The campaign against BDS is a deliberate choice to maintain the status quo

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
netanyahutweet1

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweet from February 17, 2014

On February 12th, Jodi Rudoren argued in a New York Times article against the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, imploring readers to consider Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position that BDS is “immoral”. If we take their claims at face value, than it behooves us to ask why so many Americans consider BDS a moral tool to protest Israeli policies? Why has the international BDS campaign become worrisome for Prime Minister Netanyahu, American Zionists, Israel and its supporters, and why does Ms. Rudoren equate a non-violent movement whose main objective is to achieve equal rights for all citizens whether living in Israel or the occupied territories with prejudice and anti-Semitism? More importantly is it anti-Semitic to envision a political Israeli system where all citizens are equal under the law living within the fold of international covenants and standards?

But first, what are the principles of the BDS Campaign? In July 2005, Palestinian civil society launched

“a call to international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era, until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law.”

BDS also calls for Israel to conform to international law that protects the right of return of the Palestinian refugees who were displaced in 1948. For generations these Palestinians have lived in temporary shelters in neighboring countries without political rights or protections. The BDS campaign reasserted the relevance of the Charter of Nuremberg, which declared forced deportation and uprooting of civilian populations to be both a war crime and a crime against humanity. This is an opinion adopted by the world community following World War II to protect future communities from displacement and to avert a recurrence of the German Jewish experience during the Hitler regime when Germany oversaw the indiscriminate displacement of Jews, with millions perishing in concentration camps. BDS also relies on the examples of the successful South African anti-Apartheid boycott, US civil rights principles, as well as the earlier Jewish United Boycott Committee Campaign when Jews and human rights activists developed an organized boycott campaigns of German goods that was implemented throughout Europe and the US between 1933-1945 to protest German war crimes and injustices perpetuated against Jews. This includes the 1936 boycott of the German Olympic Games, supported by American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Labor Committee, which helped educate the American public on the dire conditions and plight of Jews in Germany. Some German Americans accused the campaign of being fueled by anti-German sentiments, and they also found the US boycott call hypocritical considering our own system of racial segregation. Nonetheless the campaign’s objective succeeded in educating Americans of the conditions and plight of German Jews.

So why now fret about a global movement that is still concentrated in far away places like Europe, South America, Asia and Australia? BDS has been adopted and duplicated widely in the US by religious and non-faith individuals and groups across the United States. For almost a decade Americans devoted to peace and justice have quietly worked to implement some or all of the BDS initiative in their local communities and have succeeded in building a broad national movement. The Israeli government’s continued refusal to consider suspending settlement building – never mind end its illegal occupation of Palestinian land – has so far only generated pathetic rhetorical protests from the US government while massive US military and financial aid to Israel continues. Observing this travesty has been a major factor in encouraging ordinary Americans to implement the Palestinian BDS call.

Like the international BDS movement, the US BDS campaign relies on the guiding principals set by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention, UN resolutions and the International Court of Justice decisions on the Separation Wall and the Israeli occupation. The Hague Court stipulates the following: Settlers cannot be transferred into an occupied territory and the indigenous population of an occupied territory cannot be deported from the occupied territory regardless of motive. In addition the International Court of Justice considers it a crime against humanity for any state whether in peace or war to engage in the collective persecution of “any identifiable group on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, or religious” grounds. Israel clearly is guilty of all the above. Since Israel’s inception it has transferred, deported and discriminated against the indigenous Christian and Muslim Palestinian population.

So, on what basis does Ms. Rudoren claim that BDS is anti-Semitic? While most BDS activists are clueless why she chose this derogatory term, they are well aware that it is not unusual for Israel’s supporters to charge anyone who criticizes Israeli policies as anti-Semitic. Unfortunately it has become the norm for those who uncritically defend every action of the Israeli state to call any Jewish or non-Jewish scholar, advocate, academician or religious leader who challenges Israel’s policies a self hating Jew or anti-Semite. Just read the findings of a recent survey of 500 Jewish Rabbis by the Jewish Council of Public Affairs where more than a third of these rabbis indicated fear of expressing their real views on Israel.

In fact, the campaign against BDS can more accurately be described as anti-Semitic in its objective impact. Those who are waging the anti-BDS campaign in the US are blindly whitewashing Israel’s actions that for decades have proved to be fundamentally contrary to our own government’s declared objectives and the goal of peace and security for all in the region, including the Jewish people living in Israel. The campaign against BDS is a deliberate choice to maintain the status quo and the continuation of Israel’s policies regardless of the cost. They prefer to keep Israeli Jews and Palestinians living in a permanent state of fear and anxiety for their future, willing to indefinitely arrest the opportunity for a just peace in the region. Their objectives and motives are a quandary more deserving of critical analysis and labeling.

