Academic boycott campaign is growing fast at Trinity College Dublin

Activism
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Ever come across a student representative promising something when still a candidate and doing the opposite when elected? Well I have been involved in students’ politics for some years now and I have rarely come across a similar case. The most recent story I have read about took place in Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). It shocked me, the least to say.

It all started in the TCDSU election’s hustings in mid-February when Kevin Keane, running for the position of SU President at the time, was asked by an audience member if he would support the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-Dublin’s push for College to take on a “full academic boycott” of Israel. Keane responded that he would do so “without a shadow of a doubt.” Keane has also signed the SJP’s petition calling for an academic and economic boycott campaign in TCD. As a result of this pledge, he was endorsed by SJP-Dublin, which enjoys a wide support on campus.

Screenshot: Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union President-elect Kevin Keane’s campaign pledge to support BDS, Feb. 15, 2017.

A screenshot from a conversation between a pro-boycott supporter and the President-elect’s TCDSU election campaign page, showed him stating:

President-elect Kevin Keane post on TCDSU pre-election campaign page

“I think an academic and import boycott is something the union should definitely look at supporting.”

But imagine the shock, disappointment and outrage of student activists when, at the Student’ Union Council’s debates to pass a motion calling for a student-led solidarity campaign with Palestine, and for affiliation with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Keane, freshly elected, flipped positions and spoke against the motion, despite the fact that, as a candidate, he promised to support it.

The motion was proposed on Tuesday April 4th by Conor Reddy, a third year Genetics student, Science Class convenor and a member of SJP-Dublin. In a conversation with Reddy he told me “the motion was something that we (SJP) collectively felt could round off a decent first year of action”. They were hopeful initially as the Student Union was at the very heart of the 1980’s college boycott of South Africa. They thought they could hammer something similar home and had been tremendously encouraged by all the signatures they got from students.

Ciaran O’Rourke, a founding member of SJP-Dublin, spoke alongside Reddy in the Council’s session to support the BDS motion. In a chat with O’Rourke, he commented, “No university should be complicit in apartheid or any other crime against humanity – to do business with Israel, including in an academic context, is to deny the rights and demands of the people of Palestine, and to betray basic principles of solidarity and respect for human rights that any university worthy of the name should uphold.”

The Council meeting saw many speakers on the pro-boycott side expressed personal experiences of living in Palestine and the abuses they had faced from Israeli occupation forces.

Following the motion’s defeat, the TCDSU President-elect’s decision to oppose it, despite stating support for the campaign during his election campaign, was met with students’ criticism. Comments by Trinity students ranged from anger to frustration at his actions: “the trust has been broken” Muireann McGlynn said. “What I’d like is a President whom I could trust not to lie to people he’s supposed to represent,” she added.

Stacey Wrenn, a 2nd year student in History of Art & Architecture and Jewish & Islamic Civ, expressed anger and frustration at Keane’s position: “More than anything I feel betrayed. When you get involved in student politics you do so with the belief that it is somehow different to national politics, that we’re more critical and therefore we’ll stick to our word more because we know the scrutiny we’ll face from our comrades. That student council meeting shattered that hope. The only good that can come out of this is that students in other colleges turn to their officers and demand greater responsibility from them, that they feel more empowered to fight back. That is what the students in Trinity will continue to do until BDS is mandated.”

McGlynn, Senior Freshman Sociology & Social Policy Student, commented on the move, “As a student and activist on campus, I was really disappointed to see Keane so quickly break a promise to students and campaigners who relied on him. It struck me as disingenuous to apparently support a campaign throughout an election period and then immediately go back on your word. I no longer trust Keane to fulfill any of his campaign promises and believe that his actions have severely undermined the trust of students whom he is supposed to represent.

Eóin Ó Murchú, a fourth year Medicine student, noted, “You can’t use the struggle of Palestinian people as a political prop which you can drop when it suits you. The dream of a socialist borderless Palestine is a kindred spirit to a 32 county socialist republic in Ireland.”

Reddy added, “I personally think that this is an instance of tremendous hypocrisy and that it demonstrates a lack of honesty in the self-professed leaders within student unions. 2000 people signed the petition. 1500 or so voted for [him]. 29 emails apparently register… grievance at the motion. If the call for BDS is not a legitimate one given 2000 signatures, his presidency is positively shambolic.”

Israeli Embassy Pressure

Other students supplied me with what they believed is an external pressure on the TCDSU to oppose the motion. The Israeli Embassy, in an email sent to the current TCD SU President McNulty from deputy ambassador of Israel Orli Weitzman, advised the current officer to oppose the motion as it “serves to deepen the rifts”. Weitzman added: “the BDS campaign is very controversial and has been criticized in many parts of the world.”

