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The academic boycott of Israel: No easy answers

There are some strong arguments against the ASA’s recent decision to support an academic boycott of Israel. But are they adequate? 

Illustrative photo of boycott advocates. (Photo: Brian S / Shutterstock.com)

Members of the American Studies Association (ASA) voted last week to endorse a resolution supporting an academic boycott of Israel, following a unanimous vote by the National Council of the ASA earlier this month.

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement might have seemed extreme and marginal when it was established eight years ago. But what seems extreme has a way of becoming mainstream if doesn’t go away. The boycott idea became impossible to ignore as international stars such as Elvis Costello began canceling shows in Israel. Legendary Pink Floyd band leader Roger Waters has been an outspoken advocate, causing hand-wringing among commentators who thought of themselves as liberal.

The past year, 2013, has seen significant victories for the boycott camp. Stephen Hawking bowed out of the Presidential Conference. Unrelated to the BDS movement, the EU issued guidelines to limit interaction with settlement enterprises. Now, the ASA decision makes it even harder to defiantly insist that only Israel is right and everyone else – cultural figures, intellectuals and policymakers – are all wrong.

Boycotting is a painful tool. But anyone who truly desires an end to the conflict and the occupation, who is not just paying lip service, must take this tactic seriously. Both sides of the academic and general boycott debate raise serious questions that I have not seen fully answered. Below are a few that I have grappled with.

Strong arguments against the ASA boycott

Hypocritical. America does evil things, systematically and on a larger scale. So do other countries. There is little moral, ethical or professional credibility to an organization that boycotts selectively, unless it can justify why this cause is more urgent or extreme than all others in the world. The response ASA released on this point is little help. Why not boycott Russia, which pours arms into Syria and has thereby contributed to over 100,000 deaths? Is Syrian blood less valuable or lower priority than Palestinian?

Backlash: Boycott could drive the Israeli and Jewish community to more extreme responses. The academic boycott in particular will drive away many people devoted to advancing human rights, justice and an end to Israeli occupation among academics. Moderates and liberals outside academia as well will turn away, when we should all be joining forces, expanding numbers, making ending the occupation a movement no one can ignore. BDS is fond of the South African model, except that there, whites from the oppressor community joined forces with the oppressed. That is often considered a key to the success of the anti-Apartheid movement.

Maybe the BDS movement doesn’t believe that Israeli or Jewish “peaceniks” truly seek to end the occupation. But that is primarily because BDS has a very specific definition about “what counts.” That leads to another problem.

The BDS Litmus test. The movement calls for the implementation of UN Resolution 194, allowing the full return of Palestinian refugees to Israel proper. That’s a legitimate negotiation demand but it is simply not the authoritative litmus test for commitment to ending the conflict. I know Palestinians with totally different views on the refugee question and they are no less Palestinian. It is wrong to exclude anyone from the anti-occupation camp who does not embrace the BDS view on Palestinian right of return, because the movement is not the sole arbiter of what it means to be against the occupation. Like all maximalist positions, that condition is a disturbing clue that BDS activists aren’t truly interested in a realistic agreement for ending the occupation and the conflict.

Still, the anti-boycott arguments are often inadequate.

Boycott is a limitation on academic freedom. Truly, it is not. The resolution does not target individuals. Any Israeli individual is still able to join conferences, or publish papers and express his or her views. Palestinian academics, however, are and will continue to be physically prevented from being part of global academic society. This cannot be presented as parallel to non-existent limitations on the ability of Israeli academics to make their voices heard.

Boycott is a form of political violence. Political violence is an interesting concept. But surely nobody in his or her right mind would compare academic boycott to physical violence, such as terrorism or military occupation, with its accompanying civilian casualties. Nor will any family go hungry as a result.

For the reasons above, boycott is not a legitimate means of protest. Then what is? Every form of Palestinian opposition to living under a human rights nightmare for decades and generations has been deemed illegitimate. I am against violence as a means. But when Jews used violence we justified it; the world practically heroized it. When the Palestinians undertook a violent struggle the world saw them as bloodthirsty terrorists, racially or culturally programmed for death. The diplomatic strategy of seeking statehood (starting in 1988, and again in 2011 and 2012) was reflexively branded as an anti-Israel campaign. As for the unarmed popular protests movements in the West Bank over recent years, possible side effects include arrests, tear-gassing, injury and in rare cases, death.

