Mahmoud Abbas: Hero of the anti-boycott forces

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 152 Comments
Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. (Photo: World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)

Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. (Photo: World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has become the savior of those trying to stave off the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Much like how his comments rejecting the Palestinian right of return earned him praise from liberal Zionists, anti-BDS writers and activists are now looking to Abbas to help kill the appeal of boycotting Israel.

Last week, Abbas made headlines when he said that he doesn’t support the BDS movement.  Speaking to reporters while in South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral, Abbas said:

We do not support the boycott of Israel. But we ask everyone to boycott the products of the settlements. Because the settlements are in our territories. It is illegal. … But we don’t ask anyone to boycott Israel itself. We have relations with Israel, we have mutual recognition of Israel.

The comments were immediately supported by liberals in the U.S.:

@MaxBlumenthal@CoreyRobin I oppose the ASA boycotting Israeli universities and support the same boycott as Abbas.

— mkazin (@mkazin) December 14, 2013

Jeffrey Goldberg crystallized the liberal Zionist consensus in a column yesterday opposing the academic boycott of Israel endorsed by the American Studies Association:

The ASA is also facing an unlikely opponent in its anti-Israel campaign: Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, supports the boycott of settlement-made goods, but he has come out against broad anti-Israel boycotts. The ASA is more Palestinian, in other words, than the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier also got in on the action.

Abbas has become the wedge liberal Zionists are using to drive a split between the BDS movement and liberals, fed up with Israel’s behavior, who might otherwise be supportive of boycott efforts.

The problem with pointing to Abbas as “more Palestinian” than the Palestine Liberation Organization is that it ignores the widespread appeal of BDS in Palestinian civil society– and the fact that his mandate to run the PA has run out.

“There is no Palestinian political party, trade union, NGO [nongovernmental organization] network or mass organization that does not strongly support BDS,” Omar Barghouti, one of the most prominent Palestinian voices for BDS, told the Electronic Intifada‘s Ali Abunimah. “Any Palestinian official who lacks a democratic mandate and any real public support, therefore, cannot claim to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people when it comes to deciding our strategies of resistance to Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.”

152 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    December 18, 2013, 10:04 am

    This is good. Shows how the people of Palestine are ahead of the (necessarily) corrupted Oslo-created “government”, the PA, and what’s left of the PLO.

    Of course, things were far better when the PLO was “outside” the zone of actual occupation and in real opposition to Israel, rather than co-opted.

    The Fourth Geneva Convention has a wonderful provision — namely, that no agreement between the occupier and the government of the occupied people is good in any provision which purports to weaken the protections of Civilian Persons offered by the Convention. The obvious reason for this so-necessary provision (which should void many of the agreements between PA and Israel) is its implied recognition that the occupied has coercive power over the occupied.

    Abbas is so corrupted that you could not make jello out of his (publicly apparent) backbone. Abbas is no Mandela. But the PLO has long “answered” to whichever countries gave it money. How could it be otherwise?

    • Krauss
      December 18, 2013, 10:46 am

      To put it more directly:

      Every apartheid regime – broadly defined – has counted on collaborators and quislings among the native population. People without morals are found in every racial group who will sell out their people for status, wealth and privilege.

      If Abbad and his minions can lord over a Bantustan with corruption running high that is good enough for them. White-ruled South Africa employed the same tactic, dividing various tribal groups, favouring one over the other, showering lone warlords with gifts and money, elevating their status.

      That’s how you control 90% of the population for centuries.
      And if you’re not 10% but 50% of the total population(I’m counting all the non-Jewish people under Israel’s control, WB & Gaza as well as Arab Israelis), you can do this much better.

      In fact, Ariel Sharon based his vision for the future of Israel/Palestine explicitly on South Africa. He even used the word “bantustan” himself when referring to it, meaning what the Palestinians would get. He thought about 8-10 seperated bantustans which would be fenced in and controlled far easier.

      So Abbas vies for the title of the most important vassal of a Bantustan. This is trumpeted as somehow a “proof” that Palestinians are opposed to BDS. Try reading the polls of the people instead. Oops, what’s that? The narrative changes?
      Better not do it!

      • Citizen
        December 18, 2013, 12:19 pm

        Reminds me of the Mel Gibson movie, Braveheart. BTW, have I missed all the polls of the Palestinian public on issues like this? I bet not one in a thousand Americans even knows Abbas is not a current elected official. And they think BDS is a new brand of underwear.

  2. Amar
    December 18, 2013, 10:16 am

    I think he is being forced to say this. Israel has tremendous leverage over him and can make or break him. Yes, he is corrupt, but I believe Israel is actively forcing him to state things like this or else they will make life very difficult for him.

    • just
      December 18, 2013, 10:27 am

      agreed.

      More difficult for him and the Palestinian people.

    • eljay
      December 18, 2013, 10:38 am

      >> I think he is being forced to say this.

      I don’t understand why guys like Abbas or Obama are so often given the benefit of the doubt. If they are not free, as leaders or representatives, to make just or moral choices, they should state their objections as publicly as possible and resign from their positions; otherwise, they lend legitimacy to injustice and immorality, and they risk calling (or calling further) into question their own characters.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 18, 2013, 11:55 am

        @eljay:

        I don’t understand why…

        I do understand: When their is no good argument, the easy way is to say that Abbas, Obama or any other leader were being forced to say so and so by Israel.

        • amigo
          December 18, 2013, 2:51 pm

          Mahane 1,2 or 3???.

          Did you call for Israel to get out of the “STOLEN” Syrian Heights yet.

          Look up UNSCR 476 and educate yourself .

      • Chu
        December 18, 2013, 12:03 pm

        they lend legitimacy to injustice…
        Arafat’s shadow has come across as a stooge for Israel on numerous occasions. And since he is not an elected leader of the Palestinians as a whole, he’s another empty illegitimate voice to echo the Israeli government.

      • Citizen
        December 18, 2013, 12:23 pm

        @ eljay
        They are cynics. They like the material perks of the good life, and the power. And, like, Bush Jr., they aren’t worried about the voice of history, which cries out long after they are dead. Classification of governmental documentation expands daily–to this day, those using the FOIA cannot reach the blacked-out stuff regarding who financed the 9/11 terrorists, and aided them while they were here in the USA; most of them from Saudi Arabian, and none of whom could even speak passable conversational English.

      • Citizen
        December 18, 2013, 12:39 pm

        @ eljay
        Maybe Abbas is trying to avoid being effectively painted as the guy who stopped Kerry’s current peace negotiation brokering? See link to gatestoneinstitute.org

    • Sibiriak
      December 19, 2013, 7:02 am

      Amar:

      I think he is being forced to say this…

      I think he may have been asked to say this, and he willingly complies because he truly supports a “peace process” which he believes will lead to the creation of a Palestinian “state” consisting of shrunken, non-contiguous, de-militarized, Israeli-surrounded and supervised enclaves.

      • Hostage
        December 19, 2013, 2:40 pm

        I think he may have been asked to say this, and he willingly complies because he truly supports a “peace process” which he believes will lead to the creation of a Palestinian “state” consisting of shrunken, non-contiguous, de-militarized, Israeli-surrounded and supervised enclaves.

        I’m just curious. It’s a fact, that BDS never prevented the creation of Bantustans in either South Africa or Namibia and that the very first international convention which called for the use of an international criminal tribunal was the Apartheid convention.

        I’ve pointed out that the PLO Negotiations Support Unit (headed-up by Abbas and Erekat) presented oral arguments and the written pleading in the Wall case. They flatly accused Israel of the crime of apartheid. Did Israel ask them to say that too?

        The independent fact finding report that Palestine and the League of Arab States commissioned and turned over to the ICC Prosecutor – as well as the UN Goldstone Mission report – incorporated the submissions and findings in the Wall case through numerous citations and references. The reports noted that there was a two-tiered legal system that treated Palestinians as foreigners in their own country and that Israeli soldiers had acted under the influence of rabbis in the service of the state of Israel who had encouraged them to believe that the Holy Land should be cleansed of non-Jews and that no mercy should be shown to non-Jews. I don’t suppose Israel asked them to say all of that to the Prosecutor.

        Nothing prevents a victim state from joining the ICC, and making a state referral about the crime of apartheid, precisely because things like that have happened and it now consists of shrunken, non-contiguous, de-militarized, foreign dominated enclaves. In fact, it would be hard to establish that apartheid has occurred without some such evidence or that the international community of states views grassroots BDS as the remedy.

        • Sibiriak
          December 19, 2013, 3:22 pm

          Hostage:

          [Sibiriak:] I think he may have been asked to say this, and he willingly complies because he truly supports a “peace process” which he believes will lead to the creation of a Palestinian “state” consisting of shrunken, non-contiguous, de-militarized, Israeli-surrounded and supervised enclaves.

          [...]They flatly accused Israel of the crime of apartheid. Did Israel ask them to say that too?

          No.

          [...]Nothing prevents a victim state from joining the ICC, and making a state referral about the crime of apartheid, precisely because things like that have happened and it now consists of shrunken, non-contiguous, de-militarized, foreign dominated enclaves. In fact, it would be hard to establish that apartheid has occurred without some such evidence or that the international community of states views grassroots BDS as the remedy.

          I don’t disagree.

          My question would be: what else could this “peace process” possibly be aimed at–if not total failure–other than the creation of a Palestinian state consisting of shrunken, non-contiguous, de-militarized, Israeli-surrounded and supervised enclaves, or something very close to that? Seriously.

          And if no other possible outcome is conceivable, why would Abbas be participating if he did not consider such an outcome to be something he could sign on to –an outcome which, btw, would end, among other crimes and oppressive policies, the “two-tiered legal system that treated Palestinians as foreigners in their own country”, and which conceivably could end a lot of suffering and improve many lives?

          • Hostage
            December 19, 2013, 8:13 pm

            And if no other possible outcome is conceivable, why would Abbas be participating if he did not consider such an outcome to be something he could sign on to

            I don’t think he is going to sign onto it. I think when it fails he will point out that he has been complaining about apartheid and persecution all along – and that will be the departure point of cases in the ICJ and ICC to remedy the territorial and other aspects of the crime.

          • Sibiriak
            December 19, 2013, 9:57 pm

            Hostage:

            [Sibiriak:]And if no other possible outcome [a Palestinian state consisting of shrunken enclaves] is conceivable, why would Abbas be participating if he did not consider such an outcome to be something he could sign on to

            [Hostage:]I don’t think he is going to sign onto it. I think when it fails he will point out that he has been complaining about apartheid and persecution all along – and that will be the departure point of cases in the ICJ and ICC to remedy the territorial and other aspects of the crime.

            You may be right, of course, but that seems like an extraordinarily dangerous gambit, imo. The Palestinians could once again be blamed for rejecting a peace offer, this one backed by the liberal Obama administration and the honest-broker, John Kerry. We would likely see a repeat of “the myth of generous offer”–this time on steroids–so much so that Israel would find itself in a much-improved PR position, with the world leaning towards imposing the settlement just rejected by the Palestinians.

