israelis, even children apparently, represents an unacceptable violation of the "cultural boycott" of all things-Israel.   Yes, that's right, she believes that all right-thinking people should boycott peace camp, because there are Israeli teenagers involved.

Yet the fact that everything about Israel is so hyper-politicized says much more about Israel's enemies than it does about Israel.  Unfortunately, after 60+ years, the majority of Israel's neighbors cannot abide any acknowledgment, implicit or explicit, of Israel's legitimacy among the family of nations.  They will not accept that Israel has a right to exist within any borders, or even acknowledge the empirical fact that Jewish sovereignty in the region persists and shows no signs of disappearing.  They will not deign to refer to "Israel," but will only spit out the words "Zionist entity."  Jordan is one of the two Arab countries that actually has a peace treaty with Israel, and yet even there, outrage has erupted on the discovery that some university students were graduating wearing gowns made in Israel.

"Jordan school using Israeli-made gowns," Benjamin Joffe-Walt. Yediot Aharanot. July 4, 2010.