Liberal Zionist Peratis comes out for BDS to shake up, and preserve, ‘Jewish Israel’

Kathleen Peratis

Kathleen Peratis

Kathleen Peratis is a human rights lawyer and former board member of the liberal Zionist group J Street who has several times taken the stage to argue against boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Yesterday she changed her line, somewhat, publishing a piece at Open Zion arguing for a Jewish BDS movement for the sake of preserving “our democratic Zionism.”

The thrust of the piece, titled, “If you want two states, support BDS,” is that Israel needs outside pressure to change, and it’s not getting any now. Peratis urges a boycott of any industry that profits from the occupation, going further than Peter Beinart, a liberal Zionist who has supported “Zionist BDS” limited to settlement products.

She would seem to dissociate herself from the Palestinian civil society call for BDS, which includes the right of return as one aim, when she avers that some BDS advocacy has the “whiff” of anti-Semitism. “Their advocacy of the ‘full’ right of return of Palestinian refugees means an end to Jewish Israel… We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them.”

She wants to make BDS “our tool.” Note that in criticizing J Street, she also seems to align herself more with Jewish Voice for Peace, a non-Zionist group.

Some excerpts:

Israelis are not demanding an end to occupation because the status quo is working for them. It is “sustainable,” as several speakers at the [recent] J Street conference pointed out. American Zionists would make a contribution if we were to shake up that indifference, if we were able to make the status quo less comfortable.

While we might not like all those who wield it, BDS has shown itself to be a tool that unsettles indifference. Few things focus the attention of the Israeli government on the issue of occupation like BDS, even the parve BDS of a limited boycott of settlement products (see Peter Beinart’s “Zionist BDS”). I don’t denigrate this limited boycott. Not buying Soda Stream or Gush Etzion wine is a start.

But maybe it is time now, maybe past time, to embrace a broader BDS tool for our own goal of ending the occupation—time for us to embrace the wake-up call that occurs when a rock group won’t perform in Tel Aviv, when the E.U. refuses to fund Israeli projects that have any presence over the Green Line, when the Presbyterian Church threatens divestment in companies that profit from the occupation.

I know this tool is anathema to the Jewish community. Why is that?

One argument, one I have made myself, is that BDS just makes Israelis feel that the world is against them, engenders a siege mentality and is therefore counterproductive. But what has been gained by such deference? For how long do we have carrots only and no sticks?…

We can create (and name) a pro-two-state, anti-occupation, Jewish BDS movement that is not limited to settlement products but that extends to everyone who profits from the occupation. Let’s embrace and not condemn the performers, funders and investors who say they won’t perform, fund or invest in Israel until the occupation ends. Let’s not attack them and reflexively call them delegitimizers or anti-Semites (unless, of course, they are). And let’s do so until Israelis do one thing: place ending the occupation higher on their priority list than the price of cottage cheese….

Here is the part that relates to JVP:

I can’t conclude without saying a word about fear, the fear of activist Jews that endorsing BDS means you are no longer under the communal tent. Just last week, J Street member Seth Morrison felt he had to quit J Street and remove himself from its listserve because he decided to join Jewish Voice for Peace, an American Jewish organization that supports the Global BDS Movement. What a pity that he was presented with, or felt he had to make, such a choice.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. seafoid says:

    So the right of return is antisemitic? Is that what the death squads told the villagers in Deir Yassin? Any resistance will be antisemitic?

    • Citizen says:

      @ seafoid
      Yes, I’m always amazed that the Zionists won’t acknowledge the right of return for the Palestinians yet the same concept is a major legal right applicable to all Jews by Israeli law. I never see anybody logically questioning Zionists on this issue.

      • kalithea says:

        Zionists don’t acknowledge right of return for Palestinians primarily because that would mean acknowledging the Nakba, admitting Israel was created on the basis of ethnic cleansing and terrorist acts against the indigenous Palestinians in essence representing a crime against humanity. By refusing to admit the Nakba they can justify refusing Palestinian return by stating: why should they be allowed to return when they left of their own volition and initiative?

        • Shmuel says:

          Zionists don’t acknowledge right of return for Palestinians primarily because that would mean acknowledging the Nakba, admitting Israel was created on the basis of ethnic cleansing and terrorist acts against the indigenous Palestinians in essence representing a crime against humanity.

          That’s certainly a big part of it. It means admitting that Zionism (pre-67, as liberal Zionists like to fantasise) is not fundamentally good (with a few “mistakes” along the way), but an inherently violent ideology (see e.g. Hannan Hever on the subject) directly (and necessarily) responsible for crimes against humanity.

          Another, related aspect (related inasmuch as it is based on the same illusions of “democracy” and “goodness”), is the desire to preserve Israeli ethnocracy — intimately related to the demographic engineering Zionism/Israel has been engaged in since the very beginning, which precludes the admission of large numbers of Palestinians (the most “threatening” kind of non-Jews, as demonstrated by long-standing Israeli policy and legislation).

          The third aspect — the only one that really deserves serious consideration — is fear, some of it quite justified and understandable (see e.g. Abunimah on the subject of Jewish-Israeli fears of Palestinian return).

        • @Shmuel: Could you, please, provide a link to Abunimah on the subject of Jewish-Israeli fears of Palestinian return?

        • Shmuel says:

          Could you, please, provide a link to Abunimah on the subject of Jewish-Israeli fears of Palestinian return?

          link to electronicintifada.net

          (specifically about 1 state, but applies to return as well)

        • seafoid says:

          Shmuel
          Is Hannan Hever any relation of Shir Hever?

        • German Lefty says:

          Is Hannan Hever any relation of Shir Hever?

          I once read on a Zionist website that Hannan is Shir’s father. However, I have no idea if that’s actually true. Zionists tell many lies.
          It’s here: link to isracampus.org.il

        • Shmuel says:

          Is Hannan Hever any relation of Shir Hever?

          Hannan is Shir’s father.

        • seafoid says:

          Very impressive family. Like the Elhanans . Very sad to think of all the other Jewish Israeli families who could have followed them instead of the IDF brainwash.

  2. Citizen says:

    Reminds me of the shunning that goes on regarding rebels in the Amish community. But the Amish have a convincing objection to war and violence or brute force as a tool to accomplish anything, and they don’t buy US politicians via the US campaign finance system.

  3. Does Kathleen Peratis really think that J Street and JVP are on the same page to the extent that belonging to both groups goes together like cookies and milk? JVP’s attitude towards “the right of return” and the occupation of East Jerusalem are not really on the same page as J Street’s opposition to right of return and the general attitude of liberal Zionists towards the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter in the Old City. If the two groups really overlap, it requires a suspension of disbelief rather than a large tent and on this aspect of her statement I think Peratis is off base.

    Also I think the cultural boycott of Israel is in a category that J Street and JVP are of differing world views. I think it is unnatural for J street supporters to not cringe at a cultural boycott of Israel, while it is quite natural for JVP people to cheer such a boycott on. I think Peratis is closer to JVP than to J Street on that issue.

    If Peratis is limiting her boycott to companies that profit from the occupation, she should not endorse the cultural boycott. (Limiting one’s rhetoric regarding boycotters is a different question.)

    • Hostage says:

      Does Kathleen Peratis really think that J Street and JVP are on the same page to the extent that belonging to both groups goes together like cookies and milk?

      I was a dues paying member of both organizations a few years ago. I don’t belong to J-Street anymore. There are liberal Zionists in JVP who advocate on behalf of equal rights for all under either a 1ss or 2ss.

      • German Lefty says:

        There are liberal Zionists in JVP who advocate on behalf of equal rights for all under either a 1ss or 2ss.

        Hostage, this sentence doesn’t make any sense to me. How can a Zionist be an equal rights supporter?

        • Hostage says:

          Hostage, this sentence doesn’t make any sense to me. How can a Zionist be an equal rights supporter?

          That’s easy. There are several examples of cultural Zionists on the JVP advisory board, like Noam Chomsky. There have always been varieties of Zionists who did not endorse the idea of a Jewish state or the establishment of a homeland for all of the Jews in Palestine.

          Even in the early days of the movement, some simply supported the idea of a revival of the Hebrew language and Jewish culture among the members of the existing population. There are even religious Zionists, who reject the legitimacy of the State of Israel, that many here mistake for Anti-Zionists.

        • RoHa says:

          And I’m pretty sure there are inconsistent Zionists.

    • Hostage says:

      If Peratis is limiting her boycott to companies that profit from the occupation, she should not endorse the cultural boycott. (Limiting one’s rhetoric regarding boycotters is a different question.)

