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‘We don’t want to find ourselves in a position like apartheid South Africa’: A report from Israel’s first national conference against BDS

Israel/Palestine
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One of Israel’s biggest newspapers staged the country’s first national conference against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement this week in Jerusalem. Yedioth Ahronoth and its website Ynet organized a day-long event that featured the majority of leading Israeli politicians and many cultural figures. Fear, paranoia, anger and determination was ubiquitous amongst the panelists and audience. BDS could never have imagined a more high-profile advertisement for its agenda.

Co-sponsored by Sodastream, World Jewish Congress, Bank Hapoalim and StandWithUs, who are organizing their own anti-BDS event in Los Angeles in April, the aim of the day was to counter the worldwide growth of BDS. The organizers stated that, “without knives or missiles but with an explosive payload consisting of outrageous lies – genocide, apartheid and crimes against humanity – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is conquering a growing number of strongholds in Europe, the United States and elsewhere. From the campuses of California to the supermarkets of Paris, the academic, economic and cultural boycott is becoming a palpable threat to the international status of the State of Israel.”

Image in the lobby of the anti-BDS conference. (Photo: Antony Loewenstein)

Image in the lobby of the anti-BDS conference. (Photo: Antony Loewenstein)

Held in the Jerusalem Convention Center, hundreds of young and old participants from across the globe were treated to a collection of images in the foyer mocking the intentions of BDS supporters. One picture featured two black Africans standing on dry land while pro-Palestinian flotillas headed out to sea in the opposite direction. “Let’s wave these, maybe we’ll get some support, too”, one of the impoverished looking Africans said to the other while holding Palestinian flags. Another image showed an Israeli soldier saying to what was presumably a Palestinian woman, “Ho, cute baby.” A man sitting in a director’s chair labelled BDS shouts, “Cut! We need more hatred! The world won’t buy that!”

Image in the lobby of the anti-BDS conference. (Photo: Antony Loewenstein)

Image in the lobby of the anti-BDS conference. (Photo: Antony Loewenstein)

The professionally organized conference was slick. Throughout the day, short videos with ominous music were shown to the crowd. The clips were of BDS supporters, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti (a name repeatedly mentioned during the day, including threats to remove his permanent resident status), global protests against Israel and musicians who refuse to play in the Jewish state.

Speaker after speaker either confirmed the BDS threat or said it shouldn’t be exaggerated. There was confusion how to tackle a problem that couldn’t be destroyed by conventional military means. Yedioth Ahronoth Editor-in-Chief Ron Yaron said that BDS should not be underestimated. There was a “feeling that you have been marked…We don’t want to wake up in 10 years to find ourselves in a position like apartheid South Africa.” He quickly dismissed any comparison between the two nations.

An “information kit for Israelis studying abroad” was available listing the “lies” and “truth” about Israel. It’s a curious document. While acknowledging that, “not every closing of every store in Hebron is fair and not every delay at every checkpoint is justifiable”, occupation (though this word isn’t used) is still sugar-coated. “In spite of the obvious improvements in the lives of Palestinians from 1967 until today, Israeli rule has also created serious issues for Palestinians.” The 1948 Nakba is explained away as “there were some instances of expulsions [but] these were not the rule.”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, hailed as a moderate in some of the American media despite recently meeting with members of Lev HaOlam (a group dedicated to supporting businesses in the occupied West Bank), condemned BDS. “The BDS movement is a movement founded on the non-acceptance of Israel’s existence”, he said. “We must differentiate between criticism and de-legitimization. We must show the world the claims of the BDS movement are based on hatred and enmity of the State of Israel.” Rivlin praised Israel’s democratic nature and “one of the most ethical armies in the world”. He closed his remarks by saying that, “the Israeli flag should be held high and we should be proud”. The crowd cheered.

Ron Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, told the gathering that, “our enemies have failed to destroy Israel militarily and economically. Having failed, they are trying to destroy Israel politically.” He accused “well-financed anti-Israel groups” of poisoning the minds of Jews on US campuses. “Most Jewish students are ill-equipped to defend themselves”, he argued. The irony was lost on the crowd that the US Zionist community has already spent tens of millions of dollars trying to polish Israel’s image with little discernable effect. There’s no evidence that BDS groups have received any comparable financial backing.

Lauder pledged to push the US Congress and other nations “to make economic boycotts illegal.” There are signs that the US Congress is taking note and pushing to criminalize constitutionally protected speech and non-violent resistance. France is leading the way with other countries likely to follow. Such legislation guarantees BDS activists will break the law and challenge its moral and legal basis.

Successive politicians slammed BDS and never mentioned the occupation (a word that only appeared during the day when questioning BDS allegations against Israel). Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan linked BDS to jihadism and Islamist terrorism, a connection repeatedly made across every panel. “Supporters of BDS justify their actions because of the ‘occupation,’ but if we really look at them, they also wave Hamas flags and call for the destruction of the State of Israel. This fight is not over any particular thing in our lives – but over our right to live here.” Erdan was pleased that every US Presidential candidate spoke out against BDS at the recent AIPAC conference in Washington DC. “Not Bernie Sanders”, he said, “but I’m sure he’ll be against it, too…With the help of God and you all, we will succeed.” Erdan recently claimed that BDS was a threat “to the international community” as well as Israel.

Haaretz journalist and commentator Gideon Levy has written for years that the majority of the Israeli media are mouthpieces for the government of the day. They may disagree with certain policies now and then but in the end they’ll side with Israel’s pro-occupation regime. The anti-BDS conference offered more evidence to prove Levy’s point. Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Ben Dror Yemini praised Israel’s democracy and relished “exposing” critics “who publish lies”. Another Yedioth reporter, Ronen Bergman, after recounting one of his Israeli intelligence sources “recently telling me that we can fight Hizbollah, Iran and its nukes but we haven’t yet defeated BDS; it’s a strategic challenge for the Israeli state”, asked whether “we defeat BDS like we did Hamas and Islamic Jihad 15 years ago [during a wave of suicide bombings]?”

One of the more predictably disappointing speakers was EU Ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, who was recently defamed in a video by Israeli settlers comparing him to Hannibal Lector. After refusing pro-Palestinian activists request to withdraw from appearing on stage with Dani Dayan, former head of the settler movement and just appointed Israeli consul-general in New York, his comments were timid. After stating that EU policy towards the settlements was that they were illegal, he continued: “Our policy is engagement with Israel. We are Israel’s largest trade partner, and we are Israel’s most important international partner in science, technology, and the list goes on.”

He was asked if an Israeli company had offices or factories in both Israel and the occupied territories was reason to label its product from the settlements (as is now happening in the EU with products from the West Bank). He said no. “Settlement products are welcome on the EU market”, he stated, undermining any effort to hold Israeli companies to account.

A flurry of Israeli politicians appeared, mouthed anti-BDS platitudes and left the building. Labor Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog, who recently proposed a policy of forcibly separating from the Palestinians, praised the IDF as “working to the highest goals” and compared BDS to classic anti-Semitism. Yair Lapid hoped to “motivate the start-up nation”.

Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon said there was “no evidence that the Israeli economy was affected” by BDS though pledged to help any Israeli company that was. Israeli farmer Bar Heffetz recently wrote on Facebook that BDS was having an effect on sales to Europe. Kahlon said that Palestinians were the ones suffering the most from BDS “as the boycott harms the exports from the settlements, where most of the workers are Palestinians.” Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said it was fashionable to “be vegan and hate on Israel” and wanted Israel to “change its policies [and] support the IDF as a moral and strong army.” Education Minister Naftali Bennett wanted Israel to “change the narrative and highlight our strong points. Trade with Europe is up and Israel is a steady light tower in an Arab storm.”

Challenging the official position that BDS wasn’t harming the Israeli economy, a panel with Israel’s leading industrialists argued otherwise. Former Intel Israeli President Shmuel Eden said that BDS was a “terrible threat” and “we are losing young, Jewish Americans”. Michael Jonas, CEO of Afek Oil and Gas, accused BDS of “terror” and expressed displeasure that many Arab states didn’t recognize its drilling in the occupied Golan Heights. Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of Sodastream, said Israel was in a “war” and denied that his company’s recent move to open a new plant in the Negev had any connection to BDS pressure (a contrary position to what he argued last year). “We needed a bigger plant and in the Negev, one hour from Ramallah, gives Palestinians work. This isn’t an apartheid state; we need co-existence.” Ofra Strauss, chairperson of the Strauss Group, urged more publicity about US and Israeli ties. “I grow in pride when people around the world drink Sodastream”, she said.

Rosanne Barr at the anti-BDS conference. (Photo: Antony Loewenstein)

Rosanne Barr at the anti-BDS conference. (Photo: Antony Loewenstein)

A sign of the anti-BDS campaign’s desperation was asking American actress and comedian Roseanne Barr to give the keynote address. She has a history of defaming Islam. Her talk rambled between accusing BDS of being “fascist” and “right-wing” and denying Israel was occupying any Palestinian territory at all (a position shared by virtually all of the day’s speakers). The crowd cheered throughout her talk. “It’s a huge turn-on being in service as a Jew”, she said to applause.

A panel dedicated to “beating the boycott movement on social media” consisted of mostly StandWithUs employees. “Strategic consultant” Chen Mazig, self-described “good friend” of Roseanne Barr, called prominent Palestinian writer and tweeter Ali Abunimah “a raving fanatic, a lunatic. He hates Jews”. Honest Reporting CEO Joe Hyams wanted the audience to “focus on the 85%-90% of people [online] who are undecided about Israel”. His organization routinely publishes propaganda for the IDF.

By late afternoon, and the program running overtime, US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, repeated US talking points about Israel and vigorously opposed BDS. Interestingly, he urged Israel to resume peace talks with the Palestinians because, “when we have such a tool, our hand is strengthened, not with the core advocates of BDS, who have a truly anti-Israel agenda independent of the conflict, but with those who are persuadable, and there are significant numbers of such people.” It was a theme repeated by Tzipi Livni earlier in the day. BDS would apparently suffer if at least the illusion of peace talks took place.

Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, a hard-right politician who has called all Palestinian people the “enemy”, said that “justice ministers around the world are great friends of Israel. They all love Israel and want to cooperate with it, especially in light of Israel’s experience in the war against terrorism.” She’s right; this co-operation is deepening and will likely continue to do so after more attacks like the ones recently suffered in Europe.

By day’s end, with all the fish, chicken, salad and marzipan chocolate eaten, the final session was about the cultural boycott of Israel and how to beat it. Actress Yael Abecassis said that she was a “spokesperson [for Israel] as soon as I leave the house, when I leave the country. We are all soldiers.” Musician Idan Raichel said that BDS activists had never successfully cancelled his performances. Producer Shuki Weiss, who revealed that Elton John was asked to sign an Israeli loyalty pledge before his show in Tel Aviv, said that few international musicians were listening to the BDS call by former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters.

It was a surreal day, filled with determination to defeat BDS, but participants were seemingly incapable of truly understanding why the movement was surging globally. Anti-Semitism was the oft-stated reason. The current mood in Jewish Israel is nationalistic, belligerent, fearful and contemptuous of Palestinians, pro-military and intolerant of dissent. International media is being blamed for Israel’s poor global standing.

BDS is working. Israeli companies are increasingly moving out of the West Bank to avoid being boycotted (though corporate media outlets like the Financial Times continue to produce plush spreads about the “start-up nation”). In many ways, the West Bank and Israel are already indivisible politically and morally; it’s one state with Jews and Arabs facing different rights and laws. Israel proper is complicit in establishing and deepening the West Bank colonies. De-facto annexation of the West Bank is happening today. Gaza remains broken.

The fact that this anti-BDS event happened at all, after years of Zionist groups and the Israeli government claiming the movement was irrelevant, was a clear sign that BDS has started to bite. Mossad is already pushing a cyberwar against BDS activists. The anti-BDS conference revealed that there are few strategies being contemplated apart from more money for US campuses to spread Israeli propaganda and funds to better sell the country’s supposed benefits to an increasingly skeptical world.

There’s no doubt that draconian legislation against BDS could hamper the movement’s rise in the short term, and BDS leaders could be targeted by political, social or military means, but the underlying trajectory of Israel is clear. The US and its allies are now supporting the “first signs of fascism in Israel”, Gideon Levy recently said. BDS will continue to grow globally because Israel is helping its cause on a daily basis.

Antony Loewenstein
About Antony Loewenstein

Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist currently based in Israel/Palestine and author of many books including Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe (Verso, 2015)

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94 Responses

  1. chocopie
    chocopie
    March 29, 2016, 1:36 pm

    Here’s hoping they keep gabbing and never stop. Every time a Zionist says “BDS” an angel gets its wings. Best advertising evah!

    • Mayhem
      Mayhem
      March 30, 2016, 10:01 pm

      Coming from the likes of self-hating Jew Lowenstein this sardonic view of the anti-BDS conference is par for the course. With anti-BDS legislation firing up right round the world the BDS movement is in deep crisis and it is common sense for Israel’s advocates to go all out to destroy the BDS movement. Despite the claims here that BDS is hurting Israel and is on the ascendancy the facts of the matter are that BDS has failed miserably with its anti-semitic rhetoric.
      Case in point is this event taking place in my home city today. Intended only for Pallwags it is essentially an emergency meeting where pro-Palestinian advocates are desperately trying to work out how to dig their narrative out of the doldrums.
      Lowenstein can freely attend the anti-BDS event in democratic Israel while the pro-Palestinian event, bemoaning the fact that the media is sick and tired of the anti-Israel battle cry, stages its own version – an autocratic hatefest.

      • talknic
        talknic
        March 30, 2016, 11:51 pm

        @ Mayhem “Coming from the likes of self-hating Jew Lowenstein…”

        Ah yes, wanting the State of Israel to adhere to the law = self hating Jew. I understand now. Thanks for that

        ” With anti-BDS legislation firing up right round the world the BDS movement is in deep crisis and it is common sense for Israel’s advocates to go all out to destroy the BDS movement.”

        A contradictory statement if ever there was one..

        “Despite the claims here that BDS is hurting Israel and is on the ascendancy the facts of the matter are that BDS has failed miserably with its anti-semitic rhetoric”

        WOW! I understand even more now. Wanting Israel to adhere to the law is anti-semitic. Thanks for explaining

        BTW if BDS has failed, why would Israel’s advocates have a need to go all out to destroy BDS?

        You need a better script writer pal.

      • rosross
        rosross
        March 31, 2016, 1:25 am

        You do realise the use of the term self-hating Jew generally reduces people of intelligence to uncontrollable laughter because every time it is used, you know the target has said something true, honest, real?

        The level of denial at work in Zionist Israelis and their supporters is truly remarkable and I am sure will form the basis of a psychological thesis by someone at sometime. It is astonishing how people can believe their own lies and propaganda and ignore the realities staring them in the face which others see and indicate clearly.

        Perhaps bigotry really does interfere with brain function.

  2. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    March 29, 2016, 2:43 pm

    Wouldn’t all day screenings of “Exodus” and “Cast a Giant Shadow” have had the same effect?

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 29, 2016, 4:16 pm

    Indiana just past anti-BDS legislation–how many states is that now?

  4. amigo
    amigo
    March 29, 2016, 4:26 pm

    It is going to be so much fun watching all these a——s eat crow at the end of the day.All that money wasted.All those new enemies created by f—–g with peoples free speech and interference in the affairs of sovereign nations.

    There is going to be one very large bill to pay when Israel falls and it will.They think that BDS effort was bad.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      March 29, 2016, 4:47 pm

      I’m more annoyed than worried, cuz when people power gets going it’s unstoppable.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      March 30, 2016, 10:03 am

      Yes, and I guess you’ll have fun watching Jews die as a result of your actions.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        March 30, 2016, 11:33 am

        @hophmi

        No we will leave that type of perverted fun to the racists in sderot and other Israeli cities who party as innocents are slaughtered by the criminals in the israeli terrorist forces.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 30, 2016, 11:33 am

        Their religion is not relevant to the discussion.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 30, 2016, 2:44 pm

        “Yes, and I guess you’ll have fun watching Jews die as a result of your action” hopknee.

        Who said anything about Jews dying , except you.

        I had a fate far more painful in mind.To quote Mooser, “we will all be relegated to being just ordinary people.(or words to that effect ).

        “Mr President , there is an AIPAC delegation seeking a meeting”.

        Tell them to f–k o–. Remember what happened the last time we let them into the WH.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 30, 2016, 3:32 pm

        “Yes, and I guess you’ll have fun watching Jews die as a result of your actions.”

        I have to apologize for “Hophmi”. I apologize for him. He really doesn’t know what he’s saying.
        He’s led a very sheltered life, and it shows.

        But he really does help me feel downright ordinary. Hard to keep up any pretensions of cultchah when he’s around.

      • diasp0ra
        diasp0ra
        March 30, 2016, 3:43 pm

        You’re such a drama illama. Nobody is going to start dying if Israel starts adhering to international law, which is literally the only goal of bds.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 30, 2016, 4:58 pm

        The continual deaths of Pakestinians are something I want to stop.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 30, 2016, 6:47 pm

        diasp0ra: “Nobody is going to start dying if Israel starts adhering to international law.”

        Hophmi is. To him a life without being able to treat Nonjews like subhuman is not worth living.

      • talknic
        talknic
        March 30, 2016, 11:58 pm

        @ Talkback “Hophmi is. To him a life without being able to treat Nonjews like subhuman is not worth living

        There are plenty of other coat tails for pathetic, serial abusing, safe behind a keyboard, Internet trolls to latch onto. Anything to keep the bile flowing

      • rosross
        rosross
        March 31, 2016, 1:26 am

        Since most Jews do not live in Israel, never did and never will and a quarter of Israelis are not Jewish and since most Israelis are not really Jewish either – it’s a religion and you cannot be an atheist or secular Jew as many of those transplanted from Russia were and are, so beyond the fact that Israel uses the term Jew, it is not relevant to most Jews in the world nor to the religion of Judaism.

  5. ritzl
    ritzl
    March 29, 2016, 4:47 pm

    Doctor to Patient: You’ve shot yourself in the foot so many times and left it untreated for so long that you now have extensive gangrene. You are going to lose your foot.

    Patient to Doctor: How dare you point out that smell. I just need a good night’s sleep and I’ll be fine.

    Those people are crazy. The conversation is over. They just continue to move their lips.

    —-

    Interestingly, he urged Israel to resume peace talks with the Palestinians because, “when we have such a tool, our hand is strengthened, not with the core advocates of BDS, who have a truly anti-Israel agenda independent of the conflict, but with those who are persuadable, and there are significant numbers of such people.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/we-dont-want-to-find-ourselves-in-a-position-like-apartheid-south-africa-a-report-from-israels-first-national-conference-against-bds/#sthash.PTpZ3kou.dpuf

    It was pretty interesting that the US ambassador to Israel, Shapiro addressed anti-BDS by overtly offering (in a “just spitballing now…” sort of way) a/the US-mediated peace process as a ruse to defuze the snowballing BDS effort.

    It’s impossible to comprehend the level of sociopathy required to offer up the fate of 4M Palestinians as a ploy to help Israel avoid confronting its “gangrene.”

    But on the bright side, honesty at last.

    Did Shapiro put a stake in the heart of the peace process now that he’s stated that it is ONLY a ploy? How can ever agree to participate ever again. Shapiro’s imp

  6. ritzl
    ritzl
    March 29, 2016, 4:55 pm

    Great article. A profoundly insightful glimpse into the alternate universe that is Israel. It’s always hard for me to convince myself that they really believe what they are saying. They do. It’s not just a tactic, it’s a fully fleshed-out delusion.

    Thanks for the insight.

  7. Boomer
    Boomer
    March 29, 2016, 5:08 pm

    Thanks for the report. It was good, but maybe I didn’t read it closely enough. I missed the part about the speakers who called for an end to mistreatment of Palestinians as a way to avoid being treated like South Africa was treated. I get the impression that there is no significant group among Jewish Israelis calling for that. If that’s the case, it seems that Palestinians have a long way to go to attain their rights. For example, they might go to Europe, or America.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      March 30, 2016, 10:18 am

      Yup. They actually don’t even seem to see Palestinians as humans. They’re just background with moveable arms and legs.

      That kinda goes to what mooser fights against so vigorously. These same folks don’t THINK they represent all Jews, in their minds/delusion they simply DO. That explains a lot, to me anyway.

      I never quite understood that distinction until this article and your comment.

  8. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    March 29, 2016, 5:56 pm

    What is nearly impossible to understand is why a university or company has to be in post-1967 occupation area to be targeted.
    Even if one’s mental horizon is limited to post-67 crimes, the occupation, Apartheid, massacres and slow genocide is being implemented by the pre-1967 state, and anything in that state is a legitimate boycott target.
    Repeat as often as indicated.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      March 29, 2016, 7:37 pm

      re: “What is nearly impossible to understand is why a university or company has to be in post-1967 occupation area to be targeted.”

      You wouldn’t want the sanctions to be effective, would you? Nor would you want to be called antisemitic, I’m sure. Limiting BDS that way shows your heart is in the right place, and doesn’t threaten to inconvenience Israel. Helping Palestinians is less important than those goals.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 29, 2016, 7:48 pm

        Precisely, and helping “Israel”, no matter which side you’re on, is the supreme requirement anyway.

    • lonely rico
      lonely rico
      March 29, 2016, 8:04 pm

      >echinococcus

      What is nearly impossible to understand is why a university or company has to be in post-1967 occupation area to be targeted. Even if one’s mental horizon is limited to post-67 crimes, the occupation, Apartheid, massacres and slow genocide is being implemented by the pre-1967 state, and anything in that state is a legitimate boycott target.

      Absolutely. The OPT and Israel are totally integrated, economically, militarily, and (im)morally.
      BDS must target the whole caboodle.

      OT – interesting David Shulman article in the latest (April 7, 2016) NYRB on right-wing and mainstream persecution and violence against human rights activists (B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Ta’ayush …) in Israel –
      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/04/07/israel-the-broken-silence/

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 30, 2016, 2:06 am

        The OPT and Israel are totally integrated, economically, militarily, and (im)morally. BDS must target the whole caboodle

        BDS, as the organization in the West representing the movement, does not.
        That’s the point: your sign should be posted at their door.

        A relevant question in this regard:
        Does anybody in the room know exactly how many of the people in leading or official positions in Western “BDS” organizations are members of JVP or even “liberal”Zionists?

  9. Lucas
    Lucas
    March 29, 2016, 7:17 pm

    great reportage, Anthony

  10. JWalters
    JWalters
    March 29, 2016, 7:36 pm

    “The 1948 Nakba is explained away as ‘there were some instances of expulsions [but] these were not the rule.'”

    This is the Big Lie that Zionists have foisted upon West European and American Jews, and West Europeans and Americans in general. As this lie is progressively destroyed, along with its many related lies, the public will be shocked at the war monster behind Israel’s religious mask. “Liberal” Zionists will weep as they abandon their complicity in the horror.

  11. MaxNarr
    MaxNarr
    March 29, 2016, 8:30 pm

    Like we have said many times, it is worth repeating, we have declared WAR on the BDS movement. We will not stop, nor tire, until BDS is wiped off the face of the map. Watch and weep.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 29, 2016, 9:39 pm

      || MaxNarr: Like we have said many times, it is worth repeating, we have declared WAR on the BDS movement. We will not stop, nor tire, until BDS is wiped off the face of the map. … ||

      It sounds like you’re making a terrorist threat. And you know what happens to terrorists:

      MaxNarr: … Every single terrorist … will be executed on the spot. …

      Anyway, BDS disappearing is about as likely as the “Jewish State” lasting a thousand years. You are going to be such an unhappy little Zio-supremacist. :-(

    • just
      just
      March 30, 2016, 12:30 am

      Feeble try, it’s just another filthy threat to good folks all over the world, “Max”.

