Emerging from a ‘reign of terror’: Palestinians in Israel hold first BDS conference

Israel/Palestine
on 73 Comments

Israel’s large Palestinian minority held its first-ever conference on BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – this past weekend in spite of anti-boycott legislation introduced five years ago that exposes activists in Israel to harsh financial penalties.

One participant called it a sign that the Palestinian minority was slowly emerging from the law’s “reign of terror”.

The dangers of promoting BDS inside Israel were highlighted by the difficulties of finding a venue. A private cinema in Nazareth agreed to host the event after several public venues in Haifa backed out, apparently fearful that they risked being punished by the Israeli government.

The question of how feasible it is for Israel’s 1.6 million Palestinian citizens to promote BDS was high on the conference agenda, with speakers addressing issues of legality and strategy.

In a sign of a tentative shift towards political support for BDS by the Palestinian leadership in Israel, the opening statement was made by Mohammed Barakeh, head of the High Follow-Up Committee, an umbrella body representing all the political factions.

Barakeh said BDS was “an important form of solidarity with Palestinians” and was causing increasing panic among the Israeli leadership.

He said there was a link between “support for BDS and our survival in the current conditions” of rising Israeli racism, the killing of Palestinians by security forces, the expansion of the settlements and entrenchment of the occupation.

He noted arguments, echoing those of apartheid’s supporters in South Africa, that BDS would chiefly hurt Palestinian workers. “The anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa had a simple retort: ‘Apartheid hurts us more’.”

Barakeh admitted BDS posed unique problems for Palestinians in Israel. “We cannot boycott everything. We need schools, passports, social security. We have the right to be citizens and live in our homeland.”

Legal threats

The conference – titled “BDS and ‘48 Palestinians: Between International Influences and Local Contexts” – had been a long time in the making.

In 2009 Israel’s Palestinian political factions set up a working group called the Boycott Committee ’48 – in reference to the Palestinians who managed to remain on their lands in 1948 and eventually became Israel citizens – to examine the issue of support for BDS.

Although it formulated general guidelines in 2012, they were effectively buried by the so-called Anti-Boycott Law, which the Israeli parliament passed the year before.

The law exposed anyone inside Israel calling for a boycott, even of the settlements, to potential bankruptcy in Israel’s civil courts. Companies, Israeli citizens and settlers were entitled to claim unlimited damages.

The conference had been made possible now, organisers conceded, because last year the supreme court, while rejecting an appeal against the law, placed limits on how vigorously it could be applied.

The event was sponsored by three groups: the Boycott Committee ’48; Mitharkeen, a direct-action movement comprising Palestinians from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza; and Hirak Haifa, a youth group based in the northern Israeli city of Haifa.

Sawsan Zaher, a lawyer from Adalah, a legal center for Palestinians in Israel, detailed the implications for Israeli citizens of promoting BDS and how to avoid law suits.

The 2011 law, she pointed out, prevented anyone advocating BDS from getting government contracts or state budgets.

Few Palestinian citizens were eligible for the former. But bodies such as cultural associations, political parties, schools and libraries that received state funds could be targeted, making it difficult for Palestinian institutions in Israel to show solidarity.

Zionist propaganda

Last year’s supreme court ruling, however, had softened the impact on activism by civil society, creating some leeway.

The judges said a claimant for damages would need to prove that a call for BDS had resulted in quantifiable damage and there was a direct connection between the activism and the damage suffered.

Expressing general support for BDS or calling for a boycott of the settlements would not be covered by the law, she concluded, but targeting specific firms would be.

Raja Zaatry, representing the Boycott Committee 48, said a BDS struggle in Israel had to be carefully tailored to local realities.

The aim of the 2011 law had been to “terrorise Israeli society” and the biggest challenge facing the BDS campaign was to gain a place in the mainstream among Palestinians in Israel.

The first priority, he suggested, should be to stop the Palestinian minority from being implicated in Zionist propaganda against BDS.

He and other conference participants attacked Palestinians in Israel who helped to launder Israel’s image abroad. The singer Mira Awad was singled out for her appearances representing Israel in counties such as Spain and India.

