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BDS is here to stay: Message to a CT synagogue

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Editor’s note: A few days ago Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg and Andy Schatz published an essay in the Forward revealing that they had held a groundbreaking forum on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) at their Reform Connecticut synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek. The August 2 event featured an argument for BDS from Jewish Voice for Peace and against it from the Zionist group, J Street. Goldenberg and Schatz (who chairs the ACLU in CT) assured readers that they came away from the forum still against BDS. But they said that the Jewish community must not excommunicate pro-BDS Jews because doing so will only alienate young Jews from Israel and feed the anti-Semitic perception that Jews are a “monolithic” community.

“The meeting in Chester was closed to the public (but was videotaped),” says Robert Gelbach, who made the pro-BDS argument. “I was informed that I could not bring an observer (I had asked).  The leaders of the shul had invited a few guests (some area rabbis and the leader of the local Jewish Federation) to the panel presentation and a small-group discussion following.  Only the Federation leader and one rabbi attended as guests and their small-group discussion was merged with two small groups of members from CBSRZ.  The panelists (myself and the J Street representative) were not included in the small-group discussions. Clearly, the leaders at CBSRZ were taking care to ensure that their members would be able to participate in the program with a degree of privacy. In the future perhaps they will be able to hold such meetings more openly.  I give them credit for holding the meeting at all and for a cordial and respectful engagement with issues that clearly trouble them.”

Gelbach allowed us to publish his statement to the forum:

I want to thank all of you who have come to this event. as well as those who planned it, especially Andy Schatz who has labored long and hard to bring about this important discussion.

There is an old story about the great Rabbi Hillel. A young man challenged him one day: “Rabbi, they say you are a great teacher. Can you teach me Judaism while I stand on one foot?” Hillel thought for a moment and said “The core of Judaism is to love the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might, and our neighbors as ourselves. All the rest is just commentary.”

Today, Israelis and Palestinians are neighbors caught in a bitter conflict; there is little neighborly love between them. We are here to consider how they can get to a better place.

I want to address three questions here: First, “What is BDS?” Second, “What does BDS mean for Israel?” And third, “What does BDS mean for us as Jews in the 21st century?”

First, what is BDS? In 2005, some veteran Palestinian activists created the BDS National Committee, an unofficial, voluntary association, and issued the Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. 173 Palestinian organizations – from labor unions to business councils, from health and social service agencies to religious, academic and cultural associations, to community and political leaders — all formally endorsed it, representing Palestinians from around the world.

Their document specifically rejects violence. It calls on people around the world to join in non-violent protest against:

1. The ongoing occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem

2. Denial of full equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel

3. Denial of the right of return for Palestinian refugees from the wars of 1948 and 1967

A recent survey of Palestinians worldwide found that 86% of them agreed with these goals, as well as with non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as the best means to achieve reconciliation and lasting peace.

Let me comment on each goal.

End the Occupation: Israel has occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza since 1967. Under international law, an occupation should be brief and is only justified in an emergency to provide for order until an indigenous government can assume control. The occupying power must focus all its efforts on serving the indigenous population and may not transfer populations in or out of the territory, or build permanent installations, confiscate property or establish infrastructure like separation walls or highways for its own exclusive use.

Israel has violated all these expectations from day one. Its occupation has lasted 48 years. Palestinians are subjected to arbitrary military control without recourse to independent judicial review. Confiscations of land and destruction of houses are constant and rebuilding is rarely permitted. Massive illegal settlements are constructed for hundreds of thousands of Jewish Israeli settlers, all subsidized by Israel. Settler violence against Palestinians is frequent, and rarely prevented or punished. Since the Oslo Agreements of 1993, Israel and the Palestinian leadership have periodically held negotiations. This peace process has repeatedly broken down, as Israel sets conditions on a final settlement that are impossible for Palestinians to accept and still have a viable state. Many Israeli politicians declare that by changing enough “facts on the ground,” they will never have to surrender East Jerusalem or the West Bank.

Although Israel sometimes claims to want a two-state solution, the occupied territories are becoming de facto provinces, without rights for non-Jews, in a Greater Israel. BDS does not take a position on whether there should be two states or one; it focuses instead on the need for a political system that affords citizenship, democracy and equal rights to all its residents.

