‘LA Times’ calls BDS a ‘classic tool of peaceful political expression’

US Politics
on 8 Comments

We keep track of the growing awareness inside the U.S. mainstream press of the far-right character of Israeli political culture; and this weekend the LA Times published a long editorial slamming the Israeli government for “trying to wall out its critics.” The editorial grants dignity to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and rejects a new law that bars visits to the country by boycott supporters.

The LA Times notes that France and many U.S. states have followed Israel’s suit, seeking to punish supporters of That’s not right, the editors say. BDS is not a form of “anti-Semitism, as some claim.” No:

whether one agrees with the goals of BDS or not, the fact remains that boycotts are a form of speech, a classic tool of peaceful political expression.

Nice work! (And stronger than the New York Times editorial on the same theme.)

The editors emphasize that they don’t support BDS, but you get an inkling that they kinda do now that Israel has maintained the occupation for 50 years, and world governments have done diddly to stop it:

Truly free countries tolerate peaceful dissent. The 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories seized during the Six-Day War has gone on for too long and must eventually be brought to an end. For Israeli authorities to demonize — or exclude — those who publicly oppose it is a terrible mistake.

Some of the BDS supporters accept a “two-state solution,” the Times points out, while others who are targeted merely support boycott of settlement products. Just what the Mennonite Church called for on Thursday.

The LA Times editors do salute “a strong democracy marked by vigorous debate and a tolerance of alternative points of view, at least for its own citizens inside its own borders.” But they describe the anti-boycott law as “noxious,” “an attack on freedom of expression,” and a “disappointing step backward for a country that routinely boasts of its robust democracy and presents itself up as a bastion of freedom in an unfree part of the world.”

It is plain that Israel is changing that old image in the western press: “Truly free countries tolerate peaceful dissent.”

One other achievement of this editorial is its point that stopping visits by boycott supporters will not “end what the law’s backers call the ‘delegitimization’ of the Jewish state.” That is enormously sensible. The Times knows that Israel and its zealot leaders and intolerant policies are the chief engineers of that delegitimization process. Activists and journalists are only trying to get the word out. This editorial shows we’ve got traction.

Thanks to Ofer and Annie.

 

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8 Responses

  1. Eva Smagacz
    July 9, 2017, 7:21 pm

    I read it this afternoon. It is excellent.

    5/5

  2. Sibiriak
    July 9, 2017, 9:13 pm

    The 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories seized during the Six-Day War has gone on for too long and must eventually be brought to an end. (emphasis added)
    ———————————

    “Eventually”? Revealing choice of words.

    • Nathan
      July 9, 2017, 10:08 pm

      Indeed, the choice of words, Sibiriak, is quite revealing. It shows a total misunderstanding of the issue at hand. The conflict was not born in the 1967 Six-Day War. The editorial should have said that “the century old conflict has gone on too long. The time has come to end the conflict once and for all”.

      • Talkback
        July 10, 2017, 11:03 am

        Yes, Nathan. Or simply put: Palestine must be dezionised.

    • CigarGod
      July 9, 2017, 10:12 pm

      Once the Injun’s have been pacified, they mean. More mealy-mouthed drivel designed not to upset the Generals.

  3. JosephA
    July 9, 2017, 11:06 pm

    This is a small crack in the facade.

  4. LHunter
    July 10, 2017, 12:19 am

    Not an endorsement of BDS – God forbid – but one substantial step forward nonetheless.

    Hope triumphs

  5. JLewisDickerson
    July 10, 2017, 10:48 am

    RE: “The editors emphasize that they don’t support BDS, but you get an inkling that they kinda do now that Israel has maintained the occupation for 50 years, and world governments have done diddly to stop it” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: The tired, old arguments against BDS that once seemed at least earnest, and were therefore given considerable deference (if only “out of an abundance of caution”) ring hollow (i.e., sound like double-talk) in the wake of Netanyahu’s double-cross on the mixed prayer area at the Western Wall! That might well have been a “clarifying moment” (no matter the ultimate outcome) for a lot of Jews (and some others as well).

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