Vanessa Redgrave and Julian Schnabel, after the fact, come out against the Toronto Declaration, mislabeling it as a boycott. (Yes I know, if it was a boycott I’d be for it anyway). They wrote to the New York Review of Books.
"Thousands of Palestinians have died through the years because the Israeli government, military, and part of the population fervently believe that the Arab states and, indeed, much of the world do not want Israel to exist.
"How then are we halting this never-ending cycle of violence by promoting the very fears that cause it?
"Many citizens of Tel Aviv are particularly aware of the situation of the Palestinians and are concerned about their government’s policies and their country’s future. And none more so than the Tel Aviv creative community. This is exemplified by Israeli films that criticize their government’s behavior.
"These citizens of Tel Aviv and their organizations and their cultural outlets should be applauded and encouraged.
A couple nits to pick. It’s not really a cycle of violence. It’s affliction. One side keeps getting less and less; they turn to anything. We don’t want Palestinians to resort to violence, but international law, from Partition to Goldstone, has had no effect. That’s why people support BDS, because there’s an oppressor who’s well-connected, and how do you stop it? Also, I’d dispute the claim that many citizens of Tel Aviv are particularly aware of the Palestinian situation. In fact, most Israelis are largely indifferent. Or they don’t want to know. Yes BDS is a crude instrument. It deprives people of income and isolates them. When your gov’t rains white phosphorus on children, and no one cares, it’s the only tool.
Thanks to Richard Witty for the headsup– I’m sure he disagrees.