The second BDS demand calls for equal rights for the 20% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinians. It is a well-documented fact that Israeli law privileges citizens of Jewish nationality in many ways. This is a clear violation of the democratic norm of full legal rights for all citizens. Equal rights were also a condition of the UN partition resolution on which Israel grounded its legal claim to become an independent state in 1948. Apologists for Israel do not deny the inequality; they note instead that Palestinians are better off in Israel than are most Arabs in other Arab countries. I remember when apologists for Jim Crow laws in the US excused racial discrimination on similar grounds: Black Americans were better off than many natives of African countries, they said. We didn’t buy that as an excuse for inequality in the civil rights movement, and Palestinian Israelis don’t buy it either.

Turning finally to the right of return for Palestinian refugees: Under the UN plan of 1947 to partition Palestine between Jews and Palestinians, each new state was required to grant citizenship and equal rights to all the inhabitants of its new territory. But by the end of the 1948-49 war, 750,000 Palestinians had become refugees, forced out by Jewish militias and the Haganah. Five hundred and thirty one non-combatant Palestinian villages were cleared and destroyed or confiscated. In several cases there were massacres, and the news of these terrorist attacks caused other villages to flee. These events were a deliberate strategy, code named “Plan Dalet” and intended to reduce the percentage of non-Jews in the State of Israel.

In response, UN Resolution 194 asserted that refugees should have a right to return to their homes or to receive compensation if they no longer felt welcome or if their homes and property had been destroyed. Israel has never accepted that directive. With their families, the refugees now number 5 million. Palestinians see the wartime expulsion as an injustice that must be acknowledged and addressed.

Can BDS really work? The best example of success in such an effort is the anti-apartheid campaign against South Africa. It took many years to build enough momentum to bring real change. BDS leaders point out that their campaign has had more successes more quickly than the campaign in South Africa had. In almost all cases, BDS efforts have been decentralized, private initiatives, inspired by, but not directed by, the BDS National Committee. They target particular institutions engaged in trade or cultural relationships that enable Israel to sustain its injustices. The growth of BDS internationally has increased world public awareness of the Israel/Palestine conflict and has also raised the hopes of those Jewish Israelis whose active solidarity with Palestinians has been longstanding but lonely until now.

No single organization controls BDS or speaks for all of its supporters. Many BDS supporters are selective in their choice of targets: they may oppose only Israeli policies that relate to the occupation, for example, or may focus solely on consumer boycotts. Sometimes, as with JVP, support for part of the BDS call grows into support for the whole, as supporters become more conversant with the issues. Over all, it seems clear that the BDS movement is here to stay and that continued growth of public support in many countries will eventually lead to their governments joining the movement, as happened with South Africa In the past.

Let me turn to the second major question: What does BDS mean for Israel?

Some apologists consider overt criticism of Israel to be a form of anti-Semitism or, if it comes from Jews, a form of self-hatred. This judgment is not warranted. To be sure, there is anti-Semitism in the world – that is, a view of Jews as lesser beings, a deficient race. But BDS makes no such claim; it calls on Israel to make amends for past actions so that the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians can be healed.

For Israel, the real meaning of BDS is that ending each of the injustices requires substantial change in the way Israel has chosen to act and to think about itself.

Beginning in the later 19th century, Zionist leaders adopted the ideology of eastern European nationalism, which held that healthy states consisted of people united by blood and living in their own territory. Ethnic nationalists thought that too many residents of different ethnicity would weaken a country, especially if the outsiders had access to political influence. Zionists argued that Jews, as a people without a land of their own, would always be unwelcome in other lands. We should therefore reassemble in a land without a people, which was how they initially viewed Palestine. Once they realized that Palestinians considered it their homeland too, the Zionists adopted three goals:

1. Occupy and control all of Palestine, step by step

2. Transfer enough of the local population to other Arab countries so those who remained would never have significant power; and

3. Prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Those were the wartime goals of David Ben Gurion in 1948, and they have guided right wing Israeli policies in the occupied territories.

But now right wing Zionists have a problem: If Israel absorbs the occupied territories all at once, the population of Israel will soon be majority Palestinian, and privileged legal status for Jews will be more obviously undemocratic. If, instead, Israel agrees to a second state, to be run by Palestinians, it will have to give up the dream of controlling all of historic Palestine. Since 1967, Israel has tried to maintain the legal status quo as occupier, while changing “facts on the ground” through colonization, so that it can make a case later for taking over those pieces of the occupied territories where many Jews have already made their homes in illegal settlements. Meanwhile, Israel’s continued control of the occupied territories, and the growth of Palestinian population there, makes the West Bank and East Jerusalem a de facto apartheid colony of Israel. But giving up the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with the huge number of Israeli Jews now living there in settlements, would risk provoking an uprising among the settlers.

As for the refugees’ right of return, Israeli fears of being overwhelmed by 5 million Palestinians are overwrought: Surveys indicate that only about 50,000 refugees have any interest in living inside Israel. The major burden for Israel in accommodating refugees would likely be the negotiated cost of compensation for the losses incurred by refugee families, who would not return.

The BDS National Committee does not tell Israel which choices it should make, so long as the issues are addressed by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators; a just solution will only emerge from negotiation. In the past, negotiation has gone nowhere because Israel had nothing to lose when negotiations “failed.” But as BDS expands and has greater impact on economic, political and cultural life in Israel, the need for negotiated agreement will be more urgent. Israel will have less bargaining power and the Palestinians will have more, but if the primary goals of the negotiating parties are the goals of the BDS movement, then concessions from Israel will enable real peace to arrive.

The third question I want to address briefly is “What does the BDS Movement mean for us as Jews.” This is a more personal issue for me, as I expect it is for you. I want safety and a good life of justice and opportunity for all the people who live in historic Palestine, and for all who have had to flee from Palestine as refugees.

The three principles of justice raised by the BDS Call strike me as both reasonable and inescapable for a morally conscientious Jew. I want to affirm those goals and work for their attainment. I am offended when Israeli leaders who oppose those goals claim that they are acting on behalf of Jews everywhere. Jews should not create a regime of domination, illegal occupation, confiscation and house destruction. Jews should not establish legal systems that disadvantage non-Jewish fellow citizens or use the law to uphold private institutions that discriminate on grounds of race, religion or nationality. And Jews should not employ force and terror to drive non-Jews into refugee camps and then refuse to make amends for nearly 70 years.

Much that has gone wrong derives from the ideology of ethnic nationalism. It is an ideology that cannot conceive of people from many cultures finding a way to live together as equals, with mutual respect. That is, however, the social reality that Americans have been painstakingly building for over 200 years. In a region like the Middle East, full of diversity of every kind, the resort to ethnic exclusivism has been a recipe for endless conflict and not just in Israel/Palestine. A good Jew has an ethical obligation to notice the consequences of social choices and to learn from experience. We need to learn that ethnic exclusivism was a wrong turn and should be replaced with true democracy and respect for human rights.

Judaism is a continuously evolving religion. But one thing that seems constant is the prophetic impulse. We are taught again and again that we need to take responsibility not only for ourselves, but for our wider community. When we see a wrong we must speak up. More and more Jewish people are following this principle, including brave young Israelis like those IDF veterans who formed “Breaking the Silence” to reveal and condemn the military excesses of the third Gaza war in 2014. If their example becomes widespread, change will come: the injustices of the past can be corrected and the Israeli Palestinian conflict can be healed.

In my opinion, a good Jew will recognize the justice of the BDS movement; a good Jew who cares for Israel will see how Israel can benefit from meeting the challenges of BDS; a good Jew who works for the goals of BDS will be truly living out his faith. I think Rabbi Hillel would approve.

About Robert Gelbach

Robert Gelbach is a co-chair of the JVP chapter in New Haven, CT; a retired Professor of Political Science at Southern Connecticut State University, and a member of JVP’s Academic Advisory Council.

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32 Responses

  1. ivri
    ivri
    September 3, 2015, 6:31 pm

    I don`t agree with the assessment here. While in every country there are Jews who oppose Israel (or “its policies” – the usual euphemism) – Jews like all normal groups have internal differences in approaches and views – note that in just about every single country on the planet where there are Jewish communities the mainstream WITH NO EXCEPTIONS (after all the deliberations for decades now on the topic) stands by Israel. It is prominently also so in Europe, where unlike US, Canada and Australia, there is instinctive anti-Israeli attitude, yet even there (despite big social pressures) ALL mainstream Jewish organizations support Israel (and without the linguistic gimmick of “we are Zionists but…”, J. Street style).
    The BDS may continue and could pose difficulties to Israel but it will withstand that – the lion share of its dealings is immune to that. Europe, the main risk, will have hard time deciding on actually boycotting Israel, despite some talk on that, for a multitude of reasons – partly due to the present plethora of EU difficulties and partly because of the convoluted history of Europe-Jewish relations.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 9, 2015, 3:06 pm

      “Jewish communities the mainstream WITH NO EXCEPTIONS (after all the deliberations for decades now on the topic) stands by Israel.”