      Normal and sentient people ignore you. Haven’t you noticed ?

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      March 30, 2016, 1:13 am

      Watch and weep? That’s exactly what you’ll be doing “MaxNarr”. You try to sound like some tough guy, but obviously you are not. You talk tough, but if the Palestinians had an army like the israelis with the weaponry to match, there’d be unprecidented weeping and wailing from the likes of you. Watch and weep as the zionist entity is ground to dust, by its own stupid self. BDS!

    • Laurent Weppe
      Laurent Weppe
      March 30, 2016, 4:05 am

      Threats on an internet comment section are cheap and easy.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      March 30, 2016, 7:18 am

      Like “we” – as in the royal we? Or is your name really Legion?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 30, 2016, 4:31 pm

        “Like “we” – as in the royal we? Or is your name really Legion?”

        Nah, I don’t think it’s Legionnaires, just another Ziocaine Syndrome attack.

        All the altered caca’s are going to come after us in their walkers.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      March 30, 2016, 9:03 am

      MaxNarr “Like we have said many times, it is worth repeating, we have declared WAR on the BDS movement. We will not stop, nor tire, until BDS is wiped off the face of the map. Watch and weep.”

      Yes MaxNarr, we said the same many times and repeatedly about Hamas and our Israeli Chicken Force’s triumph was to kill half of our enemy chickens
      http://www.juancole.com/2014/08/assault-chickens-agriculture.html

      Btw. just replace “BDS” with “international Jewry” and tell us who you sound like.

    • rosross
      rosross
      March 31, 2016, 2:15 am

      I believe the South Africans said similar things. Guess what? BDS ended apartheid there and it will end it in UN mandated Israel and Occupied Palestine.

  12. talknic
    talknic
    March 29, 2016, 8:55 pm

    A bunch of ignorants or liars get together to pass on their ignorance or lie to each other completely ignoring the fact that for 67 years the State of Israel has been waging war in and over territories the Israeli Government itself claimed on May 22nd 1948, were “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/b4085a930e0529c98025649d00410973?OpenDocument

    What can we learn from their bullsh*te? Brainwashing definitely works!

  13. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    March 29, 2016, 10:16 pm

    RE: US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro . . . urged Israel to resume peace talks with the Palestinians because, “when we have such a tool, our hand is strengthened, not with the core advocates of BDS, who have a truly anti-Israel agenda independent of the conflict, but with those who are persuadable, and there are significant numbers of such people.” ~ Loewenstein

    IN OTHER WORDS: Peace talks (i.e., “make-believe negotiations”*) are a tool that strengthens the hand of the US/Israel, thereby giving them more room to “manoeuvre”* (i.e., settle enough the West Bank so as to preclude the creation of a viable Palestinian state).

    * REGARDING “MAKE-BELIEVE NEGOTIATIONS” AND “MANOEUVRE”, SEE THIS FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe Ya’alon, was candid when asked in an interview this year: ‘Why all these games of make-believe negotiations?’ He replied:

    Because … there are pressures. Peace Now from within, and other elements from without. So you have to manoeuvre … what we have to do is manoeuvre with the American administration and the European establishment, which are nourished by Israeli elements [and] which create the illusion that an agreement can be reached … I say that time works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew … and we in the government know how to make use of time.

    SOURCE – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/alastair-crooke/permanent-temporariness

  14. JohnSmith
    JohnSmith
    March 29, 2016, 10:38 pm

    Hilarious – “Co-sponsored by Sodastream.” Sodastream: they really do want to be known as the company of exploitation and injustice.

    With the lobby cartoons, it’s pretty jaw-dropping to imagine the levels of racism in Israeli society that those are acceptable. I don’t know how many blatantly racist cartoons they had up, but at least with the cartoon of the Africans, gee, I mean, that’s acceptable in mainstream Israeli society??? And it’s wrong on so many levels: the denigration of people wanting to help Africans, the denigration of people wanting to help Palestinians, the slur that people for BDS are just so many superficial sympathy-addict fashionistas, the equation of the starving (and often oppressed) people of Africa with the oppressed Palestinians, the “humor” of starvation victims, the ugly and infantilizing depiction of Africans. On and on….

    I really appreciated the link at the end to the YouTube clip of Max Blumenthal interviewing Gideon Levy. I know that that has informed other articles here, but I had not looked it up before. It’s 21 minutes long and it’s tough viewing simply because the injustice makes my blood boil, but it’s extremely interesting and worthwhile, and I recommend it.

  15. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    March 30, 2016, 12:14 am

    RE: “‘We don’t want to find ourselves in a position like apartheid South Africa’: A report from Israel’s first national conference against BDS”
    AND RE: “It was a surreal day, filled with determination to defeat BDS, but participants were seemingly incapable of truly understanding why the movement was surging globally. Anti-Semitism was the oft-stated reason. The current mood in Jewish Israel is nationalistic, belligerent, fearful and contemptuous of Palestinians, pro-military and intolerant of dissent. International media is being blamed for Israel’s poor global standing.” ~ Loewenstein

    MY COMMENT: I normally use articles like this one by Mr. Loewenstein (and/or excerpts like the ‘surreal day’ excerpt shown above) as an opportunity to “only half-jokingly refer to The Dissociative* State of Israel”. Such was my initial inclination as I began reading Loewenstein’s article, but even before I reached the end of the article, I had decided that I could no longer include the “only half-jokingly” qualifier.

    * Dissociation (psychology) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociation_(psychology)

  16. Atlantaiconoclast
    Atlantaiconoclast
    March 30, 2016, 12:59 am

    How many here actually practice BDS when they shop at Target, or Wal Mart? You can easily participate by using the Buycott app on your smartphone. I am surprised that there is so little discussion about that. If a significant number of consumers started boycotting Israel, then we would have real progress. Most of these college administrations just ignore student resolutions in favor of BDS.

  17. dx
    dx
    March 30, 2016, 3:37 am

    In case anyone is interested, Senator Patrick Leahy has asked the State Dept. to investigate Israel and Egypt for human rights violations according to Politico.com

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/patrick-leahy-senate-israel-egypt-state-221366

    (sorry–I don’t know how to make that a link.)

    This seems like an important thing and could legally affect whether the U.S. could continue to send military aid to these countries if they are found to have violated human rights.

  18. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    March 30, 2016, 4:01 am

    The EU envoy’s statement, if the words are correctly reported, is very probably outside the bounds of what he is authorized to say. In fact, calling welcome (if properly labeled) illegal settlement products is directly contradicts the legal warnings from the Commission.
    A formal complaint to the EU Commission should be in order.
    Right now, the EU bureaucracy is under siege for the heavy-handed occupation-like “austerity” in several countries; an accusation of open Zionist policy may be something they don’t welcome.

  19. Laurent Weppe
    Laurent Weppe
    March 30, 2016, 4:06 am

    Ron Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, told the gathering that, “our enemies have failed to destroy Israel militarily and economically. Having failed, they are trying to destroy Israel politically.”

    I can picture British wealthy men 85 years ago: “Having failed to defeat the British Empire on the battlefield, Gandhi’s mob is trying to destroy it politically“, to which said “mob” would have answered: “we’re not trying

    ***

    “recently telling me that we can fight Hizbollah, Iran and its nukes but we haven’t yet defeated BDS; it’s a strategic challenge for the Israeli state”

    Well, that makes sense: Hezbollah is busy fighting in the Syrian civil wars and Iranian nukes do not exist: absent and non-existent threats are waaaaay more manageable than criticism.

    ***

    “Settlement products are welcome on the EU market”

    Which is true: Settlers are perfectly allowed to try to sell their products: they just have to be honest about where the stuff comes from and EU citizens are allowed to buy from someone else: you know: free and fair competition.

    Funny how right-wingers start hating capitalism has soon as their rents are threatened.

    ***

    There’s no doubt that draconian legislation against BDS could hamper the movement’s rise in the short term, and BDS leaders could be targeted by political, social or military means.

