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Israeli paper’s publication of BDS ad marks beginning of society’s return to sanity

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on 59 Comments

I am not a political analyst nor a fortuneteller. Nevertheless, I want to register a prediction so that in due time I can fall back on this divination and shake a prophetic finger with an I-told-you-so gloat. More likely it will be a he-told-you-so reminder by someone else.

My forecast is based on the fact that Haaretz has allowed an advertisement on its website in support of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The ad is sponsored by six of the civil society organizations in the USA whose activist leaders have been banned from entering Israel. I think that this is significant as a milestone event, a defining moment. To me it marks the tipping point, the beginning of the swing of the pendulum away from mounting fascism and toward a less racist Israeli public opinion. It is the start of Israel’s return to sanity, slow and decades-long as it is likely to be.

The ad is succinct and strikingly clear: It sums up concisely the three demands, all fully rooted in international human rights law, that the representatives of the Palestinian civic society asked the international community in 2005, and never stopped asking since, to press Israel to fulfill: “Until Israel ends its occupation of Palestinian land And recognizes the full and equal rights of Palestinian citizens And respects the right of return for Palestinian refugees.” This is followed by the insignia “Boycott” in big letters screaming at the reader like a biblical curse. It is followed by a schematic rendition of the Apartheid Wall with a military watchtower at its center. It ends by identifying the sponsors.

Haaretz is a formidable, solid Zionist institution that has survived since the days of the Balfour Declaration. It is the oldest newspaper that has been continuously published in Israel. In internal politics, it has maintained neutrality in terms of party politics while keeping a strategically-centered position at the heart of the liberal Zionist left. Perhaps because of financial considerations, its management seemed to want to please everyone among its clientele. In line with such a strategy it managed to leave its editorial gate wide open to rightist militants and fundamentalists. In a balancing gesture, it even continued to accommodate the likes of Gideon Levy and Amira Hass in their antizionist views. But its news-reporting and range of coverage never seemed to stray far from the Israeli mainstream media. With the noted few exceptions its editorial policies as well fed into the overall accepted Zionist dogma of Israel’s exceptionality and its veneration of the holy cows of security and Western culture. Pssst, New York Times! Your turn is next.

Several years ago, I had a short flirtation with the head of the English edition of Haaretz about the possibility of contributing an occasional op-ed of my own. The conversation lasted very briefly. He expressed his readiness to give my voice a chance to be heard from the pages of his paper. But, quickly I concluded that the editor was interested in having my voice be heard but only as I spoke his truth, not mine. I ceased and desisted. After that, every once in a while I would catch myself smiling wryly as I read the writing of the new Arab commentator that was added at the time.

I hope my prediction is not all wishful thinking. Strange as it sounds, on occasion, when in a self-congratulatory mode, I find myself puffing my chest and declaring to fellow Palestinian citizens of Israel that it is our fate and God-assigned duty to save Israel from itself. We are familiar with each other enough to get along if forced to do it. When all of the required struggle for a single, secular and democratic state is behind us, we should credit Haaretz with aiding and abetting us by permitting this landmark advertisement.

And Ahed Tamimi deserves our thanks as well for spanking the occupation out of her front yard and out of the way of the coming peace. Happy Birthday, Ahed. Will you, please, remind everyone of my hopeful prediction.

About Hatim Kanaaneh

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. His collection of short stories entitled Chief Complaint was released by Just World Books in the spring of 2015.

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59 Responses

  1. LHunter
    February 2, 2018, 12:29 pm

    Looking forward to being told by you, Dr., that you told me so.

    There does seem to be cracks in the zio-armour these days. IMO, these cracks are caused, in part, by Israel’s continued trend towards fascism which will become growingly harder to defend triggering even more departures from Israel and Zionism while tempting governments/countries to finally take a stance against Israeli apartheid.

    IMO, the key will be the departure of Jews from Zionism. They have clout, access and representation in the West that can be brought to bear to change the discourse from Jewish state to a state with equal rights for all.