Students believed this email has placed a great pressure on the elected students’ representatives not only to vote against the motion but also to encourage other Council members to take it down.

On the Israeli Embassy interference, Ó Murchú noted, “The Israeli embassy’s worrying involvement in student politics is not surprising but it is sobering. Just as the revelations by Al Jazeera were in the UK last year. The mask used by the Israeli occupation is slipping and the global BDS campaign is making a dent.”

Petition’ Delivery Rejected & Students’ Organizer Fined

I came across SJP-Dublin a couple of months ago during a tour talk in few Irish universities, including TCD where I met with SJP-Dublin, a committed campaigning group, calling to cut TCD research partners in Israel. TCD academic links with Israeli institutions include the weapons manufacturer Elbit Security Systems, and the Israeli Security and Counter-Terrorism Academy. Today, Trinity’s strongest links are with the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which has built part of its campus on illegally occupied land in East Jerusalem. On the list is also Ariel University, located in an Israeli settlement, illegal under international law.

To show their oppositions to these academic links, SJP-Dublin has gathered over 2,000 signatures to a petition which was scheduled to be delivered on February 24th to the College Provost. A day earlier, a talk organised by the Society for International Affairs (SoFIA), to be given by the Israeli ambassador Ze’ev Boker, was cancelled following a peaceful protest by 30 Trinity students of SJP and others. O’Rourke noted the protest took place because the SJP group were “calling for human rights for Palestine and for Palestinians” and also took issue with Boker “stating that the military siege of Gaza does not exist.” The UN along with other international organisations has stated on several different occasions that the contrary is the case, Israel is tightening its military siege on Gaza.

The peaceful action of the SJP-Dublin was met rather unpleasantly. It was followed by a college disciplinary committee issuing a fine of €150 to one of the student organisers of the action, for the charge of “frustrating the purpose of holding a previously authorised college event”.

Following the peaceful protest, the College cancelled the scheduled event of petition delivering, with the group being told in an email from the Director of Public Affairs and Communications that the Provost “is not in a position to accept the petition… [the] handover was no longer possible once the protest had happened and sent such disturbing messages to the world about Trinity’s relationships with free speech.” In response, Ciaran O’Rourke commented “…To say the least, such an institutional response is unbecoming of TCD’s legacy as a beacon of anti-apartheid principles, and has sinister implications for the freedom of student activists on campus in general.”

In response to the SJP-Dublin protest, the cancellation of the petition handover, the Israeli embassy pressure, and the motion in the Students’ Council, a statement by SJP-Dublin re-affirmed their continuous support for the legitimate rights and demands of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). The group said it is heartened to be able to acknowledge the many students who spoke in support of the boycott motion, giving passionate and inspiring accounts to oppose Israeli apartheid. It also re-affirmed their commitment to continue their support for freedom, equality and justice in Palestine, and extended their hand of solidarity to the Palestinian people, “whose dignity remains our continuing inspiration.”

A Note of Hope

News of the petition, the shunned deliverance, the penalty and this slap in the face by the SU president-elect, has even made the TCD activists stronger on campus and has impacted the momentum for TCD academic boycott campaign that is going from strength to strength.

In closing remarks, O’Rourke said, “So long as civil society groups in Palestine call for our support in pressuring Israel to follow international law TCD and other universities should actively demonstrate that support by boycotting Israeli institutions.” Reddy noted, “A sizable number of students were incensed at Kevin’s U-turn, even those who were unsure on BDS… We’ll keep going and building just as we’ve been doing. We’re confident that if a referendum were put to all students in TCD that we’d win it and this may be something we’ll look at after campaigning more next semester!”

SJP-Dublin’s full statement.

About Malaka Mohammed

Malaka Mohammed is a Palestinian student from Gaza doing a PhD in Palestine Studies at Exeter University. Follow her on Twitter @MalakaShwaikh.

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52 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    April 15, 2017, 4:52 am

    this story is outrageous. this guy has not even taken office already and he’s already proven he’s a conniving charleton.

    • Citizen
      April 15, 2017, 7:11 am

      way too many of such types around

    • festus
      April 17, 2017, 2:32 pm

      Doesn’t it really just prove that he was susceptible to whatever pressure the Israel Lobby put on him? Just like every single US pol?

