Church of Sweden explores BDS as ‘only chance to liberate Palestinians and Israeli Jews’

Activism
on 60 Comments

The week before last, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America became the 9th North American Christian denomination to adopt some measure of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”), voting to implement an investment screen restricting church investments in corporations that profit from human rights abuses against Palestinians.

At the same time, across the Pond, two dioceses of the Church of Sweden (also Lutheran) sponsored a Kairos Palestine summer camp to consider ramping up the pressure on Israel by increasing the Church’s support of and participation in the BDS movement.

Disestablished in 2000, the Church of Sweden is no longer the state church, but 63% of the country are members, and it is an influential force in Swedish politics.

About 40 of its peace workers, together with a Roman Catholic and a few from the Uniting Church in Sweden (a recent merger of the Baptist Union of Sweden, the United Methodist Church and the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden)  gathered at a modest beach-side hotel in Skane, on Sweden’s cool and windy Southwest coast. Virtually all had traveled or lived in Palestine, and knew what was happening on the ground there.

I was invited to share the work of Jewish Voice for Peace (“JVP”) on BDS and Palestinian liberation generally.  I found a receptive audience.  It was clear that their patience with Israel and its oppression of Palestinians was running out.

The camp was convened by a dynamo named Anna Karin Hammar.  She is a priest and the sister of the Swedish Church’s 40th Archbishop and Primate since the Reformation.  A feminist undaunted by the fact that all 40 were of the male persuasion, the Rev. Dr. Hammar ran to succeed her brother in 2006 and actually garnered 10% of the vote.  (The female 42nd Archbishop, installed in 2014, finally broke that clerical glass ceiling). Anna Karin, as she was known at camp, is now the Church’s coordinator with the Christians of Palestine, who in December 2009, drafted “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering,” now known as the Kairos Palestine Document.  Her first trip there was in 1988, during the First Intifada.

Anna Karin is on right, author Herbst is second from left

Anna Karin is on right, author Herbst is second from left

In 2012, the Swedish Church’s Synod passed a resolution recommending that its local churches heed the call of the Kairos Palestine Document to cancel investments, impose sanctions and boycott companies and products from the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian areas, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and to demand that the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza be lifted.

Impatient at the response, or lack of one now, four years later, Anna Karin did not mince words.  The increasingly difficult plight of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza “called for less talk and more action,” she said in her initial presentation to the camp. “We have waited 41 years” as the situation has gotten worse and worse in Israel and the Occupied Territories.  “We are cowards,” in not sufficiently challenging both the Swedish Churches and Government to change strategies to do more to assist Palestinians engaged in non-violent resistance, and to press Israel to change its oppressive policies. “BDS may be the only chance to liberate both Palestinians and Israeli Jews from the occupation.  We should have nothing to do with the Israeli banking system,” and there should be “no military cooperation between Sweden and Israel” until Israeli occupation of Palestinian land ends.

“Apartheid is worse in Palestine than it was in South Africa because it is killing daily life there,” where the Christian community “is diminishing and increasingly marginalized, so that migration appears to many to be the only realistic solution.” In South Africa, she noted, India and Sweden spearheaded the BDS movement.  Now, it is South Africa which is spearheading an ecumenical Christian BDS movement in Palestine, with an office and paid staff.  It is time, Dr. Hammar concluded, for Swedish Christians and their congregations to get on board.

Staffan Graner, of Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (“JIPF”), the Swedish analog to JVP, told the camp that the call to BDS is just starting to percolate among Sweden’s small Jewish community of 20,000, 0.2% of the country’s 9.6 million people.  (The 1.4 million Jews in Europe constitute about that same percentage of the European population).

JIPF was founded almost 35 years ago in response to the Israeli operation in Lebanon in 1982.  For virtually of that time, JIPF has stood for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiation between the parties of an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, creating an independent Palestinian state, and supporting the Israeli peace movement.

But in December 2014, in response to the operation laying waste to Gaza, JIPF joined the call of the European Jewish Network for a Just Peace (“EJJP”) for recognition of the State of Palestine and a BDS campaign against the occupation.  EJJP is the federation of European Jewish organizations working for a just peace in Israel/Palestine, and its member organizations in Belgium, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Italy Austria and Germany endorsed the December 2014 call along with JIPF.  At its annual meeting this past March, recognizing the diminishing and increasingly marginalized role of the Israeli peace movement, JIPF passed a BDS resolution of its own against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and Israel’s isolation of the Gaza Strip, to encourage Israel to enter serious peace talks with the Palestinians.

JIPF now joins the BDS initiative specifically to “advocate sanctions against business, insurance companies and other economic operators whose activities support Israeli occupation and settlements,” and to boycott fruit, food, wine and other goods from illegal settlements on occupied land.  It calls on all companies, banks, insurance companies and pension funds that directly or indirectly operate in, invest or sell goods and services to or from illegal settlements on occupied land, to phase out these activities immediately.

JIPF’s resolution also calls upon Sweden, the European Union and all its member states to stop buying or selling arms supplies from or to Israel, to stop all forms of military or police cooperation and any civilian research collaboration that promotes the Israeli occupation machinery, and to boycott companies that supply military equipment to, or participate in military or police cooperation with, Israel.  Finally, JIPF now calls for modifying the European Union Association Agreement with Israel (their “free trade” agreement) to make it conditional upon Israel’s phasing out of the occupation, settlements and blockade of Gaza.

Graner’s mother, now 82 years old, came to Sweden from Vienna in 1939 as a refugee.  Israel became a beacon of hope and safety, in which she invested a lot of loyalty, he said.  But now, having watched Israelis grow ever more harsh over the years in its treatment of Palestinians, she is the librarian and secretary of JIPF, advocating that oppression should not happen to anyone, especially at the hands of the Jewish state.

With a paid membership of only 180, and chapters only in Stockholm and Gotenberg, JIPF is a few years behind JVP here, with its 10,000 paid members, more than 60 chapters across the country, a growing grassroots base of 200,000 on its email list, a paid staff of 25, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and a youth wing.  But support is inexorably growing among both Christians and Jews in Sweden and Europe as the Israeli government moves ever rightward.  Just this week, the Portuguese government withdrew from a joint EU-funded project with the Israeli Ministry of Public Security, the Israeli National Police and Israel’s Bar Ilan University aimed at unifying police interrogation methodologies, after coming under heavy pressure from civil society groups campaigning for an end to cooperation with Israel, and after Portuguese political parties denounced routine torture by Israeli Police and the role of the Ministry of Public Security in the illegal detention of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

From the first day of the camp, I spoke frankly of how difficult it is, even when one knows the facts on the ground, to find one’s voice – to say out loud that the Israeli oppression of Palestinians is wrong and must end.  For a Jew, it means overcoming the powerful pull of tribal loyalties and having to endure the painful accusations of Jewish self-hatred one often encounters.  For their part, European and American Christians tend to be silenced by the long history of Christian anti-Semitism culminating in the Holocaust, the fear of being labeled anti-Semitic, and the fear of offending, and impairing good interfaith relations with, Jews for whom such criticism of Israel can be deeply emotional and troubling.

These are difficult obstacles to the advocacy of the altruistic Jewish, Christian and human values of justice, fairness and equality in Israel-Palestine. They were immediately recognized and understood at the camp, and the theme of finding one’s voice – finding the wherewithal to speak out in support of Palestinian liberation – became a unifying theme which resounded in the discussion at the final session of what lessons could be taken back to one’s individual congregations.

Marianne Ejdersten, the Director of Communications for the World Council of Churches (“WCC”) made a presentation to the camp which suggested that the WCC may also be losing patience with Israel after the detention this past May of WCC representatives and staff from 13 countries arriving at Ben Gurion Airport for a planned meeting in Beit Jala of the WCC Working Group on Climate Change.  They were reportedly held for hours of interrogation and intimidation in prison-like conditions for up to three days. At the time, the WCC characterized the incident as “shocking” and “unprecedented.”

Later that month, a South African church activist travelling to Palestine to join the Christian Peacemakers Team was detained, strip searched and deported from Israel because he answered truthfully that he supported the BDS movement and believed that Israel was an apartheid state.

The WCC has 348 churches representing more than half a billion Christians in 110 countries and territories.    In describing its history of efforts for peace in the Holy Land on the page of its web site entitled, “WCC and the Palestinian Conflict,” the words BDS, boycott, divestment or sanctions are not mentioned.  There is only mention of the 2005 meeting of the WCC Central Committee in which it reminded its member churches “with investment funds, that they have an opportunity to use those funds responsibly in support of peaceful solutions” to the Israel/Palestine conflict, and encouraged them “to give serious consideration to economic measures that are equitable, transparent and non-violent,” and to avoiding economic links to illegal activities related to the Israeli occupation.”

The WCC has a World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel coming up next month, at which all its member churches are “encouraged to make . . . acts of advocacy in support of a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Edjersten told the camp that the WCC has a new president and chair of international affairs, wanting to work in a prophetic voice, and a leadership meeting coming up in China in November at which any one of 25 leaders could propose to move the organization from “encouraging serious consideration” to a more committed response to the Kairos Palestinian Document.

As more Christians and Jews around the world continue to lose hope that Israel will reform itself without the outside pressure that was needed in South Africa, they will increasingly find their voice to speak out in support of Palestinian liberation, and they will increasingly find their way to BDS. At the conclusion of this Swedish camp, a letter to the congregations of the Church of Sweden was adopted, with the support of a retired bishop of the Church in attendance, and without dissent, to strongly support a boycott of the Israeli occupation.  Their letter says that the churches now face a clear choice:  whether to stand up for a just peace by taking part in the boycott of the Israeli occupation, or to betray the Palestinians’ call for solidarity in their non-violent resistance  To these men and women, to these peace workers of faith, hope and love, the choice is clear.

 

About Robert Herbst

Robert Herbst is chapter coordinator for Westchester Jewish Voice for Peace and a civil rights lawyer

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60 Responses

  1. silamcuz
    August 30, 2016, 9:39 am

    I’m so happy they clearly included Israeli Jews as needing liberation, alongside Palestinians because I see this crucial bit ignored by most activists and human rights organisations.

    Israeli Jews, technically are hostage to Zionism. They are indoctrinated from the day they are born to the ideology of Zionism, and when they grow up to be racist monsters yearning to shoot down some Palestinian while donning the IDF badge, we act horrified. As if the Zionist state didn’t really plan every step and scheme every programme to ensure this is the end result they get when they innocently call for Jews to serve their country through the IDF.

    • Mooser
      August 30, 2016, 4:48 pm

      “Israeli Jews, technically are hostage to Zionism.”

      “technically are hostage to”? Sure. okay.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 30, 2016, 4:56 pm

        maybe he thinks placing “technically” in front of his opinion gives it more weight.

      • Mooser
        August 30, 2016, 6:14 pm

        “maybe he thinks placing “technically” in front of his opinion gives it more weight.”

        Oh, his opinions have more than enough weight. They’re so heavily freighted and badly ballasted they turn turtle and go right to the bottom.

      • Citizen
        August 31, 2016, 6:58 am

        Maybe he means like the 1930s Germans became “technically hostage to” Nazi POV?

      • silamcuz
        August 31, 2016, 10:20 am

        No, I meant that Israel used tactics to produce compliant, pro-Zionist Jews that can be considered as a crime against humanity.

        Examples include destabilizing and stoking anti-semitic hatred in countries with large Jewish population to cause them to flee to Israel, enrolling newly arrived Jews in government-run reeducation camps that aimed to erase their native customs, beliefs, language, ethnic traditions and replacing them with manufactured identities that were naturally inclined to the goals and aspirations of the European ruling class, incorporating propaganda within all levels of the state education system and manipulating information flow into the country.

        This is very much different from Nazi Germany where the Nazis didn’t do half as much to promote their BS among the population who were already prone to militarism and right-wing ideas at that time.

      • Mooser
        August 31, 2016, 12:56 pm

        “Maybe he means like the 1930s Germans became “technically hostage to” Nazi POV? “

        No, not like that. See, they were held hostage by actual Nazis. Israeli Jews “technically are hostage” to something an ideology, a mass delusion, an accident, who knows, but there’s no actual people who can be held responsible. Leave Israel alone.
        And Zionism technically are hostage to “white supremacy”. Yeah, yeah.

    • CigarGod
      August 31, 2016, 9:15 am

      Well then, “technically” speaking…Zionists are held hostage to Zionism from the womb. In fact, it has been going on long enough, one might call it a genetic disposition.
      Uh oh…

      • silamcuz
        September 1, 2016, 10:13 pm

        Many Jews in Israel, especially those who are most fervently Zionist are so because of the multitudes of external factors that contributed to the present scenario.

      • Mooser
        September 2, 2016, 11:04 am

        “Many Jews in Israel, especially those who are most fervently Zionist are so because of the multitudes of external factors that contributed to the present scenario.”

        No shit, Sherlock. Why do you mention it? Do you think that constitutes some kind of excuse? Hell, it’s not even an acceptable rationalization!
        The “multitudes of external factors” are the Palestinians, I take it?

      • silamcuz
        September 2, 2016, 11:23 pm

        I mention it because people seem to have this idea that Israeli Jews are a monolith of pure hatred towards Palestine, Arabs and all other good beautiful things. In Israel, those who are least racist, at least conventionally speaking, often are white Jews while those who are most fervently racist are often Mizrahi or Arab Jews. Quite bizarre on the surface, since Arab Jews share far more commonalities with Palestinians that they do to white Jews.

