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Gaining the ‘valuable hatred of their enemies,’ boycott movement is educating others

Israel/Palestine
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Charnwood's Lincoln

Charnwood’s Lincoln

Congress is the next battleground for the boycott movement against Israel. Some congressmen are leaping to introduce legislation to stem these efforts. And the Israelis are enraged that John Kerry even dignified the boycott movement by mentioning it out loud.

From Lord Charnwood’s Biography of Lincoln:

“If [the Abolitionists] did not gain love in the quarters where they might have looked for it, they gained the very valuable hatred of their enemies; for they goaded Southern politicians to fury and madness, of which the first symptom was their effort to suppress Abolitionist petitions in Congress. But above all they educated in their labor of thirty years, a school of opinion, not entirely in agreement with them but ready one day to revolt with decision from continued complicity in wrong.”

I think this insight about educating the public applies also to liberal Zionists Peter Beinart and Tom Friedman, who while forswearing the Boycott-divestment-sanctions movement’s aims have embraced BDS as a tactic to force Israel to leave the West Bank. When there is significant violence in Israel/Palestine (which I regard as inevitable), they will accept BDS as the nonviolent alternative.

Thanks to the same friend who passed along the gem from Hugh Trevor-Roper.

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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32 Responses

  1. Naftush
    Naftush
    February 8, 2014, 12:13 pm

    Well, the sentiment in Congress suggests that a war *against,* not for, BDS. But what did the remark about “the Boycott-divestment-sanctions movement’s aims” mean? Not really limited to the “West Bank,” are they. Nor is the axiomatic boilerplate use of the term “nonviolent” convincing. BDS rhetoric smells of “your money or your life.”

    • ToivoS
      ToivoS
      February 8, 2014, 1:32 pm

      Are you suggesting the Montgomery bus boycott was an act of violence? Or the Delano grape boycott? Southern racists and California grape farmers probably thought so and even argued as such. I am sure you could find some Afrikaner complaints that the ANC led boycott of South Africa was a terrorist act.

      You might want to clear your comment with hasbara central, even they should see how self defeating this argument is for the Zionist cause.

      • jsinton
        jsinton
        February 9, 2014, 5:27 am

        No, he’s suggesting that the tactic of the boycott is correct, but the aims have some problems for a lot of people. A lot of confusion as to exactly what the boycott is, who’s running it, what are the aims, etc. He’s pointing out that a lot of people will support a boycott of institutions that profit directly from the occupation of the West Bank, but they have some real problems when you try to suggest one state solution to them.

    • Donald
      Donald
      February 8, 2014, 1:34 pm

      “Nor is the axiomatic boilerplate use of the term “nonviolent” convincing. BDS rhetoric smells of “your money or your life.”

      I know just how you feel, Naftush. My family moved back to the South right after (literally weeks after) the “white” and “colored” signs came off the bathroom doors. It was the best possible training for understanding decades later (when I started paying attention) how people think on the I/P issue.

      A lot of white people felt that the civil rights movement was anything but nonviolent–the protestors had the Federal government backing them up (when J Edgar Hoover wasn’t spying on them, that is) and the National Guard forced white schools to accept black students. On top of that, sometimes there were riots. Very coercive, and the whites felt victimized by this northern/black aggression, just as you do by BDS.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 8, 2014, 4:12 pm

      BDS rhetoric smells of “your money or your life.”

      That’s what your brain is telling you because Zios can’t comprehend any choice that doesn’t give them very thing they want.

      In your care, you felt the need to replace “stolen land” with “your life”, because a thief complaining about having to return stolen propert is pretty hard to take seriously.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 8, 2014, 7:18 pm

        @ Shingo
        Zios can’t comprehend the Golem they created.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      February 8, 2014, 4:46 pm

      But what did the remark about “the Boycott-divestment-sanctions movement’s aims” mean?

      You could visit their website and read them for yourself. Here’s a page that says JVP shares the aims of the Palestinian Boycott National Committee — ending the occupation, achieving equality for Palestinians now living in Israel, and recognizing Palestinian refugees’ right of return. – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2012/jewish-voice-for-peace-statement-on-bds-8627#sthash.Gzg3hcUO.dpuf

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      February 8, 2014, 4:57 pm

      Nor is the axiomatic boilerplate use of the term “nonviolent” convincing.

