Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Attacking Israeli Flag Conveys Hero Status On Some--But Not All

In Egypt, taking down--and burning--the Israeli flag automatically confers hero status:
Ahmad A-Shahat says he 'insisted on climbing on the roof and take down the flag of the Zionist entity because that was one of the goals of the revolution – to depose Mubarak and all his friends, among them the Zionist entity'

"When I went up the steps of the embassy, I thought of the blood of the Egyptian victims," that was how Ahmad A-Shahat described his "act of heroism," which won the support of the masses in Egypt – taking down the Israeli flag from its embassy building in Cairo.

The unknown Egyptian managed to climb on the embassy's roof on Saturday, switch the Israeli flag with the Egyptian one to the cheers of thousands, and then burn the Israeli flag.
A-Shahat may have been an "unknown Egyptian" at the time, but we'll have to see if Andy Warhol's rule applies to the Middle East.

Meanwhile, back in the West, it seems that not everyone who abuses the Israeli flag gets hero status.

An attack on the Israeli flag by a student at St. Andrews in Scotland was recognized as a racist act:
Paul Donnachie, 19, put his hands down his trousers then rubbed them on a flag belonging to Jewish student Chanan Reitblat.

Donnachie also accused Mr Reitblat of being a terrorist during the incident at the halls of residence in March.

The case against his co-accused Samuel Colchester, 20, was found not proven.

Donnachie has been expelled from St Andrews and Mr Colchester has been suspended for one year.
The incident was not just dismissed as or played down, as is likely would have happened even in the US. It was handled in court:
Cupar Sheriff Court had earlier heard evidence from Mr Reitblat, a chemistry student on a one-term exchange from the Jewish Yeshiva University in New York, who said he felt "violated and devastated" by the incident.

...Sheriff Charlie Macnair told Donnachie, a history student and member of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, that he was satisfied he had behaved the way he had towards the Jewish student because Mr Reitblat was a citizen of the State of Israel.

He said: "This flag was his personal property. I consider that your behaviour did evince malice towards Mr Reitblat because of his presumed membership of Israel.

"I'm satisfied that you said Israel was a terrorist state and the flag was a terrorist symbol and I also hold that you said that Mr Reitblat was a terrorist."
Apparently, words and actions really do have consequences in some parts of the world.

For his part, Donnachie was quoted as saying:
This is a ridiculous conviction. I'm a member of anti-racism campaigns, and I am devastated that as someone who was fought against racism I have been tarnished in this way.
That only goes to show you how cheap the price of admittance is to the glorious world of self-proclaimed anti-racist human rights activists. It also demonstrates the kind of behavior that is supposed to be excused by cloaking oneself in the mantle of a defender of 'anti-racism'.

Scotland deserves a lot of credit.

As for Donnachie, maybe Donnachie should himself consider going on a student exchange program?
To Egypt.

Technorati Tag: and .

No comments: