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Three critical responses to ‘Growing Jewish support for boycott’

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Reform Jewish leader Rick Jacobs speaking to Jewish Voice for Peace members at the Presbyterian convention. (Photo: @lizaveta9/Twitter)

Reform Jewish leader Rick Jacobs speaking to Jewish Voice for Peace members at the Presbyterian convention. (Photo: @lizaveta9/Twitter)

Last week we published “Growing Jewish support for boycott and the changing landscape of the BDS debate” by Paul Duffill and Gabriella Skoff and it has generated quite a discussion. Below are three critical responses to the piece by Omar Barghouti, Mich Levy and Jamie Stern-Weiner.

1. Omar Barghouti

superb piece of research on Jewish support for BDS and selective boycotts of, or divestment from, Israel, despite the obvious errors and the very problematic conclusion.

The most glaring factual error is this:

Reasons for why a narrow settlement boycott is preferred [by Israeli and other Jews] over a broader BDS include that international law is less ambiguous regarding the illegality of settlements (as compared to the BDS goals of the right of return, or legal equality in Israel) …

This is simply not true. International law is clearest on the right to equality above everything else. It is a pillar of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law.

Also, international law is just as clear on the right of any person who leaves his/her home to return to it and the right of all refugees displaced during conflicts (whether compelled to flee under duress or forcibly displaced) to return home. When it comes to Palestinian refugees in particular the UN has numerous resolutions, from 194 onward, stipulating the right of return.

Zionists, particularly of the “soft” type, many of whom are mentioned in this article, have consistently opposed full equality in Israel’s pre-67 borders and the right of return, not because these two rights are more “ambiguous” or tenuous under international law but only because granting these two rights would end Israel’s regime of apartheid and settler-colonialism. The only way to preserve Israeli apartheid is by denying full equality and the right of return, Zionists understand.

As to the conclusion, it is awfully ill-conceived and contradicts many points that the two authors make in the article. In their conclusion, the authors write:

At a deeper level, however, this growing Jewish support is an indication that the spirit of the boycott call reflects a truly democratic vision that is shared by Jews internationally, a call that wants to see the preservation, not the demise, of a democratic Israel, …

This assumes, contrary to fact and logic, that Israel is already a democratic state! Why else would you want to “preserve” it? Had the authors used the more appropriate term of “transforming” Israel into a democratic state, they would have been much more consistent with the facts and arguments that they themselves present in the article. How can a state that has more than 50 racist laws that discriminate against part of its citizenry on ethno-religious grounds be a democracy? How can a state that ethnically cleanses most of the indigenous population then prevents it, by law and power, from returning be a democracy? What is there to preserve? Jewish-Israeli apartheid must be preserved, rather than dismantled?

Try to South-Africanize this argument and see how it sounds like.

“The global boycotts of South Africa in the 1980s were aimed at the preservation, not the demise, of a democratic South Africa …” How does that sound?

These major faults aside, the article is truly praiseworthy in its comprehensive nature and detailed research.

Omar Barghouti is a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

2. Mich Levy

The authors of “Growing Jewish support for boycott and the changing landscape of the BDS debate” published by Mondoweiss on June 17, 2014, describe the purpose of the article as to “explore the growing Jewish support for both the BDS movement and other civil society boycott activities which advance the human rights goals of the movement.” However, a great number of the activities they surveyed do something very different: they use the BDS call to advance their aims of protecting and maintaining an exclusionary Jewish state in Israel. It is dangerous to assume that Zionist “support” for a “narrow” BDS campaign is a gain for a movement supporting Palestinian self-determination. It is precisely these kinds of assumptions that we rely on our alternative media sources to counter rather than reinforce.  

A useful guide for determining whether actions are expressions of effective solidarity with a struggle for self-determination are that they must 1) be based on an acknowledgement of the narrative of those who are most impacted; 2) support the demands put forward by those at the heart of the struggle; and 3) help create the conditions in which just solutions are to be found. Many of the actions the article surveys, and the article itself, misses all three points.  

Support for BDS requires a critique of the Zionist narrative – be it Left or Right

The article starts with and is framed by a reference to a Jerusalem-based think-tank, the Jewish People Policy Institute, and its recent study (this is the corrected link) “Jewish and Democratic: Perspectives from World Jewry.” The study collected and analyzed the views of Jewish groups around the world with strong connections to Israel.Following from this starting point, the article discusses concerns about the “current Zionist policies of the Jewish state” rather than the Zionist history and nature of the State of Israel – or any Palestinian narrative which reiterates how they define the problem on their own terms.  

By using this frame, the authors adopt the underlying premise that the “current Zionist policies” are the problem. But “current” Zionist policies have been consistent prior to, during and after the founding of the Israeli state. They reflect a coherent history of Zionist ideology manifested through Zionist institutions, erected over a hundred years ago, which became the foundation of a Zionist state. The building of Zionist infrastructure in Palestine throughout the first part of the 20th century systematically excluded Palestinian people (other than Jews) from political and economic power. After the state was erected, Zionist policies of exclusion and chauvinism have been maintained consistently regardless of whether the government has been led by the Zionist Right or the Zionist Left. 

The article argues that the changing BDS landscape they map reflects a call that wants to see the “preservation, not the demise, of a democratic Israel.” This goal becomes irrelevant, and worse, misleading, with the acknowledgement of history and fact that there is no “democratic Israel” to preserve.In short, the article fails to acknowledge that the Zionist Left is indeed Zionist. (A useful overview of this topic can be found in Debunking the Myth of the Zionist Left, a book by Tikva Honig-Parnass of which I co-authored a review on Jadaliyya.)

The article being reviewed here bypasses all of this history and therefore invisiblizies, for example, the Palestinian narrative of the catastrophe, or Nakba, on which the Zionist state was founded in 1948 – including the policies that were “current” then, such as the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of approximately 750,000 people. In these ways the Palestinian narrative which names the problem and its historical and systemic roots is overridden by a Zionist one in which “current policies” are examined in isolation. Attempts to address unjust policies isolated from the incentive that drives them will only serve to maintain an unjust system. 

Support for a movement requires supporting its demands

By giving equal weight to “BDS” strategies that attempt to protect Israel’s exclusionary Jewish character, the authors also do not support the demands put forward by those at the heart of the struggle. They do this despite their awareness that the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel is not limited to only boycotting products produced in the territories occupied in 1967. This translation of the call’s demands for one’s own purposes frames the problem as the 1967 occupation and settler policy, once again deflecting the issue of the 1948 occupation and expulsion. This framing does allow for addressing the rights of the Palestinians currently living there, but bypasses the crucial issue of the approximately seven million refugees, a problem whose origins stem from the expulsion of 1948, and whose resolution depends on contending with the Palestinian demand of right of return. 

The importance of this issue is multiplied again given the unimaginable circumstances of, for example, refugees being ethnically cleansed from Syrian camps. The BBC recently reported that the number of people living as refugees from war or persecution now exceeds 50 million for the first time since World War Two; by these numbers, 10-15 percent of the forcefully displaced in the world are Palestinian. Reshaping the demands of those most impacted by unjust policies and practices to one’s own benefit is not a definition of “support” for a movement. 

Which “BDS” movement will create which conditions?

The Palestinian call for BDS against Israel clearly has and is fulfilling its intended and vital goal of bringing the issues to the fore and exposing them for the world to see and to build external pressure around. Israel is indeed coming to understand that its old strategies of justifying its systematic violence, branding the other as the dangerous enemy, and making false claims of anti-Semitism when challenged, have become dubious to the public eye. If it is not careful, this trend could lead to the actual delegitimization of the concept that an exclusionary state built on occupation and oppression of another is or can ever be democratic. But Israel’s power to shape public discourse and possible “solutions” is significantly greater than that of the Palestinian people. If and when Israel finds itself in need of responding to pressure from BDS, it will likely be able to use the changing landscape of BDS outlined here to its own advantage. 

In the first place, Israel’s response to international pressure, rather than to popular solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, minimizes the perceived impact of Palestinian dissent, the most formidable challenge it faces. Secondly, if this were to come to pass, changing isolated policies would circumvent the more significant Palestinian demands and calls from the Arab street which see the root of the problem as a colonial and imperial history – and therefore intimately connected to other struggles for justice around the world. Thirdly, with any changes made under such circumstances, Israel would be seen as acting under pressure, as if it is losing something or being held accountable, when in reality, its “compromises” are more likely to reinforce the legitimization of a Jewish state at the expense of the other people living there. Finally, BDS is increasingly understood as hindering Israeli profits in business and technology; ironically, the stage is currently set for the Israeli public to support an end to the 1967 occupation in its current form because doing so would be beneficial to the growth of the Israeli state. 

The article states that “growing Jewish support is an indication that the spirit of the boycott call reflects a truly democratic vision that is shared by Jews internationally” and that “given the lack of success of official diplomacy in the region we should be encouraging, not dismissing, these growing local and international efforts.” I would argue to the contrary. The validity of the democratic vision of the Palestinian call for boycott against Israel need not – and cannot – be validated through these kinds of Jewish “support.” Likewise, the authors do not describe an alternative to official diplomacy, but rather a means for its future entrenchment.  

As I write, Israeli military presence and collective punishment in the territories occupied in 1967 are at their highest point since the second intifada. Throughout the region people, including Palestinian refugees, struggle for self-determination in a context of battles over military, political and economic dominance. Ultimately, the misleading use of the word “support” is a symptom of a larger problem. The larger problem is the use of the word at all: those of us who are less impacted by state violence, those battles between the 1% for power and profit, need not see the struggles of those most impacted as separate from our own. 

Mich Levy is a co-founder of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and has a master’s degree in the Politics of Alternative Development Studies. Mich’s current project, We Tip the Balance, provides social justice-oriented organizational development consulting and coaching. 

3. Jamie Stern-Weiner

An article just published on Mondoweiss sets out to document “growing Jewish support for both the BDS movement and other civil society boycott activities which advance the human rights goals of the movement.” (my emph.)  

Let’s take these claims in turn.  What evidence does the article provide of “growing Jewish support for… the BDS movement,” which is to say, the movement to secure the realisation of the three-point BDS platform?

