Boycotts from Arizona to Palestine

on 84 Comments

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

A new order allows enforcement officials to stop anyone who “looks illegal” (read: has brown skin) and demand that they produce documents proving their right to be in a place they call home. Failure to produce such documents can lead to fines, jail time, or deportation. Widely seen as a violation of basic rights, this new order leads to widespread calls for boycott.

I’m speaking, of course, about Arizona’s new racist law, SB1070–but I could just as easily be talking about Palestine.

If you haven’t heard, SB1070 effectively mandates racial profiling by giving local police officers the right to demand immigration documentation from anyone they think might be in the country without documents. Here’s the Washington Post summarizing the new law (and insisting on calling human beings “illegal”):

“The law gives local police broad authority to stop and request documents from anyone they reasonably suspect is an illegal immigrant. It calls for aggressive prosecution of illegal immigrants, and officers can be sued if they do not enforce the law.”

SB 1070 is so racist and over the top that it has led to a wave of outrage around the country, including condemnation from a wide spectrum of faith leaders and President Barack Obama. Many organizations and individuals have called for a boycott of Arizona, including Arizona Member of Congress Raul Grijalva, award-winning author Tayari Jones, and Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney.

I support these calls, just as I support efforts to oppose so-called “Secure Communities” initiatives that would require local law enforcement to work with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a manner sure to promote racial profiling and ruin community policing efforts.

I have to wonder, though, how calls to boycott Arizona–including sports boycotts and boycotts on travel to the state–are so easily endorsed in the Washington Post (McCartney: “I like the idea of a boycott because it’s so all-American”), while calls to boycott Israel for its consistent violations of Palestinian human rights and international law are deemed “controversial.”

The connections are eerie: earlier this month, a new Israeli military order came into effect in the Palestinian West Bank, which would allow the military to demand that any Palestinian, anytime, produce proof of their right to be in a place they call home. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz:

“A new military order will take effect this week, enabling the army to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and prosecute them on infiltration charges, which carry long prison terms….The order’s vague language will allow army officers to exploit it arbitrarily to carry out mass expulsions, in accordance with military orders which were issued under unclear circumstances. The first candidates for expulsion will be people whose ID cards bear addresses in the Gaza Strip, including children born in the West Bank and Palestinians living in the West Bank who have lost their residency status for various reasons.”

Sound familiar? As with SB1070, the Israeli military order purports to be in response to illegal migration (“infiltration”), but is actually a license for racial profiling and mass deportation–i.e., ethnic cleansing. And yet where was the Washington Post call for boycott?

There’s more: The Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli violations of international law came one year after the International Court of Justice ruled against the Israel’s “Separation Barrier,” which annexes massive sections of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. That “Barrier” (read: apartheid Wall) is being built, in part, by Elbit, an Israeli military contractor that also has half of the contract on the U.S./Mexico Border Wall.

And SB1070 is likely to lead to the type of checkpoints and arbitrary “searches” and arrests that have been daily reality for West Bank Palestinians for decades. The West Bank currently has over 500 checkpoints, roadblocks, and closures–in an area the size of Delaware, not Arizona.

Of course, in Arizona and in Palestine/Israel, many of the people affected by racist laws and policies can trace their ancestral connection to the place back well before the current (predominantly white-skinned) regimes making such racist laws came into power. That’s how colonialism and occupation works. And as Jewish Israeli Assaf Oron writes at DailyKos, racial profiling linked to ID documents is a fact of life for Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel as well.

So here’s what I’m saying: all those calling for boycotting Arizona because of a racist “documentation and deportation” law–I’m with you. And everyone who supports the Palestinian BDS call should be with you too. But we’re asking you to support boycotts targeting such racist laws, mandating displacement and ethnic cleansing, that are supported by U.S. policy and U.S. corporations, no matter where these “laws” are being made.

And yes, that includes you, faith leaders who have rightfully condemned SB1070. The Palestinian Christian community is asking you for your support, too.

Now is the time. It’s the right thing to do. And it just makes sense.

David Hosey is the National Media Coordinator of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. For more information on how you can get involved with boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), check out the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s BDS resources.

84 Responses

  1. robin
    April 29, 2010, 10:37 pm

    Not really related, but kind of amazing. The New York Times interviewed a Gazan: link to

    • robin
      April 29, 2010, 10:40 pm

      Although apparently they gave David Frum 10 minutes in their last bloggingheads on I/P. Ick.

    • robin
      April 29, 2010, 10:59 pm

      Wow, sorry to keep replying to myself (about an unrelated topic no less), but I wrongly prejudged that Frum interview. In fact it is a lot of Wright talking, putting Frum into extremely uncomfortable positions, and essentially making the one-state case. (Maybe I am living in a Mondoweiss world, but doesn’t it seem like one-staters are popping up everywhere now?) And Frum comes off looking horrible. He never answers Wright’s question about why it is the Palestinians who should surrender to end the conflict, and his whole point ends up being: “don’t solve the conflict.” Really, Dave?

