‘Haaretz’ writer calls for boycott of Israel

on 15 Comments

One of the refrains from Chris Matthews and other establishment types who want to softly criticize the occupation is that criticism of Israel inside Israel is far more vigorous than it is in our discourse. And yes this is true. But so what; it’s a nonsensical argument. I thought we were sovereign? Since when do we need permission from the Pope to criticize the Catholics, or the French to criticize France, or from any Israeli to criticize Israel?

That being said, all those who need permission to boycott Israel from mainstream Israelis now get it from the novelist and poet Yitzhak Laor in Haaretz, who explains that his society is now so profoundly right wing and off the rails (just what we’ve been telling you, and David Remnick too) that only real international pressure will save it. Laor mentions boycott and sanctions, and implies that the boycott should be aimed at Israel, not just the settlements. He speaks of the ’67 lines, as if the Arab Peace Initiative can somehow be revived:

The tendency to blame the Palestinians for failing to compromise is part of the colonialist hauteur. We imprison Palestinians, torture, steal, spread out on their land and ask them to compromise with us? In the name of what? In the name of fear of the extreme right?

Now Avigdor Lieberman comes along and declares that a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians is impossible and everyone is silent. The Palestinians are actually offering a peace deal. The big obstacle and the one that grows from year to year is the settlement enterprise, which promises that no solution will be achieved until it sinks us all.

In order to put pressure on the government, it is worthwhile learning from Beitar Jerusalem and its fans’ racist war: The fear of international sanctions work. The time has come to encourage the international community to fight Israeli intransigence and pressure Israel to give up on the occupied territories and its residents, who lack a voice from the perspective of our democracy. The “La Familia” government will surrender.

The 1967 borders are the goal, and for that we need to boycott not just Ariel College. All this will have to start from within us. After his speech in the Knesset, Obama will return to dine in the White House. We will stay to eat our spoiled fruit, fertilized like Naftali Bennett or Yair Lapid.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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15 Responses

  1. Scott
    February 11, 2013, 10:43 am

    Obama could have an interesting trip if he made time to meet with a group of Israeli dissidents, not necessarily post Zionists, but people like Laor, and the director of Btselem. Why the heck not?

  2. eljay
    February 11, 2013, 10:57 am

    The tendency to blame the Palestinians for failing to compromise is part of the colonialist hauteur. We imprison Palestinians, torture, steal, spread out on their land and ask them to compromise with us? In the name of what? In the name of fear of the extreme right?

    Another well-stated truth which Zio-supremacists will refuse to understand and accept.

  3. OlegR
    February 11, 2013, 11:03 am

    Itzhak Laor mainstream.
    Hhh just as Haaretz is the most influential paper in the country.

    • Woody Tanaka
      February 11, 2013, 1:32 pm

      I think that Mondoweiss should heed this call by blocking the israeli posters.

    • Cliff
      February 12, 2013, 1:22 am

      Oh poor, fake Russian Jew, OlegR.

      Are you going to cry to us about almost having to put on your IDF hat to shoot Gazans?

      You’re right though, there is no Israeli Left.

  4. pabelmont
    February 11, 2013, 11:28 am

    Does this writer risk lawsuit under Israel’s draconian no-BDS law? Or did his cutsy “The time has come to” mean that he is inviting others to THINK about it, not advising them to do it? In any case, a brave man. Consider what happened to Rabin and Grunzweig (and JFK and MLK and RK). We do, all of us, live in a world with a significant danger of assassination for left-wing political activists.

    That said, I am happy to have it said that the pressure must be international, should involve “boycott and sanctions,” not merely boycotts (sanctions arise from governments), and “should be aimed at Israel, not just the settlements”.

    What he seems to be suggesting, and what I have long been saying, is that the purpose of the activity must include rolling back the settlements project (and indeed the occupation), must involve pressure applied by governments, and must be directed against Israel generally, not at any fragment of Israel, so that Israel’s democratic institutions — not yet proved illusory and possibly actually robust — will allow the populace to turn their government around.