      There’s nothing wrong with a cultural boycott of the guilty parties in Israel. In fact, its rather disappointing to see J-Street invite or sponsor so many racist Israeli MKs to their shindigs.

  4. Krauss says:

    She is being dragged by her hair, kicking and screaming, into the democratic path.

    Just like the 2SS was considered dangerous territory until the early 90s before Clinton took the initiative(and then let the settlements explode under his watch), so too will ‘Zionist BDS’ be increasingly be seen as mainstream among the ‘liberal’ Zionist flank.

    It will be used the same way the 2SS has been used, as a stalling tactic, saying “there’s still time, let us do BDS because we know Israel better than all those anti-Semites/neo-Nazis who demand democratic justice”.

    These people are being run over by the forces of history.
    And I will not weep.

  5. fnlevit says:

    In fact I what I am doing in my previous comment is to expand on the famous Norman Finkelstein interview.
    link to youtube.com
    BDS is not only the “end of Israel” it is also the “end of Jews”. The great danger is that the calamity of Israel disappearing (with inevitable fight between super extreme groups on both sides, bloodshed, instability, wave of mass emigrations, etc) will be so great, will cause such a tremendous anti-Jewish wave that also the present day non Zionist Jews will be swept by it.
    Exactly like Finkelstein is now swept by the anti-Israeli wave he helped to create but hoped it will “play by the rules”. Even in physics we do not know how to control more than a few particles “to play by the rules” let alone in a dynamics involving millions of people.

    • Cliff says:

      Finkelstein is not opposed to BDS you lying troll.

      He is opposed to only BDS as a means of bringing about an end to the conflict. He does not believe BDS is some kind of miracle.

      He is a 2SS proponent and believes that solely BDS usage will alienate people.

      But he still supports the use in combination w/ IHL to seek a 2ss.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      fnlevit,
      If you think that giving the human rights to all the Palestinians to which they are entitled will lead to the “end of the Jews” then you are seriously mentally ill and should seek treatment.

    • Talkback says:

      fnlevit says: “BDS is not only the “end of Israel” it is also the “end of Jews”. The great danger is that the calamity of Israel disappearing (with inevitable fight between super extreme groups on both sides, bloodshed, instability, wave of mass emigrations, etc) will be so great, will cause such a tremendous anti-Jewish wave that also the present day non Zionist Jews will be swept by it.”

      Nice try. I’m sure you will catch some monkeys with this trick.

      • amigo says:

        “BDS is not only the “end of Israel” it is also the “end of Jews”levit (prof ???.).

        So end the occupation and get your criminal squatter thieves back to Israel proper and then Israel will be safe.

        You zio apologists are the ones driving Israel over the cliff and into the sea.

        But carry on.I will lose no sleep over the end of this exercise in brutality and colonialist thuggery and oppression.

    • Hostage says:

      In fact I what I am doing in my previous comment is to expand on the famous Norman Finkelstein interview. . . . BDS is not only the “end of Israel” it is also the “end of Jews”.

      LOL! As I understood it, Norman Finkelstein opined that those who wish to eliminate the State of Israel through BDS are engaged in cult-like thinking and that they would never become a popular mass movement. So, you can’t really expand on that idea by claiming that the so-called cult will become so popular and successful that it will be both the end of the State of Israel and the end of the Jews. I hope you’re better at physics than you are at hasbara.

      • ziusudra says:

        Greetings Hostage,
        …. the end of Jews….
        On this Topic included, 2 new Terms struck me curiously::
        liberal Zionism,
        democratic Zionism.
        Wha’?
        A liberal or democratic Ideology?
        Democracy of the first Democratic Society, the Greeks was 4 slaves to one free Greek.
        Democracy of the Trek of the Dutch in So.Afr. was Dutch Whites.
        Democracy of the US before the Civil War was only for Whites.
        Zionistan didn’t Progress much on this concept of inclusiveness.
        Does it matter whether Ms. Peratis agrees with part or parcel of BDS?
        Sanction Zionistan for any other unknown reasons, they deserve it.
        I well understand that only the Israeli People will suffer.
        What are the great crimes of No. Korean, Cuban & Iranian People being sanctioned so long? Zionistan has given the globe enough reasons.
        ziusudra

  6. Cliff says:

    I wonder if Peratis would support America being both Christian and Democratic.

    I wonder if she would support a quota on residency rights for Jews as well as institutional discrimination and a refusal to acknowledge the significance of the Holocaust.

    Her article is addressed to the Jewish community. It reeks of exclusivity and tribalism.

    Yet she is American and would not EXIST such as she is without America and without AMERICAN values.

    Zionist racists/bigots like her enjoy American freedoms while espousing draconian, ethnocratic Israeli/Zionist values abroad.

    Hypocrite.

    • amigo says:

      “I wonder if she would support a quota on residency rights for Jews as well as institutional discrimination and a refusal to acknowledge the significance of the Holocaust.”Cliff

      Or how about “Onward Christian Soldiers” as a National Anthem.

      Would she stand up and salute.

  7. talknic says:

    She’ll now be so inundated with abuse, false accusations, blatant lies, purposefully misinterpreted, misquoted and all the bile that can be mustered against her.

    She might at last realize what a vile vipers nest she’s left

    Always live in hope

  8. pabelmont says:

    Peratis: ” Let’s embrace and not condemn the performers, funders and investors who say they won’t perform, fund or invest in Israel until the occupation ends. ”

    If she means this to be consistent with her call for Jewish BDS, then she means to shun ALL Israel (not just the settlers, not just the settlements’ economic enterprises) UNTIL the settlers are removed and, perhaps, as this quote says, UNTIL “the occupation ends”.

    Lest there be any question, I think Peratis should DEFINE “the occupation ends”.

    Here are my early off the cuff thoughts.

    The end of the occupation is not merely the withdrawal of Israeli settlers and soldiers and administrators, but (at least) the end of Israeli CONTROL over people’s lives, their international travel and trade, their farming and fishing and drilling for oil and gas in the Mediterranean, their other occupations, their going and coming locally. It means pulling down the hated wall and the settlements (read UNSC 465 (1980)). I would add, too, it means removing the garbage, sewage, toxic wastes, LAND MINES and other unexploded munitions, if any, nuclear wastes including from depleted uranium munitions used in OPTs, if any, and other trash which have been dumped into the West Bank and Gaza by Israelis and Israeli-sponsored settlers and enterprises. It means stopping using more than a fair share (TBD) of the surface water and aquifer water of Gaza and West Bank and making reparations for the water illicitly already taken. (Gaza would have no fresh water without supply from Israel, because the huge population of Gaza — unsustainable in terms of aquifers — is the result of certain events in 1948 for which Israel has never made restitution.

  9. pabelmont says:

    “The thrust of the piece, titled, “If you want two states, support BDS,” is that Israel needs outside pressure to change, and it’s not getting any now. ”

    TRUE. And it needs pressure from many directions. What’s important, I suppose, if the pressure is to be a force fro reform rather than for destruction of Israel, is that the declared purpose of every element of this pressure be consistent. One goal might be removal of settler enterprises. (Too small a goal IMO). A larger goal might be removal of all settlers from all OPTs. And Golan, too. A still larger goal might be removal of settlers and of the wall and of the settlements buildings. Maybe the highways as well. The highest goal, of this set of goals, would be ending the occupation (see my previous comment). These goals are consistent, and all this pressure presses in the same direction.

    All the goals I mentioned above are also goals for the enforcement (by the pressure) of international law (I/L) and norms.

    The Palestinian BDS goals of an anti-discriminatory Israel may go beyond I/L much though many people would support such a goal. The Palestinian BDS goal of a Palestinian right of return into Israel (if Israel is their or their ancestors’ homeland) may likewise go beyond I/L much as most right-minded people would support it.

    If the pressure stays a citizen-level BDS movement, even with a Jewish BDS sub-movement thrown in, I think Israel will learn to ignore it. If the massive and impassive and inert nations ever get involved, a much stronger BDS might eventuate, but that’s for a distant future if past is prolog. A Jewish BDS movement might serve to “give the nations permission” to apply pressure to Israel for the purposes discussed above. That is a good reason to support Peratis’s call for a Jewish BDS.

    But I’d broaden it. A strictly commercially-targeted pressure movement is too narrow in its focal concentration unless ALL Israeli commerce is made a target: but if all the Israeli enterprises stopped today in the West Bank, the occupation would continue, and against which targets would Peratis’s Jewish BDS operate?