      • Mooser
        September 3, 2016, 12:20 pm

        ” In Israel, those who are least racist, at least conventionally speaking, often are white Jews while those who are most fervently racist are often Mizrahi or Arab Jews.”

        Oh, you bet.

    • Doubtom
      August 31, 2016, 8:11 pm

      If the un-liberated jews of Israel have been overlooked a bit it’s only because their plight pales alongside of that of the Palestinians. If the Israeli Jews have been BS’ed into “serving” and “defending” their country in the IDF, they’re no worse propagandized than the Americans are in “defending” their country. Governments routinely lie to their citizens.

  2. eljay
    August 30, 2016, 10:52 am

    … ” BDS may be the only chance to liberate both Palestinians and Israeli Jews from the occupation. … “

    Israeli Jews are not under military occupation by Israel.

    Palestinians and non-Zionist Israelis need to be liberated. Zionist Israelis and non-Israeli Zionists need to be deprogrammed.

    • Emory Riddle
      August 30, 2016, 2:17 pm

      Exactly. While we can strive to understand the root causes of the behaviors and attitudes of Israel Jews and their apologists, we surely can recognize that they are the oppressor and not the oppressed. Sure the slave owner needs his own type or liberation as do his slaves, but let’s not pretend the circumstances are identical. In fact I think it’s a racist statement (“..liberate both Palestinians and Israeli Jews from the occupation..”) in that the underlying sentiment seems to be that Jews will not care about it if Jews are not being saved.

      • xanadou
        August 30, 2016, 7:10 pm

        ER,

        “It’s a racist statement”
        Racist? How? The following rationale does not make sense. What is the slavery inference doing in this context? This is a 68 y/o war, not a question of ownership of other humans.

        “the underlying statement… that Jews will not care about it if Jews are not being saved.”
        Huh?

    • xanadou
      August 30, 2016, 7:00 pm

      Elijah,
      “Israeli Jews are not under military occupation by Israel.”

      Not directly in the sensu stricto meaning of the term. But the fall out of that occupation, whether as govt demagoguery employed to program uncritical useful idiots, whether trigger-happy soldiers or obedient unquestioning citizens, or victims of suicide bombers, or a conscience-troubled exodus looking to find a normal life elsewhere – Yes.

      • xanadou
        August 30, 2016, 7:16 pm

        I’m sorry LJ. Spellcheck intervened and corrupted your user name as I hit the post button.

      • eljay
        August 30, 2016, 7:22 pm

        || xanadou: Elijah … ||

        Elijah?

        || … Not directly in the sensu stricto meaning of the term. … ||

        Which, as I understand it, is the meaning BDS focuses on. From bdsmovement.net:

        The BDS movement aims to pressure Israel to respect international law by:

        1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
        International law recognises the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan Heights as occupied by Israel.

        2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.

        3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

      • eljay
        August 31, 2016, 7:09 am

        || xanadou: I’m sorry LJ. Spellcheck intervened and corrupted your user name as I hit the post button. ||

        No worries. I’ve been called worse. ;-)

  3. charlesarnot
    August 30, 2016, 2:34 pm

    I agree with all of you

  4. Kay24
    August 30, 2016, 7:36 pm

    “The only chance to liberate Palestinians” – unfortunately the US seems unable to get it.

  5. xanadou
    August 31, 2016, 2:14 am

    Eljay,

    My comment related to your “Israeli Jews are not under military occupation by Israel”. In this narrow sense BDS is only tangential. I fully understand and support BDS and any other non violent ways to end the unconscionable carnage.

    Israeli Jews are not overtly under Israeli military occupation, any more than the citizens of the Soviet Union were the primary target of the Cold War. In both cases, the implied expectations by the ruling classes of both societies was to unquestioningly accept the dogma and blindly support the regime in power.

    • eljay
      August 31, 2016, 10:23 am

      xanadou, I was struck by the strangeness and inappropriateness (although that may be too harsh a word for it) of Ms. Karin’s assertion that BDS “may be the only chance to liberate … Israeli Jews from the occupation.”

      If someone had suggested that anti-Apartheid measures “may be the only chance to liberate … South African whites from the occupation”, I would have found it just as strange and inappropriate.

      • xanadou
        August 31, 2016, 6:06 pm

        eljay,

        I suppose our difference in reading Ms. Karin’s words stems from our different experiences. I’m neither Israeli nor Jewish. Just a descendant of a family many of whose members fought and perished for defying the occupiers’ concept of what was “best” for their, i.e., Nazi, victims: total extermination for the Jews, slavery in the service to the Reich’s citizenry for the Slavs.