  2. MHughes976
    April 15, 2017, 10:31 am

    Looking around for more information on this I came across a report in the Irish Independent Feb, 10 about Israeli diplomatic pressure on Ireland not to recognise a Palestinian state, as it has sometimes seemed likely to do. I can imagine that Mr. Keane came under some pressure from government circles – I guess a full-scale BDS campaign in such a prominent institution would have caused embarrassment – and thought better of his unequivocal ‘piece of paper’ statement. His electronic statement was clearly substituting ‘looking at it’ for ‘doing it’, so the BDS people may have felt betrayed but should not have felt too surprised. Getting into a position of some power and influence for the first time can disorient a person. The likes of us have carried most conviction in universities but we have to remember that the university world is a rather mutable thing. And the armour plating of Zionism among established political figures has barely cracked even in Ireland where for a moment something seemed to stir.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 15, 2017, 4:47 pm

      or, he lied knowing the other candidates supported the bds motion and if he had a chance in hell of winning the election he needed the support of sjp. maybe it was calculated all along. who knows. but changing your mind is one thing (albeit still shitty given the pldge), getting up and speaking against the motion after running on a platform supporting it is a stab in the back.

  3. amigo
    April 15, 2017, 1:49 pm

    Most Irish people support the right of Palestinians to equality and Justice.Clearly this a by product of our own history of subjugation and oppression.

    No amount of Israel,s interference in our democracy will subvert our commitment to that goal .

    The leading Zionist Israeli shill , one , Alan Shatter who manged to talk our Taoiseach (PM) , Enda Kenny into giving him the portfolio of Minister in charge of Defence and Justice was given his marching orders in the last election so he is no longer using the halls of power to push the Israeli agenda.

    The Irish Parliament voted recently ,by a large majority to recognise Palestine as a state , in a non binding decision.Shatter no longer has influence and so it is just a matter of time before recognition is approved by the party in power.

    Israel refers to Ireland as a den of antisemitism .If opposing Israel,s crimes against the Palestinians invites this accusation , then so be it but we will wear that accusation with pride and increased dedication to the cause of justice .

  4. Maghlawatan
    April 15, 2017, 8:41 pm

    The Irish media cover Israel very well so most people are familiar with the bullshit and the bad faith.

    And I was a religious service the other day where Ezekiel 36 was read

     “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman’s monthly uncleanness in my sight. 18 So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. 20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the Lord’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’ 21 I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone.
    22 “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.”

    Some things never change

    Ezekiel 25 made it into the movies

  5. Whatsgoingon
    April 16, 2017, 8:41 pm

    I’m not surprised. All politicians are sociopathic liars.

    • JWalters
      April 19, 2017, 8:58 pm

      Blackmail is an ancient Oligarchy technique for getting political figures to betray their supporters. And it has definitely not gone out of style, e.g. “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”. It’s a reasonable go-to theory for politicians who make bewildering betrayals.

  6. Maghlawatan
    April 17, 2017, 7:15 am

    Typical Zionism. Coopt the leaders. It is the same in the US. No popular base. Not sustainable.

    • hophmi
      April 17, 2017, 1:40 pm

      Actually, it’s BDS that has no popular base, not support for Israel, which remains quite popular in the United States.

      • festus
        April 17, 2017, 2:34 pm

        keep telling yourself that, hophmi. All the money and time and effort put in by The Lobby to kill any message that contradicts their narrative and still the support for Israel continues to decline in America. if Americans knew the truth Israel would be less popular than Congress.

      • Talkback
        April 18, 2017, 10:20 am

        I think that Hophmi is right. Contrary to the citizens of the former Sovjet Union the citizens of the United Muppets of Israel don’t know that and how much they are brainwashed.

  7. JeffB
    April 17, 2017, 9:34 pm

    @Festus

    and still the support for Israel continues to decline in America

    No actually it is slightly increasing with support for the Palestinians stable:

    Gallop comparative: http://content.gallup.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/earvqltfiky9loqr9m-gag.png

    Gallop favorable rating: http://content.gallup.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/el5nrjv0_kaqliem-02xxq.png

    Pew: http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/05/5_1.png

    Over the last 15 years support among liberal democrats is down 15 points and support among conservative and moderate democrats is up 16 points, pretty much a wash for Democrats. Among Conservatives support is way up and among Independents support is moderately up. And that nets out to a huge gain.

    Americans know the truth. They just don’t agree with your worldview, and thus understand the Israeli position.

    • talknic
      April 18, 2017, 12:19 am

      You’re quite insane JeffB

      1st link http://content.gallup.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/earvqltfiky9loqr9m-gag.png clearly shows support for Israel in the last three years at 62% . Support for Palestine has gone up in the last three years to 23%

      The polls are irrelevant to Israel’s illegal activities in non-Israeli territories. Once folk though the earth was flat. They were shown eventually to be wrong

      • JeffB
        April 19, 2017, 6:11 am

        @talknic

        You are getting the colors mixed up on the graph. The 23% is the group that supports neither, both or has no opinion. The Palestinian support on that graph was 15%, having been 16% and 18% in the previous 2 years.

        As for the polls being irrelevant, they most certainly are relevant to the question of public support. The fact that you are in the 15% because of your legal theories which lack support even in the body you claim has the authority to make law, contrary to obvious observable evidence, doesn’t change public support. As for the earth being flat… the earth was thought to be flat by the ignorant. The knowledgeable for millennia had known the earth was round because there was too much evidence contradicting the earlier simple flat earth theories. That’s an analogy you might want to consider more. It works against your case not for it.

      • talknic
        April 19, 2017, 1:18 pm

        Thanks for pointing that out JeffB. Folk sometimes make mistakes. No apology tho. MW is littered with a litany of ZioTroll false accusations and statements never admitted, I don’t see why one can’t reciprocate in kind without giving a rat’s rrrrrrs

        “As for the polls being irrelevant, they most certainly are relevant to the question of public support. “

        Public support doesn’t mean anything. How many people marched FOR the war in Iraq.

        “The fact that you are in the 15% because of your legal theories which lack support even in the body you claim has the authority to make law,”

        Strange. A) UNSC resolutions are by a majority, except in the UNSC veto votes, which contrary to ZioBelief, do not veto the Law or the Charter, they only prevent actions against states who are already in breach of the law B) why is Israel a UN Member? Best you go whine to the Israeli Government.

        “… the earth was thought to be flat by the ignorant. “

        So is your 85% through ignorance

        “The knowledgeable for millennia had known the earth was round because there was too much evidence contradicting the earlier simple flat earth theories. “

        The knowledgeable know that contrary to ridiculous ZioTheory, Israel proclaimed its borders in order to be recognized and that the 1922 LoN Mandate Article 7 disproves the equally stupid Hasbara notion the Mandate gave a green light for a Jewish State.

        The knowledgeable also know no one is required by any law to forgo any of their legal rights. Not even to a Jewish State already in breach of the law

  8. JeffB
    April 20, 2017, 7:17 am

    @talknic

    Public support doesn’t mean anything. How many people marched FOR the war in Iraq.

    It polled about the mid 70s at the time of the invasion. Support fell about 2% per month from there. Which is why the invasion happened and why 2005 and the start of America’s draw down happened.

    So is your 85% through ignorance

    I doubt there is very much knowledge about I/P among the broader public. There should be even less. The very strong correlation with political orientation and race means that people are mainly choosing an opinion based on people they trust on issues they do know about. Which makes sense. For a Republican if leftists activists believe something and mainstream Democrats on rights reject it, it ain’t hard to believe what their opinion would likely be if they were knowledgeable.

    For people to be knowledgable they often have to have an interest. Jews get polled extensively on this issue but of course Jews are going to be biased. Christians associated with the middle east on the other hand have little intrinsic bias. And mostly the further to the right the denomination is on most social issues the more they support Israel and don’t support the Palestinians with a pretty low cutoff. Which means I/P acts like just another issue on whether you oppose or support broadly the goals of USA foreign policy especially relative to European leftists parties. Hard leftists don’t support the USA and thus oppose Israel, everyone else mostly does (though there is disagreement among means) and thus supports Israel.

    For example you base your theory of how Israel is in the wrong on the importance of the UN. The UN is something Americans know more about and here too the issue is increasingly partisan, with overall falling support: http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/09/FT_16.09.19_UN_3.png

    The knowledgeable know that contrary to ridiculous ZioTheory, Israel proclaimed its borders

    I consider myself knowledge. And I know the Yishuv proclaimed agreement to potential borders for Israel that weren’t agreed to by other parties. Not quite the same thing. A position taken in a failed negotiation is not generally considered binding eternally. That’s part of your rather unique theory of the law.

    • talknic
      April 20, 2017, 11:34 am

      @ JeffB April 20, 2017, 7:17 am

      // How many people marched FOR the war in Iraq //

      “It polled about … “

      Why didn’t you answer the question? A poll is not people marching

      // So is your 85% through ignorance //

      “I doubt there is very much knowledge about I/P among the broader public. There should be even less. “

      More ignorance is good? Interesting theory. Think of it yourself?