BDS is not anti-Semitic, nonetheless it is guilty of gaining momentum in the US and posing a serious challenge to Israel’s territorial claims that extend to the West Bank, Gaza and desire perpetual control of Palestinian resources, air, water, land and sea. More importantly BDS is challenging the Zionist narrative, which for so long has been unchallenged in the US. The US BDS campaign is waged by faith and non- faith Americans including Jewish Americans among them. Readers can judge the merits of Ms. Rudoren’s anti-Semitic, prejudicial charges and decide whether or not her accusations are real or not.

netanyahutweet2

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweet from February 17, 2014

34 Responses

  1. W.Jones
    February 18, 2014, 4:30 pm

    Just read the findings of a recent survey of 500 Jewish Rabbis by the Jewish Council of Public Affairs where more than a third of these rabbis indicated fear of expressing their real views on Israel.
    Maybe some of their views are not liberal?

  2. W.Jones
    February 18, 2014, 4:46 pm

    BDS has value because people are actually doing something, which makes it more than just making occasional comments that what is happening is wrong.

  3. DICKERSON3870
    February 18, 2014, 7:22 pm

    RE: “On February 12th, Jodi Rudoren argued in a New York Times article against the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, imploring readers to consider Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position that BDS is ‘immoral’.” ~ David Schwartzman and Mai Abdul Rahman

    MY COMMENT: Brainwashed Zionists are so incredibly self-righteous!*

    *SEE: “Judaism and Zionism: A Divorce In the Making…?” ~ By Alan Hart, redressonline.com, 2/16/14

    [EXCERPT] Way back in October 2001, a prominent and widely respected liberal London rabbi, Dr David Goldberg, made what I thought at the time was the most remarkable statement ever made by a Jew in the 53 years that had passed since the creation, mainly by terrorism and ethnic cleansing, of the Zionist (not Jewish) state of Israel. He said that Israel’s “colonization” of Palestine had left many Jews “questioning their unconditional support for Israel”. Then this: “It may be time for Judaism and Zionism to go their separate ways.”
    The report I read of Goldberg’s remarks was by Andrew Johnson in The Independent on Sunday. Its headline for his story was “British Jews at odds after rabbi criticizes Israel’s ‘colonization’”. As the report indicated, what Goldberg said had provoked a “passionate argument” in the pages of the Jewish Chronicle, editorially a standard bearer for Israel right or wrong.
    I once had the pleasure of talking with Rabbi Goldberg over lunch, just the two of us. From my research I knew that he was what I like to call a GHB (Good Human Being) and a man worthy of respect. He was, for example, the first prominent Jew in the UK to call for recognition of legitimate Palestine rights – he did so in an article for The Times in 1978; and he was the first rabbi to initiate dialogue meetings between Judaism, Christianity and Islam when the Regent’s Park mosque opened in the same year. But what I liked about him most of all was the quite rare thing he had in common with my dear friend Ilan Pappe. He was without a trace of the self-righteousness that is the hallmark of Jews everywhere who have been brainwashed by Zionist propaganda. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to redressonline.com

  4. The JillyBeans
    February 18, 2014, 7:35 pm

    Isn’t Netanyahu pro-sanctions against Iran? Either you’re all for sanctions as a political change too or you aren’t. Can’t cherry pick which ones you you’re “cool with.”

    • ritzl
      February 18, 2014, 8:51 pm

      Oh stop being so consistent, will ya? It hurts us. :)

  5. a blah chick
    February 18, 2014, 10:20 pm

    “They want to see the end of the Jewish State.”

    Not only that but I have heard that some of these fiends conceive a future Israel that, hold on to your hats, treats ALL its citizens the SAME!? Quelle Horreur! The ramifications of this do not bear thinking about! What Jew would want to live in the land of his or her ancestors if they are going to be treated like everyone else? Might as well stay in Petoskey if that is the case. And if people like this do not come to Israel then the Ashkenazi elite could lose power. And if the Ashkenazi elite lose power then the Mizrahi will take over and Israel will become corrupt and war mongering, unlike the peaceful well-run country it is now. Don’t ask me how, it just will. And when THAT happens no decent Ashkenazi boy will want to stay there. No, they’ll take their talents to Europe where they’ll hook up with Norwegian girls and get drunk at parties. And what will become of the Jewish people then!

    I have to lie down now.

  6. gingershot
    February 19, 2014, 6:24 am

    I keep worrying that one day Livni will actually get approval to go ahead and say ‘OK Done’, the musical chairs games STOPS, and Israelis freeze the optimal deal with their construction workers, with Abbas moving to Olso to precede over the ex-patriot community there.

    But Israel keeps bringing me right back to my senses – they want it ALL and they are going to FIGHT for it until there are no more Pro-Apartheid Israelis left in power who can or ‘Settlers’ still on the loose outside prison who are free to do so. Period.

    Good, glad I’m clear on that again

    Being Israel means you don’t have to apologize for Apartheid, much less stop.

    This is where the insularity of the Tribe really shines brightest, as they follow each over the Apartheid cliff, convinced that it is only necessary because the world hates them existentially, in their bright innocence, and most certainly NOT as a result of their own criminal actions or their own evil.

