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Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu

Israel/Palestine
Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

The New York Times editorial board refuses to lay blame for the failure of the peace talks on either side. By contrast, Eric Alterman in The Nation is a model of clear thinking. The Israelis and Netanyahu were “never serious about pursuing” a two-state solution in recent talks, Netanyahu wants “a Bantustan-style solution,” and “US audiences may be fooled by Netanyahu’s lip service to a two-state solution, but Israelis are not.”

Then something comes over this calm and persuasive writer, and three-quarters of the way through his column, Alterman starts writing as if he is a man possessed. Maybe something bit him?

Alterman is enraged by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, BDS, and makes the astonishing claim that BDS is helping Netanyahu pursue the occupation.

Netanyahu and company actually appreciate the misguided efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in the United States and Europe. As [Avner Inbar, director of the liberal Israeli thinktank Molad] explains, while “the ideologically driven BDS movement likes to claim credit for any instance of international pressure on Israel, it really forestalls such pressure, as the large actors whose actions count in this regard—governments, international agencies and corporations who oppose the occupation—are justifiably reluctant to be associated with the wholesale anti-Israeli rhetoric of the BDS movement.” Right-wing Israelis are therefore able to take advantage of the widespread distaste for “BDS-style rhetoric and tactics, because they know that the more attention the BDS movement receives, the more difficult it will become to build serious international pressure on the occupation itself.” (This is undoubtedly why Mahmoud Abbas opposes BDS as well.)

If BDS is so helpful to Netanyahu’s efforts to maintain the occupation, Hasbara Central sure didn’t get the prime minister’s memo. Israel’s friends have been working overtime out of the expressed concern that BDS represents the greatest threat to Israel. At a secret conference in London aimed at thwarting BDS just last week, Ron Lauder linked it to terrorism. Many others claim that it’s anti-Semitic. Israel lobbyists are trying to get US lawmakers to legislate against it. They are alarmed because, as the New York Times reported in that op-ed yesterday, BDS’s momentum is growing. Some European banks have turned from Israel, the American Studies Association voted for academic boycott of Israel, and the movement’s recent progress has been so dramatic that Netanyahu mentioned BDS 18 times in his speech to AIPAC. “Those who wear the BDS label should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot,” he said.

Even more bizarre is Alterman’s contention that well-meaning governments and corporations and international agencies oppose the occupation and are just itchin’ to put pressure on Israel. Where’s his evidence? Israel has never paid a price for expansion; it just keeps expanding. Obama called for an end to settlements in 2009 and then promptly reversed himself, lest he lose Haim Saban and other major backers. The Democratic Party has endlessly supported Israel’s colonization of Jerusalem; and the American Jewish community has also been a passive supporter — “breakfast at the Regency,” as David Remnick put it. When Peter Beinart dared to call for boycotting settlement goods, he promptly set off a furious argument here over whether you could boycott Israel even outside the Green Line, in the illegally-occupied territories.

Palestinians didn’t care about that American foodfight; they moved ahead with the boycott call.

BDS is a Palestinian-led movement that has been unhampered by all the tribal and imperial politics that have prevented western governments and corporations from doing one thing to stem Israel’s expansion, from 1948 on. And that’s the problem. Alterman once was able to claim that he was a good American liberal on this issue, representing the left side of American debate, concerned about Palestinian human rights. He’s lost that status to BDS, which is really doing something about Palestinian rights. No wonder he’s lashing out.

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111 Responses

  1. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    April 15, 2014, 11:18 am

    Alterman gave an utterly delirious review in The Nation of Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath. Alterman claimed the book was “the Israel-hater’s handbook”.

    Undoubtedly Alterman would have accused Blumenthal of being an anti-Semite, if he (Alterman) thought that anybody would take the accusation seriously.

    Of course, there isn’t much difference between smearing Blumenthal as an anti-Semite and smearing Blumenthal as an “Israel hater”. The only real difference is that Alterman thought he could get away with the latter smear, but not with the former smear.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      April 15, 2014, 11:54 am

      One can use Twitter search to identify which parties have been using the Kansas City shootings to attack Max Blumenthal:

      [Twitter; Blumenthal https://twitter.com/search?q=blumenthal ]

      1. Alana Goodman
      2. Buber Zionist
      3. Daniel Greenfield
      4. Eli Lake
      5. Frontpage Magazine
      6. Gateway Pundit
      7. Josh Block
      8. M.J. Rosenberg
      9. Pamela Geller
      10. Robert Stacy McCain

      See a pattern?

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    April 15, 2014, 11:20 am

    None of these arguments advanced by libZios have any credibility.
    Hasbara is still dead.

    Israel decided a very long time ago to bet the house on YESHA. Perhaps Adelson can come around and tell the bots what happens at Sands Casino Macau when the punter loses on black.

    • Mike_Konrad
      Mike_Konrad
      April 15, 2014, 1:34 pm

      Israel decided a very long time ago to bet the house on YESHA.

      The Israeli government decided nothing.

      The (settlers/pioneers) forced the issue. Israel did not bet on YESHA. YESHA bet on the government (to do nothing).

      From the year of 1968 when they rented a hotel for a short stay in Hebron; and then decided not to leave.

      https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/hebron.html

      On April 4, 1968, a group of Jews registered at the Park Hotel in the city. The next day they announced that they had come to re- establish Hebron’s Jewish community. The actions sparked a nationwide debate and drew support from across the political spectrum. After an initial period of deliberation, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s Labor-led government decided to temporarily move the group into a near-by IDF compound, while a new community — to be called Kiryat Arba — was built adjacent to Hebron. The first 105 housing units were ready in the autumn of 1972.

      Notice the word, “temporarily.”

      The government did not authorize their initial stay; but could not muster the will to remove them. That is what the (settlers/pioneers) count on.

      Initially the Israeli government had wanted to trade back land for peace; but the Arabs said the three NOs.

      No peace
      No recognition
      No trade

      The (settlers/pioneers) know that no government will evacuate them en masse. What Israeli politician wants to be smeared as a latter-day Nazi ethnically cleansing Jews out of their patrimony? “How can you do this to a fellow Jew?”

      The Gaza withdrawal only involved about 8,000 Jews, and the country of Israel nearly had a mental collapse over it. On top of that, Sharon did it – not to be a nice guy – but to get rid of 1,500,000 million Arabs in Gaza who were a very real demographic threat. Around 2005, the Arabs were close to the demographic majority when Gazan Arabs, Judean and Samarian Arabs, and Israel Arabs were counted together.

      Every Israeli knew this. Our media did not tell us this. It would have made the withdrawal look cold-blooded rather than generous. So we in America were told Israel was being nice.

      Israel got to dump 1,500,000 Arabs off of its back; then got to separate Gaza from Fatah with the idea of keeping Judea and Samaria, but ditching Gaza. It was not so much as divide and conquer as Dump, Divide, and Conquer.

      It was brilliant. Give Israel credit. They then sold it as a magninmous act to our American media. When it was actually a well co-ordinated ploy to dump 1,500,000 Arabs, and separate them from Judea and Samaria. And this only at the cost of only 8,000 Jews.

      Yet, even then, with a great benefit to Israel – and a low cost of removal of only 8,000 Jews – Israel had a national crisis.

      Israel will never withdraw the 600,000 now in Judea and Samaria.

      The settler/pioneers have won.

      Some may call it emotional blackmail, but it works.

      Some condemn it.

      Some say it is “frum” (righteous) Jews calling their brethren to tseshuva (repentance), and to take the land back from the goyim.

      The settler/pioneers are in charge. Some think this is good. Some, bad. It depends on one’s view of Israel.

      But the Israeli government is not driving this as much as you think.

      The (settler/pioneers) started this in 1968, and they won.

      The Israeli government did not do the betting on YESHA.

      YESHA bet on the government (to do nothing). YESHA won!

      This video shows that they INTEND to go back to Gush Katif.

      The Arabs in Judea and Samaria, are in an uneviable position.

      Kerry had no business trying to force a solution when NEITHER SIDE will budge.

      This is why I recommend paying the Arabs to leave. There is NO way Israel will budge. Whether you think Israel is right or wrong; Israel will not budge.

      Israel will never withdraw again. Base all your decisions on that incontrovertible fact.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        April 15, 2014, 1:53 pm

        Mike_Konrad,

        There is NO way Israel will budge. Whether you think Israel is right or wrong; Israel will not budge.

        1. If the United States and Europe greatly reduced financial, political and military support for Israel, do you think Israel would budge?