            There is no guarantee at all that the world would view a Palestinian state consisting of enclaves as a continuation of apartheid and/or persecution, especially if such a Palestinian state configuration were fully backed by the U.S. and co.

          • Hostage
            December 20, 2013, 1:25 am

            You may be right, of course, but that seems like an extraordinarily dangerous gambit, imo.

            I agree of course, but it’s basically what he spelled out in his NYT Op-Ed and subsequent statements. link to nytimes.com

            I don’t think he has anymore time or tricks at his disposal.

          • Sibiriak
            December 20, 2013, 4:59 am

            Hostage:

            I agree of course, but it’s basically what he spelled out in his NYT Op-Ed and subsequent statements.

            link to nytimes.com

            I don’t think he has anymore time or tricks at his disposal

            Do you believe that the Palestinian leadership doesn’t still embrace the view that in a neoliberal world, the goal of economic vitality in an interconnected world trumps the desire for territorial contiguity and maximal sovereignty?

            In any case, I’m hardly alone in suggestion that Abbas et al might sign on to a severely truncated Palestinian state configuration or a provisional agreement pointing toward that outcome.

            Jeff Halper says:

            I think you can get into a deal where Israel annexes Area C, it’s taken Jerusalem, they’ll give the Palestinians something symbolic like control of Haram Al Sharif/The Temple Mount, you can put up a capital in Abu Dis again.

            Basically, what I am saying is not only that they are they going to nail this down but they will do it with the agreement of the Palestinian Authority.

            Norman Finkelstein says:

            The goal of the current talks is to impose the longstanding Israeli terms of settlement on the Palestinians. From the last phase of the Camp David negotiations at Taba, Egypt, in 2001 to the present, Israel has presented basically the same map regarding the territorial aspect of the conflict. It wants to annex 9-10% of the occupied West Bank, what it calls the ‘major settlement blocs.’ It’s the route of the Wall that Israel has been building inside the West Bank, which senior officials have called Israel’s ‘final border,’ and which will annex 9.5% of Palestinian territory.

            [...] What remains of the West Bank will be fragmented into several pieces, more or less resembling the bantustans in apartheid South Africa, which were also divided into ‘major’ and ‘minor’ fragments. On the refugee question, Israel will only accept an international mechanism to ‘rehabilitate’ Palestinian refugees where they currently reside, ‘resettle’ them in third countries, or ‘repatriate’ them in the West Bank bantustans.

            link to zcommunications.org

            [...] it’s possible that the U.S. can impose a historic defeat on the Palestinians, by forcing through a settlement on terms that preclude a viable Palestinian state.

            One qualification is that, as my co-author Mouin Rabbani points out, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may not have the authority to ram a settlement like that through. He won’t find the support for signing on the bottom line, and he can’t go the final step alone. Mouin thinks they may reach a provisional settlement instead, which is great news for Israel, which wants to drag the process out until the facts on the ground are irreversible.

            link to normanfinkelstein.com

  3. OlegR
    December 18, 2013, 10:45 am

    /Omar Barghouti, one of the most prominent Palestinian voices for BDS, told the Electronic Intifada‘s Ali Abunimah./

    Two guys feeding each others buzz and relying on libral western progressives are
    not “Palestinian Civil Society”

  4. MahaneYehude1
    December 18, 2013, 10:47 am

    “There is no Palestinian political party, trade union, NGO [nongovernmental organization] network or mass organization that does not strongly support BDS,”

    This statement indicates ignorance and detachment from the reality on the ground unless those parties, unions and NGO’s represent less than one percent of the population. The reality is that the Palestinians living in the WB and EJ don’t boycott Israel and Israelis goods. Actually, many of them prefer to do their shopping in Israeli commercial centers rather than Palestinians centers. Please, don’t respond “they have no other options” because they have options since the markets of Ramallah, Nablus, Bet-Lehem and others are close, available and sell Palestinian goods. The BDS campaign against the state of Israel will fall like the former falls of other campaigns.

    • miriam6
      December 18, 2013, 12:40 pm

      MY1@;

      Greetings Mahane.

      Great video link.

      In Europe – during the 19th century – trade/ economic exchange between the small states of Europe and their people did a lot to bring those smaller states and their people together into the modern states and peoples they are today.

      Economic links and trade can do the same between Israelis and Palestinians I believe.

      But both Israel and Palestine must share the water resources and other resources equally for the benefit of both peoples.

      Do you agree?

      EU promises ‘unprecedented’ aid for Mideast peace

      BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union foreign ministers on Monday pledged “unprecedented” political, financial and security support for Israel and the Palestinians if they reach a peace agreement.
      In the event of a final peace deal, EU ministers said, the 28-member trade bloc will offer Israel and a future state of Palestine a “special privileged partnership.” That will mean increased access to European markets, facilitation of trade and investment, closer cultural and scientific ties and promotion of business-to-business relations.
      Greater political dialogue and cooperation in the security realm are also foreseen, the ministers said.

      link to mail.com

      • amigo
        December 18, 2013, 2:59 pm

        “In Europe – during the 19th century – trade/ economic exchange between the small states of Europe and their people did a lot to bring those smaller states and their people together into the modern states and peoples they are today.”m6

        Is that the same 19th century when England was doing it,s best to bring the little State next door into the fold.Read all about the crimes committed by your other beloved Nation.

        link to kinsella.org

      • amigo
        December 18, 2013, 3:02 pm

        “European Union foreign ministers on Monday pledged “unprecedented” political, financial and security support for Israel and the Palestinians if they reach a peace agreement.” m6

        Only one problem , Israel is not interested in a Palestinian State.The Palestinians have never, do not now or ever will have a Partner in peace.

        Anyone who thinks otherwise is a looney.

      • Walid
        December 18, 2013, 3:42 pm

        “… In the event of a final peace deal, EU ministers said, the 28-member trade bloc will offer Israel and a future state of Palestine a “special privileged partnership.”

        Miriam, Israel already enjoys several “privileged partnerships” with European countries individually and as a EU collectivity. This supposedly “new” offer sounds like a new gimmick to work around the new EU sanctions set to start in the coming new year against Israel and its settlements. As to making this offer to the Palestinians, it’s somewhat of a sick joke.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 19, 2013, 11:14 am

        @miriam:

        Greetings from Jerusalem.

        Of course I agree. As I stated many times: Free state of Palestine must be established, living in peace next to Jewish state of Israel, and control all its resources in ground, air and water. Any way I believe, with the new “Two Seas Canal” project and with the many desalination facilities, the water problem will be solved in the next decades.

    • Krauss
      December 18, 2013, 3:05 pm

      Ah, the Israeli lobbyists are moving in.

      What you ignored: they cannot develop their own economy as long as it is under crushing control of Israel. So they have no real other option. People under desperate conditions do things that they wouldn’t lower themselves to do otherwise.

      60% of all of Israel’s water needs comes from the West Bank. So even their water is being stolen.

      If Israel is so benevolent towards the Palestinians, how about giving their water back?

      Nice try, hasbarist.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 19, 2013, 11:29 am

        @Krauss:

        I agree with you that the Palestinians economy is not well developed like the Israeli. But I am not speaking on heavy industries, factories, airports and seaports. I speak on the Palestinians that do shopping of basic products like food and clothing, in Israeli commercial centers although they can do the same in the well developed Palestinian markets. I don’t think that they shop in Israeli stores because they are desperate. During each Ramadan, Israel opens the border and lets the WB residents enter to Israel. The most popular visit place then is the Jerusalem Mall. You are fortunate if you then find available place in the mall’s coffee shops and restaurants.

        I believe the water problem will be solved in the next decade. Any way, I think Palestine must control their water resources.

        link to ynetnews.com

    • bintbiba
      December 18, 2013, 6:45 pm

      Wow, MY1….. What a great improvement in your English!
      Gets better by leaps and bounds!

      • just
        December 18, 2013, 6:52 pm

        It waxes and wanes… today it is very good.

        It’s nothing short of miraculous, bintbiba.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 19, 2013, 12:01 am

        @bintbiba:

        Will you stop all this nonsense about my “English”? Do you have something to say about how the Palestinians boycott Israeli goods?

        • amigo
          December 19, 2013, 10:38 am

          “@bintbiba:

          Will you stop all this nonsense about my “English”?” Mehane 1,2 or 3????.

          MahaneYehude1 September 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm

          @Annie: Thanks. Didn’t know about emails.

          I am not Nakba denial and don’t want others deny it. Any way, I send my reply to Shmuel and I don’t think it contains any denies.

          Nonsense???.

          • MahaneYehude1
            December 19, 2013, 2:14 pm

            @Amigo:

            I didn’t write about the level of my English (which I admit, is not good at all). I think that all these responses about my English, instead of comments on the issue, are nonsense. This includes your current comment which adds nothing to the current topic, the boycott of Israel.

          • talknic
            December 19, 2013, 9:01 pm

            @ MahaneYehude1 ” I think that all these responses about my English, instead of comments on the issue, are nonsense.”

            Your quite obviously fake bad English is nonsense…

            ( wonders what the spud peddlers next abuser name, occupation, place of residence & qualifications will be )

    • ritzl
      December 18, 2013, 6:58 pm

      Well MY1, noble sentiment. Sincerely. Would you like to clarify where that video was taken and maybe add a little more background.

      Are the Palestinians in that vid at risk of military or shopping repercussions for expressing what they truly believe? They’re on camera, after all. Maybe they’re not at immediate physical risk, but the context seems to be an Israeli store, in a settlement, serving settlers, being interviewed by the Jewish (settler?)-Israeli owner, speaking mostly in Hebrew, on camera, about “getting along” with their Jewish neighbors and/or employer.

      I have no doubt that a better economy would benefit Palestinians and the Jewish/settler-Israeli businesses they frequent. Gosh, this store/chain owner really seems to “get” that (Double gosh, it’s a tangential-posed-as-first-principle Israeli/US talking point). But what’s the subtext here? What’s the duress?

      Is there duress? Do you truly believe that there was none?

      I think that, contrary to your seeming reason for posting the vid, it showed a completely lopsided, occupier-enforced, gunpoint-induced view of the situation in that store. Noble sentiment or not.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 19, 2013, 12:09 am

        @Ritzl:

        The video shows only one example. The fact is that Palestinians don’t boycott Israel, with or without cameras and duress. You can visit the thousands of coffee shops, restaurants, markets, commercial centers in Israel and realize by yourself. No one can force them to shop in Israeli centers. The markets of the WB cities have all they need but the fact is that many of them visit our centers. I don’t know the reason for that, but I can guess.

        They’re on camera, after all.
        Please, remember your statement when you send in the future all those videos show children confronting IDF soldiers. I will remember.

        • ritzl
          December 20, 2013, 12:10 am

          MY1, duress comes in so many forms. If Israeli or settler businesses are the only game in town because Palestinians are prevented from building (physically and economically) their own businesses by the Occupation, that’s duress. If you’re saying that Jewish-Israeli businesses are somehow innately “better,” that’s pure BS.