        Looking at what is happening in I/P, not much different vibes are projected by the zionists at the native Palestinians or the Israeli citizens. The Reich’s citizenry did nothing to oppose the madness of their own time: their leaders were offering them a delusion of a life as overlords over a large part of enslaved humanity. That is not that much different either what the likes of rabbi Ovadia Joseph had, or current army chief rabbi has in mind for non Jews, or what the majority of Israeli population expects to attain with the creation of a Greater Israel.

        Vis a vis the world’s cowardly silence (echoes of same from the days of WW2, when the Russian army did most of the heavy fighting, while the Allied West was juggling to secure profitable new colonial carvings), plus ça change… N’est-ce pas?

        So Ms. Karin’s words that put the Palestinians and ordinary Israelis as victims of the zionist occupation and with nigh on nothing else that provides a modicum of hope beyond the effectiveness of the BDS that could force an end of the madness affects, albeit in very different ways, both populations. No?

      • eljay
        August 31, 2016, 6:38 pm

        || xanadou: … Looking at what is happening in I/P, not much different vibes are projected by the zionists at the native Palestinians or the Israeli citizens. The Reich’s citizenry did nothing to oppose the madness of their own time: their leaders were offering them a delusion of a life as overlords over a large part of enslaved humanity. That is not that much different either what the likes of rabbi Ovadia Joseph had, or current army chief rabbi has in mind for non Jews, or what the majority of Israeli population expects to attain with the creation of a Greater Israel. … ||

        Right, so during which war-time operation did the Allies say “this may be the only chance to liberate Europe and Germany’s citizens from the Nazi occupation”?

    • Doubtom
      August 31, 2016, 8:24 pm

      “Non-violent ways”? Non-violence isn’t worth spit against violence. When are the oppressed of the world going to understand this basic truth? The only thing the oppressors understand is the maddened crowd clawing at the gates; the peaceful crowds are easy to control and subdue.
      Revolution is the Solution.

  6. Raphael
    August 31, 2016, 4:09 pm

    Palestinian workers detest the BDS movement.

    See Jerusalem Post

    For instance, last week I visited the Jewish communities of Samaria in the West Bank, including Kfar Tapuah and Yitzhar. We went to the Barkan Industrial Park and met Palestinian workers of an Israeli-owned plastics factory. If I had not posted the video of some of the workers’ comments, you would not believe what they said.

    How they felt that their factory was not a business but a family. How the Israeli owners paid them approximately 10 times what they would earn working for Palestinian factories and how the Jewish owners treated them with unending dignity and respect.

    And, most importantly, how much they detest the BDS movement for attempting to destroy their livelihood and force them to live in squalor, all in the name of Israel-hatred that masquerades as Palestinian rights. The money part of the video was when I asked a Palestinian worker what he thinks of BDS and he said he felt it was “Sh-t!” How’s that for politically incorrect.

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/No-holds-barred-Israelis-seem-blind-to-the-seriousness-of-BDS-466367

    • Mooser
      August 31, 2016, 5:51 pm

      ” How’s that for politically incorrect.”

      Must be that special half-Jewish objectivity which tells you that “Jpost” is the place to go for a truthful article on BDS and Palestinians.

      I mean, if a Jewish Zionist person referred me to “Jpost”, I would laugh. But when a half-Catholic person, does, well, wow, I better consider it.

    • eljay
      August 31, 2016, 6:24 pm

      || Raphael: … How they felt that their factory was not a business but a family. … ||

      Sure, because they wanted to keep their jobs.

      || … How the Israeli owners paid them approximately 10 times what they would earn working for Palestinian factories …

      Sure, because they wanted to keep their jobs.

      And, anyway, they have no idea what they’d earn working for factories in a free Palestine because Israel prevents Palestine from being free.

      || … and how the Jewish owners treated them with unending dignity and respect. … ||

      Citizens of the Occupying State set up a factory in Occupied Palestine and make money off the land and the labour of Occupied Palestinians. Yup, that sure sounds like “unending dignity and respect”.

      But, of course, they wanted to keep their jobs.

      || … And, most importantly, how much they detest the BDS movement for attempting to destroy their livelihood and force them to live in squalor … ||

      Sure, some people prefer to keep their jobs and live as second-class citizens in a (religion-)supremacist state or under the heel of its Occupation and Colonization jackboot.

      But BDS is about defending international laws and human rights, not about forcing people to live in squalor.

      • Raphael
        August 31, 2016, 7:08 pm

        But, if it is all over money…why not follow the money? For example, is it government funded; the factory? When I applied to be a citizen of Israel it was clear to me I was a second class citizen, because, I was not like the majority of American Jews that move there that are a messianic cult of Orthodox Jews.