In another illustration, Zaatry noted that Ariel University, located deep in the West Bank in a settlement of the same name, exploited the fact that 300 Palestinian citizens studied there to suggest it promoted coexistence.

He argued that the Palestinian minority should start by launching campaigns against Ariel University and settlement products.

Palestinians in Israel could also help bolster the international BDS movement by exposing not just the brutalities of the occupation but also the systematic racism and discrimination they faced inside Israel.

He also highlighted complexities, “We need to be careful. Many Israeli Jews already boycott Palestinian communities in Israel like Nazareth. We do not want to fuel that kind of racism with our own forms of boycott against their towns.”

This solidarity video from South Africa as shown at the conference.

Knesset boycott

The BDS campaign faced its toughest challenges in the political arena in Israel.

The committee had avoided divisive proposals, Zaatry said, especially the most contentious issue facing the Palestinian minority: whether to boycott the Israeli parliament.

The Joint List, which combines four political factions, is currently the third largest party in the Knesset. Two other parties, the secular Abnaa al-Balad and the recently outlawed northern Islamic Movement, both reject participation in national elections.

The committee’s position was backed by Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement. In a later panel he said a decision to boycott the Knesset should wait until a wider consensus had formed on the issue.

Although the Joint List had not adopted the BDS guidelines, Zaatry noted that one of its factions, the Communist party, had passed a resolution last year supporting a boycott of the settlements. Members of another faction, Balad, had expressed support for the same policy.

But in a sign of the pressures on the political parties, Zaatry noted that two years ago Avigdor Lieberman, then foreign minister, had lobbied Haifa University to strip Yousef Jabareen, then a lecturer and now a Knesset member, of his position for participating in a BDS debate.

An important goal, said Zaatry, was to forge a common struggle with sympathetic Israeli Jews to counter Israeli propaganda that support for BDS was anti-Semitic.

Role of academia

Reinforcing that point was Anat Matar, a philosopher from Tel Aviv University.

She said Israeli academia was integral to the oppression of Palestinians, with strong ties between the universities and Israel’s various security industries. Israeli universities also worked hard to forge strong bonds with overseas academics.

Echoing Zaatry’s call for the BDS campaign in Israel to be pragmatic, she said sympathetic academics should refuse to organise international conferences in Israel.

However, she said she preferred to participate in conferences overseas. “I am freer to say what I really think of BDS when I am abroad.”

Omar Barghouti highlighted the successes of the BDS campaign since it was launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and the importance of keeping the movement open to all, including Israeli Jews.

Barghouti said the 2011 law meant Israel’s Palestinian minority could not target specific companies, but he suggested that activists collect and publicise data about those that profit from the occupation. He urged activists to be as creative as possible.

Other activists tried to offer practical suggestions for ways Israel’s Palestinian citizens could assist the BDS movement.

Haneen Maikey, of Al-Qaws, an organisation that campaigns for sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society, argued that the LGBT community should work hard to counter “pinkwashing” – Israel’s efforts to brand itself as gay-friendly.

Such moves were designed “to distract attention from Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians”.

She said LGBT movements in Israel should try to persuade overseas gay activists not to come to Israel for events like the annual Gay Pride March in Tel Aviv.

They should also have a strong presence at LGBT conferences abroad to try to challenge the narratives Israel was actively promoting.

Profiting from occupation

Hadeel Badarneh, of Who Profits?, which exposes companies that profit from the occupation, said it was important to think beyond the security industries and settlements to what she called Israel’s “infrastructure of economic control”.

Israel’s Chinese-owned dairy producer Tnuva benefited from the fact that the West Bank population was dependent on its products, creating a monopoly worth $60 million in the West Bank alone.

Similarly, the Nesher company controlled 85 per cent of all construction in the area, including providing most of the cement used to rebuild Gaza after Israel’s repeated destructive attacks on the enclave.

She noted the growing trend towards “ethical investments”, and the behind-the-scenes role activists could play in pressuring companies to pull out of Israel.

Cultural questions also featured strongly.

Suha Arraf, who outraged Israeli officials in 2014 by identifying her Israeli-funded film Villa Touma as Palestinian, spoke of the difficulties for local Palestinian artists in finding ways to finance their work.

