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Anti-BDS laws are ‘McCarthyism 2.0 with loyalty to Israel’s far right regime as litmus test’ — Barghouti

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This is remarkable. On the same day that the State Department was demonizing anti-Zionism as a greater threat to Jews than white nationalism, Jim Zogby and Peter Beinart hosted Omar Barghouti for a 90-minute discussion of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel.

Barghouti appeared via Skype at the NYU/Washington event, having been prevented by the State Department from coming in person.

The discussion was remarkable for Beinart’s generosity of spirit to the Palestinian activist. And Barghouti’s description of the anti-BDS laws as “McCarthyism 2.0 with loyalty to Israel’s far right regime as litmus test.”

Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute, said he had invited Barghouti to Capitol Hill to explain BDS to Congresspeople. “A person much denounced and much defamed should have the opportunity to engage in conversation,” Zogby said. “The response has been to deny him right to entry. That seems a clear violation of our rights to engage in meaningful discourse… I can see a congressional committee in the future opening with the question, Are you now or have you ever been a supporter of the BDS movement? That’s the direction we’re going in and it needs to be countered.”

Beinart said he was offering Barghouti a soapbox so that he could learn more about the Palestinian experience and about the BDS campaign rather than seeking to debate Barghouti. “Some of my questions will reflect that I have my concerns and criticisms of the BDS movement,” Beinart said. Then he quoted the Talmud, “Who is wise is the one who learns from all people.” He aimed to learn “from people who have had experiences I have not had.”

The criticisms were mild indeed; Beinart conducted the discussion in that spirit.

Peter Beinart interviewing Omar Barghouti.

Here is Barghouti’s denunciation of the anti-BDS legislation in Congress and around the country:

It shocks me to read those anti-BDS legislation. The number of lies and fabrications– it’s just horrific. Is there no factchecking in the United States, for god’s sake? Can anyone just do a basic factchecking, it’s just amazing…

How can the United States with its proud heritage of respecting boycott, as a matter of freedom of speech, protected by the US Constitution, accept this McCarthyism?… We’re living through McCarthyism 2.0, an evolved version of the earlier McCarthyism. where loyalty to Israel’s far right regime is the litmus test. And when states pass anti-BDS legislation, they’re not betraying Palestinian right,s only, they’re betraying the U.S. Constitution, they’re betraying your civil rights. And no one is safe If they get away with this, if they get away wtih suppressing free speech on Palestine who know’s who’s next. LGBT supporters, Blacks, Latinos, who knows….

Here he explains the role of progressive Jews helping to nullify the identification of Jews with Zionism:

Thanks to the work of Jewish Voice for Peace and more than 40 Jewish organizations across the world, this conflation between Israel and Jews is put to rest. Many progressive Jewish groups are fighting this notion, including some liberal Zionist groups in the United States. Some Senators, some representatives in Congress have fought this, when Netanyahu came and addressed Congress, speaking on behalf of the Jewish nation, many Jewish Americans objected to that. I would say Jewish millennials largely object to this…

Barghouti said that this kind of identification of Jews with Zionism is itself antisemitic.

Jews were never a monolithic group….  Anyone who puts all Jewish in one box is making an antisemitic statement… So even when Israel makes that statement… that it speaks for all Jews, it is making an anti-semitic statement and it is  feeding real antisemitic bigotry. There are so many anti-Semites that would love to associate every crime that Israel commits against Palestinians, be it a massacre in Gaza or ethnic cleansing  in the Jerusalem or the Naqab, to claim that all Jews are responsible for that, because look at Netanyahu, he is saying I speak for all Jews. Thanks to progressive Jewish groups that claim is challenged. No he does not speak for all Jews. There are so many Jewish  groups that support Palestinian rights and many who find what Israel is doing absolutely criminal and does not speak for them. So we should never fall into that trap of making that conflation between opposition to Israel’s policies, even ideology, and attacks on Jews as Jews as an identity, as a religion, as an ethnic group. That’s absolutely racist.

Some other Barghouti comments. Questioned about the alignment of the Palestinian solidarity movement with repressive regimes, like Iran and Egypt, Barghouti took issue. “The absolute majority” of BDS allies are those struggling for black justice, indigenous rights, women’s rights, trade union rights, students’ groups rights, LGBTQ rights.