        I think they get a additional $10,000 grant in addition to the $5000 grant I received as a new citizen of Israel, if they move into a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria.

        For example, if I wanted to live in a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, where the rabbi went when he wrote about that article… I was basically told I would have to convert to be a Orthodox Jew according Israeli standards to live there.

        But, why is that? Is it simply the desire to gentrify Judea and Samaria by the powers that be? Or is it just historic rival gang warfare that started in the 19th century among different tribes of Jews that are still fighting the same battles that they fought in Talne Ukraine?

        I know that many fundamentalist American Jews that move to Judea and Samaria know what the word, gentrify, means to a native new Yorker; because I use to be a native New Yorker, and, many of the American Jews bring that mindset with them from New York City.

        I sort of see your point; about how they probably, said, that to keep there jobs. But is it true, that the wages are ten times more? I’m not familiar with the wages for Arabs that work for oil war dictators; that run a system of government based on poverty and slavery vs. a fundamentalist right wing Orthodox system that seems to me not much different then that of the oil war slave owners that run Arab countries.

      • Mooser
        August 31, 2016, 7:52 pm

        “Or is it just historic rival gang warfare that started in the 19th century among different tribes of Jews that are still fighting the same battles that they fought in Talne Ukraine?”

        Yeah, that must be it.

      • Doubtom
        August 31, 2016, 8:31 pm

        “Defending international law and human rights”?? Isn’t that a function of the United Nations?
        Where the hell are those ‘blue helmets’ when you really need them?
        Viva BDS! and to hell with Israel!

      • Raphael
        September 1, 2016, 8:43 am

        When I was on vacation in East Jerusalem; Arabs seem to lie about many many things to me, such as the address of where I was staying.

        One Arab tour guide even picked my pocket; and I paid him three times, at least, what a normal tour guide would have received for the same tour. He told me he was Israeli; which was a lie… he then told me he was a Arab Syrian.

        He was extremely afraid of a checkpoint; he was to afraid (he started literally trembling) to go through the checkpoint in East Jerusalem, as he was taking me on a tour of East Jerusalem, as we were leaving the the Old City; so he did not even complete the tour I had paid for.

      • eljay
        September 1, 2016, 10:07 am

        || Raphael: … When I was on vacation in East Jerusalem; Arabs seem to lie about many many things to me … ||

        Perhaps they felt that you seem to lie about many things to them.

        || … such as the address of where I was staying. ||

        Maybe you should have told them where you were staying instead of relying on them to tell you.

        || … One Arab tour guide even picked my pocket … ||

        No doubt he did it with unending dignity and respect.

        || … and I paid him three times, at least, what a normal tour guide would have received for the same tour … ||

        But not ten times, so he felt that you were not family, but business.

        || … he did not even complete the tour I had paid for. ||

        You paid for a 3x tour, not a 10x tour, so that’s what he gave you.

      • Mooser
        September 1, 2016, 5:10 pm

        “eljay”, I was all irritated, about to cancel my ruhmba lesson, in fact because I thought “Raphael” wrote as if Mondo readers are idiots.
        I’ve changed my mind.

      • Mooser
        September 1, 2016, 5:21 pm

        “Arabs seem to lie about many many things to me,”

        Wow, my entire outlook is turning around! I mean, if a Jewish person said that, I wouldn’t believe it. But when a half-Catholic person says it? Cred, and to spare.

        “One Arab tour guide even picked my pocket; and I paid him three times, at least, what a normal tour guide…”

        A guy related on his Mother’s side to Saint Francis of Assisi wouldn’t ever prevaricate about this!

      • eljay
        September 1, 2016, 6:54 pm

        || Mooser: “eljay”, I was all irritated, about to cancel my ruhmba lesson …

        I’ve changed my mind. ||

        I will rest easy tonight knowing that you have danced the rhumba. :-)

      • Mooser
        September 1, 2016, 8:06 pm

        II will rest easy tonight knowing that you have danced the rhumba. :-)

        Not just the rumba! I skipped the light fandango, and turned cartwheels across the floor (I was feeling kinda seasick, but the crowd called out for more. )

      • eljay
        September 1, 2016, 8:47 pm

        || Mooser: … Not just the rumba! I skipped the light fandango, and turned cartwheels across the floor (I was feeling kinda seasick, but the crowd called out for more. ) ||

        Your awesomeness knows no bounds! :-)

      • Mooser
        September 2, 2016, 7:42 pm

        “Your awesomeness…”

        Well not everybody thinks so.
        “Silamsez” may think I’m just a whiter shade of fail.