      “… you base your theory of how Israel is in the wrong on the importance of the UN. “

      The UN is important enough for Israel not to leave it. Perhaps you can explain why, aside from having the protection of the US UNSC veto vote, which doesn’t negate the law or the UN Charter or Israel’s breaches of both. All it does is prevent any actions being taken for those breaches

      “The UN is something Americans know more about ..”

      That’s a joke right? They know what the US MSM feeds them, which is in large part propaganda

      // The knowledgeable know that contrary to ridiculous ZioTheory, Israel proclaimed its borders //

      “I consider myself knowledge. And I know the Yishuv proclaimed agreement to potential borders for Israel that weren’t agreed to by other parties. Not quite the same thing. A position taken in a failed negotiation is not generally considered binding eternally. That’s part of your rather unique theory of the law.”

      A declaration of independence doesn’t require, in fact cannot require a co-signature. Look up the meaning of the word independent. UNGA res 181 on which Israel based its declaration and plea for recognition, didn’t require, nor could it have, a co-signature. It would fly in the face of independence.

      Got any other ‘knowledgeable’ bullsh*t you’d like to disgorge?

      • JeffB
        April 20, 2017, 1:08 pm

        @talknic

        Why didn’t you answer the question? A poll is not people marching

        I didn’t answer the question because your implication was false. You were using marching as a proxy for popularity. That’s very inaccurate. There was little/no marching and the war was quite popular.

        A declaration of independence doesn’t require, in fact cannot require a co-signature.

        Of course it can. Most new UN members are formed by broad agreements. In Israel’s case the Soviet block was an important core signature.

        JeffB: “The UN is something Americans know more about ..”

        Talknic: That’s a joke right? They know what the US MSM feeds them, which is in large part propaganda

        What false beliefs about the UN do you believe the US MSM is feeding the population?

        Got any other ‘knowledgeable’ bullsh*t you’d like to disgorge?

        Yes, your tone is unnecessarily offensive.

      • talknic
        April 21, 2017, 5:33 am

        @ JeffB April 20, 2017, 1:08 pm

        “I didn’t answer the question because your implication was false. You were using marching as a proxy for popularity. That’s very inaccurate. There was little/no marching and the war was quite popular.”

        Uh huh. So the answer to my question is little to none. Thx

        //A declaration of independence doesn’t require, in fact cannot require a co-signature.//

        “Of course it can. Most new UN members are formed by broad agreements. In Israel’s case the Soviet block was an important core signature.”

        Nonsense. There’s no Soviet signature on the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. If independence was dependent on co-signatories, it would not be independent.

        Here’s what the Jewish Agency said of UNGA res 181

        “The setting up of one State was not made conditional upon the setting up of the other State.” http://wp.me/pDB7k-Yx

        They also considered UNGA res 181 as binding <blockquote“We feel under the obligation to make our position unmistakably clear. As far as the Jewish people are concerned, they have accepted the decision of the United Nations. We regard it as binding, and we are resolved to move forward in the spirit of that decision. “ (ibid)

        The UN does not recognize states. It admits already recognized states.

        These are the steps. They’re the same steps Israel took
        1) States declare.
        2) They are then recognized or not by a majority of the International Community of Nations, (there’s no vote and recognition isn’t mandatory) after which
        3) they’re recommended as an already recognized state by the UNSC for UN Membership.
        4) The UN Then admits them or not.

        “What false beliefs about the UN do you believe the US MSM is feeding the population?”

        Let’s take ‘The UN is biased against Israel’ as an example. If the gas company issues a reminder because you’ve failed to uphold your end of the contract are they biased because you haven’t paid the bill? Try to answer honestly if can remember what honestly means

        Israel has breached the binding Laws and UN Charter as reaffirmed and emphasized in hundreds of resolutions reminding Israel of its legal obligations. Had Israel upheld the law there’s be no reminders. So it isn’t in fact biased against Israel. It has been remarkably tolerant. BTW The Laws and UN Charter reaffirmed and emphasized in ANY UN resolution are binding.

        // Got any other ‘knowledgeable’ bullsh*t you’d like to disgorge? //

        “Yes, your tone is unnecessarily offensive.

        Oh you poor thing. Best not to spout bullsh*t! A state, in breach of the UN Charter and International law, a state who has been at war in other folks territories for 69 years, who occupies and covets other folks territories, who dispossesses non-Jews, slaughters without trial in non-combat situations, uses white phosphorus in day light where there are no Israeli troops to hide under its cover, who slaughters little boys playing football on a beach. A state who has for 69 years lied to Jews world wide, is worthy of your support

        Face it Jeff baby, YOU’RE the offensive one and your ‘knowledge’ is like all wholly holey Hasbara, bullsh*t!

  9. Mooser
    April 20, 2017, 5:08 pm

    “Yes, your tone is unnecessarily offensive.”

    “JeffB” you really should try to get used to it. Surely you must have noticed, in your long and varied life, that your pretension of omniscience can rapidly induce that reaction?

    • JeffB
      April 21, 2017, 5:35 am

      @Mooser

      You all are rude to all the Zionists and often to each other. So no, I don’t think so. As for omniscience I ain’t the one running preaching a small social movement centered on humanities departments at more elite western universities plus a few churches is going to get a militarily powerful state to surrender its interests in a way well beyond what losing a war would.

      • Mooser
        April 21, 2017, 1:04 pm

        “You all are rude to all the Zionists”

        I am not! I even offer a premium for Zionist comments.
        In fact, I offer a “Jews sui generis” lapel-button, and a “No trauma ‘long us!” bumper-sticker with every one of your comments.

        “to get a militarily powerful state to surrender its interests”

        Oh, that’s easy. You must realize that the world has all the rest of us Jews as hostages. Israel won’t see us hurt, it’ll back down. It is very vulnerable that way.

  10. Ossinev
    April 21, 2017, 12:17 pm

    @JeffB
    “is going to get a militarily powerful state to surrender its interests in a way well beyond what losing a war would”

    I seem to recall that Apartheid South Africa was brought to its knees not by war but by a BDS movement which grew from little acorns.

    The writing is on the wall for your beloved little Zioland.

    Sorry if you find my comments rude.

    • hophmi
      April 21, 2017, 1:28 pm

      I seem to recall that South Africa was a fairly isolated place that didn’t have color TV until 1976, rather than a country with a GDP of 350 billion dollars that was fully integrated into the world economy.

      So far, since the BDS movement started, several Arab countries have disintegrated. Take the hint. It’s a stupid immoral policy pushed by people who’d rather target the Jews than clean up their own societies.

      Your comments aren’t rude. They’re just stupid and uninformed. You’d need to have a modicum of intelligence to be rude.

      • Mooser
        April 21, 2017, 2:58 pm

        “I seem to recall that South Africa was a fairly isolated place that didn’t have…”

        …any gold or diamonds. Just an isolated South African outpost.

      • RoHa
        April 21, 2017, 8:50 pm

        “I seem to recall that South Africa was a fairly isolated place that didn’t have color TV until 1976 ”

        And I thought apartheid was the major problem!

        Aside from gold and diamonds, SA was a major exporter of minerals and agricultural products, including wine, to the world. Well integrated into the world economy.

        Had a first class cricket team, too.

    • Sibiriak
      April 21, 2017, 1:44 pm

      Ossinev: I seem to recall that Apartheid South Africa was brought to its knees not by war but by a BDS movement…
      ———————

      A somewhat different recollection:

      rplatkin: […]BDS played a small role in the end of legal apartheid in South Africa. [economic apartheid continues–Sibiriak] The heavy lifting involved mass confrontations threatening capital across the entire country, South Africa’s defeat in Angola with the help of Cuban troops, the ANC-SACP political line of a unified country devoid of any ethnic nationalisms, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (US Government sanctions on South Africa), and an initial stress (later dropped) on economic equality.

      Most of these features are so far missing in Israel-Palestine, including a serious BDS call for US government sanctions on Israel.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/new-book-by-larry-derfner-the-american-turned-israeli-journalist-crushes-liberal-zionism/#comment-875540

    • JeffB
      April 21, 2017, 5:51 pm

      @Ossinev

      Nope that response was perfectly polite, and thank you for that.

      It was however unfortunately factually wrong. Sanctions against South Africa had little effect for decades. South Africa lost multiple wars, and then the BDS campaign against it probably helped a bit. See the civil war in Rhodesia / Zimbabwe, the war against PLAN, FAPLA, Angolan civil war as well as Mozambique. Moreover internally South Africa was never willing to divest itself of indigenous labor and so the guerrilla forces were much more effective in their 3 decades long war.

      I know college kids dreamed of how powerful they had been. But in reality what brought down South Africa was millions of African blacks willing to lose their lives over a period of decades. Sanctions were embarrassing and reduced support for an already very weak government. The analogy with Israel that BDSers use doesn’t hold up.