  2. German Lefty
    February 2, 2018, 4:52 pm

    In Germany, coalition negotiations are going on between CDU/CSU and SPD. The parties just published their position on Israel and stated (among other things) that “Israel’s right to exist is irrevocable.” Jewish organizations in Germany are “very upset” about this statement, because there’s no mention of “as a Jewish state”.
    Another thing: Perhaps you have heard of “Crazy Jewish Mom”/”Ask Mom & Spawn”. Two days ago, mother and daughter posted photos of their trip to Israel on their Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom. They have a paid partnership with Birthright Israel.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BelvjbBF4Uz/?hl=de&taken-by=crazyjewishmom
    As many people as possible should inform them that support for a criminal state is a very bad idea.

    • bintbiba
      February 3, 2018, 10:35 am

      Dear Dr Kanaaneh,
      May you be granted long, long life with good health and many , many more welcome and frequent writings like this one and the previous ones !
      And may you be THE ONE to present us with the privilege of reading it through your own writing … … “I told you so !”

      With love
      from a sister Palestinian in diaspora

      • Maghlawatan
        February 3, 2018, 12:10 pm

        What is ” I told you so” in arabic? Something involving “shufti” and “ya’ni’ ?

  3. pabelmont
    February 2, 2018, 6:41 pm

    Wow! Think of the lawsuits against Ha’Aretz by people claiming to have been injured by its having published this ad inside Israel where it could be read by all English-reading people who might see it! Gosh! think of the money damages that might be claimed! Reduced sales of Sabra hummus! Fewer Caterpillar tractors sold! Unsold real-estate in the oPt!

    This may be the trigger for the end of Ha’Aretz!

    Or of the anti-BDS law!

    Oh, brave Ha’Aretz, I salute you.

    • oldgeezer
      February 2, 2018, 9:40 pm

      Too bad we can’t like a post! I would. Whether Haaretz screwed up or it is intentionally waving a red flag in front of a bull and desiring a head on challenge over freedom of speech we won’t know for a while.

      It took either massive stupidity or courage. It will be interesting to see it play out.

  4. catalan
    February 2, 2018, 8:20 pm

    The best way to respond to BDS is to punish the Palestinians, and harshly so. For example, Israel could increase the settlements, impose additional checkpoints, arrest more people, and indefinitely detain Palestinians for the smallest violations. In this way, supporters of BDS would realize that they harm the Palestinians much more than the Israelis. So for each sabra hummus not sold a Palestinian could be indefinitely detained for certain number of days.

    • oldgeezer
      February 2, 2018, 9:50 pm

      You are the best and brightest of the zionists catalan. I wish you were the lemming king leading them over the cliff but they seem determined to do that without you.

      Actually…while I use edit to correct the worst typos I see this time I need to add you are one sick, deviant, disgusting pos

      • inbound39
        February 3, 2018, 12:24 am

        I think Catalan is unaware the Israeli’s are doing enough of all that already without whinging on about Sabra Hummus which I have tried and I don’t like. Had it at a friends house and have never bought it. Doesn’t taste like real hummus to me. Personally I sense Catalan is in complete denial of Israeli crimes.

    • Maghlawatan
      February 3, 2018, 1:29 am

      “In this way, supporters of BDS would realize that they harm the Palestinians much more than the Israelis”

      Why is Israel so touchy about BDS? It seems to hit a nerve that triggers hysteria. Very strange.
      Maybe it’s the prospect of imediate consequences. Or maybe it’s Israel’s motherfucking conscience.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 3, 2018, 8:53 am

        increase the settlements, impose additional checkpoints, arrest more people, and indefinitely detain Palestinians for the smallest violations.

        israel does all this stuff anyway, because they want to. catalan is suggesting they would be doing it as a response to bds. silly.

        supporters of BDS would realize that they harm the Palestinians

        catalan thinks palestinians don’t call the shots on their own movement. they think supporters of BDS are stupid and after years of being told bds hurts palestinians more than israelis they might start believing it if israel keeps doing what they already do; increase the settlements, impose additional checkpoints, arrest more people, and indefinitely detain Palestinians for the smallest violations.

        instead of asking Why is Israel so touchy about BDS?, let’s try a thought experiment and ask Why is catalan so touchy about BDS? it seems to trigger his sadistic streak. it’s sure not about his “motherfucking conscience” but it could very well be the immediate consequences, some kind of instant gratification at watching us squirm or something. but there’s nothing to squirm about really. not when the only thing he’s suggesting is it could be more of the bloody same. and heck, if it’s just going to be more of the bloody same, might as well crank up the bds. as long as that’s what palestinians want, who are we to think we know better than them what’s in their best interest? no pain, no gain, so bring it on w/the sadistic ideas catalan! ouch!

      • Maghlawatan
        February 3, 2018, 11:11 am

        Catalan thinks Israeli power is eternal. Israel’s Achilles heels are neediness and the social cost of its nihilism. Israeli Jewish society has almost nothing in common any more with western society. There is no.limit to the debasing power of trauma. Israelis can tell themselves anything in Hebrew but they cannot explain it in French or English.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVyS9JwtFoQ&feature=youtu.be

    • Talkback
      February 3, 2018, 9:45 am

      Catalan: “The best way to respond to BDS is to punish the Palestinians, and harshly so. ”

      Nazi tactics. Why am I not supprised?

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2018, 1:01 pm

        “Nazi tactics. Why am I not supprised?”

        Me, I’m just very surprised that “catalan” thinks Israel can do this without his personal assistance.

      • inbound39
        February 3, 2018, 5:18 pm

        Reprisals against occupied people resisting is a war crime…. Germans were convicted for it at Nuremberg.

    • Misterioso
      February 3, 2018, 11:13 am

      @catalan

      You missed your calling. You would have had a brilliant career serving Germany’s Third Reich!!

    • Mooser
      February 3, 2018, 12:55 pm

      , “Israel could increase…addeitional…arrest more…detain indefinitely” “catalan” the Unitarian-Universalist.

      “catalan”, one question: What makes you think Israel is not doing as much as it can? Where do all the people and resources for additional repression come from?
      Do you think Israel’s resources are unlimited when it comes to repression?

      I give the Israelis full credit in this area, I would never accuse them of giving less than a full measure when it comes to oppressing Palestinians. But it may not be enough.

    • Kaisa of Finland
      February 3, 2018, 3:52 pm

      “The best way to respond to BDS ..”

      I think Cat, you just want the attention.. As we know, often the worst bulliers at school are the ones who did not recieve any love, care and attention from their parents or other members of the family and that is why they use their time throwing their own negative emotions and pressures on to other people.

      You need some love Catalan.

      • catalan
        February 3, 2018, 4:19 pm

        kaisa,
        You consider it among your life’s accomplishments that a bunch of 14 year old girls in Tel Aviv couldn’t go to see a 21 year old singer in concerts. I think that’s the behavior and thought pattern of a bully, par excellence. As to me, I was the one being bullied at school, for a host of reasons, not least being Jewish, but also being physically weak. This, however, has given me exquisite understanding of the psychology of bullies. One thing they all do is they always have a moral cause as a cover for their aggression. Like when you prevent girls from seeing a concert, it’s for “human rights”.

      • catalan
        February 3, 2018, 4:26 pm

        Also, my post about punishing Palestinians was written tongue in cheek, as a sort of typical commenter here but on the opposite side. Just to show how all this aggressiveness sounds. Of course I only want love, peace and understanding but don’t think these come about by not seeing a concert.

      • gamal
        February 3, 2018, 4:47 pm

        ” was written tongue in cheek”

        the phrase you are groping for is “foot in mouth”

        you’re also going to have brush up on the exact meaning of “head up own arse”

      • Annie Robbins
        February 3, 2018, 5:12 pm

        and all this talk all of a sudden over a concert? nothing mentioned about the concert til now. weird. and i don’t recall anyone from bds making as big a deal about it as rabbi shmueley taking out that outrageous full page ad and now the mossad law center trying to sue the NZ women. and now it’s “You consider it among your life’s accomplishments” that lorde canceled? who even said that? this is no excuse for advocating violence.

        foot in mouth is right.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        February 3, 2018, 4:57 pm

        Catalan,

        A Finnish friend of mine has two children with an Israelian Jewish man (very pro-Israel) and although the children now have lived several years in Finland with their mother, I guess that eternal conflict in Israel is part of their inheritance too, since half of their family/relatives live in Israel.

        I love these children and I would never talk about the politics of I/P around them, they are too sensitive and too young to know. But what will happen when they grow up, find out about the truth and if the situation still is not solved and more and more brutal things have been done, will these kids one day be treated as the Germans for so many decades with collective guilt and all that awfull stuff, just because of something people distantly related to them did to other people somewhere else?? This conflict is about so many people – so many different kind of people – and about so many people’s future and destinies, that I have no abilty to understand or find any point in your comments like the one above. Simply being mean does not serve anyones cause.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        February 3, 2018, 5:20 pm

        “Like when you prevent girls from seeing a concert…”

        After I “couchsurfed” in West Bank, visting some random Palestinians who wanted to open their homes to a stranger and after experiencing the practices at the check points, thinking about going to a rock concert on the other side of the wall would never have crossed my mind.

        You have no idea what you are talking about, when you are crying about some teenage girls not going to a rock concert. Let them live for half a year in a Palestinian family as a part of their real life and maybe some change will start to happen.

        When I got back to “my home” in Israel’s side, I knew immidiately, my time in Israel was over. Just thinking about a nice comfortable shabbat barbecue in a “well trimmed” park after WB made me sick. A rock concert in Tel Aviv is like you were keeping a prisoner in your bathroom while enjoying a cocktail party in your living room. Smily, happy, people laughing. Sorry, no sympathy from me.

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2018, 5:25 pm

        “You need some love Catalan.”

        That should be no problem, he can afford all he needs.

      • Talkback
        February 3, 2018, 5:42 pm

        Catalan: “Also, my post about punishing Palestinians was written tongue in cheek, as a sort of typical commenter here but on the opposite side. Just to show how all this aggressiveness sounds.”

        Yes, yes. Very believable. And in your next comment you are going to call for a genocide against Jews just to make the point how Zionist aggressiveness sounds.

      • eljay
        February 3, 2018, 5:59 pm

        || catalan: … the psychology of bullies. One thing they all do is they always have a moral cause as a cover for their aggression. … ||

        Thank you for that perfect description of Zionists and their “Jewish State” project.

      • oldgeezer
        February 3, 2018, 7:07 pm

        @Kaisa

        catalan has a long history here. He arrived and denied he was a zionist but thought the best solution was for the Palestinians to move away and give the territory as he objectively thought the Israelis deserved it. When called out he continued to deny his zionism. Layer by layer that was stripped away over time until he finally came (somewhat less than clean).

        He’s let it be known that he works for a municipality in NM in a finance position yet subsequently tried to claim he worked at a senior federal gov level.

        He’s modest enough to have claimed he could easily have a fed gov cabinet position should he want one. He has also claimed he could be an ambassador although I don’t remember if it’s a US Ambassador to Bulgaria or vice versa.

        All in all there is only a few things you need to know about catalan. His ego is as large as the internet and he’s a narcissist. He has no avbility to sympathize or empathize with anyone unless it benefits him as well. He lies faster than he types.

        A total and absolute fraud.

      • Talkback
        February 4, 2018, 7:06 am

        Catalan: “You consider it among your life’s accomplishments that a bunch of 14 year old girls in Tel Aviv couldn’t go to see a 21 year old singer in concerts. I think that’s the behavior and thought pattern of a bully, par excellence. ”

        Really? Than what do you think of Zioinist accomplishments in hist. Palestine and its supporters? The behaviour and though patterns of supremacist sociopaths par excellence?

