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Attacks on BDS sharpen as it gains traction in the Jewish community

Israel/Palestine
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A BDS logo

A BDS logo

The other day we ran a piece on liberal Zionists’ role in opposing BDS, boycott, divestment and sanctions. Donna Nevel addressed similar themes in a piece at Tikkun titled “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and the American Jewish Community.” She gave us permission to republish here. –Ed.

Many American Jewish organizations claim to be staunch supporters of civil and human rights as well as academic freedom. But when it comes to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, they make an exception. In their relentless opposition to BDS, they leave even core principles behind.

The Palestinian-led call for BDS, which began in 2005 in response to ongoing Israeli government violations of basic principles of international law and human rights of the Palestinian people, is a call of conscience. It has strengthened markedly over the last few years among artists, students, unions, church groups, dockworkers, and others. Media coverage of endorsers of the boycott has gone mainstream and viral. Recent examples include Stephen Hawking’s refusal to go to Jerusalem for the Presidential Conference, the successful campaign surrounding Scarlett Johansson’s support for Soda Stream and its settlement operation, and the American Studies Association (ASA) resolution that endorsed boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Alongside BDS’s increasing strength have come increasingly virulent attacks on, and campaigns against it. These attacks tend to employ similar language and tactics – as if the groups are all cribbing from the same talking points – including tarring BDS supporters as “anti-Semitic” and “delegitimizers.”

These attacks simply don’t address or grapple with the core aspirations or realities of BDS. As described by Hanan Ashrawi, executive committee member of the PLO, in a recent letter in the New York Times, BDS “does not target Jews, individually or collectively, and rejects all forms of bigotry and discrimination, including anti-Semitism.” She goes on to explain that “B.D.S. is, in fact, a legal, moral and inclusive movement struggling against the discriminatory policies of a country that defines itself in religiously exclusive terms, and that seeks to deny Palestinians the most basic rights simply because we are not Jewish.”

The use of name-calling like “anti-Semites” and “delegtimizers” is problematic for a number of reasons, not only because its claims are untrue, but also because it takes the focus off the real issue at hand – whether and how Israel is, in fact, violating international law and basic human rights principles – and, instead, recklessly impugns the characters of those advocating for Israel to be held accountable.

Criticisms, even extremely harsh ones, of the Israeli state or calls to make a state democratic and adhere to equal rights for all its citizens are not anti-Semitic. Rather, anti-Semitism is about hatred of, and discrimination against the Jewish people, which is not anywhere to be found in the call for BDS, and these kinds of accusations also serve to trivialize the long and ugly history of anti-Semitism.

Most recently, the anti-BDS effort has moved to the legislative front. A bill, introduced in the New York State Assembly last month, would have trampled academic freedom and the right to support BDS in its quest to punish the ASA and deter any who might dare to emulate its endorsement of the academic boycott. Those supporting the bill were opposed by a broad coalition of education, civil rights, legal, academic, and Palestine solidarity organizations, as well as Jewish social justice groups. The bill was withdrawn, but a revised version has been introduced that is designed, like the original, to punish colleges that use public funds for activities related to groups that support boycotts of Israel, including mere attendance at their meetings.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) worked closely with the sponsors of the New York bill.

Like the JCRC, rather than engaging in substantive debate about the issues raised in relation to BDS, the Israeli government and many Jewish communal organizations choose, instead, to try to discredit and derail the efforts of those supporting BDS.

For example, as recently reported by Ha’aretz, the Israeli Knesset is debating how to continue to counter BDS efforts across the globe, that is, “whether to launch an aggressive public campaign or operate through quieter, diplomatic channels.” It is also considering what the role of AIPAC might be in introducing anti-boycott legislation and how to best bolster military surveillance–which has significant funding behind it–against supporters of BDS.

American Jewish communal organizations have also expended massive resources and energy in their campaigns to demonize endorsers of BDS. The Israel Action Network (IAN)–which describes itself as “a strategic initiative of TheJewish Federations of North America, in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), created to counter assaults made on Israel’s legitimacy”–has funded the anti-BDS effort to the tune of at least six million dollars over a three-year period.

The IAN website characterizes supporters of BDS as “delegitimizers”and says that, in order to gain support from “vulnerable targets,” which include “college campuses, churches, labor unions, and human rights organizations,” delegitimizers utilize Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics, “the same tools used to isolate and vilify apartheid South Africa, Iran, or Nazi Germany. BDS activists, IAN continues, “present distortions, fabrications and misrepresentations of international law in an attempt to paint Israel with the same brush.”

In another example of name-calling without any substance, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) July 2013 report attacked Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), featuring ad hominem accusations (JVP “intentionally exploits Jewish culture”), rather than discussing JVP’s actual positions. (A JVP report on the ADL points out that the ADL not only targets JVP but is well-known for its long history of spying on Arabs and supporters of the Palestinian movement.)

On the charge of anti-Semitism, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in its call to fight the BDS movement, urges it supporters to “learn the facts behind this hypocritical and anti-Semitic campaign,” and the ADL’s Abe Foxman echoed those same sentiments: “The BDS movement at its very core is anti-Semitic.” And most recently, in his speech to AIPAC, Prime Minister Netanyahu, after shamelessly drawing upon classic anti-Semitic imagery of Jews to speak of supporters of BDS, says: “So you see, attempts to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, the most threatened democracy on earth, are simply the latest chapter in the long and dark history of anti- Semitism.”

The demonization of BDS is not only the domain of the Israeli government and the mainstream Jewish community. The self-declared liberal J-Street, in its seemingly relentless quest to stay under the Jewish “tent,” has also jumped on the anti-BDS bandwagon, sometimes in partnership with the IAN, which (precisely because J Street is positioned as a peace group) proudly documents its relationship with J Street in fighting BDS. Discussing how J Street is gaining acceptance in the mainstream Jewish community, JCPA’s CEO Rabbi Steve Gutow points to “its role in pushing back against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement…”

Further, the refusal of both liberal land mainstream Jewish groups to discuss substantive issues around Israel’s actions or BDS also reveals itself in language that admonishes BDS as being “beyond the pale.” Recently, for example, as reported by the director of JVP in an op-ed in the Forward, the director of the JCRC of Greater Boston, who has a history of involvement in liberal organizations, explained that “any organization that supports BDS…doesn’t belong at the communal table.” In fact, he was referring specifically to Jewish Voice for Peace. He even argued that opening the public conversation to BDS is roughly akin to welcoming the Ku Klux Klan.

This attempted silencing of those simply discussing BDS plays out even in seemingly minor local skirmishes. For example, last year, the liberal rabbi of a large New York City synagogue cancelled the synagogue’s facilities-usage contract with a group of Jews who, he feared, might, on his premises, discuss BDS. That, he said, would be “beyond the pale.”

These attacks against BDS appear to be an almost desperate reaction to the increasing successes of BDS, not only in the world at large, but also within the broader Jewish community itself. Respected members of the liberal Jewish community as well as a few liberal Zionist groups that were vehemently anti-BDS are now calling for boycotts against products made in the settlements and are engaging with the issue publicly. Further, the mission and vision of groups like Jews Say No and Jewish Voice for Peace – “a diverse and democratic community of activists inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights” – are resonating with increasing numbers of Jews who support BDS as a natural outgrowth of their commitments. And that movement is growing in partnership with the broader Palestinian-led movement for justice.

How should the rest of the Jewish community respond? Ad hominem attacks on BDS just will not do. It is time for BDS opponents to take a deep breath. Consider this: BDS is a principled response to Israel’s actions and behavior as an occupier. It is a profound call by Palestinians – and supporters world-wide–for justice. It is not BDS that should be opposed, but, rather, the very policies and practices that have made BDS necessary.

Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is a long-time organizer for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine. She was a co-coordinator of the 1989 landmark Road to Peace Conference that brought PLO officials and Knesset members together to the US for the first time. More recently, she was a founding member of Jews Say No!, is a member of the board of Jewish Voice for Peace, and is on the coordinating committee of the Nakba Education Project, U.S.

About Donna Nevel

Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is a coordinator of the Participatory Action Research Center (PARCEO). She is a long-time organizer for justice in Palestine/Israel; against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism; and for a just public education system. She is a founding member of Jews Say No!, the Nakba Education Project, and the Network Against Islamophobia.

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51 Responses

  1. seafoid
    March 31, 2014, 10:22 am

    “These attacks against BDS appear to be an almost desperate reaction ”

    wa nuss

    Completely incoherent. Nothing to say so they go all out on the offensive and flail around with insults but no response.

  2. ckg
    March 31, 2014, 10:30 am

    Obama, Biden, and Kerry have all referred to ‘deligitimizers’ or ‘deligitimization’ in speeches. Does anyone have a link to Hillary Clinton ever using this term? I wouldn’t be surprised if she has.