          That video is like a push poll question. Every question should be prefaced with, “If you had your preference, [where would you shop]?” Or, “How many checkpoints did you have to endure to get here?” Or, “Do you live in the neighborhood?” The list is endless, but would present a better picture of the reality.

          I’m amazed that you can watch that vid and not ask yourself those questions, let alone seek answers to them.

          WRT to the “Palestinian children” comment, A) that’s a BS “Pallywood” contention, and B) if you’re specifically referring to the one where the two girls are hysterical, once again you have to remember that their father(?) was just carted off by the Occupation perchance never to be seen again. Context, mate. Context. Yes, please do remember that.

          • MahaneYehude1
            December 20, 2013, 1:08 am

            @ritzl:

            If you notice, I always wrote “Israel” in my comments, not “settlements” or OT. I want to repeat again: The Palestinians don’t boycott Israeli products and services. Many of the WB Palestinians visit Israel when the borders are open and enjoy our businesses. Many Palestinians businesses sell Israeli products, in addition to Palestinian products. EJ Palestinians visit frequently the west side and I happy for that. I never wrote that our businesses are better. No, they don’t care to shop in any comfortable store for them, Israeli or Palestinian. The Palestinian store owners don’t care to sell Israeli products (One funny fact is that you can buy T-shirt with IDF logo or with the PLO logo from the same store in EJ). Despite the efforts of the BDS movement here in Israel, they have no success among the Palestinians and I think President Abbas said it clear and straight, better than my comments here. If you want things be in context, the reality here is the context, not my or yours (pl.) videos.

        • Sibiriak
          December 20, 2013, 2:59 am

          MahaneYehude1 :

          The Palestinians don’t boycott Israeli products and services.

          Thanks for the info on that point…

          But that doesn’t mean that Palestinians do not support economic boycotts, academic boycotts, divestment and/or sanctions of one form or another by Americans, Europeans, et al.

          • Shmuel
            December 20, 2013, 3:09 am

            But that doesn’t mean that Palestinians do not support economic boycotts, academic boycotts, divestment and/or sanctions of one form or another by Americans, Europeans, et al.

            Here’s Boycott from Within‘s take on the subject, from the perspective of Israeli citizens (Palestinians and Jews):

            (5) As a person residing in Israel, how can I possibly boycott Israel or Israeli institutions? Shouldn’t I start by resigning my own job?

            The call for BDS is addressed, not to Israelis themselves, but to non-Israelis. It is a call for people outside Israel to boycott Israeli institutions, companies, products, etc. Boycott operates through applying economic and cultural pressure for an end to Israel’s occupation. Such pressure can mainly, if not only, be implemented from outside.

            You can, however, contribute to efforts within Israel by calling on others to follow the call and boycott Israeli institutions. In Apartheid South Africa, the voices of anti-Apartheid South African activists who supported BDS played an important role in putting an end to Apartheid. Such voices coming from Israel, today, can help the international campaign respond to accusations of practicing “anti-Semitism” or “the denial of Israel’s right to exist”.

            Obviously, those living in Israel cannot entirely avoid cooperation with Israeli institutions, companies, or products. This, however, does not imply they should leave the country that is their home. They should, instead, strive to make Israel a better place for both Palestinians and Israelis alike. Supporting BDS is one important way of doing this.

          • MahaneYehude1
            December 20, 2013, 3:32 am

            @Sibiriak:

            But that doesn’t mean that Palestinians do not support economic boycotts, academic boycotts, divestment and/or sanctions of one form or another by Americans, Europeans, et al.

            Your assumption may be correct and I don’t have information about the percent of Palestinians support boycott of one form or another by Palestinians or by Americans and Europeans. In my comment, I only wrote the simple fact that the Palestinians don’t boycott Israeli products and services. I don’t know the reason for that and have no more information.

      • jon s
        December 19, 2013, 3:12 am

        Some info: the owner of the store is a well-known Israeli enterpreneur ,Rami Levi, who started from a grocery in Jerusalem and now owns a very successful chain of supermarkets and has also entered the cellphone market. Politically, as far as I know, he’s a Likudnik.

        The Palestinians themselves don’t boycott Israel, so President Abbas was reflecting that reality.

        • talknic
          December 19, 2013, 11:58 am

          @jon s

          Some info: the owner of the store is a n illegal settler in non-Israeli territory

          “The Palestinians themselves don’t boycott Israel, so President Abbas was reflecting that reality”

          How can a land locked territory under occupation boycott the Occupying Power?

        • jon s
          December 19, 2013, 12:33 pm

          As to “duress”: the customers in the supermarket are free to speak their minds, as they apparently do. The employees, Jews and Palestinians , are probably careful of what they say, with the boss around. Nothing unique about that.

          • ritzl
            December 19, 2013, 11:49 pm

            Thanks, jon s for the additional info. By posting that video, MY1 took a baby step in acknowledging that there is very VERY latent if not buried desire for a normal life between Palestinians and Jewish/settler-Israelis. OK. Noted, with the caveat that the vid clearly defines “normal” in commercial terms (the “economic peace” talking point).

            I tried to take a similar baby step by attempting to gauge his sincerity with the “duress” question. Would he respond by acknowledging the fact that just out of frame, particularly in a settler enterprise, any/all Palestinians in that vid have the business end of a weapon pointed at them? Would he acknowledge or even remotely seem to comprehend the effect of a decades-long Occupation. Nope. Oh well.

            The question was rhetorical with a small dash of hope that it would not turn out to be so. I’ll just say it again, violent Occupation and its effect(s) are ALWAYS ignored as an underlying condition by MY1 and people like those that produced that vid. They ALWAYS start at second- or third-principles in their arguments. Videos like this are NEVER presented in context. Root causes/conditions are NEVER discussed in them. That’s a source of sadness for anyone hoping that the underlying sentiment might actually influence the medium-term possibilities for a just and stable resolution to this conflict.

            Again, thanks. Better days…

    • Annie Robbins
      December 18, 2013, 9:04 pm

      mehane, re your video..it reminds me of the awful Apartheid Adventures team, the israeli travel group:

    • talknic
      December 19, 2013, 11:55 am

      @MahaneYehude1 Pointing at a clear spot through the storm clouds as though its a clear day

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 19, 2013, 2:07 pm

        @talknic:

        I am sorry, but I know that the fact that the Palestinians don’t boycott Israeli products, although the BDS efforts, upset you. It doesn’t matter how you call it, clear day or dark day, you can’t change this fact. Please, accept my sincere apologies.

        • Shingo
          December 19, 2013, 3:54 pm

          I am sorry, but I know that the fact that the Palestinians don’t boycott Israeli products, although the BDS efforts, upset you

          I’m sorry MH 1,2,3 that boycott upsets you, but it was the Palesribians who came up with the idea.

          You provided evidence that one person is not joining the boycott. That doesn’t prove the majority are not.

        • talknic
          December 19, 2013, 9:12 pm

          @MahaneYehude1 “I am sorry”

          I’m not interested in your falsifications

          ” but I know that the fact that the Palestinians don’t boycott Israeli products, although the BDS efforts, upset you”

          LOL. Why would it upset me? Self determination includes shopping at a convenient supermarket instead of wasting hours traversing numerous roadblocks. It takes away the fun of harassing non-Jews from Israeli goons and it doesn’t make Israel’s illegal activities as the Occupying Power any less illegal.

          • MahaneYehude1
            December 20, 2013, 1:23 am

            @talknic:

            Your quite obviously fake bad English is nonsense…

            Talknic, why? Why you are doing it? Did I ever attack you personally? I don’t understand why I can’t participate in this forum without receiving personal attacks. One guess can be that I spoil your celebrations here and show you the real reality that you don’t want to hear and know. It is only a guess and I hope I am mistaken.

            Look, web forum is free for all. If my bad English grating to you, you can skip my comments. The many responses I receive here show me that people do understand me well although my bad English. So, please, stop with it or skip my comments. I do thank you in advance.

          • talknic
            December 20, 2013, 3:42 pm

            @ MahaneYehude1 ” I don’t understand why I can’t participate in this forum without receiving personal attacks. One guess can be that I spoil your celebrations here and show you the real reality that you don’t want to hear and know. It is only a guess and I hope I am mistaken. “

            An erudite vocabulary and bursts of impeccably good English belie poor attempts at ham fisted overplayed ‘bad English’.

            BTW Transparent excuses for Israel’s ongoing illegal activities aren’t ‘real reality’

          • RoHa
            December 20, 2013, 8:01 pm

            “I don’t understand why I can’t participate in this forum without receiving personal attacks.”

            We suspect you are not participating honestly. Initially, you presented yourself as a humble potato-seller, and wrote in rather poor English. But then we saw that some of your posts are in excellent English, and then others relapse into the poor English again. This leads us to suspect that you are not a single person, but at least two people pretending to be one person.

  5. RudyM
    December 18, 2013, 10:55 am

    This will be a setback, to some degree. It means an additional layer of explanation is required in a defense of BDS: why Abbas is on very shaky ground as a representative of the Palestinians. People who already avoid the Palestinian-Israeli conflict because it’s allegedly so complicated aren’t going to be up on the conflicts between Palestinian factions, the revelations about Abbas from the Palestine Papers, etc.

    (Side note: Eric Alterman sure turned out to be a nasty piece of work.)

    • miriam6
      December 18, 2013, 12:49 pm

      RudyM@;

      This will be a setback, to some degree. It means an additional layer of explanation is required in a defense of BDS

      Yeah right!!

      It certainly requires a convincing ‘explanation’ from outsiders like you and the tiny BDS ‘movement’ – as to why on earth you people should have more of a say in the future if Palestine than a Palestinian / Palestinian politician like Abbas!

      Whose struggle is it anyway?

      Unlike you and the other BDS fantasist’s – Abbas is involved in the real pragmatic business of the realities of dealing with Israel!

      He has far more legitimacy as a Palestinian leader than the likes of the miniscule BDS ‘movement’ can ever have.

      • talknic
        December 19, 2013, 12:07 pm

        @ miriam6 “Whose struggle is it anyway?”

        Anyone honestly concerned about states living up to their legal obligations to the Law and the UN Charter, especially Jewish folk.

        “Abbas is involved in the real pragmatic business of the realities of dealing with Israel!”

        WOW! As if we didn’t know. Dealing with Israel the rogue state in breach of hundreds of UNSC resolutions Abbas is not in an enviable position.

        “He has far more legitimacy as a Palestinian leader than the likes of the miniscule BDS ‘movement’ can ever have.”

        Ya don’t say! WOW!!