On his opposition to feel-good normalization efforts. “If a master is dancing with a slave it’s never love, it’s always rape.”

On his opposition to a Jewish state: “No one has a right to deny refugee rights because of a certain claim, divine or otherwise, to maintain a supremacy… No one has a right to maintain a supremacy… No rational Palestinian would ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”

On Israel’s efforts to forge relationships with repressive Arab regimes. “The people in despotic regimes, the absolute majorities in those countries still consider Palestine as the leading question for them,” Barghouti said. Israel won’t be able to normalize relationships with those peoples till it resolves the Palestinian issue.

At the end of the discussion, Jim Zogby apologized to Barghouti for his having been prevented from traveling and commented: “I think anyone watching this would know why people would not want him here, he’s scary smart.”

 

 

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38 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    April 13, 2019, 4:46 pm

    here’s the video:

  2. annie
    annie
    April 13, 2019, 9:18 pm

    speaking of mcCarthyism, the history of the loyalty oaths reminds me very much of what’s happening today with the requirements of bds legislation. i wonder if the current oaths will someday get their own chapter in US history. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/uchistory/archives_exhibits/loyaltyoath/symposium/timeline/short.html

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      April 13, 2019, 11:50 pm

      I’d estimate “yes”, when Zionist “donors” no longer have a stranglehold on American universities.

    • eljay
      eljay
      April 14, 2019, 7:43 am

      It’s one thing to have prove your loyalty to America by pledging an oath to America. It is utterly f*cked up to have to prove your loyalty to America by pledging an oath to Israel (or to any other state).

      • annie
        annie
        April 14, 2019, 12:51 pm

        exactly. a tail wags dog situation to the T

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        April 14, 2019, 9:38 pm

        I think all Americans and Canadians should pledge an oath of loyalty to Australia. And perhaps another to Monaco.

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 15, 2019, 7:27 am

        || RoHa: I think all Americans and Canadians should pledge an oath of loyalty to Australia. And perhaps another to Monaco. ||

        I pledge allegiance to the state of rock and roll.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        April 15, 2019, 8:26 am

        @eljay

        Well said mon ami!!!!

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 15, 2019, 9:47 am

        || Misterioso: @eljay

        Well said mon ami!!!! ||

        :-D

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        April 15, 2019, 9:46 pm

        That’s a pretty parlous state these days.

        (And your anti-Monégasque attitude has been noted.)

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 16, 2019, 7:14 am

        || RoHa: That’s a pretty parlous state these days.
        (And your anti-Monégasque attitude has been noted.) ||

        As has your vocabulary lesson. :-)

  3. JWalters
    JWalters
    April 13, 2019, 11:48 pm

    Barghouti is indeed a voice of sanity. And Israel’s insanity indeed has a stranglehold on American politics.
    “Israel’s Stranglehold on American Politics”
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/israels-stranglehold-on-american-politics/

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    April 14, 2019, 12:50 pm

    Always interesting if invariably vomit inducing to get ongoing commentary from seriously Mad Mel Phillips on everything and anything to do with her country of first loyalty (no not Britain silly!).
    https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/As-I-see-it-Madonna-chooses-freedom-singing-at-Eurovision-586627

    “That’s because Israel, which has risen out of the ashes of catastrophe to aim literally for the moon, is nothing less than a symbol of hope and the human spirit to inspire the world”

    See what I mean about the vomit ?

    You are such a talented “journalist” Melanie and you have yet again nailed it – yes slaughtering thousands of innocent men women and children really does inspire the world just as the Nazis inspired the world. Hey and if you had the courage to follow up on the Zioshite which you routinely spew you could maybe even yourself get to do some direct “inspirational work “.

    Here`s an idea. Give up your cosy London pad and go and live in Hebron alongside your fellow Fascist Zios and help with the dumping of human waste on the native Palestinians. Think of it as live on the ground “journalism”. It may take a fair amount of adjustment because your fellow travellers are of course even more bonkers than you and probably smell a bit but then again all in a good Ziocause !