If Israel doesn’t like the boycott strategy, what does it propose for the Palestinians? To live as passive subjects of military occupation forever?

Biased, one-sided campaign. True. The ASA’s explanation of the resolution is immature and amateur. But to assume that some of America’s most serious scholars are incapable of thinking beyond the propaganda materials and doing the work to weigh other angles before making a final decision, is futile. People aren’t hypnotized by Palestinian Svengalis. They just agree with the basic points.

The “biased” notion is a remarkably hypocritical attack. The American government is far more constrained, to put it nicely, by decades of hermetically sealed, single-narrative, one-sided perspectives on Israel. Jewish-American organizations have made it their life’s mission to control that narrative and bully Jews who think otherwise; pity the American politician who even dreams of expressing dissent. Frankly, American Jews have zero right to accuse anyone of presenting one-sided campaigns to rally support for a cause. The BDS advocates learned from the best.

Shortly after the ASA Council vote, there was electricity in the air at an event at the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University. People spoke of the ASA Council decision almost reverentially, knowing the Palestinian cause could never hope to win a fraction of the attention or acceptance that Israel’s narrative gets in America. Even if someone in that room did not agree with all the finer points, it was a victory.

Boycott hurts academics, who are most likely to support the cause. The critique here is the flip side of the problem raised earlier. Some academics who believe Israel will only change under outside pressure have endorsed boycott As noted, the boycott really won’t hurt individuals.

Moreover, the boycott message really isn’t about academics. It’s directed at a far larger audience: the Israeli government, the Israeli and Jewish people, interested parties, activists and political leaders on all sides in Europe and the U.S. Unfortunately, there is nothing like this issue to get people engaged. One may hate the boycott, but one certainly feels it. Positive engagement is what America has done for all of Israel’s existence. It has not worked.

Boycott gets many people talking. It will have many Jews and Israelis wondering if it’s all worth it: destroying Israel’s deep desire for success and acceptance, for start-up nation status, all for the sake of controlling millions of Palestinians, denying them freedom of movement, civil rights, self-determination, economic and social development and often, basic needs.

So, is it worth it?

Related:
What can we learn from the Israel apartheid analogy?
On Alice Walker and cultural boycott: A debate
Stephen Hawking’s message to Israeli elites: The occupation has a price 

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Richard Witty

      Thanks for the balanced impressions, stated candidly and sympathetically.

      As with everything Israeli/Palestine all true assertions are at least qualified.

      People’s/activists positions on BDS in general, BDS of Israel proper, and academic boycott for moralists (motivated by sympathy, rather than by political/religious doctrine), all rest on how individuals weigh the question of whether the ends justify the means and/or whether “the means are the ends”.

      To not undertake something that may be harmful but will/could/may lead to a greater good is a moral negligence. To undertake something that does/will/could/may lead to a greater evil (anti-semitism in practice) even for a subsequent good end is a moral negligence.

      To both standards, the primary questions should be:

      1. Will it enhance liberation/well-being/change in relationships?

      2. Can I look in the mirror after I do it?

      My take on BDS is the threat of it, with the limited application of it, does communicate to the world and to the Israeli electorate and administration, that the writing is on the wall as far as the occupation goes.

      David Brooks published an op-ed in the times today that said as much, perhaps reluctantly, perhaps ambiguously. I interpreted his, Goldberg’s, Shavit’s, Friedman’s, Kerry’s real effort, as the De Klerk moment in Israeli policy. Maybe a couple years prior, but shortly.

      The moderately stated goals of the PACBI are reasonable and can constitute a mass movement.

      The maximalist interpretation of the PACBI goals have NO PROSPECT of world, security council, Israeli consent, and if applied will reduce or even eliminate the likelihood that the BDS movement will have the affect of ending occupation.

      So, so long as the BDS movement stays calm, doesn’t harrangue opponents, is determined, and seeks appealing and achievable goals, then it will be effective.

      What is unpalatable, requiring personal denial to smile at random anyone that might be Jewish/Israeli again?