        2. Do you support or oppose the settlers?

        3. How much money does Israel owe Palestinians at this moment in history? Can you name an approximate number for the total reparations owed? And who will pay those reparations? Perhaps Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban and their fellow Zionist billionaires?

        4. With which religious denomination are you associated?

      • Mike_Konrad
        Mike_Konrad
        April 15, 2014, 4:27 pm

        seanmcbride says:
        1. If the United States and Europe greatly reduced financial, political and military support for Israel, do you think Israel would budge?

        Nope! Israel will not budge. She has 300 nukes, and is in Samson option mode. She will not budge.

        2. Do you support or oppose the settlers?

        Great question. Difficult to answer.

        1) I do think Israel has a claim to all of Judea and Samaria …. but …

        2) I think many of the settlers are violent and out of control

        3. How much money does Israel owe Palestinians at this moment in history? Can you name an approximate number for the total reparations owed? And who will pay those reparations? Perhaps Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban and their fellow Zionist billionaires?

        They won’t. Sadly. I wish rich Jews would pay the Arabs to leave. But when I bring this up on chatrooms, there seems to be defiant fury from the Jewish community at the thought.

        I have recommend that Jewish groups pay the Arabs to leave; and get an almost near universal disdain.

        Both sides want the other side to leave, apologize, and pay reparations.

        They ask me. “Why should Jews pay for the Arabs to leave?”

        I answer, “Because they won’t leave otherwise!”

        It does not process. They want the Arabs to leave, but don’t want to pay them to leave. As if they expected the Arabs to oblige them?!

        The Arabs are just as nutty. They deny the existence of the Jewish Temple and call it a myth.

        Some Jewish people want the Arabs to pay them for rent for use over the centuries.

        Others say subtract what Jews owe the Arabs from the “greater value” of what the Arabs stole from Sephardim during their expulsions. Then pay the Jews the difference, and take all the Arabs back.

        Of course, it is not that simple. Depends on who values the property. Was the property of a Jew evicted from Tangiers worth more than the property of a dispossessed Arab from Jaffa?! I think not.

        They would not even be able to agree on who did the accounting ledgers.

        There seems to be no hope for peace.

        4. With which religious denomination are you associated?

        Generic Christian. Non-denominational. I find fault in every denomination with a heirarchical leadership … which is just about all of them.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        April 15, 2014, 6:27 pm

        he has 300 nukes, and is in Samson option mode. She will not budge.

        Who are they going to fire those nukes at? The Palestinians? Are you suggesting Israel is suicidal?

        1) I do think Israel has a claim to all of Judea and Samaria …. but …

        How can you possibly make that claim when international law says otherwise?

        I wish rich Jews would pay the Arabs to leave.

        What do you mean by paying the Arabs to leave? Does that mean giving them a brown paper bag filled with money and then forcing them on to buses and driving them form their land?

        Do you think they will leave if they get paid?

        Does it not make much more sense to pay Jews to return to the US and Russia?

        The Arabs are just as nutty. They deny the existence of the Jewish Temple and call it a myth.

        What’s nutty about it? There is no Jewish Temple. It once existed and no longer does. They can’t even find remains of it.

      • April 15, 2014, 6:31 pm

        Mike K really thinks Israel can thumb its nose at the USA, Europe, and Russia if those entities ever get their act together?

        Delusional.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        April 15, 2014, 7:48 pm

        Mike_Konrad,

        Generic Christian. Non-denominational. I find fault in every denomination with a heirarchical leadership … which is just about all of them.

        Which Christian theologians have most influenced your thinking about Israel?

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        April 15, 2014, 8:06 pm

        Mike_Konrad,

        Nope! Israel will not budge. She has 300 nukes, and is in Samson option mode. She will not budge.

        How would Israel’s nuclear arsenal prevent Israelis from becoming personae non gratae in the United States and Europe while suffering a severe decline in their standard of living? And wouldn’t most Israelis replace their current expansionist and intransigent regime with a more reasonable government if they were faced with that prospect?

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        April 15, 2014, 8:09 pm

        Mike_Konrad,

        They won’t. Sadly. I wish rich Jews would pay the Arabs to leave. But when I bring this up on chatrooms, there seems to be defiant fury from the Jewish community at the thought.

        If Israelis are unwilling to pay reparations for the Nakba, and for the costs of the population transfer you propose, who do you think will assume the burden of these expenses?

      • talknic
        talknic
        April 15, 2014, 9:04 pm

        @ Mike_Konrad “There seems to be no hope for peace” while there are moronic Zionist criminals thirsty for other folks property, willing to break International Law and the UN Charter, never willing to budge. What do you expect?

        You appear to suggest that we should just let these morons have their way.

      • lonely rico
        lonely rico
        April 15, 2014, 9:24 pm

        @ Mike_Konrad

        Israel will not budge. She has 300 nukes, and is in Samson option mode.

        What I appreciate most about Mike is the clarity he brings to the table.
        The “Samson option mode” will signal the end of the skin-head Nazarite and those who oppose him. Do I hear adolescent insecurity with a finger on the button ?
        Nice people.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        April 16, 2014, 7:37 am

        You are right Sean, all it will take is for the US to threaten to stop ALL aid, support, and weapons, and Israel will soon change it’s tune.
        When our dear “ally” sold our weapons to China, the US was able to halt such treachery by threatening to cut the aid, and poof, they immediately stopped it. So why can’t they do the same?

      • puppies
        puppies
        April 16, 2014, 12:17 pm

        @Kay24 – “All it will take” is as you said, only “all it will take” is a surprisingly light way of expressing it for a Zionist-owned country with all systems strictly based on ownership

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        April 15, 2014, 2:00 pm

        The Israeli right is in expansionist mode. Even if they were to pay the “Arabs” to leave, and they all left Judea and Samaria and Gaza, the Israeli right would next turn to taking on the Sinai, the Golan, and the other neighboring areas as much as it could politically and militarily control. Meanwhile, there have been alot of “Arabs” around for a long time, and probably will be in the future. That’s why Max Blumenthal says you might as well get used to living in the neighborhood and respect other cultures and nationalities. One makes his bed and then lies in it.

        Regards.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        April 15, 2014, 5:36 pm

        @ W. Jones,

        Q: One makes his bed and then lies in it.

        R: Would it be a safe bet for me to sleep with one eye open after I’ve made my sleeping casket basket in your master bedroom?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        April 15, 2014, 10:59 pm

        Daniel,

        No, fortunately I am not a psychopath.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        April 15, 2014, 2:17 pm

        Mike

        The Israeli government has spent over 100bn dollars on YESHA.
        It diverted a large chunk of almost 50 years worth of taxes to that white elephant , forgoing investment in health, education, family support and social development in Israel. The results are seen in suicides, abuse of women, underperfoming children, maths results and Israel’s grim future.

        Hakadosh Baruch Hu has left the building site.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 2:44 pm

        The Israeli government decided nothing. . . . From the year of 1968 when they rented a hotel for a short stay in Hebron; and then decided not to leave.

        Well that’s not strictly the case. Under customary international law, and even US law, it is considered treason to carry-on any form of communications with an enemy or give them aid and comfort during a war.

        The laws of Jordan and the successor State of Palestine have always established that providing aid and comfort to the enemy, including land or home sales to enemy civilians, is an act of treason subject to capital punishment.

        Under the explicit terms of the 1949 Armistice Agreements and the Geneva Conventions, enemy civilians aren’t even supposed to be in Hebron in the first place. It has been the government of Israel and its Courts that have overruled Palestinian and international law in order to declare the land sales were legally consummated somehow, despite all of those legal prohibitions, and to grant titles and the right of residency to all of the illegal settlers. See:
        * PA affirms death penalty for land sales to Israelis http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/PA-affirms-death-penalty-for-land-sales-to-Israelis
        * Settlers win lengthy Hebron house dispute: Supreme Court rules that Palestinian’s claim of sale document forgery is unfounded.
        http://www.timesofisrael.com/settlers-win-lengthy-hebron-house-dispute/

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 15, 2014, 2:47 pm

        “What Israeli politician wants to be smeared as a latter-day Nazi ethnically cleansing Jews out of their patrimony? ‘How can you do this to a fellow Jew?'”

        No doubt these politicians thought this. This demonstrates bigoted thinking, because it presumes that a criminal act by a Jew should not be punished if the authorities are also Jewish. It is a shame that the Zionists have so many bigots among them.

        Also, stop using racist dog-whistle terms like “Judea and Samaria.” The area you are referring to is either “Palestine” or “the West Bank.”