    • YoniFalic
      April 21, 2017, 6:32 pm

      Several of the economists with whom I work attribute the collapse of Apartheid RSA to changes in the US tax code that caused US businesses to leave. The anti-Apartheid boycott movement probably incentivized such tax code change.

      • JeffB
        April 21, 2017, 10:05 pm

        @Yoni

        The recession and capital flight from South Africa started in 1984. The manufacturing crisis started int he 1960s. The USA didn’t impose substantial changes in the tax code until 1986 and didn’t enforce until 1989.

      • YoniFalic
        April 22, 2017, 8:31 am

        As an historian I have to point out that recent history is almost invariably more determinative of current politics than events of more distant history. The US tax code changed. Two years after enforcement started Apartheid was defunct. It’s almost Pigouvian but not quite.

  11. JeffB
    April 21, 2017, 10:22 pm

    @Mooser

    Oh, that’s easy. You must realize that the world has all the rest of us Jews as hostages. Israel won’t see us hurt, it’ll back down. It is very vulnerable that way.

    Sarcasm is going over my head. I can’t figure out what view you are making fun of.

    • Mooser
      April 22, 2017, 12:06 pm

      “I can’t figure out what view you are making fun of.”

      “Making fun of”? Do you think I would joke about a thing like this? Israel better think about that, and think goddam long and hard, and take the fate of non-Israeli Jews into account.

      Do you think the IDF protects the rest of us? Or are you counting on the JDL to do that?

      • JeffB
        April 22, 2017, 1:53 pm

        @Mooser

        Do you think I would joke about a thing like this?

        Yes. But I’d be happy to see you serious engage rather than snipe.

        Israel better think about that, and think goddam long and hard, and take the fate of non-Israeli Jews into account.

        The Israelis want “the rest of us” to move to Israel. Ending the diaspora is essentially the national mission. That being said I think they’ve done a terrific job of normalizing the situation of Jews. 100 years ago Jews have the same status the Roma do today, neither fully nationals of the states in which they lived nor having any place they could really count on. Today Jews in the English speaking world are fully normalized (and likely to remain so as long as Dispensationalism remains). And that’s because Jew increasing just means to Christians, “ethnic Israeli” rather than “earthly servant of Satan”.

        Right now when anti-Zionism becomes popular in a country the Jewish population quickly leaves that country. There are no pogroms, no mass killings. Antisemitism barely has time to get off the ground before there are few to no Jews left for anti-zionist / antisemetic governments to oppress. Jews aren’t hostages remotely, as a result of Israel they are welcome guests. And they are welcome in part because everyone knows when they become unwelcome they can easily leave.

        Do you think the IDF protects the rest of us?

        Indirectly yes (see above). Directly no.

      • Mooser
        April 22, 2017, 10:03 pm

        Good Lord, “JeffB” you must be aware of the hundreds of bomb threats against Jewish Centers and Synagogues?
        What does Israel intend to do about those? Just let us get blown up?

      • Mooser
        April 23, 2017, 1:45 pm

        “The Israelis want “the rest of us” to move to Israel. Ending the diaspora is essentially the national mission.”

        The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward Zionism! You bet.

      • andrew r
        April 29, 2017, 7:36 pm

        “The Israelis want “the rest of us” to move to Israel. Ending the diaspora is essentially the national mission.”

        Jeff, I don’t know if you’re going to see this response but here’s a comment I posted some time ago describing Israel’s conduct vis-a-vis the Jews imprisoned by the Argentinian Junta in the late 70’s.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2017/02/israel-muslim-start/#comment-869708

        For all the flack we give Israel for being a racist state, it proved to be not that much of a “Jewish” state for the disappeared Jewish Argentinians.

  12. JeffB
    April 24, 2017, 1:44 am

    @Mooser

    Good Lord, “JeffB” you must be aware of the hundreds of bomb threats against Jewish Centers and Synagogues? What does Israel intend to do about those? Just let us get blown up?

    What does that have to do with gentile nations having Jews as hostages? A few crazies called in bomb threats and got caught. The problem was quickly solved. I don’t see the connection.

    • Mooser
      April 24, 2017, 11:06 am

      “The problem was quickly solved.”

      They took the phones out of all Jewish Centers and Synagogues? They stopped the mail?

      They did nothing to eliminate the threat.

      • Mooser
        April 24, 2017, 12:15 pm

        ADL: Anti-Semitic Incidents Spiked Last Year, Trend Worse This Year

        Yup, Zionism must deal with the Jewish hostage situation.
        And if we all move to Israel, who will send Israel hard currency, and persuade Western governments to fund Israel?
        Israel, Zionism, at least owes us physical protection and security if we are going to run the risks of dual-loyalty and putting Israel first. And, yeah, illegal money transfers to illegal settlements is against the law.