      • LHunter
        February 4, 2018, 3:20 pm

        Kaisa – can’t we just provide Catalan with all the rope he needs? Giving is loving.

      • Mooser
        February 5, 2018, 5:37 pm

        ” can’t we just provide Catalan with all the rope he needs? “

        I think Trump just did.

        No wonder “catalan” wants to hurt somebody.

    • Mooser
      February 3, 2018, 9:33 pm

      “The best way to respond to BDS is to punish the Palestinians, and harshly so”

      “catalan” is simply supporting his President.

  5. Maghlawatan
    February 3, 2018, 1:30 am

    Israel is not going to return to sanity. Trauma doesnt work like that. Israel is headed for Masada.

    • inbound39
      February 5, 2018, 5:30 pm

      Israel cannot return to sanity if it never had it in the first place. When it finds sanity it will be for the first time and therefore will be and introduction to sanity and not a return to it.

  6. Kay24
    February 3, 2018, 4:05 am

    This is really impressive. Thank you Haaretz for having the courage to face what will be angry attacks on your newspaper, while you are simply doing what any unbiased and fair publication, should be doing. Hope your readership doubles.

  7. snaidamast
    February 3, 2018, 9:16 am

    Anyone who believes that this single ad in Haaretz is some type of indication that Israel is beginning a return to some level of normalcy is only fooling themselves. Besides, look at every other article on Mondoweiss and this one isn’t even a blip on a radar.

    In any event, for one, Israel has never been a sane, national entity and all of the historical documentation on the birth of this nation bares this out.

    Second, Israel is a sociopathic state, practically in its entirety. Sociopathy is an incurable disorder that cannot be treated.

    As a result, Israel’s social fabric will eventually implode leaving the Palestinians to pick up the pieces if they have the strength left to do so.

    • Maghlawatan
      February 3, 2018, 11:07 am

      Some things are born good and go bad

      Israel was born bad. There is no happy ending in prospect.

      • Talkback
        February 4, 2018, 7:10 am

        Mooser, Israel wasn’t “born”. There’s nothing naturale or innocent taking over a country through war and expulsion and creating an Apartheid state. Israel is not the product of rape – as some say – it’s the internationalized form of raping Palestine.

      • Mooser
        February 4, 2018, 2:30 pm

        “Mooser, Israel wasn’t “born”.”

        “Talkback”, I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies.

  8. Maghlawatan
    February 3, 2018, 12:12 pm

    Until UNRWA takes over the Israeli school system and starts to focus on reality, Israeli kids will continue to be indoctrinated.

  9. Mooser
    February 3, 2018, 1:26 pm

    I hope the add appears in every web copy of Haaretz.

    • George Smith
      February 3, 2018, 4:24 pm

      Unfortunately I couldn’t find it in my on-line subscription today 2/3/2018.

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2018, 9:19 pm

        Wouldn’t that be something, if Haareetz was using ad-targeting in this way.

  10. Ossinev
    February 3, 2018, 1:51 pm

    @catalan
    “The best way to respond to BDS is to punish the Palestinians, and harshly so. For example, Israel could increase the settlements, impose additional checkpoints, arrest more people, and indefinitely detain Palestinians for the smallest violations. In this way, supporters of BDS would realize that they harm the Palestinians much more than the Israelis. So for each sabra hummus not sold a Palestinian could be indefinitely detained for certain number of days”

    I recommend that you see a psychiatrist as soon as possible. Don`t think it will actually do you any good whatsoever. You are obviously terminally unhinged.But it might open up a whole new research field and offer a great thesis opportunity for the psychiatrist who manages to survive your sociopathic rants.

  11. catalan
    February 3, 2018, 3:23 pm

    The thesis of the BDS movement is: either you starve (through boycotts) or you accept, arm and feed ten million foreign refugees whose chief purpose is to kill you. In short, you die either from lack of food or by being shot and killed. It’s a tough pick.

    • Talkback
      February 3, 2018, 4:32 pm

      catalan: “… or you accept, arm and feed ten million foreign refugees whose chief purpose is to kill you.”

      Blatant incitement. Another Nazi tactic.

    • Maghlawatan
      February 3, 2018, 4:34 pm

      The thesis of BDS is leverage . There are more decent goys than deluded Jews

    • oldgeezer
      February 3, 2018, 4:36 pm

      Hysteria and the product of a out of control imagination. I no longer wish you were king as you’re clearly a drama queen.

    • Mooser
      February 3, 2018, 5:34 pm

      .” In short, you die either from lack of food or by being shot and killed. It’s a tough pick.”

      And just a few comments ago you were punishing the Palestinians.

      You know”catalan”, I doubt anybody needed to “bully” you. You bully yourself. You can be counted on to provoke and then cringe at the well deserved response.

    • Keith
      February 4, 2018, 12:48 am

      CATALAN- “In short, you die either from lack of food or by being shot and killed.”

      I previously responded to this absurdity, however, my comment, once again, did not pass moderation. I doubt that you Zionists appreciate the fact that Mondoweiss greatly restricts its anti-Zionist commenters, or at least me. Some of the outrageous crap which makes it through makes it through because it is outrageous crap. Serious discussion on sensitive issues is verboten.

      • Mooser
        February 4, 2018, 2:08 pm

        “. I doubt that you Zionists appreciate the fact that Mondoweiss greatly restricts its anti-Zionist commenters, or at least me”

        “Keith”, I am sure the Zionists appreciate that fact. After all, the Mods never do them any favors.

  12. Elizabeth Block
    February 3, 2018, 5:48 pm

    Just curious: Is “Catalan” actually catalan? Does s/he support independence for Catalunya? And if so, why does s/he not see the parallel between Catalunya and Palestine?

    BTW: I think Israel has a perfect right to exist, but NOT as a Jewish state. I don’t think any state has the right to privilege one religion over others – especially any state that claims to be democratic.

    • eljay
      February 3, 2018, 6:11 pm

      || Elizabeth Block: Just curious: Is “Catalan” actually catalan? … ||

      He’s made it very clear that he is Bulgarian, hails from Spain (he guesses) and lives in New Mexico.

      Along with his co-collectivists Nathan and Jon66, he seems to have assumed (or been tasked with) the role of “reasonable Zionist”.

      • eljay
        February 3, 2018, 9:27 pm

        || eljay: … Along with his co-collectivists Nathan and Jon66, he seems to have assumed (or been tasked with) the role of “reasonable Zionist”. ||

        Actually, “reasonable Zionist” isn’t the right descriptor. A more correct phrase would be “seemingly sincere and inquisitive Zionist”.

  13. jon s
    February 4, 2018, 3:09 pm

    Haaretz, like most Old Media, is in bad shape financially, and will take paid ads from just about anywhere and anyone. So I would be careful about attaching too much significance to this one. “Milestone”…”turning point”… I’m not at all sure.

    • eljay
      February 4, 2018, 3:59 pm

      || jon s: … I would be careful about attaching too much significance to this one. … ||

      I agree. To date, all indications have been that Israeli society is for the most part too Zionist – too Jewish supremacist – for one newspaper ad to be the “tipping point, the beginning of the swing of the pendulum away from mounting fascism and toward a less racist Israeli public opinion”.

    • Mooser
      February 4, 2018, 5:04 pm

      “Haaretz, like most Old Media, is in bad shape financially, and will take paid ads from just about anywhere and anyone”

      BDS will be good for Israel.

  14. iResistDe4iAm
    February 5, 2018, 9:31 am

    Rather than a tipping point away from mounting fascism, I think the ad represents a tipping point for the end of Haaretz as a media organisation. Unless Haaretz apologises and recants, it will probably be sued under the 2011 Boycott law. Even if not sued, Haaretz will likely be boycotted by the Israeli public.

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