She said Arab states refused to finance projects, viewing it as normalisation, while the Palestinian Authority lacked funds to help. Foreign funds, meanwhile, would usually only agree to top up local funding.

She said the BDS movement needed to devise alternative funding sources if it was going to insist on artists rejecting Israeli assistance.

Cultural ties

Also addressing cultural issues was Ali Muasi, a teacher who recently made headlines too.

Muasi was fired on Saturday by his school in the central Israeli town of Baqa al-Gharbiyya for showing to his pupils a Palestinian film, Omar, about Israel’s aggressive efforts to recruit collaborators as a way to weaken Palestinian society.

Even though he appears to have broken no rules, the education ministry has so far shown no interest in supporting him against his dismissal.

Muasi spoke on the conflicting requirements of boycott and the need among Palestinians in both Israel and the occupied territories to maintain political and cultural connections to the wider Arab world.

He rejected the current position of the BDS campaign that Arab artists could visit the occupied territories but not Palestinians in Israel.

He opposed visits to both. “We have to subject such visits to a test – do they aid us in our political project of national liberation?”

He argued that most visits offered little more than entertainment, while serving chiefly to confer legitimacy on Israel. With the internet, he added, it was easy for Palestinians to maintain cultural ties to the region without visits.

“We have to ask ourselves how much do these visits help to change our situation. It is the same question we need to ask about our participation in the Knesset.”

To members of the audience who disagreed, Muasi pointed out that, if Arab artists spoke out clearly against the occupation, they would be treated like the US intellectual Noam Chomsky, who was refused entry by Israel in 2010.

However, Muasi made an exception for visits by exiled Palestinians. He said they should come – even if they needed permission from the Israeli military – because it was a priority that they strengthen their ties to the Palestinian homeland.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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73 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    March 2, 2016, 3:30 pm

    “The judges said a claimant for damages would need to prove that a call for BDS had resulted in quantifiable damage and there was a direct connection between the activism and the damage suffered.”

    This is definitely a change because I believe the original wording said that you did not even have to show damages. No doubt the business sector lobbied for that.

  2. diasp0ra
    March 2, 2016, 4:16 pm

    Drip drip drip.

    Bless you all for braving such draconian laws.

  3. Steve Grover
    March 2, 2016, 5:03 pm

    Y’all think that the folks mentioned here: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/jeffrey-goldberg-compares-iranian-jews-to-petting-zoo-animals/
    that Jeffrey Goldberg referred to as “being displayed as petting zoo animals” can call for BDS of the regime that y’all ain’t got enuf kind words for?

  4. Mooser
    March 3, 2016, 12:56 am

    Steve, here’s a hint for you. A link to a video is usually considered sufficient.

  5. Steve Grover
    March 3, 2016, 1:46 am

    After you finished digesting your Vegemite Talknudnic, please show me where I said Iranian Jews wanted to. I’m saying they aren’t allowed to.

    • eljay
      March 3, 2016, 10:36 am

      || Steve Grover: After you finished digesting your Vegemite Talknudnic, please show me where I said Iranian Jews wanted to. I’m saying they aren’t allowed to. ||

      And I consider that an injustice and condemn it as such.

      But according to Zio-supremacist “logic”, as long as Iran isn’t quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”, everything’s fine.

    • echinococcus
      March 3, 2016, 11:51 am

      Is Iran an invader kingdom on other people’s territory?
      Or is it that some people imagine that the Zionist entity is a country like any other?

      • Steve Grover
        March 3, 2016, 5:08 pm

        What’s a Zionist entity?

      • Mooser
        March 3, 2016, 10:16 pm

        “What’s a Zionist entity?”

        Zing! Well Steve, when a regime, a Zionist regime in Palestine, refuses to lessen or stop its intransigence, and is operating in many areas outside any legal borders, it is sometimes called an “entity”. If Zionism is the basic principle of organization for the Zionist regime, it’s called “the Zionist entity”.

        Got it?

      • Steve Grover
        March 3, 2016, 10:39 pm

        Mooser, since you are such a khochem of Zioinist entities, why don’t you give examples.