    All they are about is simply trying to find a way to tear anyone apart that tries to stop them or gets in their way. It’s a simple ruthless concept and they’re proud of it.

    It does not take some deep, unconscious, or existential issue to hate a 2014 Israeli as Israelis would try to con the world into believing – rather they provide a plethora of actual real-life concrete reasons to hate them that have to do with their abundant state-cheered criminal conduct and attractiveness for ethnic cleansing — as long as it was THEY THEMSELVES who are on the administering end instead of the receiving end.

    Rather than ‘Never Again’ it’s more like ‘Our Turn Now’.

    The ridiculous logical conclusion of their organized insanity – apparently Israelis have no problem with the Holocaust of the 1940s per se, it’s just that Jews like to be on the whip-hand end instead of vice versa. All is clear.

    Jews just didn’t like it when done to them – it’s ‘Never Again for Jews Only’, buy hey, as Golda Meir and Shimon Peres have said, it’s apparently Open Season on everybody else, and Israelis tell themselves they have a license to kill and it’s existential anti-Semitism to suggest otherwise.

    Is it really true that they are THAT shallow?- that they really just don’t or can’t ‘get it’? Yep, that’s the problem all right

    The problem with genocide, to them, is not that it was a ‘genocide’ but that it was a ‘genocide against Jews’. Genocide against OTHER PEOPLES, on the other hand, especially when Jews THEMSELVES are the perpetrators, are apparently hunky dory, because, well, ‘other people’ are not really human beings when compared to a Jew. Obviously.

    They don’t understand that the world wants to end genocide – which feels not fair to them because they are left out

    In their Bible and in their conduct of their state, when pogroms are on the menu they want to be ones enjoying the action, rather than vice versa. It’s not really ‘Never Again’ but more ‘Next Time It’s Our Turn’. Of course this earns them friends everywhere they go

    The supremacist echo chamber of their co-religionists is all they need as they continue to agree, decade after decade, to continue their perpetual motion machine of lies and death and their ‘Every Chance We Get’ national ethos

  7. Talkback
    February 19, 2014, 8:59 am

    Pipi Longstocking: I think the most eerie thing, the most disgraceful thing, is to have people on the soil of Europe talking about the boycott of Jews.

    I think the most eerie thing, the most disgraceful thing, is to have people on the soil of Europe accepting without boycotting what Jews do to non-Jews in historic Palestine. If you think that’s Jewish, call me an antisemite and I’ll be honored.

  8. JeffB
    February 19, 2014, 9:18 am

    until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law.

    You’ll notice that BDS does not recognize the Israeli or Jewish people’s inalienable right to self-determination. You want to know what’s anti-Semitic about BDS there is a perfect example. An argument that everyone else in the planet should enjoy rights that Jews are denied.

    Moreover Israel has never denied the right of Palestinian self determination. They’ve taken no position on semi-self governing territories in Lebanon, have often been supportive of self determination in Jordan… What they have denied is the “right” of the Palestinians to self determination in Israel, for much the same reason I’d deny the right of the Palestinians to form a government that excluded me in New Jersey.

    Those who are waging the anti-BDS campaign in the US are blindly whitewashing Israel’s actions that for decades have proved to be fundamentally contrary to our own government’s declared objectives

    Last time I checked as Americans I’m free to disagree with our governments declared objectives with regard to their policy in many countries. Our declared objective in China / Taiwan is a one China policy, I think the better solution is a two China policy. I’m free to disagree with our government’s declared objectives. That’s called living in a democracy.

    Moreover if the standard is going to be our country’s declared objectives that BDS contradicts them strongly. The USA has unequivocally denied that refugee status is transferable generation after generation after generation. So for example anyone born in America regardless of the status of their parents is an American not a 2nd generation refugee.

    • Cliff
      February 19, 2014, 10:19 am

      There is nothing antisemitic about BDS.

      Now, you say ‘the Jewish people’. Is there a Christian people too? A Muslim people?

      Are you saying Jews around the world aren’t American or European or Chinese or Indian or Spanish, etc.? They are primarily Jews?

      Or are you saying Jews have the by-definition apparently, advantage over non-Jews of being Jewish since they can be American AND Israeli?

      What does Jewish self-determination mean for the 20% non-Jewish Israeli minority of Palestinian Arabs (mostly)?

      If you contextualize the denial of this self-determination on the grounds that a Jewish majority would cease to exist if Palestinian Israelis were given equal rights – then would you also say that American Jewish politicians who may support open immigration and other policies that dilute the alleged Christian character of the US, are denying the right of Christians to self-determination?

      This is a fight against Jewish nationalism – which is ethnocentric and racist and bigoted.

      Jews, nor any other ethnic or religious group have a right to self-determination. Only the people of a land do.

      And Jews were not the majority and did not own a majority of the land and property.

      Jews in Palestine do not by-definition give Jews outside of Palestine, who may have no tangible ties to Palestine, a by-definition claim to Palestine.