    • Teapot
      August 31, 2016, 6:47 pm

      how the Jewish owners treated them with unending dignity and respect

      Would you call denying Palestinian workers sufficient food and sacking them for complaining “unending dignity and respect”?

      http://972mag.com/when-the-media-isnt-looking-how-sodastream-really-treats-its-workers/94215/

      • Raphael
        August 31, 2016, 9:13 pm

        “unending dignity and respect”?

        Interesting question…I read internal documents from elite business owners (millionaires) in the US related to my Jewish relatives, that were, also, in a Orthodox Jewish community.

        The way I interpret it is that the most successful business Jewish leaders that were part of the tribe did want “equality” between Jews and non Jewish workers.

        But, that a few Bernie Madoff types wanted just a bit more, perhaps too be able to buy just one more Rolls Royce. So, to get around Jewish laws of justice; they used religion to actually not be part of the Jewish community in a real way but rather to appeal to right wing American Rockefeller republicanism, and greed to break the unions. Perhaps, that is why today the Orthodox Jews are considered by some American Jews to be generally corrupt.

      • oldgeezer
        August 31, 2016, 11:31 pm

        @raphael

        Internal documents on family members? Do you keep files on each other or were you invading their privacy through their workplace?

      • Mooser
        September 1, 2016, 3:41 pm

        “The way I interpret it is…”

        I apologize, “Raphael”. I was convinced your comments were bristling with contempt for the intelligence and information of Mondo comment readers. I thought you wrote as if we were extremely naive, very stupid, full of prejudice and uninformed.
        But I’m not sure that’s the case anymore. I’m sorry I was so suspicious of you.

    • Marnie
      September 1, 2016, 12:53 am

      What could possibly make you believe any Palestinian man or woman would tell you any truth about themselves and their lives while they are under the gun of the zionist gov’t and on the property where they work? Especially someone who is, no offense ‘Raphael’, such a screwball. How did you start your inquisition? ‘Hi, my name is Raphael. I’m a half-Jew, half-Catholic zionist MF and I want you to tell me how great it is to work at this factory, how these Jews treat you like family and how much you hate BDS, m’kay?’

      ‘The money part of the video was when I asked a Palestinian worker what he thinks of BDS and he said he felt it was “Sh-t!” How’s that for politically incorrect.’

      Yikes.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      September 2, 2016, 12:05 am

      You cannot believe the Jerusalem Post.

  7. xanadou
    August 31, 2016, 6:25 pm

    We have been hearing a lot about the toxic likes of rabbi Ovadia Joseph and present army chief rabbi. What are the chances of MW securing an interview with israel’s Rabbi Ari Ascherman and his work with B’tselem?

    Israel is not a one-dimensional cesspool, and the world needs to know that there are Israelis who know that the current nightmare has to end. These honorable people need to be heard and supported by the world that is overwhelmingly ignorant of their work. Would a e.g., weekly interview with a refusenik, ex-soldier in the service of a peace organization, or worker(s) trying to help the Palestinians in restoring a home or offering themselves as a barrier from the army soldiers, be possible?

    • eljay
      August 31, 2016, 8:05 pm

      || xanadou: … Israel is not a one-dimensional cesspool, and the world needs to know that there are Israelis who know that the current nightmare has to end. These honorable people need to be heard and supported by the world that is overwhelmingly ignorant of their work. … ||

      I agree completely.

      • bintbiba
        September 1, 2016, 5:00 pm

        Ditto !!

  8. xanadou
    September 1, 2016, 12:20 am

    eljay,
    “so during which war-time operation did the Allies say “this may be the only chance to liberate Europe and Germany’s citizens from the Nazi occupation”?

    It was probably the Western allies implied mantra. Although the approach towards the two different societies I/P v. G cannot be compared. I clearly remember the many times the older generation used to speak about Germany and Germans in terms implying admiration for their massive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, that was promptly replaced with hatred in response to the genocidal savagery. That old respect is coming back. I hope that it lasts at least until I’m dead of advanced old age. Apres moi, however, le deluge, to quote Ms. Pompadour whose faith in humanity was as low then as mine is today.

    But I am glad we agree that Israel’s Better Angels must be brought to the fore. This may add to the BDS’s chance to liberate Palestine’s and Israel’s citizens from the present quagmire that, quite frankly, comprises too many in the rest of the world.

  9. Jackdaw
    September 1, 2016, 12:25 am

    Yeah. Bible thumping Christians gonna show the lost Jews the light. Thanks a lot. Been there.

    And who is going to save the Palestinians from Fatah, Hamas and ISIS?
    Jesus?

