No surprise Bob Dylan is visiting the ‘neighborhood bully’

You may have seen the recent letter by the Israeli peace and justice group “Boycott From Within” (BfW) asking Bob Dylan to heed the Palestinian call for BDS and therefore not perform in Israel.  The letter follows reports of Dylan’s 2011 summer tour, during which he will perform at Ramat Gan Stadium on June 20th.
 
The BfW letter hits all the right notes and speaks truth.  It asks Dylan ”not to perform in Israel until it respects Palestinian human rights,” explaining that “a performance in Israel, today, is a vote of support for its policies of oppression.”  The letter speaks of ethnic cleansing, land theft, martial law, air strikes, and massacres.  It beseeches the folk legend, who has “been part of a civil rights movement,” to stand with the oppressed against the aggressor.  BfW writes that “BDS is a powerful and united civil initiative in the face of a brutal military occupation and apartheid. It’s a nonviolent alternative to a waning armed struggle and it has reaped many successes and instilled much hope, in the past six years.”
 
Ha’aretz article proudly notes that the Dylan concert will be held “where Leonard Cohen and Elton John recently performed,” and is being promoted by “Marcel Avraham, the promoter who organized the Leonard Cohen and Elton John concerts – as well as the upcoming Justin Bieber concert that will be held over Passover.”
 
So, will Bob Dylan – the man who wrote “Masters of War” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’” in 1963 – heed the call?  Of course not.  Although Dylan would appear to be the perfect political ally, his human and civil rights bona fides have faded over time – to the point of non-existence.  
 
In 1971, Time Magazine reported that Dylan was “returning to is his Jewishness” and “getting into this ethnic Jewish thing.”  A friend of his told the magazine, ”He’s reading all kinds of books on Judaism, books about the Jewish resistance like the Warsaw ghetto. He took a trip to Israel last year that no one was supposed to know about and even, it is rumored, gave a large donation to the Israeli government.” The article continues:
Dylan denied giving money to Israel or to the fanatical Jewish Defense League, but he confesses great admiration for that “Never again” action group and its reckless leader Rabbi Meir Kahane. “He’s a really sincere guy,” says Bob. “He’s really put it all together.”   
Yes, you read that right.  Bob Dylan said Meir Kahane, who favored the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland and whose racist Kach party has since been banned from Israeli politics, is “a really sincere guy” who’s “really put it all together.”

In 1983, twenty years after he sang, “you don’t count the dead” and “you never ask questions, when God’s on your side,” Dylan penned a song in response to the international outrage over the devastating Israeli assault on Lebanon in 1982, which took the lives of nearly 18,000 Lebanese civilians and wounded about 30,000 others.  The song did not mention the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, in which between 800 and 2,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were murdered.  The Israeli Kahan Commission, published in February 1983, found that Israel bore “indirect responsibility” and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon “bears personal responsibility” for the massacre.
 
Rather, Dylan’s song, entitled “Neighborhood Bully” and featured on his Infidels album (which incidentally also contains the songs “Man of Peace” and “License to Kill“), is a bitter and indignant defense of Israel’s actions, an exercise in Zionist mythology, eternal victimization, and bogus “right to self-defense“ hasbara, that sounds like it was written collectively by Alan Dershowitz, Abe Foxman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Anthony Weiner, and Golda Meir.
 
Dylan sings of nameless (though obvious) “neighborhood bully,” labeled such by “his enemies” who “say he’s on their land” and have him “outnumbered about a million to one” with “no place to escape to, no place to run.”  And that’s just the first verse.
 
The hasbara escalates as the song continues.  Dylan sings of exile (“The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land”) and bigotry (“He’s always on trial for just being born”), of lonely survival and attempts at delegitization (“He’s criticized and condemned for being alive”), of the Osirak bombing, of deserts blooming.  The only way to believe how thick the Zionist talking points are laid on is to listen to the whole song, or read the complete lyrics (copied below).
 
Unfortunately for the BDS community and the courageous activists of BfW, Bob Dylan will not be an ally in the fight for justice or international law.  He made his choice decades ago.  It is Dylan who can apparently no longer see “where the people are many and their hands are all empty, where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters, where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison, where the executioner’s face is always well hidden, where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten, where black is the color, where none is the number.”
 
And, although Dylan once claimed that he’d “tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it, and reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,” he has decided to stand with those who aggress and oppress, with those who starve and deprive, with those who surround and fly-over and bomb hospitals and deny, with those who steal land and resources, with those who reinvent and erase history, with those who criminalize memory and prioritize ethnicity and religion.
 
By ignoring the call to boycott and by performing in Israel this summer, Dylan is solidifying his reputation as one who – when it counted most – didn’t stand for morality and humanity.  Dylan once asked, “how many years can some people exist, before they’re allowed to be free?”  It seems that Dylan’s own answer to the Palestinians would be, “A while longer and don’t ask me to help.”  He has become his own rhetorical character: the man who turns his head, pretending he just doesn’t see.
 
So, the questions remain.  ”How many ears must one man have, before he can hear people cry?  How many deaths will it take ’til he knows that too many people have died?”  The answers are no longer simply blowing in the wind, however.  They are in discourse and education, flash mobs and rallies, sit-ins and walk-outs.  The answers are international law and humanitarian justice.  The answer is promoting basic morality and common decency.  The answer is raising public awareness.  The answer is opposing settler-colonialism, military aggression, collective punishment, air strikes and assassinations, drone attacks and white phosphorous, tear gas and torture, ethnic cleansing, diplomatic immunity, war crime impunity, ethnocentrism and supremacism, racism and discrimination, apartheid and occupation.  The answer is BDS.
 
And, as Bob Dylan told us himself, the times they are a-changing’.
 
Sadly, this time around, however, it seems Dylan does need a weatherman to know which way the wind’s blowing.

Neighborhood Bully

Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
His enemies say he’s on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
He’s wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
He’s always on trial for just being born
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him
’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
He’s the neighborhood bully

He got no allies to really speak of
What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love
He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
He’s the neighborhood bully

Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
He’s the neighborhood bully

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He’s the neighborhood bully

What’s anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin’, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He’s the neighborhood bully

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers? Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully

About Nima Shirazi

Nima Shirazi is co-editor of the Iran, Iraq and Turkey pages for the online magazine Muftah. His political analysis can be found on his blog, WideAsleepinAmerica.com, where this post first appeared. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 92 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. eee says:

    Very touching the Bob Dylan words for “Neighborhood Bully”, especially on this blog where people yearn for the kind of Jew who would just accept abuse instead of fight back.

    • eljay says:

      >> … especially on this blog where people yearn for the kind of Jew who would just accept abuse instead of fight back.

      As far as I can tell, people on this blog “yearn for the kind of Jew” who doesn’t actually approve of ethnic cleansing as “necessary” or as a “required” evil, and who doesn’t support or excuse ON-GOING aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder.