    • W.Jones
      March 31, 2014, 11:16 am

      H.Clinton has more balls than some people.

      • ckg
        March 31, 2014, 2:14 pm

        I see now that Clinton gave a speech to the AJC on March 21. AJC vice president Herb London provided her with talking points on BDS beforehand. Afterwards London was incensed that she did not say one word about BDS in her speech.

      • UpSIDEdown
        April 1, 2014, 10:43 am

        W.Jones
        Yes she does, but tends to keep them in her purse more often then naught.

  3. weareone
    March 31, 2014, 11:18 am

    How can you delegitimize something that was never legitimate? The term we should be using with regard to Israel is illegitimate, apartheid regime.

    • seafoid
      March 31, 2014, 12:14 pm

      Well said. Delegitimisation actually means hasbara- proof criticism.

  4. Annie Robbins
    March 31, 2014, 11:24 am

    the emperor has no clothes and they are bereft of a counter argument, hence the strategy, originally developed by the reut institute in the aftermath of the mavi marmara is to simply designate supporters of bds as anti semitic via the label deligitimizers.

    2010: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704515704575282670417642484

    A recent report by the Reut Institute, a Tel Aviv-based think tank that provides strategic-thinking support to the Israeli government, warned the deligitimization effort “has already gained strategic significance and may evolve into an existential threat.” It said that Israel’s freedom to act militarily against perceived threats has been limited as a result of the campaign.

    The report criticized Israeli leaders for having “no coherent conceptual response” to push back against global critics. It panned an Israeli security doctrine that military might alone would ensure Israel’s defense and has historically considered international opinion to be a peripheral security concern.

    later, this morphed into reut’s “big tent-red lines” report. http://reut-institute.org/Publication.aspx?PublicationId=4042

    Background
    The concepts of ‘broad tent’ (initially framed as ‘open tent’) and ‘red lines’ were created by the Reut Institute in response to our diagnostics of the strategy of the assault on the State of Israel’s legitimacy (hereinafter ‘delegitimization’), and particularly of the BDS movement. Reut understood that one of the secrets of their success, in spite of their radical anti-Israel views, which deny Israel’s right to exist

    basically, it’s simply applying the #1 hasbara tool, accusations of anti semitism, to israel’s critics. it’s intellectually lazy and morally vacuous.

    and it does not surprise me that j street has fallen in line with reut’s ‘red lines.’ they want to be in the tent and they one’s those lines were drawn, j street followed the rules and did not cross them. they are not allowed to say apartheid either.

    and look at this, it is not supposed to appear they have fallen in line, it’s supposed to appear “grassroots”:

    Reut also believes that delineating such red-lines must be a grass-roots community based exercise, and cannot be imposed top-down by the Government of Israel or by Jewish community institutions. There is great value in local communities, synagogues, communal organizations and grassroots organizations grappling with the question, because such red lines are often contextual. Such a debate is essential in order to form an ideologically diverse coalition that will credibly and effectively confront the delegitimization of Israel, and may, in fact, create an opportunity to reconnect across the dividing lines within our communities, and to re-engage with Israel in new ways.

    but reut to came up w/the strategy for the government of israel.

    • hophmi
      March 31, 2014, 11:41 am

      “the emperor has no clothes and they are bereft of a counter argument”

      LOL. Do you really believe this? Proponents of a pro-peace two-state solution which recognizes the self-determination rights of both peoples are not devoid of a counterargument. It’s easy to ignore the counterarguments by simply citing one argument made by extremists in the Jewish community.

      The #1 hasbara tool, as you put it, is to focus on Israel’s positive attributes, including its democracy, its protection of civil liberties, its dynamic economy, and its status as one of the world’s top tourist attractions. That’s how we get down. Your main tactic is to bash it 24/7, while saying nothing positive about the people you’re supposedly advocating for. You’re calling for BDS; we’re calling for economic cooperation. You’re calling for denying Jews the right of self-determination, we’re calling for both peoples to realize that right.

      • seafoid
        March 31, 2014, 12:16 pm

        Pro peace 2 state solution. Thanks for the laughs hoppy.
        Do please outline the solution when you get a minute. Will there be ponies for everyone?

      • Donald
        March 31, 2014, 12:34 pm

        “You’re calling for denying Jews the right of self-determination, we’re calling for both peoples to realize that right.”

        And you’ve supposedly been doing it for decades. If the 2SS advocates were serious, they’d use the threat of BDS as a tool–Israel had better get serious about offering the Palestinians something they can be happy with, or the next step is “one man one vote”. It may be too late anyway, but instead of desperately trying anything to get Israel to offer the 67 borders and at least a token right of return, the supposed 2SS advocates decide to label the advocates of equal rights “anti-semites”.

        The worst enemies of the 2SS are most of its supposed advocates. Their main priority is to keep Israel happy and use the peace process as a fig leaf–so long as Palestinian violence is kept down (Israeli violence against Palestinians doesn’t register with most “liberal” Zionists, with some exceptions) that’s the only thing that really matters.

      • MHughes976
        March 31, 2014, 12:42 pm

        If there were a statement of what the alleged right of self-determination of peoples in principle amounts to we could see how it applies to the ME problem.

      • American
        March 31, 2014, 12:43 pm

        “You’re calling for denying Jews the right of self-determination,”…hoppie

        Maybe most of the world objects to what you’ve ‘determined’ with your self determination.
        You are trying to ‘determine’ too much for ‘other people’.

      • pabelmont
        March 31, 2014, 2:59 pm

        American — you’ve nailed it. good phrasing.

        In American law, governments acting to restrict freedoms (in pursuit of other and laudable goals) are required to show that they’ve acted in favor of those goals in the least restrictive manner. No-one who argues that Israel is entitled to achieve self-determination for Jews in Palestine can argue (after all the evidence that’s now “in”) that they’ve done so in the least restrictive way.

        Let a Zionist come forward who states she’s willing that Israel exist on a territory within Palestine the size of New York City (which has a similar sized population) and I might agree to “least restrictive”. But, no, Zionists want the whole thing, and bits of Lebanon and a big chunk of Syria as well.

        Nothing “least restrictive” about it. So I don’t believe them when they say they justify Zionism by the need for Jewish self-determination. It’s clear that they justify Zionism by “might makes right” and “he who lives by the sword lives by the sword”. And that is in fact what we see every day in Palestine.

      • eljay
        March 31, 2014, 12:44 pm

        >> You’re calling for denying Jews the right of self-determination…

        Jews have a right – 24/7/365 – to (self-)self-determine themselves as Jews, or as whatever else tickles their fancy.

        What Jews do not have a right to – what no group has a right to – is a supremacist state.

        So sad for you… :-(

      • pjdude
        March 31, 2014, 3:32 pm

        Israel’s not a democracy its a fascist state. they resemble democracy for the privilaged group. it doesn’t protect civil liberties if your not jewish. just ask see how well arabs are able to basic things you take for granted… not well., its economy is entirely propped up bu foriegn aid and subsidies as well as the pillage of palestinian resources. Israel doesn’t have a healthy economy. you cut out all the sweet heart deals and have to pay for the resources being pillaged you’d see how good the economy really is. and top tourist destinations? it doesn’t even hit the top 20 in the world. its not even top 5 in the middle east. its like 60th I don’t know about your definition of top tourist destination but for me you got to at least crack the top 25% they don’t even do that. it purely a niche tourist market.

      • Hostage
        March 31, 2014, 6:20 pm

        The #1 hasbara tool, as you put it, is to focus on Israel’s positive attributes, including its democracy, its protection of civil liberties, its dynamic economy, and its status as one of the world’s top tourist attractions.

        As any competent lawyer can tell you, Israel has refused to protect the civil liberties of non-Jews from the moment it declared its independence and simply lied to the UN and everyone else, by claiming that it has done so. At the 51st session of the Committee hearings on Israelis application for UN membership, Mr Eban said that the civil rights, including equality, stipulated in section C. Declaration, chapters 1 and 2 of UN resolution 181(II) had been constitutionally embodied as the fundamental law of the state of Israel as required by the resolution when a signed Declaration of Independence had been promulgated as law in the official state gazette. See The Palestine Question, Henry Cattan, page 86-87 and the verbatim UN record of the meeting http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/AC.24/SR.51

        Here is the lastest report from the ICERD treaty monitoring body:

        13. As mentioned in its previous concluding observations (CERD/C/ISR/CO/13, para. 16), the Committee is concerned that no general provision for equality and the prohibition of racial discrimination has been included in the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (1992), which serves as Israel’s bill of rights; neither does Israeli legislation contain a definition of racial discrimination in accordance with Article 1 of the Convention. These lacunae seriously undermine the protection afforded to all persons under the jurisdiction of the State party for equal access to human rights (Article 2 of the Convention).
        The Committee reiterates its previous concluding observations (CERD/C/ISR/CO/13, para. 16) and recommends that the State party ensure that the prohibition of racial discrimination and the principle of equality are included in the Basic Law and that a definition of racial discrimination is duly incorporated into the Law.

        – (.pdf) page 3 0f 9 link to www2.ohchr.org

    • ritzl
      March 31, 2014, 4:09 pm

      Good point, Annie. I hadn’t ever thought about it like this. BDS floats the “Israel. Question mark.” thought out there in the ether, such that anything Israel does is a call back. That may be as or more important than BDS’s burr under Israel’s economics.

      It’s more politically-relevant through possible grass-roots, town-hall questioning. People don’t have to do or advocate anything. They just have to ask a question or two.

      Justice is winning…

    • UpSIDEdown
      April 1, 2014, 10:50 am

      Annie
      #1 hasbara tool, accusations of anti Semitism, to Israel’s critics. it’s intellectually lazy and morally vacuous. Very well said..

  5. justicewillprevail
    March 31, 2014, 12:22 pm

    Ha ha, hopper wants to steal the emperor’s clothes. Economic cooperation you say? How precisely does that work, in the light of Israel’s attack on the Palestinian economy, its strangulation of free movement, its destruction of power plants, factories and farms? Just saying you support some vague idea of 2SS is pathetic when you can’t even acknowledge the continual destruction of this possibility by Israel. So exactly what clothes do you have to wear, because based on your vacuous claims, it looks like the same as the emperor’s – support the ethnic cleansing, the obliteration of any meaningful 2SS solution, and the dispossession of the indigenous people, and then claim you support them with entirely empty meaningless token phrases you call ‘counter arguments’. Farcical, empty, false twaddle. Combine it with the smug and false characterisation of BDS, which you display a woeful lack of understanding about, despite it being laid out very coherently here – I can only assume you didn’t bother to read it, or you have very real comprehension issues, since you just jump in with your already stale phrasebook. Repeating the same old lame cliches. Like all ziobrats you love to argue with an entirely false, conveniently fabricated travesty of the facts arraigned against your weak position, while ignoring what people actually say, and what actually happens. Repeat, rinse, spin.. How predictable.

    • hophmi
      March 31, 2014, 5:45 pm

      “Economic cooperation you say? How precisely does that work, in the light of Israel’s attack on the Palestinian economy, its strangulation of free movement, its destruction of power plants, factories and farms?”

      Why don’t you ask people like Dan Lubetsky (KIND Bars), who are involved in joint partnerships with Palestinian businesspeople?

  6. American
    March 31, 2014, 1:29 pm

    If just occurred to me that we don’t see Palestines in the Palestine movement regularly hurling the racist accusation at Jews….it seems the I-people have a monopoly on using the racist and anti semite slurs on everyone.

  7. Hostage
    March 31, 2014, 1:37 pm

    The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) worked closely with the sponsors of the New York bill.

    Like the JCRC, rather than engaging in substantive debate about the issues raised in relation to BDS, the Israeli government and many Jewish communal organizations choose, instead, to try to discredit and derail the efforts of those supporting BDS.

    If you check the tax forms that they make available on their website, you’d discover that they received over a hundred thousand dollars from the government of Israel. Dontcha think they might be “singing for their supper” as unregistered agents of the state of Israel?

    • hophmi
      March 31, 2014, 5:44 pm

      “If you check the tax forms that they make available on their website, you’d discover that they received over a hundred thousand dollars from the government of Israel. Dontcha think they might be “singing for their supper” as unregistered agents of the state of Israel?”

      LOL. Out of $5m in total contributions. That would be roughly 2%. They have an American constituency that supports their legislative agenda. But nice try. Please link the document.

      • Hostage
        April 1, 2014, 1:19 am

        LOL. Out of $5m in total contributions. That would be roughly 2%. They have an American constituency that supports their legislative agenda. But nice try. Please link the document.

        I’m not laughing. If they receive funding from the State of Israel, and lobby lawmakers on bills dealing with boycotts of Israel, they are required to register as foreign agents under the terms of the FARA. The same thing applies to lobbyists and lawyers who derive the majority of their income from other domestic clients, but still have to register as foreign agents.

        I already provided links to their IRS form 990 when the story initially broke, http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/influential-israel-boycott.html#comment-639929

  8. Real Jew
    March 31, 2014, 4:39 pm

    Its incredibly sad and infuriating to hear people especially politicians use the term antisemitic to describe the bds movement. Bds is morally righteous and explicitly states that their goal is to achieve BASIC human rights for Palestinians not to discriminate against israelis or israel. Being a kid from 2 worlds (half Palestinian half jewish) I have experienced racism from botb sides of the aisle. And to smear this movement with the ugliest of accusations is quite disgusting. Opponents of bds, especially jewish individuals, are doing themselves no favor by undermining real antisemitism by using that phrase so irresponsibly. One question for people who are vehemently against bds: Do you have or can you specify a different realistic nonviolent approach to achieve the same goals the bds movement has set to accomplish?

    • Hostage
      March 31, 2014, 7:51 pm

      Opponents of bds, especially jewish individuals, are doing themselves no favor by undermining real antisemitism by using that phrase so irresponsibly.

      Most of the arguments advanced by Montagu in 1917 against the British government’s support for Zionism are still true today. He explained why Zionism and supporting it are really anti-Semitic. Anyone familiar with all of the Zionist alliances with notorious anti-semites down through the years can’t help but take Herzl’s Der Judenstaat seriously when its says that anti-semitism will be the engine that drives the Zionist movement. Where it doesn’t exist, Zionists always manage to manufacture some. See:
      Former Reference: GT 1868
      Title: The Anti-Semitism of the Present Government.
      Author: E S Montagu
      Date: 23 August 1917
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7640371

      • Real Jew
        March 31, 2014, 8:47 pm

        “Most of the arguments advanced by Montagu in 1917 against the British government’s support for Zionism are still true today.”

        Absolutely. Im quiet familiar with Edwin Montagu who was the only jewish member of Parliament in 1917 and also the the only member who strenuously objected to the Balfour declaration. He viewed zionism as “mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom.” The jewish and non jewish community was split on this issue but the gentile zionists (for personal reasons) lent their support and carried the day. Many of them considered to be antisemites.

        I was unable to open your link but Herzl’s following statement couldn’t be more true. “Antisemitism will be the engine that drives zionism. Where it doesnt exist, zionists always manage to manufacture some.”
        It was European antisemitism that fueled enough sympathy from the world that allowed zionism to flourish. Now its accusations of antisemitism that allows zionism to be free of criticism

      • Hostage
        April 1, 2014, 1:33 am

        I was unable to open your link

        There is no direct link. Although it is free, you have to add it to their shopping cart, view the cart, and proceed to checkout. If you don’t have an account you’ll have to provide an email address before you can download. The main UK Archives site is geared to genealogists and history buffs, but there is an entire searchable section devoted to free declassified Cabinet Papers from 1915 to 1984 that makes it all worthwhile. https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers/

      • Real Jew
        April 1, 2014, 1:21 pm

        Thanks dude. I got it

      • Robin Margolis
        April 1, 2014, 10:20 am

        Dear Real Jew:

        I noticed that you mention being the adult child of a Palestinian/Jewish intermarriage.

        You might be interested in my group, the Half-Jewish Network. We’re an organization for adult children and grandchildren of intermarriage.

        We have some information — probably already known to you — about adult children of Palestinian/Jewish intermarriages on our website:

        http://half-jewish.net/israel/

        Many blessings on your continuing work for peace between the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews.

        Cordially,
        Robin Margolis
        Coordinator
        Half-Jewish Network

      • Real Jew
        April 2, 2014, 7:04 pm

        Robin, thank you very much Ill be sure to research your group

    • JeffB
      April 1, 2014, 1:00 pm

      @Real Jew

      One question for people who are vehemently against bds: Do you have or can you specify a different realistic nonviolent approach to achieve the same goals the bds movement has set to accomplish?

      There is an implicit premise that BDS is a realistic nonviolent approach to achieve equality / justice / 2SS / 1SS …. (from the hodgepodge of goals). I don’t think there is any realistic violent or nonviolent approach that the Palestinians and their advocates have to achieve their maximalist goals. But I think there are goals a bit short of what BDS aims for that are achievable.

      But if you want a realistic nonviolent approach that could achieve full equality of rights… assimilation. Palestinians agree to live in Israel as Israelis fully supporting their country and bang you have a viable 1SS. Another realistic nonviolent approach is agreeing to a binational solution similar to what the Israeli Arabs have and then working within the system for civil rights reforms. Once there is no conflict many of the security related issues disappear. Another realistic nonviolent approach if the Palestinians want some degree of national identity is formal colonialism. Governor Abbas can get an offer far better than President Abbas could ever dream of for his people.

      Etc.. Notice those require the Palestinians to do something. If you are asking for something westerners can do while Palestinians are rejectionist, no there isn’t anything you can do. You just aren’t holding enough cards.

      • Real Jew
        April 2, 2014, 7:23 pm

        Jeffb, your solution to the conflict is for Palestinians to abandon their aspiration for an independent country and assimilate into israeli society. Seems easy enough. Few problems with your approach: First of all 60 years of occupation has jaded israelis to the point that the majority of them are hostile even racist towards their palestinian cousins. A recent poll taken in israel (ill provide the source in a few) questioned 8000 israelis if they would consider being neighbors with Palestinians, not surprising some 80% said no. Now, animosity and tension between the two aside, have you considered the quality of life that arab israelis (palestinians with israeli citizenship) have? At best their second class citizens. What makes you think giving millions of more arabs citizenship will better that condition? Come on now jeff, I said realistic alternatives to bds

      • JeffB
        April 4, 2014, 11:10 am

        @Real Jew

        First of all 60 years of occupation has jaded israelis to the point that the majority of them are hostile even racist towards their palestinian cousins

        Agreed, Israel has a racism problem. In the mid 1950s Israel was quite racist towards its Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish population as well. Through a process of economic development they’ve been very successful in mostly correcting this. Israel has a proven track record of being able to fix these sorts of problems.

        have you considered the quality of life that arab israelis (palestinians with israeli citizenship) have? At best [they’re] second class citizens.

        From 1948-1980 there was a fairly successful assimilation movement towards Israeli Arabs. That halted with the 1st intifada when the pressure on Israeli Arabs became too great. So I look at the track record and see a problem that Israel knows how to correct and moreover has proven itself willing to correct when the other side is also willing.

        What makes you think giving millions of more arabs citizenship will better that condition?

        Rational self interest. Because the state isn’t going to want 1/2 or 1/3rd of its population to be a 5th column permanently. They are going to need to alienate Israeli Arabs from Arab culture and to do that they need to replace Arab culture with Israeli culture. To do that they need to create a system of incentives for assimilation, the more assimilated an Israeli Arab becomes, the more an Israeli Arab becomes just an Israeli the better their life.

        That’s exactly what happened in the USA with our own Catholic and Black population. And more or less the same why.

  9. weareone
    March 31, 2014, 6:07 pm

    hophmi, as per seafoid and justicewillprevail, your comments about “economic cooperation” are absurd — straight out of the Abe Foxman “Defending Israel for Dummies” playbook, which is you haven’t noticed has gone the way of the dinosaur.

    I challenge you and any Zionist to live in Palestine for a week as Palestinians live in the concentration camp that Israel has created. The cruelty and inhumanity of the Israelis is incomprehensible to most people. For any ardent supporter of Israel, it should be a requirement.

  10. dont drink the water
    March 31, 2014, 6:55 pm

    I wanted to thank the people who run this website as well as the regular posters here. I’ve learned more about this topic through this website and the people commenting than anywhere else. I appreciate the education. Thank you!

    • Real Jew
      March 31, 2014, 9:15 pm

      No doubt, dont drink the water. I thought I was quite versed on this matter myself only to learn that I had I long way to go. Glad to have you here stay around

  11. jsinton
    March 31, 2014, 7:01 pm

    Boycotts are simply the tools of the greatest humanitarians of modern times, namely Gandhi and MLK. Would Israel prefer violence and war instead? Of course not, but they have proven adept at dealing with it. BDS is clearly scaring the hell out of them, because they know it’s one fight they can’t win.

    • Kay24
      March 31, 2014, 10:52 pm

      They try to hide their fear through hostility and a false sense of bravado, but anyone can see BDS is indeed getting some traction, especially in the EU, academia, and grass roots level. It is beginning to hurt. The fact that they are desperately trying to make calls for BDS “anti-semitic” shows they are indeed, they are beginning to worry and get scared. It seems the world is not buying their wild accusations of anti-semitism.

    • JeffB
      April 1, 2014, 1:03 pm

      @jsinton

      BDS is clearly scaring the hell out of them, because they know it’s one fight they can’t win.

      Of course Israel can win. Al Qaeda could have done a 9/11 operation everyday for an entire decade and they wouldn’t have ended American society. That doesn’t mean the USA didn’t take damage from 9/11. Being unhappy about an attack is different from acknowledging an attacker is powerful enough to destroy you.

  12. Citizen
    March 31, 2014, 9:03 pm

    Off subject but I want to see if anybody else has seen this news about the FBI booting the ADL and SPLC from its website: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/03/30/adl-and-splc-dumped-from-the-fbi-website-finally/
    Now FBI & DOD should declassify all records on ADL, a Zionist front organization. SPLC too. Then people would see how the FBI leadership has collaborated to muzzle FBI/DOD pursuit of Israeli spy cases–and also muzzled very unhappy lower rank FBI/DOD investigators who’ve been frustrated and disgusted by this “partnership.”

    • W.Jones
      April 1, 2014, 2:17 am

      Also off subject: The ADL was founded as a result of the Leo Frank case, in which a girl was killed soon after meeting with Frank to get her paycheck in a building with few people in it. It’s an interesting, although sad case. By the way, I am a staunch opponent of the death penalty and biases in the courtroom.

    • ritzl
      April 1, 2014, 8:57 am

      The SPLC was made “non-official” hate speech resource because of its classification of anti-gay speech as hate speech. Conservative influence, but it’s anyone’s guess why a Dem admin would have acquiesced.

      http://truth-out.org/news/item/22773-no-the-fbi-hasnt-ditched-the-southern-poverty-law-center

      The ADL has been pinging the FBI lately over ADL allegations that the FBI is under reporting anti-semitic hate crimes. Perhaps the ADL’s agenda got too aggressively narrow-minded, even for the FBI.

      http://www.adl.org/press-center/press-releases/hate-crimes/adl-2012-hate-crime-statistics-report-flawed.html

      Hard to tell if there’s a theme.

      • Hostage
        April 1, 2014, 1:31 pm

        Perhaps the ADL’s agenda got too aggressively narrow-minded, even for the FBI.

        The Justice Department runs the FBI and an office that handles Title VI complaints from university students. http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/cor/coord/vimanual.php

        It is also the home of the Office of the Solicitor General who has been doing battle with the ADL posing as “a friend of the Court” in the MBZ v Clinton case. http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/m-b-z-v-clinton/

        The ADL was on the wrong side of that case. It was also on the wrong side of one dealing with the question of state viewpoint discrimination in university forums, i.e. here is the amicus brief it filed with the Supreme Court in the landmark Widmar v. Vincent case.

        It is a bit unseemly and partisan to see a tax exempt organization writing editorials in the foreign press calling for the applicable international law and US Court decisions to be overturned, so that Jerusalem can be recognized as Israel’s capital. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.537892

        Despite that rather crummy partisan record, many schools have sentenced Palestinian students to ADL reeducation/brainwashing programs for the offense of exercising their right to free speech while criticizing Israel and its Lobby, including the ADL.

      • ritzl
        April 1, 2014, 7:59 pm

        Thanks Hostage. Any one of your comments could be a paper, and any three could be a book, if they aren’t already. I’d buy that book. (Hint.)

      • Citizen
        April 1, 2014, 10:55 pm

        J E Hoover realized the ADL would try to do what it did, that is, use FBI/DOJ to further Zionist agenda, and he told his staff to watch this tendency, but apparently nobody did, or they were stifled, so we have situations such as you describe, a tax-exempt NGO operating nearly seamlessly with our government for a foreign state’s agenda, none of which benefits the US.

      • seafoid
        April 1, 2014, 1:45 pm

        Perhaps very few of the cases the ADL forwarded have anything to do with genuine hatred of Jews.

      • W.Jones
        April 1, 2014, 3:14 pm

        Seafoid,

        I would not be surprised if they forwarded cases of people criticizing the Israeli State and labeled them anti-Semitic.

      • Citizen
        April 1, 2014, 11:02 pm

        The Democrats are Progressive on social issues such as gay rights, hate speech generally, which I imagine is why they acquiesced, along with PEPs agenda.

  13. W.Jones
    April 1, 2014, 4:30 pm

    With the trends of the status quot, the problem for liberal Zionists would not going to go away. Israeli society would take over the West Bank and cover it with millions of Settlers. Phyllis Bennis visited a major settlement called Maale and met a left wing councilwoman who told her that the right wing settlers were a political problem, but that she was not living in a settlement.

    The right wing attitudes of the settlers and of Israelis toward Palestinians is growing, along with intolerance in age-specific surveys about Christianity: http://www.jcjcr.org/category/survey-1

    In several decades you would have a much more thorough Apartheid system in the West Bank justified as “security” and general intolerance toward Christianity in Israel proper. The attack on some Christians at Easter last year would not be a wholly rare occurrence, unfortunately.

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