  6. HarryLaw
    December 18, 2013, 11:09 am

    Nobody is asking for Abbas to urge violent resistance, just do what is perfectly legal and pursue the criminals who are ethnically cleansing and murdering his constituents, the ICC Prosecutor said the ball is in the Palestinians court, we are waiting for them.
    Maybe Abbas regards himself as a sort of Gandhi, nothing could be further from the truth, Gandhi believed in non violence that’s true, but I believe Gandhi’s philosophy was, if your opponent deliberately tries to humiliate you, [and how they have humiliated Abbas] then hit back, and hit back hard, sign on to the ICC, then on to the UN Agencies, yes you will suffer in the short term, but anyone who expects Israel to roll over without taking those minimal steps is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    • miriam6
      December 18, 2013, 2:04 pm

      HarryLaw@;

      Exactly who are you – a non Palestinian – to tell Abbas what HE should?!

      Involving the ICC would be an aggressive act against Israel – there is absolutely no doubt that that would be how it would appear to Israel.

      Furthermore – Israel might well – and probably would – retaliate by punishing the Palestinians – so of course you can advocate that Abbas take hostile action towards Israel regardless of the consequences – because YOU would not suffer – only the Palestinians would!

      That is something that your ilk is just not cognisant of at all – that such actions would make life even worse for the Palestinians – the Palestinians would suffer the consequences – but not YOU.

      Also Israel might also retaliate – for example – by seeking to pursue and force Palestinian’s involved in organising suicide bombing attacks on Israeli civilians before the ICC.

      Of course – those thoughts will just NEVER have occurred to the likes of you..

      • amigo
        December 18, 2013, 2:46 pm

        “Involving the ICC would be an aggressive act against Israel – there is absolutely no doubt that that would be how it would appear to Israel.”m6

        Who gives a fiddlers fart how the criminal oppressor views.It has committed war crimes upon war crimes and it,s leaders need to be hauled to the Hague in irons and tried and preferably executed but unfortunately that option is no longer available.

        However “life” on Robbin Island breaking rocks might be an ironic end for these slime.It would be even more delicious if their Guards were some of the Palestinian languishing in Israeli Gulags.

        So who the hell are you to demand that war criminals should not pay for their crimes.

        Oh I forgot the blighty side .
        We in Ireland are still awaiting the arrest of your criminal and lying police who put 6 innocent people in prison for 16 years.Or would england view that as an aggressive act.

        You sure do spout a lot of nonsense but hey, what,s a zio apologist to do.
        Cannot tell the truth.

      • eljay
        December 18, 2013, 3:01 pm

        HarryLaw@;

        Exactly who are you – a non Palestinian – to tell Abbas what HE should?!

        Involving the ICC would be an aggressive act against Israel – there is absolutely no doubt that that would be how it would appear to Israel.

        Here’s the same quote in a slightly different context:

        HarryLaw@;

        Exactly who are you – a non battered spouse – to tell that poor woman what SHE should do?!

        Involving the police would be an aggressive act against her husband – there is absolutely no doubt that that would be how it would appear to him.

        Zio-supremacists: Always scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to justice and morality.

        • miriam6
          December 18, 2013, 4:04 pm

          eljay@;

          Let me ask YOU a serious question and I expect a serious grown up reply from you for once.

          If Abbas / the P.A took Israel to the ICC what do you think the consequences might be?

          And who do you think would suffer those consequences?

          Certainly NOT YOU.

          The Palestinian people would suffer the consequences – that is they would suffer even more.

          People on MW are fond of advising the P.A to undertake actions without any regard for how that might actually affect the Palestinians themselves.

          eljay: Always scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to mindless and empty ‘moral’ posturing.

          • Hostage
            December 18, 2013, 4:43 pm

            People on MW are fond of advising the P.A to undertake actions without any regard for how that might actually affect the Palestinians themselves.

            Public polling indicates that two-thirds of Palestinians favor going to the ICC right now. The majority are pessimistic about talks but say, that if an agreement is reached, it will be approved by a Palestinian referendum. link to pcpsr.org

          • talknic
            December 18, 2013, 5:02 pm

            @miriam6 “Let me ask YOU a serious question and I expect a serious grown up reply from you for once”

            Pathetic stuff from an apologist for Israel’s illegal activities …

            “If Abbas / the P.A took Israel to the ICC what do you think the consequences might be?”

            Read the advisory opinions of the international judicious institutions. They tell us that were the matters to go to court, Israel/is would loose, big time.

            “The Palestinian people would suffer the consequences – that is they would suffer even more”

            It’s Israel in breach of the law. Unless of course you mean the so called* Jewish state would commit even more crimes … how Naziesque

            *coveting other folks property, lying, false accusations are not a Jewish values

          • eljay
            December 18, 2013, 8:45 pm

            >> miriam6 @ December 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm

            miram6, you are full of hate and hot air.

            You make it seem as though the Palestinians will only begin to suffer should they seek justice for what the supremacist “Jewish State” has been doing to them for over 60 years.

            You seem to think it’s best they just go home, keep their heads down and mouths shut, and take the abuse in silence. I disagree.

            >> People on MW are fond of advising the P.A to undertake actions without any regard for how that might actually affect the Palestinians themselves.

            I wield no power of any kind over the PA or Palestinians. They are free to choose their own course(s) of action.

            >> eljay: Always scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to mindless and empty ‘moral’ posturing.

            Unlike you, I advocate for justice and morality. This offends you. I am not surprised.

        • Sibiriak
          December 19, 2013, 7:29 am

          eljay:

          Exactly who are you – a non battered spouse – to tell that poor woman what SHE should do?!

          Excellent analogy.

    • Hostage
      December 18, 2013, 4:10 pm

      the ICC Prosecutor said the ball is in the Palestinians court, we are waiting for them.

      You do realize that Article 12 of the Rome Statute says just exactly the opposite? It really isn’t up to the Prosecutor to punt or re-write what the State parties currently have on offer to non-member states in Article 12.

      The Registrar advised the Palestinians when they filed, that pending a determination by the Judges, their declaration had the effect of triggering the Palestinian obligations to cooperate and assist the court in accordance with the same rules that apply to member states under Part 9 of the Statute. The same procedure was followed in the cases of declarations made by other non-member States.

      Palestine is the only case where the Prosecutor has implied that the explicit references to declarations made by non-member states are only applicable if they become members – which can’t be a good faith interpretation.

  7. Talkback
    December 18, 2013, 11:11 am

    What is it with Eric Alterman and his scatology? It’s the second time I read from him “dipshits”. Can’t someone help him to get through his anal stage?

    • just
      December 18, 2013, 11:18 am

      Well, perhaps Podhoretz could get him aboard his oral stage.

  8. Les
    December 18, 2013, 11:18 am

    Next to debate BDS is the Modern Language Association in January.

    link to haaretz.com

    • just
      December 18, 2013, 11:45 am

      Super. More conversation is healthy.

      More BDS is even better.

  9. Sherri Munnerlyn
    December 18, 2013, 11:27 am

    The Boycott Movement has a lot of flexibility within it to allow individuals and groups and even states to independently choose how they desire to boycott unlawful activities supported by the Zionist government in Palestine. Who cares what the personal viewpoints of Abbas are? It is not his call to choose how any individual or group or even state chooses to support BDS. Everyone surely has to realize now his ability to responsibly represent the Palestinian people is compromised by the role the PA plays in enforcing the Occupation for Israel and the US in Occupied Palestine.

    • Citizen
      December 18, 2013, 12:45 pm

      The problem is very few American people actually know Abbas is an unelected “leader” of the Palestinian people. And they don’t know the West is paying for Israel’s occupation, and that the USA is paying for Israeli lebensraum; hell, they don’t even know that under international law, Israel should be paying for its own occupation, and that Israeli settlements are illegal, and the US pays for them.

    • Rusty Pipes
      December 18, 2013, 1:45 pm

      No major American organization that has endorsed BDS by any definition has imposed a blanket boycott of Israel. For the most part, American organizations, like churches, are boycotting settlement products (Ahava, Sodastream, etc.) or organizations that directly enforce or profit from the occupation (Veolia, Hewlett Packard, Caterpillar, etc). Abbas’ statement is not out of line with what American orgs or the EU have endorsed.

      Abunimah, who has long advocated for only the one-state option, has found yet another reason to call Abbas a traitor and a collaborator. Stop the presses! The American Jewish papers have gleefully jumped all over another story about political differences among Palestinians as an excuse that there is “no partner for peace.”

      The brief article in the Star gives no context to how the question of Boycotts was raised to Abbas. In America, it’s still illegal for businesses to observe the Arab League boycott of Israel. In Israel, it is illegal for citizens to advocate for BDS against Israel. Abbas is a politician involved in negotiations who made a cautious public statement.

      • Hostage
        December 18, 2013, 5:15 pm

        Abunimah, who has long advocated for only the one-state option, has found yet another reason to call Abbas a traitor and a collaborator.

        They say it takes one to know one. In any event, he gives space to articles on EI for his father, Hasan Abu Nimah to editorialize. This, despite the fact that he personally led the Jordanian delegation that negotiated and concluded the treaty to normalize relations with Israel, without bothering to address the right of refugees exiled in Jordan to return to their homes in Israel, & etc., e.g. link to electronicintifada.net

        Like Abbas, Abu Nimah is a refugee who opted to become an official of another state, which tends to undermine any claim to citizenship or residency in Israel.

    • Hostage
      December 18, 2013, 4:54 pm

      Who cares what the personal viewpoints of Abbas are?

      While it might be irrelevant here at MW, the Palestinian boycott of Israel settlement products is an official one, backed-up by a Presidential decree and an administrative regime of ministerial regulations.

      For a different perspective than the one expressed by MW editors, see: “Abbas backs Palestinian boycott campaign of Israeli goods made in settlements: Palestinian president dismisses Israeli accusations that the campaign amounts to incitement of hatred against Israel. link to haaretz.com

      • Shingo
        December 19, 2013, 8:36 am

        Abbas backs Palestinian boycott campaign of Israeli goods made in settlements:

        Which is about as effective as nailing jello to a wall. Israel can easily exploit loopholes to avoid such boycotts.

        • Hostage
          December 19, 2013, 3:46 pm

          Which is about as effective as nailing jello to a wall. Israel can easily exploit loopholes to avoid such boycotts.

          The 2005 Call to action indicates that Israel can also exploit loopholes to avoid obeying the laws cited in the ICJ advisory opinion. The same thing is obviously true when it comes to getting the ICC Prosecutor to enforce its jurisdiction in Palestine. The question is why are we blaming Abbas for the failures of those international institutions to act on his official complaints?

          He is dealing with an entity that has imposed closures and curfews on the West Bank on several occasions, since his arrival there. Those have prevented Palestinians from even leaving their homes to obtain food and water or to bury their dead, while the IDF patrolled the streets and shot at anyone who dared to try and do those things. I’m pretty certain that the keyboard warriors here would be singing a different tune about threatening to boycott Israel, or “collaborating” with it, if they had to live with all of the possible consequences.

  10. yrn
    December 18, 2013, 12:03 pm

    ” Who cares what the personal viewpoints of Abbas are? It is not his call to choose how any individual or group or even state chooses to support BDS. ”

    This is realy amusing.
    The guy Abbas just spoiled your party.