  10. Sycamores says:

    the zionist bull sh*t movement (ZBS) is an obvious counter ploy to the BDS. this divide and conquer attempt (and that what it is) by the ZBS tells me that the BDS movement is becoming more of a threat to the ethnocracy that is israel then most of us are led to believe.

    the Palestinian BDS movement campaign is in three sections
    1/ end occupation
    2/ equal rights for all
    3/ the Palestinian right of return.

    ZBS
    1/ end occupation by ethnic cleansing
    2/ perserved the rights of one ethnic group
    3/ the invader right to conquer

    • German Lefty says:

      this divide and conquer attempt by the ZBS tells me that the BDS movement is becoming more of a threat to the ethnocracy that is israel then most of us are led to believe.

      I totally agree! Please, when will we get “thumbs up” buttons?

  11. Woody Tanaka says:

    “She wants to make BDS ‘our tool.’”

    Yawn. Another zio attempting to steal something that is not hers, in order to benefit the Apartheid state. How is this any different that the serial thefts committed by the zionists over the last 100 years?

    Absent a goal of consigning zionism to the ash heap of history along with its fellows (fascism, communism, Apartheid, etc.) what is the point of BDS?? zionism is the evil. That must be destroyed.

    • German Lefty says:

      Another zio attempting to steal something that is not hers, in order to benefit the Apartheid state. How is this any different that the serial thefts committed by the zionists over the last 100 years?

      Well said, Woody!

  12. David Samel says:

    My impression of Peratis is that she is a sincere progressive who even leans toward the most progressive side of the Zionist spectrum, that is, she goes as far as she can while clinging to the notion that a Jewish State – acting much more benignly – is worthy of support. She even has visited Gaza on several occasions, which many of her critics, including myself, have never done. This is a big step for her to advocate punitive measures to pressure Israel, and as talknic notes, one that will surely invite abuse. I do think she is genuinely troubled by the question of whether democracy and the Jewish State are reconcilable, something she just assumes here, but it is too great a leap for her to conclude that Zionism itself is the problem. She no doubt would like to minimize Israel’s differential treatment of its Jewish and non-Jewish citizens, but she does not set a time limit (it’s been 65 years already!) at which she will change her mind. Nor does she recognize that even if Israel unexpectedly changes its course and seeks to reduce official state discrimination against some of its citizens, it can never eliminate them altogether, which really should be an inviolable requirement for legitimacy in the 21st century. Still, I think her movement in the right direction should be welcomed rather than ridiculed as not going far enough.

    • Shmuel says:

      Still, I think her movement in the right direction should be welcomed rather than ridiculed as not going far enough.

      Thanks, David. I don’t see Palestinian life getting any better or showing any sign of getting better, and allies (even partial allies) don’t exactly grow on trees. Peratis goes pretty far herself, and seems willing to cooperate with those who go further. That’s good enough for me.

      I think Jerry Haber was on the right track in appealing to liberal Zionists to join BDS (or TBDS): link to jeremiahhaber.com

      It’s rather counterproductive to ask them to join and then spit in their faces when they do.

      • German Lefty says:

        Allies (even partial allies) don’t exactly grow on trees. Peratis goes pretty far herself, and seems willing to cooperate with those who go further.

        Shmuel, you should read her statement more thoroughly:
        “Their advocacy of the ‘full’ right of return of Palestinian refugees means an end to Jewish Israel… We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them.”
        She is a supporter of the Jewish supremacist state. This makes her an enemy, not an ally.

        • gl, your purity patrol is not in line w/what omar barghouti has stated which as i recall, paraphrasing, was something along the lines of ‘if you want to boycott an egg boycott an egg’. link to mondoweiss.net

        • Shmuel says:

          She is a supporter of the Jewish supremacist state. This makes her an enemy, not an ally.

          1. She uses the term “BDS” – thereby allying herself with the general movement (no matter how she rationalises it).
          2. She has no problem with JVP – which supports full BDS.
          3. She has no problem with a whole range of BDS initiatives, including those that go beyond just boycotting the settlements (“Let’s embrace and not condemn the performers, funders and investors who say they won’t perform, fund or invest in Israel until the occupation ends”).
          4. She calls for an end to the “delegitimization” argument and the treatment of BDS as “anathema” within the Jewish community.

          An enemy? Really? This woman would support just about every divestment initiative (churches, universities, etc.) tabled so far. She’s in line with “Who Profits” and the main thrust of most boycott initiatives around the world (which focus on the occupation – Ahava, Soda Stream, etc.). She even supports some forms of cultural boycott – and she wants to talk about it in J Street and the established Jewish community!

          Alliances are about accepting (although not necessarily liking) differences and being able to work together when and where goals are shared. Give this woman some credit and work with her. “Boycotting” her may help keep BDS “pure”, but it certainly won’t further any of its goals.

        • David Samel says:

          GL – If you were to declare as “enemies” anyone who believed that Jewish State should continue to exist, there would be a lot of good people on your enemies list, including Uri Avnery, Norman Finkelstein, Jerry Slater, Mearsheimer and Walt, as well as Peratis. Each of these, and many more, have demonstrated a genuine commitment to exposing Israeli misbehavior and relieving the misery imposed on Palestinians. I think it’s a big mistake to ignore their contributions and shun them because their long-term future vision departs from yours, especially since neither vision seems obtainable in the near future.

        • German Lefty says:

          your purity patrol is not in line w/what omar barghouti has stated which as i recall, paraphrasing, was something along the lines of ‘if you want to boycott an egg boycott an egg’.

          Annie, that’s not true. You don’t get it. This is not about WHAT to boycott but about WHY to boycott. This woman’s goal is preserving the Jewish supremacist state. Clearly, she boycotts Israel for a wrong reason. That’s why I can’t accept her as ally. In the same way, I don’t accept neo-Nazis as allies. They boycott Israel for a wrong reason, too. In their case, it’s hatred of Jews. Do you view boycott-supporting neo-Nazis as allies, too? I reject boycotters who have a Zionist agenda in the same way I reject boycotters who have a Nazi agenda. In both cases, it’s a supremacist agenda.
          Instead of attacking ME for not supporting this woman’s Zionist agenda, you should attack HER for not supporting the rights of Palestinian Israelis and Palestinian refugees.
          Listen to what Omar Barghouti says (from 7:10 to 8:30):
          link to youtube.com
          Here’s the crucial part: “The most important right is the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Why is that the most important right? Simply because 68% of the Palestinian people are refugees. 50% of the Palestinian people live in exile, outside of historic Palestine. 12% are Palestinian citizens of Israel. And 38% are in the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem. This means that anyone who says ‘I support Palestinian rights and therefore I support ending the occupation.’ is only saying ‘I support SOME Palestinian rights for a MINORITY of the Palestinian people.’ 38% in fact. They are not addressing THE Palestinian people.”

        • German Lefty says:

          @ David Samel
          Uri Avnery, Norman Finkelstein, Jerry Slater, Mearsheimer and Walt
          I don’t view these people as allies.
          When did Finkelstein say that the Jewish state should continue to exist? To my knowledge, he is neither a Zionist nor an anti-Zionist. Once he said in an interview that Zionism is not the problem. Totally deluded.

          Each of these, and many more, have demonstrated a genuine commitment to exposing Israeli misbehavior and relieving the misery imposed on Palestinians.
          Nope. They are only committed to exposing SOME of the Israeli misbehaviour, i.e. only those crimes that serve their purpose. Their incentive is pure self-interest, i.e. preserving the oh-so-precious Jewish state on 78% of Palestinian land. They want to help Israel perpetuating the Nakba.

          I think it’s a big mistake to ignore their contributions
          I don’t ignore their contributions. I just don’t give them any credit for their contributions, because they only make them in order to further their own Zionist agenda.

          especially since neither vision seems obtainable in the near future
          That’s undoubtedly true. However, to me it’s more a matter of principle.

        • Dutch says:

          @ German Lefty

          I guess Ms Peratis has chosen the words herself: ‘We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them’ — meaning anyone who demands the RoR.

          That is vice versa: we cannot march shoulder to shoulder with her, since she denies, even combats, one of the principle grounds of BDS.

          But the fact she is not an ally doesn’t mean she’s not a useful idiot. There are all sorts of advantages to be gained by her move. At least she’ll put BDS and the RoR on the radar in otherwise closed-off groups, surely she’ll create damage in het own circles, and as pointed out by others she’ll be effectively supporting certain goals of BDS.