    In the words of famous Zionist Albert Einstein:
    Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced

    The most visible of activists may be harassed, but you can’t put a cop behind every shopgoer to make sure they don’t read labels and deliberately choose to buy from companies that don’t take part in the occupation.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      March 30, 2016, 10:08 am

      “There’s no doubt that draconian legislation against BDS could hamper the movement’s rise in the short term, and BDS leaders could be targeted by political, social or military means”

      They won’t be targeted; unlike the BDS movement, those opposed to BDS actually believe in free speech. But they won’t get any further than they’ve gotten; BDS still has no support outside of the hard left.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 30, 2016, 2:24 pm

        ” BDS still has no support outside of the hard left.” Hopknee

        Watch out for those “hard lefts” hoppy ,Your ziomobile could end up as a write off.

      • lysias
        lysias
        March 30, 2016, 3:16 pm

        “BDS still has no support outside of the hard left.”

        Couldn’t the same have been said about divestment from South Africa circa 1980?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 30, 2016, 4:48 pm

        hophmi: “They won’t be targeted; unlike the BDS movement, those opposed to BDS actually believe in free speech.”

        ROFL. You have lost touch with reality.

        All what your beloved Apartheid Junta does is trying to silence and criminalize BDS all over the world. They believe in free speech as much as they believe Israel to be democracy with equal rights. Boy, it even removed the right to equality from it’s Basic Law in which every constitutional right can be violated by law and it needs only one deputy to be present to throw it into the bin, because it’s not constitutionally entrenched at all. LOL.

      • Keith
        Keith
        March 30, 2016, 5:52 pm

        HOPHMI- “those opposed to BDS actually believe in free speech.”

        Steven Salaita will be so pleased to hear that. So will the 12 French BDS activists convicted of a hate crime for wearing T-shirts and handing out fliers. For you, truth is what works. You are a diehard Zionist cadre totally lacking in intellectual integrity. Touting a Zionist commitment to free speech even as Zionists push for all of these new laws criminalizing free speech.

  20. Neil Schipper
    Neil Schipper
    March 30, 2016, 4:19 am

    Antony Loewenstein:

    The current mood in Jewish Israel is nationalistic, belligerent, fearful and contemptuous of Palestinians, pro-military and intolerant of dissent. International media is being blamed for Israel’s poor global standing.

    Reflections of a Lebanese woman in Israel | Carol Jahshan

    As a Lebanese woman who grew up in Beirut and made the move to the United States at age 22, I think it is fair to say it was an unusual choice to spend a 3-month sabbatical in Israel at the end of 2015. Add that my father was born in Haifa in 1948 and left with his family for Lebanon at that time [..]

    [..] at the end of a 3-month working collaboration at Bar Ilan University, there was no doubt that this visit had been a very positive and eye opening experience for me on many levels. It is an experience that I wish were much more common amongst my fellow Lebanese because of the humanizing and understanding it added to my perspective on Israeli society and especially regarding Israelis themselves, who I grew up knowing only through the lens of news reports and conversations that were invariably unfavorable.

    [..] as a proud Arab woman, nothing I have ever done was as profoundly countercultural as applying for an educational leave to work with an Israeli colleague for a semester at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan. I wrestled with telling my family that I had made this decision. When I did, I was met with resistance at first, then reluctant encouragement, and many questions.

    “Why, of all places, would you want to visit Israel?” I was asked more than once.

    “You won’t be allowed into the country, or if you are it will be a very difficult, humiliating experience.”

    I was told that if people knew I visited Israel, I might never be allowed back into Lebanon.

    “Be careful.”

    “Don’t share photos of your trip on social media.”

    “Don’t talk about politics with anyone!” (In Israel? Now that I have been there, I think that is a funny one!)

    I was told not to let my own friends and extended family know I was going.

    I [..] wondered whether it would be wise to let people in Israel know that I am Lebanese. After all, this was a country that had invaded Lebanon on more than one occasion, a fact that had made a big impression on me and my generation growing up.

    [..] I landed at Ben Gurion airport and was permitted entry following a brief and I must say, pleasant, interview consisting of a few short questions and ending with a wish for a good stay. The ease of this process was the first surprise of my trip.

    For most of my first week or two, I kept to myself. Largely, this was due to anxiety on my part. Anxiety that told me “if I interacted with people, they would realize I was Lebanese and I might be discriminated against or possibly worse.” [..] It turned out that I had no need to be anxious. I let people know that I was from Lebanon and was met with smiles. I let people know that my father was born in Haifa in 1948 and that same year his family took him to Lebanon where he lived most of his life. More smiles and friendly curiosity. I was welcomed “home”. I was invited into a variety of people’s homes for Shabbat dinners. This was not the reception I had expected at all. [..]

    One of the most moving interactions came from an Israeli man who had served in the Army in Lebanon. Without talking about politics, without talking about right or wrong, he apologized to me personally for the damage that the incursions caused to the Lebanese people. Another Israeli man expressed his concern and empathy for the Arabs of ‘48 (of which my father was one of the youngest) and I understood that here was a man who very simply wanted good relations and who did not have ill will towards Arab people, or to me, in any detectable way.

    I wanted to cry when I heard these men. The idea that such thoughts existed in Israel, especially by former soldiers, was something that never, ever would have occurred to me. The human element of the interactions I had in Israel as an Arab woman had broken through the rhetoric I have heard for years [..]

    A few weeks into my stay, I contacted a relative of my father [..] I never could have guessed I had so much family in Israel, people who remembered my father and his parents, people who my brother and sister and I had no idea even existed. It is hard to describe what such a discovery is like. I met people from Nablus, from Nazareth, and from Haifa who shared stories with me of my father when he was a young man and had come to visit just before the 1967 war. During this reunion, I was overwhelmed in turns by warmth and sadness [..]

    [..] As we drove through Northern Israel, I realized how many Arabs live here, and that it would be possible for me to get along just fine in Israel speaking only Arabic. This was another surprise. In all of the conversations I had ever had or heard relating to the political situation surrounding Israel, the existence of Israeli Arabs was simply never acknowledged. All of a sudden, when listening to a Hezbollah threat to bomb Haifa, I realized that threats like these are ultimately threats to my own family members and many other Arab people. Now, knowing many Israeli Jews and Arabs personally, and understanding the fabric of Israeli society better, these threats sound indefensible from any perspective whatsoever and, despite the rhetoric, would be just as deadly to the Arabs as to the Jews living in Israel. Another insight I did not have before spending time in Israel.

    I came to Israel with no political agenda, but given my background, I had a powerful desire to visit the West Bank and see it for myself. I talked to residents of Ramallah and heard about the challenges they encounter in their daily lives. I visited the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem and understood the serious effects that the circuitous separation wall has on economic infrastructure and the ability of Palestinians to engage in work, access water conveniently, and seek the closest healthcare and educational services. I also saw the interplay of religious differences within the Territories, where the Christian minority has the added difficulty of living within increasingly conservative Muslim communities in which religion and politics freely mix.

    My sense of the injustice that Arabs living within the Territories face was never more acute than when I visited my family in Nablus and stayed in the same home where my father had stayed nearly 50 years earlier. This old house, which was once a place of happiness and gathering for my father’s family had now become a neglected, worn structure in a depressed community where the weight of oppression hangs in the air.

    While I was there, my cousin pulled out a box of old black and white photos. This brought back to life lost days of a seemingly completely different world. I saw my young father and many relatives in their youth, all smiling and being together in celebration. [..]

    [..]I found an apartment in the Shuk Ha-Carmel area. I was immediately struck that in the market there were Druze villagers and Arab women happily doing business alongside Jews wearing kippas. The intricacies of life in Israel and the many misconceptions held by people who have never visited were there for me to see once again.

    As a woman living in Tel Aviv, I felt safe and respected. I was never stared at or harassed. (I wish I could say the same thing about my experiences in Beirut.) Despite the fact that the right-leaning government tacitly endorses abysmal treatment of Arabs in the Territories, there is a stark contrast in the way other groups like gay people, Ethiopians, and women can thrive in Israel as compared to how they are treated elsewhere in the region.[..]

