Frank Barat, Slack Jawed Friend of Hasbarah

Gidon Shaviv over at The Algemeiner really hit the nail on the head when he called pro-BDS, anti-Israel activist Frank Barat “The Forrest Gump of Israeli Advocacy.” You might recall a recent post whereby we embedded a video of an interview Barat had with Finkelstein. In that video, Finkelstein told a dumbstruck Barat that the BDS movement was dishonest – that while it sought to portray itself as agnostic on the question of the State of Israel’s existence, it in reality actively sought its destruction – and that in fact, the BDS movement was a cult, enamored of itself despite it being a complete failure. ” Scratching their heads, BDS activists wondered why Frank had ever posted the interview.” He later took it off of YouTube but it survives on Vimeo.

Barat also interviewed anti-Israel firebrand Chomsky in 2010 where “Chomsky attacked BDS, stating that singling out Israel alone for boycotts is “Hypocrisy to high heaven.” Chomsky then added that “The very people calling for this [Academic Boycotts] are happy to study in Tel Aviv University.” He even equated the boycotts of Israeli universities with “pure antisemitism.””

Shaviv notes Barat’s role as the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine:

In November 2011 the RToP held a session at the Apartheid Museum in Cape Town South Africa, ostensibly to “debate” whether Israel fits the legal definition of an “apartheid state.” The event organizers hoped that by using the historical apartheid setting, they would be able to publicize the false Israel-Apartheid analogy. The RToP exploitation of the loaded apartheid term galvanized former South African justice Richard Goldstone. Goldstone who headed the infamous UN fact finding mission on the Gaza conflict of 2008-9, publicly denounced the analogy, labeling it as slanderous… In South Africa, the reaction was similar. Objective South African media such as “Business Day” editorialized “the comparison with apartheid is a superficial one…Israel does not practice apartheid in the sense of having codified discrimination against groups on the basis of their race or ethnicity. Israeli Arabs, a significant 20% of the population, are fully enfranchised, active participants in the institutions of the robust democracy…” … This total rejection of the analogy by one of Israel’s most prominent critica – and an expert on apartheid – as well as by the South African public, exposed those insisting on its applicability as either shamefully ignorant or maliciously focused on delegitimizing Israel.

Barat is amazing. The Israeli Ministry of Hasbarah couldn’t pay someone to fuck up as royally as he has. He remains a popular speaker for some odd reason, having traveled recently to campuses in Canada and the US to speak at Israel Apartheid Week events. He’s now on my watch list – I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next! He looks so earnest and slack jawed – I’m sure he’s not going to disappoint…

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Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.