  2. Avi
    April 29, 2010, 11:11 pm

    While there is a parallel to be drawn here between the Arizona case and the Israeli occupation case, I find the following comparison questionable:

    David Hosey wrote:

    The connections are eerie: earlier this month, a new Israeli military order came into effect in the Palestinian West Bank, which would allow the military to demand that any Palestinian, anytime, produce proof of their right to be in a place they call home. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz […]

    To the uninformed, this will give the impression that the Palestinians are illegal immigrants, especially when the use of such terms as “place they call home” is common in US MSM. Many immigrants who are illegally in the US call Texas “home”, for example.

    I can’t urge you enough, David Hosey. Please void using this particular comparison.

    • Avi
      April 29, 2010, 11:11 pm


    • David
      April 30, 2010, 8:23 am

      Avi, many of the people who will end up targeted by SB1070 are U.S. citizens. Many of them have families that have lived in what is now the state of Arizona long before my ancestors came to this continent to colonize it.

      I disagree. I find the rhetoric around “illegal immigrants” in the U.S. and the Israeli rhetoric about “infiltrators” to be remarkably similar in this case.


      “As with SB1070, the Israeli military order purports to be in response to illegal migration (“infiltration”), but is actually a license for racial profiling and mass deportation–i.e., ethnic cleansing.”

    • kalithea
      April 30, 2010, 12:48 pm

      These distinctions should be emphasized:

      Palestinians ARE NOT illegal immigrants in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israeli settlers ARE illegal immigrants in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

      Deportation of an illegal immigrant may be cruel and I don’t always agree with it, but deportation is LEGAL and often necessary.

      Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is NOT deportation, it’s dispossession of an occupied people which is a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

      The ID issued in Arizona may be used as an exuse for racial profiling, but Palestinians have legal ID’s issued by their legitimate government which Israel refuses to recognize. ID’s issued by Israel in an effort to ethnically cleanse Palestinians who only have PA-issued ID’s are ILLEGAL and are an excuse to commit a war crime. This is much more serious than the Arizona case. Racial profiling is discrimination, deporting illegal immigrants anywhere is legal, but ethnic cleansing is a war crime.

      So let’s call a spade a spade.

      • David
        April 30, 2010, 1:08 pm

        I responded to some of your comments on your post below.

  3. kalithea
    April 30, 2010, 12:18 am

    Of course everyone should be supporting the BDS movement which is the only way Palestinians will free themselves from the iron fist of Israel, and I agree that Arizona’s law is racist, BUT, what Palestinians are being subjected to is much more serious since they’re not illegal immigrants, they’re just trying to have human and legal rights on their own land. The immigrants are the ones who came from Eastern Block countries to steal their land, settle there illegally, hold Palestinians hostage with military oppression and ethnically cleanse them with racist laws.

    • David
      April 30, 2010, 8:24 am

      kalithea, see my response to Avi above (and thanks both for your responses).

      I would imagine many people who will be targeted by SB1070 in Arizona (assuming it’s not overturned in the next 6 months before it comes into effect) would have a very similar thing to say–just as, knowing the reality of Palestine/Israel, my response was “Infiltrator? Whose calling who an infiltrator?”

      • David
        April 30, 2010, 8:25 am

        Sorry, I of course mean “who’s”

  4. NormanF
    April 30, 2010, 1:45 am

    America has every right to assert its sovereignty and to control its borders. But for the Left, foreigners taking up residence in this country now amounts to entitlement rather than a privilege. Yes, I can see why it is outraged at Arizona’s very modest law, which by the way, I absolutely do support. Its time America closed its borders to the foreign invasion that’s changing America’s culture and which is stealing jobs from hard-working Americans.

    • Avi
      April 30, 2010, 2:27 am

      Don’t you mean, “Hard working American Zionists”?

      Madoff was a hard working man.

      So all of a sudden you care about America and its people, eh? Funny.

      Arizona’s very modest law

      Of course it’s very modest. For you, dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza amounts to bumping a toe against a chair.

      Its [sic] time America closed its borders to the foreign invasion

      Ellis island, 1942, your grandparents along with your parents are standing in line after a long journey from France, but your father decides to hold up a sign that reads: “Its time America closed its borders to the foreign invasion”.

      Do you:

      A. Curse the day you were born?
      B. Sever all ties with your father after spitting in his face?
      C. Join the Coast Guard?
      D. All of the above?

    • Shmuel
      April 30, 2010, 2:38 am

      Changing America’s culture and stealing jobs from hard-working Americans

      Who is really changing America’s culture and stealing jobs from hard-working Americans? Perhaps it’s the companies and businesses that exploit workers in other countries because they would rather not pay American workers a living wage. Or perhaps it’s the entertainment industry that manipulates American hearts and minds, destroys interpersonal relationships and communities, priming Americans to be obedient slaves, ignorant of their rights and human dignity, convinced that their worth is determined by what they consume? And what about Mexican culture and the jobs stolen by American corporations, subsidies and unfair trading practices from hard-working Mexicans?

