Right wing commentator Chris Trotter has attacked singer Lorde as merely a pawn of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. 

Chris Trotter sings his version of Lorde's 'Royals'.
LAST WEEK THE Israeli Government approved a $US72 million budget to be spent on an international campaign against the Boycott Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Some of that money will undoubtedly find its way to supporters of the Israeli government in New Zealand. But it also appears that some of the Israel's supporters in New Zealand are prepared to do the propaganda work for gratis - people like Chris Trotter for instance.

Although we're barely a week into 2018, Chris Trotter's reactionary politics are again on display in his newspaper column. He's launched an intemperate and dishonest attack on the BDS movement and, along the way, managed to smear singer Lorde as well. I imagine Trotter will be thinking; ah, job well done.

I've never met Lorde but she seems to be an articulate and intelligent young woman, quite capable of thinking through the issues and making decisions for herself. But, demonstrating again what a patronising git he can be, Trotter suggests that she's merely a helpless pawn in the Machiavellian designs of the BDS movement. In another era - perhaps where Trotter still resides - Lorde would be advised not to worry her pretty little head with complicated political stuff and leave it to the wise people (mostly male) who understand this sort of thing - indeed, people like Chris Trotter.

While he refers to the plight of the Palestinian people merely in passing and neglects to hold the Israeli government to account, he has rather a lot to say about the BDS movement. Despite the fact the BDS movement was began as a grassroots campaign by the Palestinian people themselves, he portrays it as mercenary organisation exploiting the "pitiable circumstances" of the Palestinian people for propaganda purposes. He then claims that it is "nothing more than a sophisticated front organisation in the service of Palestinian nationalism."

These are familiar and well-used smears of  Zionists throughout the world, so nothing that Trotter is saying is new. But its worth remembering that what the BDS movement is fighting for is an end of the post-1967 Occupation, full equal rights for Palestinians who are treated as second-class citizens inside Israel, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

It takes someone who is ideologically driven in the service of the Israeli government - as Trotter is - to claim that it is actually "...a war to determine who inherits the Holy Land - Jews or Arabs?'

While the BDS movement can probably have little impact on Israel economically, since that economy is largely based on hi-tech industries and the export of arms, it does continue to train the spotlight on the oppression of the Palestinian people that the Israeli government preferred the world forgot about. And it allows people around the world to join in the fight against that oppression. People like Lorde, for instance.

While Trotter sneers at the BDS's political capabilities, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights has recorded over 200 victories for the BDS movement since 2005 - in the United States alone.

It's the growing strength of the BDS movement that has not only forced the Israeli government to mount a propaganda campaign but to begin to ban activist organisations  from entering Israel. A long list of organisations have now been blacklisted.

Last week over 100 writers, actors, directors and musicians signed an open letter in support of Lorde's decision not to perform in Israel. The signatories include the likes of Peter Gabriel, Ken Loach, Brian Eno, Angela Davis, Roger Waters, Julie Christie and John Cusack.

Unlike Chris Trotter, they don't think Lorde is merely a pawn of the BDS movement. They have come out in solidarity with her - something Chris Trotter is obviously incapable of doing.


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