    What a rational.
    Who is Abbas Lady Sherri
    Is he the Palestinian elected president.
    Who is the BDS for, the Eskimos or the Palestinians.
    So if the Palestinian Elected president. tells you loonies, he dose not support your BDS.
    Who the hell are you .

    The BDS is finished, get it into your heads.

    • Walid
      December 18, 2013, 3:28 pm

      yrn, the man is no longer the elected President since his term expired 2 years ago and he renewed it himself for an indefinite period. He’s on his way to becoming another President for Life. For now, he is speaking mostly on behalf of himself and Israelis.

      BTW, this is his second round of anti BDS against Israel’s settlements. The first campaign by Abbas (and Fayyad) against settlement products was in May 2010 and the sky did not fall on his head because of some Israeli anti-BDS law.

    • talknic
      December 19, 2013, 12:14 pm

      @ yrn “The BDS is finished, get it into your heads”

      Uh huh. So why’re you and the mini influx of GIYUS types at MW peddling wholly holey moldy old failing Hasbara?

      • MHughes976
        December 19, 2013, 12:51 pm

        The ASA boycott certainly seems to have provoked an unprecedented troll attack here: no other single event has elicited a comparable response. There must be dozens more waiting to be unleashed. Since their basic method is to change the subject I hope the moderators will apply a relevance test.

  11. LeaNder
    December 18, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Although it surely is a mental shortcut by now, concerning PEP, I would like to know more about whatever the context of Max citation was on that specific date is this:

    All I can find looking very fast is this:

    Eric Alterman ‏@Eric_Alterman 14 Dez

    ““No, we do not support the boycott of Israel,” Go to it, dipshits. link to timesofisrael.com
    Retweetet von Max Blumenthal

    But strictly I have no time. I would you love to register reservations Alex. I don’t believe the juxtaposition you offer here, and I would appreciate the complete context.

    • LeaNder
      December 18, 2013, 12:26 pm

      mkazin ‏@mkazin 14 Dez

      @MaxBlumenthal @CoreyRobin I oppose the ASA boycotting Israeli universities and support the same boycott as Abbas.

      11:22 AM – 14 Dez 13, Max Blumenthal ‏@MaxBlumenthal 14 Dez

      @mkazin @CoreyRobin so you stand behind the autocratic puppet of an occupied Bantustan and against a global movement? Very populist.

      sorry I understood Alex, you simply shifted the person sending it to the bottom, which leaves us with the juxtaposition, which I responded to. Beware the mind-shapers out there.

  12. yrn
    December 18, 2013, 12:31 pm

    BTW Is Roger Waters still the favorite celebrity of the BDS ????
    Mondowiess has the tendency, not to deal with those issues as the little progressive ghetto, can not deal with Water’s when he speaks his mind .
    Is he telling the truth ??.

    • OlegR
      December 18, 2013, 5:13 pm

      /BTW Is Roger Waters still the favorite celebrity of the BDS ????/
      Why, what did he said now ?

      • yrn
        December 18, 2013, 5:38 pm

        Roger Waters equated Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany and slammed the “extraordinary” power of the Jewish lobby in the United States.
        “The Jewish lobby is extraordinary powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry and in rock’n roll as they say,” Waters said in an interview published in the online magazine counterpunch. “I’ve spoken to people who are terrified that if they stand shoulder to shoulder with me they are going to get f-cked.”

        • Hostage
          December 18, 2013, 7:15 pm

          Roger Waters equated Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany and slammed the “extraordinary” power of the Jewish lobby in the United States.

          On several occasions, I’ve noted Hannah Arendt’s detailed comparison of the effects of Israeli rabbinical law regarding personal status with the Nazi Nuremberg race laws. I’ve never heard anyone make the case that she was wrong. There are plenty of people with PhDs in political science or career politicians who have said the Jewish and Israel Lobbies in the US exercise inordinate amounts of power, e.g. Mearsheimer and Walt, and Jack Straw.

          Coincidentally, the IRS has just requested public comments about proposed rulemaking for tax exempt organizations to redefine political activities related to candidates that should NOT be considered activities that promote social welfare.

          • andrew r
            December 20, 2013, 6:03 am

            Hannah Arendt’s detailed comparison of the effects of Israeli rabbinical law regarding personal status with the Nazi Nuremberg race laws

            You might appreciate this bit of irony regarding the British Emergency Regulations. (Israeli Land Seizure under Various Defense and Emergency Regulations, JPS vol. 14 no. 2 Winter 1985)

            On Feb. 7, 1946, the Jewish Bar Association convened in Tel-Aviv to protest these regulations. The meeting was attended by some four hundred lawyers. Yacob Shimshon Shapira, a leading attorney who, after 1948, became the Israeli Attorney General and Minister of Justice, described the regulations as follows:

            The regime established in Palestine with the publication of the Emergency Regulations is quite unique for enlightened countries. Even Nazi Germany didn’t have such laws, and acts such as those perpetrated at Majdanek actually ran against the letter of German law. It is true we are assured that the Regulations are aimed solely against offenders and not against the entire population, but it will be remembered that the Nazi governor of occupied Oslo, too, declared no harm would befall citizens who would just go about their business as usual. No government is entitled to legislation of this kind.

  13. Sycamores
    December 18, 2013, 12:53 pm

    Abbas can say what he wants but he has no control over civil society or the majority concensus of the Palestinians.
    Abbas call to boycott the illegal settlement alone is borderline treasonous, by doing so he chooses to ignore the Right of Return of refugees and the racial discrimination of non-Jews in israel.

    israel complicity in the illegal settlements is morally just reason to BDS the **** out of all israel.

    boycotting the illegal settlements alone in OPT is as stupid as calling for boycotting the bantustans alone in apartheid South Africa back in the 1980′s.

    this is a case when all news is good news if the liberial zionists take up Abbas called to boycott the illegal settlements only, it will eventually lead to more awareness and then public debate and this is where the BDS movement will shine as they already have at least 8 years to finesse their goals.

  14. MHughes976
    December 18, 2013, 3:42 pm

    Abbas has put himself in a position where he can do very little except tie himself in knots. Easy for me to say, perhaps I have never come near to facing such extraordinary difficulties as he has.

  15. Hostage
    December 18, 2013, 3:49 pm

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has become the savior of those trying to stave off the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

    I don’t see how, since he has backed an official Palestinian boycott of Israeli settlement products. See for example: Palestinians ‘adamant about continuing boycott on settlement goods’: PA economy minister says after meeting with Ben-Eliezer that Israel’s request to end the campaign proves that it is working. link to haaretz.com

    Much like how his comments rejecting the Palestinian right of return earned him praise from liberal Zionists, anti-BDS writers and activists are now looking to Abbas to help kill the appeal of boycotting Israel.

    His comments didn’t reject the right of return to his country of origin or the Palestinian right of return. See “Abbas: I wasn’t giving up right of return; I was just speaking personally: Amid furor over his remark to Israel’s Channel 2 that he has no ‘right’ to live in Safed, PA president clarifies his position” link to timesofisrael.com

    He was simply acknowledging that individuals who demand the right of self-determination in their own state, and serve as its elected officials (e.g. the President of the State of Palestine), can’t maintain a claim for citizenship in another state or demand the right to subsequently take-up residence in that country. He made it perfectly clear he was only speaking for himself, not for every other Palestinian refugee. Each refugee, including Abbas, has an unqualified right to make their own personal choices regarding return or compensation.

    • HarryLaw
      December 19, 2013, 4:49 am

      Hostage @ “His comments didn’t reject the right of return to his country of origin or the Palestinian right of return. See “Abbas: I wasn’t giving up right of return; I was just speaking personally”: Maybe his comments are true, but surely a man in his privileged position, with a large bank account, and the leader of the Palestinian people, should think more about the many starving Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria before coming out with such unfeeling, crass opinions, at least keep them to himself. As for the other clown, the liar and serial resigner Erekat, what can be said of a man who goes on Israeli TV and blames the Palestinians for not achieving peace. ” I know we [the Palestinians] have disappointed you, I know we have not been able to deliver peace for the past 19 years”. Oh I see, it is all the fault of the Palestians, as I said in a previous comment, the Palestinians are lions led by donkey’s.

    • Shingo
      December 19, 2013, 8:41 am

      I don’t see how, since he has backed an official Palestinian boycott of Israeli settlement products.

      Like I said Hostage, it’s about as futile as nailing jello to the wall. It gives Israel more loopholes than a doily to avoid boycott.

  16. shalom
    December 18, 2013, 4:01 pm

    Its easy to slash and burn Netanyahu or Abbas or anyone trying to make peace by just reciting history. But we have an active peace process that both governments are participating in and it has a chance, however small of success. BDS is negative as is the Hasbara that poisons the Palestinian story. Both peoples need to find a way forward to enable an agreement that brings the Occupation to an end while providing the necessary security to Israelis and the necessary justice to Palestinians to enable both to make the concessions necessary to sign a peace treaty that will last.

    • Hostage
      December 19, 2013, 6:40 am

      Maybe his comments are true, but surely a man in his privileged position, with a large bank account, and the leader of the Palestinian people, should think more about the many starving Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria before coming out with such unfeeling, crass opinions, at least keep them to himself.

      I think some people just like to use the myth about 5 million returning refugees to keep the conflict going forever.

      According to polls, 9 out of 10 refugees feel just like Abbas. They want compensation, a state of their own, they do not want to return to Israel and become second class citizens, although they would like to visit and have the right of transit to their holy sites. Polls also show that most Palestinians are willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve those ends. That news obviously upsets a few apple carts, but maybe its time for others to stop trying to browbeat them and let them speak-out? e.g.
      * link to 972mag.com
      * link to electronicintifada.net

      Erekat, what can be said of a man who goes on Israeli TV and blames the Palestinians for not achieving peace. I know we [the Palestinians] have disappointed you, I know we have not been able to deliver peace for the past 19 years”

      He didn’t go on Israeli TV and blame the Palestinians. He filmed a promotional video for the Geneva Initiative, an Israeli-Palestinian initiative to end the conflict, and apologized to listeners in Israel on behalf of the persons involved in the initiative that they had failed, thus far, to deliver peace. There was no mention of “[the Palestinians]“.

      • Justpassingby
        December 19, 2013, 7:03 am

        Hostage

        Did you even check your own poll (from 2003!)? Firstly it spoke out against the results you are trying to use.
        Second, it didnt ask how they view the right to return at all but how they would approach such a reality, if you read the answers the issue for them is, will they return to a Israel or will this place they return to rather be a Palestinian state?

        Besides by denying palestinians right to return as you do, you deny even more rights that they have been denied through the years. If right to return could be ignored, why not the West bank too, as Israel also claims?
        Why end the occupation at all Hostage?

        • Hostage
          December 19, 2013, 2:55 pm

          Hostage Did you even check your own poll (from 2003!)? Firstly it spoke out against the results you are trying to use.