      The state of Arizona can hunt down immigrants to its heart’s content, but “legal” Arizonans will still be slaves with no control over their culture, jobs or lives.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 5:13 am

        Schmuel, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Our congress people are forever repeating illegal immigrants only take jobs Americans won’t take; actually they are talking about themselves.

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 5:47 am

        I don’t know if you’ve seen “Food Inc.”, but they discuss the US meat processing industry, which used to offer good wages and conditions – good, solid, union jobs. I’m sure plenty of Americans would be happy to have jobs like that. Instead, the industry enslaves desperate Mexican sans-papiers, and when those are arrested and deported (or killed or disabled), they just get some more, because Mexico’s agricultural sector has been decimated by cheap (subsidised) US imports. Meanwhile unemployed or underemployed or underpaid Americans are dependent on the “cheap” food produced by these enslaved workers, creating a very vicious cycle. “Wars of the poor” – very profitable for some. Then they blame Mexicans for stealing American jobs and/or Americans for being “spoiled” or “lazy”.

        That’s my rant for 1 May.

      • Richard Witty
        April 30, 2010, 5:50 am

        A good rant.

        What do you propose?

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 6:09 am

        What do you propose?

        Some of my less-drastic proposals:

        Neutralise corporate influence on government as much as possible by reforming the system of political contributions and patronage.

        Guarantee workers’ rights including the right to organise and to earn a living wage.

        Rebuild corrupt government supervisory agencies.

        Limit the flow of capital and abolish “free trade” agreements (and disastrous IMF policies) that destroy weaker economies.

        Enact stricter legislation and enforcement against monopolies in order to favour local economies.

        Address human welfare rather than economic “growth”.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 6:10 am

        I agree, a good rant. It’s like arguing the pros and cons of Walmart.
        Or, speaking of meat-processing plants, the pros and cons of
        what happened in Postville Iowa. Antidotes are often poisonous themselves. How to balance the competing interests? What do you propose, Witty?

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 6:17 am

        Speaking of Walmart: Jibjab’s classic Big Box Mart.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 6:17 am

        Great proposals, Schmuel. Each one is a key. But the first one depends on congress getting behind real campaign finance reform.
        That would require a wide-spread populist forest fire. The corporate-owned MSM would have to
        bring that issue to the masses on nightly TV News. The first key is
        unfortunately, the lock.

      • Richard Witty
        April 30, 2010, 6:19 am

        Excellent suggestions.

        Would you propose permeable borders or distinctly divided?

        If permeable, then there is essentially free trade, as transportation costs are very low. The argument for permeable borders say at Imperial Beach and Tijuana, is that except for the arbitrary border, the ecology and communities are integrated, one community really.

        If distinct border, then that naturally integrated community is unnaturally disintegrated. Those in the interior don’t notice the isolation at all, but those at the frontier experience very inconvenient isolation.

        It happens at every border, Detroit/Windsor, San Diego/Tijuana, Vermont/New Hampshire, Washington/Oregon.

        I’m sure the same quandry applies in Israel/Palestine.

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 6:38 am

        Thanks, Citizen. The necessary populist forest fire depends on information and education. TV is a bad medium (see eg. the work of Jerry Mander) for that, and should be fought tooth and nail. There are a lot of keys to be unlocked here – one of the first being to oppose the demonisation and scapegoating of immigrants and the poor, which – apart from being barbaric and unjust – helps to distract people from the real threats to their lives and communities.

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 6:43 am


        Under current circumstances where capital and privilege freely cross international borders, I consider all restrictions aimed exclusively at the poor immoral and unjustified. Were limitations imposed on the flow of capital, I think some limitations on immigration could be considered, but I haven’t given that aspect of the subject much thought.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:11 am

        Shmuel, I was merely acknowledging what I know to be true, and that is that most Americans get their dose of national and international political issues from TV. They don’t generally go to the internet (or even print newspapers and mags) for that–they go the internet more to play, not search out, and sort out, the searing national and international issues. They rather gossip with friends on Facebook and play, e.g., virtual Farmsville (pretty ironic, yes?).

        I agree that demonizing/scapegoating illegal immigrants–nobody I know of demonizes legal immigrants–is a red herring, just as demonizing, say the 70% of Arizona citizens who back the
        new law there as simple white racists, is also a red herring; and one lined out nightly by the likes of Rachel Maddow.

        As you implied in prior comments, NAFTA is problematic, especially for both working class US citizens and ditto for such Mexican citizens. And the capitalistic elite laugh all the way to the bank.

        As a side note, it is interesting to note that the very first US regional trade agreement was with Israel, back in 1985. For the record, here’s some information on that trade agreement and
        AIPAC’s treasonous activity surrounding it, as well as how it has resulted in great harm to the USA:
        link to

        Note to self: Why is it, that every time one looks into any US-Israel relation it always turns out “an aberration?”

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 7:24 am

        Richard, you ask an either/or question. I don’t know what you imply by “permeable” versus “distinctly divided” borders. Are you suggesting no vehicles intending to cross the border should be checked for illegal goods or occupants? Or that a wall should be deeply entrenched, such as the one US and Egyptians workers are
        digging now to cut off Palestinian tunnel traffic? Do you think the viability and possible benefit of nation states with borders is passe? Or do you think a wall is the greatest assurance of a good neighbor?

        PS: It’s interesting that the US, with so many Americans unemployed, would contract with an Israeli company to build half the wall currently contracted for along the US-Mexican border.

      • Richard Witty
        April 30, 2010, 7:36 am

        Its not really question of immigration vs capital.

        Its a question of whether a bound economy/society is feasible and/or an unnatural imposition.

        It is a truth that even though the Canadian border between say Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI allows a great deal of traffic, it still divides the the communities.

        It is a dilemma, that inevitably comes up whether speaking about immigration or capital or free movement of goods and services across the border.

        I regard regional scale economy as the most appropriate ecologically, economically, socially. But, I can’t conceive of a practical way to implement it, and I’ve been working on the question for 35 years.

        The question is easy where there are distinct natural borders, an impassible mountain range, an ocean. In northern New England, there are functional natural borders. You really “can’t get there from here”, easily crossing the Green or White mountains, not for industrial trade.

        But, the closer you get to the coast, you can get there from here, so there is a megalopolis sprawl from southern Maine to Washington, DC.

        One defines distinct community and economy. They other doesn’t. To make the line between Connecticut and New York an international boundary (New England vs mid-Atlantic) would be an absurdity.

      • Richard Witty
        April 30, 2010, 7:38 am

        The borders between Mexico and the US are absurd. The Rio Grande for example unifies communities, not divides them.

        The Rio Grande as border is entirely arbitrary. Its a definitive line, but misrepresents communities’ integrity.

      • marc b.
        April 30, 2010, 7:40 am

        Some of my less-drastic proposals:

        you left out ‘guillotines’.

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 7:53 am

        you left out ‘guillotines’.

        I did say “some of” ;-)

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 8:09 am

        RE Witty’s” “Its not really question of immigration vs capital.”
        I ask readers here to judge for themselves if that’s the question(s) I asked of Witty.

        The concept advanced by Witty “permeable borders” versus a stark wall, implies free trade, including the accompanying workers
        hired by capital–does Witty support illegal immigrant workers as well as regional free trade in the form of no tariffs, etc? I don’t know, do you? He says he’s been working on this issue for over 30 years. Anyone grasp what he’s learned?

      • edwin
        April 30, 2010, 8:30 am

        Borders are all arbitrary. Countries come and countries go. Those who claim 1000 year Reichs are dangourous sociopaths, as are those who claim the rebirth of empires dead 2000 years.

        It is a truth that even though the Canadian border between say Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI allows a great deal of traffic, it still divides the the communities.

        I think you are very close here. It is not that the Ambassador bridge divides communities, but rather “Detroit” is a single city that has a national border riven through the city. It is one community that over time has been forced into being two. The economy of Windsor seems to have more to do with Detroit than the rest of Canada. Witness the current fixation on gambling and the source of that money for example – the need spurred on by the collapse of Detroit’s automobile industry.

        To make the line between Connecticut and New York an international boundary (New England vs mid-Atlantic) would be an absurdity.

        No less absurd than the border that divides the city of Detroit. Still I think you have a point there. Dividing Palestine is, from a border point of view – absurd. A single state is the obvious sane way to go.

        I regard regional scale economy as the most appropriate ecologically, economically, socially. But, I can’t conceive of a practical way to implement it, and I’ve been working on the question for 35 years.

        Maybe you don’t have the correct scale? I regard cities as the smallest self-replicating economic unit that exists. It makes a whole lot more sense to me.

        Without a city, a region is just an area of extreme poverty.

      • MRW
        April 30, 2010, 10:47 am

        Well, Shmuel, your rant about Mexicans/immigrants/workers wages/flow of capital/free trade/local economies could have been written by me.

        What Goldman Sachs just did to the US economy it did to Mexico in 1995/6 when it was investment banker to the Mexican banks following NAFTA in Jan 1994. Robert Rubin appeared on the Hill to say ‘we didn’t see it coming’. The US taxpayers bailed out Goldman to the tune of $40 billion.

        Then our resident geniuses gave China most-favored-nation-status in 1999 and all of our US companies scrammed overseas where they could get $.60/hr in China as opposed to $2.22/ in Mexico. That’s after they completely destroyed the rural economy of northern Mexico — our agri-companies ruined small-producing farms — leaving hundreds of thousands unable to feed their families and Mexico in hock (because of Goldman/IMF/World Bank shenanigans) to the tune of over $100 billion, and with a peso Mexico was forced to devalue.

        Not one piece of shit in Arizona opened his or her mouth while we destroyed the Mexican economy, but Arizonans took advantage of dumping their goods down south.

      • MRW
        April 30, 2010, 10:50 am

        I love the line about poor Mexicans swarming our border to take our jobs.

        If an uneducated Mexican who can’t speak English is taking your job, you’ve got a bigger problem than a Mexican.

      • MRW
        April 30, 2010, 11:06 am

        Shmuel and others,

        This is the most prophetic warning about the economy that you’ll see. It’s Sir James Goldsmith in November 1994 on the Charlie Rose Show. While I suggest watching the entire 45 minutes (because the last few minutes are great as well) at the very least watch the first eight minutes

        Billionaire Goldsmith is trying to warn the world about the danger of global trade, the lack of understanding of what free trade does, the harm to local economies, the destruction to society it creates, the creation of slums and mass migration because of failure to care what we are doing to rural economies and rural populations. He rails against so called economic efficiencies that we impose on the developing countries with no moral understanding of what we are wreaking. [Goldsmith was from a prominent banking family, went to Eton, left school at 16 to gamble in Monte Carlo and thereabouts, and hooked up with Isabel Patino, Catholic daughter of the richest guy in South America. She got pregnant, they wanted to marry. Her father objected because Goldsmith was Jewish. They eloped when Goldsmith was 19, and Isabel died in childbirth, which left him bereft, but with a daughter. By the time he died in 1997 at the age of 64, he was supporting three families and eight kids, happily. He was a great character.]

        This video is riveting.: link to

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 11:13 am

        MRW: Well, Shmuel, your rant about Mexicans/immigrants/workers wages/flow of capital/free trade/local economies could have been written by me.

        I consider that high praise.

      • MRW
        April 30, 2010, 11:35 am


        Right back atcha’.

      • pineywoodslim
        April 30, 2010, 3:23 pm

        Yes, Schmuel, I live in Iowa and there are communities which once held high-paying unionized jobs in the meatpacking industry which now have their unions busted, their wages cut, and the good jobs–with full benefits–replaced by $8/hr jobs staffed by undocumented workers.

    • Shingo
      April 30, 2010, 2:52 am

      “Its time America closed its borders to the foreign invasion that’s changing America’s culture and which is stealing jobs from hard-working Americans.”

      False.  These immigrants are not taking anyone’s jobs, because by and large, they accept the jobs that Americans aren’t willing to perform. The reason Washington has been so loathed to clsoe the borders (under left or right wing governments) is that these immigrants actually sustain the economy.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 4:56 am

        Shingo, perhaps your “by and large” is a bit over the top:
        link to

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 5:07 am

        According to the Pew Hispanic Center, illegal immigrants constitute 14 percent of construction workers. Some estimates conclude that unauthorized workers comprise an estimated 22 to 36 percent of the construction industry workforce. These are jobs traditionally proudly done by
        native born working class people and students.

      • pineywoodslim
        April 30, 2010, 5:25 am


        If the jobs you refer to pay so little to attract American employees, doesn’t classical economics say that those businesses should raise wages sufficiently to attract those workers?

        You and I both know the answer to that one–the businesses have no need to raise wages because of the vast low wage pool of illegal immigrants.

        We already have free markets–across borders–in terms of goods and services and capital. Are you that much of a free market believer that you now think we should have a free labor market across international borders?

        After all, why relocate plants to the 3rd world’s cheap labor pool, when we can just bring the 3rd world labor pool to the US, right?

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 6:24 am

        Yep, and in context: Milton Friedman famously commented, “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”

      • pineywoodslim
        April 30, 2010, 3:30 pm

        What is interesting about the immigration debate is this:

        The elite–those who benefit from undocumented workers–have characterized the opponents of illegal immigration as uniformly racist and bigoted.

        There certainly are many, many folks who fall into that category. But the genius in framing the issue that way is that it has marginalized the democrats and whatever constitutes the left in this country.

        In other words, the groups that have traditionally supported the American worker have been divorced from that support through fear of being labeled racist.

        I love multiculturalism–all the things that come with it, the food, music, language, you name it.

        I abhor illegal immigration because of the role (and it certainly is not the sole cause) it has played in downward wage pressure.

  5. thankgodimatheist
    April 30, 2010, 5:29 am

    Martin Indyk to Israel: If you need the United States, then you need to take into account America’s interests.

    “The shift in America’s Middle East interests means that Netanyahu must make a choice: Take on the president of the United States, or take on his right wing. If he continues to defer to those ministers in his cabinet who oppose peacemaking, the consequences for US-Israel relations could be dire,” wrote Indyk in the New York Times article.
    If Israel manages alone, it can decide alone (Haaretz)

    link to

  6. Julian
    April 30, 2010, 5:31 am

    It’s amazing how the left gets nothing right. The “new” law is 41 years old. The only thing that changed was the right to an immediate hearing.
    link to

    • lareineblanche
      April 30, 2010, 6:02 am

      From above article :
      “What changed in January is that the IDF decided to expand the rights of illegal aliens in Judea and Samaria to pre-deportation hearings.”
      Wait, the IDF has the power to grant rights and to decide who is an illegal alien? I’m confused. Strange place.

      If anyone wants a good laugh, look at the comments section.

  7. eee
    April 30, 2010, 8:54 am

    What? 70% of Arizonians support a “fascist” law? It seems that Universal Ethics have a real problem with reality.

    • Shmuel
      April 30, 2010, 9:01 am

      That’s what constitutions (for example) are for – to defend minority rights against the whims of occasional popular majorities. Although, I understand that Israelis and Iranians might feel differently about such things.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 9:06 am

        And also people of the state of Arizona. And maybe Texas, and maybe many other border states.

        You see Shmuel, your axiomatic and dogmatic morality is useless unless it can tackle real world problems faced by states.

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 9:21 am

        3e – You asserted the “right” of a majority of Arizonans to pursue a racist policy. I suggested that even majorities do not have such a “right” – an issue that is generally addressed by constitutions. Constitutions are not perfect and liberal demcracies are not perfect, but they’re a hell of a lot better than systems that don’t even bother. The fact that perfection is unattainable does not make striving toward a better society an exercise in futility. Your argument is thus illogical as well as amoral.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 9:27 am


        You are jumping to conclusions and assuming the same fallacy you assume in the I/P conflict. You assume to know better than most Arizonians what is a racist policy and where to draw the line in their case. I would suggest a small pill of epistemological humbleness.

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 9:47 am

        So are we deciding morality by popular vote now? Who gets to vote? Are all values subject to this type of referendum? How about Zionism?

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 9:52 am

        How about anti-Semitism?

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 10:36 am

        In the gray areas, the common sense of the majority defines morality. You see, your problem is that you are axiomatic and dogmatic and cannot accept that there are huge gray areas when it comes to morality.

      • Chaos4700
        April 30, 2010, 10:42 am

        Sorry, you have to understand, eee, social Darwinsim isn’t all that popular on the left.

      • Shmuel
        April 30, 2010, 11:06 am

        You’ve resolved nothing by creating this category of “gray areas”. Who gets to decide what’s gray and what’s not?

        Since ancient times, man has been trying to find appropriate measures of morality – from Confucius to Hillel to Kant to Levinas – and not just in the “black and white” areas. The majority may decide what it considers moral, how moral principles should be applied, or whether it wishes to act morally at all, but it cannot be the measure of what is moral.

        My argument was that the persecution of migrants (and those who look like them) does not address the entire picture and does not apply the same standards to everyone (a moral sine qua non). 70% of “legal” Arizonans can say they don’t give a damn, but that doesn’t make it moral. They can also say they want the death penalty (considered a “gray area” by some) or, conversely, that they want to divest from Israel, but the very fact of a majority decision (presuming it is indeed a majority of all relevant parties) does not “define” morality.

      • MRW
        April 30, 2010, 11:20 am

        The issue in Arizona is not about “illegal immigrants,” it’s about Mexicans in particular.

        There are 12 million illegal immigrants in the USA. 6,750,000 are Mexican. The rest are Korean, Canadian, Swedes, Italians, Chinese, Senegalese, Aussies, Uruguayans, Brits, French, German, Maltese, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

        You think those highly educated Arizona state troopers are going to be stopping anyone who looks like they come from those countries…because they look suspicious?

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 9:07 am

        The fact is that Palestinians, 45% of the population of all Israeli controlled land, have no Israeli Constitution to protect them. Just think about that.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 9:10 am

        How does the US constitution protect the Iraqis and Afghanis and Pakistanis you control, funny man?

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2010, 10:57 am

        The US has had troops, not colonial settlers, in Iraq and Aghanistan for over 8 years; Obama said he will start removing US troops from Iraq this year. No US settlers will be left there, now will they be left in Afghanistan when US troops begin leaving there. Within the US proper, there is a Constitution which protects all US citizens equally under the official law, no matter their background. In Israel behind the green line there is no Constitution, nut rather a matrix of first class and second class citizens, depending on whether they are jews or arabs. Outside the greenline, illegal Israeli settlers are afforded the same full protection and rights as the Jewish Israelis behind the green line; and the Paletinians there are treated like animals.
        You’re a real card, eee.

    • Citizen
      April 30, 2010, 9:04 am

      Eee, how many current illegal Mexican immigrants have in their current families
      living relatives who have a key to their former home in Arizona?

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 9:07 am

        Yes, the one state is the solution. Unite Mexico and the US NOW! Isn’t this the most “just” solution and won’t it solve all the problems?

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2010, 9:16 am

        Eee, the Palestinians are not illegal immigrants. The Jewish Israelis are the illegal trespassers on Palestinian land. It’s up to the Palestinians if they want to accept them and together have one country. The USA, if it wishes to support justice and its own declared values, needs to support the Palestinians, who, nobody here would deny, are the ones getting the shaft.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 9:20 am

        The Mexicans are not illegal immigrants either. Arizona was stolen from Mexico. If you support justice you need to support the one state solution: Mexico and the US need to be united into one country. It will solve all the problems related to “illegal” immigration and will be the most “just” solution.

      • MRW
        April 30, 2010, 11:31 am


        The United States (13 colonies) was the Gaza Strip to the Spanish nation until 1803. Spain owned the majority of this country for longer (289 years) than the USA has existed even today (233 years). Mexico was a small part of the Spanish colonial empire. Mexico declared its independence from Spain in 1810, then Mexico lost what is now Arizona in a war that happened midway through the 19th C.

        solve all the problems related to “illegal” immigration and will be the most “just” solution.

        Solve all the problems related to illegal immigration? You think the only illegals in this country are Mexican?

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 11:40 am


        The US FORCED Mexico to give up Arizona.
        link to
        “Territorial expansion of the United States on the Pacific coast was foremost in the minds of President Polk and his associates in their whole conduct of the war.[2] The major consequence of the war was the Mexican Cession of the territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo México to the United States under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In addition, Mexico accepted the Rio Grande as the national border, and the loss of Texas.”

        The only “just” solution is one state, the US and Mexico must become one!

      • MRW
        April 30, 2010, 12:44 pm

        Read history books, eee. Dont lecture me with wikipedia accounts written by non-historians.

      • edwin
        April 30, 2010, 2:26 pm

        Dream on eee. Do you believe anything you write? The actions of 1848 in no way imply that Mexico and the US should become one country.

        What is important about 1848 in this context is that you are more than happy to justify crimes today by crimes committed in the past. You don’t give a dam about the moral actions of the past except as they can be used to justify your racist views. I do think that the term amoral nicely fits your philosophy.

      • eee
        April 30, 2010, 2:35 pm

        The way to rectify past crimes and bring “justice” is to unite the US and Mexico into one country. Anything else is not “justice”. I am nit justifying any crimes. You seem to admit that the US in the past committed crimes. Well? Why not rectify them? Let’s call for a referendum in Mexico, and if the majority support it, Mexico and the US should be united into one country.

        Do you have a problem with that or are you not keen about letting go of your privileged racist status as an American?

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2010, 11:08 am

        Eee, do you agree with the principles by which the German leaders were hanged at Nuremberg, and the Imperial Japanese in turn hung? Or do you agree with Goering’s smirking over-riding principle that might makes right? As you must know, in Mein Kampf Hitler used the American Indian wars and the war with Mexico has his justification for all he did. Seems you agree with both Goering and Hitler. Schmuel was right about your feeble reasoning, eee: “The fact that perfection is unattainable does not make striving toward a better society an exercise in futility. Your argument is thus illogical as well as amoral.”

        Left with you to defend them, eee, the Shoah victims had no right to complain.

      • eee
        May 1, 2010, 11:13 am


        Who is defending “might makes right”. Au contraire. I am saying that the “might makes right” of the US vis a vis Mexico must be reversed so justice can prevail. Unite Mexico and the US now! Don’t let the unjust situation remain just because of the US might! Don’t let the racist Americans insist on the privileges they gained by war! The US and Mexico need to become one country! That is the only “just” solution.

      • Chaos4700
        May 1, 2010, 11:17 am

        Why do you hate the United States, eee, that you attack it at every opportunity? More to the point, eee, why do you seem to hate Mexico that you would subject them to even more imperialistic American stupidity than they have already suffered as it is?

        And perhaps more seriously, why don’t you understand that the formation of the UN and the signing of the Geneva Conventions was intended to end those practices which had been part of human practice, sadly, for millenia before we moved beyond that barbarism? How come you wish to see those practices continue?

        And incidentally, if we are reaching into indefinite stretches of history, should we hold the “Jewish nation” accountable in front of the ICC for the ethnic cleansing of Jericho?

  8. kalithea
    April 30, 2010, 12:16 pm

    While I appreciate that you made the distinction below between the terms, “illegal immigrant” which is the target Arizona is using for their racial profiling law, and “infiltrator” which is an invention of the Israeli government to be used as an excuse for ethnic cleansing, the end result is much more serious for Palestinians. Deporting an illegal immigrant cannot be compared in any way to ethnic cleansing. Again to the uniformed, this will cause confusion and will de-legitimize further the Palestinian cause. Let’s be clear: the illegal immigrants in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are ISRAELIS, not Palestinians. Palestinians are on their land and they are not infiltrators. These people have papers issued by their legitimate government the PA and the Israeli ID is an illegal excuse for ethnic cleansing of an OCCUPIED people. I cannot street this enough: Israelis on occupied land are ILLEGAL and Palestinians are the rightful inhabitants of that land.

    Yes, there is an injustice in both issues, but to equate “illegal immigrant” status to “infiltrator” status is to invite confusion on the issue of Palestinian rights. “Illegal immigrant” is a legitimate legal term; while “infiltrator” is the illegal invention of an occupying military oppressor.

    Of course the “ID” issue in both circumstances is what is common to both. One used as a pretext for racial profiling and the other used for ethnic cleansing, but let’s be perfectly clear, deporting an illegal immigrant may be cruel (and in many cases I’m against it) but it’s legal and ethnically cleansing someone from his own land is a WAR CRIME according to the Geneva Convention on dispossession of occupied people. Big difference!

    • kalithea
      April 30, 2010, 12:19 pm

      Correction: I cannot “stress” this enough.

      • David
        April 30, 2010, 1:05 pm


        Several points:

        1) I don’t disagree with anything you are saying regarding ethnic cleansing in Palestine/Israel. Palestinians are the rightful inhabitants of land occupied by Israel, and to displace them is illegal under the Geneva Conventions. Yes, this is ethnic cleansing. Yes, the settlers are there illegally. No argument from me.

        2) The reason SB1070 is causing such outrage isn’t that it calls for deporting people who are in the U.S. without documentation (I truly deplore the constant stress on “illegals” and “illegal immigrants.” People aren’t illegal, although their actions might be). Deportation was already the U.S. policy. I oppose this, personally, but that’s not the point of the reaction to SB1070. The reason SB1070 is causing such outrage is precisely because it mandates racial profiling and will target people who are perfectly “legal” and documented, as long as a cop has “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented?

        What constitutes “reasonable suspicion”? Ask the Arizona police officers who are suing to have the law overturned, in part because there’s no such thing as “reasonable suspicion” of a lack of documentation other than race: link to

        3) I don’t find the “comparative suffering” argument to be particularly compelling, in part b/c once rights are taken away, it becomes much easier to take away more rights; see Desmond Tutu’s response to the law: link to ; and in part because there aren’t many rational readers of this site who find the suffering of Palestinians to be anything less than horrendous.

        4) But finally and most importantly, this is all beside the point; or perhaps better said, proves the point. Calls for boycotts of Arizona because of SB1070 were quick, forthright, and mainstream. Not only that, but the boycott calls focused on sports teams, conventions, artists and authors not visiting–in other words, an instant leap was made to what we would term “cultural boycott.”

        And yet calls to boycott Israel are deemed “controversial,” and cultural boycott in particular is seen as an “extreme” response.

        So my point, really, was simple–if across the U.S. we react with such (justified) outrage to the racist law passed by a state, where is the same outrage when it comes to war crimes committed with our tax dollars?

      • David
        April 30, 2010, 1:17 pm

        To give a sense of what SB1070 means, here’s a quote from author Tayari Jones, who has canceled her appearance at a writer’s conference in Arizona because of the law:

        “Yesterday, I spoke with a dear friend who is an American citizen of Mexican descent who said that he would not feel safe in Arizona, although he (like me) used to call the state home. That people should be legally required to show proof of citizenship is similar to the antebellum mandate that black people produce ‘free papers’ proving themselves not to be slaves. It recalls the pass system under South Africa’s apartheid.”

        link to

        Note that the friend she is referring to is a U.S. citizen, by birth–not an “immigrant” at all.

        I’d again refer to Desmond Tutu’s excellent response–“Abominations such as Apartheid do not start with an entire population suddenly becoming inhumane. They start here.”

        link to

        In the U.S., we have the chance to act against the seeds of this sort of apartheid. In Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, apartheid is already in full swing.

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2010, 11:23 am

        Small caveat: by your thinking, no human being is a criminal either; but their actions may have been or may be criminal. The “illegal” notion you have is a red herring. Otherwise, David, good and acute comments. PS, it’s obvious that Arizona wouldn’t be trying to sort out who’s in Arizona legally, and who isn’t it, if the federal government was effectively patrolling the US border–it’s a lot easier to prevent illegal entry at the passing than it is to ferret out tresspassers once inside the US border. The reason 70% of Arizona legal residents support the bill cannot be simply attributed to
        white racism any more than saying all Tea Party people are simply white bigots.

        And, kalithea, thank you for your clarifying comment.

  9. MRW
    April 30, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Allow me to throw a burning log onto the fire, which I watched develop from the time this article first appeared in The Forward in June 2006. If anyone saw Rachel Maddow’s show about John Tanton last night, the Center for Immigration Studies (Lou Dobb’s vaunted source on all things Mexican) is another John Tanton creation, as is FAIR and 10 other orgs he privately funded and founded covertly or overtly.

    Open Borders Threaten Jewish Clout by Stephen Steinlight
    link to
    Stephen Steinlight, senior policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies, is former director of national affairs at the American Jewish Committee and co-author of “Fractious Nation: Unity and Disunity in Contemporary American Life” (University of California Press-Berkeley, 2004)

    • MRW
      April 30, 2010, 2:02 pm

      Here is Rachel Maddow’s show:
      link to

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2010, 11:29 am

        I’ve been watching Rachel Maddow tackle the Arizona and illegal immigration problem the last few days. She has done all she could to
        suggest that the problems are solely due to white bigotry. She has yet
        to say anthing at all about the negative impact aspects of the illegal immigrants in Arizona. While profiling should be a concern, so should
        what all legal Arizona residents have to put up with due to lack of federal
        enforcement at Arizona’s border.

      • Chaos4700
        May 1, 2010, 11:55 am

        Which residents of Arizona, specifically? The business owners and corporate masters operating in Arizona would argue (quietly perhaps) that its an economic boon. The fact that they don’t share that boon by actually paying taxes to the government so that the government might actually fund enforcement of immigration law is just a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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