Skip to content

BDS: Israel

March 31, 2010

I’m not entirely sure that all the aims of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions will lead to any positive solutions for Palestinians, but it’s sure as hell true that talking has no impact – any mention of Palestine in any media outlet immediately leads to accusations of anti-semitism which then derails any possible sensible debate into claim and counter-claim which leads to this.  These accusations of anti-semitism are effective in silencing legitimate criticism of Israeli state repression and violence but is a very dangerous tatic to use – what is the purpose of devaluing the term ‘anti-semitism’ to defend apartheid?

Via BDS Day of Action – March 30, 2010

The BNC [BDS National Committee] asks you to focus your 30 March BDS actions on:

1. Boycotting and divesting from Israeli and international corporations that sustain Israel’s apartheid, colonialism and occupation;

2. Taking legal action towards ending Israel’s impunity, including by investigating and prosecuting suspected Israeli  war criminals in  national courts and international tribunals;

3. Promoting and applying pressure to implement arms embargoes against Israel as well as a freeze or cancellation of free trade and other preferential agreements with it,  as a crucial  and urgent step towards full- fledged sanctions against Israel;

4. Launching academic, cultural and sports boycott actions against Israel and its complicit institutions.  More

For more information see:

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lucy permalink
    April 1, 2010 17:45

    Is there a replacement word? ‘Delegitimisation’ is the ‘new buzzword in the world of pro-Israel activism’ according to Nathan Guttman writing in the ‘Jewish Daily Forward’. The sub-heading to the article is ‘Targets See New Push as Effort To Discredit Legitimate Criticism’
    The views of Tony Judt, historian, author of ‘Post War Europe’ and critic of Israel, are highlighted in the article for his calling the de-legitimisation issue a fraud.: “I know no one in the professional world of political commentary, however angry about Israel’s behavior, who thinks that the country has no right to exist…. ‘De-legitimization’ is just another way to invoke antisemitism as a silencer, but sounds better because [it’s] less exploitative of emotional pain.”

    The article states that Judt believes that it is right to hold Israel to a higher standard – against the criticisms often made that Israel is singled out. Judt writes: “People will say, ‘Why are we picking on Israel? What about Libya, Yemen? Burma? China?’” [ March 25 issue of the London Review of Books]. “Fine. [But] Israel describes itself as a democracy, and so it should be compared with democracies, not with dictatorships.”
    Judt continues in the LRB in criticising Europe’s relationship with Israel:”… if Burma came to the EU and said, ‘It would be a huge advantage for us if we could have privileged trading rights with you,’ Europe would say: ‘First you have to release political prisoners, hold elections, open up your borders.’ We have to say the same things to Israel. Otherwise we are acknowledging that a Jewish state is an unusual thing – a weird, different thing that is not to be treated like every other state. It is the European bad conscience that is part of the problem.”

    The current ‘hot topic’ regarding Israel – (although what constitutes a hot topic evolves very quickly as incursions such as house demolitions, regulations restricting leaving and returning to Palestine, checkpoints, road blocks, threats to the Al-Aqsa Mosque space do not cease) – is the embarrassment of US Vice-President Joe Biden over the announcement of the building of 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem when Biden was in Israel recently on a mission for President Obama to promote ‘peace’. But Netanyahu’s ‘gaffe’ highlights the fact that there is an international legal ruling on the question of East Jerusalem. In July 2004, the International Court of Justice made it clear that East Jerusalem was ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ because it was acquired during the course of a war – the June 1967 war. Various human rights organisations make the same point. In that framework, then, it is not a question of conflicting claims to Jerusalem nor, by any stretch, Israel’s exclusive right to East Jerusalem. And that is certainly the position of the Goldstone Report. East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory. And Goldstone is a self-declared Zionist. But he respects the law.

    According to B’Tselem
    “With the Palestinians having a higher growth rate than the Jews,
    Israel has used various methods to achieve its goal: in part by building the separation barrier; Discriminating in land expropriation, planning, and building, and demolition of houses;Revoking residency and social benefits of Palestinians who stay abroad for at least seven years, or who are unable to prove that their center of life is in Jerusalem;Unfairly dividing the budget between the two parts of the city, with harmful effects on infrastructure and services in East Jerusalem.
    Israel’s policy gravely infringes the rights of residents of East Jerusalem and flagrantly breaches international law.
    East Jerusalem is occupied territory. Therefore, it is subject, as is the rest of the West Bank, to the provisions of international humanitarian law that relate to occupied territory. The annexation of East Jerusalem breaches international law, which prohibits unilateral annexation. For this reason, the international community, including the United States, does not recognize the annexation of East Jerusalem.”

    ‘Delegitimisation’ seems to be an Israeli own goal – in moral terms, that is, though not, apparently, in its ‘fact on the ground’ annexation policies towards the Palestinians and the Occupied Territories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s