    • Rashers2
      Rashers2
      April 16, 2019, 1:33 pm

      Some while ago, I wished the shrill shill would renounce her London flat in one of the sequestered Inns of Court, and wherever she lives in England when not there, and go “home” to her beloved Judea and Samaria. I’ve no idea whether la Phillips also holds an Israeli passport but, if so, she’ll be another reason that I’m rapidly gaining sympathy with countries like India, which don’t recognise the concept of “dual nationality” – you either belong with us or you don’t…
      I don’t know how people like Mrs. Phillips fix their make-up because I’m damned sure that, when they look in a mirror, nothing stares back at them.

  5. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    April 14, 2019, 4:29 pm

    “No rational Palestinian would ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”

    arafat claimed that he was willing to accept a Jewish state in Palestine. He called it the peace of the brave. It never came to that, but according to barghouti Arafat was proposing something irrational. or maybe barghouti means, “no rational palestinian would accept a Jewish state in Palestine in their heart, even though circumstances might require a compromise that accepted it against their innermost will.”

    • hai_bar
      hai_bar
      April 14, 2019, 8:17 pm

      … and how did that work with Arafat and co? Ever been in the West Bank? (not as an invader that is)

    • eljay
      eljay
      April 15, 2019, 7:52 am

      || wondering jew: “No rational Palestinian would ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
      arafat claimed that he was willing to accept a Jewish state in Palestine. He called it the peace of the brave. … ||

      A supremacist “Jewish State” in (geographic) Palestine is as rational as a supremacist “Muslim State” in Israel. Which Israeli leader do you think would offer such a “peace of the brave” to Muslim Israelis?

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 15, 2019, 8:14 am

        || eljay: … Which Israeli leader do you think would offer such a “peace of the brave” to Muslim Israelis? ||

        Correction: … Which Israeli leader do you think would offer such a “peace of the brave” to Muslims (“the Muslims”)?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 15, 2019, 11:39 am

        Eljay,

        The discussion is not about a “supremacist Jewish state” but any Jewish state (i.e. invader state, Crusader state, illegitimate squatter state, take your pick.)

        There is no call to dilute/edulcorate or at least render meaningless any discussion, yet again, by deviating the discussion using weasely statements.

        I see you and your buddies are continuing undeterred your work to prepare minds to accept that Zionists, even if finally overpowered, still get to keep the loot.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 15, 2019, 12:47 pm

        “I see you and your buddies are continuing undeterred your work to prepare minds…”

        His buddies and “Eljay” are getting real well known, the bad guys know ’em and they leave ’em alone. They get around.

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 15, 2019, 2:42 pm

        || Mooser: … His buddies and “Eljay” are getting real well known, the bad guys know ’em and they leave ’em alone. They get around. ||

        From town to town.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      April 15, 2019, 9:39 am

      @wondering Jew

      I have to admit, you and your ilk mystify me. You seem to be a reasonably intelligent person and yet you are a champion of and a propagandist for the fascistic, racist, criminal entity known as “Israel.” Given the well documented monstrous crimes Zionist Jews of foreign origin have committed for over 70 years against the indigenous, essentially defenseless Palestinian Christian and Muslim Arabs and continue to do so at an accelerating rate, how can you live with yourself? Perhaps, like German youth during the Hitler era, you were indoctrinated at a young age and despite the hideous truth, you just can’t let go.

      In any event, you and your kind are going to lose in the long run because like the Nazis, Zionists represent pure evil and day by day, ever increasing numbers of people around the world, including the U.S. (“Israel’s” protector and financial benefactor since 1948) and Jews everywhere, especially youth, are realizing it. The writing is on the wall and Netanyahu, Trump, Sheldon Adelson, et al, are only going to speed up Zionism’s demise.

    • punterweger
      punterweger
      April 15, 2019, 6:03 pm

      “arafat claimed that he was willing to accept a Jewish state in Palestine”

      Actually Arafat was trying to explain a decision that had just been made at the Palestinian National Council. His words were “The PNC accepted two states, a Palestinian state and a Jewish state, Israel. ” Howeve, the underlying PNC decision was described as follows in the relevant PLO Negotiations document “The PLO’s recognition of Resolution 181, along with their acknowledgment (in the same session of the PNC) of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 as the basis for negotiating a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, signaled the Palestinians’ formal acceptance of a two-state solution.”