      • Mike_Konrad
        Mike_Konrad
        April 15, 2014, 4:15 pm

        Also, stop using racist dog-whistle terms like “Judea and Samaria.” The area you are referring to is either “Palestine” or “the West Bank.”

        The “West Bank” refers only to the brief period: 1948-67 when Jordan held the area, calling it the West Bank of Jordan’s sovereignty. The “West Bank” is an ahistorical term, especially since Jordan does not want the area back.

        Prior to 1948, it was called Judea and Samaria.

        Judea and Samaria is the only valid historical name.

        As for Palestine, here I disagree with some Zionists. There is a historicity to the use of the name of Palestine. Some say it was a Roman name. In reality, it goes back to the 5th century B.C., long before Roman made the name change.

        Herodotus called the general area Syria-Palaestina. Therefore, Palestine is not an ahistorical term.

        However, “The West Bank,” is an invalid term referring only to a very brief period of Jordanian rule. It should not be used.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 6:08 pm

        The “West Bank” refers only to the brief period: 1948-67 when Jordan held the area, calling it the West Bank of Jordan’s sovereignty.

        Nope, during the Arab Golden Age, Tiberias was the administrative capital of the military district of Jordan, Jund of Al-Urdunn. Its jurisdiction covered the territory on both sides of the river, e.g. http://ajewishvoice.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/jund-al-urdunn.jpg?w=730

        The terms Cisjordan and Transjordan also reflect the notion of Jordan “on this side” and Jordan “on the other side” of the river, i.e. Jordan on both sides.

      • April 15, 2014, 6:30 pm

        I am curious as to how Jews from Europe, Russia, the USA have a legit “claim to all of Judea and Samaria” but the Palestinians who have lived there from time immemorial do not. That’s some real Zionist thinking right there.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        April 15, 2014, 7:18 pm

        You got a nice set of brass balls I’ll give you that. No Judea and Samaria is not the historical name. It’s your sense of jewish entitlement acting up again. First usurpers and denied conquerors don’t get to name territories. Secondly the area is called the West Bank because of it’s defining geographical feature the West Bank of the Jordan river. Thirdly the only reason the names standout historically is because through out history areas that small didn’t have names of their one. You’ll note their named after cities. As a geographical and political descriptor the West Bank has better validity than the phrasing of entitled zionists

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 15, 2014, 7:50 pm

        “The ‘West Bank’ refers only to the brief period: 1948-67 when Jordan held the area, calling it the West Bank of Jordan’s sovereignty. The ‘West Bank’ is an ahistorical term, especially since Jordan does not want the area back.”

        Nonsense, it is the English language term that the only rightful owners and residents of the land — the Palestinians — wish it to be called. The fact that you favor the racist dog-whistle term used by the Zionists is no surprise, given your well-established bigotry, but it’s wrong.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        April 16, 2014, 1:52 am

        Patrimony , heartland and homeland are much loved Bot words

        http://www.irishtimes.com/debate/letters/american-support-for-israel-1.1760665

        ” I hope the “paper of record” will not, just yet, accept that the geographical accuracy of appellations be trumped by atavistic tribal/folkloric labels, and resort to using the resurrected biblical propaganda of a partisan faction as its benchmark of what constitutes historical scholarship.

        The romantic/sentimental use of “heartland” betrays the origins of this pernicious 19th century ideologising of abstracted ideals of manufactured nationhood, which typically is accompanied by its corrollary, militarism and dispossession of those relegated as extraneous to the imagined and idealised nation. Readers of history for its educational, rather than its selective propaganda functions, will recognise the familiar tragic pattern. ”

        She looks like the real thing
        She tastes like the real thing
        My fake plastic Altneuland

      • Walid
        Walid
        April 15, 2014, 4:14 pm

        “This is why I recommend paying the Arabs to leave. ”

        Leave for where, Mike? What about the 1.5 million in the camps waiting to return, would you pay them too and where would they go with all their money?

      • Mike_Konrad
        Mike_Konrad
        April 15, 2014, 4:17 pm

        Ideally, with money, maybe some Arab states would naturalize them.

        However, it may be that given both Muslim and Jewish intransigence on naturalizing them, the West may have to absorb them.

        South America has a history of assimilating Arabs, and converting those who were Muslim.

      • puppies
        puppies
        April 15, 2014, 6:49 pm

        @Konrad – Much, much simpler to get the Zionists to leave and use their former citizenships. The question won’t arise with those who are direct descendants of Jewish Palestinians before the 1890s invasion.
        As a sponsor of the whole mayhem, the US shouldn’t have to be paid to absorb those who don’t like their countries of origin or cannot get accepted back. In fact, it is on the hook with the UK for reparations for everything since 11/1947.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        April 15, 2014, 7:22 pm

        Yes because you support israel threaten to nuke everybody if they want to go to their home historic Palestine. Rather than support thuggery and nuclear blackmail you could try supporting you know the law. And by the way the west doesn’t need to threaten israel to end it. We quit propping up its economy and it will collapse in a decade or two on its own, nukes be damned.

      • Walid
        Walid
        April 16, 2014, 2:22 am

        Those states that would such as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan couldn’t for demographic reasons, and those that could such as Saudia, the Gulf and the North African ones wouldn’t because they have no use for them. As to the states in the West, they would and they could but on condition that they’d cherry-pick a limited number that would help them with their own demographic shortcomings. An even uglier fact not being currently discussed but that has been around for decades, is Israel’s insistence in having a say on limiting the inflows of Palestinian refugees into an eventual independent Palestine. In other words, Israel would not allow the 1.5 or 2 million refugees currently in the camps of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to be repatriated to the WB. So even if they were to be paid off, these refugees are not welcome to stay in their host countries. And you want to add another 2 million Israeli Palestinians to those numbers?

        Why not ask that the Israelis that have roots in pre-48 Palestine to stay there and have all the others go back to their original countries?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        April 15, 2014, 4:24 pm

        “This is why I recommend paying the Arabs to leave. ”

        Israel is a tiny enclave in the Middle East. Surrounded by goys.
        Crusader Kingdom redux.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        April 15, 2014, 9:31 pm

        “Leave for where, Mike?”

        I’ve already suggested Denmark. (After ethnically cleansing the Danes, of course.)

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/10/unlikely-unrealistic-unimaginable.html/comment-page-1#comment-602963

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        April 15, 2014, 6:31 pm

        The Israeli government decided nothing.

        The (settlers/pioneers) forced the issue. Israel did not bet on YESHA. YESHA bet on the government (to do nothing).

        Wrong. Since 1937, the plan has always been to take all of Palestine and settle there. Menachem Begin insisted the partition plan was illegal and Ben Gurion said no Jew can forgo the claim to Jewish land in all of Palestine.

        Notice the word, “temporarily.”

        Notice how the Israeli Supreme Court refers to the occupation as temporary, even while the Israeli government finances and subsidizes settlements in the occupied territories?

        The Gaza withdrawal only involved about 8,000 Jews, and the country of Israel nearly had a mental collapse over it.

        No they didn’t. Sharon and co made sure that it looked like a heartbreak for Israel for the cameras, calling it another Shoah, so as to make it look sufficiently painful that they would not be expected to leave the West Bank.

        The Israeli government is a settler party.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 9:40 pm

        The Gaza withdrawal only involved about 8,000 Jews, and the country of Israel nearly had a mental collapse over it.

        Why? They were paid $1.1 billion in compensation for land that was stolen in the first place. If they’d really been homeless for 2,000 years, they’d have still been able to wrap their head around living out of a suitcase and cardboard boxes in exchange for half that much gelt.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 15, 2014, 7:50 pm

        “This is why I recommend paying the Arabs to leave. ”

        No, the reason you recommend this is because you’re an anti-Arab bigot, as you prove with every post.

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    April 15, 2014, 11:26 am

    RE: “By contrast, Eric Alterman in The Nation is a model of clear thinking. The Israelis and Netanyahu were “never serious about pursuing” a two-state solution in recent talks, Netanyahu wants “a Bantustan-style solution,” and “US audiences may be fooled by Netanyahu’s lip service to a two-state solution, but Israelis are not.”
    So he attacks BDS?

    Will somebody explain Alterman’s logic? How is he a model of clear thinking?

    • Mike_Konrad
      Mike_Konrad
      April 15, 2014, 4:45 pm

      The Israelis and Netanyahu were “never serious about pursuing” a two-state solution in recent talks, Netanyahu wants “a Bantustan-style solution,”

      Here I agree with you. Netanyahu’s terms were NOT generous. Israel would have controlled all borders … which voids independence.

      I do not blame Netanyahu; the Arabs in the area are nuts – but I concede it was not a genuine offer of a two-state solution.