        I’m sure you agree, “JeffB”. If Israel can’t protect US Jews, who can Israel protect?

      • Mooser
        April 24, 2017, 1:56 pm

        Israel must act: “New Study Shows Anti-Semitism Soared Last Year”

        Listen below to a recording of one of the bomb threats obtained by the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

      • JeffB
        April 24, 2017, 5:57 pm

        @Mooser

        Threat of what? Threat of mean phone calls? There was no threat. As for doing nothing to eliminate the threat they eliminated the culprits.

        As for Jewish hostage situation below you aren’t making any sense at all. The combination of silliness, sarcasm and no underlying event at all is making it impossible for me to figure out what you are even trying to say.

    • oldgeezer
      April 24, 2017, 4:45 pm

      @JeffB

      And one Jewish Israeli is reported to have called in thousands of threats over the past couple of years. Israel, that hi tech marvel of the world, unable to find him until the fbi taught them some simple basics.

      Why one could think the GoI didn’t mind the fears and terror those calls created.

      • JeffB
        April 24, 2017, 5:54 pm

        @oldgeezer

        I suspect the GOI wasn’t looking. The same way USA law enforcement doesn’t get involved in crimes in China suspected to involve Chinese gangs unless China asks. I don’t know of any evidence of the FBI having shown them some new techniques. This was as far as anyone knew an American crime and it was handled by American law enforcement until they determined one culprit was Israeli and then Israeli law enforcement cooperated quickly and fully to catch him.

      • Mooser
        April 24, 2017, 8:23 pm

        “I suspect the GOI wasn’t looking….crimes in China”

        The calls originated, hundreds of them, from Israel, “Jeffy”

        But thank you for playing, and here’s a lovely “Jews sui generis” lapel-button, and a “No trauma ‘long us!” bumper-sticker as parting gifts.

      • oldgeezer
        April 24, 2017, 9:16 pm

        @jeffb

        It was known as early as Jan 2015 that a large number of these calls were coming from Israel. 2015. Yet Israel just couldn’t cracked the case.

        I doubt the fbi taught the Israelis anything either Jeff. They were just content to let the terror continue, once the fbi showed up the jig was up and it had to be solved.

        Throw a few more under the bus.

  13. Marnie
    April 25, 2017, 1:48 am

    Israel said to refuse to extradite teen JCC bomb hoaxer to US | The …
    http://www.timesofisrael.com › Jewish Times

    “Israel has refused a US request to extradite an Israeli-American teenager suspected of making hundreds of bomb threat calls to American Jewish institutions over the last several months, a report said Sunday.

    According to Channel 2, Israel intends to hand down a severe indictment of its own on Monday against the hacker from Ashkelon, and therefore denied the US Department of Justice request to extradite the teen.

    The 18-year-old is expected to be charged with crimes involving extortion with menaces, causing panic and money laundering.

    On Friday, he was charged in the US with 28 counts of making threatening calls and conveying false information to police, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Orlando. Separately, he was charged with three more counts of making threatening calls, conveying false information and cyberstalking in an indictment filed in federal court in Athens, Georgia.

    Investigators from both countries have been questioning the youth since his arrest last month, and new details of his alleged crimes are continuing to emerge.

    The youth, whose name is under a gag order in Israel, also reportedly charged for his phone threat services on occasion, specifying incidents in which he issued bomb threats to US educational institutions, forcing their evacuation, on behalf of students who wanted exams postponed. He was paid in Bitcoins for these threats; almost 2 million shekels (more than half a million dollars) worth of Bitcoins was found in his internet bank account.

    If tried and convicted in the US, he would face a lengthy jail term, and US prosecutors are set to seek his extradition, Channel 2 reported Saturday. However, it is not clear that Israel’s state prosecutors, proceeding with their own case against him, will readily agree, the TV report noted.

    It added that the youth has expressed no sorrow or regret for his actions.”

    Thanks israel! The best friend the u.s. has never had!

    • Mooser
      April 25, 2017, 12:05 pm

      “I suspect the GOI wasn’t looking. The same way USA law enforcement doesn’t get involved in crimes…” “JeffB”

      “Israel has refused a US request to extradite an Israeli-American teenager suspected of making hundreds of bomb threat calls to American Jewish institutions over the last several months, a report said Sunday.”

      You know, I might just take up fly-casting.

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