      Clearly there was no mention of Israel or of a Jewish state, and indeed both Israel and the USA immediately declared that Arafat’s statement did not satisfy their conditions. It seems that Arafat simply was careless. Indeed, the meeting in which he made the statement was with US Jewish leaders, and the final statement after the meeting simply said that “the PNC’s action had ‘established the independent state of Palestine and accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region” without mentioning its Jewish character.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        April 15, 2019, 11:16 pm

        punterweger- I really was not referring to any PNC decision made in regards to statements or policy, I was referring to the negotiations and where they were supposed to lead and they were supposed to lead to a compromise that included a sovereign Israel that was not forced to make major changes to its immigration policy. In the beginning of the second intifada, Arafat’s wing of the PLO took out ads in the NY Times asserting that they were not demanding an unlimited right of return, but there were realities like the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon that needed to be resolved with a little bit more give from the side of the Israelis, but it seemed clear that the major stumbling block to an agreement from Arafat’s side was not a couple hundred thousand refugees here or there, but the full return of the territory of equal value that was taken by israel in 67, the full implication of resolution 242 was arafat’s major problem with what was being offered, not any question regarding jewish state. if they had shown him a return to the 67 borders with minor adjustments he would have accepted it and he would have called it the peace of the brave. regarding what type of statement arafat was ready to make or needed to make in terms of the 48 Palestinians living in Israel, that is an imaginary problem that the right wing of Israel invented because they want some sort of guarantee that the Palestinians have accepted Israel in their heart of hearts. I think it’s a phony issue designed to put the kibosh on negotiations and you are focusing on it. arafat was ready to accept israeli sovereignty over israel up to the borders of june 4, 1967 and israel was not ready to hand over enough territory to make it worth arafat’s while. that’s my impression. ehud barak and his generals wanted to maintain as much control as possible over the west bank and were not willing to offer enough to entice arafat, not in the short period of time that barak set up for himself to negotiate. but arafat rationally (maybe selfishly because of the predicament of history had put him in a spot and he was willing to do something that in his heart he really did not want to do) would have made the trade. give me 22% of palestine and I will make peace with Israel. (well, not peace, but you know what i’m saying. get me a good deal and i will sign the contract and turn the page on history. that’s the impression arafat made as far as his bottom line.)

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        April 16, 2019, 11:09 am

        @wj

        22% of the 30% left after the white paper gave 70% of the Palestine mandate to the hashemite king in Jordan who ruled over the majority of arab clans now identitfying as palestinian. he also occupied jerusalem for 20 years and cleansed the city of jews, synagogs and graveyards and never once mentioned ‘palestinian rights’ or even a ‘palestinian identity’ before ’67.

  6. Peacefan
    Peacefan
    April 14, 2019, 11:21 pm

    @WJ There is a difference between an Israeli state, which in principle should be a state of all its citizens and a Jewish state who enshrine discrimination on the base of religious affiliation.

  7. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    April 15, 2019, 8:34 am

    For the record:

    https://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/statement-045019.html

    President Carter Issues Statement on BDS Act of 2019

    April 05, 2019

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    April 5, 2019

    Contact: Soyia Ellison, [email protected]

    ATLANTA – “In the past year, 26 states in the United States have adopted legislation to discourage support to the ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ (BDS) campaign advocated by Palestinian activists. The campaign aims to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights. These laws apply to individuals and business entities, and prevent them from receiving U.S. government contracts. Courts in Kansas and Arizona have struck down anti-BDS laws, declaring them unconstitutional as they infringe on rights protected by the First Amendment to freedom of expression.

    “On February 5, 2019, the U.S. Senate adopted a bill to safeguard the right of states to adopt such anti-BDS laws. While stressing that they do not support the BDS movement, 23 senators opposed the anti-BDS provision on grounds that it is unconstitutional. The bill is now pending in the House of Representatives.

    “’Under our Constitution, people and legal entities have the right to express political views without fear of consequences,’ stated former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. ‘U.S. courts have protected the right of individuals to participate in boycotts as a form of political protest. The same protection applies to the right to advocate or oppose BDS. The House of Representatives should reject this unconstitutional bill.'”