      I think any isolation of intellectual or cultural community is evil. Knowledge does not have an origination point, no matter what institution nurtures it, what state funds it. In nazi Germany, there was an early propaganda effort against “Jewish science”, prominently meaning Einstein.

      I wasn’t alive at the time, but part of me jars to the bone whenever I hear of an academic boycott.

      Dahlia,
      As much as I hope that you are right that academic boycott is not oriented to individuals, but to institutions, I think that that is a naive assumption, that is already abused. (I actually believe that even an institutional associated/funded boycott is too far. An example for me, is that IPCRI is specifically sited by anti-normalization proponents as unkosher, to be boycotted.)

      Holier than thou dissenters regard the current de Klerk movement as a grand betrayal, a Mandela speaking in Afrikaans moment. That Abbas or even Marwan Barghouti would give away too much. Ending the occupation is not enough.

      And, as such, the movement may tip beyond sympathy, delaying the end of the occupation, cementing the annexation of area C in particular, permanently.

      The actual lesson of the presence of suppression in the world, is that THAT is accepted, and by those that claim to support human rights. It is not that it is selective, as in singling out Israel. Its that it is selective as in willing to potentially ignore “us” (Palestinians), if we fall out of left-wing favor for some reason.

      Law universally applied is much better than activism selectively applied.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      BDS, unlike for example the pathetic involvement of the U.S., has at least gotten Israel to debate its occupation policies (though at this early point, to still conclude that occupation is worth the price).

      My fond hope is that BDS starts to really snowball, and as one organization after another joins in, to really make Israelis sit back and question the decisions taken by their government.

      One day BDS will reach a critical mass that will tip the scales and make occupation undesirable to most Israelis. I hope that day is not too far in the future.

      Reply to Comment
      • ish yehudi

        nsttnocontentcomment

        Reply to Comment
    3. Dahlia, you write: “BDS is fond of the South African model, except that there, whites from the oppressor community joined forces with the oppressed. That is often considered a key to the success of the anti-Apartheid movement.”

      Well, you know that [1] American and other Jews have joined BDS because they oppose occupation and other Israeli injustices and prefer BDS to doing nothing or to throwing bombs and [2] more Israelis would probably join (some part of) BDS if Israel had not passed that horrible anti-free-speech law which makes open pro-boycott speech in Israel actionable (and thus enormously costly).

      Please don’t blame BDS because Israelis do not join BDS when you know that there is a severe punishment for doing so.

      Also, if it were (as it may in fact be for all I know) that a huge majority of Israeli Jews favor the occupation, favor the settlement project, favor the wall, favor the siege on Gaza, then Israeli society is WORSE than white South African society was if, as you tell us, white South Africans joined in anti-Apartheid agitation.

      Reply to Comment
      • Deborah

        Thank you for your point. I think the author thinks she’s smarter than those who have done the work of crafting the BDS documents and strategy. She’s wrong.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tony Riley

          How smart is Barghouti? He started this campaign, yet insisted on finishing a Phd at Tel Aviv University, and then described his action as a “private matter”. Moron.

          Reply to Comment
    4. Jacob

      I don’t understand how the author can write as though Palestinian violence is a reaction to years of occupation; they refused the UN partition, then lost the ensuing war, then refused to lay down arms. They’re still fighting like it’s 1947. What’s Israel’s alternative to wall-building when a defeated enemy refuses to stop fighting? You suggest that Israel’s bargain is “start-up nation OR oppressing Palestinians” without addressing why Israel concludes it must oppress them. Do you believe Israel can coexist with people who would destroy it? Allow them freedom of movement within Israel’s borders? That resulted in decades of Palestinian children being sent to blow up Israeli children, which the wall has more or less stopped. Freedom to bomb is not a human right.

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        So do you care to explain why suicide bombings didn’t start until 1994? Zionism may be responsible for the conflict at every turn, but the initial ethnic cleansing of 1948-50 didn’t drive Palestinians to suicide attacks. (Yeah, this is where I’m supposed to write “The occupation has indeed been bad for Israel”, but this is what you’re getting.)

        Of course the Jewish Agency refused the UN partition as well, despite paying lip service to it. While Ben-Gurion was reading the Israeli declaration of independence that alluded to UNGA 181, the Haganah already occupied a good deal of territory outside the proposed Jewish state, and the operation to capture Acre was in progress.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Simcha

      It seems to me that you have left off an important point in this debate: the fact that the boycott call was issued by a united Palestinian civil society. Scholars in the ASA are not randomly deciding which countries to target or not, but responding to a call issued forth by Palestinians. This is the same principle behind not crossing a union picket line. We have been asked by people to support their cause in this way. The question is do we agree or disagree with such a call. For me, if you are against Palestinian oppression and you believe they are capable of leading their own struggle, then you ought to support their call.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Philos

      Is it worth it? Yes.

      And it’s worth pointing out that the vast majority of whites, including Jews, did not take an active part in the BDS movement against South Africa. Civil war was narrowley avoided and there was plenty of ‘white-flight.’ There’s plenty of middle-aged and elderly South African Jews here who’ll tell you about how the “bleecks” ruined South Africa.

      Reply to Comment
        • sh

          Not for tolerance or the ability to forgive, that’s for sure. That, not the armed struggle, is what won South Africa its freedom.

          Reply to Comment
        • andrew r

          The Nelson Mandela foundation denies possessing evidence he met with any Mossad agent. In any case, the ANC was also backed by the USSR, Castro and Gaddafi, so what this “revelation” is supposed to say about Mandela (or Mossad) isn’t exactly clear.

          Reply to Comment
        • Philos

          If you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you in San Francisco at a very reasonable price

          Reply to Comment
    7. Right of Return is a mirror of Zionism: both advocate redress of the wronged through return to their origin (I can already hear it–Palestinian origins are not in Greater Israel, they should return to the Arabian Peninsula; maybe we should all return to Pangaea). And both, in pure form, imply the purging of other residents, if not physically, then socio-economically. Right national Israelis latch onto Return to stifle all compromise; their Palestinian counterparts point out that Zionist Return has already been actualized. Both hold that ethnic cleansing or control is, can I say, foundational. These extremities are used not as bargaining starts but to nullify any accommodation with the other.

      BDS is painted as Return, perhaps again by both extremes. But, as Witty, above, points out, it need not be an imposed global absolute, just one player in the word/action game (a game of mostly words, which is why BDS is so enticing and menacing; much national Right Israel discourse is directed to nullifying words as predecessors to always anti-Semitic action).

      I see no reason to force the world to my view of BDS. I do think that those advocating BDS should be allowed to act. Israel has denied the latter in its Boycott Law, which allows the State to define patriotism absent violence or its material support. Under the premise of populist Israeli nationalism, the Boycott Law should be superfluous; yet there it is. The Boycott Law has fused BDS as anti-occupation principle with free speech among Israeli citizens. One cannot even say “I think such and such should be boycotted in my land because of the occupation” without being placed in jeopardy of suit under the law. No evidence of political organization is necessary; the words are actionable. So support of BDS internationally becomes support of free speech within Israel; what Israeli citizens cannot do, those on the outside will do for them. BDS is now as much an internal issue as an occupation issue, involving, directly, the character of Israeli society. Those who warned that the occupation would creep into Israel proper have been shown correct.

      To put the matter starkly, Dahlia in this piece does not advocate the direct boycott of anything. Yet she comes close to advocating boycott as an acceptable political principle. Any other words by her directly supportive of international boycott acts, such as that of ASA, place her in jeopardy of civil action, with this piece available as evidence that she advocates “boycott” should be supported. One does not have to win a law suit; just make the other pay for some time, thereby deterring attempt.

      This is a brave piece. One has only to look at the Knesset’s unconscionable refusal to implement the High Court decision on asylum detainees to see how far (far?) right nationalists will go. Fear has become a weapon. Should not all Jews know what that means?

      Reply to Comment
    8. Marcos

      The “litmus test” that Dahlia identifies should make the BDS a non-starter. The word FULL is key. Such an end goal means no Israel and turns the discussion into zero sum game. For such people, the occupation is merely a distraction behind their ultimate goal of removing the political entity of Israel. Therefore, BDS and any group that want to emulate their goals are dangerous.