      The “kind of Jew” who does not sneer at the thought of elevating universal human rights above tribalism, and who believes in sincere, just and equitable peace, and in egalitarian democracies instead of supremacist states.

      Hateful Zio-supremacists like you – and fraudulent “humanist” Zio-supremacist hypocrites like RW – are not that “kind of Jew.”

      • eee says:

        Yes eljay, all you want are Jews that don’t want a Jewish state. Those kind of Jews are “hateful Zio-supremacists”. You want Jews that understand that Hamas has a right to fire rockets at them. You want Jews that understand that it is ok that Poland stole the real estate of 3-4 million Jews because they didn’t try hard enough to assimilate and therefore were hated for good reason. Got it. Well, keep looking for those Jews and maybe you can organize with them a flash mob at some Best Buy.

        • pjdude says:

          still pushing that lie. poland didn’t steal shit. I’m tired of you blaming poland for what the nazis and soviets did in the country.

        • Kathleen says:

          For decades many of us have noticed how 6 million Jews were murdered during WWII by Hitlers killing machine is mentioned over and over again in our media. But seldom close to never do we hear about the 3 millions Poles, Gypsies and others who were murdered. Almost always only the Jews who were brutally slaughtered. How can anyone explain this or make excuses for this?

          All of the individuals brutally murdered by the Nazis should be acknowledged and counted. Our MSM should make far more of an effort to shed the light on all genocides that have taken place.

        • dubitante says:

          You will also find virtually no mention of the Holodomor.

        • Theo says:

          In addition, 3-4 million soviet PoWs were starved to death by the nazis, however, you never hear about this, although a good number of them were jews, (at least the political commissars)!
          Alltogether around 32 million human beings were killed during that war, yet you only hear about the jews, the jews, the jews!!
          eee, any human life is valuable and none is more precious than the other one, so get off the hasbara tom-tom and get life!

        • eljay says:

          >> eee: Yes eljay, all you want…

          …is justice, accountability, morality, equality and peace. That these five things should bother you and your Zio-supremacist co-collectivists so much is telling.

        • “For decades many of us have noticed how 6 million Jews were murdered during WWII by Hitlers killing machine is mentioned over and over again in our media. But seldom close to never do we hear about the 3 millions Poles, Gypsies and others who were murdered. Almost always only the Jews who were brutally slaughtered. How can anyone explain this or make excuses for this?”

          Well, Kathleen what other explanation is there? The big bad all-powerful Jews just want to hog all of that wonderful suffering for themselves without cutting anyone else in on the deal. Isn’t that just like them?

          Please. I’ve been reading histories of the Holocaust for nearly 25 years (Raul Hilberg, Lucy Davidowicz) and I have found very few that do not mention the other Slavs, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, elderly, mentally ill, and other sorted “life unworthy of life” types that the Nazis had marked down for extermination. If the murder of the Jews is more well known, it is because the Nazis conspicuously identified the Jews as enemy number one above all others, and made their extermination a higher priority than even the winning of the war. How else are we to explain the vigor and the energy that the Nazis were devoting to the task even when they aware they were losing the war?

          There had been mass killings and widespread massacres before, but never before in history had there ever been an instance where the political administrators, doctors, lawyers, scientists, and other assorted bureaucrats of a modern industrial state all harnessed their expertise and all their energies to the annihilation of a single group of people from the face of the earth. The unique enormity of this crime is undeniable.

          This is not a matter of competitive suffering, Kathleen. All who were murdered by the Nazis deserve a place in our collective memory. And they have it.

          Except in the West Bank and Gaza, that is. The PA and Hamas authorities some time ago forbade UNRWA from teaching the Holocaust to Palestinian children. The Holocaust, said Hamas, was “a lie made up by the Zionists.” Said The PA daily Al Hayat:

          “Everyone knows that the story of the Jewish Holocaust is a story about which there is great controversy, and in the heart of Europe—even in the heart of the Jewish communities themselves—there are people who do not accept the Israeli narrative concerning the Holocaust. Why should UNRWA push itself into a subject that for more than 60 years has aroused a great amount of controversy and fabrication…?”

          Al-Quds reported an interview with Nabila Al-Salah, a member of a committee for affirming the “right of return,” who says that “study of the Holocaust in UNRWA schools is disgraceful, and opposed to UNRWA’s educational goals. She noted that study of the Holocaust serves the Zionist narrative at the expense of the refugee issue and the issue of the Palestinian people.”

          Congratulations, Kathleen. It must be deeply gratifying to know that you, Hamas, and the PA are all on the same page on this “too much attention on the Holocaust” business, as you are on so much else.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Well, you do hear about the military victims on Remembrance Days etc. and in the UK there is a still a powerful folk memory of ‘the Blitz’ and its civilian victims.
          There is something especially shocking about civilian victims who were targeted by the exponents of a racist ideology because of the racial status imputed to them.
          Snyder’s recent ‘Bloodlands’ attempts to produce an analogy between the attack on the Jews and other attacks on big groups of people in the Stalin-Hitler era. All of these were ‘racial’ to some extent but I still think there is something unique about the relationship between ideology and massacre in the Jewish case.
          Let us by all means ‘not forget’ this. Provided we also remember that ‘race’ is an unscientific concept in every manifestation, that sufferings do not confer rights, other than to restitution, on victims, still less abrogate the rights of others.

        • annie says:

          The Holocaust, said Hamas, was “a lie made up by the Zionists.”

          do you have a source for this quote?

          robert, anyone following the timeline for this tit for tat between israel and hamas wrt the boths sides preventing eachothers histories taught in school knows the trajectory began w/israel’s initiative to ban the history of the nakba taught in schools the summer of 09 for the upcoming fall curriculum. if you need links for this i can provide them there was a lot of press about it at the time. it’s been covered and linked to many times on this blog by me and others too.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          “The Holocaust, said Hamas, was “a lie made up by the Zionists.”

          do you have a source for this quote?”

          I don’t know how much you can trust this site and I don’t know if the translations from Arabic are reliable. Decide for yourself how much of this is real.

          link to palwatch.org
          link to palwatch.org

        • Annie,

          The quote is from a Reuters article titled “Hamas slams UN over “Holocaust classes” in Gaza,” dated August 30, 2009.

          I was not aware of this thing about not teaching the Nakba. If this is true, it is an inexcusable disgrace.

          Could you provide the links? I would be most interested to read about it.

        • annie says:

          aug 08 Bibi: Schools should teach Ben Gurion, not Nakba

          7/22/09 Education Minister Removes ‘Nakba’ From Curriculum

          Education Minister Gideon Saar has instructed that Arab sector textbooks not teach that the establishment of the State of Israel was a catastrophe for Arabs.