      Well, as you would be the very first to acknowledge, “Irvi”, “Jewish communities the mainstream WITH NO EXCEPTIONS” have so much to gain from Israel and Zionism!
      I mean, there’s just so many benefits, of so many kinds, from Israel and Zionism that it is nothing but simple self-interest (surely, we can’t condemn a man for that!) for them to support it!

      Oh, BTW “Irvi” you want to point out those Jewish “deliberations” on the topic?

  2. ritzl
    ritzl
    September 3, 2015, 6:35 pm

    From the editor’s note:

    “But they said that the Jewish community must not excommunicate pro-BDS Jews because doing so will only alienate young Jews from Israel and feed the anti-Semitic perception that Jews are a “monolithic” community.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/stay-message-synagogue#sthash.Zys9Y69K.dpuf

    If the Jewish “community” is excommunicating pro-BDS Jews (it must be otherwise why the warning), doesn’t that make the “community” an actual monolith (to the extent the purging is successful), rather than an “anti-semiticly perceived” monolith?

    Also, is Zedek in the congregations name related to Brantley Oren’s new congregation, Tzedek? If so is that a sign of a growing formal realignment in the Jewish community?

    • tokyobk
      tokyobk
      September 3, 2015, 6:59 pm

      Tzedek simply means righteous, and has been a common synagogue name.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        September 3, 2015, 7:12 pm

        Ah. Thanks, tokyobk.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 3, 2015, 10:44 pm

      “Also, is Zedek in the congregations name related to Brantley Oren’s new congregation,”

      “Brantley Oren” is certainly entitled to preach if he feels called to the pulpit, but I think “Tzedek” Chicago is run by a fellow name of “Rabbi Brant Rosen”

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        September 4, 2015, 1:34 am

        Yeah. Sorry Mooser. Just noticed that. Thanks for correcting it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 4, 2015, 11:47 am

        Thanks, that “Oren” made me nervous.

  3. ritzl
    ritzl
    September 3, 2015, 6:53 pm

    Goid summary of BDS. Thanks for alliwing this to be posted, Mr. Gelbach.

    What was the tone, duration, and/or generalized content of the ensuing small-group discussions? Were any minds changed? Were any attempts made to change minds? Just curious.

    • just
      just
      September 4, 2015, 3:31 pm

      Good comment and questions, ritzl.

      This is interesting:

      “INTELLIGENCE FILE: Monitoring the boycotters

      … And still, no one seriously questions why a state that considers itself democratic has assigned its three leading security and intelligence agencies to fight a movement that, though it may well be damaging and bothersome, is by its very nature nonviolent, democratic, political and civilian.

      Perhaps the Israeli overreaction is another manifestation of the rightwing radicalization and paranoia that unfortunately are increasing their grip on Israeli society in the 21st century.”

      http://www.jpost.com/International/INTELLIGENCE-FILE-Monitoring-the-boycotters-413523

      (via Dan Cohen/Ronnie Barkan)

  4. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    September 3, 2015, 8:24 pm

    BDS is fueled by Israel’s own policies.

    Why is that so hard to understand?

  5. Blaine Coleman
    Blaine Coleman
    September 3, 2015, 8:36 pm

    * 1000 Black intellectuals just endorsed boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. Good!

    * Mr. Gelbach has not. He has explained what “BDS” has come to mean in practice. Mr. Gelbach is correct to summarize the current “BDS” movement as follows:

    “Many BDS supporters are selective in their choice of targets: they may oppose only Israeli policies that relate to the occupation, for example, or may focus solely on consumer boycotts…”

    My experience is that, in practice, “BDS” has come to mean never boycotting all Israeli products, never divesting from all investments in Israel, never demanding local or national sanctions to shut down trade, aid, and diplomatic relations with Israel.

    BDS has devolved into extremely modest advocacy for extremely modest goals – like a boycott of a diamond merchant or a soda company.

    * On campus, BDS has come to mean once-a-year requests for divestment from a handful of companies. Even that is presented modestly, more like a respectful church meeting than a real marching movement.

    The campuses open 5 days from now, on September 8th. I hope that at least one student, on at least one campus, will spend his or her September publicly demanding boycott or divestment against Israel. When you look at Gaza, is that really asking so much?

    One divestment campaign in September, on even one campus? Anyone?

  6. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    September 3, 2015, 9:53 pm

    How is it that Gelbach got what Hillel said to the potential convert wrong: Hillel never said anything about loving God with all your heart and all your soul and he phrased the love for neighbor in the negative: “don’t do unto your neighbor what you would not have your neighbor do unto you”? How come he got the quote wrong and it seems to resemble a quote from Jesus rather than a quote from Hillel?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 3, 2015, 10:36 pm

      “How come he got the quote wrong and it seems to resemble a quote from Jesus rather than a quote from Hillel?”

      He probably made the tragic mistake of looking directly at Christmas decorations with the naked eye!

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        September 5, 2015, 3:26 am

        He probably made the tragic mistake of looking directly at Christmas decorations with the naked eye!

        Mooser, you’re a gas!

    • talknic
      talknic
      September 4, 2015, 8:23 am

      @ yonah fredman September 3, 2015, 9:53 pm

      *! HIJACK ALERT !*

    • johneill
      johneill
      September 4, 2015, 8:58 am

      While I can’t speak to the ‘love god with all your heart’ part (but wouldn’t a rabbi say something like that?) the selection you quote means the exact same as it’s opposite: ‘don’t do to your neighbor what you would not have your neighbor do to you’ = ‘do to your neighbor what you would have your neighbor do to you’. Kind of like how ‘never again’ means (or should mean) ‘never again, for anyone’.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        September 7, 2015, 6:41 pm

        “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might” comes from the daily prayer Sh’ma Yisrael (Hear O Israel).

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 7, 2015, 7:46 pm

        So there is no love left over for anyone else?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 9, 2015, 3:11 pm

        “So there is no love left over for anyone else?”

        Take it away, Roberta and Donny!

  7. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    September 5, 2015, 2:25 pm

    Slowly but surely the better late than never crowd inches their way to the facts on the ground. Too bad Jewish Voice for Peace has gone after Allison Weir.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      September 5, 2015, 3:07 pm

      Based on the timing of the expulsion and the outdated nature of the circumstantial evidence used against her, one can tell that the reason JVP and CEIO are banning her is because she is touring for a book that says the same kinds of things that Phil does about the Lobby.

      Weir sees the lobby as a key factor in some major parts of US policy on the Mideast, and perhaps the leading factor in US policy that supports Israeli control over Palestinians. JVP’s leaders and at least a few of CEIO’s object to her thesis and writing on this topic. Naturally, what happened may have been a confluence of factors: Weir contacted JVP chapters, USC chapters and went on a tour in major cities where they heard about her talks. Phil Munger had already confirmed in the MW comments section that people had tried to stop weir from speaking before, and Weir had long had opponents. One would logically expect that the Lobby would oppose her thesis and tour, and that her “weak point” would be her opponents in the activist community, since the Lobby would have difficulty shutting her down directly. So with the Lobby and a sector of the activist community opposing her talks that emphasize the Lobby’s role, it is natural to see that their reaction to her tour was to make this denunciation and banning.

      • b.grand
        b.grand
        September 5, 2015, 7:01 pm

        Right. But it’s more than, “…because she is touring for a book that says the same kinds of things that Phil does about the Lobby.”

        The JVP and CEIO crowd focus their BDS on the occupation that began in 1967. Weir is questioning the entire Israeli myth since 1947, thereby the very legitimacy of JSIL (Jewish State in the Levant).

        Miko Peled refers to the Balfour Agreement as one white racist promising Arab land to another white racist. If you’ve never heard him speak, it will be a revelation. If you have (and don’t want to listen for his updates) go to the last eleven minutes for the Q&A, especially the very last.
        This is from the Veterans for Peace National Convention, 2015.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        September 6, 2015, 12:30 am

        B. Grand,

        Do you know anywhere that CEIO has taken a position of explicit disagreement with Zionism? I mean, has it ever said that it was a mistake, or something like that? I don’t necessarily mean openly “anti-Zionist” like IJAN.

        Weir is in a very asymmetrical power relationship with those who’ve banned her. What Solidarity organization is bigger or stronger than CEIO and JVP?