    ###
    Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
    A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

  8. genesto
    genesto
    April 15, 2019, 12:01 pm

    For me it’s quite simple. When some of my unenlightened, mainstream Democratic friends ask me why I don’t support candidates like Eric Swalwell, Kirsten Gillebrand or Cory Booker, my answer is that, for the same reason I despised Hillary, it would be rather mad of me to support someone that wants to put me in jail, don’t you think?

  9. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    April 16, 2019, 9:43 am

    ” If they get away with this, if they get away wtih suppressing free speech on Palestine who know’s who’s next. LGBT supporters, Blacks, Latinos, who knows….”

    Not you, obviously.

    The federal government is prohibited from doing business with contractors that discriminate against Blacks, Latinos and LGBT, so what is now wrong with prohibiting the federal government from doing business with BDS supporting contractors who discriminate against, America’s ally, Israel?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 16, 2019, 12:01 pm

      “…discriminate against, America’s ally, Israel?”

      You can’t lose, “Jackdaw”!
      If the anti-BDS laws are struck down you can say it’s due to anti-semitism.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      April 16, 2019, 11:05 pm

      Contractors who discriminate against Blacks, Latinos and LGBT are denying those people their human rights.

      Prohibiting the US federal government from doing business with those contractors is to support human rights.

      Israel is denying the Palestinians their human rights. The US federal government should be prohibited from doing business with Israel.

      (America’s ally – ha!)

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        April 17, 2019, 6:12 pm

        And denying the Jewish people their right to self determination is a per se violation of universal human rights, and that denial is the clear aim of Omar and his BDS movement.

      • amigo
        amigo
        April 17, 2019, 7:05 pm

        “And denying the Jewish people their right to self determination is a per se violation of universal human rights” jackduh

        The Jewish “People” do not have a right to deny others their right to self determination. They also do have the right to have a Supremacist , Racist Apartheid regime.

        Show me where they have that right under Universal Human rights.

        Take all the time you need Jackduh.

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 17, 2019, 7:07 pm

        || Jackdaw: And denying the Jewish people their right to self determination is a per se violation of universal human rights …. ||

        No-one should be denied the right to choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

        Neither the identity nor the choice to embrace it comprises a right:
        – to be a supremacist;
        – to have a supremacist state; or
        – to do evil (ethnic cleansing, colonialism, (war) crimes, etc.) unto others.

        Same applies to any other identity or group.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        April 17, 2019, 9:09 pm

        “And denying the Jewish people their right to self determination is a per se violation of universal human rights,”

        Bearing in mind the distinction between moral and legal rights,

        1. What do you mean by “the right to self determination”?

        2. Why is this RSD a universal human right?

        3. Why do you think “the Jewish people” have this right?

        Until you can answer those questions, I will regard your comment as meaningless.

        If you do present answers, I will be delighted to debate them with you.

  10. RoHa
    RoHa
    April 16, 2019, 11:10 pm

    “if they get away wtih suppressing free speech on Palestine who know’s [sic] who’s next. LGBT supporters, Blacks, Latinos, who knows….”

    It is already happening. People are being punished for saying the wrong things about LGBT.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-16/barry-humphries-name-dropped-from-prestigious-micf-award/11018726

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-11/israel-folau-set-to-be-sacked-by-rugby-australia/10993856

  11. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    April 18, 2019, 2:14 am

    @ami goo

    “The Jewish “People” do not have a right to deny others their right to self determination.”

    The Palestinians have had multiple opportunities to set down and work out a two State solution, with Clinton watching. With Barak and Olmert as PM.s.
    Before those negotiations toward a two State solution, when the 1993 Oslo accords were worked out, Hamas responded by launching a wave of terrorist attacks in order to scuttle the Oslo agreement.
    That’s the reality. The realization of Palestinian self determination through shedding Jewish blood.

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      April 19, 2019, 9:55 pm

      Zionist / israeli negotiator: we’ll have everything you ever owned then shake out a few crumbs for you.

      Palestinian negotiator: no.

      Zionist / israeli negotiator: see, Palestinians won’t negotiate! What can we do?! They’re unwilling!

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