          See it from a strategic point. The opponent starts looking for desperate compromises, that hurt it’s very stability. It’s a very clear sign – one in many – that the pressure is becoming too much.

          Will she be able to ‘hijack’ BDS and thus sink the original tool? No way. The BDS-steamer is at sea. But the iceberg is crumbling.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I guess Ms Peratis has chosen the words herself: ‘We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them’ — meaning anyone who demands the RoR. ”

          Exactly. She is basically saying that her organization doesn’t want REAL peace — peace with justice — it wants a zio peace, but one which doesn’t offend her precious sensitivities.

        • bintbiba says:

          Whatever Peace Agreement, Solution to the Problem, Process towards resolving such a thorny problem, None will ever be perfect…. that is the nature of the beast!
          Common sense, Justice , Humanity, Compromise, will always have to prevail in the end.
          Shmuel, David Samel , I wish you were there instead of M Indyk and the PA jokers.(Any one of the 3 Barghoutis would do me fine).

          Sorry for all those ‘majuscules” …. Just in one of those moods!

        • German Lefty says:

          The fact she is not an ally doesn’t mean she’s not a useful idiot. There are all sorts of advantages to be gained by her move. At least she’ll put BDS and the RoR on the radar in otherwise closed-off groups, surely she’ll create damage in her own circles, and as pointed out by others she’ll be effectively supporting certain goals of BDS.

          I agree, Dutch! I just don’t understand why so many anti-Zionists praise this Zionist for not hating ALL the Palestinians but “only” MOST of them. This is bizarro world.

        • Dutch says:

          @ Woody
          ‘Exactly. She is basically saying that her organization doesn’t want REAL peace — peace with justice — it wants a zio peace, but one which doesn’t offend her precious sensitivities.’

          I think it’s more than sensitivities. I think it’s an inert sense of Apartheid. This is not about the right of Palestinians, this is about the future of this so-called ‘Jewish state’ — which is destroying the Palestinians.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Dutch, I think your insight is on the money. Her mindset is that of the zionist, and they can’t seem to see from any other perspective but that of their own.

        • Dutch says:

          @ German lefty,

          Dear neighbour, I’m on your side. This ‘Elite BDS à la Peratis’ could create some positive effects, but its goal is deeply disgusting.

          BTW, I don’t think your standpoint suffers from ‘purity’. This is about the basic rules of BDS, brought forward by the Palestinian civil society, based on its established rights. Like you, I support these. Period.

        • Dutch says:

          @ Shmuel

          This is not about keeping BDS ‘pure’, but about keeping it in line with its basic rules, as defined by the Palestinians themselves, including full RoR.

          I can’t see why anyone – as per your suggestion – should work with this woman to realize the opposite. Do you expect any support for this from the Palestinians? I don’t. I don’t think they will skip the RoR from the BDS fundamentals because there is some movement within US liberal zionist circles. I’m sure they won’t.

          If I may suggest: don’t confuse the complex struggle of the US Jewish community with the Palestinian struggle.

          And BTW. The fact that the BDS Movement will not stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Ms Petakis has nothing to do with a ‘boycot’. There is just no common ground as long as she herself boycots the BDS fundamentals.

        • Sibiriak says:

          GL:

          In the same way, I don’t accept neo-Nazis as allies. They boycott Israel for a wrong reason, too.

          There’s a bid difference you are ignoring: neo-Nazis are reviled throughout the world and have no international governmental support; as allies they would fatally discredit BDS.

          Liberal Zionism– continuation of Israel as a Jewish state/end of the Occupation/creation of a Palestinian State– on the other hand, has vast international popular and government backing, and the notion of a 2SS is firmly anchored in international law. As allies, genuine liberal Zionists such as Peratis, would only ADD credibility and efficacy to the BDS movement, not discredit or undermine it.

          From the viewpoint of practical, achievement-oriented morality, not ideological purism, that difference is crucial.

        • German Lefty says:

          @ Sibiriak

          neo-Nazis are reviled throughout the world and have no international governmental support; as allies they would fatally discredit BDS. Liberal Zionism, on the other hand, has vast international popular and government backing

          Right. However, instead of accepting this double standard regarding Zionist racists and Nazi racists, we should challenge it by showing that Zionism is as unjust as Nazism because it’s the same kind of ideology.

          the notion of a 2SS is firmly anchored in international law.

          Yes, but not the Zionist version of the two-state solution. The people and the politicians need to understand that the Zionist version of the two-state solution is unjust and would create two further Gazas besieged by the Jewish supremacist state.

          As allies, genuine liberal Zionists such as Peratis, would only ADD credibility and efficacy to the BDS movement, not discredit or undermine it.

          I disagree with you. Liberal Zionists, such as Peratis, do not add credibility to the BDS movement. The BDS movement is the original BDS movement, i.e. Palestinian-led BDS. Peratis does not support this original BDS movement. She wants to start a forged BDS movement, i.e. Zionist-led BDS. They differ in terms of goals: Palestinian-led BDS wants to end Zionism. Zionist-led BDS wants to preserve Zionism. Peratis wrote: “We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them. But why have we conflated their goals with their tools? Are they inextricable? I don’t think so.”
          If anything, it’s the anti-Zionist Jews, not the Zionist Jews, who help the world understand that the BDS movement is a good thing.
          Besides, Palestinians don’t need to wait for foreign Zionist Jews to “graciously” give their blessing to a boycott of Israel. Zionist Jews are not the authorities on what is allowed and not allowed in terms of Israel. Palestinians have the right to call for a boycott of their oppressors and dispossessors. They don’t depend on Zionist approval in order to be credible. The tool of boycott is already legitimised by historical precedents, e.g. the boycott of apartheid South Africa and the boycott of Nazi Germany. Also, BDS activists should emphasise that fighting for the human rights of Palestinians is not tantamount to taking away human rights from Jews. This totally logical explanation should be sufficient for showing that BDS is not inherently anti-Semitic.
          I think that we need to challenge the mainstream’s idea that negative criticism of Israel or sanctions against Israel are only legitimate if the purpose is to help and save “the Jewish state”. It must become acceptable to negatively criticise and sanction Israel with the sole purpose of supporting the Palestinians. It should not be necessary to add, “My negative criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, because ending the occupation is actually in Israel’s self-interest.” This statement conveys the totally false impression that negative criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic if it’s not made with Israel’s self-interest in mind.

      • ritzl says:

        Agree DS and Shmuel. Well said. Especially the “willing to cooperate” part, Shmuel. That’s a huge step for a [former?] mainstreamer.

        • seafoid says:

          Good points , everyone. If she moves the debate on, so much the better. But German Lefty brought up something very interesting. I don’t think jews can define anything relating to the mess any more. The dynamic of the process has gone beyond the capacity of the jewish community to manage. The RoR would be the end of judistan for sure but can that be ruled out? Does the jewish state have a future?

          Zionism is very poor on consequences. Zionism always ran its interactions with the palestinians with justice switched off. That was really dumb.

          Imagine if BP had checked the sealing on that deepwater macondo well instead of leaving it to halliburton.

        • ritzl says:

          Hi seafoid. I don’t know if you meant to respond to me, but I’ll reply anyway… I agree with you as well on the “Jews leading” part. But they’re not, as far as I can tell. Palestinians are. Peratis’s epiphany is a late one. While it does seem to be a possible attempt at coopting the already existing Palestinian-defined BDS, it is also an early compounding action for that effort.

          Where I think GL gets it wrong is that there are no real actionable decision points for BDS at the moment. There are only objectives, so I believe GL’s “all or nothing” characterization is flawed. I believe that “you’re either with us completely, or you’re against us.” is not conducive garnering support. To get to actionable decision points (1S v. 2S) you have to get there first, and then decide.

          To me, you grow a movement by embracing support where you can get it, especially early on when you don’t know whether or not you will have the ultimate “oompf” to reach your goals, even knowing that there will come a time when that early support may become counterproductive and have to be shed (too late, imho, for the latecomers, they’ve already helped get the ball rolling). I think that type of future judgement is a leadership function that Palestinians have taken on and will have to maintain. THEY decide if, when, and why to part company. I believe Palestinian BDS leadership have the strength and foresight to embrace early and shed later, rather than shed early and wonder what happened.

          As to the timing of Peratis’s epiphany, I believe there is a realization that the libzio 2S desire has lost to the “mainstream” Jewish reality of 1S. I think that they/libzios that are casting around for something to latch onto to preserve their dream. That is a sign of weakness, imho, and suggests, not without guarding against the co-opting reflex you point out, that their desires are fundamentally subordinate to the Palestinian origination and direction of BDS. Libzios simply have no place else to go, politically or movement-wise. Whether they realize it or not.