      • Mooser
        March 3, 2016, 11:03 pm

        “Mooser, since you are such a khochem of Zioinist entities, why don’t you give examples.”

        There’s only one. The territory currently controlled by the Zionist entity is informally and misleadingly called “Israel”

        I guess, ‘the Zionist entity in Palestine” might be another way to describe it. Why “Steve” did you think the US is “the Zionist entity”? Russia?
        Nope only one, usually referred to as “Israel”. There are more exact ways, but that’ll usually do.

        BTW, you should take my tip about videos- in most cases, a link is sufficient. Save the video-on-the-page for when it is important, or especially relevant.

      • talknic
        March 3, 2016, 11:46 pm

        @ Steve Grover “What’s a Zionist entity?”

        1st look up the meaning of ‘entity’
        then
        2nd look up the meaning of ‘Zionist’

        A fine example is the Zionist Movement‘s state, Israel, currently in breach of International Laws and the UN Charter which were adopted in large part because of the treatment of our Jewish fellows under the Nazis

      • echinococcus
        March 4, 2016, 12:53 am

        Talknic,

        Thanks for the explanation. I’ll edit if allowed:
        A fine example is the Zionist Movement‘s state, “Israel”, established entirely in breach of International Laws and the UN Charter which were adopted in large part because of the World War instigated by the Nazis.

        It would be totally wrong to show any tolerance to the carving up of Palestine by colonial powers, without plebiscite and in breach of international law and UN Charter (no matter if approved by the UN or not), or to suggest that all WWII and aggression can be reduced to a question of persecution of the Jews.

      • talknic
        March 4, 2016, 5:03 am

        @ echinococcus
        “It would be totally wrong to show any tolerance to the carving up of Palestine by colonial powers, without plebiscite and in breach of international law and UN Charter etc etc.”

        Like it or not, legal or not, Israel exists and is a UN Member state. As such it has legal obligations it has not upheld.

      • echinococcus
        March 4, 2016, 6:05 am

        Like it or not, legal or not, Israel exists and is a UN Member state.

        Not even an argument, Talknic.
        It’s not any different than a cop’s answering “I’m the law and you obey or else” to my asserting a constitutional right to, say, take a picture (not that I’d even dream of comparing you to a cop, but I’m sure you get the idea.)
        Existing and UN membership, by the way, is no problem. A signature will cancel that.

        As such it has legal obligations it has not upheld

        So nobody is keeping you from both observing that legal obligations haven’t been met, and adding that these obligations were imposed as part of an illegal deal that must be called off. You don’t have a milligram of justification to maintain a Zionist myth of legitimate existence anywhere.

      • Mooser
        March 4, 2016, 4:01 pm

        “Like it or not, legal or not, Israel exists and is a UN Member state. As such it has legal obligations it has not upheld”

        I wish “Echin” would stop thinking of the area defined by the UN deal as Israel’s “Briar Patch”. If forced back into the obligations of the UN statehood deal, Israel will not say: “Ha, ha, ha, this is where we wanted to be all the time! Fooled you!”

      • talknic
        March 4, 2016, 5:28 pm

        @ echinococcus March 4, 2016, 6:05 am

        // Like it or not, legal or not, Israel exists and is a UN Member state//

        “Not even an argument”

        Correct. It’s a statement of fact

        “Existing and UN membership, by the way, is no problem. A signature will cancel that”

        Difficult while there’s a biased US Veto in the UNSC.

        “You don’t have a milligram of justification to maintain a Zionist myth of legitimate existence anywhere”

        I’ve never tried to justify it. You’re squawking at the wrong person.

        It’s legitimacy is THEIR myth, THEY try to justify what is easily shown to be based on deceit as witnessed by the words of the Zionist Federation, Jewish Agency, Declaration for the Establishment of the State of Israel, the Israeli Govt’s plea for recognition and subsequent successive Govts of the State of Israel.

        OK if THEY insist on justifying Israel’s legitimacy THEY should also acknowledge Israel’s legal obligations to the Law and its failure to uphold the Law

      • echinococcus
        March 4, 2016, 6:26 pm

        It’s easier to hurl balls to a brick wall than to talk to you.
        So you just continue your propaganda recognizing an illegal occupation without ever discussing any objections. Fine.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 4, 2016, 7:40 pm

        without ever discussing any objections

        and you just continue your propaganda chomping on his heels like a nasty brat.