          He said that the order to remove the concept of nakba (“disaster”) from the Arab textbooks followed a thorough investigation of the matter. “This was originally a decision made by the Knesset Education Committee during the term of the previous Knesset,” he said, “and I will remind you that the committee was headed by Labor MK Michael Melchior, such that this position has across-the-board support.”

          The change should take place shortly, Saar told Arutz-7’s Shimon Cohen on Wednesday, implying that it would not happen at the beginning of the coming school year.

          The original decision to teach that
          Israel’s establishment is a catastrophe was made when the Likud party controlled the Education Ministry, under the auspices of former Minister Limor Livnat. However, Saar said, “I spoke to her about it, and it is clear to me that Livnat does not support such a thing… One thing I know is that the Education Ministry is very involved and intricate, and the presiding minister cannot always know about changes made to the curriculum.”

          a little over a month later hamas responded in kind. of course THAT news got widespread coverage.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “There had been mass killings and widespread massacres before, but never before in history had there ever been an instance where the political administrators, doctors, lawyers, scientists, and other assorted bureaucrats of a modern industrial state all harnessed their expertise and all their energies to the annihilation of a single group of people from the face of the earth.”

          I find it interesting that in attempting to disprove their point (however poorly, imo, it was made), you support it.

          These people did not harness their expertise and energies to annihilate “a single group” but to annihilate many groups who were all seen as enemies of, variously, the NSDAP, the German people and the German state. While, clearly, the Jews were unquestionably primary among them, one should not lose sight of the fact they were not alone in being enemies of the Nazis.

        • annie says:

          The quote is from a Reuters article titled “Hamas slams UN over “Holocaust classes” in Gaza,” dated August 30, 2009.

          found it. by Nidal al-Mughrabi (Editing by Erika Solomon and Alastair Macdonald)

          Palestinians resent the way world powers reacted to the Holocaust by supporting the establishment of Israel in 1948, a move that left half the Arab population of then British-ruled Palestine as refugees in Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.

          Hamas said it believed UNRWA was about to start using a text for 13-year-olds that included a chapter on the Holocaust.

          In an open letter to local UNRWA chief John Ging, the movement’s Popular Committees for Refugees said: “We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.”

          ……..

          Hamas’s official spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said he did not want to discuss the history of the Holocaust but said:

          “Regardless of the controversy, we oppose forcing the issue of the so-called Holocaust onto the syllabus, because it aims to reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land.”

          i think it is horrible, this whole business of messing around with history and denying eachothers and instilling this crap in childrens education. i can never quite fathom the idea anyone can actually deny the holocaust took place however holocaust denial is not solely about the denial of it but also includes revising the framing of how it occurred and the outcome. it seems to me (tho i could be wrong) the denial happening here is about the framing, not the event. iow, israel is not denying the nakba happened, they are just denying it was catastrophe for palestinians (“not teach that the establishment of the State of Israel was a catastrophe for Arabs.“) and hamas likely acknowledges the holocaust occurred they object it being used to justify their own ethnic cleansing or accepting any blame (like this more recent push to blame palestinians for the holocaust w/nazi connections) and this hunch of mine can be supported by ( “reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land”). either way the report was edited and it makes me wonder what was edited out and why the letter wasn’t published in full. was the ‘lie invented by the zionists’ the holocaust itself or the way it relates to palestinians?

          either way, the way this whole thing erupted and persisted with adults leaders tit for tatting over the history taught to children is beneath everyone and ridiculous! they should all be ashamed.

        • annie says:

          I don’t know how much you can trust this site

          i don’t even waste my time opening links to sites like that. would you trust a site called ‘jewwatch’? if i linked to one would you chastise me for it or take me seriously? would you consider i was an antisemite for even being familiar with content of a site called ‘jewwatch’?

          sliding in links to racist websites is something i’d wish the mods would prevent. somehow yours slipped thru.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Fair enough. I apologize.

          I didn’t mean to cause offence. There is actually a site called Jewwatch and it’s pretty unpleasant. It was wrong of me not to apply the same standard while searching Google. I appreciate you picking me up on it.

          Still, the point was not that site but the (to my eyes, undoctored) videos from TV of people denying the Holocaust over and again. I’m sure you can find them elsewhere. Again, I know not to trust the translation services of sites like MEMRI, so if someone tells me it’s all a giant misunderstanding, I’ll gladly back down.

          “hamas likely acknowledges the holocaust occurred they object it being used to justify their own ethnic cleansing” I’m sorry, Annie, but there’s just no evidence to back up this “likelihood”. If you have some, I’d love to see it.

          As it stands, I think you have to admit that Hamas has a pretty indefensible attitude towards the Holocaust just as the report above shows Israel has an indefensible attitude to the Nakba. It’s certainly not a taboo subject in my household, just as I hope that the Holocaust is not taboo in Palestinian households.

        • Annie,

          Ugh! I see that it is true! This is utterly reprehensible and about the stupidest, most arrogant thing I’ve ever heard of. Deny the Nabka? They’ve just got to be kidding. Well, they can erase it from a textbook, but not from history. Just goes to show that some right wing wackos in Israel are just as loony as they are over here when they try to remove evolution from the schools. In this, both there and here are aided and abetted by the whole swarm of Christian Fundamentalist preachers who come crawling out of their open sewers and over to Israel and tell the Palestinians to “go home” to Jordan or Syria.

          Disgusting and indefensible.

        • annie says:

          robert, i assume you are aware the knesset has criminalized commemorating nakba day and withdrawing funds from any state institution that does so. or did you miss that news?


          ‘Nakba Bill’ passes Knesset in third reading

          The re-worked version of the law would require the state to fine local authorities and other state-funded bodies for holding events marking Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) Day on Independence Day, supporting armed resistance or racism against Israel, or desecrating the state flag or nation symbols.

          According to the law, any state-funded body that sponsors such an event would be forced to pay three times its sponsorship cost in fines deducted from their operating budget. If the same body violates the law again in the ensuing two years, they will pay a double fine.

        • annie says:

          apology accepted.

          I think you have to admit that Hamas has a pretty indefensible attitude towards the Holocaust just as the report above shows Israel has an indefensible attitude to the Nakba.

          gee GT, you think i have to admit? maybe you were so busy copypasting sections of my 1:38 pm post you missed this part:

          i think it is horrible, this whole business of messing around with history and denying eachothers and instilling this crap in childrens education.

          let’s get one thing clear, i have already demonstrated the initiation and trajectory of this recent denial drama. i think it is ABUNDANTLY clear, or should be to any casual observer of the timeline, portions of text were extracted and the context was completely blanked out of the hasbara effort that flew around the global msm screaming “HAMAS DENIES HOLOCAUST”. given this setting and the fact the original text was edited by 2 (not one) people, i’m going to be highly skeptical of all the allegations.

          i’m not an idiot enough to think any educated leader in israel actually ‘denies’ the nakba took place nor do i think ‘hamas’ doesn’t believe the holocaust happened. that’s my opinion.