      The USA has unequivocally denied that refugee status is transferable generation after generation after generation. So for example anyone born in America regardless of the status of their parents is an American not a 2nd generation refugee.

      So the vast majority of Jews have no right to claim the ‘law of return’ since they have no connection to Jews 3,000 years ago, right?

      Or does this Jewish self-determination get to make its own exclusionary rules and anyone who disagrees (Palestinians and their ancestors, who are actually FROM the land rather than 99% of all Jews) with said exclusionary rules = antisemitic?

      Denying Jewish self-determination’s apparent intrinsic legitimacy is a moral imperative.

      • hophmi
        February 19, 2014, 11:18 am

        “There is nothing antisemitic about BDS.”

        No, in a vacuum, there is nothing antisemitic about BDS, just like there’s nothing inherently racist about merit-based college admissions. One’s about “human rights” and the other is about “standards.” That’s in a vacuum. In reality, one discriminates against Jews, and the other discriminates against minorities. It’s called institutional racism.

        While there is nothing antisemitic about BDS, there is surely a lot of antisemitic things uttered by BDS proponents.

        “Now, you say ‘the Jewish people’. Is there a Christian people too? A Muslim people?”

        Well, there are almost five dozen Muslim states, and Muslims refer to the Islamic community as the Ummah, so yeah, I’d say that there’s definitely a “Muslim people.”

        “Are you saying Jews around the world aren’t American or European or Chinese or Indian or Spanish, etc.? They are primarily Jews?”

        Are you saying that one cannot identify with a homeland when they live in another country? Or haven’t you heard of hyphens? Like Greek-American? Or African-American? I guess you tell black people that they should choose, lest people like you think that they’re primarily African.

        “What does Jewish self-determination mean for the 20% non-Jewish Israeli minority of Palestinian Arabs (mostly)?”

        What does Palestinian self-determination mean for the Christians and Jews living in the West Bank? Most Palestinian leaders say it means that Jews, at least, have to leave. Most Israelis certainly don’t say that about Palestinian Arabs living in Israel.

        “If you contextualize the denial of this self-determination on the grounds that a Jewish majority would cease to exist if Palestinian Israelis were given equal rights ”

        No one says that, not within the Green Line, and fewer people say it now that the Palestinian birth rate in general has dropped and the haredi birth rate has skyrocketed.

        “would you also say that American Jewish politicians who may support open immigration and other policies that dilute the alleged Christian character of the US, are denying the right of Christians to self-determination?”

        Europeans certainly say that. That’s why their countries are around 90% Christian and they keep elevating far-right anti-immigrant parties to power.

        “This is a fight against Jewish nationalism – which is ethnocentric and racist and bigoted.”

        But not a fight against Muslim nationalism, which is an established fact in a few dozen countries.

        “Jews, nor any other ethnic or religious group have a right to self-determination. Only the people of a land do.”

        The UN recognized the Jewish state, a state founded by people living in the land of Israel, a long time ago, so your argument is silly, particularly in a world with dozens of Muslim states and a European continent that became pluralistic (skin-deep pluralistic at that) in the last 50 years or so.

        “And Jews were not the majority and did not own a majority of the land and property.”

        Ancient history. For Americans, anyway. And in the UN borders, they certainly were the majority.

        “Jews in Palestine do not by-definition give Jews outside of Palestine, who may have no tangible ties to Palestine, a by-definition claim to Palestine.”

        So do many countries who extend citizenship rights to those living in the diaspora.

        “Denying Jewish self-determination’s apparent intrinsic legitimacy is a moral imperative.”

        Denying religion-based states may be a principled point of view. Denying Jewish self-determination only is the view of a bigot.

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 19, 2014, 11:31 am

        “That’s in a vacuum. In reality, one discriminates against Jews”

        Tricky little removal of the article, hoppy. So what if it discriminates “against Jews.” That’s not the definition of antisemitic, by any stretch of the imagination.

        If a couple of Jews robbed a bank, the prosecution would be engaged in an attempt to “imprison Jews” but that would not be antisemitic. Because the prosecuation wouldn’t be going after the Jews, but merely these Jews and not because they’re Jews, but because they robbed a bank.

        No, what might be antisemitic would be if BDS sought to “discriminate against the Jews” but that’s not what BDS seeks. It seeks to discriminate (if such a word is appropriate) against the israelis and not because they’re Jews but because of what the israelis have inflicted and continue to inflict on the Palestinians.

        Yet again, disingenuous to the point of perfidy. Perfect little zio, you are.

      • eljay
        February 19, 2014, 11:54 am

        >> Denying Jewish self-determination only is the view of a bigot.

        If one opposes only Jewish supremacism and no other form of supremacism, yes, one is a bigot. But the anti-Zionists here – including me – oppose all forms of supremacism.

        If one advocates any form of supremacism – even Jewish supremacism – one is a bigot. That, in a nutshell, is you and hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists like you.

      • Walid
        February 19, 2014, 11:59 am

        “Are you saying Jews around the world aren’t American or European or Chinese or Indian or Spanish, etc.? They are primarily Jews?”

