15 December, 2006

John Berger is still alive.

After what seems like a long hiatus, John Berger, who some of us thinks of as the archetypical 1970s lefty poseur, has resurfaced in the Guardian's Comment is Free section with a rallying call in support of a cultural boycott of Israel by academics and jugglers. The boycott is meant as a protest against lethal attacks by Israeli women and children on Hamas and Hezbollah. Or should that be the other way round? Whichever, Mr B seems to be a little worried about being branded a racist, so he explains,

Boycott is not a principle. When it becomes one, it itself risks becoming exclusive and racist. No boycott, in our sense of the term, should be directed against an individual, a people, or a nation as such. A boycott is directed against a policy and the institutions which support that policy either actively or tacitly. Its aim is not to reject, but to bring about change.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is being proposed by various luvvy types, none of whom has registered on my cultural radar.

Now you know. Where is my credit card?

PS: I thought I had better add a biography of the once ultra-fashionable Berger.

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