Ari Lesser – Boycott Israel

“We’re not perfect but if you think we’re the worst, first take a look at the rest of the earth,” says rapper Ari Lesser, taking a musical look at countries around the world that have yet to arouse the ire of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions crowd.

‘Boycott Israel,’ says Jewish rapper.

Times of Israel:

Reggae musician Ari Lesser reaches out to college students with a hip anti-BDS message

A political science BA from the University of Oregon, the 27-year-old ba’al tshuva reggae rapper is probably the only musician around capable of undertaking the long hours of research involved in making the extremely informative, catchy six-minute song.

 “Boycott Israel,” sponsored by the pro-Israel campus advocacy group Here Is Israel (with the motto “get HII for Israel”), is a fascinating, rhythmically rhymed exposure of the double standards involved in the global BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) efforts against Israel.

The fledgling organization, actively running since July, is trying to create content to appeal to US college students, says Lesser from his Cleveland home.

“The campus can be a rough place for Jews and Israel, I’ve experienced that first hand. There’s definitely some intense stuff out there.”

Lesser was commissioned by HII to create something that would reach college students and show how to defend against BDS claims.

Lesser decided to focus on showing what he calls “the double standard inherent in the boycott argument.”

In “Boycott Israel” Lesser raps about the obscene human rights failings of dozens of countries, from China to Saudi Arabia to the United States. Accompanying the straightforwardly shocking lyrics are graphic images of horrific events, some ongoing, around the world.

“Big props to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International for going to these countries and doing good reporting. I wouldn’t want to go to a lot of those countries; I’m glad someone else did it for me.”

He’s quick to say that while as a religious Jew he feels a deep connection to the Land of Israel, he doesn’t always agree with what the State of Israel is up to.

“It’s not to say that Israel is always right — I definitely criticize when I disagree — but I don’t think a boycott of the whole country is honest.”

“Really, you see if you’re not willing to boycott every major country — and minor country — in the world, then BDS is anti-Semitism, or anti-Israelism, or whatever.”

With some 40,000 views between Lesser’s YouTube feed and that of Here Is Israel in the past 24 hours, it seems many would agree.

Interview here from Israelly Cool

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10 comments

  1. Sheer brilliance!!!
    Superlatives fail to do it justice.

  2. Leon Poddebsky

    There’s plenty to boycott all the Arab states about, too.
    That would need an entire library, not just one song.

  3. My only problem is that he lists all the human rights abusing countries, asking why the boycotters don’t also boycott them, without pointing out that Israel’s human rights record is at least equal to, if not better than, the human rights records of the most civilised countries in the world. Israel has the most ethical army in the world, the IDF.

    The argument he makes is that there are other countries that are worse than Israel that are not boycotted. What we should be emphasise is just how great Israel is and how it has a great human rights record, much better than many Western countries.

  4. I agree with Ari, but I am disappointed that he let the USA off lightly and he completely omitted the EU block where hypocrisy, prejudice and dhimmitude is the standard fare. I really would like Ari’s take on the latest froggy outrage which resulted in Karsenty being fined because his proof of Enderlin’s lie about Mohammed Dura’s Pallywood demise came about through the admission by the trial judged of all of the TV shots of the supposed killing of a child by the IDF. Really great, when in Europe, you can be fined for defamation, because the truth is inadmissible!

    • Leon Poddebsky

      The animal that is usually associated with mindless herd / flock behaviour is the sheep which is a mild-mannered, gentle, inoffensive creature.
      Well, when it comes to Israel, the Euro-wolf (and other wolves in other parts of the globe) behaves like a mindless sheep intellectually, but instinctively is a cruel, vicious predator in the tradition of his forebears..

  5. Paul and Leon, I too feel that he let especially the EU off lightly, plus of course the UN. Both these bodies are responsible to a large extent for the demonisation of Israel. Europe is so morally corrupt in so many ways that they ignore the rampant anti-Semitism, often posing as anti-Zionism, instead attacking any who dare suggest there is propaganda afoot within Palestinian ranks.

  6. Leon Poddebsky

    Pam, anti-Zionism IS antisemitism, whether it’s pushed by non-Jews, or Jews like Chomsky and Pappe.

    • Leon, couldn’t agree more; there is no difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
      It’s puzzling that Jews would be so self-destructive as to join in with those who want to destroy them.