No, not Obama's. Israeli scientist Ada E. Yonath's.
In case you're not aware, Yonath got the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (shared with Thomas Steitz and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, although you wouldn't learn that from The Jerusalem Post's story) for her work on proteins at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.
This has been exploited by Zionists in a twofold way. First, it has been used as evidence of how great the Jewish State is. Resource-poor and embattled Israel, always on the verge of destruction at the hands of the 250 M Arabs, not to mention the 70 M nuke-seeking Iranians, somehow manages to produce world-class science that improves mankind.
I prefer, however, to see the half-empty glass. Yonath's prize proves what a failure Israel is, at least in the context of its aspiration to be the place where Jews realize their full potential. The award given to her is news because she's Israeli, not because she's Jewish. In fact, of the 105 Nobel prizes in sciences awarded to Jews since Israel was founded, just 3 went to Israelis -- even when Israel concentrates about half of all the world's Jews. It can be confidently said that if all Jews had heeded the call of Zion, Judaism would have much, much less to be proud of. The Diaspora, the despised Diaspora, called by leading Israeli writer A. B. Yehoshua "masturbation, not the real thing," is the place where the Jewish people's foremost creative enterprises have been and continue to be undertaken.
The other way Zionists are trying to exploit Yonath's prize is as a tool to fight the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel) movement. They claim that BDS proponents should boycott all Israeli scientific advances (for instance, those produced at Weizmann), or that they should boycott proteins, and that if they don't they're intellectually dishonest or something like that.
This is very telling of the perception Zionists have of anti-Zionists, unsupported by any document or statement from the latter. In fact, Zionists seem to think that the BDS movement is driven by the belief that all things Israeli (or even all things Jewish) are intrinsically evil and that's the reason they should be boycotted. If this were the case, it would indeed be dishonest to use Israeli science or inventions. But of course, that's not what BDS proponents assert. What they posit is that Israel can be coerced through economic sanctions into dropping their oppression of another people, just like South Africa was during the Apartheid era. They propose to boycott enough of Israel's production to cause a significant damage to its economy; they don't propose that the rest of the world should damage itself by not using technologies already developed by Israel, anymore than the nations that boycotted South Africa proposed that the rest of the world should stop performing heart transplants, a technique developed by a white South African doctor at the height of Apartheid.
In short, a boycott of Israel is proposed not on moral grounds, but on practical ones. This is different from, say, Israel's boycott of Wagner, which is moral (he's boycotted because he was an antisemite, not to achieve a desired political result). Zionists should be happy, not angered, that Israeli scientific advances are not boycotted, because this shows that BDS is not irrational. But it's easier to comfort oneself thinking that the people one doesn't like are simply crazy.
El País (Der Stürmer)
8 years ago