        • annie says:

          I’m sorry, Annie, but there’s just no evidence to back up this “likelihood”. If you have some, I’d love to see it.

          oh, i already presented it. to the conceptually challenged:

          Palestinians resent the way world powers reacted to the Holocaust by supporting the establishment of Israel in 1948…..“We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.”

          ask your self, where did the reporter (in the midst of interviewing palestinians and hamas for this article) for come up with this segment about the’ palestinian resentment’ and how does that resentment connect to this story? what specific ‘zionist lie’ is being referenced vs the ‘zionist lie’ being suggested? and furthermore let’s examine the reason the hamas person states for not teaching the holocaust:

          because it aims to reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land

          ask yourself: what exactly might it be about the holocaust that “reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land” hamas thinks is a lie and why doesn’t the reporter use quoted text to explain “the way world powers reacted to the Holocaust by supporting the establishment of Israel in 1948″.

          perhaps it is because the zionist project to take over palestine started WAAAYYYY before the holocaust. maybe the ‘zionist lie’ is not about the fact the holocaust existed but in fact addresses a zionist lie.

          but, to repeat myself..the biggest evidence something is amiss is because there are glaring omissions in the news story and an obvious agenda behind those omissions and the mass distribution of this inflammatory story which is exactly why virtually the same story proceeding this hasbara wrt israel’s education ministry wasn’t even reported at the time in the mainstream press. at all, nothing. so when i encounter glaringly slanted news reports i tend to discount their ‘suggested text’ and look at ways inflammatory statements could be taken out of context.

        • Annie,

          I did miss it. Thank you for telling me. It is just as stupid and offensive as the “remove the Nabka from the textbooks” thing. And just as useless. That anti-semites and others who wish for the destruction of Israel use Holocaust denial towards their objectives is beyond doubt, but if anyone thinks that passing this inane legislation is going to combat that or ignore the events of 1948, they are delusional.

        • RoHa says:

          “But seldom close to never do we hear about the 3 millions Poles, Gypsies and others who were murdered. Almost always only the Jews who were brutally slaughtered.”

          The Gypsies, etc, do not have the industrial grade whining machine of Hollywood behind them. Thus, they find it difficult to run a more inclusive Holocaust Industry. When I was a boy, we heard about the Gypsies as well. They were forgotten sometime around the mid-sixties.

          “All of the individuals brutally murdered by the Nazis should be acknowledged and counted.”

          I believe this is being done in Germany, with the support and encouragement of many German Jews. Even in America, the acknowledgement is beginning to happen, in spite of Dov Hikind.
          link to gawker.com

          But the movies and TV shows keep on rolling out of the factory.

        • Kathleen says:

          You know that it is the truth that on NPR, CNN, Fox, MSNBC CBS, NBC etc etc for decades the only people who died as a direct result to Hitlers killing machine were 6 million Jews. This is what is and has been repeated over and over again leaving the others out.

          All who were murdered should be mentioned. All

    • Mooser says:

      “eee” you wouldn’t know what “fighting back” was if it biffed you a solid one on the beezer.

      And gee, how many times have you advocated for the Palestinians to just take Israeli abuse instead of fighting back. Oops, sorry, forget about the ziocaine amnesia. I have got to learn to be more considerate of disabilities.

      • eee says:

        Mooser,

        Yes, preach to me from Washington State. You know what fighting back means, but Israelis like me that have risked their lives for the security of others, don’t. You are just a coward hiding behind some self-delusional “morality” that has nothing to do with the real world.

        And where did I tell the Palestinians what to do? All I ever said is that if they want a peaceful solution they have to negotiate. No side can force a solution on the other.

        • Kathleen says:

          Illegal settlements continue to grow

        • But Israel has forced a solution on Palestine, it is called the no state, no rights solution, which for Israel is just dandy. And as for negotiations the Palestinians have been negotiating and offering for years, Israel ignores them and always erects new reasons for not doing anything. Peace deals have been on the table for years which Israel won’t even look at. And in the meantime the continual theft, dispossession and casual violence goes on. And then people like you lie your heads off about it, in order to keep your nice comfy life, subsidised to the hilt by American taxpayers who do not have many of the benefits you grant yourselves on the backs of others.

        • James says:

          “”No side can force a solution on the other.”” sure looks like that is what israel has been engaged in these many years…

  2. Mooser says:

    Always wear a helmet on a motorcycle. Helmets are also lighter, much more comfortable, “fly” through the wind better, and are much better at protecting your head than they were in the late sixties. In fact, today’s helmets, apart from the safety, add to , not detract from, the pleasure of riding a motorcycle.

    • If it were not for John Wesley Harding which came out after the accident, I would agree with you.

      • Mooser says:

        “If it were not for John Wesley Harding which came out after the accident, I would agree with you.”

        I don’t care who the hell this “John Wesley Harding” character is but if he is trying to claim that motorcycle helmets aren’t whole magnitudes better than they were during the late sixties, he’s crazy.

        • eGuard says:

          This John W — Harding is claiming a lot. More land, as we speak, while wearing a helmet. You better get to know that guy.

        • Mooser, if you really don’t know–John Wesley Harding was the first album Dylan released in 1968 after his motorcycle accident. After JWH , in the opinions of many his music went straight downhill.

          Some actually tried to connect the accident with possible brain injury resulting in creative loss. Most however pointed to John Wesley Harding–a great album where he first sang his tune, “All Along the Watchtower”–as proof that the accident didn’t play a role.

          I think he just dried up.

        • @eGuard

          You don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.

          I guess you’d have to be around 60 at least to get the cultural reference.

        • Chu says:

          Bob Dylan may have realized that his music rang hollow to his own ears after the 60′s. You start out with lofty ideals, and then reality sets in. Follow the herd and all that. But Kahane? I guess he could say Arlo was doing it.

          A friend of mine in the early 1990′s said he saw him in concert in Massachusetts and he was so drunk, he didn’t complete 3 songs.
          He fell asleep on stage. It sounded like BS, but who knows. All I know is that his songs are completely incomprehensible today.
          He comes out on stage and makes some strange white-man grunt/squeal noises that make no sense. And the strength of his
          act, I would think, were the lyrics.

  3. Debonnaire says:

    This may not work but myself and two celebrated musicians who are longtime personal friends of Dylan (and friends of mine) are working on him. Dylan has a reflexive disdain for “The (feckless) Left” and this Israel trip may be part of his moral ambivalence. But, Dylan’s a listener, and you never know.

    • Mooser says:

      Bob Dylan disdains fecklessness? If you hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have believed it. That Dylan ended up gruntled was only to be expected, and God knows he deserves it.

    • LeaNder says:

      I was really disappointed when I went to one of his concerts a couple of years ago. Maybe it was the place, bad acoustics, the audience. No idea. I’ve read a really raving review about an earlier concert of the same tour in Frankfurt and invited a friend to the closest next tour stop.