      • Mooser
        March 4, 2016, 8:40 pm

        “It’s easier to hurl balls to a brick wall than to talk to you.”

        That’s very true, “echin”. Vigorous exercise is a great way to unwind after an intense discussion. You know, when the discussion is over.

      • talknic
        March 4, 2016, 10:19 pm

        @ echinococcus

        ” … you just continue your propaganda recognizing an illegal occupation without ever discussing any objections. Fine.”

        The majority of the world’s states UN recognize Israel (as it asked to be recognized). The UN recognizes Israel as a UN Member state. It’s not propaganda. It’s a fact.

        Not much I can do about it except point out that it came about through Zionist deception and; now that it does exist it should be held to the law

      • echinococcus
        March 4, 2016, 11:48 pm

        Great. It is illegal but must be held to the law. Even if the victim populations do not recognize the illegality and still want their right. Even if that single illegality is enough to create the single most ominous menace to world peace. All that “must” for no good reason, just because.
        No matter that a lot of UN members came and went in-between, dissolved like sugar lumps.

        Also, you aren’t only recognizing an illogical illegality and breaking down before it. You continue repeating it day in, day out, hammering it into people’s minds, reinforcing the general propaganda that Zionists must somehow have something legitimating their presence in Palestine after all, if the best and most consistent posters on the board repeat it daily.

        That’s a lot of eminently logical things to swallow, you know. In my world, injustices do get denounced, not confirmed every time one talks about them –I suppose that’s because I am too stupid.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2016, 1:14 pm

        Also, you aren’t only recognizing an illogical illegality and breaking down before it. You continue repeating it day in, day out, hammering it into people’s minds, reinforcing the general propaganda that Zionists must somehow have something legitimating their presence in Palestine after all, if the best and most consistent posters on the board repeat it daily.

        as an observer in this running feud, i just thought i’d point out that you are also a very consistent poster here echin, and it is you who often initiate this discussions and insert this topic into the discussion — which some might consider hammering. an example:

        Thanks for the explanation. I’ll edit if allowed: A fine example is the Zionist Movement‘s state, “Israel”, established entirely in breach of International Laws and the UN Charter which were adopted in large part because of the World War instigated by the Nazis.

        so don’t agitate for it and then complain about “continue repeating it day in, day out, hammering it into people’s minds” when you initiated it. and why not just link to all the other times you’ve argued this same topic instead of doing it all over again time after time. or do you really think either you or talknic are going to change your minds.

      • echinococcus
        March 5, 2016, 3:16 pm

        You got a point, Annie. In fact, two. Thanks.
        It’s that otherwise I like how Talknic thinks.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2016, 4:16 pm

        It’s that otherwise I like how Talknic thinks.

        i know it can be very frustrating when someone who you may otherwise agree on many aspect of a situation holds an opposing view than your own on one important aspect you consider crucial. but arguing disrespectfully or nagging won’t help and it’s not fun for anyone (or necessarily illuminating) when allies fight. consider it may be equally frustrating for talknic. anyway, you both have a lot to contribute here, so that’s worth more than the fight.

      • Steve Grover
        March 5, 2016, 4:28 pm

        Annie sez:
        “and why not just link to all the other times you’ve argued this same topic instead of doing it all over again time after time. or do you really think either you or talknic are going to change your minds.”
        Excellent idea Annie. eljay should probably do the same for his rants on Zio-Supremacists and how Zionists hate Jews.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2016, 7:09 pm

        eljay should probably do the same for his rants on Zio-Supremacists and how Zionists hate Jews.

        nah, that would make it too easy for you.

      • talknic
        March 5, 2016, 7:30 pm

        @ echinococcus … you aren’t only recognizing an illogical illegality and breaking down before it etc etc etc “

        https://talknic.wordpress.com/

      • eljay
        March 5, 2016, 8:55 pm

        || Steve Grover: … eljay should probably do the same for his rants on Zio-Supremacists and how Zionists hate Jews. ||

        I have a much better idea: You Zio-supremacists should all fade away. The world – including the Jews you hate and the non-Jews you oppress and murder – wouldn’t miss you.