      Reply to Comment
      • Yigal

        If you really believe this, then what you’re saying is that the continuing occupation is causing people who were not previously active on issues relating to Israel to join a campaign for its elimination. Ending this danger would best be done by ending the occupation. So I expect that will be high on your list of goals.

        Reply to Comment
        • Yigal: Well said. If Israel somehow managed in a short time to do what international law clearly calls for — remove all settlers, dismantle the wall aned all settle3ment buldings, end the siege of Gaza, and all the Israelis (expcet the army) return home to 1948-Israel — THEN al lot of the wind would be taken out of the sails of the EU and others who are now beginning to respond to BDS (and, of course, to news of israeli wrong-doing).

          This scares me (as a believer in PRoR) because if Israel pulls back to 1948-Israel, then the whole BDS movement might fizzle out and the exiles of 1948 would not, not even a few of them, be rescued.

          But it should appeal to Zionists who like to live in a relatively Arab-rein area.

          Happily for those who call for PRoR, right-wing Israel shows no sign of early seeing-this-light.

          Reply to Comment
        • Marcos

          Hi Yigal. Thanks for your response. I believe that the ASA boycott, as modeled by the BDS movement is a non-starter for those who want a two state solution.

          Reply to Comment
          • Yigal

            But that’s what’s gaining steam around the world, and Israelis who have done nothing to end the occupation have nobody to blame but themselves.

            Reply to Comment
        • BDS is a varied movement. Most of it, including the ASA if you take the trouble to read their resolution, want an end to occupation, not to Israel. The latter is a convenient slogan to avoid the real questions ASA raises. Why not analyze the occupation?! And how do you justify it except with slogans?

          Reply to Comment
    9. Michael Several

      There are a number of issues that bother me about the boycott vote. I was struck by the sloppiness of the resolution. It makes two claims with no supporting evidence. The first is “the United States plays a significant role in enabling the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law, as well as in supporting the systematic discrimination against Palestinians.” I am puzzled by the claim in light of the fact that the United States has consistently protested the settlement project; it has declared the settlements “Illegitimate” and by law, prevents any government funds from being used east of the 1949 armistice line. It seems to me, the claim flies in the face of the evidence. The second claim is that “there is no effective or substantive academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars under conditions of Israeli occupation, and Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights and negatively impact the working conditions of Palestinian scholars and students”. What examples demonstrate that there “Is the prevention of effective or substantive academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars” because of the occupation? I suspect the claim is true, but there is no supporting evidence. I wish the scholars who approved the resolution demonstrated an intellectual rigor that I expect they demand from their graduate students. How egregious is the prevention of academic freedom compared to limitations in other countries? Is it a uniquely high level of limitations on academic freedom that justified the resolution? Or is the level found in other countries, such as Egypt, Iran, North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan? If the level is the same or even less than found elsewhere, why was Israel singled out? Curtis Marez, the President of the ASA is quoted as responding to the question about why single out Israel by saying, “you have to start somewhere”. All well and good. What is the next country the ASA will boycott? I wait for their answer, but my hunch is the boycotting of academic institutions started and will end with Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    10. “The movement calls for the implementation of UN Resolution 194, allowing the full return of Palestinian refugees to Israel proper. That’s a legitimate negotiation demand but it is simply not the authoritative litmus test for commitment to ending the conflict. I know Palestinians with totally different views on the refugee question and they are no less Palestinian”

      Dahlia, this is imprecise: here is what the BDS call states:

      Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

      There is no mention of “full return,”a phrase you (deliberately?) used in order to say, That’s a non-starter.

      Second, the reference to resolution 194, adopted by the a majority of the UN General Assembly, including all the Western countries:

      Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible; Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;

      This is not a “negotiating position”; Palestinian civil society organizations are not peace negotiators. They enunciate principles that have been overwhelmingly agreed upon and constitute fundamental rights.

      Rights need not be exercised,and there are many Palestinian refugees who would not exercise their right to return — this has been shown repeatedly.

      But the point is the principle of giving those people who were unlawfully barred from returning to their homes, through no fault of their own, the option to do so. How that option is exercised; what are the modalities; what their status would be, etc., etc. — none of this is relevant here.

      The point is that the Palestinians who were expelled from their native lands should be recognized as natives of Palestine — not as some alien people who need visas to come back to their homes.

      And, frankly, I wonder how many Palestinian refugees, or members of the Palestinian diaspora, you know who have different views on the right of return. They may agree that given the power differential, the Palestinians may not be able to insist on it now. But it is, as far as I know, vital to Palestinian identity.

      Reply to Comment
      • richard witty

        “Native to Palestine?”

        Which Palestine?

        Does aformer resident of what is now the Czech republic have a right of return to former czeckoslavakia?

        And how many generations hence?

        Talk about imprecision.

        Reply to Comment
        • directrob

          You could look up your questions on the internet or read resolution 194.

          You might look here for the general principle:
          http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter38_rule132

          “The UN Security Council, UN General Assembly and UN Commission on Human Rights have on numerous occasions recalled the right of refugees and displaced persons to return freely to their homes in safety.[9] The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement provide that “displacement shall last no longer than required by the circumstances”.[10] In addition to the option of returning to their places of origin or of habitual residence, the Guiding Principles also provide for the right of displaced persons to resettle voluntarily in another part of the country.[11] ”

          So it does not matter how home is called.

          Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            It does matter which physical home is pursued.

            The assertion is that anyone from anywhere in historic Palestine (usually meaning Israel, West Bank, but also to most, Gaza, and to some East Bank), to anywhere in what is called historic Palestine.

            An 30-year old former resident of Jordan, should not have the right to “return” to Jaffa.

            A 30-year old German Palestinian citizen whose father formerly resided in Nablus and mother formerly resided in Tunis, should not have the “right of return” to Jaffa.

            There is a clarification that is necessary to be made.

            Where to where?

            How many generations hence?

            Don’t stay vague. It will delay Palestinian progress.

            Reply to Comment
      • un2here

        Yes. Descendents of former Czech residents have the right to settle there, no visa required – next question?

        Reply to Comment
    11. shaun

      Stop pretending you care, BDS has one goal in mind and one goal only!
      Long term goal of BDS is to cause enough erosion within Israel.
      Academic boycott targets the Educational system, with the idea of discouraging academic pursuit or growth, this will eventually trickle down and deliver a major blow the level and quality of the rest of Israel’s educational system.
      The cultural Boycott Challenges strives to Isolate Israeli culturally forcing away culturally progressive Israelis.
      The Boycott within movement is working hard to erode the military and police services.
      Finally the economic boycott aims to ruin Israel financially.
      So with a ruined Educational system, Cultural Isolation, a failed economy leading to rampant unemployment in all sectors together with non-operational law enforcement, BDS will be victorious and demand that Israel accept another million Palestinian refugees.
      Is it worth it?

      Reply to Comment
      • PeterR

        This presupposes that there will BE no action on the part of Israel to address the concerns of equality among its citizens and the victims of its brutal occupation and siege.

        Reply to Comment
    12. Richard Witty

      A truth remains on the topic of BDS and specifically academic and cultural boycott.

      That is that isolation of a nation, or an ethnicity (as it grows), is an evil in the world, not a good.

      The only justification for that could be if there is a reasonable prospect of achieving a greater good, and then promptly healing the evil of isolation of a nation.

      My experience with the South Africa boycott, indicates to me that the evil continues after, in prejudicial attitudes and residual boycott indefinitely.

      South Africa after apartheid ended continued to be boycotted. People just didn’t know that the boycott was over, even if they should have.

      That activists here even continue to site that even if the occupation is ended, the boycott will likely continue, convey that that isolation is NOT a conditional one, but somehow constructed into an existential one.

      Any progressive worth their name and their conscience would FIGHT, rather than join, an existential shunning.

      A conditional and temporary boycott is one thing. The arc of BDS is a different thing.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Tomer

      This comment has been deleted due to inappropriate content. Please read our comments policy.

      Reply to Comment
    14. עיניים לראותEYES2C

      Yesterday the SUPREME COURT of Israel resolved to Recognize the Illegal ARIEL Settlement “UNIVERSITY”.

      Thus the Court sent a Clear Message to the World: We Failed!
      Now it is Your Turn to Deploy Academic Boycott against Israel.

      Reply to Comment
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