        You have to ask the Jews, hophmi, that’s how they want the world to consider them. They refer to themselves as a nation. There are exceptions of course, like Phil, but in general they think of themselves first as Jews, then as Americans.

      • Hostage
        February 19, 2014, 12:13 pm

        One’s about “human rights” and the other is about “standards.” That’s in a vacuum. In reality, one discriminates against Jews,

        Correction: BDS does not call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Jews. It calls for boycotts divestment and sanctions that target the State of Israel, its institutions, including both those Jews and non-Jews who are complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights and in its denial of the right to education and academic freedom to Palestinians, in addition to their basic rights as guaranteed by international law.

        The only vacuum is the one between your ears.

      • Cliff
        February 19, 2014, 12:13 pm

        hop said:

        No, in a vacuum, there is nothing antisemitic about BDS, just like there’s nothing inherently racist about merit-based college admissions. One’s about “human rights” and the other is about “standards.” That’s in a vacuum. In reality, one discriminates against Jews, and the other discriminates against minorities. It’s called institutional racism.

        BDS is not about Jews. BDS is about Israeli apartheid and Palestinian freedom and human rights.

        The only institutional racism is that which is intrinsic to Jewish nationalism/colonialism, Zionism.

        While there is nothing antisemitic about BDS, there is surely a lot of antisemitic things uttered by BDS proponents.

        Yes, there is nothing antisemitic about BDS. There is plenty of racism and bigotry and ethnocentrism inbuilt to Zionism – in addition to the many instances of racism and bigotry and ethnocentrism espoused by Zionists.

        Are you saying that one cannot identify with a homeland when they live in another country? Or haven’t you heard of hyphens? Like Greek-American? Or African-American? I guess you tell black people that they should choose, lest people like you think that they’re primarily African.

        One certainly ‘can’. One can identify however they wish.

        I’m an American, but ethnically Indian. There’s no such thing as Chinese Indians though.

        Being Hindu and being Indian are separate even though Hinduism is the major religion of the Indian subcontinent.

        Judaism is a religion. Someone can convert to Judaism, while being any nationality. Does that conversion mean that their homeland is now Israel in addition to whatever other homeland they hailed from prior to conversion?

        The analogy of Indian to India is not equal to Jew to Israel.

        What does Palestinian self-determination mean for the Christians and Jews living in the West Bank? Most Palestinian leaders say it means that Jews, at least, have to leave. Most Israelis certainly don’t say that about Palestinian Arabs living in Israel.

        Palestinian self-determination is nationalistic. Not religious. You can be Jewish and Palestinian.

        Plenty of Israeli leaders say the Palestinian citizens of Israel should leave or be offered to leave in exchange of blah blah.

        Why don’t you cite some recent surveys on this matter. Israelis vs. Palestinians and Israeli leaders vs. Palestinian leaders.

        No one says that, not within the Green Line, and fewer people say it now that the Palestinian birth rate in general has dropped and the haredi birth rate has skyrocketed.

        That is exactly what they say or imply when they talk about the Jewish ‘right’ to blah blah.

        There is no Jewish State such as it is, without a Jewish majority. So they say that a 1ss is a denial of Jewish ‘rights’.

        It’s a big lie though, since Jews can have their homeland in the 1ss. The demographics should be natural and not engineered by the Jewish leaders and the tyranny of the present-Jewish majority.

        Europeans certainly say that. That’s why their countries are around 90% Christian and they keep elevating far-right anti-immigrant parties to power.

        So you’d be ok if some Christian constituency in America began pushing legislation through to engineer and control the Jewish demographics of our country?

        Do you support the European countries that you say do this or believe in this?

        But not a fight against Muslim nationalism, which is an established fact in a few dozen countries.

        What Muslim nationalism?

        Last time I checked, those Arabs weren’t recent immigrants or refugees. You and your ethnoreligious group are 99% complete strangers to Palestine.

        You can Europe, Russia, America, etc. and then the surrounding Arab countries after expelling the indigenous Palestinian ARAB population.

        The UN recognized the Jewish state, a state founded by people living in the land of Israel, a long time ago, so your argument is silly, particularly in a world with dozens of Muslim states and a European continent that became pluralistic (skin-deep pluralistic at that) in the last 50 years or so.

        There is no ‘land of Israel’. There is Palestine, which Jewish immigrants stole through rape, massacre, war, ethnic cleansing.

        The UN never recognized the right of Zionism to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian majority.

        Ancient history. For Americans, anyway. And in the UN borders, they certainly were the majority.

        Which Americans? Cite the poll.

        The UN partition for the Jewish side had 45% Arabs. The Jewish terrorists (who you support) expelled 200,000 of these Arabs prior to Israel declaring itself a State.

        So clearly, Jewish colonists had no intention of accepting this large Arab/non-Jewish minority.

        So do many countries who extend citizenship rights to those living in the diaspora.

        Irrelevant.

        Jews are the product of conversion by and large, unless you are suggesting that Jews are mostly inbred.