          Finally, BDS was always going to shed support as it reached the threshold(s) of the potential decision points. If BDS was successful enough that the first decision point became a realistic/sovereign/just 2S with actionable IHL kicking in, v. onward to 1S… then there would be a big falloff of support. BDS, objectives or not, has always been about pressuring Israel to do something/anything, preferably something right, imvho. But something. Something to recalibrate around. Something in our lifetimes. Whatever it takes…

          Sorry for the length, but shorter version: This is an opportunity for Palestinian BDS leadership to reiterate its strength by accepting this reach out to propel its own efforts. Use it, however guardedly. Don’t run away from it by questioning whether it’s an attempt to coopt (which, again, it almost certainly and reflexively is).

          FWIW.

        • German Lefty says:

          I believe GL’s “all or nothing” characterization is flawed. I believe that “you’re either with us completely, or you’re against us.” is not conducive garnering support.
          ritzl, let me use LGB rights as an example. As a bisexual person, I am affected myself. In an episode of the Savage Lovecast, there was a black caller who considers himself a “gay ally”. However, he opposes same-sex marriage because of his Christian belief. He said that he supports ALL gay rights EXCEPT FOR that one issue. He asked Dan Savage if he is right in calling himself an ally or if only people who support “full equality” can be regarded as allies. Dan Savage replied that the latter is the case. Finally, the caller agreed and drew a parallel to the black civil rights movement. He stated that he could never have viewed people as allies who support all black rights but reject miscegenation.
          Look, there aren’t different degrees of equality. Saying “full equality” is redundant because there’s no “partial equality”. Either LGB people are equal or they aren’t. Either Palestinians are equal or they aren’t. It’s actually all or nothing.

          To get to actionable decision points (1S v. 2S) you have to get there first, and then decide.
          Let me refer you to my comment in which I quoted Shir Hever:
          link to mondoweiss.net
          He said, among other things: “We should [...] not adopt this sort of authoritative rhetoric of imposing a solution. The key of the movement has to be Palestinian choice. Palestinian subjectivity and the Palestinians’ right to choose their own future. No one will tell them what kind of future they should have.”
          People like Kathleen Peratis don’t support Palestinian choice. Actually, they don’t just don’t support Palestinian choice. They reject Palestinian choice. They want to make the decision for the Palestinians by imposing the Zionist version of the two-state solution, i.e. without a right of return for Palestinian refugees and without equality for Palestinian Israelis. Palestinian choice requires equal rights for ALL Palestinians. Only then they can decide freely about how many states they want to have on their land.

          To me, you grow a movement by embracing support where you can get it…
          Yes, but Zionists don’t support Palestinians. They support Zionists.

          … especially early on when you don’t know whether or not you will have the ultimate “oompf” to reach your goals, even knowing that there will come a time when that early support may become counterproductive and have to be shed.
          I’ll use LGB rights as an example again. In 2001, Germany introduced registered partnerships. Gay people and gay rights organisations were divided. Some welcomed them as improvement, others rejected them as second-class marriages. The latter argued that taking this intermediate step of registered partnerships will delay actual marriage equality. And they were right. We still don’t have marriage equality. A lot of straight people don’t even realise that there’s still discrimination. And this plays into the hands of the homophobes. There are a lot of homophobes who support registered partnerships as a means to preserve “traditional marriage” and prevent marriage equality. And that’s precisely what Kathleen Peratis is doing, too. She supports the intermediate step of ending the occupation in order to preserve the Zionist state and prevent Palestinian equality.
          What I am trying to say is that people who fight for equality need to decide their strategy early on. The strategy is crucial for if and when equality will be achieved. Is it better to take many small steps (e.g. supporting registered partnerships) or one big step (e.g. skipping registered partnerships)? The first option includes allying with homophobes up to a certain point. Of course, I reject that option. I think that taking one big step is most efficient. Initially, it might take longer to launch into this step, but ultimately you probably reach your goal faster. I hope I could make myself understood.
          Furthermore, I’d like to draw your attention to Ghada Karmi’s suggested strategy.
          The short version is here: link to youtube.com (6:55-9:50)
          The long version is here: link to youtube.com (at 18:45)
          Needless to say, I support her proposal! It’s a direct way to achieve equal rights. Vain attempts to dismantle the settlements are skipped.

        • Dutch says:

          @ Ritzl

          As for the BDS leadership, Omar Barghouti (as most Palestinians, as far as I can judge) has a clear vision, supported by int’l law: one state, full citizenship, RoR. That’s what the Palestinians want, and nothing else matters. There is zero chance the BDS leadership will endorse or join the initiative by Peratis, and I’ll support them in that decision.

          Like I mentioned above, this initiative is not about the Palestinians, but about securing a ‘Jewish state’ on their land. Peratis doesn’t want to march with those who support the RoR. She is hostile toward this basic goal of BDS.

          What she is looking for is some special Jewish BDS. Good luck with that. I hope – and assume – she blows off the roof of the Jewish tent.

        • Hostage says:

          As for the BDS leadership, Omar Barghouti (as most Palestinians, as far as I can judge) has a clear vision, supported by int’l law: one state, full citizenship, RoR.

          International law is state-centric and lends itself much more useful to the 2ss than the 1ss. There would be no occupation or illegal settlers per se under the 1ss and international law. That’s why Israel has invested so much time and energy claiming that there is no other state between the river and the sea in its own propaganda.

        • ritzl says:

          @GL, I understand what you are saying. It goes to the “white moderate” excerpt that Inanna posted below. That “white moderate” effect is a real thing. But King was lamenting and entreating the “white moderates” to stop diluting the message. He was not (my read to be sure) telling them to hit the road. He needed them and he was telling them, politely, to shut up and get with the program. Leadership.

          But the big difference here is that the libzios have no choice but to support BDS at this point, whatever the Palestinian defined goals are. Their vision and driven needs (to preserve the “jewish state”) fully align with BDS, at this point in time. Theirs is an allegiance of necessity, not of optimal strategy or again, choice. They’ve lost their intra-Jewish battle over two states. They have to make the move to ally with Palestinians, as Peratis has done, not the other way around. That retains (or is the mechanism to retain) Palestinian leadership in their own effort, imo.

          I have to reiterate that all these observations are made with the personal assumption that BDS is only a tool to pressure Israel, no matter what the stated/rallying goals are. What the end result of that pressure/yield will be or should be is beside the point. BDS is there to create options where none currently exist, such that actual choices can be made. Legal options made viable. Negotiation field leveled. Etc. You may disagree with that assumption.

          If, when the BDS-induced time comes, the collective Palestinian choice is for a viable sovereign state incl/ EJ, with some limitation on RoR, then that’s their choice to make, and it’s over (mostly?). As far as I know, that’s what most polls say most Palestinians want (depending, of course on the definition of “limitation” and other major details). Peratis’s new views seem substantially in line with that outcome, again at this point in time. Though, “there be dragons,” to be sure.

          Palestinian-led BDS is gaining strength, but is still embryonic. Using the one state goal/idyll as a discriminator to dismiss real and real-time, albeit loosely-allied, support for what most Palestinians want seems terribly short sighted.

        • ritzl says:

          @Dutch I’m not arguing that Palestinians join Peratis. That would be surrender, premature and stupid. I believe they should accept that kind of support, for as long as it is useful to them. Diametrical power/movement vector.

          I’m not sure one-state is what most Palestinians WANT as a preference. But then there’s preferences and current realities. It may be that one-state is the only possible outcome to this, but I believe that IHL and countless UN resolutions form the basis for two-states. As I’ve said before, to get to two states some precipitous event has to happen to stop that basis from being routinely ignored by Israel and the US. I too hope that Peratis “blows the roof off the Jewish tent” as that may be the beginnings of just such a precipitous event. A reset that makes everything possible, again.

          I say this not caring whether one or two states is the outcome. I just think Peratis’s shift is very significant, probably useful, and hope that it isn’t dismissed out of hand as seems to be something that improves the odds for Palestinian justice.

        • German Lefty says:

          It goes to the “white moderate” excerpt that Inanna posted below.
          I have to admit that I didn’t read Inanna’s post. I was simply reminded of German homophobes who support registered partnerships in order to prevent marriage equality.

          Their vision and driven needs (to preserve the “jewish state”) fully align with BDS, at this point in time.
          WHAT? No, they don’t!