      The difference is: While I agree that Netanyahu’s terms were terrible, I cannot see Israel safely offering the Arabs anything better without jeopardizing Israel’s security.

      This is why I say the only humanitarian solution is to pay them Arabs to leave.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        April 15, 2014, 7:28 pm

        No you want to pay them to leave because jewish want is far more important than Arab legal rights to you. Israel wants to be safe quit it’s 70 year war of conquest give Palestine back to the Palestinians pull back to a modified version of the proposed partition( that gerrymandered proposed version to get jews a majority is in no ones interest)and quit acting as if they are above the law and it will be safe. Continue being thugs and eventual they’ll cross a line and israel will be destroyed and get a lot of people needlessly killed

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 15, 2014, 7:39 pm

        “the Arabs in the area are nuts… This is why I say the only humanitarian solution is to pay them Arabs to leave.”

        Or you could, I don’t know, stop being such a raging bigot.

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    April 15, 2014, 11:30 am

    Nobody can escape the obvious fact that Zionism is not a universal humanitarian principle, either theoretically, or as actually implemented. Only Dick and Jane need to wake up for all this to change. Sadly, they are sound asleep.

  5. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    April 15, 2014, 11:40 am

    Israel has never paid a price for expansion; it just keeps expanding.
    Yes, and Altermann and JStreet definitely do not want it to pay any price, based on their view of being “pro-Israel”. This is why JStreet applauds increases in military backing of the IDF by the US and the Visa Waiver bill opposed by human rights activists.

    Their view is to criticize the Israeli right for the occupation, and fund the army as much as possible while it builds up the occupation.

    He’s lost that status to BDS, which is really doing something about Palestinian rights.
    Yes. BDS -AKA actually doing something even minimal to push back against the repression – drives the system’s supporters bonkers.

    Their implicit reasoning behind this reaction must be that the religio-nationalist political system is so important that supporting it materially far outweighs the system’s repression.

    In fact, even if the system imprisoned and abused hundreds of children, used chemical warfare against civilian targets, and created one of the largest refugee populations in the world, the system’s supporters would still demand increased material support.

  6. Balfour
    Balfour
    April 15, 2014, 11:44 am

    I think the NYT editorial is momentous: for the first time America’s “Paper of Record” is admitting that the two state solution is dead, no matter that the Times assigns equal blame for the failure. I think the Times is also covering themselves by “officially” assigning equal blame for the Peace Talks, yet the Paper opens their editorial stance up to readers comments, and by an overwhelming margin the commenters blame Israel for the lack of progress. The last time I can remember an event this significant is when Walter Cronkite read his editorial questioning the purpose of the Vietnm War after the Tet Offensive in 1968.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      April 15, 2014, 12:12 pm

      Balfour,

      I think the Times is also covering themselves by “officially” assigning equal blame for the Peace Talks, yet the Paper opens their editorial stance up to readers comments, and by an overwhelming margin the commenters blame Israel for the lack of progress. The last time I can remember an event this significant is when Walter Cronkite read his editorial questioning the purpose of the Vietnm War after the Tet Offensive in 1968.

      I think it is no exaggeration to describe the major crackup between mainstream media publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post and their readerships over Mideast and Israeli politics as a historical development of extraordinary importance. I have been thinking this for several years now, since I first noticed this remarkable split opening up. Something is going to have to give — and I am betting that it will be the unquestioning Zionist attitudes and editorial policies of those publications. In the age of the Internet, they are sitting ducks.

      Renegade Web publications like Mondoweiss are having a much greater impact on the conversation about Israel than the traditional mainstream media. One can easily verify this claim through social media analytics.

      • Balfour
        Balfour
        April 15, 2014, 1:21 pm

        As Larry Derfner states below the Vietnam War was first opposed by the political radicals, then the liberals and finally the American mainstream; I am hoping that the Times editorial allows today’s American mainstream to begin asking honest questions about the consequences of providing unconditional U.S. support for Israel, the blowback of “Shelly” Adelson, Charles Jacobs and AIPAC notwithstanding.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        April 15, 2014, 3:21 pm

        Wow — I just browsed the top 10 comments under Readers’ Picks for this NYT editorial — yet again, a solid wall of thoughtful criticism of Israel and pro-Israel American policies. It is a certainty that New York Times higher-ups have been paying attention to this significant trend in opinion among its own most valuable readers. A movement this forceful is impossible to ignore or buck.

        Regarding the notion of the United States leaving Israel to its own devices — free to expand settlements into Greater Israel without serious consequences — I doubt that it will fly.

    • jenin
      jenin
      April 15, 2014, 12:27 pm

      I agree with you that, though the Times Editorial sort of gave lipservice to blaming both sides, it ultimately blamed the Israelis for the failure of the peace talks. The problem with the editorial, as I saw it, is its thesis: that the US should just forget the whole thing. Considering that, by giving so much military and other aid to Israel the US is complicit in and responsible for Israel’s crimes, we don’t really have a right at this point to just do nothing — unless, of course, we stop all aid to Israel. Which is what I would advocate. The Times is essentially advocating allowing the powerful party in this situation, Israel, to do whatever it wants to the Palestinians — which it would continue to do should the Obama administration follow the Editorial’s advice. In sum, “doing nothing” (while continuing to fund Israel’s apartheid state and occupation) is really “doing something” for the Israelis

      • UpSIDEdown
        UpSIDEdown
        April 15, 2014, 1:56 pm

        jenin
        The times is essentially advocating allowing the powerful party in this situation, Israel, to do whatever it wants to the Palestinians.. How right you are~

  7. LarryDerfner
    LarryDerfner
    April 15, 2014, 12:19 pm

    The radical BDS movement broke the taboo against punishing Israel for the occupation, which allowed the liberal “large actors who count” to consider it, which they’ve begun doing. It’s like how the Vietnam War protests began with radicals in Berkeley, but later was taken up by liberals, and finally by the mainstream. Alterman is plain wrong.

    • James North
      James North
      April 15, 2014, 12:47 pm

      Larry: A pleasure to see you here. Please visit often, comment often.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      April 15, 2014, 12:47 pm

      It’s like how the Vietnam War protests began with radicals in Berkeley, but later was taken up by liberals, and finally by the mainstream. Alterman is plain wrong.

      I agree. Legal risks from the possibility of asset freezes and forfeitures had more to do with triggering the recent divestments by banks and the large state-run pension funds, than grass roots activism. I think the risk of Palestine joining the ICC, where the majority of cases involve some form of pillaging charges, and the findings of the UNHRC fact finding mission about the role of transnational corporations and businesses in the illegal settlement enterprise, combined with de facto recognition from the 14 EU governments that voted in favor of Palestine’s statehood bids in the General Assembly and UNESCO was the “writing on the wall” for anyone exercising fiduciary responsibilities or contractual due diligence.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        April 15, 2014, 1:37 pm

        and the findings of the UNHRC fact finding mission about the role of transnational corporations and businesses in the illegal settlement enterprise

        There wasn’t such a fact finding missing yet, or was there. I would be highly interested in such a mission.

        Good argument.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 15, 2014, 1:48 pm

        Hi LeaNder. The “fact-finding” was reported here (at MW) by Annie and Hostage: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/resolution-companies-settlements.html

        Great article.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        April 15, 2014, 1:57 pm

        Thanks, ritzl, that escaped me for whatever reason.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 3:21 pm

        I would be highly interested in such a mission.

        There was an initial fact-finding mission to investigate the human rights implications of the Israeli settlements (A/HRC/22/63). It referred the matter to a special Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations that hasn’t issued its report yet. They are scheduled to meet again in Geneva, on 5-9 May 2014.
        * A/HRC/22/63 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/HRC/22/63
        * http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/WGSessions.aspx

        The original fact finding mission reported on the possible culpability of transnational corporations and other businesses in human rights violations regarding the settlements. The UNHRC accepted those findings and asked all UN mandate holders to address the issue in their own reports.

        Prof Falk reported twice on examples of possible criminal liability in his mandated area, as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
        http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/68/376

        In his final report he described the situation in about the same way we are today, i.e. grass roots efforts along side a growing list of official ones from the EU and others that are starting to have effects. In addition, two of his final recommendations dealt with the issue:

        (d) The international community comprehensively investigate the business activities of companies and financial institutions registered in their own respective countries, which profit from the settlements of Israel and other unlawful Israeli activities, and take appropriate action to end such practices and ensure appropriate reparation for affected Palestinians. Member States should consider imposing a ban on imports of settlement produce;
        (e) Future investigations consider whether other foreign corporate connections with unlawful occupation policies additional to settlements (e.g. separation wall, Gaza blockade, house demolitions, excessive use of force) should not be also deemed “problematic” under international law, and treated in a manner analogous to the recommendations pertaining to settlements;

        http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/HRC/22/63

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        April 15, 2014, 4:13 pm

        thanks, Hostage, perfect response, as always.