    [..] my own Arab Israeli family. There was agreement that they would not want under any circumstances to be ruled by either the PA or Hamas. There were family members who felt that Israeli Arabs are not treated equally and have a harder time advancing economically and socially as a result, and others who were very proud of their Israeli citizenship and of Israel. As I would expect in any country, especially within a minority group, there were a variety of opinions on the current political situation, on ways to integrate the West Bank and Gaza into some form of peace arrangement, on the intentions of various political leaders et cetera.

    [..] not only do the Druze feel at home in Israel, they are willing to fight for the country. Again, this is something I would never have guessed before my trip even though my own mother is of Druze background. I had never heard of the Baha’i or many other groups that live in Israel. So, the Jewish and non-Jewish segments of Israeli society are not in any way the monolithic entities I had imagined. It is, in fact, quite complex.

    [..] I was surprised to realize that there are so many Israelis who strongly oppose the indefinite continuation of the Occupation, and who enjoy good relationships and true friendships with Palestinian and Israeli Arabs. But the government’s position remains strongly in favor of the Occupation, which based on my experience in Lebanon, plays directly into the hands of activists enrolling moderate people into a hateful position regarding Israel and adding to the burden of future generations. Not only do I believe an agreement between the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza is an ethical imperative, I also believe that in practical terms ending the Occupation will go a long way to undermining the political attacks on Israel into which otherwise moderate Arabs are drawn. Of course anti-Semitism and Israel hatred will continue. I am not naïve enough to believe that attacks driven by this will stop. But I do think they can be diminished over time, and if there is going to be a successful peace process, however imperfect, it will be hard to start while so many Palestinians remain hopeless for their own future and their children’s future.

    My black and white image of Israel has been shattered. [..] I will never view that the Occupation is good for anybody [..] But I see that there is tremendous decency in Israeli society [..]

    Some Arabs may view me as a traitor and in fact, I have already been called one. But my loyalty is to decency and to people living the best lives they possibly can [..]

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      March 30, 2016, 7:16 am

      This is one woman’s supposed point of view. Nu?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 30, 2016, 7:34 pm

        “This is one woman’s supposed point of view. Nu?”

        A “point of view”? Nope, that wasn’t just a point of view or an out-posting, that was an entire illogical settlement.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 30, 2016, 9:20 am

      The moral of this lovely little story is very Zio-supremacist: As long as you have “peace”, there’s no need for justice, accountability and equality.

      I like how there’s no mention of the fact that Israel exists as a religion-supremacist and intentionally (war) criminal “Jewish State”. And the pinkwashing, not as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes” bit is a nice touch.

      … I visited the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem and understood the serious effects that the circuitous separation wall has on economic infrastructure and the ability of Palestinians to engage in work, access water conveniently, and seek the closest healthcare and educational services. … My sense of the injustice that Arabs living within the Territories face was never more acute than when I visited my family in Nablus … the government’s position remains strongly in favor of the Occupation … Despite the fact that the right-leaning government tacitly endorses abysmal treatment of Arabs in the Territories … my loyalty is to decency …

      That’s funny. :-)

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      March 30, 2016, 10:28 am

      Did she talk RoR “politics” with the Jewish family living in her father’s house in Haifa?

  21. Kay24
    Kay24
    March 30, 2016, 4:31 am

    Senator Patrick Leahy, obviously is no Israeli stooge. Good job Senator, if only there were more decent congresspeople like you (and the 10 others), who have the courage to stand up to that rogue nation.
    Now watch the zionist media, and Israel’s foul mouthpieces tear him and the others to shreds.
    They are such a nasty lot. We are a pathetic nation, where agents for an alien nation can interfere in our policies. I guess we let them.

    Leahy asked State Dept. to investigate Israeli human rights ‘violations’

    Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 10 House members have asked the Obama administration to investigate claims that the Israeli and Egyptian security forces have committed “gross violations of human rights” — allegations that if prove could affect U.S. military aid to the countries.
    In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry dated Feb. 17, the lawmakers list several examples of suspected human rights abuses, including reports of extrajudicial killings by Israeli and Egyptian military forces, as well as forced disappearances in Egypt. The letter also points to the 2013 massacre in Egypt’s Rab’aa Square, which left nearly 1,000 people dead as the military cracked down on protesters, as worthy of examination.

    Leahy’s signature is particularly noteworthy because his name is on a law that conditions U.S. military aid to countries on whether their security forces are committing abuses.
    “In light of these reports we request that you act promptly to determine their credibility and whether they trigger the Leahy Law and, if so, take appropriate action called for under the law,” the signatories state in the letter, which was obtained by POLITICO on Tuesday evening from an organization that provided input for it.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/patrick-leahy-senate-israel-egypt-state-221366#ixzz44NAENrsa

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      March 30, 2016, 9:35 am

      Sen. Leahy is an honorable man.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        March 30, 2016, 11:00 am

        I agree. I wish he was my senator, instead of that corrupt, pro Israel embarrassment, we call Bob Menendez.

  22. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 30, 2016, 8:10 am

    The image of the two African boys is quite simply disgusting and illustrates just how base and racist JSIL and its supporters have become and the frightening fact that they simply have no idea as to why intelligent moral people throughout the world despise them and criticize them.

    They are in a blind panic over BDS because all of the conventional JSIL tactics to counteract and suppress opponents such as pre-emptive air strikes,carpet bombings, slaughter of thousands of civilian children ,3 a.m. raids,demolition of properties, indefinite detention,torture,targeted assassinations ,and the latest JSIL hobby, extra judicial executions, are simply not viable.

    It brings tears to my eyes to witness them in such a pickle given all their sufferings but I expect I will get over it.

    BOYCOTT UGLY BRUTAL APARTHEID ISRAEL
    SUPPORT BDS
    TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOUT BDS

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      March 30, 2016, 10:39 am

      Yup. The Israelis don’t relate to free people well, if at all. We see it even in these comments: Do as I desire/say or you will be killed and your family put out on the street.

      It works somewhat with a violently occupied and colonized population, but it’s almost certainly ineffective against 6B people on the planet who are free to observe, decide, and act accordingly on this issue and its generational lack of justice.

  23. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    March 30, 2016, 9:16 am

    This anti-BDS conference may backfire on the Israelis. When Israeli officials are shouting

    IT’S TERRIBLY UNFAIR TO COMPARE ISRAEL WITH APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA

    the message heard by the average American may well be

    GOSH, I DIDN’T KNOW THAT ISRAEL IS LIKE SOUTH AFRICA!

    The participants in the official anti-BDS conference are loudly proclaiming that BDS is not having any effect. But the same officials are very worried, denouncing BDS as a threat etc etc.

    This is not the first anti-BDS conference that Israel has held. It’s the first “national” anti-BDS conference. I guess the previous anti-BDS meetings were not national in scope. Obviously the earlier conferences didn’t work, that’s why they’ll holding yet another anti-BDS conference.

    Watch out for the following future news items:

    Israel announced the SECOND national anti-BDS conference…

    Israel announced the first worldwide anti-BDS conference…

    Israel announced the first interplanetary anti-BDS conference, with speakers flown in from Mars and Venus.

  24. Boo
    Boo
    March 30, 2016, 10:30 am

    ” He closed his remarks by saying that, ‘the Israeli flag should be held high and we should be proud’. The crowd cheered.”

    Perversely fascinating and somewhat amusing (akin to watching two dogs humping in public), the parallels between American and Israeli triumphalism. Grab an armful of lies, wrap ’em in the flag, and cheer! cheer! cheer!

    • March 30, 2016, 10:37 am

      @Boo

      Well, (white) American society is much closer objectively to Israeli society than any other society in the world. That’s what you would get if you plant the same sapling in different places, you’ll end up with the roughly the same tree producing roughly the same tasting fruit.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        Atlantaiconoclast
        March 30, 2016, 10:54 am

        Huh? White Americans are the most welcoming people in the whole world. Does Japan take in many non Japanese? I didn’t think so. Another anti White progressive.