      The IDF didn’t slip on a bar of soap and slide across the armistice line by accident. While we are on the subject of insincere terminology, what Israelis call their “settlement blocs”, the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity calls “eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid.” http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/peace/docs/x4cnaslw.htm

      • just
        just
        February 8, 2014, 5:02 pm

        “The IDF didn’t slip on a bar of soap and slide across the armistice line by accident.”

        LOL! You do have a way with words! (LOL with a heavy heart)

      • annie
        annie
        February 8, 2014, 5:24 pm

        While we are on the subject of insincere terminology, what Israelis call their “settlement blocs”

        and ‘settler’ sounds so benign. like pilgrims. as opposed to terrorists.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        February 8, 2014, 6:31 pm

        Not exactly related but nonetheless insincere, per the recent Ben-Ami article Zionist thinkers now seem to be adopting/assimilating the word “refugee” as they did felafel and couscous.

        Ben-Ami: …He’s [Kerry] even going to offer a formula for addressing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand for recognition of a Jewish connection to the land of Israel and perhaps even bring in compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab countrieshttp://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/american-leader-before.html

        On a positive note, it’s a sign of success. The “too” part of Israel and its supporters’ “Love me, too!” or “Our cause is legitimate, too!” sentiment is a subordinate phrasing/outlook.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        February 8, 2014, 9:02 pm

        Ben-Ami: …He’s [Kerry] even going to offer a formula for addressing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand for recognition of a Jewish connection to the land of Israel and perhaps even bring in compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab countries…

        I’ve got serious First Amendment issues with that proposal, since Indyk said the US is going to pay the bill:

        Indyk confirmed that Kerry had already warned lawmakers who deal with foreign funding that the framework would require major US funding, particularly for the new Jordanian-West Bank border arrangements, the redeployment of the Israeli army, and the compensation for refugees on both sides.

        http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Indyk-to-Jewish-leaders-Framework-peace-plan-to-arrive-in-weeks-339986

        The USA had no business establishing or endorsing separate ethic, religious Jewish or Arab states in Palestine 66 years ago, facilitated through involuntary population transfers. It damn sure has no business funding the establishment of them retroactively today. In Reid v Covert the Supreme Court held that the President and the Senate are creatures of the Constitution and can’t accomplish anything with a treaty agreement overseas that the Constitution would prohibit them from doing here in the USA. Paying the claims to establish the Jewish State of Israel is one those of those acts that the Constitution certainly ought to prohibit.

        It’s a matter of public record that the government of Israel did not consider the Jews from Arab countries who had expressed an interest in moving to Palestine to be refugees: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1948v05p2&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=1295

        Israel has claimed for years that there are offsetting claims from 800,000 Jews, but it turns out that only 14,000 claims have ever been filed:

        In 2010, a law was passed stating that compensation for the lost property would be included in any future Arab-Israeli peace agreement. But the report shows that even if peace were to break out tomorrow morning, Israel would be hard-pressed to present a solid claim because the state does not know what property is at issue. The possible reasons for this are many and absurd: Over the years, immigrants from Iran and Arab states were instructed to fill in and submit forms aimed at enabling the coordination of both individual and communal claims. Between 1969-2009, the Justice Ministry collected around 14,000 of these, but they were never processed or entered into a computer database. Some of the records are still in the ministry’s archive, waiting to be scanned digitally, but some have deteriorated so badly as to be worthless. The retirement of a single clerk who was in charge of the material at one point but did not train her successor is thought to have led to the disappearance of still more documents connected to the issue.
        — Comptroller blasts state for neglecting restitution of Jewish property in Arab states http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.572665
        ====
        PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi reportedly claimed that “if Israel is their [Arab Jews’] homeland, then they are not ‘refugees’; they are emigrants who return either voluntarily or due to a political decision.”

        Ironically, Ashrawi’s sentiment succinctly captures what was once the prevailing view within the Israeli government and among major Zionist advocacy organizations. “I do not regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees,” asserted Iraqi-Israeli former Knesset Speaker Shlomo Hillel. “They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.” His position was and still is shared by many others. Noteworthy, too, is the Law of Return, which ensures that Jews never arrive in Israel as refugees, but as “olim hadashim” − new immigrants.

        — A dubious campaign on behalf of Arab Jewish refugees http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/weekend-opinions/a-dubious-campaign-on-behalf-of-arab-jewish-refugees-1.463383

      • American
        American
        February 8, 2014, 9:03 pm

        ‘and perhaps even bring in compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab countries”…

        And who is going to be paying this compensation to the Jewish refugees?…Arab countries?
        And who is going to be paying compensation to the Palestine refugees?..Israel ?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        February 8, 2014, 9:38 pm

        and ‘settler’ sounds so benign. like pilgrims. as opposed to terrorists.

        Its the language of the mandate “close settlement by Jews on the land”. The government of Israel deliberately cleansed villages and refused to allow the refugees to return to their homes. They were simply left to die of exposure, without food, water or shelter. Meanwhile the government of Israel reserved the right to replace them with Jews from Arab countries who had expressed an interest in coming to Palestine to settle on the land. http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1948v05p2&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=1295

        In the first decade, nearly one in five of the original refugees died:

        Seventeen or eighteen per cent of the original Palestine refugees have died in the last 12 years, but the natural increase now is about 30,000 a year.

        http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS195860v13&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=191

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 9, 2014, 4:18 am

        Settler doesn’t sound benign if you are Quechua, Bantu, Hopi, Irish or Algerian.

  2. eljay
    eljay
    February 8, 2014, 1:39 pm

    >> BDS rhetoric smells of “your money or your life.”

    BDS only smells that way to people who value (Jewish) supremacism above justice, morality and equality.

  3. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    February 8, 2014, 2:40 pm

    Israel is strong enough that the BDS movement is not about to do serious damage to Israel. But the BDS movement is damaging Israel’s REPUTATION. BDS provides an opportunity for people around the world to say that they don’t approve of Israel’s racism. This will cancel out the energetic PR campaign that Israelis have waged ever since 1948. Israel, and its supporters and defenders in the US, are starting to lose control of the conversation.

    And an economic boycott can result in some negative consequences for Israel. Until now, there have been essentially no consequences for the average Israeli Jew, not even from Israel’s most extreme bursts of violence. For example, the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the massacres at Sabra and Chatila refugees camps resulted in zero consequences for Israel. 20,000 dead, but it’s only Arabs so there were no consequences.

    .

    • annie
      annie
      February 8, 2014, 2:57 pm

      Until now, there have been essentially no consequences for the average Israeli Jew

      if you’re implying that settlers are not average israeli jews then i might agree with you. but don’t forget Israeli settlement exports from the Jordan Valley down $29 million in 2013 due to international boycott:

      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/israeli-settlement-international.html

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 8, 2014, 7:13 pm

      @ Neveda Ned, but that invasion of Lebanon and US support of it has certainly resulted in the depletion of America’s blood and treasure–Osama Bin Laden was inspired by it, among all the other effects of the US-Israel “special relationship” in the Middle East. Read his Letter To America, and his other statements, dating all the way back to 1998 and up past 9/11.

      Relative to AIPAC’s subject statement, MJ Rosenberg says ever since Obama told Congress publicly he’d veto any attempt to stop diplomacy with Iran as not in the USA’s national interest, the line has been clearly drawn, with Democrats on one side and GOP and AIPAC on the other. He goes on to say, but AIPAC will keep plugging away for war on Iran; he concludes the annual AIPAC conference coming up soon will be “nasty.” http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=855aabd7ccd7a77e987004677&id=50355c7289&e=4c25168940
      http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=855aabd7ccd7a77e987004677&id=50355c7289&e=4c25168940

  4. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    February 8, 2014, 4:45 pm

    “Valuable hatred” is a very interesting insight, Phil, as is the notion of a slowly developed “school of opinion” among those watching the dispute between Abolitionists and Slavers, “ready one day to revolt with decision against continued complicity in wrong.” I am reminded of Grant’s reflection, which I think reflects that “school of opinion:”

    “There was no time during the rebellion when I did not think . . . that the South was more to be benefited by its defeat than the North. . . . The former was burdened with an institution abhorrent to all civilized people not brought up under it, and one which degraded labor, kept it in ignorance, and enervated the governing class. With the outside world at war with this institution, they could not have extended their territory. The labor of the country was not skilled, nor allowed to become so. The whites could not toil without becoming degraded, and those who did were denominated ‘poor white trash.’ The system of labor would have soon exhausted the soil and left the people poor. The non-slaveholders would have left the country, and the small slaveholder must have sold out to his more fortunate neighbor. Soon the slaves would have outnumbered the masters, and not being in sympathy with them, would have risen in their might and exterminated them. The war was expensive to the South as well as to the North, both in blood and treasure, but it was worth all it cost.” Grant’s Memoirs, Volume 2 (loc 217 of 6031 on Kindle).

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      February 8, 2014, 5:58 pm

      Wow, DD. Great quote. The deeper I lazily fall into the trap that “current” equals “new,” up pops something like this to jack me out of that mental pit.

      I envy people that know history in detail. Great insight there, for those who are receptive enough, or choose, to acknowledge it. Most situations have already presented themselves and their lessons, though in spiral, not circular, form (imo). Zionism/Israel is no exception.

      Thanks. Your comment, among many other reasons and people, is why this site is so valuable. It will be the among the “memoirs” of this struggle, with its own collective insights for future struggles. Good stuff!

      Equally emphatic ditto to Phil…and everyone.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    February 8, 2014, 4:49 pm

    RE: “Gaining the ‘valuable hatred of their enemies,’ boycott movement is educating others”

    MY COMMENT: Speaking of the “hatred of their enemies”, watch the video below (especially the Q&A session at the end) to appreciate the hatred some Brits have for Shlomo Sand. Some really ugly stuff.

    The Invention of the Land of Israel – book launch with Shlomo Sand (Streamed live on Feb 19, 2013) [VIDEO, 1:24:40] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5s_trEBcbU

  6. Clif Brown
    Clif Brown
    February 8, 2014, 5:36 pm

    What a marvelous quotation! The written word is a gold mine for insight into the human condition. History is a teacher for us to know ourselves, if only we listen and bring it forth into the present to share with others as has been done here.

  7. bilal a
    bilal a
    February 8, 2014, 7:15 pm

    Nonviolence doesnt always beget more nonviolence:

    Settlers from Eshtamoa attacking Ta’ayush activists

  8. mcohen
    mcohen
    February 8, 2014, 8:57 pm

    Philip Weiss on February 8, 2014 says

    “Gaining the ‘valuable hatred of their enemies,

    .in south africa if any media published articles similar to this one,especially by fellow white south africans there lives would be in danger.i remember a special forces officer bragging to me how they assainated Ruth First with a parcel bomb

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_First

  9. bijou
    bijou
    February 8, 2014, 10:54 pm

    Thinking of this as “compelling Israel to withdraw from the West Bank” misses the point and the historic moment entirely. BDS is forcing Israel to look in the mirror and face the fact that its chosen system of government is so oppressive as to constitute sociocide at a minimum, and also genocide within its legal definition. It is this SYSTEM, or perhaps just this ideology, across ALL OF PALESTINE and outside it that privileges one people over another, thereby enslaving them both in a kind of codependent horror show, that must be brought to an end.

    BDS is a movement FOR PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS, not for withdrawal from a specific territory. And therein lies its greatest strength and Israel’s greatest fear. The tired, old, fraying fig leaf of “security” is hanging by a thread. The true underface of colonialism and sociocide are coming more and more into focus by the day.

    This movement is on the side of justice and history will go with it. Kerry’s framework will be tossed aside to the dustbin of history as fast as he can present it. It does not provide justice or dismantle a structure of outrageous privilege.

    The irony is that at a certain point, which Israel passed long, long ago, as noted in the historic quotations above, such structures of oppression rob and destroy and devastate even those who wield the power. At what cost in human life, Palestinian and Jewish and other, is it worth to maintain this privilege and this ghettoized exclusivity? What is Israel losing in terms of its potential for growth and vibrancy because of it?

    Israel must transform and Zionism must be finally acknowledged for what it is – an unmitigated disaster that has caused incalculable human loss and trauma across the region — even and including for those whom it purports to liberate.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 9, 2014, 4:23 am

      Zionism is a prison. From the outside it looks like the Palestinians are the incarcerated. But look closer and see how many Jews are unable to free themselves from its clutches. Straight outta Brave New World. Jewish soma.

  10. anthonybellchambers
    anthonybellchambers
    February 9, 2014, 5:35 pm

    Ignoring anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Let us, for a minute, forget about anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, Jihadists and radical extremists.

    Let us just consider the factual position of a single state in the Middle East in the context of the international community of free, democratic nations of Europe.

    Israel is an undeclared nuclear weapons power with an estimated arsenal, outside the jurisdiction of the IAEA, of up to 400 warheads – a number greater than any European power including France and Britain (and even China, India, Pakistan or N Korea).

    Israel is one of the very few nation states that refuses to ratify either the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) to which the whole of Europe is committed. Nor, of course, are they a party to the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

    Israel has now also a fleet of German-supplied, Dolphin Class, nuclear-armed submarines that is far more powerful than any such nuclear deterrent in the whole of Europe. It also gives the Israeli government a unique second strike capability.

