The Electronic Intifada / July 5, 2023
It was a stunt designed to smear.
During a concert by Roger Waters in London last month, a small number of audience members unfurled Israeli flags.
The incident was swiftly publicized by some media outlets.
The reports presented Yochy Davis as offended by how the rock star had been donning a Nazi-like uniform in a segment of his recent shows.
The outrage was clearly manufactured.
Israel and its lobbying network have long been irked by how Waters speaks out in defense of Palestinian rights. Dishonestly, they have alleged that his stance is motivated by anti-Semitism.
Objecting to his clearly satirical attire – which he has been using in performances for decades – followed that pattern.
The media outlets eager to promote Yochy Davis did not point out that she is a supporter of the Israeli military.
In a 2019 post on the GoFundMe website, Davis wrote that she was “lucky enough to help” with a UK visit by My Truth that year. The group had visited the Houses of Parliament, she noted, and Davis was collecting money so that “wonderful young volunteers” from the Israeli military could undertake regular trips to Britain.
‘Passionate’ supporter of Israel’s racism
Davis identified herself as a “passionate” adherent of Zionism – Israel’s state ideology. Even though there is voluminous evidence of how Israel’s military commits war crimes, Davis claimed that the force strives to meet “high moral standards.”
The work undertaken by Davis has not gone unnoticed by the Israeli political elite.
In July 2019, Amir Ohana, then Israel’s justice minister, called Davis “one of the UK’s leading grassroots activists.” Ohana is now the speaker in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
In 2015, Yair Lapid – a prominent Israeli politician who has subsequently spent a brief period as prime minister – called My Truth “a Zionist response to radical groups like Breaking the Silence.” Breaking the Silence has been accused of undermining Israel by publishing evidence that its military has committed grave human rights abuses.
Although The Jewish Chronicle did not mention Davis’ lobbying background when reporting on her stunt at the Roger Waters show, the newspaper has previously been less evasive.
In January 2021, The Jewish Chronicle reported that Davis is a “prolific pro-Israel campaigner.”
The article in question quoted Davis defending Donald Trump, whose term as US president was about to end.
Davis was aware, according to the article, that some of the Trump followers who stormed the Capitol that month had worn clothing with slogans advocating violence against Jews. Yet Davis brushed aside that fact by claiming “there are anti-Semites in all sorts of groups.”
Her comment was telling. Davis, who made false allegations of anti-Semitism against Roger Waters, was prepared to overlook the very real anti-Semitism of Trump’s supporters – no doubt because Trump posed as Israel’s staunch ally.
It was not the first time that she appeared to side with extremists or racists.
In 2018, the Knesset passed a law defining Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. By doing so, Israel was confirming that it operates an apartheid system, under which Palestinians are accorded a lower status than Jews.
Among those uneasy with the legislation was Sheila Gewolb, then a vice president with the pro-Israel group the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
When Gewolb expressed concern about some measures in the “nation state” law were “regressive steps,” Yochy Davis set up a petition demanding her resignation.
According to Davis, the Board should never issue statements criticizing Israel unless an overwhelming majority of the organization’s members had endorsed the criticisms first.
In effect, Davis was arguing that nobody should grumble at Israel’s decisions regardless of their consequences.
That she will not brook any opposition to Israel – even as its racism gets more overt – is highly significant. Media outlets happily promoting her smears of Roger Waters have ignored her allegiance to an apartheid state.
Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist