When good intentions aren’t good enough: Liberal Zionists and BDS

“But what about me?”

tumblr m0slcfRWE91rn7et8o1 500
 

Such is the unarticulated, yet ever present, refrain evinced by liberal Zionist’s anti-BDS arguments, epitomized by the New Israel Fund’s (NIF) Naomi Paiss in a recent piece for Zion Square. In defending her characterization of the BDS movement as “penaliz[ing] the progressive community, increas[ing] the intransigence of ordinary Israelis, and provid[ing] political cover for the most extreme right-wing ultra-nationalists,” Paiss employs the usual host of tropes. In her world, similar to that of a typical Israeli leftist, “targeting Israel is counter-productive and inflammatory,” while it is meekly suggested that “Boycotting goods and services coming from the settlements… is another matter” (despite detailed evidence that the Green Line has no meaning in the occupation economy). In this world, BDS is an instrument that “tends to penalize collectively academics, artists and others who actually oppose the occupation,” despite the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel’s guidelines explicitly targeting complicit institutions and their associates, not hapless individuals. And Paiss, like BDS critics before her, conflates conversation about the movement’s moral standing and necessity with its supposed ineffectiveness—implicitly suggesting that we should forfeit collective action in support of human rights unless it can smite our foes sometime before breakfast. 

But wait; BDS is also dangerous. Why? In the words of Paiss, it “allows the proponents of the status quo to deflect pressure for change by pointing to the imminent danger to Israel posed by this so-called giant delegitimizing force.” Fortunately for supporters of BDS, such claims, while perhaps true, are ultimately irrelevant to the task of working towards justice. The Israeli left would do well to remember that this sort of logic—that oppressors will employ rhetoric to deflect attention to their opponents—could be used to immobilize any prospective stand against agents of injustice. Jim Crow era segregationists were fond of leveling the blame for unrest in their midst on “outside agitators” stirring discontent among “their negroes”—yet did this absolve people of conscience from the duty of solidarity actions in support of the American south’s disenfranchised and downtrodden blacks? Who today impugns the brave activists who traveled from far and wide to participate in sit-ins and freedom rides in southern states for lending veracity to segregationists’ grumbles about the machinations of outsiders? 

 

The voices of oppressors will always be raised against agitators for justice. The job of the latter is to convey their message, the message of justice, freedom, and equality, through clear, consistent words and action to match; everything else is just noise. The point of BDS, among other things, is to act as a mirror for the architects and passive beneficiaries of structural injustice and inequality to see the ugliness in which they are garbed; they are free to fancy the unseemly visage as emanating from beyond the glass if they so choose, while the rest of the world comes to realize that apartheid by any other name is just as repugnant. 

Further symptomatic of the liberal Zionist’s self-centered frame of reference is the contention that the “folly of Global BDS activists is compounded when they target the institutions and organizations that promote peace and justice.” Paiss says that BDS proponents are reminiscent of a teenager picking on “geeky kids who make an easier target” instead of “the real bullies” (despite the tireless efforts of activists to take on corporations complicit in occupation and encourage universities and churches to divest that she so cavalierly dismisses earlier in her piece). But what is the sort of “peace” and “justice” for which Paiss is so concerned? The following lines provide a clue to the source of Paiss’s irritation:

BDS proponents [...] demand that this organization—which empowers the most open-minded Israelis—take political positions regarding very divisive issues, come out in favor of the Palestinian right of return, and stop “enabling the occupation.”  

[...]

Some of those people are well-intentioned, horrified by 44 years of occupation and human rights abuses, and stand ready to use anything they can for leverage. Others clearly intend the end of Israel as a recognizably Jewish entity, and they hold Israel to standards that no other nation in its circumstances could meet.  This group reminds me of the radical Israeli ultra-nationalists… Both are maximalists whose all-or-nothing ambitions continue to collide to everyone’s detriment

The fact that Paiss would mention “divisive issues” and the Palestinian right of return in the same breath, as well as her negative juxtaposition of those who “clearly intend” the end of Israel as a state defined by ethno-religious privilege with others who are “well-intentioned,” speaks volumes. 

BDS advocates should take heart that many liberal Zionists and progressive Israeli Jews are well-meaning, but good intentions aren’t always good enough. While I personally believe that the work of the NIF is sorely needed—I first heard of the organization through a friend who was involved in their advocacy for unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev—Palestinians have called on their allies to assist in challenging the extant paradigm whereby “dialogue” obfuscates the realities of power and privilege that have undermined the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights for more than sixty years. It is exactly this privilege that Paiss unwittingly evokes when she casts aspersions upon “maximalists” for human rights.

Efforts to improve the lot of Palestinians should be applauded, yet supporters of justice, freedom, and equality shouldn’t wait for leftist Israelis to sort out their feelings about their structural privilege before exposing, opposing, and bringing pressure to bear on it. Solidarity with the Palestinian people, manifested through action against, not dialogue with, the system that guarantees their oppression, is an urgent imperative. Stokely Carmichael, a black rights advocate active during the American Civil Rights Movement, spoke to an earlier generation of well-meaning beneficiaries of institutional privilege with these words:

I have said that most liberal whites react to “black power” with the question, What about me?, rather than saying: Tell me what you want me to do and I’ll see if I can do it.

Today, as always, Palestinians are leading their own struggle and have asked their allies to support them through BDS. The response shown by liberal Zionists, and many in the Israeli left, would seem to indicate that they don’t see the conflict having to do with Palestinians, but simply about themselves.

About Austin Branion

Austin Branion is an activist and perennial student of Arabic living in the DC area. Follow him on Twitter at @austiniyaat.
Posted in American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel/Palestine

{ 57 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Thanks, Austin.

    When Stokely was with SNCC, it published a huge 2-page article for Palestinian rights in its 1967 newsletter. This was an incredibly important development that put Palestine solidarity on the map in U.S. politics.

    36 years later, the Wayne State University Student Council voted for total divestment against Israel:

    link to tinyurl.com

    That paved the way for other student governments to do the same. But they are all waiting for permission from liberal Zionists.

    At least in Canada, one campus didn’t wait:

    Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel have been approved by the University of Regina Student Union:

    link to dearbornboycottsisrael.blogspot.com

    Thanks again, Austin, for the most encouraging article I’ve seen in a while. Wonderful graphic, too.

  2. Dan Crowther says:

    I’ve never understood why it’s contoversial to say, “yes, I would like to see Israel cease to be a “jewish state” – if “jewish state” means a state for jews the world over, instead of a state of its citizens.

    The response to people saying “oh, well look at all the Islamic Republics; Iran, Pakistan etc” should be pretty easy to conjure – “can a Pakistani move to Iran and become a citizen within hours because he/she is Muslim, or what about US Muslims, can they move to Pakistan and become citizens because of their religion?” — NO. That’s a big, big difference.

    We’re hundreds of years past the Treaty Of Westphalia and the French Revolution – this shit was sorted out a long time ago. Sorry that I don’t feel very sympathetic to those who wish(ed) to create a state based on a 5,000 year old religious identity, one whose definition has become more and more arbitrary over time. What does it say about “the jewish state” when you don’t even have to believe in God to “make aaliyah”?

    One thing is for sure, the liberal zionists role as “arbiters of morality” has come to an end – I really don’t want to hear from those guys what “my” problems are…ya know?

    • Citizen says:

      Dan Crowther, I think what you say should be taken a step further, giving permission to ask, what is being “Jewish?” What does it mean, “Jewishness?”: link to gilad.co.uk

      This question can no longer be left “in-house” because “pro-Israel” folks constantly conflate being Jewish and the powerful state of Israel; and in fact, Israel defines itself by such conflation. As the only state in the tinder-box ME, the region where the life blood of all modern states comes from in the form of oil, the only state that is nuclear-armed & supported with a blank check by the only superpower, whatever being “Jewish” is taken to mean affects us, humanity as a whole, and most especially all Americans, including America’s 98% Gentiles. Naturally, Palestinians need to get a grasp on why this issue is important.

  3. Winnica says:

    Does anyone know what proportion of Israel’s economy is based on the West Bank? I don’t know the number, but it’s very very small. Which means, a boycott of the settlers would be largely a symbolic gesture. You can boycott Israel, or not boycott Israe, but there’s no real middle way.

    • Citizen says:

      Winnica, of the water available from West Bank aquifers, Israel uses 73%, West Bank Palestinians use 17%, and illegal Jewish settlers use 10%.

      • seafoid says:

        the other thing is the money Israel doesn’t spend on education because it spends so much on the IDF in the West Bank and Gaza.

        And that will really hurt the economy over the next few decades.

        link to oecd.org

        Israel spends less than half per head compared to the developed countries.

        • Citizen says:

          Could say same about USA; spends too much on Military, not enough on Education–but in USA case, is also a matter of mispending the huge amount that does go to Education (More than any country proportionately, with crappier results–some of that, in turn, may be due to fact US is more diverse than other countries).

        • seafoid says:

          It’s bad in the US too. Republicans pushing special needs kids onto private sector vouchers.

    • seafoid says:

      750,000 Israeli jews are housed in the West Bank. Rehousing them in Israel would be beyond Israel’s ability to pay.

      Israel spends 6.3% of GDP on the military. Say 3% of GDP is occupation.

      Israel exports $4bn in goods to the tribal homelands

      The Israeli economy needs the occupation like alcoholics need whisky.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “You can boycott Israel, or not boycott Israe, but there’s no real middle way.”

      I support boycotting Israel and anyone who I know supports Israel.

  4. eGuard says:

    So, Naomi Paiss wants the stage cleared for “lefties”, “progressives”, “institutions and organizations that promote peace and justice”, “open-minded Israelis”, “those of us who truly care”, “pro-democracy [forces]“, “anti-occupation forces”, “organizations with a demonstrated commitment to democracy and a two state solution”.

    One of the great side effects of the BDS campaign is that exactly they are invited to show their colors. That show is on, and NIF has an early exit.

  5. eGuard says:

    Naomi Paiss, my bolding: There are those who naively believe the situation can’t be changed until Israel is being beaten, metaphorically or actually, with a [an] international club.

    Note that the the word of violence is introduced by Naomi Paiss of NIF.

  6. RE: “In her world, similar to that of a typical Israeli leftist, ‘targeting Israel is counter-productive and inflammatory,’ while it is meekly suggested that ‘Boycotting goods and services coming from the settlements… is another matter’ ” ~ Branion

    MY COMMENT: Nonetheless, I buy computers with AMD processors rather than Intel processors!

    SEE: Intel chip plant located on disputed Israeli land, by Henry Norr, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/08/02

    (excerpts)…But from a legal and historical point of view, Qiryat Gat happens to be an unusual location: It was not taken over by the Israeli military in 1948. Instead, it was part of a small enclave, known as the Faluja pocket, that the Egyptian army and local Palestinian forces had managed to hold through the end of the war.
    The area was surrounded by Israeli forces, however. When Israel and Egypt signed an armistice agreement in February 1949, the latter agreed to withdraw its soldiers, but it insisted that the agreement explicitly guarantee the safety and property of the 3,100 or so Arab civilians in the area.
    Israel accepted that demand.
    In an exchange of letters that were filed with the United Nations and became an annex to the main armistice agreement, the two countries agreed that “those of the civilian population who may wish to remain in Al-Faluja and Iraq al Manshiya (the two villages within the enclave covered by the letters) are to be permitted to do so. . . . All of these civilians shall be fully secure in their persons, abodes, property and personal effects.”
    Within days, the security the agreement had promised residents of the Al- Faluja pocket proved an illusion. Within weeks, the entire local population had fled to refugee camps outside of Israel.
    Morris presents ample evidence that the people of the Al-Faluja area left in response to a campaign of intimidation conducted by the Israeli military.
    He quotes, among other sources, reports filed by Ralph Bunche, the distinguished black American educator and diplomat who was serving as chief U. N. mediator in the region.
    Bunche’s reports include complaints from U.N. observers on the scene that “Arab civilians . . . at Al-Faluja have been beaten and robbed by Israeli soldiers,” that there were attempted rapes and that the Israelis were “firing promiscuously” on the Arab population. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to sfgate.com

  7. pabelmont says:

    It must be a problem for Israelis to join a full-frontal-BDS-attack on Israel; or even on the settlements. OK, they are excused! But American Jews and Americans and human beings everywhere are entitled to do what they can to overcome H/R abuses by Israel or by anyone else — even sometimes, gasp, by the 1%.

    If lefty Israelis are upset by BDS, let them take out their upset by telling Israel what’s happening (as if it didn’t know) rather than by telling the 99% to quit.

    BDS is not itself very powerful, as we see from the fact that the occupation continues and accelerates. But it is like a match that starts a larger fire. When the nations get energized, a nation-state-level BDS movement may begin which WILL be powerful. That’s my goal for BDS.

  8. Liz Shulman says:

    Thanks for this great piece. It reminds me of King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail in which he talks about white liberals. He says, “I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of
    ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    This is the beast that is white privilege–the refusal to see the world outside of oneself.

    Thanks so much for writing this.

    • Thanks for your compliment! You know what’s funny? This segment from King’s letter is one of the things I read while debating how to phrase the point about “liberal” allies; or, to be more accurate, debating whose words I would borrow to make the point. Carmichael’s were more concise, although people like Plaiss and Beinart should keep King’s letter in their desk!

  9. I found the SNCC newsletter (June-July 1967) which condemns Zionist terror gangs, and demands freedom for Palestinians.

    It’s here (page 1):
    link to tinyurl.com –click on it to enlarge it.

    And here (page 2):
    link to tinyurl.com

    More proof that the Black liberation movement brought Palestine solidarity to the United States!

  10. Superb article – the weird self absorption by the likes of Naomi Paiss partially explains why 44 years of military occupation has gone on and on and on.

    • Correction: It has been 64 years of military occupation, from 1948 to 2012.
      Hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed in that 1948 destruction of Palestine.

      If you are only against the “44 years of occupation”, then you keep Israel-proper intact, with its hundreds of atomic bombs and thousands of tanks.

      You already know that Israel will keep re-invading and terrifying Palestinians until it is abolished. Don’t you?

  11. awesome article, awesome. thank you so much Austin Branion. i hope you’ll be contributing a lot more to mondoweiss.

    • Thanks Annie! I was just soooo irritated by Paiss’s article that I couldn’t let it slide. Btw, not sure if you remember me, but we met at the Penn BDS conference: I was the black guy in the “Boycott Israel” shirt who gave you a hug 20 seconds after meeting you :)

      • Citizen says:

        Austin B, I agree with Annie and others here–your article was most astute and well-written! Lucky you, you got to give Annie a hug! OK, now I got put U on Twitter and Facebook, etc.

      • omg, of course i remember you austin! i think phil may have taken a pic of us standing together w/ahmed moor, or perhaps i was holding the camera. big hugs all around. that conference was wonderful, getting to meet so many people in person. thanks so much for reminding me.

        speaking of paiss’s article, i couldn’t help thinking of reut’s red lines, or firewalls or whatever they call it. so many barriers everywhere you turn. and the point you made about ““outside agitators” stirring discontent ” wrt paiss’s “the BDS bogeyman allows the proponents of the status quo to deflect pressure for change” … was right on. easily applied to any movement. who ever heard of NOT boycotting because the other side will just suck up energy complaining about how you don’t like them? that is basically the same logic.

        one more thing, the part about Global BDS, even when it succeeds, tends to penalize collectively academics, artists and others who actually oppose the occupation, while leaving untouched those responsible for Israel’s most destructive decisions.

        link to stopagrexcoitalia.org

        In 2005, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit of Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated: “We see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and we do not differentiate between propaganda and culture.”

        Artists who accept funding from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs are required to sign a contract which states that the artist “is aware that the purpose of ordering services from him is to promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel.”
        link to haaretz.com

        the only way the boycott penalizes “academics, artists and others who actually oppose the occupation” is when they use their art to promote israel. all this does really is level the playing field for artists to travel internationally. it’s not as if most artists (in the world)get state funding to either make or promote their art anyway. just because the israeli government is all to willing to pay their artists to make films and promote the films etc doesn’t mean we are robbing the artist or penalizing them if we don’t buy their state funded art. any israeli artist or academic can come to the US and be part of an art show here and not get targeted by bds. they just have to not sign that contract w/israel or take that money.

        • “who ever heard of NOT boycotting because the other side will just suck up energy complaining about how you don’t like them? that is basically the same logic.” Exactly! It seems like such a simple and obvious point, but it’s one I don’t recall seeing in counter-anti-BDS articles.

          And, truth be told, I do think that the movement should consider a blanket boycott, South Africa style, at some point in the future. I’m mulling over the arguments now, maybe I’ll write something on it in the future.

        • Thanks very much Austin for your post (and nice meeting you briefly at PennBDS). With respect to consideration of a blanket South Africa-style boycott, maybe Peter Beinart’s public dressing down by fellow “liberal Zionists” for his call for tepid, quasi-, semi-boycott will convince people there is no sanctuary in the middle of this debate. If you are going to B, then go all D and S like you mean it!

        • Bill, I’m trying to remember you… did you speak on the panel about South Africa alongside Cobban and Fletcher?

        • Thanks Austin- no, I was just part of the rank-and-file and we chatted a bit on the first day, kvetching a little about the commute in the DC area.

      • LeaNder says:

        I agree with Annie & citizen and whoever will follow, I hope you’ll contribute again. Welcome!

  12. Rusty Pipes says:

    Liberal Zionist organizations in Israel are under assault. Last year Im Tirzu posted that whole smear campaign aginst NIF’s leader. There is a campaign to force Israeli groups that receive international aid to be taxed out of existence as well as to enforce criminal penalties on citizens who advocate for BDS. In that context, while it may be an act of courage for NIF leadership to advocate any BDS at all, even that limited to the occupation, Paiss’ manner of doing so has given fuel to those who would smear other advocates of BDS.

  13. Alyssa says:

    I’m just gonna leave this here

    Shit Liberal Zionists say: link to tumblr.com

  14. yourstruly says:

    how about the contradiction in their claiming that bds is ineffective while at the same time raising the spectre of delegitimization

    southern segregationists too were sure that jim crow would live forever

    though not so sure that they would ignore the sit-ins, the rallies, the marches

    as the earth trembled

    beneath the martyrs

  15. More than you ever wanted to know about the intimate South Africa – Israel alliance during the apartheid years–

    link to tinyurl.com

    –complete with evidence of the top Apartheid South African leadership practically hugged up with the top Israeli leadership.

  16. hophmi says:

    Austin, BDS is wrong because it’s discriminatory, ineffective, and based on false assumptions.

    Israel is not an apartheid state. It has no philosophy of ethnic, religious, or racial apartheid. It is a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural society with a secular government. It is involved in a land conflict with the people next door, and that is why it has engaged in 20 years of peace negotiations. The people next door, unlike segregation-era Blacks, have espoused a mainstream philosophy of Jew-hatred and have carried that forth through antisemitic charters and suicide bombings which have killed scores of innocent civilians and have been calibrated specifically to do so. Of late, they have carried out thousands of rocket attacks, again, specifically with the intent of killing and terrorizing civilians. To compare these people to African-Americans during the civil rights movement is an insult to African-Americans.

    The BDS movement is not Palestinian-led. It is largely a Western creation, promoted principally by Western leftists. Its origins in Palestinian civil society are in name only. Moreover, it is, for most of its followers, a feel-good movement where the politics are more about self-righteousness than about concrete accomplishments. In reality, BDS has no accomplishments to speak of, and will not, because unlike the anti-apartheid movement, which targeted an actual apartheid system and had considerable support around the globe, the BDS movement is a radical movement of self-styled left-wingers which is fundamentally disingenuous. The movement’s real goal is to elevate the self-determination rights of Palestinians above those of Jews, and erase the UN-recognized right of Jews in the region to self-determination. It is, as Norman Finkelstein pointed out, a cult that does not care much for international law so much as it does for its own political orthodoxy.