      • echinococcus
        March 6, 2016, 2:17 am

        Annie,
        Not sure I understand what you’re saying this time.
        Talknic agrees about the illegality of partition while continuing to defend it, and leaving unanswered all objections regarding the necessity to uphold such illegality. So what’s frustrating is strictly at the level of formal logic, not of “opposing views”.
        Anyway, let’s close this.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2016, 12:12 pm

        “The world – including the Jews you hate and the non-Jews you oppress and murder – wouldn’t miss you”

        Hey, “eljay”, what about me? Look, a guy grows up, I don’t know about you, but me, I’ve got doubts.
        Did I do the right things, did I draw the right conclusions, did I live the way I should? Doubts, all the time.
        After all, I was given choices simply by the unearned virtue of being born a post-WW2 Jewish American citizen, not just choices, privileges, that many, many people in the world, maybe most of them, are not given.
        Did I use them well? They are very valuable, and not to be thrown away or wasted, if possible.
        I never really know. I am assailed by second thoughts.
        Then I come here, and read “Steve Gomer” and the rest of the herd of ilk, and a smile, and I say “Whew, Moosie, you had one hell of a narrow escape, whatever I am, and it’s not much, I don’t think I am all that“!
        And I feel a lot, lot better. Plus, they serve as a warning, a cautionary tale.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2016, 12:22 pm

        “Anyway, let’s close this.”

        “Echin” I wish you could see it this way: When “Talknic” talks about Israel conforming to the UN Charter, that is a ‘threat’, not a ‘promise’.

      • eljay
        March 6, 2016, 1:07 pm

        || Mooser @ March 6, 2016, 12:12 pm ||

        I think I get what you’re saying. To other Jews, Steve Grover and his Zio-supremacist co-collectivists are more like a bad case of hemorrhoids than they are a cancer: Although they’re disgusting and painful, you realize just how lucky you are that they won’t kill you.Fair enough. :-)

        Unfortunately, to non-Jews – especially to the Palestinians – they’re a lot worse than hemorrhoids.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2016, 2:01 pm

        “To other Jews, Grover…

        I have no idea, how “other Jews” see them. I speak for myself only.

      • eljay
        March 6, 2016, 8:34 pm

        || Mooser: I have no idea, how “other Jews” see them. I speak for myself only. ||

        Understood.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2016, 10:47 am

        “Understood”

        What’s more, I can prove it! Does anybody ever, ever write a comment saying they agree with me or that they feel that way too? Hell no! “Niass2” may have, but how would I know?

        And can we please, please, not talk about hemorrhoids?

      • eljay
        March 7, 2016, 11:04 am

        || Mooser: … Does anybody ever, ever write a comment saying they agree with me … ? … And can we please, please, not talk about hemorrhoids? ||

        I agree with you that we should not talk about that. :-)

    • talknic
      March 3, 2016, 2:56 pm

      @ Steve Grover March 3, 2016, 1:46 am

      “After you finished digesting your Vegemite…”

      Irrelevant Ziodrivel

      ” please show me where I said Iranian Jews wanted to. I’m saying they aren’t allowed to.” = Steve ‘the wailgob’ Grover unable to answer a simple question

      • Mooser
        March 3, 2016, 11:09 pm

        “Grover” unable to answer a simple question”

        Like: “What on earth are you trying to do here, “Grover”?”

        I’ve always wondered what on earth “Steve” thinks he is accomplishing. Maybe he’ll tell us. I don’t think he knows.

      • Steve Grover
        March 4, 2016, 2:43 pm

        I’m here to be your Zionist conscience. Every Jew has a Zionist conscience, even the miniscule numberof Jews like you who try to suppress.

      • Mooser
        March 4, 2016, 4:05 pm

        “I’m here to be your Zionist conscience. Every Jew has a Zionist conscience, even the miniscule numberof Jews like you who try to suppress.”

        Darn, this is shattering “Steve”. I was so sure you were ‘on the wagon’. Oh well, when the choice is a frontal lobotomy, or the bottle in front of thee, what can you do? You’re the kind of guy who should have it all!