    The Palestinian BDS project has two other aims — achieving the return of the exiles from 1948, and making Israel a non-discriminatory democracy for all its citizens (including the present and future Palestinian citizens). But merely ending the settlements project would be a truly wonderful step in the right direction. And the momentum of the governments, once geared up to achieve merely this much, might well carry through toward the “return” and “democracy” (non-apartheid) goals of BDS.

    • yrn
      February 11, 2013, 1:47 pm

      Does this writer risk lawsuit under Israel’s draconian no-BDS law?
      The freedom of speech in the Israeli society, is much stronger then in the US.
      Yitzhak Laor is not Mainstream as Mr. Wiess as usual declares from lack of knowledge.
      Laor is from the far Left, always have been and it not just ok with everyone, but be surprised, his Poems are been studied in the Israeli School System as part of the matriculation exams, as many other Non Mainstream Israelis from the Left.
      This is the great face of the Israeli society, that has it all and they are all tolerated and accepted, and that’s why you guys get so much Information, that most of you don’t have the context to Understand the situation and the debate in the Israeli society, for Mr. Wiess every one that criticizes Israel (and many do and good that they do, as we want a better society) is either been used as in this article, or some of his words are been used to spew and smear.

      So pabelmont , don’t worry, Mr. Yitzhak Laor is a very distinguished and honorable Poet and got Twice the Israeli Prime Minister price twice.
      I can tell you that there are much heavier critics in Israel and express their views and they are respectable and are part of our free and open society.

      Now you can go on with your standard comments.

      • yrn
        February 11, 2013, 1:53 pm

        Btw, one of the great Israeli Critics Uri Aveneri, is the best example for “been used out of context”, I don’t think that there was a even one day, when he did not criticize something in Israel, but he is one of the best journalist Israel ever had, he Loves Israel and you will always see a optimistic last sentence in most of his article, for a better Israel.
        But usualy, he is been used by all the AntiZ and AntiS taking words out his articles, that are completely out of context, He knows about it and claimed regarding the hypocrisy of those who do it and use his words out of context.

  5. Les
    February 11, 2013, 12:57 pm

    What are the odds that Obama will visit Gaza on his trip?

  6. eljay
    February 11, 2013, 1:49 pm

    >> What are the odds that Obama will visit Gaza on his trip?

    Before or after fellating a donkey? ;-)

  7. palijustice
    February 11, 2013, 11:06 pm

    Boycotting all Israeli products, and not just settlement products, makes complete sense, because it is the Israeli government that is building the settlements and permitting the settlers to go there. Boycott and economic santions against Israel for these illegal settlements would be the most effective way of curtailing them.

    • sardelapasti
      February 12, 2013, 12:33 am

      “Boycotting all Israeli products…” Of course, no question about it.
      On the other hand, the committees calling to boycott and sanctions are pretty relaxed about it, with some saying that if one is personally ready to only boycott an egg, they are cool with that. I suppose because anyone starting to do that will soon get the sense of what exactly is going on and will conclude that nothing can work short of a total blackout of all things Zionist. If the person in question can think, that is.
      As you see, your problem may be only with the settlements, while others have been waiting 65 years for the state calling itself “Israel” to go away or at least restructure entirely, others yet would do it to “save” said illegal state, and so on. An elastic boycott is our only common ground.

  8. unverified__dg4573g1
    February 12, 2013, 12:15 am

    Pabelmont, does the Palestinian BDS advocate the actual return of the exiles or simply that the Right to Return be affirmed by Israel? There is a distinction between having the right on paper and the details that go into the actual administration of the Right of Return.

  9. yourstruly
    February 12, 2013, 1:56 am

    what happens post-successful boycott?

    justice for palestine?

    meanwhile, israel?


    • yourstruly
      February 12, 2013, 2:09 am

      the zionist entity, that is?

      & the israeli people?

      invited to stay on?

      as equals?

      getting along?

      better dispositions?

      liking it too?

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