          What the end result of that pressure/yield will be or should be is beside the point.
          No, it’s not. People and organisations decide if they want to join the BDS movement based on the movement’s declared goals. Therefore, the goals matter.

          BDS is there to create options where none currently exist, such that actual choices can be made. Legal options made viable. Negotiation field leveled.
          Exactly! However, Zionists like Peratis oppose these options. They reject Palestinian choice and want to impose a Zionist two-state solution.

          If, when the BDS-induced time comes, the collective Palestinian choice is for a viable sovereign state incl/ EJ, with some limitation on RoR, then that’s their choice to make, and it’s over (mostly?). As far as I know, that’s what most polls say most Palestinians want.
          You have to consider the circumstances under which these Palestinians gave their answers. Currently, they don’t have a real choice. Once they are actually free, they might change their mind. Besides, I don’t think that these polls include the opinions of the Palestinian refugees outside of historic Palestine. Every Palestinian refugee who wants to return must be allowed to return. It’s a matter of principle.

          Using the one state goal/idyll as a discriminator to dismiss real and real-time, albeit loosely-allied, support for what most Palestinians want seems terribly short sighted.
          Huh? Nobody uses the one-state goal as discriminator. Currently, the issue is not one state or two states but Zionism or non-Zionism.

    • Inanna says:

      We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
      …..
      I must confess that over the past few years 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.

      I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action.

      Guess who the white moderate is in this case.

      MLK Jr Letter from Birmingham jail. link to abacus.bates.edu

  13. piotr says:

    A rather typical comment attached to Peratis’s article:

    I am the son of an Auschwitz survivor and a former combat soldier in the IDF. A jew that supports boycotting Jews in any form is a disgrace and is akin spitting on the graves of millions of our people. Shame on you Kathleen

    I guess pulsa dinura rituals are performed even as we chat about her. I would join Samel in welcoming her. Actually, ridiculing Peratis as tribalist etc. is exactly the type of cult thinking that Norman Finkelstein complained about. Finkelstein is abrasive, perhaps even pigheaded, but he is neither ill-wishing nor stupid.

    Personally, my thinking is perhaps closer to Peratis than to 1SS, but thankfully this is a larger community than a “1SS sect”. We should think about ideal principles, but also about uniting frameworks and themes. One uniting theme is that oppression and dispossession is not a good thing, but states do not change profitable behavior without pressure. Complaining about (or admitting) bad behavior but resisting any pressure on Israel is hypocritical, stupid or both.

    In that vein, Peratis is absolutely correct that the pressure on Israel should not be a token action that would assuage private feelings (I will not purchase any beverages or beverage making devices made in occupied territories, especially I drink only green tea and mate from Argentina), but something that actually changes the behavior of that state. The writing on the wall will not appear until that view becomes a “common wisdom”, or a “mainstream idea”.

  14. German Lefty says:

    The goals of the BDS campaign are:
    (1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
    (2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
    (3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Obviously, Kathleen Peratis only supports the first goal and rejects the other two goals. Therefore, she isn’t actually in favour of BDS and the headline is misleading.
    It’s either all or nothing. Calling yourself a BDS supporter when you only approve of one out of three goals is like saying that you are one third pregnant.

    She would seem to dissociate herself from the Palestinian civil society call for BDS, which includes the right of return as one aim, when she avers that some BDS advocacy has the “whiff” of anti-Semitism. “Their advocacy of the ‘full’ right of return of Palestinian refugees means an end to Jewish Israel… We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them.” She wants to make BDS “our tool.”

    I think that her idea of misusing “BDS” and turning it into a Zionist tool is majorly disgusting. I feel nothing but contempt for this person.

    • Sibiriak says:

      GL:

      Kathleen Peratis only supports the first goal and rejects the other two goals…

      Where exactly does she reject those other goals? Just asking…

      (“(3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.” does not necessarily mean a “full” right to return, whatever that means.)

  15. eljay says:

    >> I am the son of an Auschwitz survivor and a former combat soldier in the IDF.

    So what?

    >> A jew that supports boycotting Jews in any form is a disgrace and is akin spitting on the graves of millions of our people.

    A hateful and immoral (and, undoubtedly, hypocritical) Zio-supremacist condemns a Jew who puts humanity, morality and justice before “tribe” and “tribal interests”.

    Truly breath-taking.

  16. HarryLaw says:

    The European Union and Israel are looking at ways Israel can circumvent the rules on the Horizon program, looking at the proposals they will do it easily. see link to middleeastmonitor.com

  17. Keith says:

    Kathleen Peratis says: “Their advocacy of the ‘full’ right of return of Palestinian refugees means an end to Jewish Israel… We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them.”

    Now, ask yourself, why would Israel remaining a Jewish state be important to an American Jew?

    Later, she says: “I can’t conclude without saying a word about fear, the fear of activist Jews that endorsing BDS means you are no longer under the communal tent.”

    Exactly what function does this Jewish “communal tent” serve? Mutual Jewish support for each other? De facto ethnic nepotism? A significant factor in American Jewish success? Is American Jewish support for Israel as a Jewish state an act of group solidarity? Trying to preserve the advantages of American Jewishness? Has support for the Jewish state of Israel replaced Judaism as the unifier of the Jewish tribe?

    I suspect that Kathleen Peratis is essentially what Marc Ellis would refer to as an “empire Jew.” She seems primarily concerned with maintaining her power and privilege, this change primarily reflecting a change in tactics in pursuit of her overall objectives. She is a human rights lawyer? Whose human rights? I detect no concern for the human rights of the Palestinians, rather her focus is on Israel and Jews, even detecting a “whiff” of anti-Semitism while ignoring the larger human rights issues. Clearly, introspection is not her forte. But then again, how could it be?

    • Exactly what function does this Jewish “communal tent” serve? Mutual Jewish support for each other?

      i think it’s quite likely if someone is raised to believe they are part of a subgroup the idea of being kicked out of that subgroup is threatening. for one thing they might find themselves attacked w/verociousness by the subgroup. something i’ve learned from blogging at mondoweiss i wasn’t aware of before is that a large percentage of US jews, at least from my generation, were raised to strongly relate to this subgroup affiliation. there’s nothing comparable in my life. there’s no ethnic component of society i am in the inner circles of, or even outer circles, i would fear getting booted out for for my thoughts. but i suppose if i were raised this way it might feel like a tremendous loss of support. i suppose the ‘communal tent’ offers a lot of comfort and good things too, as long as you stay in line. but there are lots of jewish people on the outside of this tent who are still part of a ‘communal tent’, it’s just a different bigger tent not defined by ethnicity. it’s an important human tent nonetheless.

      even detecting a “whiff” of anti-Semitism while ignoring the larger human rights issues.

      i’m not so sure i agree with that. and lots of people are concerned w/anti semitism in the movement. recent examples being max in this interview:

      link to therealnews.com

      as well as a recent post by ali abunimah link to electronicintifada.net

      and i definitely think there are pro israeli plants in comment sections all over the internet posing as virulently, racist, pro palestinian, bds supporters aimed at bringing down the movement. i also do think there are genuine racists in the movement as well. it’s not something benign no one thinks about other than zionist eccentrics. it’s an ongoing concern, albeit not a central issue/challenge facing the bds movement imho.

      • German Lefty says:

        it’s an ongoing concern, albeit not a central issue/challenge facing the bds movement imho.

        Yes, but look at what she wrote:

        The almost unspoken reason I have kept my distance from BDS is the whiff of anti-Semitism that rises from some of the BDS organizations, including some in the Global BDS Movement. Their advocacy of the “full” right of return of Palestinian refugees means an end to Jewish Israel. Their one-sided condemnation of ’48 is a rejection of our democratic Zionism. We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them. But why have we conflated their goals with their tools?

        She’s not concerned with ACTUAL anti-Semitism. She claims that anti-Zionism and supporting the right of return are forms of anti-Semitism. Do you seriously want to let her get away with this?

        • She claims that anti-Zionism and supporting the right of return are forms of anti-Semitism.

          gl, without reviewing the whole article and going over to the daily beast i can’t verify what you’ve said but you certainly have not made your case here from this blockquote. she references a “whiff of anti-Semitism” (that it not saying the whole place stinks, it’s a whiff) that rises from some of the BDS organization. some not all. she says “condemnation of ’48 is a rejection of our democratic Zionism,” no where in this does she claim “anti-Zionism and supporting the right of return are forms of anti-Semitism.”

          so if you’re going to make your case try using her words instead of your interpretation of them.