None.  It construes a recent Jewish People Policy Institute report as evidence of diaspora Jews’ increasing opposition to Israel’s “Zionist policies” and unease with the notion of a Jewish and democratic state.  In fact, the study found “a nearly unanimous consensus” among diaspora Jews in favour of Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state (it speculated that younger Jews’ growing insistence on the right to be exposed to anti-Zionist arguments “could” lead to “some measure of erosion” in this consensus), while opposition to Israeli policies was not viewed by most Jews as opposition to “Zionism.”  (See pp. 21-35).

It cites a handful of politically marginal Jewish and Israeli organisations that support the BDS call, but provides no evidence of their influence, which it wildly exaggerates (in what universe are BOYCOTT! and the Alternative Information Center “prominent” within Israel?).  It notes that the American group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) aligns itself with the aims as well as the methods of the BDS movement, but doesn’t mention JVP’s important strategic caveat:

As a force of U.S.-based Jews and allies, JVP has considered the full range of BDS campaigns, and has chosen to focus our efforts on boycott and divestment campaigns that directly target Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. We believe this to be the most effective way for JVP to help bring about the aims we share with the Palestinian BDS call.

In other words, while JVP supports BDS (as distinct from boycotts, divestments and sanctions) it recognises that American Jews do not, and furthermore has opted to appeal to American Jews on the basis of opposition to Israel’s occupation rather than trying to persuade them to act on the basis of the BDS platform—a task which, it has apparently concluded, has little prospect of success.  Even if JVP’s endorsement of BDS reflects growing support for BDS among Jews active in the Palestine solidarity movement, its strategic caveat cautions precisely against interpreting this as evidence of increasing support for BDS among American Jews more broadly. 

The authors themselves acknowledge that “the most widely adopted mode of targeted support for BDS from within Israel and by Jewish individuals and organizations worldwide is a boycott of the Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem).”  What accounts for this?

Reasons for why a narrow settlement boycott is preferred over a broader BDS include that international law is less ambiguous regarding the illegality of settlements (as compared to the BDS goals of the right of return, or legal equality in Israel) and that it is easier to consistently boycott settlements (rather than boycott broader Israeli or international organizations involved in abuses of Palestinian human rights).

They appear to have forgotten the most obvious reason, the one implied by JVP’s strategic caveat: that most Jews do not support the BDS platform, either because of what it contains or because of its failure to declare a position on Israel’s existence.  

So much for growing Jewish support for BDS.  What about “other civil society boycott activities which advance the human rights goals of the [BDS] movement”?  This refers, the authors write, to activities which, “though not necessarily always explicitly linked to the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement… do fall within the scope of the movement and help to advance its goals.”  What is meant by “fall within the scope”?

While not all of the individuals and organizations we mention actively support every aspect of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, they represent a multi-faceted approach to applying international pressure on Israel to abide by international law and human rights treaties.

It quickly becomes apparent that the article’s operative definition of BDS-friendly activities is sufficiently expansive to encompass campaigns whose objectives run directly contrary to the BDS platform, and which are organised by individuals and organisations who emphatically reject BDS.  As examples of such “targeted support for BDS” the authors cite, among others, Gush Shalom, Peace Now, Meretz, Peter Beinart, J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami, the New Israel Fund, Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz and Amnesty International.  If these diverse groups and individuals do not endorse the BDS platform, the authors insist, they nonetheless support “BDS methods.”  But then, in what sense do their actions constitute “targeted support for BDS”?  Indeed what makes their methods “BDS methods”?  

The boundless definition of BDS used in the article has been denounced by Omar Barghouti, the BDS movement’s leading figure, who dismisses anything short of support for the full three-point BDS platform as mere “boycotting acts” of the “Zionist left.”  More importantly, it obscures rather than clarifies the crucial strategic question facing the solidarity movement, namely, how do we most effectively reach liberals in general, and liberal Jews in particular?  The only conceivable purpose of the authors’ conflation of boycott tactics with the BDS strategy, and of groups that support with those that reject BDS’s political goals, is to enable the BDS movement to claim credit for actions that are in fact motivated by quite different objectives.  

The “growing support from Jews internationally for the BDS call and the boycott of Israel” posited by the authors is a figment of their imagination: there is growing support only for the latter, and only, it would appear, to the extent that it is divorced from the former.  The evidence presented in the article suggests that while Jews are more and more receptive to boycotts, divestment and sanctions targeting Israel’s occupation and the settlements, they will not be reached on the basis of BDS.  

“Increasingly,” the authors declare, “the question is no longer whether or not to boycott, but rather to what extent do we boycott?”  At least as crucial, however, is the question, until when do we boycott—until the BDS platform is realised, or until Israel acts in accordance with the international consensus of ending the occupation and achieving a just resolution of the refugee question?  If some supporters of BDS want to brush this matter aside, the evidence suggests that most Jews, even those opposed to Israel’s occupation, will not.

Jamie Stern-Weiner co-edits New Left Project.

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About Adam Horowitz

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68 Responses

  1. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    June 24, 2014, 11:04 am

    The BDS campaign is larger today than it was 10 years ago, hence it has grown. I believe that it includes Jewish voices as well in that growth.

    On the other hand, the original article said: “Though not necessarily always explicitly linked to the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, these activities do fall within the scope of the movement and help to advance its goals… While not all of the individuals and organizations we mention actively support every aspect of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, they represent a multi-faceted approach to applying international pressure on Israel to abide by international law and human rights treaties…. Similarly, even other Zionists, who ostensibly oppose the broader BDS campaign, do support a boycott of the settlements. ”

    The original article may be pointing to some groups like JVP and ICAHD and using them to make the claim that there is growing support for BDS.

    The article should rather, in pointing to persons like Chomsky, have concluded that he shows the potential for growing support.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      June 24, 2014, 1:16 pm

      The original article may be pointing to some groups like JVP and ICAHD and using them to make the claim that there is growing support for BDS.

      The article should rather, in pointing to persons like Chomsky, have concluded that he shows the potential for growing support.

      The authors failed to note that JVP is committed to full equality of Israelis and Palestinians; and that Chomsky is on the board of advisors of JVP.

      I would hazard a guess that I’ve spent more years of my adult life as a JVP member educating readers here at Mondoweiss, and various online forums that specialize in matters pertaining to international law, about the customary and conventional legal obligations Zionists acknowledged when they formulated their Basel platform and when the Jewish Agency and the Provisional Government of Israel accepted the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II). It guaranteed to all persons equal and non-discriminatory rights in civil, political, economic and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion, language, speech and publication, education, assembly and association – and preserved existing rights dealing with freedom of transit and visit for all residents and citizens of the other State in Palestine and the City of Jerusalem. I’ve also commented time and again that it requires Israel to permit the repatriation of all of the Palestinians who became refugees as a result of the wars in 1948 and 1967.

      With regard to the rights of the descendants of the Palestine refugees, I’ve probably been more outspoken than the authors. I’ve explained that the provisions of the minority protection plan, the rules annexed to the Hague Convention 1907, and the Citizenship Ordinance of 1925 (that was retained under the transition acts adopted by Israel, Jordan, and Egypt alike) explicitly required respect for family rights and honor and respect for existing laws governing family, clan, and tribal property rights. Those laws provided for the automatic acquisition of citizenship and nationality by children who were either born in Palestine or while their parents were living abroad and the right to inherit family estates. I’ve noted that the law of nations recognizes the relationship of persons to private property and to one another and that those relations are not affected by a change in sovereignty.

      • just
        just
        June 24, 2014, 1:26 pm

        I so appreciate you sharing your invaluable knowledge, Hostage.

        You have informed me beyond my wildest expectations.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 24, 2014, 1:42 pm

        Hello, Hostage.

        I am not sure what your point in your two paragraphs about yourself is in relation to the essays Adam posted above.

        I understand your first paragraph to be about JVP and Chomsky. It sounded to me like JVP is more on board with BDS than Chomsky is. Hasn’t JVP explicitly endorsed BDS while Chomsky has not explicitly endorsed the campaign that you referred to as “BDS TM”?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 24, 2014, 6:56 pm

        @ W.Jones If you are saying that Chomsky disagrees with the JVP mission statement, or its position or policies on BDS, please provide a link.

        P.S. when JVP calls for a resolution of the I-P conflict and a just solution of the refugee problem “in accordance with international law”, that can only mean the laws on repatriation, family rights and honor, and property rights that I’ve outlined here on so many occasions.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 24, 2014, 11:59 pm

        Dear Hostage,

        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.

        These campaigns include: economic, cultural and academic boycotts of West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, and of Israel itself; divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights; and calls for economic sanctions against Israel. The Palestinian civil society BDS call, now led by the Palestinian Boycott National Committee on behalf of its constituent organizations and unions, which represent the majority of Palestinian civil society, has three stated goals:
        an end to the occupation;
        equality for Palestinians now living in Israel; and
        recognition of Palestinian refugees’ right of return.
        JVP rejects the assertion that BDS is inherently anti-Semitic.

        http://www.bdsmovement.net/2012/jewish-voice-for-peace-statement-on-bds-8627#sthash.XshptMxL.dpuf

        Noam Chomsky Interviewed by Frank Barat, on Israel/Palestine (4/4)

        Chomsky in the interview rejects that BDS reflects Palestinian civil society and calls it “pure anti-Semitism”. I do not agree that “it’s a hundred times worse in… any other country you talk about”.

        I believe that Chomsky takes issue, in part, with the right of return and that he is concerned, like the more militant Israeli nationalists, that it could “destroy” the state. However, I believe that you, I, and Talknic had discussed ways that borders could be redrawn to accommodate the return, in a way not entirely dissimilar to the 1947 UN lines, especially since territory past those lines cannot be taken by conquest legally.

        I acknowledge that the BDS movement may have changed its position on whether the State should return all Palestinian land it has occupied, depending on how you read a difference in the BDS wording between now and 2010. However, even then it was not anti-semitic, acknowledged the right of return, and represented Palestinian Civil Society.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 25, 2014, 2:06 am

        Hostage,

        Note also that Jamie Stern-Weiner notes ” JVP supports BDS ” with a caveat of where it focuses its attention, and then she contrasts this with how

        As examples of such “targeted support for BDS” the authors cite, among others, Gush Shalom, Peace Now, Meretz, Peter Beinart, J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami, the New Israel Fund, Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz and Amnesty International. If these diverse groups and individuals do not endorse the BDS platform, the authors insist, they nonetheless support “BDS methods.”

