A blight on the City of Roses
A blight on the City of Roses

The late November sky was gray and murky over Portland, Oregon when hundreds of Israel haters descended upon City Hall with the sole purpose of driving yet another nail into the reputation, honor and survival of the one Jewish state in the world: Israel.

The meeting was held in the city known for its renowned and beautiful rose test gardens, yet for supporters and defenders of Israel very little was coming up roses.

According to a Jewish Federation of Greater Portland survey taken some years ago, the Jewish population numbers some 47,500. Yet from this surprisingly high number of Jewish residents in this Pacific Northwest city barely a handful came to City Hall to defend and support the Jewish state.

In stark contrast, the City Commissioners were assailed with a tsunami of anti-Israel falsehoods so ugly and groundless that they could only have been manufactured in the fevered minds of those consumed by a corrosive and anti-Semitic hatred. 

There is now a great danger to the integrity of the Portland City Council if it succumbs to the mendacious anti-Israel hate fest launched upon it by the notorious BDS movement in collusion with far left church groups and the renegade and morally confused organization calling itself Jewish Voice for Peace: All masquerading as human rights organizations.

Among the many falsehoods leveled against the embattled Jewish state - and the grotesque demonization of it - was the regurgitated myth of Rachel Corrie as a valiant peace activist. She was anything but.
Before the City Commissioners was the demand that Portland, Oregon divest from its investment pool all those companies that have business with the Jewish state, such as Caterpillar.

Among the many falsehoods leveled against the embattled Jewish state - and the grotesque demonization of it - was the regurgitated myth of Rachel Corrie as a valiant peace activist. She was anything but.

At best she was a foolish and indoctrinated useful idiot for Hamas. At worst she was a hater of America and Israel, but that did not stop her relatives from being present and poisoning the meeting with the pernicious myths they have helped weave around her.   

In his article titled, Rachel Corrie Was No Peace Activist, Jonathan S. Tobin wrote a scathing expose of the Rachel Corrie myth, which has so effectively been exploited by BDS, ISM and others to disfigure Israel’s image and delegitimize it.

Tobin also quoted  British journalist Tom Gross who memorably wrote in 2005, “The Forgotten Rachels,” in which he lamented that those promoting the cult of Rachel Corrie never care about the Jewish girls with the same first name who have been slaughtered by the Muslim terrorists the ISM activist herself sought to shield.

Such a divestment resolution targeting only embattled Israel, while not divesting from a host of countries and entities with appalling human rights violations, will inevitable bring opprobrium upon the city of Portland with justified accusations of committing a double standard. 

It will inflict an indelible stain upon Portland’s very honor should the city commissioners vote to embrace the hateful boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. 

It is not by coincidence, however, that Portland shares a lamentable record of extreme left-wing sympathies and actions with the People’s Republic of Berkeley, California. 

Remember the ugly riots and mindless vandalism perpetrated by leftist trolls which broke out in downtown Portland when President elect Trump was declared the winner of the general election? And it is a dismal claim to infamy that Portland State University is now ranked as one of the ten worst centers of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic venom in the nation. 

To quote from a recent article by Phyllis Chesler, let us look at the annual human rights ranking by Freedom House of independent countries having poor and in some cases horrendous human rights records that dwarf any that are falsely attributed to Israel. 

As of 2015, the countries listed were as follows: 

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Panama, Papau New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

And yet, it is only beleaguered Israel that is chosen to be vilified and persecuted by well-funded hate groups and NGOs whose very policies can no longer be separated from the sin of virulent anti-Semitism.

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer, contributing editor with several leading conservative websites and author of the acclaimed trilogy, Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.