        I should have known. Even if I didn’t catch any of your comments referring directly to this specific context, it was present in your arguments a long time now.

      • chuckcarlos
        chuckcarlos
        April 15, 2014, 2:31 pm

        actually the protests had very little to do with ending the War

        Nixon was elected in 68 and 72 with his secret plan to end the War…the plan was nothing more than Clark Clifford’s Vietnamization taken up by Melvin Laird…

        the public actually was turned off by the protests…but the protests might have helped end the draft (because of the mess of refuseniks created in the draft in 70 or so) in 72 more or less…

        the War dragged on with Nixon and more were actually killed under him than under LBJ…but Nixon the paranoid psychotic that he was knew and realized the War was not in the interest of the USA and he and Kissinger had bigger fish to fry than supporting a War Lord Government in Saigon…

        as you may recall or look it up…Nixon was sort of unimpressed by protests…but he made the correct call in cutting Vietnam loose even though Nixon being Nixon lied thru his teeth the whole time…

        What ended the War were the TV and Photo images and the stories coming back from Vietnam by the GIs to the average folks who voted for Nixon and wanted out…and the reports by the CIA that the War was unwinnable/a disaster/costly/denegrated the military and public position of the USA

        That’s why the Electronic Intifada and other sites like that and the insertion of more images into TV and YouTube of the atrocities committed by the the Israelis….Boycotts help too by focusing attention on the subhuman conditions imposed on the Palestinians and others by the Israelis…

        Protests are feel good statements

        On world stage if the USA is scene as supporting a Rascist Israeli then eventually the worm will turn

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        April 15, 2014, 4:42 pm

        Nixon seems to have been keen to pull US troops out of South Vietnam fairly rapidly, after gaining the White House, but Kissinger argued for delay.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 6:35 pm

        actually the protests had very little to do with ending the War

        Derner didn’t say that the factors ended the war, i.e. “It’s like how the Vietnam War protests began with radicals in Berkeley, but later was taken up by liberals, and finally by the mainstream.”

        I think that public protests and lack of mainstream support for the war caused Johnson to bow out of the Presidential race and forced Nixon to run on a platform in 1968 that disingenuously promised to bring peace and end the war. See Republican Party Platform of August 5, 1968: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25841

        The US couldn’t have kept a force of half a million people in Vietnam without the draft. So draft resisters and the establishment call for an all volunteer force helped to narrow Nixon’s options in his second term.

    • Balfour
      Balfour
      April 15, 2014, 1:09 pm

      I enjoy reading your articles in ‘972’, thank you so much for commenting.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      April 15, 2014, 1:15 pm

      Larry,

      Netanyahu’s actions showed that the Israeli establishment is not interested in a two state solution, although one could tell that after the Din was called condemning Rabin.

      Alterman and other critical supporters of the system who oppose BDS speak out about some abuses, but they do not support actual measures to stop those abuses. Their answer for the US government and other liberal supporters to talk strongly and persuasively to the State and to Israelis has failed and is failing worse, as settlements expand and the talks have been shown to be a stalling game for many decades. The only conclusion can be that the liberal opponents of BDS, like other strong supporters of the state’s system, value the system so much that they oppose actual measures to stop the system’s severe abuses that they criticize.

      Please remember:
      If someone seriously cares about stopping drastic human rights abuses, then one must not oppose taking real-life measures to end them.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 15, 2014, 2:45 pm

        @WJ- Re: If someone seriously cares…

        Avigail Abarbanel (Via Chu) : http://www.avigailabarbanel.me.uk/

        … I also write for a very selfish reason. When one day, Israelis stand trial for the occupation and the war crimes against the Palestinian people, I would like to be counted as someone who spoke up. I was brought up on stories of the Holocaust. I was told that perhaps even more despicable than the Nazis themselves were all those who knew what was happening and allowed it to happen. Jews have always felt abandoned by a world full of bystanders. Being a bystander doesn’t mean doing nothing. It means collaborating. And I don’t want to be a collaborator. …

        I’ve posted this before so I apologize for being redundant, but her words are magic, to me at least, and maybe more so within the context of a site (this site) dedicated to Jewish sensibilities.

      • lonely rico
        lonely rico
        April 15, 2014, 5:06 pm

        @ W.Jones, ritzl & Avigail Abarbanel

        If someone seriously cares about stopping drastic human rights abuses, then one must not oppose taking real-life measures to end them.

        I would like to be counted as someone who spoke up.

        Brings to mind a quote from Desmond Tutu –

        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

    • puppies
      puppies
      April 15, 2014, 1:28 pm

      @Derfner – Not so clear-cut wrong. Not wanting to be associated with boycott people is farfetched as a reason. On the other hand, boycott as it is practiced by “liberal” Zionists, who limit themselves to post-1967 “settler” products and while so doing try to extend their life and manage to get in the leadership of an anti-Zionist movement, is not clear-cut in its results. Up to now, it seems to favor the Zionist entity while it certainly helps us by exposing Zionism to more people around the world. So not an unmitigated disaster but not a net gain yet.
      Anyway, no solid results to be expected without an Umkhonto We Sizwe and a major US setback.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      April 15, 2014, 2:16 pm

      It is how all movements of social change start — on the fringes, among the “radicals.” It is radical because it is not (yet) conventional thought.

      Just as the Abolitionists were radicals of their time, and other — as you mentioned — which followed.

      Slavery (like Zionism) was also defended as God’s plan and those who spoke against it were demonized and filth and traitors. This is how movements of change are resisted. Same ‘ole ….same ‘ole.

      Rejection of Zionism will also be mainstream in time.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 15, 2014, 2:52 pm

        @Ellen- Marx was right! At least in the “vanguard” sense.

        Though he completely eviscerated his own larger argument by being “right” in that sense.

        Ah politics… :)

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 3:37 pm

        It is how all movements of social change start — on the fringes, among the “radicals.” It is radical because it is not (yet) conventional thought.

        This case is a bit different. All of the ex-officio political and judicial intergovernmental organs of the UN have condemned Israel’s actions in the occupied territories. But they could not agree to take joint or individual action on the issues outlined in the ICJ advisory opinion. The grass roots movement began as a “name and shame” effort to alter that status quo. The greatest threat to Israel that has materialized recently came from the mainstream, establishment institutions of government, banking, and businesses.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      April 15, 2014, 3:03 pm

      And although Altman’s idea that some BIGs might not want to be associated with BDS (sometimes considered antisemitic), might have some merit, here or there, does he point to any instance of a BIG opposing settlement of occupation BEFORE BDS came on the scene?

  8. Hostage
    Hostage
    April 15, 2014, 12:32 pm

    (This is undoubtedly why Mahmoud Abbas opposes BDS as well.)

    Correction: Abbas has an official policy in place to boycott the illegal settlements in Palestine, and a Palestinian law carrying the death penalty for selling land to the enemy, pending a final peace treaty. Palestine is a member of the Arab League and can’t endorse a boycott of Israel proper without triggering the provisions of the US anti-boycott statutes. So it would be smart for the civil society movement to avoid his official endorsement.

    He can’t effectively boycott Israel proper in any event, since Israel is an occupying power that controls the captive Palestinian economy. In the past, Israel has adopted curfews, closures, and other forms of reprisal, like those that have been in place against Gaza since the 1990s.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      April 15, 2014, 12:41 pm

      Hostage, could you provide a link to or a legal explanation, if withholding Pal. Taxes is a violation of international/humanitarian law?

      • lonely rico
        lonely rico
        April 15, 2014, 5:19 pm

        @ Talkback

        … [w]ithholding Pal. Taxes

        Isn’t that called theft ?
        I seem to remember I once read somewhere –
        “Thou shalt not steal”
        Israel does not accede to this commandment ?
        Strange.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 7:26 pm

        Hostage, could you provide a link to or a legal explanation, if withholding Pal. Taxes is a violation of international/humanitarian law?