          No the poll did not speak out against the results. I provided two links. One of them from +972 explained that the pollster was dependable and had occasionally revealed some unsettling truths – and that in one instance it had resulted in a personal attack. I simply included a link to the EI rant in question so readers could decide for themselves.

          • Justpassingby
            December 19, 2013, 3:29 pm

            Hostage

            Yes your 2003 link did speak out again the poll, didnt you read it?

            link to electronicintifada.net

          • Hostage
            December 19, 2013, 8:01 pm

            Hostage

            Yes your 2003 link did speak out again the poll, didnt you read it?

            link to electronicintifada.net

            So the answer to your question and claim: “Did you even check your own poll (from 2003!)? Firstly it spoke out against the results you are trying to use,” is bullshit. You are citing a rant published by EI, not the poll.

            That was the personal attack mentioned in the +972 article. Ali Abunimah did not request the poll and was not affiliated with the pollster.

      • HarryLaw
        December 19, 2013, 8:06 am

        Hostage @ According to polls, 9 out of 10 refugees feel just like Abbas. Maybe so, that would mean approx 500,000 Palestinians maybe do want to return, which is one hundredth of what was put forward during negotiations, I agree a solution can be found on the numbers who want to return [with generous compensation] but Abbas is wrong to state his own preferences while at the same time negotiating for all Palestinians.
        “There was no mention of “[the Palestinians]“. When Erekat finds his way onto Israeli TV screens apologizing for failing to find peace, everybody knows he is representing the Palestinians.

        • Hostage
          December 19, 2013, 1:50 pm

          Hostage @ According to polls, 9 out of 10 refugees feel just like Abbas. Maybe so, that would mean approx 500,000 Palestinians maybe do want to return, which is one hundredth of what was put forward during negotiations,

          There has never been any full disclosure of the details and no deal has ever been struck, in part due to the lack of agreement about the refugees.

          When Erekat finds his way onto Israeli TV screens apologizing for failing to find peace, everybody knows he is representing the Palestinians.

          Except, I happen to know he was speaking in a promotional video produced for the Geneva Initiative, which is a group of Palestinian and Israeli signatories, including the Israeli negotiators, like Yossi Beilin and that one in five of those Israeli viewers happen to be Palestinian Israelis.

          I don’t personally care for either Abbas or Erekat, but the insults that most people post here are little more than demonization. The fact is the UN General Assembly got fed up with the suicide bombings and for the first time, said that Palestinians could not use every means at their disposal to end foreign domination and ordered the PA to start arresting those responsible for planning violent attacks. The Security Council adopted the Road Map, which was drafted in part by the Secretary General, and it requires the Palestinians to cooperate and end the violent attacks. Neither Abbas nor Erekat are to blame for those mandates or the inaction of the Security Council, General Assembly, and ICC in brining Israelis responsible for war crimes to justice. They have formally requested each of those international organs to do exactly that, and it shouldn’t require 450+ requests.

          • Justpassingby
            December 19, 2013, 2:50 pm

            Hostage

            You seems to have a thing for PA since you keep defending them.
            PA could admit the failure of peace-talks and step down = PA is part of the problem.

          • Hostage
            December 19, 2013, 7:50 pm

            Hostage You seems to have a thing for PA since you keep defending them.

            I have a worse thing for people who talk all day about international law and then conceal the fact that most of it only applies if you happen to represent a State.

            I also get angry at people who don’t realize that Palestine has only been addressed through international political organs for the last 100 years, and that it has never treated as a legal issue in court until 2003. Anyone who acts like the new international criminal tribunal has been tried and that it has failed is simply wrong. If you recommend more grassroots political action as an answer, you are crazy. You are doing the same things over and over again that have failed for decades and expecting different results. We need to use all of the political and legal weapons that are available, and the PA happens to be one.

            The PA has been the only show in town if you want a state that can go into Courts in other countries, the ICJ, or the ICC and do something about Israel’s violations of international law. The PA says that Palestine is an illegally occupied state.

            If you want to go on the lecture circuit, write books, and talk about international law and “the non-existent state of Palestine”, you might as well be on Sheldon Adelson’s payroll.

          • Justpassingby
            December 20, 2013, 5:23 am

            Hostage

            As I just said you seems to have a thing for PA. Just look how you deleted the quote where I said PA was part of the problem.

          • Hostage
            December 20, 2013, 2:58 pm

            @Justpassingby

            Hostage As I just said you seems to have a thing for PA.

            Yes I do. The only entity that I’ve ever heard of that actually has threatened Israeli officials with criminal prosecutions if they commit crimes against Palestinians happens to be the PA.

            The BDS movement obviously can’t or won’t do it and it leaves millions with no leagal protections. If you are looking for an entity that has already filed criminal complaints over past crimes in the Hague or in other countries, it isn’t Goldstone, the UN, or Mondoweiss. If you want to know who can file complaints in the future if Israel actually starts construction in E-1, it’s the PA. It can do that in the courts of over 130 other countries which have recognized it as the legitimate government of Palestine, despite all your blather to the contrary.

            For 40 years Israel has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the West Bank and Gaza with impunity, and claimed that it can do what it wants there, because there is no reversionary state and it’s disputed territory. The Courts in many countries, including the United States, will not initiate actions based upon complaints filed by private individuals. There is no private right of action for war crimes and crimes against humanity in most countries. But other states and the international courts will initiate actions, or arrest and turn over suspects when another state or states request it. The PA happens to belong to a category of States now that most UN member states, including the US, have a treaty obligation to deal with in accordance with the UN Vienna Conventions on treaties and diplomatic relations – and I’m not ready to listen to unelected activists who think its okay to give up on that hard earned progress.

      • Walid
        December 19, 2013, 2:01 pm

        “He didn’t go on Israeli TV and blame the Palestinians.”

        Hostage, if not on Israeli TV, where were those promotional videos supposed to be aired ?

        • Hostage
          December 19, 2013, 7:26 pm

          “He didn’t go on Israeli TV and blame the Palestinians.”

          Hostage, if not on Israeli TV, where were those promotional videos supposed to be aired ?

          Once again, the words [the Palestinians] were never uttered and the “we” were the signatories of the Geneva Initiative, i.e. Erekat, Beilin and a number of other Israeli and Palestinian officials. So he did not go on television and blame “the Palestinians”. You even have to doctor the text of the quote to make it look like he said that.

          • Walid
            December 20, 2013, 6:10 am

            Hostage, I found the answer to the question you didn’t answer on the Geneva Initiative website that said:

            “The campaign was aired on Sunday, August 29th and will continue for three weeks. It will utilize the internet, printed press and billboards. The campaign is led by GPS advertising company and Filmind Productions, headed by Ron Assouline.”

            link to geneva-accord.org

            As to your excusing Erekat’s apology to the Israelis for having let them down during 19 years by not delivering the peace, that he had apologized on behalf of the negotiating team rather than the Palestinian people, I think you’re being acrobatic with the semantics; Erekat was the negotiator for the Palestinians.

          • Hostage
            December 20, 2013, 6:23 am

            As to your excusing Erekat’s apology to the Israelis for having let them down during 19 years by not delivering the peace, that he had apologized on behalf of the negotiating team rather than the Palestinian people, I think you’re being acrobatic with the semantics; Erekat was the negotiator for the Palestinians.

            Again you have to doctor his comments to make it appear the he even mentioned [the Palestinians] in that context. You’re the one doing the mental gymnastics, not me.

            You’ve just proven that he was talking on behalf of the Geneva Initiative in a video that they produced. There is no doubt that the Geneva Initiative has a number of Palestinians and Israelis who were the official negotiators and signatories and that they damn sure have failed to deliver peace for more than 19 years.

          • Justpassingby
            December 20, 2013, 3:06 pm

            Hostage

            “Yes I do. The only entity that I’ve ever heard of that actually has threatened Israeli officials with criminal prosecutions if they commit crimes against Palestinians happens to be the PA”.

            I appreciate that you admit that your political views decide your views. This is not realistic though which I have trying to tell you.

            PA “threa”t? What threats?! And more concrete, what result is of those threats? Due your PA-bias you forget that PA is funded by Israel and the US, of course Abbas will NEVER threat that support, thats why Abbas is a puppet. He will NEVER challenge the occupier.
            Israel have done what is has done for “40 years” just because they have puppet leaders like Abbas that wont go against them.
            Dont you understand what you are supporting?

          • Hostage
            December 20, 2013, 9:19 pm

            PA “threa”t? What threats?!

            You must be living under a rock. The US and Israel spent two years trying to keep the UN from granting Palestine full member or observer state status precisely because it would pose a threat to the two countries in the international courts.

            I’ve already explained that Palestine has filed a criminal complaint at the Hague. The threat is that Israeli officials will become wanted criminals for the rest of their lives and their allies and facilitators will become targets too. If you don’t know how that works, just look at the techniques used by Simon Wiesenthal against criminals that persecuted Jews or pillaged their property during WWII.

            I appreciate that you admit that your political views decide your views. This is not realistic though which I have trying to tell you. . .

            I appreciate that you are short sighted, but it really is possible to use international law to stop or prevent criminal state practices and there have always been naysayers who claim it’s a waste of time or impractical.

    • talknic
      December 19, 2013, 7:54 am

      shalom “But we have an active peace process that both governments are participating in and it has a chance, however small of success”

      Correction: there is an inactive peace process and; while there is occupation it has no chance. Read the Egypt / Israel Peace Treaty. Israel was first required to withdraw from all Egyptian territory before peaceful relations were assumed. link to wp.me

      “Both peoples need to find a way forward to enable an agreement that brings the Occupation to an end while providing the necessary security to Israelis and the necessary justice to Palestinians to enable both to make the concessions necessary to sign a peace treaty that will last”

      A) Both peoples are not occupied. One is. The other is the Occupying Power. link to wp.me ONLY the Occupying Power can end its occupation peacefully. The Occupying Power is obliged to adhere to the laws governing occupation. To protect the occupied, their property and their territory and assist them to attain independence. Independence can ONLY come about when they are free of the Occupying Power. Meanwhile it is the Jewish state in breach of the Laws of occupation.

      Israel could end the occupation immediately. The only thing stopping it is … Israel coveting non-Israeli territory, demanding recognition as a Jewish state (there’s no legal basis for demanding recognition and no other country has ever recognized Israel as anything other than “the State of Israel” link to pages.citebite.com ) and any other nonsense demand they can think of

      B) Israel has no legal right to more secure borders than any of its neighbours.

      C) The Palestinians have nothing of Israel’s to concede. They have already offered Israel peace and more that 50% of what remained of Palestine after Israel’s territory was proclaimed.

      Remember, Israel declared independence, was recognized and admitted to the UN while it was at war in territories “outside the State of Israel” “in Palestine” link to wp.me Israeli forces have never left the territories “outside the State of Israel” and Israel has never legally acquired any of the “territories outside the State of Israel”

      Only Israel can deliver “the necessary justice to Palestinians”.