        She concludes that this does not really amount to support for the BDS campaign, but just limited BDS “methods”.

        This is why my initial comment here was that to address the authors’ criticisms, the original article about growing support could have mentioned JVP as an example of support that has grown over the last fifteen years, while Chomsky’s support for tactics shared by BDS shows that he has the potential to change his views and accept BDS as part of this growing support. Unfortunately, based on the interview with Frank Barat one may be skeptical.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 7:53 am

        I do not agree that “it’s a hundred times worse in… any other country you talk about”.

        Then you’re wrong. The United States warehouses more people in its prisons than any other country on Earth. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, black men will have an inordinately high number of encounters with police, and as a direct result of racial profiling, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. While blacks represent 30 percent of the population, they account for 60 percent of our prison population. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/sp.2011.58.2.257

        The occupation and displacement of Cubans from Guantanamo Bay has lasted much longer than the occupation of the West Bank. Like Israel, the US government refuses to accept the jurisdiction of international courts and claims the right to kill its own citizens – and those of any other country – without benefit of trial. The USA operates bases worldwide, from which it carries-out its truly global program of extra-judicial killing. Chomsky is correct when he says that US armed interventions in places like Vietnam, Central America, and Iraq have resulted in millions of deaths, millions of displaced persons, and complete societal collapses. Our war crimes and crimes against humanity utterly dwarf the number of casualties or persons displaced by Israel. Our state institutions, think tanks, and universities have not only been complicit in our own wars and promotion of the global arms race, they have subsidized or partnered in Israel’s wars to boot. He notes that BDS leaders call for a number of things, including in effect “the destruction of Israel”; says “all of those things are the right thing to do”, but wonders why we don’t call for the same measures against the US and other rogue regimes?

        Chomsky in the interview rejects that BDS reflects Palestinian civil society and calls it “pure anti-Semitism”.

        I’ve said the same thing about individuals and Palestinian diaspora groups that don’t even maintain a mailing address in Palestine. Chomsky actually says that particular words could be attacked, and were attacked, as pure anti-Semitism, with some justification. I’ve said the same thing on many occasions myself about the idea of boycotting Israeli concert audiences, without regard to their individual personal beliefs, on the basis of their Israeli nationality. When Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti were questioned about discriminating against persons on the basis of their national origin at Brooklyn College, she addressed the same issue:

        “BDS focuses on state agencies and corporations that build machinery designed to destroy homes, that build military materiel that targets populations, that profit from the occupation, that are situated illegally on Palestinian lands, to name a few. “BDS does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their national citizenship. I concede that not all versions of BDS have been consistent on this point in the past, but the present policy confirms this principle.”

        I believe that Chomsky takes issue, in part, with the right of return

        No he recognizes the legal right, as such, but says that there is no realistic probability that it will ever be implemented. I tend to agree, since leaders on both sides of the conflict have always prevented the UNRWA from even surveying or consulting the wishes of registered refugees on the subject. I think that it’s a given that the infrastructure and natural resources, like water, are inadequate for the existing population and have to be augmented by technologies, like desalinization, that are vulnerable to catastrophic disruptions. There has never been a case where 6 to 11 million refugees have been repatriated, housed, and fed. I helped setup and operate some Vietnamese refugee camps, and I can assure you the logistics for that sort of operation simply don’t exist for a population the size of the Palestinian diaspora. Chomsky is absolutely correct in pointing out that some Israeli and Palestinian leaders only use the imaginary or hypothetical scope of the refugee issue for propaganda purposes to prolong the armed conflict and that the practice discredits the movement.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 9:34 am

        She [Jamie Stern-Weiner] concludes that this does not really amount to support for the BDS campaign, but just limited BDS “methods”. . . . Unfortunately, based on the interview with Frank Barat one may be skeptical.

        Barghouti, who is an Israeli, once said: “If you only want to boycott an egg, we want you to boycott an egg.” He admittedly doesn’t participate in the cultural boycott of Israeli universities. Do his statements and actions also lead to the conclusion that he doesn’t really support the campaign, just limited BDS methods?

        The JVP mission statement explains that we are inspired by traditional Jewish ideology to work toward peace, justice, and human rights for all peoples of the Middle East. We have adopted our own political platform and agenda to achieve those ends, which go beyond the mere application of “BDS methods” to Israel. We also hope to change US foreign policy in the region. http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/content/jvp-mission-statement

        Nonetheless, our leadership has endorsed all of the aims of the BDS movement, and that does amount to support for the mainstream BDS campaign. In the real world, the only tangible manifestation of the BDS movement is the adoption of its aims and the application of its methods.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 25, 2014, 11:27 am

        Hello, Hostage.
        Thank you for considering the contrast between JVP’s support for BDS and Chomsky’s position.

        It is not “100 times worse in any country you talk about”. Modern-day Ireland, Scandinavia, southern Europe, Poland, Greece, etc. are not 100 times worse. The UN has 193 member states. If Chomsky were right that every country (or even the main ones) is 100 times worse, we might as well become Israeli patriots.

        Nor is the US 100 times worse. If you asked the people of Central America, Iraq, Vietnam, and African Americans if they would want their people to trade places with the Palestinians and become refugees, blockaded under subsistence diet (Gaza), or under direct occupation for the indefinite future, I believe that the response would not be “Yes! 100 times!” People, including Americans, yearn for their homes, freedom, land, and independence. This is what the Palestinian anthem is: Biladi, “My Country”.

        Yes, you’ve “said the same thing about individuals and Palestinian diaspora groups that don’t even maintain a mailing address in Palestine”. However, because about half of the world’s Palestinians are refugees and the Israeli State bans their return, it makes sense that there would be legitimate Palestinian groups that don’t have offices in the land from which they were expelled.

        The larger point is that JVP says that BDS represents Palestinian Civil Society, while Chomsky says that it doesn’t.

        Yes, “Chomsky actually says that particular words could be attacked, and were attacked, as pure anti-Semitism” Those words that he considered pure anti-semitism were “and from Israel”, because he wrongly claimed that things are 100 times worse in any other country. The interviewer correctly replied with the analogy to BDS and South Africa.

        Avoiding “Israeli concert audiences, without regard to [every single audience member’s] individual personal beliefs” is not pure anti-semitism, just as a musician avoiding performing in a country whose policies he opposes does not mean that he is racist against the country’s ethnicity, because he has a motivation other than racism for his decision.

        I disagree that emphasizing the enormous “scope of the refugee issue” “discredits the movement”. In fact, the opposite is true: Chomsky says that it is 100 times worse anywhere else and uses this to claim that BDS is hypocritical and “pure antisemitism”. Since Palestinians make up one of the world’s largest and longest refugee populations, then their situation is not “100 times better” and using special efforts like BDS is not “pure antisemitism.”
        http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e486eb6.html

        Why else would Chomsky complain that BDS is trying to “destroy” the Israeli State, when it is wrongly claimed that the refugees’ return would do so? As for the idea that the refugees’ return is impossible, don’t forget that a comparable number of Israeli refugees have come into the Holy Land since 1946. It can be a gradual task, but not an impossible one. With redrawing borders, it would not even mean an end to the 2SS.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 25, 2014, 11:52 am

        Hello again, Hostage.
        You ask:

        Barghouti, who is an Israeli, once said: “If you only want to boycott an egg, we want you to boycott an egg.” He admittedly doesn’t participate in the cultural boycott of Israeli universities. Do his statements and actions also lead to the conclusion that he doesn’t really support the campaign, just limited BDS methods?

        No, because he explicitly supports the campaign, and his desire that other people participate as much as they are willing to does not mean otherwise. If an addict only wants to stop smoking, but isn’t willing to stop his drinking habits, I still want him to stop smoking. Even if I have not been able to stop drinking, I can still support ending addictions.

        In the real world, the only tangible manifestation of the BDS movement is the adoption of its aims and the application of its methods.

        Openly identifying as part of the BDS movement would be a tangible manifestation of it, just like adoption of its aims, and JVP says that it is “part of” the BDS movement. http://www.bdsmovement.net/2012/jewish-voice-for-peace-statement-on-bds-8627
        In contrast to JVP, Chomsky attacked divestment from the Israeli state as “pure antisemitism”, has incorrectly complained that BDS seeks its “destruction”, and claimed that BDS does not represent Palestinian civil society.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 7:05 pm

        In contrast to JVP, Chomsky

        Chomsky is a member of the JVP advisory board. http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/content/advisory-board

        I don’t think your analysis of Chomsky’s remarks holds much water. He endorses the stated aims of the BDS movement and all of its methods, when they are “done right”. After the interview you cited, Barat, Chomsky, and Pappé were co-authors of “Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians”.

        No, because he explicitly supports the campaign, and his desire that other people participate as much as they are willing to does not mean otherwise.

        You haven’t shown any examples where Chomsky doesn’t support the BDS campaign. He simply criticizes some of the leaders for misrepresenting themselves as members of Palestinian civil society and says some of them have unrealistic expectations about the possibilities for implementing the right of return. Any argument you can muster in support of Barghouti’s non-participation would apply equally to any Israeli who has tenure in a university, but supports the BDS movement and its methods.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 25, 2014, 7:24 pm

        He simply criticizes some of the leaders for misrepresenting themselves as members of Palestinian civil society and says some of them have unrealistic expectations about the possibilities for implementing the right of return.

        He does a lot more than that.

        In an interview on the subject he first dismissed BDS as the agenda pushed by individuals who are not members of Palestinian civil society. Then he questioned that even if BDS was a grassroots Palestinian initiative, it would make no sense for us to to support it because it was not in the best interests of Palestinians.

        In other words, he knows what’s best for Palestinians even if they don’t. Instead, Chomsky blows hot air about how it would be more effective to boycott the military industrial complex – as though the average Joe goes out and buys F35s.