        Israel doesn’t have any agreements with the state of Palestine. The 1994 Paris Protocol was part of the now-lapsed Oslo 1 Interim Agreements. It only established a joint external border for the five year interim period. The authority for Israel collect the import taxes on the goods intended for the Occupied Territories has long since expired. There was never any authority for Israel to withhold transfers under that agreement. The two parties signed another agreement in July of 2012 on taxation and transfer of goods between Israel and the PA. The terms were not disclosed, but it’s unlikely that the Palestinians signed an agreement that allowed Israel to unilaterally resolve disputes. http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/pressroom/2012/pages/arrangements_taxation_transfer_goods_israel-pa_31-jul-2012.aspx

        Israel has claimed that the money will be applied to the Palestinian’s debts for utilities, & etc. But that overlooks Palestinian claims that would more than offset any of Israel’s claims. As an occupying power, Israel is “regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied territory. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct”. Briefly that means they can’t be expropriated or simply pillaged for the use of others. The UN and the ICJ have both cited the illegality of the use of Palestine’s land and resources and affirmed the right of Palestinians to compensation. Israel is fond of claiming that its settlements on illegally expropriated state lands will be part of its territory under any final settlement, but it hasn’t explained how the Palestinians would be compensated for the land in question or all of the stolen natural resources.
        * http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule51
        * http://qceablog.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/the-occupation-has-an-environmental-cost-too-2/

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        April 15, 2014, 8:17 pm

        ThaaankYou!

        Is there anything else which is more point on regarding taxes and international law? I read that cash, etc. can be confiscated for military reasons. Can the occupying power argue, that it needs money to uphold security and occupation?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 10:28 pm

        Is there anything else which is more point on regarding taxes and international law? I read that cash, etc. can be confiscated for military reasons. Can the occupying power argue, that it needs money to uphold security and occupation?

        We weren’t talking about currency, only tax collection. An occupying power can introduce a new currency control regulations and issue new currency at par, but it cannot inflate the supply or deliberately allow its value to depreciate so badly that it isn’t an adequate substitute for payment of public or private debts due under contracts and wills in the former currency. It generally falls under the obligation in Article 43 of the Hague IV regulations for the occupying power to maintain the public life of the occupied territory. There is a brief discussion of the subject starting at paragraph 215 on page 93 of Yoram Dinstein, The International Law of Belligerent Occupation http://books.google.com/books?id=OVEXr3zIK98C&lpg=PA94&pg=PA93#v=onepage&q&f=false

        There are a few landmark cases on the subject in Hersh Lauterpact’s Oppenhiem’s Digest and International Law Reports, e.g. http://books.google.com/books?id=SP0tNcO9X7AC&lpg=PA576&pg=PA576#v=onepage&q&f=false and a brief discussion of the subject under the heading of the international legality test in Eyal Benvenisti, The International Law of Occupation, http://books.google.com/books?id=JKgeX_sdQG0C&lpg=PA303&pg=PA303#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        April 16, 2014, 4:03 pm

        Thank you again, Hostage.

    • Rusty Pipes
      Rusty Pipes
      April 15, 2014, 1:27 pm

      Alterman conveniently distorts the difference between “opposes” and “does not endorse.” BDS is a civil society movement and Abbas is the head of the PA. As you note, his endorsement as the head of state of a member of the Arab League could complicate his negotiating strategy and trigger US anti-Arab boycott sanctions.

  9. Walid
    Walid
    April 15, 2014, 12:35 pm

    ” Alterman makes the astonishing claim that BDS is helping Netanyahu pursue the occupation.”

    I’m not sure he’s totally wrong, especially considering the campaign announced by Lauder stressing that BDS is all about delegitimizing Israel. BDS has a lot of work ahead of it to do to counter that campaign.

    • puppies
      puppies
      April 15, 2014, 1:36 pm

      @Walid – I am sure that the sub-Zionists and “liberal”-Zionist coyly trying to deny that the Zionist entity’s “legitimacy” is a target is **hurting the boycott movement a lot. BDS is mainly useful as an educational tool and its first lesson is that the bastards have NO legitimacy at all anywhere in the world, none, zilch, nada. Of course delegitimizing, stupid word if there were any, is a main goal.

      • JustJessetr
        JustJessetr
        April 15, 2014, 4:21 pm

        @puppies.

        And this is the sort of delicious statement I use when BDS activists crawl out of shadows at the Park Slope Food Coop. You make it very easy to show the administrators exactly what these activists stand for: everything that the food coop finds reprehensible.

        That’s why their proposals get beaten down. Every time they’re brought up at the General Meeting.

        THANK YOU! : )

      • adele
        adele
        April 16, 2014, 8:48 pm

        JustJessetr – so glad you support free-range chickens and imprisoned Palestinians. So positively progressive of you. Cheers.

  10. Walid
    Walid
    April 15, 2014, 12:56 pm

    “This is undoubtedly why Mahmoud Abbas opposes BDS as well.”

    I think it has more to do with wanting to be loved. By the wrong people, of course.

    • puppies
      puppies
      April 15, 2014, 1:37 pm

      @Walid – How can he participate while under occupation, even if we were not a collaborator? He is not in Tunis.

      • Walid
        Walid
        April 15, 2014, 4:17 pm

        He didn’t have to say anything, puppies, especially the part about not boycotting Israel.

      • puppies
        puppies
        April 15, 2014, 5:21 pm

        @Walid – He has some ridiculous lawyerly excuse for that, and a $$$-linked one, too –apart from being a collaborator now threatened with execution as soon as he gets replaced. The fact remains, though, that the Palestinian population cannot implement BDS but only call for it.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 15, 2014, 7:49 pm

        apart from being a collaborator now threatened with execution as soon as he gets replaced

        Then again, maybe not:

        To get past this deadlock, a quid pro quo was suggested: 104 Palestinians imprisoned since before the Oslo Accords — and whose release had already been agreed to in the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum — would be released in return for the Palestinian leadership suspending following up on Palestine’s recognition at the United Nations as a non-member observer state and ascending to various international bodies and treaties.

        Instead, Israeli pundits argued, almost in unison, that the Palestinian president’s decision was the result of Abbas being afraid to make decisions for peace, his waning popularity, his fear of Mohammed Dahlan taking his position and Palestinians being drunk with power.

        As to the claim that Abbas’ decision stems from his “waning popularity,” two independent polls showed Abbas polling quite well less than a month before the April 1 letter signings. An AWRAD Poll conducted March 10–11 put Abbas’ approval rating at 58%. Another poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey, indicated that if national elections were held that day, Abbas would win 53% of the vote.

        — Abbas catches Israel off guard http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/04/israel-palestine-abbas-peace-recognition.html#

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      April 15, 2014, 1:39 pm

      +1
      Or not repressed by them.

  11. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    April 15, 2014, 1:48 pm

    Right-wing Israelis are therefore able to take advantage of the widespread distaste for “BDS-style rhetoric and tactics, because they know that the more attention the BDS movement receives, the more difficult it will become to build serious international pressure on the occupation itself.”

    Even if one inserts oneself into the warped thinking of Chomsky and Alterman that BDS would have a [nonexistent] anti-semitic motivation, giving attention to BDS would still add to international pressure. If strict, right wing Americans (who are in reality Christian Zionists) were leading the call to avoid buying Israeli goods and emphasizing human rights concerns as the reason, it would still be helpful. That’s because in public debates on the subject, the opponents of this alternate reality version of BDS would still have to address the human rights issues in the course of their argument. They would still be forced to address whether or not the mistreatment exists, and since it does exist, they would be confronted with the problem of whether to actually do anything to stop the mistreatment or not.

    In any case, human rights activists are hardly motivated by “values” of intolerance, and people must address whether as supporters of human rights we are going to oppose all measures against systematic abuse.

  12. Taxi
    Taxi
    April 15, 2014, 1:58 pm

    What’s good for Netanyahu is bad for israel.

    Fact is, even without BDS, israel’s reputation in America is sinking in the eyes of Americans – never been this low in six decades. Netanyahu especially is loathed and one can clearly see this loathing in the comments section on pretty much all yahoo-news articles that have the name Netanyahu featured in the headlines.

    Admittedly, this growing American contempt for israeli politicians and their shenanigans does not equal a notable increased support for the Palestinians. But there is certainly an awareness of the Palestinian narrative currently taking a-hold of American consciousness. This means that the israel narrative in America is increasingly being dismissed by the American public – and this is precisely what is freaking the deek out of American zionists.

    Alterman’s wigout reminds me of MJ Rosenberg’s wigout(s). They’ve both hit a big, bad, black wall called ‘the truth about zionism’ and the only way they can deal with it is to hissy-fit and deny, then attack.

    I expect a liberal zionist ‘personality’ to blow their cork once a week from here on.

  13. James Canning
    James Canning
    April 15, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Very interesting piece. I think a growing BDS movement can help Israel by making retention of colonies in the West Bank more difficult.