    • eljay
      December 19, 2013, 8:06 am

      >> But we have an active peace process that both governments are participating in and it has a chance, however small of success.

      How do you define “success” in the case of this “active peace process”? What do you see the Israelis getting, and what do you see the Palestinians getting out of it?

  17. Hostage
    December 18, 2013, 4:32 pm

    Wow! I though Omar Barghouti’s position was that, if you could only boycott Israeli settlement products, then we still want you to boycott Israeli settlement products. Now you are condemning Abbas for doing exactly that.

    How can the landlocked West Bank boycott Israel? And how can Abbas recommend a boycott without violating the Paris Accords and giving up the customs revenues it generates for the maintenance of non-self-supporting public services and salaries in Palestine?

    You know I get really disappointed when there is this much cognitive dissonance. When are you going to write an article complaining that Omar Barghouti gave liberal Zionists a gift by attending Tel Aviv University? Or that Ali Abunimah’s father was the Jordanian diplomat who normalized relations with Israel and concluded a treaty that didn’t mention and effectively gave up the right of return of all of the refugees living in that country? I’m just curious why you insist on picking on the victims?

    • just
      December 18, 2013, 5:06 pm

      I do agree Hostage.

      Making Abbas into the villain is certainly not helpful, nor is it productive/conducive toward the outcome the Palestinian people deserve.

      As I wrote on MW just the other day:

      “I tire of the Abbas bashing. What does one do when between a rock and a hard place with King Bibi backed by the US holding the sword of Damocles over the heads of a People? It’s up to many others to wake up and condemn our combined and reeking hypocrisy, acknowledge the brutality of Israel and her illegal actions, and ultimately break the unholy alliance with the US.”

      link to mondoweiss.net

      • Walid
        December 19, 2013, 1:30 am

        Just, you should look into why Hamas won the last elections and it may give you a more comprehensive idea of what Abbas and his group are about; it came as a shocking surprise to the Hamas people more than to any other group. Neither Israel’s holding of any sword of Damocles nor Hostage’s landlocked issue has anything to do with what we are discussing here about siding with Israel against the BDS movement. It’s about putting personal gains ahead of the Palestinian cause.

        • Hostage
          December 19, 2013, 1:54 am

          Just, you should look into why Hamas won the last elections

          And you should look into why they haven’t conducted any elections since then. There were a number of reports a few years ago in which Palestinians and others accused them of corruption and worse government than their predecessors. The CSMonitor ran a two page article that accused Hamas of profiting from the siege. It was alleged that they taxed the tunnel traffic and profited from the black market, that they largely controlled in order to buy-up depressed businesses and properties:

          Amr Hamad, Executive Director of the Palestinian Federation of Industry, says the tunnels were Gaza’s economic “backbone,” allowing imports of both consumer goods and raw materials that kept 20 percent of the local industries humming. Nevertheless, he says, in the long run they’ve done more harm than good to the economy.

          “It has created a new layer of illegitimate and irresponsible businesses who have replaced legitimate businesses,” he says, estimating that 200 to 300 Hamas members have become prominent businessmen during the siege. “The legitimate men no longer control the economy.”

          Those few hundred Hamas members have made some savvy investments, say business leaders, including in real estate, seaside hotels, cafes and recreation areas, and Gaza Mall, a small shopping center in Gaza City.

          link to csmonitor.com

          • Walid
            December 19, 2013, 3:24 am

            Hostage, I never gave Hamas a clean bill of health, not now and not in the past. But at the time of the elections, in spite of the majority of the Palestinians wanting no part of Hamas and their fundy ideology, they still voted in the majority for it simply to not have the same Abbas crowd back in power. I still remember the day of the elections when Abbas’ people were stunned by their loss while the Hamas people were running in circles asking themselves what the hell to do with this new-found power and where they were to start. The failed or foiled takeover of Gaza by Abbas with the help of the Israelis and Americans only showed the extent of the corruption.

            Neither Hamas nor Abbas are interested in new elections but this doesn’t make the guy any less villainous.

          • Hostage
            December 19, 2013, 4:16 am

            But at the time of the elections, in spite of the majority of the Palestinians wanting no part of Hamas and their fundy ideology, they still voted in the majority for it simply to not have the same Abbas crowd back in power.

            The popular vote was almost evenly split. Hamas took 44.45% of the vote and Fatah received 41.43%. It was the foibles of the electoral system that gave the landslide 74 seats to Hamas, while giving Fatah only 45. link to web.archive.org

          • LeaNder
            December 19, 2013, 8:33 am

            Isn’t that business as usual, Hostage? It feels that what Walid alludes to here is incidentally one of the main talking points of the other side too: corruption. So why shift to Hamas in this context?

            It feels that this is exactly what happens once you have a black market. The ones best connected will always find a way to profit from it. Obviously there is a tax issue connected with it too. No? How would Israel handle it? Couldn’t they foresee it in any way? People will get creative anywhere confronting the type of pressure Israel has tried to institutionalize. Always sticks, never carrots. “They” only understand force? I find it hard to demand different rules for systems I may not like, as for the ones I do.

            What exact motive did Israel have when it systematically bombed the whole business infrastructure back into the Arab village and below, including killing chickens on a chicken farm?

          • LeaNder
            December 19, 2013, 8:59 am

            The popular vote was almost evenly split. Hamas took 44.45% of the vote and Fatah received 41.43%. It was the foibles of the electoral system that gave the landslide 74 seats to Hamas, while giving Fatah only 45.

            What is the history of these “foibles”? Was this initially meant to prevent any sharing of power? Didn’t Hamas offer exactly that? But the PLO did not like the idea, just as Israel didn’t.

            And to what extend had or could have had Israeli obstructionism an influence? An act of defiance? Or do the Palestinians not watch news? Or are they only simply unable to do reliable polls? Cynicism alert.

            Feels I am slightly on Walid’s side here.

      • Justpassingby
        December 19, 2013, 5:03 am

        Just

        Abbas IS the problem, hes a puppet to US and Israel.

        • Hostage
          December 19, 2013, 3:08 pm

          Just Abbas IS the problem, hes a puppet to US and Israel.

          Well whoever the Palestinians elect will have to cave-in to US, Israeli, EU, and UN pressure. You can’t run Palestine while sitting behind a keyboard in the USA or while you’re blogging and doing rounds on the lecture circuit.

          The argument that the USA and Israel were pulling the strings when Abbas had a criminal complaint filed against Israel in the Hague or when he subsequently went to the UN to overcome the statehood objections that were preventing the case from being investigated and prosecuted just doesn’t make any sense.

          • Justpassingby
            December 19, 2013, 3:28 pm

            Hostage

            Thats the problem you dont understand, palestinian leaders must not “cave-in” as the puppet Abbas does, thats why he is a puppet.

            Whats making no sense? That Abbas asked UNGA for help? A result that have no legal matter?

          • Hostage
            December 19, 2013, 8:09 pm

            Hostage Thats the problem you dont understand, palestinian leaders must not “cave-in” as the puppet Abbas does, thats why he is a puppet.

            No that’s actually the problem with keyboard warriors. Security Council and General Assembly resolutions do have legal effects in international law and they have ordered the Palestinian authorities to do what they are doing in cooperating on security, Oslo, the Paris Accords, and engaging in negotiations to end the occupation. It’s really true that Abbas has to be seen to be doing all of those things, before pursuing legal remedies through the ICC and ICJ or he’ll end up getting part of the blame.

          • Shingo
            December 19, 2013, 8:16 pm

            Hostage,

            Were the Oslo accords ever recognized by the UN? And didn’t you toueseld say they were irrelevant?

          • Hostage
            December 19, 2013, 11:12 pm

            Were the Oslo accords ever recognized by the UN? And didn’t you toueseld say they were irrelevant?

            Of course the parties had them deposited with the UN. The ICJ held in 2003 that once Israel had transferred competency in any area to the Palestinian authorities, it could not resume control or interfere. I said they had expired on September 13, 2000 and that they were irrelevant to the question of Palestinian statehood, since it was never a final status issue anyway. The two sides and the Quartet, including the UN and ICJ, are still employing the terms, and the dispositions made pursuant to the accords, to maintain the status quo.

          • Walid
            December 20, 2013, 6:24 am

            “Well whoever the Palestinians elect will have to cave-in to US, Israeli, EU, and UN pressure.” (Hostage)

            Hostage, you’re sounding like an old-fashioned Muslim fatalist. Maybe the Palestinians should just sit back and wait for things to happen, hopefully good things for a change.

            Whatever became of the UNHRC review and vote on the Goldstone Report that Abbas had postponed at just about the time the Wataniyah license was being considered by Israel?

            The Wataniya story and the Abbas family connection to it:

            Special investigation: How Blair rescued Palestine deal worth $200m to his £2m-a-year paymasters
            By DAVID ROSE
            UPDATED: 23:42 GMT, 11 September 2010

            Read more: link to dailymail.co.uk

          • Hostage
            December 20, 2013, 7:48 am

            @Walid answering you here:

            Whatever became of the UNHRC review and vote on the Goldstone Report that Abbas had postponed at just about the time the Wataniyah license was being considered by Israel?

            There you go again. The Israelis threatened to withhold the Watanya license unless Abbas agreed to withdraw the PA criminal complaint at the Hague, and Abbas did not comply with that demand. You can read all about that here (for about the forth or fifth time): Israel demands PA drop war crimes suit at The Hague: Palestinian Authority called on International Court to examine IDF’s January operation in Gaza link to haaretz.com

            I’ve also pointed out to you about a dozen times that the Goldstone report was DOA because the US refused to allow it to be placed on the Security Council agenda and let it be known that there wouldn’t be any ICC referral. Israel had threatened Abbas if he didn’t delay the vote in the UN HRC: Diskin to Abbas: Defer UN vote on Goldstone or face ‘second Gaza’ link to haaretz.com

            In any event, there were outraged demonstrations in Gaza, and the vote wasn’t delayed, for all it was worth. The UN HRC appointed a panel experts to review and follow-up every six months and they eventually recommended that the General Assembly send it to the Security Council with a recommendation for an ICC referral – and the General Assembly simply let it die. The only party still pursuing the idea of taking Israel to the ICC is the PA.

        • Hostage
          December 19, 2013, 4:00 pm

          Isn’t that business as usual, Hostage? It feels that what Walid alludes to here is incidentally one of the main talking points of the other side too: corruption. So why shift to Hamas in this context?

          It was Walid that commented that we should look into the reasons Hamas won the elections, not me.

          Elections are no panacea. Frankly, if you really want to talk about political corruption, tax-loopholes, and control of the markets, you should be taking pointers from the countries that spend $6 billion on their own elections and which start their new political campaigns the day after the elections are held.

          • Sibiriak
            December 19, 2013, 9:42 pm

            Hostage:

            Frankly, if you really want to talk about political corruption, tax-loopholes, and control of the markets, you should be taking pointers from the countries that spend $6 billion on their own elections and which start their new political campaigns the day after the elections are held.