    Moreover, the BDS movement does little to combat antisemitic hatred in its own ranks. Its members promote, as part of its so-called anti-apartheid stand, antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish lobbies and overrepresentation of Jews in finance and government.

    Finally, the BDS movement is selective. It targets Israel because Israel is a small country and Western target. It has little or nothing to say about crimes against humanity in Syria, and nothing to say about human rights violations in Iran, nothing to say about the status of women in general in the Arab world. It is therefore a political movement, and not a human rights movement.

    • Bumblebye says:

      What a pile of cr*p Hoph.
      “The people next door” Hah!
      Your tribesfolk kicked them out of the home they took over, and now are engaged in attempting to take over and evict them from the little that was left!
      You have spouted utter hogwash. Total lies. I suppose if an Israeli, a “real Jew” who “made aliyah” (=took advantage of stolen goods/lands) tells you this, that’s enough for you to go along. If they told you they had fairies at the bottom of the garden you’d believe that too, without question.

    • eljay says:

      >> Israel is not an apartheid state. It has no philosophy of ethnic, religious, or racial apartheid. It is a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural society with a secular government.

      The Jewish state – which proudly proclaims itself to be a Jewish state, the nation and homeland of the Jewish people – is religion-supremacist. Perhaps I missed the memo, but I’ve yet to read anywhere that one can acquire Jewish citizenship bureaucratically, or that one can become Jewish without undergoing a religious conversion.

    • Nice topic sentence and well-organized paragraph structure hophmi. Before receiving your final grade, please revise your term paper to include discussion of the Nakba, home demolition, land and water theft, and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by those nice Israelis who moved in “next door”.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “It is involved in a land conflict with the people next door”

      False. Syria is next door. Egypt is next door. Jordan is next door. There are Israeli militant and colonialists in Palestine and have been for 40 years. That’s not “next door.”

      “In reality, BDS has no accomplishments to speak of, and will not, because unlike the anti-apartheid movement,”

      Then one must question why you and the other judeo-fascists are so opposed to it. One would expect that if you truely believed it would accomplish nothing you would be happy to let that continue forever.

      “The movement’s real goal is to elevate the self-determination rights of Palestinians above those of Jews”

      Well, since the Jews in Palestine and their co-conspirators in the US have elevated the self-determination rights of Jews over those of the Palestinians for the last 65 years in Israel and for the last 45 in the remainder of Palestine, then turnabout is fair play. Maybe the Jews there should get a taste of their treatment of the Palestinians.

      “the BDS movement does little to combat antisemitic hatred in its own ranks”

      False. But even if true, who are you to complain? You Zionists don’t combat anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry in your ranks. You sing the praises of someone like Abe Foxman who didn’t have the character to fight the anti-Park51 bigotry.

      “Finally, the BDS movement is selective.”

      So what? So was the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. Oh, that’s right. This is not a good-faith argument by you, hoppy, but merely a distraction to cover up Zionism’s crimes. When it affects, say, Afrikaaners, you wouldn’t give a damn if it is selective. It is only when Jews are called to account for their crimes that you complain.

      • hophmi says:

        “False. Syria is next door. Egypt is next door. Jordan is next door. There are Israeli militant and colonialists in Palestine and have been for 40 years. That’s not “next door.” ”

        Like I said, Palestine is the nation next door to Israel. If it’s not next door, then BDS is a one-state scheme.

        “Then one must question why you and the other judeo-fascists are so opposed to it. One would expect that if you truely believed it would accomplish nothing you would be happy to let that continue forever.”

        Just because the cultish BDS movement has no accomplishments does not mean it’s not worth fighting against. We would like to keep it that way.