          She’s not concerned with ACTUAL anti-Semitism.

          you don’t know that.

        • and speaking of what she wrote:

          We can create (and name) a pro-two-state, anti-occupation, Jewish BDS movement that is not limited to settlement products but that extends to everyone who profits from the occupation. Let’s embrace and not condemn the performers, funders and investors who say they won’t perform, fund or invest in Israel until the occupation ends. Let’s not attack them and reflexively call them delegitimizers or anti-Semites (unless, of course, they are). And let’s do so until Israelis do one thing: place ending the occupation higher on their priority list than the price of cottage cheese.

          there’s nothing here implying she thinks anti zionism is a form of anti semitism. bds is a tool and it can be wielded by anyone wishing to change israel’s behavior or as she says “until justice is restored. ”

          people are not all on the same page on how ” justice is restored” and note how she references other groups of people, church groups etc, and they are made up of individuals who want to endtheoccupation but are not allin lockstep.

          you remind me of some kind of purity warrior w/bds as your exclusive tool only to be wielded by those you completely agree with. this battle willnot be won that way. it will be won by people who join forces to find a solution. i have no objection to working with people who want two states. a percentage of them are realizing everyday that time is over. but if they became powerful and pressured israel into backing off back to the other side of the greenline it’s not my place to tell palestinians what to do.

        • German Lefty says:

          Annie, there’s this German idiom: “You have tomatoes on the eyes!” This means that you don’t see the obvious.

          if you’re going to make your case try using her words instead of your interpretation of them.
          I used her words. And they are pretty clear. You need to look at the context instead of picking the quoted sentences to pieces.

          she references a “whiff of anti-Semitism” (that it not saying the whole place stinks, it’s a whiff) that rises from some of the BDS organization.
          Annie, she ONLY supports BDS because she separates the anti-Zionists’ goals from the anti-Zionists’ tools.

          Their one-sided condemnation of ’48 is a rejection of our democratic Zionism. We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them. But why have we conflated their goals with their tools? Are they inextricable? I don’t think so. We can, if we choose, use BDS as one of our tools to end occupation rather than eschew it merely because it is wielded by people who may share some, but do not share all, of our goals.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Ms. Peratis would not wish to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of me; I understand her sentiment and so have to reciprocate it. I cannot stand shoulder to shoulder with her. I could still welcome a degree of cooperation which is at arm’s length in the sense that it contains an agreement to differ, which is hard to avoid in real life political matters. She is saying that there is no anti-Semitism in the call to end the occupation, even to end it by bds means – which is welcome enough. However, she also mentions, as GL rightly notes, just one condition that creates a whiff and that is the belief that the establishment of Israel in 48 was unjust. And she doesn’t mean a slightly disconcerting whiff but a distinct revelation of a serious and nasty prejudice. So to her there is something seriously repulsive and smelly about a moral proposition that I consider to be true, so even the arm’s length cooperation which I’m ready to offer must be a problem for her. She wouldn’t like to get downwind of me.

        • i think it’s you with the tomatoes in your eyes she ONLY supports BDS because she separates the anti-Zionists’ goals from the anti-Zionists’ tools.

          she only supports bds because she sees it as an effective tool to end the occupation. you copied it yourself:

          We can, if we choose, use BDS as one of our tools to end occupation rather than eschew it merely because it is wielded by people who may share some, but do not share all, of our goals.

          and she didn’t “separates the anti-Zionists’ goals from the anti-Zionists’ tools.” she said people who may share some, but do not share all, of our goals.

          focus on what we have in common, not what separates us.

        • And she doesn’t mean a slightly disconcerting whiff but a distinct revelation of a serious and nasty prejudice. So to her there is something seriously repulsive and smelly about a moral proposition that I consider to be true

          mcHughes, i didn’t read that into it. period.

        • Annie- Off topic. A few weeks ago, I wrote something like, Jews are more anti religious than other groups, a statement too vague but essentially accurate based upon a speech I heard delivered by Peter Beinart last May.

          I have since come upon the handout that beinart handed out and this enabled me to discover the web link:
          link to ajc.org

          Skip to page 99 and that’s where the meat and potatoes regarding Jewish religious beliefs or religious political beliefs are focused upon.

        • On frequency of prayers, attendance of religious services, they scored significantly less than the other groups. Approval of supreme court decision against prayer in public schools- higher than any other group. The nature of the world- more negative than any other group. The nature of human individual- more positive than any other group, other than “other”. Knowledge that god exists: significantly lower than any other group. Belief in life after death: significantly lower than any other group. Belief that the Bible is the exact word of god, significantly lower than any other group.

          Social attitudes: pro abortion- significantly more than any other group. Pro suicide (in case of incurable disease) far more than any other group. Sexual mores attitudes- far more permissive than any other group in attitude.

        • first of all, the surveys are from “between 1972 and 2002. ” iow, the newest info integrated into this survey is over ten years old. and here are some factoids from the intro:

          Among the myriad of ethnic groups and religious denominations that make up the American mosaic, American Jews are the most distinctive.

          ah, i love unbiased assessments from AJC.

          Jews identify themselves as liberal more than do others, and this is reflected in their political affiliation and voting patterns, their egalitarian views on gender roles, and their support for policies promoting integration and racial equality.

          coulda fooled me. have you looked at that ‘jewish state’ lately? whre’s the support for ” policies promoting integration and racial equality” ?

          Jews, as a religious group, are expected to maintain and pass on their Jewish identity. As an ethnic group, their religion is not only an attribute of individuals and families, but a trait of the collective Jewish community.

          so , which is it? a trait of the collective Jewish community or just 7%? or 25% depending on how you read the survey/conclusions…. re your pg 99?

        • German Lefty says:

          she only supports bds because she sees it as an effective tool to end the occupation.

          Annie, and WHY does she want the occupation to end? In order to preserve the Zionist state. She wants to end Israel’s most obvious crimes in the hopes that this will help Israel get away with its less obvious crimes. Her ultimate goal is not achieving justice but maintaining injustice.

        • GL you claimed She claims that anti-Zionism and supporting the right of return are forms of anti-Semitism. but your blockquote did not support that. i’m just not a purity ***** like you are. i think it’s great she’s supporting bds. i hope more and more zionists start supporting it too. i don’t even care why they are supporting it. if they want to believe two states is possible let them, and let them try making 2 states! i don’t care. i want the occupation over and if that means i am in a race with people like beinart and peratis and j street i don’t care. i want movement, i want change, i can’t afford to be picking people apart to see if they meet your purity standards of what’s good enough.

        • Dutch says:

          @ Annie
          ‘…may share some, but do not share all, of our goals …’

          Unfortunately this is not about sharing. She wants it all. Her goal is to rule out the RoR, that stands at the core of BDS and Palestinian rights. A message for Petakis: these rights are non-negociable.

          I share exactly nothing with US liberal zionists that propagate a ‘Jewish state’ on Palestinian land.

          1S1P1V.

        • German Lefty says:

          Annie, don’t you see that you totally contradict yourself?

          On the one hand you write:
          i think it’s great she’s supporting bds. i hope more and more zionists start supporting it too. i don’t even care why they are supporting it.

          On the other you write:
          lots of people are concerned w/anti semitism in the movement. [...] it’s not something benign no one thinks about other than zionist eccentrics. it’s an ongoing concern

          Clearly, you apply different standards to Zionists and Nazis in the BDS movement. While you welcome anti-Palestinian racists in the BDS movement, you want to exclude anti-Semitic racists from the BDS movement. When it comes to the first group, you don’t care WHY they support BDS. When it comes to the second group, you express concern about their motives. You tolerate anti-Palestinianism in the movement, but you do NOT tolerate anti-Semitism in the movement. That doesn’t go together, Annie. Either you reject ALL racists in the movement or you welcome ALL racists in the movement. Either the people’s reasons for joining BDS matter to you or they don’t. As a supporter of equality, you should lead by example and start applying equal standards to racists in the movements.

    • German Lefty says:

      She is a human rights lawyer? Whose human rights?
      She’s an employment law attorney who deals with sexual harassment.

      I detect no concern for the human rights of the Palestinians, rather her focus is on Israel and Jews, even detecting a “whiff” of anti-Semitism while ignoring the larger human rights issues.
      Exactly!