            That’s just the kind of “whataboutery” argument that is so regularly condemned here when employed by Zionists. Just sayin’…

          • Hostage
            December 19, 2013, 10:42 pm

            That’s just the kind of “whataboutery” argument that is so regularly condemned here when employed by Zionists. Just sayin’…

            No it’s not, the USA is controlling the fate of the PA factions, no matter which one you support, and the biggest bundlers of campaign contributions and pet legislative undertakings are Zionists and the Israel Lobby.

            In any event this whole thread was whataboutery which suggested that a nearly even split in the popular vote should tell us something that Walid didn’t spell out. Hamas won the local elections for the offices responsible for municipal government, not the positions reserved by the PLO that control foreign policy and foreign relations. Hamas really has no regard for the PA and the terms limits in the Basic Law, which as such were PLO creations anyway. From the outset, its agenda appeared to be to get the international donors to cutoff funding and to dismantle the PA and replace it with something more to their liking.

          • Justpassingby
            December 20, 2013, 5:28 am

            Hostage

            Thats not how the world looks like at all, anyone realize that the Oslo process is dead and that the talks are a joke. But people like Abbas and yourself refuse to admit that instead you are making the problem worse.
            Besides GA have no power and in the UNSC US rule.

          • Walid
            December 20, 2013, 9:17 am

            Hostage, if the Goldstone was DOA as the US wouldn’t let the UNHRC look at it, why did Israel feel the need to threaten Abbas? We’re mixing apples and oranges here with the Goldstone review and subsequent vote by the UNHRC, which I agree would have become redundant without US approval in the UNSC, and the criminal complaint at the Hague that you are saying Abbas did not withdraw in spite of Israel’s threat of raining another Gaza on him. One of us has his wires crossed on this. The Wataniya license issue that involved Abbas’ son and the Qatar Government as co-owners of Wataniya along with a top officer of the PA, as I understood it, was directly related to the UNHRC review and vote that Abbas short-circuited. This BTW was discussed on an Amy Goodman’s program. This is discussed at length in the Daily Mail article on Tony Blair that I linked to. Maybe it’s my wires.

          • Hostage
            December 20, 2013, 8:23 pm

            @Walid:
            Hostage, if the Goldstone was DOA as the US wouldn’t let the UNHRC look at it,

            The US could care less if the UN HRC looked at it. In fact Ambassador Rice said that was the only place it deserved to get any attention and that it was fatally flawed. The UN HRC can’t make ICC referral’s.

            why did Israel feel the need to threaten Abbas.

            Because it’s the national past time. It was also doing everything it could to delay and discredit the idea of Israel conducting an independent investigation of the IDF, as required by the Goldstone report. That never happened even after the UN HRC vote, which is why the panel of experts decided it needed to go to the ICC. But by then, Israel and the Zionists had gotten to Goldstone, but it never got any leverage out of the cell phone license. Palestine’s declaration and complaint are still on file with the ICC.

        • Hostage
          December 19, 2013, 4:56 pm

          What is the history of these “foibles”? Was this initially meant to prevent any sharing of power? Didn’t Hamas offer exactly that? But the PLO did not like the idea, just as Israel didn’t.

          LoL! Hamas never had an ounce of respect for the provisions of the Palestinian Basic Law either before or after the elections. After all, the PA and the Basic Law were creatures created by, and for, the PLO. It was still in charge of conducting all of the foreign relations of Palestine, even after Hamas won the municipal elections – and Hamas had never even bothered to join the PLO even when it had the opportunity to do so.

          The Vanity Fair article did a really piss-poor job of explaining that Abbas spent about a year and half in negotiations with Haniyeh to form a governing coalition, while undergoing a complete cutoff of funding and repeated demands from the US and Israel that he overturn the results of the election. It’s pretty obvious that he wasn’t behind any plans for a coup.

          The Gaza bombshell article also failed to pass the giggle test, by simply passing along the accounts of behind the scenes events supplied by John Bolton and David Wurmser without any disclaimers. Even then, the Fatah militia members that were interviewed noted that Dahlan was acting independent of other Fatah party factions and that Bush and Rice must have wanted Hamas to takeover Gaza. The US and Israel had both planted stories in the press for months explaining that they were building up the Palestinian forces and arming them. So it’s much more likely that the US and Israel simply used Dahlan as bait to start a shooting war that wasn’t supported by either Abbas or the PLO.

          Feels I am slightly on Walid’s side here.

          Once again, Hamas didn’t win the popular vote by a significant margin, which is what Walid had suggested. The foibles are the same ones that allow for a winner-take-all electoral system here in the US to look like a landslide – even when it isn’t one.

    • Rusty Pipes
      December 18, 2013, 6:25 pm

      “If you only want to boycott an egg, we want you to boycott an egg” … unless you’re Abbas. Gee, where did I read that?

  18. just
    December 18, 2013, 5:27 pm

    miriam– who the hell are you to always jump to the defense of the indefensible actions of the Zionists who are hell- bent on breaking every single international law on the books?

    A Brit? An American? An Israeli? A dual- ie? A Tibetan?

    • yonah fredman
      December 19, 2013, 3:31 am

      just- Where are you from? Or to put it in your terms- Who the hell are you?

      • just
        December 19, 2013, 5:42 am

        An American taxpayer with a conscience, fed up and disgusted with our complicity in the ongoing Nakba and our hypocritical “foreign policy”. I hope that you can grasp that. Oh, and perhaps you might read the thread to ascertain the context of my “terms” and my question. I’m sorry if I offended you– I generally do not use expletives here.

        (Is your name miriam, yonah? Or do you ‘work’ in tandem?)

        • yrn
          December 19, 2013, 10:31 am

          just is just another typical western with a patronizing attitude, who thinks he knows better, what the Palestinians should do, or think.

          • Justpassingby
            December 19, 2013, 2:47 pm

            yrn

            Comes from you, that support the apartheid regime, YOU if anyone are patronizing.

        • yonah fredman
          December 19, 2013, 10:16 pm

          just- How is it that when I don’t capitalize the word nakba I get scolded by you, but today there is an article by Shira Robinson that does not capitalize nakba and you don’t scold her?

          • Sibiriak
            December 19, 2013, 10:19 pm

            yonah fredman :

            How is it that when I don’t capitalize the word nakba I get scolded…

            Why don’t you capitalize the word?

          • yonah fredman
            December 20, 2013, 12:30 am

            sibiriak- I don’t capitalize most words most of the time. I am willing to capitalize Nakba. I was just wondering why I get scolded but not everyone gets scolded.

  19. Justpassingby
    December 19, 2013, 5:02 am

    As we all know, Abbas is a sell out!

  20. homingpigeon
    December 19, 2013, 10:01 am

    Those with voting rights in the US apparatus should also do BDS against politicians from the Republican and Democratic parties. When the two candidates from these parties are competing with each other to see who can be most subservient to Israel, we must inform each of them that they have lost our votes and why. Voters who take instructions from AIPAC will destroy the politician who does not toe the line. But too often I see aware people from the community of conscience try to discern the “lesser of two evils” and vote for one of them. They might accept that both are going to be Zionist stooges and just look at the other issues to make a choice between the two. I urge my beloved Habibis to vote Libertarian or Green or other third party or an independent.

  21. piotr
    December 20, 2013, 8:45 pm

    The latest news are that Abbas’s comments are “explained away”.

    Abbas is a bit of a Zelig.

    A word on Democratic party. USA has “winner takes all single mandate district” system, which leads in a natural way to a two-party system. Thus the best way to actually influence the politicians is no spend some money, and if you lack money, volunteering efforts, in the primaries. For example, New Jersey has some very good (or at least, passably decent) politicians that could be supported against Booker and Menendez. This is how right wing radicals got so much influence in GOP, and progressive can advance within Democratic party.

    Mind you, multi-party system is not a cure-all. What really sucks is Citizen’s United, but a few millions of thin wallets can overcome the fat cats.

    • Hostage
      December 20, 2013, 10:28 pm

      Abbas is a bit of a Zelig.

      LoL! So when Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti were questioned about discriminating against persons on the basis of the national origin at Brooklyn College, was she being a Zelig? She claimed that:

      “BDS focuses on state agencies and corporations that build machinery designed to destroy homes, that build military materiel that targets populations, that profit from the occupation, that are situated illegally on Palestinian lands, to name a few. “BDS does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their national citizenship. I concede that not all versions of BDS have been consistent on this point in the past, but the present policy confirms this principle.”

      So what is the current policy? Are we, or aren’t we asking artists to boycott all Israeli audiences without regard to the audience member’s personal beliefs? – and do the exceptions employed by the academic boycott apply?

      • piotr
        December 20, 2013, 11:59 pm

        Hostage, I genuinely do not understand your point.

        First of all, Abbas is a quite slippery politician who plays very complicated game. Deciphering his goals and views from his statements and deeds is quite a chore. Butler and Barghuti are inependent activists and quite consistent afaik.

        In a narrow sense, BDS and academic boycotts are mutually independent. If I understand correctly, Israeli scholars can work with boycotting professors, but loyal members of ASA should oppose institutional deal with Israeli universities etc. Pretty toothless, but people with power may feel “pain”.

        • Hostage
          December 21, 2013, 12:37 am

          Hostage, I genuinely do not understand your point.

          My point is that you can’t go into an educational institution that receives federal money and advocate discrimination on the basis of a federally protected characteristic, including Israeli or Palestinian national origin. So the statement, made under the watchful eyes of unfriendly Zionist Trustees and City Council members, that BDS doesn’t do that anymore is a bit Zeligesque isn’t it? A lot of people think that every time we demand that artists boycott all of their Israeli fans, that’s exactly what we are doing.

  22. just
    December 20, 2013, 9:36 pm

    I just don’t get this.

    Don’t people know that it is the US government and our Congress that are largely responsible/complicit for the ongoing Nakba? ( I know that many do.) Wouldn’t our time be better spent on pillorying our own rather than Abbas? Wouldn’t our time be better spent on pillorying the brutal and illegal Occupiers rather than the Occupied?

  23. iResistDe4iAm
    December 21, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Mahmoud Abbas is the Chief Buthelezi of Israeli Apartheid in the “self-ruled” Area A which comprises 18% of the West Bank (equivalent to a mere 3.7% of historic Palestine).

    Here’s the chief collaborator and leader of KwaZulu bantustan trying his hardest to save South African Apartheid, exactly 5 years 3 weeks & 2 days before F.W. de Klerk announced the repeal of Apartheid laws:

    Zulu tells Ted boycott hurts blacks

    “DURBAN, South Africa — Zulu leader Gatsha Buthelezi, chief of South Africa’s largest tribe, told Sen. Edward M. Kennedy today that pulling U.S. investments out of South Africa to protest its racial policies hurts blacks more than the ruling white minority.” – The Miami News, 10 January 1985

    link to news.google.com

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