      Everything was disappointing, the songs he played, the musicians. It felt they had re-hearsed twice and then gone on tour. Many times they were completely out of sync. The songs, I don’t know, featureless.

      Maybe the concerts weren’t sold out and the review was marketing.

  4. eGuard says:

    Also, as Obama knows: change is a timing.

  5. Wow, it is amazing how tribal affiliations can cloud judgements that should be informed by basic humanity. I guess it is good I was never a fan of his, it would have been very difficult to continue to listen and enjoy his songs knowing this.

  6. lysias says:

    Bob Dylan’s Sad China Concert Double Standard:

    For aging baby boomers, who scooped up Dylan’s vinyl albums and plastered their walls with his posters, news that Dylan did not include his signature protest songs, “Blowing in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’” in his concert in Beijing, so as not to antagonize his government hosts, was nothing short of a Wizard of Oz moment. Like the corporate leaders that preceded him, Dylan appears to apply one standard when it comes to human dignity at home, and another while traveling abroad, especially when those who most routinely violate basic standards of human rights line his pockets.

    Dylan’s China tour coincides with the most brutal government crackdown on dissidents since the massacre it unleashed against youthful protesters in Tiananmen Square 22 years ago.

    In an act of rebellion, Bob Dylan lets the Chinese censor his concert.

    Dylan Concert in Vietnam Draws Modest Crowd:

    In concert appearances in Shanghai last week, the singer’s set list had to be vetted by Chinese government officials. The similarly communist Vietnam has strict controls over which musical acts are allowed to perform, and Western acts are not frequently permitted.

    In Sunday’s concert, despite the absence of a set list screening this time around, Dylan stayed away from some of his most confrontational and iconic songs such as Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin’.

  7. GuiltyFeat says:

    Perhaps Dylan met Kahane when he was a young rabbinical student in the US. Kahane taught Woody Guthrie’s son, Arlo before his barmitzvah and Dylan was a friend and admirer of Woody Guthrie.

    • Mooser says:

      Wow, Guilty Feat, I didn’t know you had in for Bob Dylan that much. You must really despise him to make up something like that.

      • GuiltyFeat says:

        Check your facts before you accuse someone of lying, Mr. Mooser.

        Kahane taught Arlo Guthrie. It’s well documented.

        • annie says:

          taught him what? links?

        • NimaShirazi says:

          According to this December 4, 2004 piece from the Jewish Journal, entitled “A Jewish Visit to Guthrie’s Land,” Arlo did indeed study with Kahane before his bar mitzvah. The article, written by Tom Tugend, states,

          In preparation for Guthrie’s “Hootenanny Bar Mitzvah,” his parents hired a “sweet young rabbi” as a tutor, Guthrie told The Journal during a phone interview. The rabbi’s name was Meir Kahane, who went on to become the extremist founder of the Jewish Defense League and the Kach political party.

          “Rabbi Kahane was a really nice, patient teacher, but shortly after he gave me my lessons, he started going haywire. Maybe I was responsible,” Guthrie said with a laugh.

          That would probably have been sometime in 1960 (considering Arlo was born in mid-1947). Dylan first met Woody Guthrie in 1961, while Guthrie was hospitalized (which he was for most of the time from 1954 until his death 11 years later). Because Dylan appeared to have been “returning to his Jewishness” and admiring Kahane in the late 1960′s or early 1970′s, it is unlikely (in my opinion) that the initial connection was made through Guthrie, who died in October 1967 from Huntington’s disease.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          I first read about it in Aaron Lansky’s excellent book Outwitting History, but here are a couple of links. I don’t know why this would upset anyone so much. Even an aggressively racist nut like Kahane had to earn money giving barmitzvah lessons once upon a time. No biggie. I just think it’s a great WTF anecdote.

          link to jewishjournal.com
          link to news.muckety.com
          link to berkshirelivingmag.com

          Annie, Mooser, was it really easier to fire off accusatory posts to me than Google it yourselves?

        • Kathleen says:

          I have a funny story about Arlo Guthrie. My oldest (34) daughter attended Oberlin college. While she was there Arlo came to play in Finney chapel on Oberlins campus. Think that was the name of the chapel. Anyway my youngest daughter at the time was 9 years old. She had a friend with her during our visit to Oberlin who was also 9. They had both fallen asleep and had their heads on my lap. Corrie my daughters friend woke up in a deep daze during the concert and said rather loudly “what is wrong with that guy, his voice is awful. Why do you like him”

          We started laughing and so did the folks in ear shot. So interesting and often refreshing to hear about things from a child’s point of view or ears

  8. eGuard says:

    For sure, Nima Shirazi, the best and most devastating post I read here.

    When I started being a bobbo, he was not even jewish, afaiknew.

    Last week ‘The Times’ (from London) was very upset His Bobness did not mention a prisoner (recently captioned, human rights related) during a concert in China.

  9. Miura says:

    …he confesses great admiration for that “Never again” action group and its reckless leader Rabbi Meir Kahane. “He’s a really sincere guy,” says Bob. “He’s really put it all together.”

    Rabbi Meir Kahane’s “sincere” message struck a chord among some standard bearers of the ‘Decent Left’ as well, even as they eschewed his “reckless” rhetoric:

    The results have often been extraordinarily disturbing, but not, apparently, to him; here and there a disquiet will briefly disturb his style, but all in all Walzer is at ease with himself and always has been been. In 1972, for example, he argued that in every state there will be groups ‘marginal to the nation’ which should be ‘helped to leave’. Saying that he had Israel and the Palestinians in mind, he nevertheless conducted this discussion (that coolly anticipates by a decade Kahane’s bloody cries of ‘they must go’) in the broadly sunny and progressive perspectives of liberalism, independence, freedom from oppression.

  10. That’s a really sad story. All of it.

  11. ToivoS says:

    Perhaps you remember the extreme racist Shockley (Nobel prize in physics for inventing the transistor). Lifelong friends of his said his personality and politics changed after suffering a severe concussion from a car accident in the late 1950s.

    Racism and Zionism as organic brain disease? Could be.

  12. tinywriting says:

    Oh! I see! ‘The neighborhood bully’ is ISRAEL! Now I understand the criticism. I thought Bob was singing about the Palestinians! My bad.

    Joan Baez said that she didn’t understand Bob all that well but ‘I know what he gave us.’ She’s right; Bob gave that to all of us; and just because HE’S changed the rest of us old enough to remember still carry his gift.

  13. Regarding Dylan and Kahane- Kahane was never a peacenik but his emphasis in 1971 was freeing Soviet Jews (by any means necessary, including bombing the offices of Sol Hurok and killing an innocent secretary) rather than policies regarding the Palestinians. It was only when he was invited to leave the United States that he moved to Israel and changed his emphasis towards asking the Palestinians to leave Israel and the occupied territories.