        SJP? Maybe J Street, but I don’t think that it counts.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      September 5, 2015, 5:34 pm

      Kathleen,

      The decision to ban and shun the anti-racist Weir for “Guilt by Association with Racists” and “failure to condemn all racist claims in several interviews” is an irrational scandal. If JVP and CEIO, two of the biggest Solidarity organizations, combine to make a leading Solidarity activist persona non grata, it adds weight to the claim by Finkelstein that the Solidarity community can function as a “cult” where some leaders make a decision that the followers have to obey, even if the community is not on board with it. Or it lends weight to Atzmon’s claims that there are AZZs who gave up their belief in a state intensely dedicated to one religion or ethnicity only and who strongly oppose Israeli military policies, but who otherwise generally carry along with them uneeded premises or biases that led to this belief. That is because if she is being judged based on “association via interviews with racists”, it suggests that there is a bias at work in the denunciation.

      Personally, I don’t like thinking about a “BDS cult” or about CEIO being AZZs, but if they are going to ban people for focusing on the Lobby or for allegedly overestimating its power, despite the fact that IP policies being decided in a bourgeois system where lobbies are typically extremely important in influencing major policies, then what are dissidents supposed to think?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 5, 2015, 6:54 pm

        “The decision to ban and shun the anti-racist Weir for “Guilt by Association with Racists” and “failure to condemn all racist claims in several interviews””

        I’m sorry W Jones, I am not quite able to follow. Who are you quoting?
        The words enclosed by quotes, indicating somebody said or wrote exactly that, who was it said or wrote that and in the context you suggest. Was it JVP? Was it CEIO?
        Were those the titles of the complaints against Weir or from the conclusions made by JVP and/or CEIO?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        September 6, 2015, 12:10 am

        Sorry, Mooser. I should have quoted them more explicitly, as in the accusations of:
        violating anti-racism principles by making
        (1) “troubling associations and choices (that) further include giving interviews
        https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/jewish-voice-for-peace-statement-on-our-relationship-with-alison-weir
        Not explicitly “Guilt by Association with Racists”. This was my loose paraphrase of the charge.

        and (2) of making “little to no effort to challenge” the interviewer’s views.
        http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4510#sthash.D5rA4Un8.dpuf
        Not “failure to condemn all racist claims in several interviews”, which was also my loose paraphrase of the charge. This was my interpretation, because as others have shown in the MW comments section, each time she was given a chance to talk after he said something offensively racist, she frequently or almost always did make a serious “effort to challenge” something, but on the other hand, she did not challenge all the interviewer’s views either.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 6, 2015, 11:21 am

        Thanks, “W Jones”! The quotes you use here explain everything clearly!

  8. eGuard
    eGuard
    September 6, 2015, 11:22 am

    The title of the Forward piece: Excommunicating Pro-BDS Jews Is a Huge Strategic Mistake. (emphasis added). In other words, the wise men want to include pro-BDS’ers to kill BDS. Nothing “here to stay” at all.

    For example, they write: BDS movement … does not support an Israel that is Jewish as well as democratic and secure. “democratic and jewish” – they still don’t get it.

    Given the secretive and manipulative setup, I am astonished that JVP lent their name to this framing. JVP should have opposed the whole setup more vigorously. Since they did not do so, I strongly propose that JVP leaves the pro-Palestinian community.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      September 6, 2015, 5:20 pm

      ^You are being sarcastic and alluding to Weir’s expulsion on the charge of failure to oppose an intolerant framing.

  9. talknic
    talknic
    September 6, 2015, 10:59 pm

    Meanwhile in the occupied Golan http://afekoil.co.il/?lang=en

  10. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    September 7, 2015, 3:58 pm

    American Jewish communities seem to me to have elected to suppress anti-racism in favor of safety-for-Israeli-Jews and the ever clever Israeli politicians cleverly play to this by constantly sending out “existential-threat alerts”. These same American Jewish communities have also forgotten that American Jewish communities were mostly anti-Zionist before 1967. This whole USA-Jews-support-Israel is a political swangdangle (https://books.google.com/books?id=bvzBNwkis3cC&pg=PA238&lpg=PA238&dq=swangdangle&source=bl&ots=LCEzKGRxwY&sig=piYZw5SwxTpx4c0UbUywKnp324s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEQQ6AEwCGoVChMIxfCizNrlxwIVxRw-Ch176A_0#v=onepage&q=swangdangle&f=false), not a principled anything.

    These American Jewish communities have forgotten how bad supporting racism is, have shut their eyes to Israeli racism, and have generally stopped thinking (and stopped learning history).

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