I receive a lot of suggestions of other countries to boycott. Turkey, North Korea, Sudan, etc. So why don’t I also block them?
1. This is not a crusade against every injustice in the world. It is a contribution to the cultural boycott of Israel because of its treatment of Gaza and the Palestinians, as explained previously. That other regimes are also corrupt, racist, and oppressive should not be used as an argument against such a reaction, or to alleviate the burden of guilt of the Israeli regime.
2. Different issues call for different means. I have very few visitors from any of the countries that have been suggested. I have severe doubts that anyone in Somalia would even notice it if they were blocked from a site about Bob Dylan.
3. Quite a few have voiced concern for the many Dylan fans in Israel who are against the current state of affairs and who are now said — erroneously, it should be added — to be deprieved of the opportunity to sing Masters of War in protest against Netanyahu, and quite a few Israeli Dylan fans have called me a hypocritical asshole, but none, as far as I remember, have combined the two: the outcries of injustice towards the good Israeli Dylan fans have come from people who have no interest whatsover in Dylan and his music, not from those who want to use Dylan songs against the regime.
It is my hope that for those unfortunate few, the solidarity with the oppressed will be greater than the inconvenience of being barred from the site, just as it was for the few white anti-apartheid authors in South Africa who because of the boycott were deprieved of the contact with the western culture to which they felt themselves to belong.
Update: I came across this article by Lawrence Davidson, Professor of history at West Chester University, who lines up the arguments for and against a boycott much better than I could ever do.
The comments to this post are being moderated. I will not let through posts with the sole or main purpose (1) to tell me that I’m an idiot (no need to restate the obvious), or (2) to duplicate any of the “facts” in the comments to the previous post.