      • March 30, 2016, 11:29 am

        “Another anti White progressive.” – Atlanta

        Well, I am proudly anti-white and I wear it on my sleeve. White for me is synonymous with racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, Islamophobia, capitalism and many other evils. If you don’t chill with any of these traits, then you will always be welcome as my friend.

        “White Americans are the most welcoming people in the whole world” – Atlanta

        That’s not up to white people to opine. POC of various faith, nationality and ethnicity have been lamenting their misery and suffering living in white society for over 500 years so I rather take their word over yours.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 30, 2016, 4:50 pm

        ““Another anti White progressive.” – Atlanta”

        Oh well, knew it had to happen sooner or later.
        “Rugal_b” been trolling for months, and he’s finally found somebody dumb enough to take his bait.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 30, 2016, 6:09 pm

        “Well, I am proudly anti-white and I wear it on my sleeve.”

        Yes, the sleeve helps, but won’t you need gloves, a wig, and burnt-cork too?

        (A regular social-activist Sir Roderick Glossop, this “rugal_b”!)

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 30, 2016, 8:35 pm

        “gloves, a wig, and burnt-cork”

        we are not worthy..that’s perfect.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        April 8, 2016, 3:00 am

        Mooser: “Well, I am proudly anti-white and I wear it on my sleeve.”

        Yes, the sleeve helps, but won’t you need gloves, a wig, and burnt-cork too?
        ———————————-

        “Burnt-cork”! Wow. Never for a moment think your brilliance goes unappreciated.

  25. diasp0ra
    diasp0ra
    March 30, 2016, 4:18 pm

    That image with the BDS “director” and Palestinians trying to make Israelis look bad.

    Do these people have 0 self reflection? A soldier literally executed a neutralized Palestinian the other day. The IDF has been convicted of war crimes by multiple international human rights organizations. Israel leads the world in UNSC resolution violations.

    At some point you need to ask yourself if the whole world is conspiring against Israel or maybe, just MAYBE, Israel is doing something wrong.

  26. Qualtrough
    Qualtrough
    March 30, 2016, 11:07 pm

    I would like to bring the following comment by rugal_b to the attention of the moderators for clearly violating Mondoweiss comment rule #1 (see below).

    Offending remark:

    rugal_b

    March 30, 2016, 11:29 am

    Well, I am proudly anti-white and I wear it on my sleeve.

    1. No racist or sexist comments. This includes anti-Arab, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic comments (and yes, Christian-bashing too). This includes comments that disparage, intimidate or attack a person based on perceived ethnicity or gender. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/policy/#sthash.k1vJQKYR.dpuf

    • annie
      annie
      March 31, 2016, 3:23 am

      Qualtrough, don’t know what to say anymore. please write phil and adam. for some reason the rules do not apply when flaming racism is directed at white people. believe me — we have sooo had this conversation. as far as i am concerned this racist discourse has contributed to poisoning our comment section.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 31, 2016, 4:10 am

        I agree completely, Annie. It is possible to ignore some commenters and possible also that those who break the rules of the site may still from time to time make good points even in a thoroughly odious way. However neither of these rather conflicting arguments justifies the long-term poisoning of the comments section, as you rightly call it. To me a healthy, reasonably rule-compliant, comments section is necessary for the vitality of the whole enterprise, which is being steadily poisoned. But I suppose that if Phil won’t explain things to you he won’t explain the to Qualtrough or me!

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 31, 2016, 6:53 am

        Looking at it from the outside, it looks as if the rules do not apply only if the racist venom is coming from a Zionist propaganda operative, such as Rugal or Hophmi –it is not tolerated from other people.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      March 31, 2016, 4:46 am

      The hypocrisy of these zionists is so obvious. Had someone written that he/she is anti Jewish,
      oye vey, the cries of anti-semitism would have been deafening. But note, they so easily write of their anti White traits. This reference to Phil’s wife being White is totally unnecessary and uncalled for. I guess zionists have rights in their sick minds.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 31, 2016, 9:33 am

        There are those who say that anti-White ‘racism’ is OK either because white people have been so privileged in status and so unfair in behaviour that they deserve a taste of their own medicine or because racism is not really there unless persons of a certain race are being systematically damaged, which is not happening to white people just because all those privileges are still intact – just as the rule against cruelty to animals does not rule out sticking pins into the unfeeling bottom of a rhinoceros.
        I don’t agree with this argument and I don’t think many of us do. It must be true that the moderators either do agree with it or else that they are letting the rules be blatantly broken. In the former case we’re contributing to a site whose values are really very different from what most of us had supposed. In the latter case someone is confusing us.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 31, 2016, 5:37 pm

        “There are those who say that anti-White ‘racism’ is OK”

        There is no “anti-White racism” in “rugal_b”. Isn’t it obvious that his racism is directed at the character (this crazed, “anti-white”, “social justice advocate) he is assuming?

        He is fishing for a reaction which accepts the fact that a “social justice advocate” would talk in his vile and odious way. And fishing for anybody dumb enough to answer him in his vile and odious terms.

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 31, 2016, 10:13 pm

        “There are those who say that anti-White ‘racism’ is OK either because white people have been so privileged in status and so unfair in behaviour that they deserve a taste of their own medicine”

        you are kidding, who said that? “taste of their own medicine” do you know any black people?

        “because racism is not really there unless persons of a certain race are being systematically damaged, which is not happening to white people just because all those privileges are still intact”

        yes “white people” are all fine, its the privilege, despite the declining life expectancy of white males in the US, still intact baby.

        do you mind if Haiku this bit,

        “into the unfeeling bottom
        of a rhinoceros I don’t agree with
        this argument
        and I don’t think many of us do”

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        April 1, 2016, 7:41 am

        If anyone else thinks that I am failing to give a fair representation of the views presented here by atech and rugalb please let me know. These may be personas rather than persons but they have certainly stared a case. I believe that these views are shared and I’ve encountered something like them in other conversations, though I don’t know why it should be assumed that these dismissals of the very idea of anti-White racism should always come from Black people.
        The premises of their arguments, that white people are still overwhelmingly privileged and that appalling behaviour by white people in the past cannot but lead to some negative or prejudiced sentiments now, are serious enough. I didn’t affirm them but I don’t think they can be dismissed out of hand. If they think, as Insuppose they do, of white complacency as rather like a rhinoceros hide they may have a point there too. Declining white life expectancy hardly provides a conclusive refutation.
        Joseph Conrad’s remark that the discovery of the Americas led to the greatest outbreak of reckless greed and cruelty ever known makes a serious point in its 1920s way about white people, I think. White domination, white complacency and white guilt are all serious topics.
        Where I disagree with the rugalbs of this world is the inference that there can be no such thing as anti-white racism or that prejudice and contempt expressed in the language of skin colour can be in these or any circumstances a kind of virtue. I once again ask the moderators to make up their minds about this. The conversation is being poisoned,,as annie says.
        I’m not discussing my social calendar but it does have some redeeming features.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        April 1, 2016, 9:46 am

        Hughes976: If anyone else thinks that I am failing to give a fair representation of the views presented here by atech and rugalb please let me know.
        ——————-

        Your remarks seem eminently reasonable. (And your pins-into-a-Rhino’s-bottom image– quite memorable!)

        One major problem with rugal’s “anti-white” rhetoric is that he shifts between the use of the term “white” as:

        1) An identity label which people voluntarily assume.

        2) A descriptive label which refers to objective characteristics-“white” skin, European ancestry etc., i.e. ethnicity

        Regarding “white” as an identity label, rugal writes:

        White identity was manufactured for the convenience of Western European ruling class to establish a sociopolitical hegemony in colonized land. It is a badge you wear to signal your allegiance to capitalism, genocide of native populations, the Church of Christiany [sic], white supremacy and anti-blackness. [emphasis added]

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/new-york-times-whitewashes-poll-showing-israeli-support-for-expelling-palestinians/#comment-831487

        Yet on other occasions he ostensibly uses the term “white” as a descriptive ethnicity label:

        Phil is married to a white woman…. gives all of his time and money to the white community [emphasis added]

        Surely, he can’t mean that Phil’s wife has openly signaled her allegiance to “genocide of native populations, the Church of Christianity, white supremacy and anti-blackness”!