    Regarding Dylan’s post motorcycle accident songs- “All Along the Watchtower” “Tangled up in Blue” “Hurricane” and “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” all came after his motorcycle accident.

    • ToivoS says:

      Regarding Dylan’s post motorcycle accident songs- “All Along the Watchtower”

      WJ the post above references those watchtower snipers shooting at Palestinians in Gaza. Is that what Dylan was anticipating? His lyrics can be so opaque, but that would be really prescient.

    • tree says:

      It was only when he was invited to leave the United States that he moved to Israel and changed his emphasis towards asking the Palestinians to leave Israel and the occupied territories.

      Wow, what a whitewash of Kahane’s views and actions!

      • ToivoS says:

        Do not forget that freeing those 1.5 million Russian Jews that moved to Israel are now Lieberman’s electoral base. Not to mention that there were another 150 million Russians that lived under the same oppressive regime. Kanhane (and Sharansky) knew what they were doing.

  14. Nima,
    Dylan got sick of leftists telling what to think. He thinks for himself, like it or not.

    • NimaShirazi says:

      Richard,

      Supporting ethnic cleansing and aggressive militarism, relying on eternal victimization despite having a nuclear arsenal and the unconditional backing of a superpower, and the ongoing oppression and dehumanization of an indigenous people who live as second-class citizens, occupied prisoners, or long-suffering refugees is not really a “like it or not” proposition.

      No, I don’t like it. Neither should you. No one should.

      Your mindless equivocation and endless justification of Israeli domination over Palestine is appalling. Your smug self-satisfaction is doubly grotesque. Anyone, like yourself, who simply dismisses an ongoing injustice as a fait accompli and with a shrug of his shoulders – as you so often do – dooms his opinions to absurdity and irrelevance. You have certainly proven this to be true time and again.

      I’d say you should be ashamed of yourself if I thought for a moment that you’re capable of self-reflection. Which I don’t. So I won’t.

      Cheers.

      • LeaNder says:

        Nimra, thanks for this article. It was very interesting. Obviously Dylan often was sick of left crowds. There were always rumors about him, about investing in the military industrial complex, about demanding a high fee for his performance in a charity concert in which all the other stars played for free. I have never been too interested in finding out the origins of these rumors.

        But concerning: Schoolyard Bully. Admittedly I can’t get one possible literary connection out of my mind. Is the “Schoolyard Bully” image really something we should expect in the context of the I/P conflict? Anyway, the title reminds me of Norman Podhoretz’ My negro problem, and ours, Commentary, 1963. Here as a pdf.file. Does/did Dylan read Commentary. I could imagine he did.

        • LeaNder says:

          I made a mistake, above. the essay is mainly about the black neighborhood bullies, e.g. Quentin’:

          I had seen Quentin’s face-a very dark, very cruel, very Oriental-looking face–harden, and there had been enough threat in his eyes to make me run all the way home for fear that he might catch me outside.

          When earlier a black friend calls him a Christ murderer, mother tells him:

          I ran home to my mother crying for an explanation, she told me not to pay any attention to such foolishness, and then in Yiddish cursed the goyim and the schwartzes, and the schwartzes and the goyim. Carl, it turned out was a schwartze and so was added a third to the categories into which people were mysteriously divided.

          Israel turns the leave in the book of times. The hunted turn into a hunters, the weak and persecuted into the persecutor: The Neighborhood bully.

      • Nima,
        The reason that Israel exists and thrives, is exactly the opposite of what you characterize.

        That is the society chose to NOT be victims, and they started with themselves, their own thinking and their responsibility to create a society of law and energy.

        The reason that the theme “Israel is under attack” is expressed frequently, is because it has been true to this day. YOU do it for example.

        You can say, “I don’t use rocket launchers, I only talk.” Jabotinsky only talked.

        What self-reflection would you recommend? What do you think that I should consider?

        Do you firmly accept the existence of Israel? Or, do you advocate for regime change in any way (beyond through election)?

        Your insistence that he be something that he’s not is an oppression. The idea of boycotting is not something that you can morally impose. Even the condemnation that you throw around is abusive to people.

        An example on the flip side is the insistence that no criticism of Israel’s policies be expressed, or the person will be condemned and isolated. BOTH are irrational and inhumane forms of intellectual endeavor.

        The same thing happened during the South African boycott. Those that thought of themselves as vanguard very willingly and personally abused those that thought more independantly than to just adopt the boycott as dictated.

        • Somebody disappear?

        • NimaShirazi says:

          Hahaha – oh sorry, Richard, were you expecting me to respond to your nonsense?

          Maybe I’ll address your silly questions later, if I decide to waste a few minutes of my time. We’ll see.

        • Respectful and intelligent response Nima.

          Nothing to learn from Israel on your end? Say, the development of a viable state, a democracy?

          Through the path of disrespect, the most that you will achieve is victory. Justice takes listening more than telling.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Nothing to learn from Israel on your end? Say, the development of a viable state, a democracy?

          See? All you have to do is set a few car bombs, lynch a few British soldiers, raze about five hundred villages, expel by force about half of the existing population to create an artificial ethnic majority and — voila! — Witty-style democracy! (From the same makers of Iraq and Afghanistan! Coming soon to an Arab-speaking nation near you!)

        • NimaShirazi says:

          What could I possibly learn from Israel, Richard?

          I have no interest in forcibly dispossessing, displacing, and disenfranchising a native population at gunpoint all the while claiming some imagined moral high ground based on ethnosupremacism and entitlement.

          I have no interest in collectively punishing imprisoned and deprived refugees, forced to survive under siege and resist constant assault in their own homeland. I have no interest in justifying institutionalized racism and discrimination or granting more rights to one ethno-religious group (a large majority of whom are descendants of recent immigrants or immigrants themselves) than another (majority indigenous) group. I have no interest in military occupation or righteous justification for continued colonization and land theft.

          I have no interest in a false claim of democracy – one born of ethnic cleansing and murder wherein the remaining native population lived under martial law for almost twenty years before being relegated to second-class citizenry and the rest of the native population was soon thereafter occupied, thereby preventing all from exercising their universal right of self-determination.

          (It should be noted that voting rights alone do not a democracy make. During the nearly two decades of Israeli martial law over Palestinian communities, those Palestinians held voting rights, but could not move freely out of their militarily-controlled communities – does this mean they were living in a “democracy”? Clearly not. To this day, despite Palestinians within the Green Line accounting for 20% of the total population of Israel and there being a few Palestinian political parties, no Palestinian party has ever been part of the government, nor held any actual position of power.)

          I have no interest in a state whose very existence relies on one group of people being regarded as superior or more deserving of rights, resources, and sovereignty than another, let alone a native population that has been (and continues to be) dominated and oppressed.

          I have no interest in a state which refuses to establish internationally recognized borders and illegally claims to annex more and more land for its own. I have no interest in a state without a form of government that receives its authority and legitimacy from the manifest consent of those it governs. Israel has neither. The laws proscribed and practiced by Israel are not blind and do not protect all those governed by those laws equally and without bias. To argue as such would be to willfully lie.

          I have no interest in loyalty oaths that affirm Jewish supremacy or in establishing separate citizenship status for Jewish and non-Jewish Israelis. I have no interest in real estate laws which discriminate against one portion of the population. (About 93% of pre-1967 Israel is deemed the “inalienable property of the Jewish people” and the rights of residency, business ownership, and often even employment is explicitly denied to all non-Jews solely because they are not Jewish.) I have no interest in a state wherein interfaith marriage is prohibited or where tax benefits discriminate against Palestinian communities. I have no interest in a state in which Palestinian men are convicted of rape for “claiming to be Jewish” and having sex with Jewish women. I have no interest in a state in which centuries-old cemeteries are desecrated and destroyed as a way to erase history.

          That kind of state, Richard, is certainly not “viable.” Nor is it just. Or sustainable.

          To support a “Jewish democracy” is to support no democracy at all, only ethno-religious privilege, segregation, and selective rights.

          So, wait, what else could I be learning from Israel?

          (NOTE: If I happen not to respond to your next comment, if there is one, I assure you it is not because you have confounded me into silence or converted me into an ethnic cleansing and apartheid apologist like yourself. It is actually because I have grown tired of your sad equivocation and irritating commentary and feel no need to reply with additional reasons why I find you ignorant, offensive, and annoying. Those I have already listed will suffice. I have no doubt you will try to goad me into continuing this fruitless dialogue and can only hope that I have the willpower to resist stooping to your level of discourse.

          One more thing, Richard: If you believe Israel should become a nation with permanent and recognized borders, a democratic constitution, guaranteed equal rights to all its citizens, without any discriminatory or preferential laws and policies, and finally respect its obligations under international and humanitarian law, then we are not adversaries. We would be in agreement. If not, however, I fear we have nothing more to write to each other.

          Oh, before you start crying out about equivalency, and begin saying these things should be applied as well to all countries on Earth, especially those in the Middle East, great, I also agree. But Israel is no exception. Israel should not be above the law or exempt from international treaties. Again, if you agree, then we have reached consensus.

          If not, then I fear we have nothing more to talk about.)

        • eljay says:

          >> Through the path of disrespect, the most that you will achieve is victory. Justice takes listening more than telling.

          But you don’t believe in justice. You’re a Zio-supremacist hypocrite who believes that:
          - the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was not immoral or unjust, but “necessary”;
          - tribalism trumps universal human rights;
          - Israel should be a supremacist “Jewish state” rather than a secular, democratic and egalitarian state;
          - instead of holding the criminal accountable for his transgressions, both criminal and victim alike should simply “look to the future” and “make ‘better wheels’”; and
          - Israel is entitled to “belligerent reprisals” even if it “started it” (while the Palestinians are denied such entitlements).

        • More misrepresentation of my views.

        • “One more thing, Richard: If you believe Israel should become a nation with permanent and recognized borders, a democratic constitution, guaranteed equal rights to all its citizens, without any discriminatory or preferential laws and policies, and finally respect its obligations under international and humanitarian law, then we are not adversaries. We would be in agreement. If not, however, I fear we have nothing more to write to each other.”

          Read my blog.

          I consistently advocate for the green line as border (with the one exception of retaining the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem). I consistently advocate for reform of the application of Israel’s basic laws (its Constitution), to apply its assertion of equal due process under the law to all citizens consistently and fully (its a long way there, with many exceptions). And, I’ve asserted the right of those born in Israel to reside in Israel as citizens, and for compensation for all takings of land in 1948 and subsequently.

          But, I do not adopt the rhetoric, nor the emotion of hatred towards Israelis, towards Zionists, towards sympathizers with Zionists.

          I do not adopt the language or sentiment of solidarity, nor the rationalization that ‘by any means necessary is legal or just in the effort for resistance to occupation’.

          From Israel, you have the opportunity to learn of:

          1. The transition from dispossessed, genocided people to self-assertion, to dignity, and yes, to humanity.

          2. The transition in social institutions from none to organized with peaceful transition between governments, including acknowledgment of agreements made by predecessors.

          3. The incorporation of amazing scales of self-restraint relative to the gross and permanent animosities of their neighbors, the willingness to make peace with those willing and capable of making peace themselves.

          You have not answered the critical question of your willingness to conditionally acknowledge and fully accept the self-governance of the Israeli people (currently vast majority Jewish).

          One assertion that you have wrong is the possibility of non-Jews in prominent leadership government roles in Israel. There are non-Jewish members of the Israeli Supreme Court for example.

          For there to be peace, YOU (Nima Shirazi) have to substantively turn to willingness to, which means that you approach others that differ with your views as human beings, listened to, communicated to, accepted.

          The test of “not wanting to be part of group that suppresses” is not tested in your language. In the SAME language of not wanting to be suppressed as Zionists use, you describe the likely prospect of pendulum swings to violence and denial of full civil rights to Jews.

          STAND for civil and human rights, not as a rationalization, not as an after thought to appear philosophically consistent.

          Your anger overpowers your convictions for democracy currently.

        • dubitante says:

          “1. The transition from dispossessed, genocided people to self-assertion, to dignity, and yes, to humanity.”

          Wasn’t the transition from dispossessed to dispossessor? From righteous victim to immoral perpetrator?

          There are many lessons to draw from Israel. That isn’t one of them.

        • eljay says:

          >> More misrepresentation of my views.

          There you go “Rohrshach”-ing again…

        • alec says:

          Witty, you are regularly documented doing and saying all of those things. Those quote symbols are there for a reason.

          They’re your own words!

      • Chu says:

        Dont waste your time, Nima. Richard is an incapable barnacle. He’s an incompetent writer who stands up for Dylan because they’re of the same mind. They both pretend to be sincere peaceniks, but that only applies to their American goyim audiences.
        But don’t listen to me, just try to dissect his bland word salad. When I read his explanations, every sentence turns into a mud-like silt. So barnacle is the wrong word, since they filter the water and clarify the environment around them.

    • Kathleen says:

      Always been driven by the money…that is Dylan…period. Tell me something that he has done for justice that he did not profit from economically

  15. RE: Bob Dylan said Meir Kahane…is “a really sincere guy” who’s “really put it all together.” ~ Shirazi

    MY COMMENT: That is quite a testament to the power of Ziocaine®!

  16. Jim Haygood says:

    When Bob Dylan was playing in Sao Paolo three years ago, a young woman rushed the stage during his encore. His 35-word reaction, after she was ushered away, was the first time he had spoken during a two-hour show.

    link to littlegreenfootballs.com

    I would find it profoundly offensive for a musician in the folk/rock genre, where acknowledging and interacting with the audience is the norm, to just silently segue from song to song.