  18. RE: “One argument [against BDS], one I have made myself, is that BDS just makes Israelis feel that the world is against them, engenders a siege mentality and is therefore counterproductive.” ~ Kathleen Peratis

    MY COMMENT: This is a favorite argument of “enablers” and “co-dependents” everywhere! The road to a living hell is sometimes paved with the best of intentions.*
    Israel’s supporters who make the “siege mentality” argument in good faith should talk to some psychiatrists/psychologists/therapists about the wrongheadedness of being Israel’s enabler out of the (mistaken**) belief that “the only way Israelis will do something is if you love them to death”***. It is possible for an enabler to literally love the enabled to its (figurative, or perhaps even literal) death.****

    * FROM PHILIP WEISS, 6/04/13: “As Obama did, Kerry fawned over Israel. They believe that the only way Israelis will do something is if you love them to death.link to mondoweiss.net

    ** FROM JOEL KOVEL, 1-20-13:

    . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman [probably like Kerry and Obama, and many of Israel's enablers - J.L.D.] assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.
    The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    *** FROM JACLYN FRIEDMAN (from “It’s Time for Some Israel Real Talk”):

    [EXCERPT] . . . I love Israel. As an American Jew, the dream of Israel has held me in thrall since I was a small child. The day I wept at the Wailing Wall was one of the most transcendent and emotional of my life. But loving someone doesn’t mean helping them do whatever destructive thing they want. Call that enabling or ence, but it’s not love. I love Israel like I’d love a drunk friend who wants their car keys. . .

    SOURCE – link to prospect.org

    **** ALSO SEE: “How Israel Is Like an Alcoholic Mother”, by Megan McArdle, The Atlantic, 3/22/12

    [EXCERPT] . . . What is it Alex Portnoy overhears his mother say to her friends, apropos of the lengths she has to go to to get him to eat? “I have to stand over him with a knife!”
    To be a bit more serious for a moment, though, Chesterton famously quipped: “My country, right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying: “My mother, drunk or sober.” Well, yes, but she is your mother, drunk or sober, right? Similarly, it is your country, whether your country is right or wrong. The question is what that entails. If your mother is a drunk, and begs for another drink, are you obliged to give it to her? Presumably not.
    But are you obliged to devote yourself to getting her to dry out? That, it seems to me is the real heart of the question. I think many of Beinart’s critics — like Jeffrey Goldberg — would say: that’s exactly how they think about Israel and the settlements. They are against them. . . They think they were and are a grave and historic mistake. . .
    . . . So they are doing what they can to convince their mother to check herself in and dry out. But she’s their mother. If it takes her a long time to convince, they’ll keep trying. If she slips a drink on the sly, they’ll try to hide the liquor better, but they’ll forgive her. [In other words, they will act as "enablers". ~ J.L.D.] And, whatever she does, they certainly aren’t going to call the cops on her, and give the neighbors (who never liked her, even have tried to get her evicted) the satisfaction of seeing her humiliated by her own son in public. After all, she’s their mother. [Let's call this "constructive engagement"! ~ J.L.D.]
    Well, talk to a few children of alcoholics, and you’ll discover that “my mother, drunk or sober” is not always a tenable proposition. Sometimes, for some people, the sense of obligation to one’s mother is trumped by a sense of obligation to oneself, and to protect oneself from her disease. And that, in a nutshell, is what Beinart is saying. She may be my mother, yes, but if she keeps carrying on, I don’t care what the neighbors say, and I don’t care if she never speaks to me again afterward: I’m going to call the cops on her. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to theatlantic.com

  19. RE: One argument [against BDS], one I have made myself, is that BDS just makes Israelis feel that the world is against them, engenders a siege mentality and is therefore counterproductive.” But what has been gained by such deference? For how long do we have carrots only and no sticks?…” ~ Kathleen Peratis

    MY COMMENT: Offering more and more carrots to Israel [i.e., "enabling" Israel, and being Israel's "co-dependent"] just allows Israel to make more and more “carrot stew” (mostly in the form of West Bank settlements) to consume!

    ● MAGGIE THATCHER’S “FEARS” AS TO APARTHEID-ERA SOUTH AFRICA :

    . . . While Thatcher maintained throughout her political career that she “loathe[d] apartheid and everything connected with it,” she . . . refused, alongside Ronald Reagan, to back sanctions against the Apartheid regime in South Africa. “In my view, isolation will lead only to an increasingly negative and intransigent attitude in the part of white South African,” she said in December 1977. . . [I wonder if this also applies to Iran?!?! - J.L.D.]

    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    ● FROM WIKIPEDIA [Constructive engagement]:

    [EXCERPT] Constructive engagement was the name given to the policy of the Reagan Administration towards the apartheid regime in South Africa in the early 1980s. It was promoted as an alternative to the economic sanctions and divestment from South Africa demanded by the UN General Assembly and the international anti-apartheid movement.[1]
    The Reagan Administration vetoed legislation from the United States Congress and blocked attempts by the United Nations to impose sanctions and to isolate South Africa.[2] Instead, advocates of constructive engagement sought to use incentives as a means of encouraging South Africa gradually to move away from apartheid.[3] The policy, echoed by the British government of Margaret Thatcher, came under criticism as South African government repression of the black population and anti-apartheid activism intensified. . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    ● FROM foreignaffairs.com: “South Africa: Why Constructive Engagement Failed”, By Sanford J. Ungar and Peter Vale, Winter 1985/86

    Article Summary
    Ronald Reagan’s imposition of limited economic sanctions against the South African regime in September was a tacit admission that his policy of “constructive engagement”–encouraging change in the apartheid system through a quiet dialogue with that country’s white minority leaders–had failed. Having been offered many carrots by the United States over a period of four-and-a-half years as incentives to institute meaningful reforms, the South African authorities had simply made a carrot stew and eaten it. Under the combined pressures of the seemingly cataclysmic events in South Africa since September 1984 and the dramatic surge of anti-apartheid protest and political activism in the United States, the Reagan Administration was finally embarrassed into brandishing some small sticks as an element of American policy.
    [We're sorry, but Foreign Affairs does not have the copyright to display this article online.]

    SOURCE – link to foreignaffairs.com

  20. I think various sanctions against Israel are in fact in Israel’s own best interests.

  21. W.Jones says:

    I can’t conclude without saying a word about fear, the fear of activist Jews that endorsing BDS means you are no longer under the communal tent. Just last week, J Street member Seth Morrison felt he had to quit J Street and remove himself from its listserve because he decided to join Jewish Voice for Peace, an American Jewish organization that supports the Global BDS Movement. What a pity that he was presented with, or felt he had to make, such a choice.

    Morrison left JStreet out of fear? That does not seem likely, but what do I know?

  22. yrn says:

    BDS success of the week:

    * Web giant Amazon.com will open an office in Tel Aviv to support Amazon Web Services (AWS), its cloud computing offering. The office is expected to begin operating at the start of 2014. It will support companies from start-ups to large organizations as they move to cloud computing services.

    Why Israel? Werner Hans Peter Vogel, the chief technology officer and Vice President of Amazon.com in charge of driving technology innovation within the company declared ” If you start a business today you no longer buy IT (information technology). You spend your money on getting better engineers and product builders. ”

    * Facebook has acquired Onavo, an Israel-based startup for well over 100 million. Facebook will gain both talent and technology in the deal. All of Onavo employees will join FB. Onavo’s Tel Aviv headquarters will become into Facebook’s first Israel office.

    * Warren Buffet purchased a third Israeli company Ray-Q Interconnect. Ray-Q, which helped develop Israel’s Iron Dome and Arrow military systems, will keep its operations in Israel Buffet total investment in Israel is nearly $7 billion.

    AND RIHANNA there are still some tickets for you this coming Tuesday the 22 of October in TEL AVIV.

    • Hostage says:

      Buffet’s total investment in Israel is nearly $7 billion.

      His overseas stocks are underwater and investors could have done better investing in the S&P 500, which earned 16 percent, versus Berkshire Hathaway’s 14 percent. Since 2008 he has been one of the biggest losers on the Forbes 400. Not everything that’s good for anti-BDS is good for your pocketbook.

  23. kalithea says:

    I don’t trust any Zionist to do the right thing especially one that references “Jewish” Israel with BDS. Right off the bat, “Jewish” Israel is more of the same bigoted indulgence. Secondly, anyone who still believes a 2-state is possible also believes in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Snow White and the 7 dwarfs and other fictitious characters in la-la land.

    And there is not an iota of compassion for the Palestinians there. Never mind that Palestinian rights are being grossly denied. It’s all about Zionism and the survival of Zionism, when in fact, Zionism IS the problem and always will be the obstacle that stands in the way of justice and peace.