        ” a Zionist conscience”

        Gosh, learn about new things every day here.

        “even the miniscule numberof Jews like you”

        Yup, nothin’ but a remnant, that’s us. Probably because we to “miniscules” instead of a big Yeshiva.

      • RoHa
        March 4, 2016, 4:15 pm

        “Every Jew has a Zionist conscience,…”

        Even in my most anti-Semitic comments, the ones the moderators ban, I don’t think I have said anything as nasty as that.

      • echinococcus
        March 4, 2016, 4:17 pm

        That lusus naturae Grover is really trying hard to make those few honest people among those who continue calling themselves Jewish abandon that characterization, by continuously presenting them the real face of tribalism.

      • Steve Grover
        March 4, 2016, 4:34 pm

        Roha Sez:
        “Even in my most anti-Semitic comments, the ones the moderators ban”
        Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Roha admits she hates Jews! I’m gonna sit back and wait for more of ya MW fans to join her. L effin’ O effin’ L!
        https://youtu.be/2TnkJ8_BmSI

      • Mooser
        March 4, 2016, 6:12 pm

        “I’m here to be your Zionist conscience.” “Grover”
        .
        Good Lord, “Grover” is right! I do feel guilty about Zionism whenever I read his comments. I feel very guilty that I didn’t start fighting it tooth and nail, a long time ago, not just say “This is BS, and I’m gonna keep away from it”.
        Nope, that was not enough, and yup, I know it now . Gonna pay for it, too. And nobody brings it home to my conscience like “Steve Grover”.

      • Mooser
        March 4, 2016, 8:28 pm

        ” I’m gonna sit back and wait for more of ya MW fans to join her. L effin’ O effin’ L!”

        Yup, he’s drinking again. Always comments himself into a corner when he’s looped.

      • Steve Grover
        March 4, 2016, 8:52 pm

        And there goes Mooser defending an admitted anti-Semite. Exactly who is commenting himself into a corner?

      • talknic
        March 4, 2016, 10:22 pm

        Oh my, poor Steve thinks he has a bone. Poor chap just doesn’t get sarcasm

      • RoHa
        March 5, 2016, 5:10 am

        Steve, learn to read. I didn’t say I hated Jews. I said that some of my comments are anti-Semitic.

      • Mooser
        March 5, 2016, 10:57 am

        “Oh my, poor Steve thinks he has a bone. Poor chap just doesn’t get sarcasm”

        “Gomer” never did, did he? And that’s pretty much an indelible image now. “Steve Gomer”

      • Steve Grover
        March 5, 2016, 3:41 pm

        I get it Roha, what you mean. You’re being tounge-in-cheek kinda like the sign “Arebeit Mach Frei”

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2016, 11:41 am

        “I get it Roha, what you mean. You’re being tounge-in-cheek kinda like the sign “Arebeit Mach Frei””

        “RoHa” wrote that sign over the concentration camp? Well, I’ll bet he spelled it correctly!

        Pssst. “Gomer”, listen, tearfully throwing about taunts about the concentration camps is such a pathetic little-kid thing to do. Do I have to get more specific than that?
        At any rate, I’m sorry about what happened to you during the Holocaust. Let’s not have any disagreement about that.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2016, 12:29 pm

        “Even in my most anti-Semitic comments, the ones the moderators ban,”

        “RoHa” the time to worry is when your comments go into “transcendental moderation”.

      • Steve Grover
        March 6, 2016, 6:00 pm

        So Mooser defends an admitted anti-Semite once more. The guy who talks about his Judaism only when he simultaneously bashesIsrael and Zionism. Maybe eljay should ask you why you hate Jews?. So when your through correcting my mispelling of the obscene “Arbeit Macht Frei”, you could take some time and answer the question that eljay should be asking you and RoHa.

      • eljay
        March 6, 2016, 7:25 pm

        || Steve Grover: So Mooser defends an admitted anti-Semite once more. The guy who talks about his Judaism only when he simultaneously bashesIsrael and Zionism. Maybe eljay should ask you why you hate Jews?. … ||

        I would gladly ask Mooser that question if I thought:
        – he actually hated Jews (he doesn’t); or
        – RoHa were actually anti-Semitic (he’s not).