    While I can’t presume to know what he’s thinking, Dylan’s silent treatment seems to say, ‘At my stratospheric level of stardom, I don’t have to indulge in between-songs patter. So I can’t be fricking bothered.’

    This is not to diminish Dylan’s musical talent in any way. Infidels (1983) is a fine album, one of his best, except for the clunky and amateurish Neighborhood Bully quoted above. But I certainly would not pay premium ticket prices to attend a live concert by a performer who won’t even speak to his fans. That’s just rude and contemptuous.

    Why pay to be abused? Wake up, Tel Aviv. Save your shekels for someone who cares.

  17. -
    well my friend

    there are very few choices in life
    that really might affect all of us

    we’re all pissed at you – ’cause
    you could make a difference

    you still can

    it’s the easiest thing in the world
    you listen to your own true heart

    i know you will make the right decision
    it could mean more than all you’ve ever done
    -
    and yes
    we’ve looked
    each-other
    in the eye
    est

  18. dubitante says:

    I just find it hard to be critical of artists who choose to ignore BDS and perform in Israel, as long as it is *Israel* in which they perform, not the “other” Israel which exists in Palestine.

    We’re asking Dylan to boycott Israel until Israel stops its mass human rights violations against the Palestinians. It sounds a solid thing to be doing on the face of it, but it’s a hard thing to do without indulging in hypocrisy.

    The US for example, is a far bigger human rights violator than Israel. Should Dylan boycott the US too?

    And of those of you who criticise him, are you *sure* you’re not currently benefiting from Israel products, services or technologies?

    • Chu says:

      great website tim.

    • seth says:

      “The US for example, is a far bigger human rights violator than Israel. Should Dylan boycott the US too?”

      Yes, this is one of the problems with campaigning in the U.S. for a cultural boycott of Israel. It’s hypocritical and an awful organizing tool, precisely because it’s so hypocritical. The focus in the US should be on crucial U.S. support for joint US/Israeli violations of international law and human rights violations. There is no good response to these issues by those who support such crimes, which is why they love to divert attention to the academic and cultural boycott, for which there are real issues. Yes, Palestinians and others call for such a boycott. It’s still a horrible strategy in the U.S. , and it is a gift to the rightwing, as Chomsky has quite properly said.

      As far as Dylan, some of these are the silliest comments since the stupid Maureen Dowd column about Dylan in China. Dylan will never again have a period like 1961-1968 (and yes, it includes the Basement Tapes and John Wesley Harding, both post-accident), but he has put out enough great stuff since then to easily justify being called one of the greatest singers and songwriters in the country’s history. The reference to Kahane and Arlo Guthrie is correct. There is more on Dylan and the JDL in the Anthony Scaduto bio, which I don’t have on hand, but if I remember right Dylan changed his tune on that.

      Neighborhood Bully is a truly horrible song, but I am glad at least he has never performed it in concert, including his two previous trips to Israel.

      • dubitante says:

        “The focus in the US should be on crucial U.S. support for joint US/Israeli violations of international law and human rights violations.”

        Absolutely.

        Take the military aid to Israel for example, which is really just a way to transfer $3bn per year of tax-payer money from the public purse into the hands of the super-rich arms manufacturers. Completely illegal under US and international law. A grass roots campaign in the US should be focusing on getting the US to observe its own laws in this respect. That alone would have both an enormous political impact, as well as a very real tangible impact on the conflict.

  19. Kathleen says:

    “By ignoring the call to boycott and by performing in Israel this summer, Dylan is solidifying his reputation as one who – when it counted most – didn’t stand for morality and humanity.”

    Unless I do not know about something that Dylan has done in his personal life like give millions to some oppressed group etc I have never ever known what people saw in Dylan. Even back in the 60′s, 70′s. I kept asking what is this guy doing besides writing poems and making millions?

    Really I ask this sincerely what has Dylan ever really done for justice in action? Songs, words are great but he has personally profited big time from his words. Please someone tell me what he has done other than make millions?

  20. Chu says:

    Neighborhood Bully should be played at the next AIPAC conference right before Netanyahu gets up to speak. Kind of like Eye of the Tiger is played, before Rocky gets into the ring.

  21. Theo says:

    Bob Dylan, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, just to name a few….

    They all were once liberals and wanted to change this corrupt world!
    However, power and money corrupts and they gave up their ideals for the golden calf and the power.
    Even most of the bloodiest despots started off with a liberal mind, Stalin and Castro had other ideas than they produced later, but that money and power got in the way.

    To be honest, we must ask ourselves, what would we do for a million dollars? How about 10 million or even hundred?

  22. Kathleen says:

    Dylans contracts with big money started early.

    link to en.wikipedia.org
    From February 1961, Dylan played at various clubs around Greenwich Village. In September, he gained some public recognition when Robert Shelton wrote a positive review in The New York Times of a show at Gerde’s Folk City.[34] The same month Dylan played harmonica on folk singer Carolyn Hester’s eponymous third album, which brought his talents to the attention of the album’s producer John Hammond.[35] Hammond signed Dylan to Columbia Records in October. The performances on his first Columbia album, Bob Dylan (1962), consisted of familiar folk, blues and gospel material combined with two original compositions. The album made little impact, selling only 5,000 copies in its first year, just enough to break even.[36] Within Columbia Records, some referred to the singer as “Hammond’s Folly” and suggested dropping his contract. Hammond defended Dylan vigorously. While working for Columbia, Dylan also recorded several songs under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt,[37] for Broadside Magazine, a folk music magazine and record label.[38] Dylan used the pseudonym Bob Landy to record as a piano player on the 1964 anthology album, The Blues Project, issued by Elektra Records.[37] Under the pseudonym Tedham Porterhouse, Dylan contributed harmonica to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s 1964 album Jack Elliott.[37]
    Dylan is seated, singing and playing guitar. Seated to his right is a woman gazing upwards and singing with him.
    With Joan Baez during the civil rights “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”, August 28, 1963

    Dylan made two important career moves in August 1962. He legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, and signed a management contract with Albert Grossman. Grossman remained Dylan’s manager until 1970, and was notable both for his sometimes confrontational personality, and for the fiercely protective loyalty he displayed towards his principal client.[39] Dylan subsequently said of Grossman, “He was kind of like a Colonel Tom Parker figure … you could smell him coming.”[26] Tensions between Grossman and John Hammond led to Hammond being replaced as the producer of Dylan’s second album by the young African American jazz producer Tom Wilson.[40]

  23. kapok says:

    Like a Rolling Stone, Dear Landlord, great tunes. But it’s immaterial: bad people often produce great art. And most well-meaning, kind, considerate, patient, personable artists make dreck.

  24. yourstruly says:

    The fact that the racist entity rejoices so whenever a celebrity from the west agrees to perform there reveals just how precarious the jewish settler’s sense of self-worth.