        “Well, since the Jews in Palestine and their co-conspirators in the US have elevated the self-determination rights of Jews over those of the Palestinians for the last 65 years in Israel and for the last 45 in the remainder of Palestine, then turnabout is fair play. Maybe the Jews there should get a taste of their treatment of the Palestinians. ”

        OK, so you are not interested in justice or international law, but simply the political aim of elevating the rights of one group above another based on perceived historical injustice. Again, I appreciate the honesty.

        “So what? So was the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. Oh, that’s right. This is not a good-faith argument by you, hoppy, but merely a distraction to cover up Zionism’s crimes. When it affects, say, Afrikaaners, you wouldn’t give a damn if it is selective. It is only when Jews are called to account for their crimes that you complain.”

        I don’t think the anti-apartheid movement was selective. South Africa was one of the last states with a de jure apartheid system. Nor was it a state that grew out of the ashes of the Holocaust, like Israel is.

        You can keep beating the dead horse of this ridiculous comparison, but it holds no water.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Like I said, Palestine is the nation next door to Israel. If it’s not next door, then BDS is a one-state scheme.”

          Palestine would be if the Jews had any interest in justice. Once they take their people and let them scurry back behind the green line, then BDS should stop. But you zionists have no interest in justice; you’ve been dragging your heels for generations.

          “OK, so you are not interested in justice or international law, but simply the political aim of elevating the rights of one group above another based on perceived historical injustice.”

          Don’t act like an idiot. The point I was making is that you and Zionists like you have demonstrated absolutely no interest in upholding the rights of the Palestinian people, except when Jews and your Zionist nightmare aren’t inconvenienced (and not even then, sometimes.) Why should anyone, in light of that, give a damen about the Jewish right of self-determination when you don’t care about anyone else’s rights?

          And “historical”? It’s going on right now. Right now, the Israelis are assaulting Palestine every single minute of every day, as they have for generations.

          “I don’t think the anti-apartheid movement was selective. ”

          Yeah because it addressed other countries like… ummm… Mexico? No. No Apartheid there. How bout Laos? No. Don’t remember too many anti-Apartheid rallies outside the Embassy of Laos in the 1980s.

          “de jure apartheid system”

          Who cares if it’s de jure? Israel has a de facto Apartheid system. That is just as bad and is absolutley no different. Apartheid is apartheid.

          “Nor was it a state that grew out of the ashes of the Holocaust, like Israel is.”

          Who cares? Irrelevant. The Palestinians weren’t in any way responsible for that. You want a country because of the holocaust? Go see Berlin.

          And, really, if that is the case, then the Israelis really should be ashamed of themselves. The biggest insult to the memories of the tormented innocents would be, I would imagine any decent person would agree, to have the survivors of that torment turn around and torment some other innocents, as was done to the Palestinians.

        • Citizen says:

          This exchange is worth a second glance:

          hophmi:
          “The [BDS} movement’s real goal is to elevate the self-determination rights of Palestinians above those of Jews”

          Woody T:
          “Well, since the Jews in Palestine and their co-conspirators in the US have elevated the self-determination rights of Jews over those of the Palestinians for the last 65 years in Israel and for the last 45 in the remainder of Palestine, then turnabout is fair play. Maybe the Jews there should get a taste of their treatment of the Palestinians. ”

          hophmi’s response:
          OK, so you are not interested in justice or international law, but simply the political aim of elevating the rights of one group above another based on perceived historical injustice. Again, I appreciate the honesty.

          Translation:

          hophmi:

          If you attempt to publicize the 65 year oppression of an entire native people by the last colonial settler power–with the huge aid of the world’s only super-power, and you also try to economically cox that settler power to get its boot off the neck of the natives, you are not being fair to the settler power because you are trying to inhibit that settler power from exercising its right to self-determination by throwing up a BDS smokescreen you call the natives’ right to self-determination.

  17. It’s a bit rich for “hophmi” to have such a good belly-laugh about the lack of Palestinians in the United States leading the BDS campaign. The Zionists have terrified them. The U.S. government has terrified them. Do you expect to see Palestinians marching through the U.S. campuses after such unremitting terror against them, their families back home, deportations, arrests, drone attacks, etc.?