        Chomsky and Finkelstein have done more to undermine BDS than any BDS opponents out there. There is not a BDS opponent who has not quoted Fink’s “cult” comment.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 25, 2014, 9:58 pm

        Dear Hostage,

        The authors and I contrasted Chomsky’s position with JVP’s on the BDS campaign. You replied that Chomsky is on JVP’s advisory board. The conclusion may be that an organization’s advisor may actually disagree with the positions of an organization he is advising. Chomsky’s position that BDS does not represent Palestinian Civil Society is the opposite of what JVP’s official position is, which I cited above.

        You write:

        You haven’t shown any examples where Chomsky doesn’t support the BDS campaign.

        I can just about see Chomsky stewing and chewing at 0:56 when he hears “right of return” mentioned as the 3rd demand of the BDS campaign society, after which he says “and the destruction of Israel. The hypocrisy reaches to heaven.”

        That is not supporting the BDS campaign, Hostage.

        You write:

        Any argument you can muster in support of Barghouti’s non-participation would apply equally to any Israeli who has tenure in a university, but supports the BDS movement and its methods.

        How about this argument: Barghouti might not be fully participating, but at least he is not tenured in an Israeli university and he does not denounce BDS as “pure antisemitism”.

        Shingo is right, Hostage: Unfortunately, Chomsky serves to undermine BDS when he denounces it as “pure antisemitism”, since he has been quoted about this by Israeli nationalists and the outspoken Finkelstein, who considers Chomsky his main mentor since leaving the Maoist movement, has needlessly attacked BDS as a “cult”, thereby hobbling his own potential.

        Additionally, you say that the US relationship to African Americans, Central America, Vietnam, and Iraq is a hundred times worse than Israeli treatment of Palestinians, who make up one of (if not the) world’s combined longest and largest refugee populations, because Palestinians have undergone lower casualties. Firstly, Israeli supporters were key movers in the US invasion of Iraq, as the Clean Break Document shows. The day after the towers Tenet was told by, I think Perle, that we are going into Iraq. While the US was the main foreign influence in Central America, the Israeli State was a key partner. Secondly, I believe that the US relationship today with Vietnam is far better than the Palestinians’ situation since Napalm is still being dropped on them. Third, the US and Iraq are far larger countries, so I doubt that Iraqis’ larger total casualties means that Palestinians are being treated “a hundred times better.” Unlike Palestinians, Iraqis’ country remains within its borders, half its population is not banned from returning to their homes, and they are an independent country. The Israeli State intends to occupy and colonize the whole territory except perhaps for blockaded Gaza permanently, with half of Palestinians being refugees permanently banned from their homes. I am sorry, but I doubt that the Israeli State’s brutal, colonial Apartheid relationship to Palestinians is a “hundred times” better than America’s indirect globalism over Central America.

        Next, you asked Citizen C the source for a Chomsky quote. It is:
        In the case of South Africa, I think they were [ultimately] legitimate because it was clear that the large majority of the population of South Africa was in favor of it… the first point in the case of Israel is that: Is the population asking for it? Well, obviously not”.
        Does Chomsky expect the ruling society to ask for BDS before it can be used on behalf of the conquered population?
        (Protecting Israel, Chomsky’s Way http://www.countercurrents.org/hassan050406.htm )

        You next told Citizen C:

        Some BDS leaders… delegitimize efforts to obtain UN recognition of Palestine’s status as a state capable of accepting the jurisdiction of international courts.

        As others have pointed out, BDS leaders who take a realistic approach and honestly question whether the practically unarmed PA is effectively a state when it is at the beck and call of their conquerors do not count as “delegitimizers.” An honest, critical inquiry into Israeli suppression of Palestinian self-determination is not “delegitimization”, but necessary if one wishes to build a state. And as you admitted, statehood is not a valid legal obstacle to international jurisdiction.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 10:33 pm

        He simply criticizes some of the leaders for misrepresenting themselves as members of Palestinian civil society and says some of them have unrealistic expectations about the possibilities for implementing the right of return.

        He does a lot more than that.

        In an interview on the subject he first dismissed BDS as the agenda pushed by individuals who are not members of Palestinian civil society. Then he questioned that even if BDS was a grassroots Palestinian initiative, it would make no sense for us to to support it because it was not in the best interests of Palesitianians.

        No, he characterizes the agenda to destroy the state of Israel, based upon unrealistic or wildly over optimistic expectations concerning the implementation of the right of return that way. The only people I know who really think that’s gonna happen are deluded youngsters who probably watched too much Pinky and the Brain in their formative years.

        He’s absolutely correct that many leaders of the BDS movement don’t fit the “Palestinian civil society” bill of particulars and that there is little popular support for the PAs boycott of illegal settlement products.

        If the boycott doesn’t have the potential to harm Palestinians, then why do we have to make such a big deal over the need for exceptions, in cases like Omar Barghouti’s, so that Palestinians can attend a Zionist university? FFS he isn’t even living under the jurisdiction of the IDF Civil Administration and its permit system, but we are nonetheless asked to accept the need to bend the rules so that participation in the boycott won’t result in a deprivation of equal educational opportunities. I don’t see anything wrong when Chomsky makes a similar observation.

        Chomsky blows hot air about how it would be more effective to boycott the military industrial complex – as though the average Joe goes out and buys F35s.

        No, he’s talking as though the average Joe’s members of Congress go out and buy Israel squadrons of F35s.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 25, 2014, 11:17 pm

        No, he characterizes the agenda to destroy the state of Israel, based upon unrealistic or wildly over optimistic expectations concerning the implementation of the right of return that way.

        Which is a 180 degree flip flop from his earlier position that right of return is a human right of every refugee and not subject to whether it threatens the Jewish majority. UNGA194 doesn’t make the return of refugees subject to protecting Jewish supremacy.

        The only people I know who really think that’s gonna happen are deluded youngsters who probably watched too much Pinky and the Brain in their formative years.

        Please cite the UN resolution or international that stipulates the right of return should be limited to numbers that do not threaten Israel’s Jewish majority, otherwise, you and Fink and just recycling Israeli hasbara and conflating Jewish demographic majority with the existence of the state itself.

        He’s absolutely correct that many leaders of the BDS movement don’t fit the “Palestinian civil society” bill of particulars and that there is little popular support for the PAs boycott of illegal settlement products.

        Little popular support from whom?

        If the boycott doesn’t have the potential to harm Palestinians, then why do we have to make such a big deal over the need for exceptions, in cases like Omar Barghouti’s, so that Palestinians can attend a Zionist university?

        Straw man Hostage. No one suggested BDS had no potential to harm Palestinians. As with the boycott of South Africa, this is self evident – though again, it’s yet another talking point opponents of BDS like to cite.

        but we are nonetheless asked to accept the need to bend the rules so that participation in the boycott won’t result in a deprivation of equal educational opportunities. I don’t see anything wrong when Chomsky makes a similar observation.

        Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room. There are thousands of Palestinians in being deprived of equal educational opportunities as we speak, but Chomsky is apparently willing to sacrifice them for a handful who slip through the nett.

        No, he’s talking as though the average Joe’s members of Congress go out and buy Israel squadrons of F35s.

        Which is equally pathetic, when members of Congress aren’t even listening to the DOD about buying crap they don’t want or need.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 26, 2014, 12:56 am

        If the boycott doesn’t have the potential to harm Palestinians, then why do we have to make such a big deal over the need for exceptions, in cases like Omar Barghouti’s, so that Palestinians can attend a Zionist university?

        I am not equating Israeli society with a prison, but looking at how boycotts for victims’ sake function. Imagine if a brutal prison sold food products that political prisoners farmed. We would want the prisoners to avail themselves of the best food products, and yet it would be OK for us to boycott the prison, even if it meant they did not get enough revenue, indirectly making the prison less wealthy to provide better facilities.

        The Israeli state is going through a boom economically and getting tons of foreign aid. BDS is nowhere near hurting the Israelis so severely that Palestinians are being hurt.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 5:52 am

        Which is a 180 degree flip flop from his earlier position that right of return is a human right of every refugee and not subject to whether it threatens the Jewish majority. UNGA194 doesn’t make the return of refugees subject to protecting Jewish supremacy.

        No it is not. You’re still treating a hypothetical problem, until you actually consult the wishes of each refugee registered with the UNRWA. Polls indicate that 9 out of 10 prefer compensation, have a reasonable fear of persecution, and don’t wish to live among Zionists. Members of the diaspora who are not actual refugees, may have no right of return, but can pursue property claims to obtain title or compensation. By way of analogy, years ago I returned from a long term deployment, and discovered that in the meantime, my old work car had been totaled, while sitting in the parking lot at my apartment complex. There had been a hit and run by a drunk who was driving with no insurance or license. When the guy was finally pulled over by the police, he ran into another parked car. It wasn’t the first time he had been caught drinking and driving, and he was already in jail serving his sentence on the related charges by the time I got home. My legal right to compensation was perfectly clear, but there wasn’t any realistic probability that I’d ever recover enough money to pay my legal fees, even if I obtained a judgment and tried to enforce it. The guy was perfectly willing to go to jail rather than obey the law or court orders and his attitude was basically that you can’t get blood out of a turnip. The bottom line is that having a right and implementing it are two very different things and that someone else, like the BDS movement can’t decide how you should exercise your rights for you.

        I think that Palestine could win its legal cases on the issues in the ICJ, and still not be able to enforce the judgments. In fact a situation like that led to the 2005 call to action. I don’t think the ICJ is never going to rule that a 7th generation Israeli Zionist doesn’t have the same universal human rights to leave and return to his country of origin, like everyone else. Likewise, I think the ICC could issue arrest warrants, obtain custody of some suspects, and even obtain some convictions that would serve as a deterrent to future crimes. But it doesn’t have the power to order the government of Israel to do anything, much less the ability to repatriate millions of refugees and settlers or to magically create enough land and other environment resources to accommodate everyone concerned.

        Chomsky and Finklestein have surveyed the likely results of waiting for the international community to assist refugees and their descendants in implementing a just solution, including the right of return for all, and have decided that’s wishful or fringe thinking at this point. That doesn’t mean they don’t recognize the existence of the legal entitlement. I think that there could be a private right of action against the state of Israel and the settlers for the crime of pillage, that could lead to asset freezes and recovery, but almost no one is discussing that subject.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 26, 2014, 6:24 am

        You’re still treating a hypothetical problem

        On the contrary Hostage.