        But then he shifts back to “white” as an identity label which suggest that very notion:

        [Phil W.] identifies as a white person…

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/obama-said-in-cuba-what-he-couldnt-say-in-palestine/#comment-832712

        Phil W. may have said that he is “white” in the descriptive sense of the term (ethnicity), but surely he has never signed on to a vile “white identity” as rugal has defined it.

        The whole thing is a linguistic shell-game.

        Consider another example, this masterpiece of grade school sophistry:

        [rugal:] I don’t believe in everyone being equal and there are no one inferior or superior to each other. This is categorically not sure. In every measurable trait of human behavior and ability, whether its intelligence, emotional IQ, physical strength, agility, dexterity etc, there are objective winners and losers. I don’t see why we are so desperate in ignoring this fact of life, that we are not equal, we were never equal and there is absolutely nothing wrong or bad about that. What’s wrong is expending huge amount of effort and mental gymnastics to create this alternate reality of equality, that goes against the law of nature which all of us are bound to.

        Now, I personally believe white people, as a group, are indeed inferior to others, not because of simplistic prejudice or hatred, but through examining their collective behaviors and mentality, and the shape of their society they create and maintain. Misogyny, racism, capitalism and materialism, patriarchy, homophobia, Islamophobia, and other inferior traits from the core of white identity and culture..[emphasis added]

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/zionism-is-finally-in-the-news-as-officials-seek-to-conflate-anti-zionism-with-anti-semitism/#comment-831825

        In the first paragraph rugal refers to inequality between individuals , something which no one denies.

        But in the second paragraph he suddenly jumps to inequality between groups. A complete non-sequitur.

        Then when he argues that “ white people, as a group, are inferior to others” he conflates various possible referents for the “white people” label:

        1. A group with shared objective characteristics(aka an “Echino-group”), “white” skin, European ancestry etc., i.e. ethnicity .

        2. A group with a shared self-identity (pro-genocide, pro-racial supremacy etc.)

        3. A group with a shared supremacist, racist culture

        The game is to suggest that all the members in group #1 (ethnicity) are also members of groups #2 ( white supremacist self-identity) and #3 (white supremacist culture)– while maintaining plausible deniability.

        Certainly, if he is referring only to groups #2 and #3, the catchall term “white people”, usually taken to refer to ethnicity, is extraordinarily misleading and mischievous.

        If he did indeed intend to suggest that group #1 = #2 = #3, then that is simply empirically false. And racist.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 1, 2016, 2:19 pm

        There’s a “white race”? I didn’t know that. “Rugal_b” says there is, but I don’t have to make that my problem.

  27. rosross
    rosross
    March 31, 2016, 1:20 am

    Too late. Israel is in the same position as South Africa – apartheid is apartheid whether sourced in religious bigotry as Israel is or racial bigotry as SA was.

  28. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 31, 2016, 11:43 am

    To change or not to change that is the question.

    December 87 was the beginning of this phase of my consciousness of the Israel Palestine issue and already then the alternatives of “hang tough” versus “we must change” were quite apparent. Some changes have indeed occurred, but nothing sufficient to displace the dichotomy presented by those two positions.

    A couple further notes: the results of 67 with resolution 242 on the books but not implemented created a dynamic of flux or contradiction which seems quite different than the 49-67 period.

    To be or not to be, is inferred by many readers of the headlines and listeners to the talk shows, for the rhetoric if not the reality threatens the presence of Jews in the region, let alone their self determination.

    One of the columnists in the Forward wrote about 20 years since his friend perished on a bus blown up on jaffa road and it got me to thinking of time. 67, I was not yet 12, but I am glad I was old enough to read the papers, and that was the first time I became aware of the Palestinian refugee issue. The photo in life magazine of the refugees crossing the Allenby bridge (damaged in the war, but still passable on foot) mentioned that these west bank people fleeing Israeli military occupation were in addition to the refugees from 48.

    In 73 I was in Israel during the war studying in occupied territory and I knew a few of the Israeli soldiers who were killed in that war.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 31, 2016, 2:48 pm

      || yonah fredman: … To be or not to be, is inferred by many readers of the headlines and listeners to the talk shows, for the rhetoric if not the reality threatens the presence of Jews in the region, let alone their self determination. … ||

      Your creative use of English makes it hard to understand what you’re saying, but here goes:
      – People who choose to “self-determine” as Jewish should not be denied the right to choose that religion-based identity.

      – The presence of law-abiding Jewish people should not be threatened in the region or elsewhere. (The presence of (war) criminal Jewish people must be deal with through justice and accountability.)

      – The right to choose to be Jewish does not entitle Jewish people to a state, never mind a colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 31, 2016, 6:25 pm

      “To change or not to change that is the question.”

      Oh, please, “Yonah” take all the time you need to decide whether you change or not.
      Oh, no, please don’t worry, “Yonah”, I’m sure you can portray having the privilege, the opportunity and resources to change if you so desire into some kind of persecution or oppression. Charge around yelling ” This is an outrage! Cancel my Rumba lesson!”

  29. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 31, 2016, 12:30 pm

    The UK edition of today`s Daily Beetroot reports the following:

    Leading Jewish groups in the UK are becoming increasingly worried about what some describe as the “rampant” increase in Anti-Semitic incidents here and have redoubled their efforts to document and catalogue all of these. Angus Lochnessian , a spokesman for UKASS (Anti -Semitic Sources) a new body set up to collate information and inform the media outlined some of the more shocking recent incidents.

    Angus, who converted to Judaism 18 months ago , described one monstrous incident when a middle aged man of white European appearance was passing a synagogue in Manchester outside of which a young rabbi was having a quiet cigarette. The man reportedly broke wind just as he was passing the rabbi leaving him in a state of trauma . As a result of the incident the rabbi ended up needing PTS support and counselling and has had to give up smoking. In another incident an Orthodox family with young children, some in buggies , were walking along a street pavement in North London . A cyclist who was riding towards them on the pavement deliberately cycled on to the road as he approached them. The children were apparently very upset and traumatized by the incident asking their parents why the cyclist was deliberately trying to avoid them. Angus confirmed that both incidents were reported to local police by local rabbis but that in both cases the police were dismissive , suggesting that “it was all in their imagination”. One of the rabbis described police reaction as being condescending and clearly anti – Semitic. The police reactions in these cases have since been recorded and catalogued as Anti Semitic by UKASS. The rabbis have reported the police incidents to their respective chief rabbis who have undertaken to take the matter up with the relevant Chief Constables as well as their respective MP`s.If they get no satisfactory response they will ask UKASS to record these negative responses as Anti – Semitic.

    Angus stated that these were amongst the more serious of the incidents on record and that there are hundreds of thousands of less serious incidents which have simply not been reported or recorded. He said that he personally was worried that the situation can only get worse. He has decided to make Aliyah in the coming year. “I think it has come to a point where I have no choice but to return to my ancient homeland. I have made the relevant enquiries and have been promised a nice little garden flat in a community in Judea and Samaria. I am not sure which of the two areas is in the South but would probably opt for the South to take advantage of the warmer weather. I plan to change my name to the Hebrew” Ochai Thenu” . On the downside I have been told that there will be no guaranteed access to a swimming pool but on the upside I will automatically be entitled to membership of the local Community civilian defence force and issue of at least one Glock semi automatic pistol. I think being able to go around routinely wearing a gun for self defence purposes will be great and getting to use it for real would be fantastic. I ideally would like to have two so that I could carry them in twin holsters just like the Lone Ranger, my boyhood hero , and I may even get to wear a mask like him. Here in the UK there are very strict laws about civilian access to weapons and some have suggested that these laws are deliberately targeted at the UK Jewish population and are themselves anti – Semitic”

  30. Linda J
    Linda J
    March 31, 2016, 1:22 pm

    Max B has an Alternet article including a video compilation of Ms. Barr’s speech at the conference. http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/watch-israel-govt-calls-civil-elimination-left-wing-activists-and-roseanne-barr

    She shouldn’t have gone off her meds, obviously.

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