    It’s a bit unfair to break the bird’s wing and then laugh at it because it can’t fly.

    The sooner Palestinians are able to organize mass marches for boycott of Israel, the sooner “hophmi” will eat his words. He will wish for the good old days of 2012, the good old feeble BDS movement of today.

    • hophmi says:

      “It’s a bit rich for “hophmi” to have such a good belly-laugh about the lack of Palestinians in the United States leading the BDS campaign. The Zionists have terrified them.”

      ROTFLMFAO. The Zionists have terrified the Palestinians in the US? Gimme a break. It is the other way around, if anything, particularly in the academy.

      “Do you expect to see Palestinians marching through the U.S. campuses after such unremitting terror against them”

      Hasn’t stopped the MSA’s from protesting and giving Jewish speakers on campus a hard time if they don’t toe the MSA line.

      “The sooner Palestinians are able to organize mass marches for boycott of Israel, the sooner “hophmi” will eat his words”

      The sooner you disabuse yourself of the idea that this will happen, the sooner you might actually accomplish something for the Palestinians.

      • It is the other way around

        really? terrified zionists? that almost sounds appealing. where are they? i’ll bring the popcorn.

        • hophmi says:

          I’m glad you’re a fan of terrorizing Zionists. It seems we have a lot of honesty around here today.

          There has been plenty of terrorizing of Zionist students on campus, most recently in the UC system.

          link to sfgate.com

          A few years ago, Bibi Netanyahu had to cancel a speech at Concordia University because of security threats.

          I’m not aware of similar behavior by Zionist students toward Muslim or Palestinian students or speakers.

        • Mooser says:

          “There has been plenty of terrorizing of Zionist students on campus, most recently in the UC system.”

          Well, Hophmi, you gotta understand that demanding that the US subordinate its foreign policy to a regime which seems bent on suicide and dragging us down with it is liable to arouse strong emotions.

        • Cliff says:

          LOL

          Security concerns?

          And why limit it to Zionist students?

          When students protested that hateful troll, Nonie Darwish, the Zionist crazies in the audience mobbed them.

          Show me a similar incident where the roles are reversed. In fact, there was an incident where some StandWithUs crazies pepper-sprayed JVP members during a JVP event.

          So whether they are hosting the event or attending an anti-Zionist/post-Zionist event, in these cases – the Zionist constituency was the aggressor.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “There has been plenty of terrorizing of Zionist students on campus, most recently in the UC system.”

          LMAO. That’s what you call terrorism? What a wuss you are. Someone had harsh words for the baby killer on a hasbara tour and defaced a flag. Oh, some terror. Loser.

        • hopmni, you do know there is not one incident reported in that article that threaten violence to any jewish student. i am sorry to inform you but criticizing israel does not make a campus ‘unsafe’ for jews.

          Their right to safe environment has been violated

          mentally safe? they are grown up. face that if they support a racist terrorist state people will be criticizing it, as they should. quit pampering these whiners.

          also, in this country burning a flag as a form of protest is not against the law, nor is defacing one.

        • Mooser says:

          “LMAO. That’s what you call terrorism?”

          Woody, how could you? Doesn’t the entire history of Zionism and Israel tell you how sensitive to emotional nuance and other people’s feelings Zionists are, even if the whole goddam world is anti-Semitic? Why, I bet that poor baby-killer was positively frappeed (that’s a Yiddish word meaning ‘to feel like you’re made of layers of ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce with a cherry on top) by the experience!

      • Mooser says:

        “The sooner you disabuse yourself of the idea that this will happen, the sooner you might actually accomplish something for the Palestinians.”

        Well, I’m glad to see Hophmi finally concedes the philo-Semitic nature of American society. I’m glad he appreciates that anti-Semitism will never effect American’s attitude toward Israel.

  18. the face in the photo makes me think of the “Leave Israel Alone” video

  19. Mooser says:

    Okay, I’ll say one thing for ol’ Hophmi, he’s a concerned citizen, for sure. Why, he’s so concerned he ought’a start a council! A concerned citizen’s council. You know, to protect us from ‘outside agitators’.