        If polls do indeed show that 9 out of 10 refugees prefer compensation, then it is you and Fink who are giving credence to a hypothetical problem (ie. Israel being destroyed), not me, Abunimah or Barghoutti. I have not seen one iota of evidence that either Abunimah or Barghoutti have rejected compensation as an option let alone tried to decide how refugees should exercise their rights.

        But it doesn’t have the power to order the government of Israel to do anything, much less the ability to repatriate millions of refugees and settlers or to magically create enough land and other environment resources to accommodate everyone concerned.

        Hallelujah, so can we finally agree once and for all the 2SS is dead, and that were all no longer beholden to this bone headed insistence that the international consensus is the only one we are allowed to entertain?

        If Chomsky and Finklestein are honest about the lack of will and ability of the international community to implement a just solution, they would stop trying to shove their snake oil on to us and admit that legal entitlement and international law are about as relevant as unicorns.

        In fact, if both Fink and Chomsky agree there is no will to impose a just solution, then they should also give up the ruse that there is an international consensus at all.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 6:06 am

        Chomsky’s position that BDS does not represent Palestinian Civil Society is the opposite of what JVP’s official position is, which I cited above.

        No if you are going to cherry-pick quotes, he was only discussing those who hope to destroy Israel per se. He noted that the other aims and methods of the movement are “all the right thing to do”, but wondered why Barat doesn’t employ those methods on the USA too (not instead)? The JVP mission statement does call a complete change in US foreign policies and boycotts, divestment, and sanctions of US entities that facilitate the occupation.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 6:47 pm

        Nor is the US 100 times worse. If you asked the people of Central America, Iraq, Vietnam, and African Americans if they would want their people to trade places with the Palestinians

        Since millions of them are dead, I’ll leave it to you to figure out how to ask them if they’d trade places with refugees. Many of the survivors are still refugees today, due to the total collapse of their societies and the refusal of the USA to pay reparations, even after the ICJ ruled that they were required.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 24, 2014, 2:08 pm

        I also appreciate Hostage’s persistent energy expended to inform us all of the nuance of international law as it has related over the years to Zionist Israel’s policies and activities in all areas where Israel has the power to make things happen the way it wants, and ditto the hypocritical USA’s tripping along behind Israel’s way, aping Israel’s sociopathy for all the world to see.

      • CitizenC
        CitizenC
        June 24, 2014, 4:34 pm

        The authors failed to note that JVP is committed to full equality of Israelis and Palestinians; and that Chomsky is on the board of advisors of JVP.

        JVP’s commitment to “full equality” is in my view merely nominal, because they have no analysis of Zionism, and reinforce conventional Jewish wisdom on critical issues. For example they don’t support BDS against Israel itself, and other factors I could mention.

        Chomsky for his part has said Israel cannot be boycotted because “the majority do not approve” including Israeli Jews. He has also accused BDSers of hypocrisy and damaging the Palestinians because they don’t boycott, for instance, the US.

        Where Palestine is concerned, the role of “the US” is in the first instance the work of the Zionocracy, which has captured public policy and the culture generally. It should be the focus of US protest, but Chomsky’s “strategic asset” dogma gets rid of that one for him.

        In general, Chomsky (and JVP and the Jewish left) have foisted on us a minimal critique of “anti-occupation”, etc, rather than rejecting Zionism categorically, as did the classical left and liberal views descended from the Enlightenment and emancipation. This is in my view the greatest failure on the left since the German Communist Party misread Nazism.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 7:47 pm

        JVP’s commitment to “full equality” is in my view merely nominal,

        We’ve discussed your views in the past, and you aren’t very well informed or very honest in my book.

        Chomsky for his part has said Israel cannot be boycotted because “the majority do not approve” including Israeli Jews.

        You need to provide a cite and supply verbatim quotes so that we can see if you’ve taken remarks out of context. After all, I’ve already caught you misrepresenting the published positions of Chomsky, Rabbi Elmer Berger, Dr W. Tom Mallison, and David Landy.

        He has also accused BDSers of hypocrisy and damaging the Palestinians because they don’t boycott, for instance, the US.

        BDSers are fond of pointing out that criticism of Israel is not evidence of bigotry or that no political entity is above criticism. The same arguments apply to BDSers and the BDS movement. Some BDS leaders lecture others about the need to enforce international law and then turn right around a delegitimize efforts to obtain UN recognition of Palestine’s status as a state capable of accepting the jurisdiction of international courts. Some of the BDS leaders are citizens of other countries, like the US or Jordan and write screeds about others allegedly surrendering the right of return. But they never utter a peep about their own family members who have negotiated final status agreements that normalized relations with Israel, without securing any guarantees regarding the right of return or the right to compensation. Those sort of situations are somewhat hypocritical.

        For example they don’t support BDS against Israel itself,

        No JVP doesn’t concentrate it efforts on boycotting Israel. That doesn’t mean that it opposes others in the movement who do so.

        In general, Chomsky (and JVP and the Jewish left) have foisted on us a minimal critique of “anti-occupation”, etc, rather than rejecting Zionism categorically, as did the classical left and liberal views descended from the Enlightenment and emancipation.

        The last time I checked, JVP is still partnering with Students for Justice in Palestine in raising public awareness of Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, and denial of fundamental human rights and equality to Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. Some of those allegations are crimes for which no statutory limitations apply and for which 163 countries have granted their courts some degree of universal jurisdiction. It’s hard to see how that is a “minimal critique”, or why anyone should listen to you pretend that it is.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 25, 2014, 8:06 pm

        ome BDS leaders lecture others about the need to enforce international law and then turn right around a delegitimize efforts to obtain UN recognition of Palestine’s status as a state capable of accepting the jurisdiction of international courts.

        This sounds like a pretty weak argument Hostage. The fact that those BDS leaders don’t prioritize accepting the jurisdiction of international courts above sovereignty and self determination could hardly be described as a delegitimizing the former.

        It’s a an understandable object of frustration that the Palestinians are being made to jump through hoops to prove they are worthy of statehood and UN assistance while Israel continues to wipe the floor with them on the ground with impunity.

        But they never utter a peep about their own family members who have negotiated final status agreements that normalized relations with Israel, without securing any guarantees regarding the right of return or the right to compensation.

        What BDS leaders are doing this?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 9:44 pm

        This sounds like a pretty weak argument Hostage. The fact that those BDS leaders don’t prioritize accepting the jurisdiction of international courts above sovereignty and self determination could hardly be described as a delegitimizing the former.

        Oh bull. We all know who Chomsky was talking about and they have Jordanian, Israeli, or US passports. They are willing to condone internecine slaughter and loss of life forever over petty property right squabbles, just so long as they, themselves, aren’t included in the list of casualties. They oppose a solution to the armed conflict, based on the State of Palestine accepting the ICC’s jurisdiction, because they reject anything that might pose an obstacle to a one state solution. In other words, they know what’s best for Palestinians, even if the actual Palestinians don’t.

        Finklestein described their Zionist counterparts in Yoav Shamir’s film “Defamation”:

        “It’s the best thing that will ever happen to Israel if they get rid of these American Jews who are warmongers from Martha’s Vinyard; and the warmongers from the Hamptons; and the warmongers from Beverly Hills; and the warmongers from Miami. It’s been a disaster for Israel. It’s the best thing if it can ever get rid of this [warmongering] American Jewry. It’s a curse.”

        They don’t live in Palestine or a Palestinian refugee camp, they aren’t citizens of Palestine, and have never held an elected office there. But they represent themselves as leaders of “Palestinian civil society organizations”.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 25, 2014, 10:25 pm

        We all know who Chomsky was talking about and they have Jordanian, Israeli, or US passports.

        So name them.

        They are willing to condone internecine slaughter and loss of life forever over petty property right squabbles, just so long as they, themselves, aren’t included in the list of casualties.

        Right and Chomsky is willing to tolerate the status quo indefinitely and insists the Palestinians submit and take it up the rear for another few decades while they wait for “international law” and “international consensus” to ride in on a white horse and come to the rescue because this will lead to less slaughter and loss of life.

        They oppose a solution to the armed conflict, based on the State of Palestine accepting the ICC’s jurisdiction, because they reject anything that might pose an obstacle to a one state solution.

        Unless you have had your head wedged where the sun don’t shine since 1993, you would know that the 2ss is dead, and that the only just solution is a single state. There is no other solution. Unless you are in pathological denial, you would admit that there is nothing that it going to compel Israel to withdraw to the ’67 borders.

        In light of this reality, one might conclude that those still pushing for a 2ss under these circumstances, or demanding that the Palestinians accept it, could justifiably be accused of condemning them to a life of oppression inside open air prisons and bantustans – but not to worry Palestine, keep bending over and think of international law – that way Chomsky and Fink can retire knowing that they achieved something for the Palestinians.

        Finklestein described their Zionist counterparts in Yoav Shamir’s film “Defamation”

        What Fink and Chomsky can’t get through their gatekeeper skulls is that so long as Israel pays no price or faces no consequence for their maintaining the status quo, it’s leaders have no reason to get rid of those warmongers. The suggestion that this alliance is a curse is a fantasy that exists only in their minds. Israel has paid no price, suffered no recriminations, experienced little loss and is laughing all the way to the bank.

        It’s little surprise therefore that both academics have gone from being esteemed authorities on the subject to utter irrelevance since BDS was launched, and deservedly so.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 25, 2014, 10:42 pm

        Dear Hostage,

        You wrote:

        We all know who Chomsky was talking about and they have Jordanian, Israeli, or US passports.

        Chomsky was talking about the BDS campaign, and considering that it has been advocated by a wide range of Palestinian civil society organizations like Kairos Palestine, it’s not necessarily true that they have foreign passports.

        They are willing to condone internecine slaughter and loss of life forever over petty property right squabbles, just so long as they, themselves, aren’t included in the list of casualties.

        Since they promote nonviolent BDS, they are not condoning slaughter. The expulsion of one of the world’s largest refugee populations is not a “petty property right squabble”.