        So basically, I can convert to Judaism and ‘return’ to my homeland.

        Tell me, do those nameless ‘other’ countries allow Christians and Muslims to return from where they were expelled? Or is this just for Jews because Jews have a special definition and us non-Jews do not if we follow the other Abrahamic religions.

        Denying religion-based states may be a principled point of view. Denying Jewish self-determination only is the view of a bigot.

        Denying Jewish self-determination is not only a moral imperative – it’s common sense.

        No Jew alive today or 100 years ago, has anything to do with Jews from 3000 years ago.

        Nor does that 3000 year old nonsense give Jews the right to expel non-Jews to make a Jewish majority.

        There is no Jewish majority without war and hate. That is what Jewish self-determination is : war and hate.

        So denying you cultists the ‘right’ to expel the non-Jews in your way, is standing up to war and hate.

      • Hostage
        February 19, 2014, 12:35 pm

        >> Denying Jewish self-determination only is the view of a bigot.

        Nonsense. International law has always denied any people the right to dominate others on the specious basis of self-determination. Regimes founded by Afrikaners, Rhodesians, and Portuguese colonists in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola were denied the right to exist and to the so-called exclusive right to self-determination that did not include the whole people of the country. Similarly, the Jewish people never had an exclusive right of self determination over territory inhabited by other peoples in Palestine.

        The UN recognized the Jewish state, a state founded by people living in the land of Israel, a long time ago, so your argument is silly, particularly in a world with dozens of Muslim states and a European continent that became pluralistic (skin-deep pluralistic at that) in the last 50 years or so.

        Sorry but the UN did not agree to recognize Israel until it provided declarations regarding the treatment of non-Jewish minorities in the area under Jewish control and undertakings that it would implement and comply with the UN Charter obligations reflected in resolutions 181(II) and 194(III).

      • seafoid
        February 19, 2014, 1:29 pm

        Well said, Hostage
        If Jewish self determination requires torture to be applicable then it isn’t worth a Jewish fingernail (removed by torture).

      • talknic
        February 19, 2014, 1:37 pm

        @ hophmi It’s fun to watch Israel’s apologists slipping around in their bullsh*t. Poor hophmi will say anything.

        And Jews were not the majority and did not own a majority of the land and property.

        “.. in the UN borders, they certainly were the majority”

        A) “the UN borders” didn’t include any of the territory Israel has illegally acquired by war since proclaiming itself by the UN borders link to trumanlibrary.org
        B) Statistics tell us they owned a minority of the land and that ownership was for real estate, not territory) link to upload.wikimedia.org
        C) The State of Israel paid NOTHING for its territory

        “The UN recognized the Jewish state”

        The UN doesn’t recognize states. It accepts already recognized states as Members into its institutions.

        Are you saying Jews around the world aren’t American or European or Chinese or Indian or Spanish, etc.? They are primarily Jews?

        “Are you saying that one cannot identify with a homeland when they live in another country? Or haven’t you heard of hyphens? Like Greek-American? Or African-American? I guess you tell black people that they should choose, lest people like you think that they’re primarily African.”

        A) Doesn’t answer the question, then;
        B) seems to be claiming either, Greek and African are religions or;
        C) that there’s a country or continent called Jew

        “Most Palestinian leaders say it means that Jews, at least, have to leave”

        They and the law say ISRAELIS must leave, even if they’re not Jews, because Israelis are NOT citizens of Palestine.

        “Most Israelis certainly don’t say that about Palestinian Arabs living in Israel. “

        They’re NOT citizens of Palestine. They ARE citizens of Israel

        The harder Israel’s apologists try the more idiotic they show themselves to be

      • JeffB
        February 20, 2014, 9:13 am

        Now, you say ‘the Jewish people’. Is there a Christian people too? A Muslim people?

        Yes there are Christian and Muslim peoples. As for a nation during the time of Christiandom there was a Christian nation. After Westphalia that nation dissolved into a family of related nations. As for Muslims no, though there are attempts to revise it.

        Are you saying Jews around the world aren’t American or European or Chinese or Indian or Spanish, etc.? They are primarily Jews?

        No. I’m saying that Jews that identify as Israeli are Israeli. The same way an ethnically Mexican person living in America becomes an American.

        What does Jewish self-determination mean for the 20% non-Jewish Israeli minority of Palestinian Arabs (mostly)?

        It means that they have refused to join the nation that their state represents. Which puts them in a very precarious position.

        then would you also say that American Jewish politicians who may support open immigration and other policies that dilute the alleged Christian character of the US, are denying the right of Christians to self-determination?

        America isn’t based on Christian self-determination. The country was founded by a substantial number of Deists. America is based on national adoption. American politicians, like George W Bush, who support semi-permanent non-citizen guest worker status on the other hand are undermining American self determination.

        Jews, nor any other ethnic or religious group have a right to self-determination. Only the people of a land do.

        Last I checked Israelis have a land.