    • Mooser
      September 1, 2016, 4:03 pm

      “Yeah…/…Jesus?” “Jackdaw”

      “Jackdaw” is so tough. He is such, as we say, a macher! Imagine trying to oppose 200 million people just like him!

  10. Boomer
    September 1, 2016, 8:09 am

    Liberating people sounds like a worthy goal, and I wish them well, but it isn’t my priority. As an American who isn’t Jewish, I would like to see my government stop supporting the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians with U.S. money, military power, and diplomatic clout. Once we stop being complicit we can and should try to make some restitution for the harm we have done. From that perspective, BDS seems like a moral imperative for those who have been, and continue to be complicit, for their own sake (i.e., for OUR own sake). To the extent that it benefits (by “liberating”) the perpetrators in Israel, that will be collateral benefit.

    • Jackdaw
      September 1, 2016, 12:31 pm

      ” I would like to see my government stop supporting the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians with U.S. money, military power ”

      The American government has spent considerable time and treasure trying to get the Palestinians to make a lasting peace with Israel. The Palestinians won’t/can’t do it. They can’t give up on their dream of Palestine from the ‘river to the sea’ and the return of ‘refugees’.

      Now days, no amount of arm twisting will even get Palestinians to sit down and negotiate.

      • oldgeezer
        September 1, 2016, 1:09 pm

        Pure BS jackdaw. The documents leaked by wikileaks proves israel has been the unwilling party. Why make peace when you can steal with impunity.

        Israel and Ioniats have no desire or will for peace whatsoever

      • Boomer
        September 1, 2016, 4:04 pm

        @ oldgeezer: “Pure BS”

        That is exactly the right word, oldgeezer, as was discussed earlier in a thread inspired by a column in WaPo, which cited a philosopher named Frankfurt. Excerpt from the prior discussion:

        “But someone engaging in B.S.,” Frankfurt says, “is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all . . . except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says.” Frankfurt writes that the B.S.-er’s “focus is panoramic rather than particular” and that he has “more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color, and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the ‘bullshit artist.’ ”

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/israel-because-reality/#comment-850321

      • talknic
        September 1, 2016, 9:36 pm

        @ Jackdaw

        Catch up, your wholly holey moldy old Hasbara is way past its crap by date. Jackdaws are quite intelligent BTW

        “The American government has spent considerable time and treasure trying to get the Palestinians to make a lasting peace with Israel “

        Nonsense. The US has vetoed any meaningful actions against Israel for its obvious, documented and UNSC condemned illegal actions in non-Israeli territories.

        ” The Palestinians won’t/can’t do it. They can’t give up on their dream of Palestine from the ‘river to the sea’ and the return of ‘refugees’ “

        A) The Palestinians have generously offered, in front of the world at the UN, to accept only 22%
        of their rightful territories for peace with Israel.

        The Israeli response was more illegal settlements, more dispossession, more slaughter

        B) The Palestinians ask for RoR per UNGA 194 (1948) = non-Jewish Israeli refugees to Israel and Palestinian refugees to what ever remained of Palestine after Israel proclaimed its borders.

        The Palestinians argue for the rights of dispossessed non-Jewish Israeli citizens, Israel doesn’t!

        What kind of a f*cked up little state run by bigots and thieves and supported by less than bird brained morons would refuse its own citizens RoR?

        C) The Palestinians ask for their legal rights per the Laws and UN Charter the Jewish state obliged itself to uphold

        D) Israel wants to swap non-Israeli territories for non-Israeli territories so Israel can keep non-Israeli territories. IOW Israel has offered NO THING and its demands have no legal basis what so ever

      • eljay
        September 2, 2016, 8:25 am

        || Jackdaw: … The Palestinians … can’t give up on their dream of Palestine from the ‘river to the sea’ and the return of ‘refugees’. … ||

        Can’t blame ’em. If anyone is entitled to a “river to the sea” country of Palestine in geographic Palestine it’s the Palestinians of geographic Palestine, not the “Jewish people” comprised of foreign nationals from countries all over the world.

        || … no amount of arm twisting will even get Palestinians to sit down and negotiate. ||

        It’s no wonder: Zio-supremacist “negotiations” have nothing to do with justice, accountability and equality and everything to do with…
        – upholding Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible for Palestine;
        – absolving Israel of its obligations under international law (including RoR of refugees); and
        – absolving Israel of responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

        Instead of demanding that the rapist release the victims chained in his basement and be held accountable for his crimes, you expect his victims to “negotiate” the terms of their bondage and it bothers you (and him) that those ungrateful bitches won’t co-operate.

  11. RoHa
    September 1, 2016, 4:29 pm

    “a modest beach-side hotel in Skane,”

    Do you mean Skåne?

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