        You are at best re-interpreting their criticisms about the Palestinian Authority as unintentionally allowing the continued slaughter. Unfortunately, you did not show that if they ceased making those criticisms that the ICC would more likely both accept the PA as a state and apply its jurisdiction, which as you pointed out it should already have regardless of statehood.

        They oppose a solution to the armed conflict, based on the State of Palestine accepting the ICC’s jurisdiction, because they reject anything that might pose an obstacle to a one state solution.

        I remember hearing that some people were reluctant about the Palestinians’ UN bid because they worried that it might hurt the right of return, since Palestinian refugees might not be therefore considered citizens of the “official” Palestinian state, or for some other reason. In any case, whether one accepts a 1SS or 2SS, there can be peace and there should not be ongoing brutality.

        In other words, they know what’s best for Palestinians, even if the actual Palestinians don’t.
        Palestinians are “actual Palestinians”. Otherwise they would be deprived of their national, cultural, and ethnic identity, Hostage.

        They don’t live in Palestine or a Palestinian refugee camp, they aren’t citizens of Palestine, and have never held an elected office there.
        Right, and one of the reasons why they don’t is because they were expelled from their homes, banned from them, and the remaining territory suffers from a brutal occupation that they don’t want to endure, making them in effect refugees themselves.

        But they represent themselves as leaders of “Palestinian civil society organizations”.

        At this point, the main International BDS organizations are at least part of the civil organizations of the Palestinian refugee community.

        The swarms of swallows returned to the old windows,
        the shepherds of the hills returned to the calm homes,
        and the doves returned to the mountainous nests.
        Will we return like a swallow,
        like a mountainous shepherd,
        like a returned sail?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 10:46 pm

        So name them.

        I’ve already done that, Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti are prime examples.

        Right and Chomsky is willing to tolerate the status quo indefinitely and insists the Palestinians submit and take it up the rear for another few decades while they wait for “international law” and “international consensus” to ride in on a white horse and come to the rescue because this will lead to less slaughter and loss of life.

        Nonsense, in civilized systems you are only allowed to resort to the use of deadly force if your life is threatened, not to defend mundane property rights. Finkelstein and Chomsky catch hell for pointing out that there is an international consensus regarding the two state solution that would end the armed conflict and serve as a possible step on the road to a one state solution or regional economic union/confederation. There is a fringe theory that everyone would be better off dead, rather than dividing the life or death issues from the ones that only affect peacetime administrative boundaries, place of residence, and mundane property rights and solving the more important issues as a preliminary matter.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 25, 2014, 11:44 pm

        Nonsense, in civilized systems you are only allowed to resort to the use of deadly force if your life is threatened, not to defend mundane property rights.

        Oh really? I take it you don’t regard courts in the US and Britain as civilized systems.

        The defense of property is a common method of justification used by defendants who argue that they should not be held liable for any loss and injury that they have caused because they were acting to protect their property. Courts have generally ruled that the use of force may be acceptable.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_of_property

        Finkelstein and Chomsky catch hell for pointing out that there is an international consensus regarding the two state solution that would end the armed conflict and serve as a possible step on the road to a one state solution or regional economic union/confederation.

        They catch hell because they deserve it. They harp on about the two state solution without ever bothering to address the fact that it’s dead and buried. They both fit Einstaie’s definition of insanity in that regard.

        There is a fringe theory that everyone would be better off dead, rather than dividing the life or death issues from the ones that only affect peacetime administrative boundaries, place of residence, and mundane property rights and solving the more important issues as a preliminary matter.

        That’s about as convincing an acrgument as accusing Chomsky and Fink of willingly sacrificing lives under the status quo in order to avert the loss of lives under a non existent scenario.

        But hey, we had to destroy the village in order to save it right?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 25, 2014, 11:57 pm

        I’ve already done that, Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti are prime examples.

        I have yet to see any statements from either of them that condones internecine slaughter and loss of life forever over petty property right squabbles, so by all means, feel free to link to any examples.

        Again, this strikes me as a classic example of deliberate misrepresentation and conflating their position that the Palestinians should be free to reject the scraps Israelis are willing to offer with opting for violence.

        Similarly, your argument comes across as a classic Marie Antoinette moment. Why should they squabble over trivialities like a roof over their heads so long as they have a pulse right Hostage?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 25, 2014, 10:54 pm

        Shingo,

        You write:

        What Fink and Chomsky can’t get through their gatekeeper skulls is that so long as Israel pays no price or faces no consequence for their maintaining the status quo, it’s leaders have no reason to get rid of those warmongers. The suggestion that this alliance is a curse is a fantasy that exists only in their minds. Israel has paid no price, suffered no recriminations, experienced little loss and is laughing all the way to the bank.

        Exactly. They apparently think that it’s good for the ICC to sanction the Israelis to stop brutalizing hundreds of Palestinian children and napalming civilians, but that when the ICC is unwilling to intercede that human rights activists who care about the brutality cannot take analogous steps because it would be “pure antisemitism” – as if they have some kind of racially intolerant motivation for caring about what the Israeli State is making permanent through colonization and entrenched occupation.

        There is zero motivation for the Israeli State to stop taking over Palestinian land in keeping with their nationalist and economic incentives, leaving BDS as one of the only real opposing forces available.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 25, 2014, 11:07 pm

        Hostage:

        Nonsense, in civilized systems you are only allowed to resort to the use of deadly force if your life is threatened, not to defend mundane property rights. Finkelstein and Chomsky catch hell for pointing out that there is an international consensus regarding the two state solution that would end the armed conflict and serve as a possible step on the road to a one state solution or regional economic union/confederation.

        Since BDS is a nonviolent campaign and the right of return has been upheld by the UN, BDS is not resorting to “deadly force” to “defend mundane property rights.”

        I doubt that Finkelstein and Chomsky are catching hell for merely pointing out that the 2SS is an international consensus. They do not especially emphasise the one state solution either as their ultimate desire, although Chomsky has at times discussed it as his ideal. Rather, they “catch hell” not so much for asking for a 2SS (as if this was considered by the establishment to be a radical solution), but rather for their outspokenness on many facts of the oppression itself. Indeed, Finkelstein and Chomsky did a good job arguing with Dershowitz to show Israeli responsibility. But unfortunately it is their strategies for addressing it that leave more to be desired, likely stemming from what Chomsky has admitted may be his own personal biases, since he was a Zionist youth leader, and resulting in his labeling divestment from the State as “pure antisemitism” and his mentor Finkelstein calling BDS a “cult”, thus needlessly hobbling his activism. There is a remarkable correlation between Chomsky’s claim that BDS doesn’t represent Palestinian civil society and Finkelstein’s claim that the latter does not exist – JVP’s declaration to the contrary.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 6:55 am

        Oh really? I take it you don’t regard courts in the US and Britain as civilized systems.

        There have been plenty of cases involving US states and courts that have tried to automatically authorize the use of deadly force in defense of mere property rights. Stand your ground laws only offer a defense against a charge of homicide, not immunity. The Courts can and do dismiss that defense when there is no physical attack or apparent threat to life involved, e.g.
        * Brandishing a Deadly Weapon In Defense of Personal Property is A Criminal Act “Commonwealth v. Alexander, 531 S.E.2d 567 (VA Supreme Court 2000)”
        *The owner of land has no right to assault a mere trespasser with a deadly weapon. Montgomery, 98 Va. at 844, 36 S.E. at 373
        * The dissent argues that the shooting was justified by the fact that Officer Hymon had probable cause to believe that Garner had committed a nighttime burglary. Post, at 29, 32. While we agree that burglary is a serious crime, we cannot agree that it is so dangerous as automatically to justify the use of deadly force. The FBI classifies burglary as a “property” rather than a “violent” crime. See Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports, Crime in the United States 1 (1984). 22 Although the armed burglar would present a different situation, the fact that an unarmed suspect has broken into a dwelling at night does not automatically mean he is physically dangerous. This case demonstrates as much. See also Solem v. Helm, 463 U.S. 277, 296 -297, and nn. 22-23 (1983). In fact, the available statistics demonstrate that burglaries only rarely involve physical violence. During the 10-year period from 1973-1982, only 3.8% of all burglaries involved violent crime. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Household [471 U.S. 1, 22] Burglary 4 (1985). 23 See also T. Reppetto, Residential Crime 17, 105 (1974); Conklin & Bittner, Burglary in a Suburb, 11 Criminology 208, 214 (1973). — US Supreme Court in TENNESSEE v. GARNER, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 26, 2014, 7:36 am

        Brandishing a Deadly Weapon In Defense of Personal Property is A Criminal Act “Commonwealth v. Alexander, 531 S.E.2d 567 (VA Supreme Court 2000)

        I guess someone forgot to tell all those security companies contracted to transport large amounts of currency, who’s employees are licensed to carry such weapons and issued with them.

        In Canada, under Section 40 of the Criminal Code, which deals with the defence of dwellings, Nichols says, “everyone who is in possession of a dwelling house is justified in using as much force as necessary, to prevent any person from forcibly breaking into or entering the dwelling house without lawful authority.”

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 7:10 am

        I have yet to see any statements from either of them that condones internecine slaughter and loss of life forever over petty property right squabbles, so by all means, feel free to link to any examples.

        Both of them opposed the UN statehood bid, without which Palestine has no legal standing in the international courts or in national courts that apply the customary doctrine of foreign sovereign immunity. In other words, they were undermining the validity of Palestine’s Article 12(3) declaration regarding the situation in Gaza (Cast Lead) and working assiduously to maintain the status quo that prevents Palestinian victims from pursuing legal remedies on their own behalf. The status quo happens to be a situation of internecine slaughter that is being prolonged over issues regarding mundane boundary and property disputes.

        The people on both sides who refuse to end the armed conflict, unless there is some grand “final settlement” that resolves all life or death matters and mundane claims are really only creating a “Gordian Knot” that’s too sacrosanct to cut. That only prolongs the conflict and violates international law which calls for an end to all such belligerent claims and prohibits threats or use of force.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 26, 2014, 7:42 am

        Both of them opposed the UN statehood bid, without which Palestine has no legal standing in the international courts or in national courts that apply the customary doctrine of foreign sovereign immunity.

        I thought you said Palestine already had that legal standing before it’s statehood bid?