        And Jews were not the majority and did not own a majority of the land and property.

        So what? For every country on the planet I can go back in time and easily find a period where the ethnic group currently in control is not in control of the land and property. Humans regularly practice mass migrations it is one of our species’ properties. 1600 years ago the people living in Spain today were in France and the people living in today France were in Germany. No one proposes undoing migrations.

        Jews in Palestine do not by-definition give Jews outside of Palestine, who may have no tangible ties to Palestine, a by-definition claim to Palestine.

        Jews in Palestine have chosen to give Jews outside Palestine limited ties. And self determination allows them to do that.

        So the vast majority of Jews have no right to claim the ‘law of return’ since they have no connection to Jews 3,000 years ago, right?

        The right to return as it exists today is a property of the Israeli state and is granted by the Israeli state. Some vague connection with Jews 1900 years ago (there probably were no Jews 3000 years ago) is just a founding myth used to motivated people towards Zionism, part of the Jewish religion. This is analogous to how King Arthur creates a tie towards Britain even though there was no Merlin, Morgaine, Holy Grail…

        Palestinians and their ancestors, who are actually FROM the land

        The mass migration for the Palestinians happened in the 7th and 8th centuries. If you disallow mass migrations then you disallow Palestinian claims as well. Everyone and for that matter every living thing on the planet is from a few sludge salt mines 1-2 miles below the surface, and from there every living thing migrated. No people is ultimately from anywhere.

        This argument makes a lot of sense if it were 1914 not 2014. The mass migration to Israel happened. The people living there today are the children or grandchildren of the migrants. Israel is their home, Hebrew is their language, Israeli culture is their culture and Israeli style Judaism is their religion. None of that that was true of their great-grandparents, but so what?

      • talknic
        February 20, 2014, 3:30 pm

        JeffB “Yes there are Christian and Muslim peoples.”

        None of whom have an automatic right to citizenship in another country. Unlike Jewish folk, who no matter what nationality they are, they have a right to become citizens of Israel.

        As for a nation during the time of Christiandom there was a Christian nation.”

        “was” being the operative word.

        // What does Jewish self-determination mean for the 20% non-Jewish Israeli minority of Palestinian Arabs (mostly)? //

        “It means that they have refused to join the nation that their state represents. Which puts them in a very precarious position”

        They’d have to convert to Judaism. Which is not freedom of religion. It means Israel is an apartheid state

        “Last I checked Israelis have a land”

        Yes. link to trumanlibrary.org “.. within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″

        “Everyone and for that matter every living thing on the planet is from a few sludge salt mines 1-2 miles below the surface, and from there every living thing migrated. No people is ultimately from anywhere”

        Except Jews it seems

        “The mass migration to Israel happened. The people living there today are the children or grandchildren of the migrants. Israel is their home, Hebrew is their language, Israeli culture is their culture and Israeli style Judaism is their religion.”

        In Israel. The Jewish state that has never legally acquired any territory beyond its self proclaimed frontiers of May 15th 1948

        “.. Israeli style Judaism is their religion.”

        There’s no such single thing as Israeli style Judaism.

      • JeffB
        February 20, 2014, 4:02 pm

        @talknic

        There’s no such single thing as Israeli style Judaism.

        Yes there is it is a form of Judaism which takes many of the aspects from 19th century British church and mixes it with culture of the Orthodox Christianity. The other dominant form of Judaism is American which has far more influence from Baptist Protestantism.

        For example American Judaism across the board finds the notion of a Head Rabbi repulsive. Conversely Israelis mostly have trouble seeing Reform and Conservative Judaism as being legitimate forms of Judaism at all.

      • JeffB
        February 20, 2014, 4:05 pm

        They’d have to convert to Judaism. Which is not freedom of religion. It means Israel is an apartheid state

        Israel has an official state church with institution power and direct ties to law. It also has official state agencies for Muslims and Christians. Of course it doesn’t have freedom of religion in the American sense, it makes no claim to. If not having freedom of religion makes Israel an apartheid state then well over 1/2 the countries on the planet are apartheid states.

      • talknic
        February 21, 2014, 12:33 am

        @ JeffB // There’s no such single thing as Israeli style Judaism//

        “Yes there is it is a form of Judaism which takes many of the aspects from 19th century British church and mixes it with culture of the Orthodox Christianity”

        Uh huh… I wonder how Israel’s Orthodox Jews feel about your theory.

        “The other dominant form of Judaism”

        Suddenly you’re contradicting yourself, there are TWO forms, not one. Clever trick…

        @ JeffB “It also has official state agencies for Muslims and Christians.”
        Irrelevant to your claim in answer to this // What does Jewish self-determination mean for the 20% non-Jewish Israeli minority of Palestinian Arabs (mostly)? //

        you replied “It means that they have refused to join the nation that their state represents. Which puts them in a very precarious position”

        I.e., if they’re not Jewish, they’re not a part of the Jewish nation. So they’d have to convert to Judaism to be an Israeli. If they have to convert to Judaism to be an Israeli, Israel is an apartheid state

        “Of course it doesn’t have freedom of religion in the American sense, it makes no claim to”

        Uh huh. Ever read the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel or it it compulsory to bleat away ignorant of what you’re talking about?

        The State of Israel … it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion , race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion etc.

        “If not having freedom of religion makes Israel an apartheid state then well over 1/2 the countries on the planet are apartheid states”

        Name one that demands all its citizens be the same religion thx …. I’ll wait ….

      • JeffB
        February 21, 2014, 8:12 am

        Uh huh… I wonder how Israel’s Orthodox Jews feel about your theory.

        Religious people by definition don’t like to believe their dogmas evolved like any other human meme, but rather like to believe there is a supernatural process at work. In particular for orthodox Jews in Israel theologically orthodox would reject it and the more academically oriented would agree since the influence of the Russian, Greek, Bulgarian… Orthodox churches is so obvious.

        Suddenly you’re contradicting yourself, there are TWO forms, not one. Clever trick…

        What am I contradicting. Judaism is a religion. There are 2 major Jewish population centers Israel and the United States. The forms of Judaism in those two population centers have some similarities but also differ from one another because they evolved historically under different circumstances. There is no contradiction.

        I.e., if they’re not Jewish, they’re not a part of the Jewish nation. So they’d have to convert to Judaism to be an Israeli.

        I said they would have to support the state church not convert. Over generations that means conversion. See the Russian Christians in Israel for an example of where that works.

        If they have to convert to Judaism to be an Israeli, Israel is an apartheid state

        Nonsense. It means Israel has a state church.

        Uh huh. Ever read the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel or it it compulsory to bleat away ignorant of what you’re talking about?

        Yes I have read it. 1940s Israel had different attitudes towards the role of Judaism than 2010s Israel. Countries change their policies. Our declaration of independence lists the very first powers of an independent states as the right to, “have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace” while today as you mentioned above we have a UN system that attempts to restrict states from that primary power of independence.

        Name one that demands all its citizens be the same religion

        I said discrimination. You want one, Saudi Arabia.

    • American
      February 19, 2014, 11:58 am

      ”Last time I checked as Americans I’m free to disagree with our governments declared objectives ”’……jeffb

      We Americans created the democracy you are living in, Israel doesnt fit our idea of a democracy and one we want to support with our money and government—-so lets have a civil war disagreement over USA- Israel why dont we.
      How big is your army? The American-American army is pretty big.
      I think we would win.

      • RoHa
        February 19, 2014, 9:33 pm

        Still no counter arguments to our arguments against the idea of “Jewish self-determination”.

      • JeffB
        February 20, 2014, 9:15 am

        @American —

        Americans are pro-Israel that statistics on that are pretty clear. Israel does fit American’s ideals of an ally. I doubt they care much about whether it a country they personally would want to live in.

      • Cliff
        February 21, 2014, 11:54 am

        @JeffB

        There are 300 million+ Americans.

        No poll in existence has ever ‘proven’ that most Americans ‘support Israel’ – whatever that means.

        Most ‘support for Israel’ is from White, Christian evangelicals. That’s it.

        So no, Americans are not pro-Israel. However, a loud segment of the population are and the rest of us aren’t doing enough (or anything) to oppose them, because while Jewish colonialism, nationalism and terrorism are important issues – Americans have to worry about putting food on the table or their insurance or their retirement or their kids dying in some desert for a worthless war(s).

  9. mcohen
    February 19, 2014, 4:11 pm

    says who

    “The campaign against BDS is a deliberate choice to maintain the status quo
    David Schwartzman and Mai Abdul Rahman on February 18, 2014″

    the campaign to discredit hophmi is a ……….deliberate choice to maintain the status quo on mondoweiss
    well so it would seem,but then again they all could be on the same team

    • talknic
      February 21, 2014, 12:02 am

      mcohen “the campaign to discredit hophmi is a..”

      Uh? hophmi is discredited by the bullsh*t hophmi spouts. No different from any other idiot for Israel spouting nonsense

      • Yitzgood
        February 21, 2014, 1:39 am

        Uh? hophmi is discredited by the bullsh*t hophmi spouts. No different from any other idiot for Israel spouting nonsense

        You want total BS? Try the following:

        We want Mondoweiss to be a place that everyone feels comfortable visiting, to read and comment, regardless of political perspective . . .
        4. No personal attacks. We encourage spirited, passionate debate, but if you have to resort to vicious personal attack, you’re not advancing the discussion. Stay on the issues.

  10. MHughes976
    February 19, 2014, 4:55 pm

    No one is calling for ‘a boycott of Jews’. Some are calling for a boycott in terms that would affect some people who are Jewish, but for reasons not connected with their race or ancestry – which is a very different thing.

  11. jayn0t
    February 21, 2014, 12:08 am

    “The campaign against BDS is a deliberate choice to maintain the status quo”

    Yes – by giving the false impression that the BDS movement is some kind of opposition to Zionist power.

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