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2016, 7:46 pm

        Maybe eljay should ask…

        It never fails with “Grover”; jollicose, lachrymose, and then confusedly bellicose. What next?
        Comatose tight, tonite, “Steve”

  6. a blah chick
    March 3, 2016, 10:25 am

    I might take up Grover’s suggestion and learn Hebrew. First phrase to memorize: Hands up, don’t shoot!

    • Steve Grover
      March 3, 2016, 8:55 pm

      Here, Grover goes to Jerusalem the Capital of Israel and is enjoying himself. He doesn’t hear “Hands Up Don’t Shoot”.

      http://youtu.be/d3JeXLu63Gw

      • YoniFalic
        March 3, 2016, 10:59 pm

        I remember شارع سمسم (Shara’a Simsim) from when I was a kid.

        I have no doubt that in a realistic version Haneen and Kareem were shot years ago at a checkpoint. Unfortunately, years ago I could have been the shooter.

      • YoniFalic
        March 3, 2016, 11:00 pm

        If Gargur (Grover) visited the State of Israel from افتح يا سمسم (Open Sesame — the international Arabic version of Sesame Street) , he would probably be murdered by settlers in the Occupied Territories.

      • Mooser
        March 5, 2016, 11:02 am

        I don’t care if it was nothing but pre-pubescent obstreperousness, irrascibility, and whatta-you-got rebellion which made me dislike Zionism, I still thank God for the fact.

  7. hophmi
    March 3, 2016, 12:00 pm

    “Muasi was fired on Saturday by his school in the central Israeli town of Baqa al-Gharbiyya for showing to his pupils a Palestinian film, Omar, about Israel’s aggressive efforts to recruit collaborators as a way to weaken Palestinian society.”

    Because the nudity in the film offended local Islamists. Funny how Cook left that part out. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.704856

    • Annie Robbins
      March 3, 2016, 12:23 pm

      he didn’t leave it out he embedded that same haaretz link in the segment you quoted. he just didn’t mention it in his text, probably because it was not relevant to Muasi’s speech about BDS.

      • hophmi
        March 4, 2016, 9:31 am

        Yeah, I’m sure that was why he neglected to mention it. Lol.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2016, 7:16 pm

        and why did you bring it up hops. because you think it’s relevant to bds? if so, how. or were you just in the mood to discuss nudity in islamic culture? and if so how is it any different than nudity orthodox jewish culture?

        so why do you think the education ministry has thus far shown no interest in supporting him against his dismissal — unless the 2 cultures are similar in this regard?

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2016, 11:44 am

        “and if so how is it any different than nudity orthodox jewish culture?”

        Damn, all the frummers are right! I do miss out on a lot by being Reform! From now on, I’m going organic, I want my Orthodox Jewish culture in the raw.

  8. Dan Walsh
    March 5, 2016, 4:34 pm

    “Similarly, the Nesher company controlled 85 per cent of all construction in the area, including providing most of the cement used to rebuild Gaza after Israel’s repeated destructive attacks on the enclave.”

    Nesher goes way back in Zionist history. Here is a poster showing how the company marketed itself in the 1930’s:

    To Fortify Our Home – Use Hebrew Cement

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/poster/to-fortify-our-home-use-hebrew-cement

    As I see it the question we must ask, over and over again if need be, is:

    Why was it perfectly fine for Zionists to openly boycott the indigenous Palestinian economy during the Mandate (and after) as well as against the USSR in the 1960’s vis-a-vis Soviet Jewry but it is not permissible to boycott Zionism now?

    Let’s keep raising this question as it does three things in the asking:

    1) It focuses a bright light on the hypocrisy of Zionism’s anti-BDS critique

    and

    2) It opens up the study of Zionist economic history

    3) It puts political Zionism on its back foot and obligates it to explain why it was legitimate for Zionism to practice boycotts but it is antisemitic when Palestinians and the international community practice it.

    See other “Buy Hebrew Campaign” posters here:

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/special-collection/buy-hebrew-campaignhebrew-laborconquest-of-labor

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