        In other words, they were undermining the validity of Palestine’s Article 12(3) declaration regarding the situation in Gaza (Cast Lead) and working assiduously to maintain the status quo that prevents Palestinian victims from pursuing legal remedies on their own behalf.

        Cast Lead took place in 2008 and it’s failed statehood bid did not take place till 2011. It’s successful non member observer status was approved a year later. Thus, it is impossible for them to have undermined the validity of Palestine’s Article 12(3) declaration regarding the situation in Gaza.

        The status quo happens to be a situation of internecine slaughter that is being prolonged over issue regarding mundane boundary and property disputes.

        …and human rights, and political rights. And they are not boundary and property disputes, it is property theft and refusal on Israel’s part to even declare boundaries.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 8:06 am

        Similarly, your argument comes across as a classic Marie Antoinette moment. Why should they squabble over trivialities like a roof over their heads so long as they have a pulse right Hostage?

        I don’t think that’s a good faith reading of any comment I’ve made. My argument is that nobody elected these two to conduct Palestine’s foreign relations or other acts of state. They gave aid and comfort to the legions of Zionist enemies, like Dore Gold, who were lobbying the ICC for all they were worth at the time. http://goo.gl/5ZK1HV

        They became part of the vocal chorus who said that “Palestine wasn’t a state”, and thus, incapable of accepting ICC jurisdiction for crimes, including those committed by Israel during Operation Cast Lead. That sort of thing has given Israel the impunity it requires to go on killing Palestinians, with or without a roof over their heads.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 26, 2014, 8:14 am

        I don’t think that’s a good faith reading of any comment I’ve made.

        You are right it isn’t, but I still feel as though you are trivializing the emotional, physical and psychological connection people have to their land and their homes.

        It’s true that nobody elected Barghoutti and Abunimah to conduct Palestine’s foreign relations or other acts of state, but other than writing prolifically on the subject, they’re played no official role for the state of Palestine – Abbas would have had them impounded long ago if they’d tried.

        They gave aid and comfort to the legions of Zionist enemies, like Dore Gold, who were lobbying the ICC for all they were worth at the time.

        Dore Gold is a political hack and liar, as we saw in his live debate with Goldstone. Gold doesn’t even made reference to them in the paper.

        They became part of the vocal chorus who said that “Palestine wasn’t a state”, and thus, incapable of accepting ICC jurisdiction for crimes, including those committed by Israel during Operation Cast Lead.

        I am still waiting for evidence to support those allegations Hostage.

        That sort of thing has given Israel the impunity it requires to go on killing Palestinians, with or without a roof over their heads.

        That’s absurd and you know it. Israel’s impunity exists because of Washington and all the political whores in the West who line up to support Israel every time they bomb Palestinians.

        99% of those who support Israel and it’s acts of violence have never heard of these guys.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 9:16 am

        Since BDS is a nonviolent campaign and the right of return has been upheld by the UN, BDS is not resorting to “deadly force” to “defend mundane property rights.”

        I don’t believe the UN organization has ever addressed the issue of the right of return for adult Palestinian refugees who were born abroad and have no continuing social connections to the country. I can only find references to refugees who were displaced by the wars in 1948 and 1967 and vague references to the goal of maintaining family unity.

        The BDS leadership has prolonged the armed conflict by insisting on the inclusion of mundane property rights in any settlement. That means the property rights are the subject of an on-going belligerent claim. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades happen to be a fact of life and part of Palestinian society. They have resorted to deadly force and refuse to comply with the principles of international law reflected in the UN Charter and relevant UN resolutions, i.e. the immediate “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area”.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 9:39 am

        Shingo: What Fink and Chomsky can’t get through their gatekeeper skulls is that so long as Israel pays no price or faces no consequence for their maintaining the status quo, it’s leaders have no reason to get rid of those warmongers. . . . Jones: Exactly.

        I think the point you two are deliberately missing is that diaspora Palestinian warmongers are just the other side of the same coin. International law doesn’t favor either side or permit Palestinians to resort to warfare in order to make anyone pay a price, until their belligerent claims for property rights or a one state solution are satisfied. The call to action was based upon the failure of the international community to take action on the ICJ advisory opinion. But it was based upon resolution 62 and 73 armistice lines and resolution 242 and 338 withdrawal and termination of belligerent claims. That’s the international legal consensus. You can’t introduce mission creep into the BDS movement by suggesting a one state solution, without getting those old laws and resolutions repealed. In the mean time Chomsky and Finklestein are guilty of pointing out the fact that international consensus exists for a compromise solution that would end the armed conflict.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 25, 2014, 9:18 am

        You are indeed a treasure Hostage. I cannot imagine the IP blogosphere without you.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    June 24, 2014, 11:24 am

    I guess we are going to have to wait until the Jewish diaspora sees beyond the hasbara and becomes aware of the inhumanity of today’s Zionism.

    Hatikva ended up as a butcher’s shop.

  3. American
    American
    June 24, 2014, 11:35 am

    Want to actually win and end the occupation?
    Then BDS the US politicians.
    Imagine the effect of all the BDS effort and oxgyen applied to Washington and political candidates.

    • just
      just
      June 24, 2014, 11:53 am

      American– I like the BDS movement and I totally agree with you. THEY are the crux of the problems. I get emails/voicemails/regular mail from pols. My response is how do you view I/P? Until and unless they tell me or if I hear one more time about how they are committed to the security of Israel– they get nothing from me…

      The other day there was a post about how I/P is an important issue in America. Not enough. I see it as THE central issue re: our failed foreign policy, our national “security” and more. Yesterday Powers spoke of a “red line for the Americans” when it came to naming Israel! Well, she didn’t ask me or many others who want America to stop the sick insanity of being the complicit enabler of Israeli Apartheid, Occupation, and Terrorism against Palestinians.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        June 24, 2014, 12:15 pm

        The last time I voted, I did not want to vote for Menendez, or the others, because they ALL professed their love for Israel. Therefore I gave my vote to one solitary candidate, who had no chance of winning, but stated he wanted to stop the aid to Israel. I felt happy I voted for him.:))

      • just
        just
        June 24, 2014, 1:14 pm

        Look what they’ve done now– please contact your Senators!

        “The U.S. House of Representatives increased funding for Israel’s missile defense systems.

        Included in the House’s Defense Appropriations Bill approved last week is $351 million for the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which is $175 million more than was requested in President Obama’s 2015 budget and $131 million more than funding in the 2014 fiscal year.

        The bill also included $270 million for the Arrow 3 and David’s Sling systems, an increase of $172 million over both the Obama administration’s request and fiscal year 2014 funding.

        In April, Reps. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) sent a letter to the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense seeking support for an increase in funding for the Iron Dome, Arrow 3 and David’s Sling programs.

        “With missiles regularly fired at Israel from Gaza, and the ongoing threat of Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, it is critical that the United States continue its commitment to stand by our ally Israel,” Meng said.

        The budget measure must pass the Senate before Obama can sign it into law. ”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.600953

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 24, 2014, 1:23 pm

        It’s time these parasites pay for their own weapons. The US is broke and I see no reason why a US kid has to go to school is a run down school or why American roads and bridges aren’t being repaired or US citizens aren’t getting health care, because our tax money is spent to keep these ingrates from the response that their own policies have brought them. No one dime to save the whole lot of them, I say.

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 24, 2014, 2:17 pm

    Passing the US senate is easy as pie regarding anything benefiting Israel.

  5. jamiesw
    jamiesw
    June 24, 2014, 2:31 pm

    Omar Barghouti writes:

    International law is clearest on the right to equality above everything else.

    Speaking of equality in international law, a fundamental principle of international law is the equality of states. Doesn’t that mean that Israel, within its legal borders, has the same rights as well as responsibilities as every other UN member state? If so, and if the BDS platform is grounded in international law, why is it silent on the question of Israel’s rights?

    Perhaps Mr. Barghouti can clarify.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 24, 2014, 2:50 pm

      @jamiesw
      Maybe you can clarify why the US is silent on the fact that Israel constantly ignores international law? An axiom of US law is that no rights come without duties. You get the bundle. Israel to date has been given all the rights, and then some–with no bundled duties. The US SC veto has allowed this.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 24, 2014, 2:55 pm

      “If so, and if the BDS platform is grounded in international law, why is it silent on the question of Israel’s rights?”

      The BDS platform is silent on most aspects of international law. (The absence of any statement on riparian rights is OUTLANDISH!!) I see no reason why is should discuss this.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      June 24, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Doesn’t that mean that Israel, within its legal borders, has the same rights as well as responsibilities as every other UN member state?

      Experts on international law agree that the customary practice regarding the creation of new states by international organizations, like the Concert of Europe, the League of Nations, and the UN, conditioned any cessions of territory, diplomatic recognition, and even recognition of statehood upon the acceptance of an international undertaking by the new government to protect the rights of the indigenous populations of the affected territories.

      The Versailles Peace Conference assigned the work to a single “Committee on Minorities and the Creation of New States”. See also Oscar I. Janowsky, “The Jews and Minority Rights, (1898-1919), Colombia University Press, 1933, page 342; Carole Fink, Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, And International Minority Protection, 1878-1938, Cambridge University Press, 2006, page 37; and Part III Creation of States in International Organizations, Chapter 13 “Mandates and Trust Territories” in James Crawford, “Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006, page 565

      So that practice existed long before the San Remo Conference required the British administrators to accept a formal undertaking to protect the existing right of legal equality held by the non-Jewish communities of Palestine under the terms of Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin (1878). Likewise, there was never any UN proposal for an Arab or Jewish state in Palestine that didn’t contain an integral and compulsory minority rights undertaking.

      Prof. W. Tom Mallison testified about Israel’s failure to fulfill its constitutional obligations under the UN resolution 181(II) minority protection plan in his testimony to the US Senate:

      The problem stems from the refusal of the state of Israel to comply with its obligations under the minority rights agreement to guarantee equal rights and protection under the law in the areas under its jurisdiction. Among these legal obligations, section 10(d) of part IB is particularly important and provides that each of the states to be set up in Palestine shall have a constitution which includes provisions:
      Guaranteeing to all persons equal and nondiscriminatory rights in civil, political, economic, and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion, language, speech and publication, education, assembly, and association. In most civilized legal systems it is recognized that legal rights may only be exercised conditioned upon compliance with legal duties. The refusal of the State of Israel to comply with the nondiscriminatory requirements of the Palestine partition resolution – its main claim to title – puts in serious jeopardy its claim to legal title to the limited territory allocated to it by the resolution.