  14. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    April 15, 2014, 2:38 pm

    “Obama called for an end to settlements in 2009 and then promptly reversed himself, lest he lose Haim Saban and other major backers. The Democratic Party has endlessly supported Israel’s colonization of Jerusalem; and the American Jewish community has also been a passive supporter — “breakfast at the Regency,” as David Remnick put it.”

    And both Clinton’s are entrenched in Haim Saban’s world of influence.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      April 15, 2014, 4:45 pm

      Early on, Hillary C apparently was willing to try to stop the growth of the illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank, but she saw little backing in the White House for doing this. Sadly. And Dennis Ross was apparently in the lead, in urging Obama not to stop the growth of the illegal colonies of Jews.

  15. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    April 15, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Alterman’s excuses are all just racist nonsense. Israel did nothing, ever — before BDS or during it — to move along the path of liberating the Palestinians. So the notion that BDS is somehow to blame is self-evident nonsense.

    PEPs and “liberal” Zionists like Alterman are happy with the result because they get to continue to pretend that they actually value decency, human rights, humanity, etc., but, at the same time, they get to indulge their lust for tribalism and nationalism. And by invoking this excuse, they are free of even having to blame their fellow tribesmen, like Netanyahu and Lieberman, and blame the Palestinian victims for their own oppression.

  16. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away
    April 15, 2014, 4:12 pm

    BDS is not (yet) a direct threat to Israel but it is (already) a direct threat to the very architecture, and psychology, of political Zionism. And while BDS originated around the limited idea of boycotting Israeli goods produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories its appeal, and therefore potential impact, is much wider.
    The “secret sauce” of BDS is that it offers something most Americans have never had before (but have always wanted) relative to the national conversation around the Zionist-Palestinian conflict: agency.
    BDS offers an opportunity to anyone and everyone who has ever been insulted, silenced, manipulated or intimidated by organized Zionism over the past sixty years to actually become a player in the political dynamic that orbits the Palestinian-Zionist conflict.
    By choosing not to purchase a product such as Soda Stream dispensers or patronize Starbucks mainstream Americans can now meaningfully add their voices to a discourse from which they have long been excluded. As I see it those Zionists who are panicking about BDS realize that there nothing within the law that organized Zionism can do to combat the growth of BDS.
    This is so because BDS action takes place on a micro-economic level: millions and millions of small, private, personal purchasing decisions that not only cannot be countered they cannot even be identified. In essence, each BDS action is a secret ballot. So, having been effectively neutralized relative to the politics of the Zionist-Palestinian for sixty-odd years, the American public, ironically and poetically, has been granted a seat at the table of power courtesy of a Palestinian-led justice initiative.
    Perhaps the best contemporary parallel to BDS’s rise, growth and popularity (there is no other word for it) is the struggle for LGBT rights: the arc and velocity of progress in that area is nothing less than breathtaking. The institutions of social control were long able to deny equality to millions of gay Americans because they were effectively dehumanized and subtracted from the political calculus. No more. The moral bedrock has shifted and there will never be a return to the days when gays had no rights and could be discriminated against with impunity. The taboos have all been shattered (I like to think that Debra Messing/Will and Grace had a LOT to do with that) and a critical mass of mainstream Americans have called their earlier anti-gay memes into question.
    Same now for Palestine.

  17. seafoid
    seafoid
    April 15, 2014, 4:39 pm

    BDS freaks out the bots because it’s grassroots, impervious to money and can’t be led by pseudo progressive elite opinion formers such as Beinart and Alterman or anyone who has ever written hasbara in the Guardian.

    Newspaper output can be tightly controlled with enough money but Joe Public is given to volatility if he gets a few uncomfortable facts together (which rarely happens but when it does, get out of the way .)

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      April 15, 2014, 4:51 pm

      At one rural town hall meeting with a US Senator, a missionary to Palestine [nationalists shut down when they just hear that word] said that the situation there was the worst he ever has seen and that they have no water rights. That was the end of the Town Hall meeting.

    • puppies
      puppies
      April 15, 2014, 5:27 pm

      seafoid – “can’t be led by pseudo progressive elite opinion formers such as Beinart and Alterman or…” That’s exactly the type of people who are leading today’s “limited boycott” limited to post-67 occupation settlers only, as well as an excommunication movement of whoever they want to call “Antisemites”. Even the “Meretz” chair supports boycott as long as it does not hit the Zionist entity “proper”. It’s all in the hope of some “two-state” deal so they can keep their racist dictatorship. And yes, honest boycotters have no propaganda budget but these snakes do, and how.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        April 16, 2014, 2:04 am

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/3/cdec099e-2782-11e3-8feb-00144feab7de.html

        “It is not complicated. Any half-competent flak knows the drill. Own the bad news. Make sure colleagues and partners are prepared; go public quickly, clearly, and completely; be accountable; be available. Candour is a sign of respect.
        Yet companies delay, underplay and equivocate. Jamie Dimon called JPMorgan’s London Whale trades “a tempest in a teapot”. Oopsie. Losses grew to more than $6bn, heads rolled and a sweeping rethink of the bank’s controls ensued. During Nasdaq’s computer failure last month, boss Robert Greifeld focused on communicating with regulators and Wall Street dealers and, amazingly, made himself largely invisible to the share-owning public. Soon there were calls for his resignation.
        Such missteps are not limited to businesses. They are symptoms of the myopic optimism that characterises our species. If short-term pain can be avoided, we think, things will take care of themselves. They don’t.”

        Israel can’t do any fixing. All it has is guns and myopic optimism.
        Tragic.

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        April 16, 2014, 2:31 am

        puppies ~

        That’s exactly the type of people who are leading today’s “limited boycott” limited to post-67 occupation settlers only…

        They’re not leading anything – I’d eat my hat if Beinart has ever checked a product for a 729 barcode or investigated which companies are actually profiting from the occupation.

        “Limited boycott” isn’t about activism it’s ideological posturing which these fake [PEP] liberals need before they can look in the mirror each day. And of course must keep up appearances and wring hands to maintain some semblance of credibility among the gullible…

  18. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    April 15, 2014, 5:27 pm

    Q: “Those who wear the BDS label should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot,” – BiBi Netanyahoo

    R: Yes, treat them exactly the way you treat Palestinians.

  19. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    April 15, 2014, 7:35 pm

    RE: “Netanyahu and company actually appreciate the misguided efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in the United States and Europe. As [Avner Inbar, director of the liberal Israeli thinktank Molad] explains . . .” ~ Eric Alterman

    MY COMMENT: I wonder where Avner Inbar of the liberal Israeli thinktank Molad got the idea that Netanyahu and company appreciate the “misguided” efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Well, let’s think about it. Hmmm, well, Inbar is in Israel. So, he probably talks quite frequently to various people in the Israeli government. I wonder if one (or more) of these people in the government might have put this bug in Inbar’s ear (“strictly in confidence” because if Netanyahu were to find out he/she had “spilled the beans” on this Bibi would surely “go ballistic” and “tear him/her a new a-hole”)! ! !
    Or, is this sort of thing only done (quite regularly) in the U.S.?
    Think: Scooter Libby, Robert Novak and Valerie Plame!

  20. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    April 15, 2014, 8:08 pm

    RE: “Alterman is enraged by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, BDS, and makes the astonishing claim that BDS is helping Netanyahu pursue the occupation.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Fundamentally, Eric Alterman has been a “two-state faker”* for lo these many years. Now he is trying to lay the groundwork for ultimately blaming the demise of the two-state option on BDS (rather than blaming Israel for its settlement policy and/or blaming American “two-state fakers” like Eric Alterman who have enabled Israel all these years in its settlement efforts).

    * SEE – “Flotilla 3.0: Redeeming Obama’s Palestine Speech with Gaza’s Ark”, By Robert Naiman, truth-out.org, 3/25/13

    [EXCERPTS] There’s a half-empty way and a half-full way of looking at President Barack Obama’s Jerusalem speech about the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
    The half-empty way of looking at it is: This was Obama’s white flag of surrender.
    To everyone around the world who for decades has been assuming that at the end of the day, the president of the United States would lead the way to resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Obama was saying: Don’t look at me. Just because the United States is the principal military, diplomatic and economic protector of the Israeli government, doesn’t mean that I, as the president of the United States, will do anything about the military occupation of millions of Palestinian human beings. Bibi doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; Bibi’s government doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; AIPAC doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; and Congress – which defers to AIPAC – doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state. Of course, many of them mouth the words – not Bibi’s government, they don’t even do that – but those who mouth the words oppose any practical measure that would help bring an independent Palestinian state into existence. They’re “two state fakers.” Settlement freeze? Impossible. UN membership for Palestine? Can’t be done. No, according to the two state fakers, the only option on the menu in the restaurant for the Palestinians is to return to negotiations without a settlement freeze, negotiations that for 20 years have brought more land confiscation, more settlements, more restrictions on Palestinian movement and commerce, more oppression. And so, Obama was saying, my hands are tied. Don’t look at me.
    The half-full way of looking at it is this: It was a great speech. If you “price in,” as the markets say, acceptance that the US government isn’t going to lead on this, it was a great motivational speech. President Obama made a very compelling case that someone else should do something. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15307-flotilla-30-redeeming-obamas-palestine-speech-with-gazas-ark

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      April 15, 2014, 8:19 pm

      “two-state fakers” — great phrase — and they include Eric Alterman, Shimon Peres, Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller, Martin Indyk, Haim Saban, Leon Wieseltier, Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, the full membership of the NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Council) and many others (mostly Democrats and liberal Zionists). They’ve been stringing everyone along for two decades now with false promises and covert sabotage of the bogus peace process.

  21. Mike_Konrad
    Mike_Konrad
    April 15, 2014, 11:32 pm

    pjdude says:
    April 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm
    You got a nice set of brass balls I’ll give you that. No Judea and Samaria is not the historical name.

    Yeah it is. Look at this Roman coin. Iudea Capta [Judea Captured]
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Sestertius_-_Vespasiano_-_Iudaea_Capta-RIC_0424.jpg

    pjdude says:

    It’s your sense of jewish entitlement acting up again.

    I am not Jewish.

    pjdude says:

    First usurpers and denied conquerors don’t get to name territories.

    I do not believe the Jews are usurpers.

    And historically, conquerors rename areas all the time. The Germanic Franks renamed Gaul to France. The Muslim Turks renamed Greek Anatolia. The British/Vikings renamed Eire to Ireland. Andalusia in the south of Spain came from the Moors, not the Indo-European Spanish. The English renamed Alba to Scotland. The English renamed Cymru to Wales. The Germans renamed Celtic Helvetia to Switzerland.

    Happens all the time.

    pjdude says:

    Secondly the area is called the West Bank because of it’s defining geographical feature the West Bank of the Jordan river.

    It was never referred to as the West Bank until Jordan made a claim on it.

    Open up any map before 1948, and it will say Judea and Samaria.

    pjdude says:

    Thirdly the only reason the names standout historically is because through out history areas that small didn’t have names of their one.

    Size had nothing to do with it. Athens and Sparta were only city states. It is not size but importance that defines a name. The West Bank was not a name. It did not stand out because it was not important.

    But if you doubt it … crack open a bible. You will see Judea and Samaria mentioned. How many times is Palestine – with a P – or the West Bank mentioned? Do a word search. The best you will get are the Philistines, who were from the Peloponnesian archipelago in Greece.

    pjdude says:

    You’ll note their named after cities. As a geographical and political descriptor the West Bank has better validity than the phrasing of entitled zionists

    Look, I am not Jewish. Theologically, I have strong differences with Judaism.

    But this is sheer history. The West Bank is an artificial construct.

    You might have a case with Palestine. Palestine comes from the Pelasgian invaders from Greece who landed with the Sea Peoples over a thousand years before Christ. The Arabs however cannot pronounced the letter P and say Filastin, instead.

    Palestinian identity can be traced back to around 1900. There was a paper called Filastin in 1911 in the area.

    But West Bank?! No way!

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      April 16, 2014, 1:06 pm

      But West Bank?! No way!

      The ancient Hebrews, like many others, described lands by references to the rivers that flowed through them using appropriate terms for the left and right hand for north and south banks and the sunrise and sunset for the east and west banks. The Torah indicates that Moses used the latter method to distinguish between the two banks of the Jordan when he gave the instructions for establishing the cities of refuge, long before Judea and Samaria ever existed. References to the terms east and west bank in rabbinical literature have nothing to do with the claims of the Hashemite Kingdom:

      The Talmud teaches that the three cities of refuge on the east bank of the Jordan River [i.e. literally the side of the Jordan river toward the sunrise] only became functional after the three on the west bank were established. Although Moshe knew that the latter three would only be established fourteen years after his passing, he insisted on establishing the three on the east bank. The Talmud uses this as an example of Moshe’s alacrity in the performance of mitzvos.

      Hashem commanded Moshe to designate six cities of refuge. Three of the cities were located on the east bank of the Jordan River, and three were on the west bank. The Talmud questions this designation, for only two-and-a-half tribes were located on the east bank, while the remaining nine-and-a-half tribes were located on the west bank. Our Sages explain that the disproportionate allocation was due to the high incidence of murder which took place on the east bank of the Jordan. The Baalei HaTosfos question this explanation. . . .

      http://www.torah.org/learning/rabbizweig/5771/masei.html

      I do not believe the Jews are usurpers.

      In many circles, the patriarch Jacob’s name is synonymous with the term usurper. Our entire religious/historical myth is one long account of our unsuccessful attempts to usurp the Land of Canaan from the seven nations who inhabited it before the Israelites ever arrived. The Maccabees and Herodian kings added the lands of Edom and Moab to the list, despite an explicit Torah prohibition against claiming so much as a footstep, much less annexing them permanently to “The Promised Land”. For that matter, the Land of the Philistines on the coastal plain was never part of the land of promise. Twenty cities in the malaria-ridden marshy region of the Galilee were ceded-away to King Hiram of Tyre. Nonetheless, modern Zionists have claimed all of those lands as part of their own “national home”. If you don’t consider them usupers after all of that, you must be quite a tool.

      Palestinian identity can be traced back to around 1900.

      Nope, even the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledges that Palestine and Palestinian identity can be traced back at least as far as the Arab Golden Age. “Ramla – Arab Capital of the Province of Palestine” says:

      According to historical sources, Ramla was founded at the beginning of the 8th century by the Umayyad Calif Suleiman ibn Abd el-Malik. It served as the Umayyad and Abbasid capital of the Province of Palestine (Jund Filistin), and the seat of Arab governors of the province in the 8th and 9th centuries.

      link to mfa.gov.il
      Jerusalem eventually became the capital of Jund Filistin, after the Fatimids conquered the district from the Abbasids. Its principal towns spanned the two banks of Jordan and were: Ashkelon, Ramla, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesarea, Jaffa, Jericho, Nablus, Bayt Jibrin, and Amman.

      In Baruch Kimmerling and Joel Migdal, The Palestinian People: A History, Harvard University Press, 2003 the authors wrote that Palestinian nationality was definitely evident during the Egyptian-Ottoman war (1831-1833). Israeli Historian Butros Abu Manneh noted that in 1830, on the eve of Muhammad Ali’s invasion the Sanjaks of Jerusalem and Nablus were transferred to the control of Abdullah Pasha the Governor of Acre and that the move had united the whole of Palestine in one administrative unit. See The Israel/Palestine Question: A Reader (Rewriting Histories), Ilan Pappé (Editor) Routledge (April 2, 1999), page 38.

      Open up any map before 1948, and it will say Judea and Samaria.

      I’ve already given you a link to a map of the 8th-9th century military districts that doesn’t use either of those terms. Neville J. Mandel said that throughout the 19th century the Ottoman Government employed the term “Arz-i Filistin” (the “Land of Palestine” ) in official correspondence, and that it meant, for all intents and purposes, the area to the west of the River Jordan which became “Palestine” under the British in 1922. Likewise the Zionist Congress employed the term Palaestina in the Basel Program. Johann Büssow, “Hamidian Palestine” notes that after more than half a century of regular usage, the Ottoman’s added Palestine (Filistin) to legends of the maps in their official 1907 Atlas. See pages 57 & 58. http://books.google.com/books?id=crPPX99rjYUC&lpg=PA53&ots=_Rh1G9T9wX&pg=PA57#v=onepage&q&f=false

      FYI, it’s just as likely that “Palestine” and the Hebrew Plistim were mis-transliterations of “Philistine” and “Filastin”, which have been preserved in regular usage by the inhabitants.

    • talknic
      talknic
      April 16, 2014, 1:35 pm

      @ Mike_Konrad “But West Bank?! No way!”

      So when was it changed back to Judea and Samaria after having been renamed the West Bank by the sovereign of the time? It isn’t Israel’s to rename…

  22. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    April 16, 2014, 12:10 am

    It is called confusion trying to hide insanity . The contradiction is becoming indefensible but how one does let the pipe dream die a normal death.

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