    Notwithstanding these extremely worrying facts, Israel still has the privilege of being allowed, as a non EU member, to have free access to the whole European market. Furthermore, the EU has recently voted to allow Israel access to billions of Euros in research funds. Contemporaneously, the US Congress has voted US$3 billion this fiscal year in aid and grants and a further $3 billion in loan guarantees to the Netanyahu government.

    The US Congress is populated with members, all of whom have been vetted by AIPAC – the American Israel lobby – and to which unelected pressure group and its political agenda the majority have been coerced into supporting.

    Whilst bearing in mind the subject disclaimer in the opening paragraph, we are left with a huge Middle Eastern elephant sitting in a European trade area that comprises over 500,000,000 people within 28 member states. That elephant which was apprised as a possible technological and military partner a decade ago, is now seen as a military and political threat that is an increasing and worrying liability to European and world leaders who now require either a satisfactory two-state solution or a cessation of bilateral trade with Israel until it complies with international law. Furthermore, the entire Mideast including Israel, Iran and Syria must be designated a Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons Free Zone.

    European funds are now withdrawing investments from Israel and it is anticipated that the EU itself will soon follow suit. There would appear to be little alternative given the intransigence of the current Netanyahu government in regard to the will of the United Nations and the ruling of the International Court of Justice.

  11. hophmi
    hophmi
    February 10, 2014, 10:54 am

    “BDS is a movement FOR PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS”

    This is abject nonsense. It’s a movement to force a particular political outcome for Palestinians in their quest for self-determination. And it’s a movement to destroy the state of Israel. You spend far more time talking about Israelis than you do speaking about Palestinians.

    You people say next to nothing about daily repression of Palestinians by their leaders in Gaza and in the West Bank. You say nothing about the development of democratic institutions in Palestine. Therefore, you cannot possibly claim to care about Palestinian human rights. You care about Palestinian claims, maybe. But human rights are secondary for you.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      February 11, 2014, 6:27 am

      This is abject nonsense. It’s a movement to force a particular political outcome for Palestinians in their quest for self-determination. And it’s a movement to destroy the state of Israel.

      Last Sunday the Ministers of the State of Israel fulfilled another milestone in their coalition agreement by approving a thoroughly racist measure to educate this generation and succeeding ones that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, and only the Jewish people. I’ve commented on several occasions that Israel intentionally lied about its willingness to give Palestinians equal constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities under the terms of a UN minority protection plan in order to secure approval of its partition proposal.

      From the very outset Israel has been a disreputable project to destroy Palestine and deny its inhabitants and their posterity equal human rights and sovereignty over the natural resources of their own country. Ahdut Ha’avodah (Unity of Labor) was established in 1919. Its founding Charter demanded the establishment of a Jewish Socialist Republic in all of Palestine, and “the transfer of Palestine’s land, water, and natural resources to the people of Israel as their eternal possession.” See Ben Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Shabtai Teveth, page 99.

      There is no inherent right for Israel to maintain the racist Jewish character of the State. The international BDS movement against South African Apartheid did not have the limited objective of ending the occupation of Namibia. It aimed at reconstituting South Africa as a state of all its citizens.

      You people say next to nothing about daily repression of Palestinians by their leaders in Gaza and in the West Bank.

      You know perfectly well that I’ve commented about that subject in the past and have strongly advocated the investigation and prosecution of the responsible Palestinian officials in the ICC. I also think that the situation in Israel and Palestine, including the on-going blockade of Gaza, calls for the establishment of an Ad Hoc international criminal tribunal tasked with bringing the responsible Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, American and other officials to justice.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 11, 2014, 8:58 am

      @ hophmi

      Let’s take a trip back in history to examine your logic:

      “BDS is a movement FOR BLACK SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS”

      This is abject nonsense. It’s a movement to force a particular political outcome for black South Africans in their quest for self-determination. And it’s a movement to destroy the state of South Africa. You spend far more time talking about Afrikaners than you do speaking about native blacks.

      You people say next to nothing about daily repression of native South Africans by their own influential segments (just as many abolitionists once said nothing about the black tribes who sold their captured black tribal enemies to whites during the slave trade days). You say nothing about the development of democratic institutions in the Afrikaner regime. Therefore, you cannot possibly claim to care about black native human rights. You care about black South African claims, maybe. But human rights are secondary for you.

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