      – See Mallison’s testimony during the Senate hearings on “The Colonization Of The West Bank Territories By Israel”, page 50 link to loc.gov

      FYI, other UN member states are not allowed to engage in ethnic cleansing and denial of repatriation. 174 countries have ratified the 1st Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions and most states and jurists consider that it has achieved customary status. Article 85 designates the practice of apartheid and the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies as grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and war crimes. Article 85 also makes unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners and civilians a grave breach and a war crime.

      The process that Israel used to colonize the region beyond the Green Line is generally recognized as a crime that isn’t subject to any statutory limitations, i.e. “eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid,” — See Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      June 24, 2014, 6:48 pm

      Perhaps Mr. Barghouti can clarify.

      bdsmovement.net has at least 18 articles which mention resolution 242 regarding: the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war; the obligation to end all belligerent claims; the obligation to withdraw the armed forces of Israel from territory occupied during the 67 war; and the right of all states in the region to exist.

      FYI, if Israel doesn’t agree to abide by those obligations and prohibitions, it has no corresponding rights. The ICJ advised that other states have a binding obligation not to recognize as legal the attempt to obtain sovereignty over territory by war or through the denial of the Palestinian right of self-determination and an obligation not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the illegal situation created by Israel.

    • talknic
      talknic
      June 25, 2014, 4:50 am

      jamiesw “Doesn’t that mean that Israel, within its legal borders, has the same rights as well as responsibilities as every other UN member state?”

      Yes all UN Member states have equal status within their legal borders and equal responsibilities, including what they may and may NOT do outside their borders.

      ” If so, and if the BDS platform is grounded in international law, why is it silent on the question of Israel’s rights?”

      Uh? BDS doesn’t exist because of what Israel has a right to do within its legal borders. It exists because Israel does what it has no right to do outside its borders.

  6. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    June 24, 2014, 4:27 pm

    Most people who sympathise with BDS believe, I am sure, that no one – no one at all – deserves to suffer discrimination based on race or religious belief.
    It is not right that anyone – anyone Jewish, anyone Palestinian, indeed anyone Belgian or Paraguayan; there is complete equality – be asked to accept, except perhaps in some exceptional short-term circumstances, international representation only from a non-sovereign, ie a power held in some kind of formal inferiority to another, which is what is asked of Palestinians.

  7. Speedy
    Speedy
    June 24, 2014, 6:13 pm

    For anyone interested in ending the occupation (whether you are referring to ’48 or ’67) and building new political and economic realities between the River and the Sea, Jewish-Arab partnership is the only possibility. If for no other reason than the fact that none of us are going anywhere.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      June 25, 2014, 10:22 am

      For anyone interested in ending the occupation (whether you are referring to ’48 or ’67) and building new political and economic realities between the River and the Sea, Jewish-Arab partnership is the only possibility. If for no other reason than the fact that none of us are going anywhere.

      Everyone here is counting on that. But we insist that the partnership has to be based upon absolute equality and non-discrimination. The problem is that Zionists say giving non-Jews equal rights, immunities, and privileges would destroy the State of Israel.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 26, 2014, 4:23 am

        @ Hostage

        Would destroy the State of Israel as a Jewish state.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 25, 2014, 10:48 am

      “For anyone interested in ending the occupation (whether you are referring to ’48 or ’67) and building new political and economic realities between the River and the Sea, Jewish-Arab partnership is the only possibility. If for no other reason than the fact that none of us are going anywhere.”

      Then, given the vast power disparity, the onus is on the Jews there to bend over backwards to build that partnership. But I have my doubts, as they are hell bent destroying any chance of that, just to show the Palestinians that the Jews are boss. What a stupid, stupid set of policies. Had they given the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza a real and substantial stake in peace between the communities starting 40 years ago, things might be different today. But like the fool who shoots himself in the head just to prove to himself how tough he is, they’ve decided, instead, that a Scorched-Earth-and-War-Crimes strategy against the Palestinians is going to result in that partnership. What sheer stupidity.

  8. James Canning
    James Canning
    June 24, 2014, 7:22 pm

    I think getting US Jews to oppose the occupation (West Bank and Golan Heights) would be a great advance.

  9. weareone
    weareone
    June 24, 2014, 8:39 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Barghouti, Mr. Levy and Mr. Stern-Weiner.

    I appreciate your clarification on these points:

    Mr. Barghouti:
    “How can a state that ethnically cleanses most of the indigenous population then prevents it, by law and power, from returning be a democracy? What is there to preserve? Jewish-Israeli apartheid must be preserved, rather than dismantled?”

    Mr. Levy:
    “It is dangerous to assume that Zionist “support” for a “narrow” BDS campaign is a gain for a movement supporting Palestinian self-determination. It is precisely these kinds of assumptions that we rely on our alternative media sources to counter rather than reinforce…

    In these ways the Palestinian narrative which names the problem and its historical and systemic roots is overridden by a Zionist one in which “current policies” are examined in isolation. Attempts to address unjust policies isolated from the incentive that drives them will only serve to maintain an unjust system…

    This translation of the call’s demands for one’s own purposes frames the problem as the 1967 occupation and settler policy, once again deflecting the issue of the 1948 occupation and expulsion…. bypasses the crucial issue of the approximately seven million refugees, a problem whose origins stem from the expulsion of 1948, and whose resolution depends on contending with the Palestinian demand of right of return…

    The validity of the democratic vision of the Palestinian call for boycott against Israel need not – and cannot – be validated through these kinds of Jewish “support.”

  10. peter hindrup
    peter hindrup
    June 25, 2014, 12:05 am

    An excellent three articles, of which there ought be more of, and more widely disseminated!
    Omar Barghouti makes a point which ought to be hammered every time the subject of Israel comes up:
    ‘This assumes, contrary to fact and logic, that Israel is already a democratic state! Why else would you want to “preserve” it?’ As does Mich Levy:
    ‘This goal becomes irrelevant, and worse, misleading, with the acknowledgement of history and fact that there is no “democratic Israel” to preserve.’
    ‘But “current” Zionist policies have been consistent prior to, during and after the founding of the Israeli state. They reflect a coherent history of Zionist ideology manifested through Zionist institutions, erected over a hundred years ago, which became the foundation of a Zionist state. The building of Zionist infrastructure in Palestine throughout the first part of the 20th century systematically excluded Palestinian people (other than Jews) from political and economic power.’
    There is unlimited literature indicating that the Zionist program — or ought that be pogrom? — never intended for the Palestinians to be a part of it.
    Then Jamie Stern-Weiner’s, point:
    ‘most Jews do not support the BDS platform, either because of what it contains or because of its failure to declare a position on Israel’s existence.’
    If one is supporting the Palestinian cause, then the question of Israel’s existence is of little importance, and is finally in the hands of the Israelis. Assuming a political shift across the globe that forces Israel to comply with international law, which would mean outrun to Palestinians, return of property and reparations, along with one vote one person in a secular state, I would assume that most Israelis would vanish like the morning mist, but probably faster.

    In such a situation there is no reason to believe that ‘Israel’ would even continue to exist. Logically it revert to its rightful status of Palestine.
    “the question is no longer whether or not to boycott, but rather to what extent do we boycott?” At least as crucial, however, is the question, until when do we boycott—until the BDS platform is realised, or until Israel acts in accordance with the international consensus of ending the occupation and achieving a just resolution of the refugee question?
    Until there is one secular state, with all citizens equal before the law.

  11. Tzombo
    Tzombo
    June 25, 2014, 9:37 am

    I wanted to let you know France has taken a major step IMO, which is going to have a big impact in the rest of the EU: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.601148

    This seemed like a good thread for it…

  12. just
    just
    June 25, 2014, 9:44 am

    I think you are correct, Tzombo. I just finished an article about this in IBT! Something just shifted, for the good.

    • just
      just
      June 25, 2014, 10:39 am

      from the Haaretz article:

      “A French diplomat said that the warning is part of a joint act by the five largest countries in the European Union — Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. The United Kingdom and Germany issued such warnings several months ago, and now, in light of the failure of the talks between Israel and the Palestinians and the European protests over the recent wave of construction in the settlements, three more countries joined them. Italy and Spain are expected to publish similar warnings over the next several days.

      One Israeli diplomat said that the ambassadors were asked to say that at the present time, particularly in light of the kidnapping of the three teenage boys in Gush Etzion, issuing such a warning could heighten tensions between Israel and European countries and cause real damage to relations.

      But the French did not grant the Israeli ambassadors’ requests. Foreign Ministry officials believe that once the European Commission issues a similar statement, the EU will be flooded with a wave of warnings against financial activity in the settlements throughout all the European countries.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.601148

      First they threaten the Presbyterians, now they threaten “European countries”. And again with the “kidnappings” being used…

      BDS!

  13. sparrow
    sparrow
    June 25, 2014, 5:10 pm

    Omar Barghouti, et al are all in agreement that the limitation of BDS action to the occupation and colonization of Arab Lands “…occupied in 1967…” [http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro] is antithetical to the original Palestinian Call.

    So what is the delay in eliminating this language from the website to conform to the original full and complete call?

    Whomever slipped this language onto the intro page is guilty of encouraging Zionist dilution of the Call and providing a justification for their constricting the campaign to protect the Zionist foundation of the Israeli State.

    sparrow

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      June 26, 2014, 6:19 am

      Omar Barghouti, et al are all in agreement that the limitation of BDS action to the occupation and colonization of Arab Lands “…occupied in 1967…” [http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro] is antithetical to the original Palestinian Call.

      The page you cited doesn’t actually say any of that. Here’s one by Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss from The Nation that says:

      The movement has won adherents by saying that it will accept any gesture of boycott or divestment that Westerners are willing to make. “If you only want to boycott an egg, we want you to boycott an egg,” said Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which is part of the BNC, during a tour of America last year to drum up support.

      http://www.bdsmovement.net/2010/the-boycott-divestment-sanctions-movement-726

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