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The world's blatant double standard - in Israel's favor

The American Studies Association may be singling out Israel for boycott, but if you look at the serious, painful punishments the world metes out to oppressor nations, Israel is not being singled out, it’s being let off the hook.

As of Friday at noon, a Google search of “human rights sanctions” turns up over 40 million results. There are human rights sanctions and other punishments against China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Yemen, Belarus, Cuba, North Korea and lots of other countries. And these sanctions weren’t put in place by some minor academic group like the American Studies Association, but by the United States of America, the European Union and/or the United Nations Security Council. Furthermore, these sanctions hurt those countries quite a bit more than the ASA’s boycott of Israeli colleges is likely to hurt Israel.

Yet you would think from the reaction to the recent ASA boycott that no other country in the world is being punished for its human rights violations. Everybody’s jumping on ASA president Curtis Marez’s quote on why the organization was going after Israel instead of other, far worse malefactors: “One has to start somewhere,” he told The New York Times. But while the ASA may be starting with Israel, the powers-that-be in the world have gone after any number of human-rights violating countries – yet still haven’t gotten to Israel and its 46-year military dictatorship over the Palestinians.

If you look at the serious, painful punishments the world metes out to oppressor nations, Israel is not being singled out, it’s being let off the hook.

Would Israel’s defenders like to see the world treat this country like it treats Iran – by “bringing it to its knees” with “crippling sanctions,” not to mention the clamor from some quarters to bomb its nuclear facilities?

Or would they like Israel to be treated like Syria – by freezing its foreign assets and denying entry to any Israeli involved in the occupation? Would they want the U.S. to arm some of the groups fighting Israel? Would they have preferred Israel being one step away from getting bombed by the U.S.? Would they rather that the world powers destroy Israel’s chemical weapons – or would they choose the ASA boycott?

Or if not like Syria, would Israel’s advocates want this country to be treated like China – with the U.S. vetoing its international loan applications and the U.S. and EU imposing an arms embargo on it? By the way, lots of countries are faced with arms embargoes by the U.S., EU and/or the UN, including Congo, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Israel, by contrast, gets $3 billion worth of arms from America every year.

And how about Zimbabwe; would Alan Dershowitz have Israel trade the ASA boycott for Zimbabwe’s punishments? Not only does the African nation face an embargo on arms, it’s up against one on international loans, too. Its fearless leader Robert Mugabe has been made radioactive – anybody who has dealings with him stands to have his assets frozen and his entry barred to the U.S. and EU.

Even big, powerful Russia has it worse than Israel – 18 Russian officials said to be involved in the prison killing of dissident lawyer Sergei Magnitzky in 2009 have had their assets frozen and their entry barred to the U.S., and there are constant calls for the EU to follow suit. How many Palestinians have been killed wrongfully by Israeli soldiers, police, Shin Bet agents and settlers during the occupation; are the U.S. and EU punishing any of them or their superiors for that?

And now, because of its anti-gay laws and statements and the gay-bashing climate they’ve encouraged, Russia is facing boycotts far more powerful than the one imposed by the ASA. Gay bars around the world are boycotting Russian vodka. And the movement to boycott next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi is booming. Here’s an irony: Bibi Netanyahu himself just agreed to join other world leaders, starting with Obama, in boycotting the Games. Do Obama, Cameron, Hollande and their colleagues boycott any Israeli showcase event because of the occupation, which is an incomparably worse crime than Russia’s anti-gay laws and harassment?

The Western powers can punish Russia, they can punish China, they can lay in to Iran, Syria, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan and the like – but they won’t touch Israel (the European Union’s wussy “guidelines” notwithstanding). Indeed, the strongest country in the world not only won’t punish Israel for its near half-century of tyranny over the Palestinians, it keeps feeding it arms while shielding it in the UN. America coddles Israel, the world’s last outpost of colonialism, like few countries have ever been coddled by a superpower in history.

The occupation is not, by any means, a human rights violation on the scale of Assad’s butchery, or the Congo’s, or Sudan’s, or Zimbabwe’s, for example. But it is a greater one than, for example, Iran’s nuclear program, or Cuba’s communism, or Russia’s killing of Sergei Magnitzky and its anti-gay policy – yet Israel gets off scot-free.  The world doesn’t punish this country unfairly – it doesn’t punish this country at all, while America rewards it lavishly.

The ASA boycott, like the rest of the BDS movement’s achievements, are not examples of the world’s double standard against Israel – they’re  Quixotic, rearguard actions against the world’s blatant double standard in Israel’s favor.  If this country were treated with a minuscule fraction of the severity the West ordinarily visits on human rights violators,  the occupation would have ended long ago.

Related:
The academic boycott of Israel: No easy answers
Peter Gabriel to UK: Condition Israel ties on respect for human rights
What can we learn from the Israel apartheid analogy?

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Richard Witty

      “Hysteria” is a strawman argument.

      There are fundamental principled reasons that boycott, any boycott is at least a wrong, if not an evil, of which the academic and cultural application is the most wrong/evil for the manner in which it makes Jews invisible/dispensable.

      I run the question of boycott through two screens:

      1. Does it conform to the ethics implied in “Never Again to Anyone”.

      It does not. The organized isolation of a people, is only possible if they are branded as acceptable to be shunned, an invisible other.

      2. “Never Again (to Jews)”. The prospect of a boycott of Israel (comprised of mostly descendants of holocaust refugees and Arab world dispossessed, unlike the US whose predecessors did not directly experience gross European and Arab world persecution) is a repetition of the themes and methods by which Jews have been persecuted globally for 340 of the last 400 years, culminating in genocide.

      For those of us that do have family that told us of their personal stories of being boycotted in Europe long prior to and during WW2, we will not accept it passively, not without moral confrontation.

      Hysteria is a rational response to the threat of boycott.

      I will fight boycott as the organized shunning of my people, no matter how wonderful and kind the proponent is to some others.

      I will not sit quietly while the movement names my community an “other”, somehow as a statement of “we are all kin”.

      And, I write regularly and consistently on the need and possibility of ending the occupation.

      Most Jews don’t. What prospect do you think boycott will achieve, sincerely?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Rehmat

      Well, the Israel Lobby will certainly call it “antisemitism”, if Israel is treated even 10% the way Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, N. Korea, Russia is treated by the Western governments.

      Both Dr. Chomsky and Abraham Foxman have called Iran’s Islamist regime “brutal” and BDS movement against Israel being “anrisemitic”.

      http://rehmat1.com/2012/09/06/chomsky-i-support-israel-but/

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >Well, the Israel Lobby will certainly call it “antisemitism”, if Israel is treated even 10% the way Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, N. Korea, Russia is treated by the Western governments.

        That’s a bold phat lie.

        Iran is only sanctioned because they signed the NPT.
        In Syria well over 100 000 of civilians were killed, tens of thousands tortured, raped and murdered by both sides, yet, no sanctions.
        What about Pakistan? I’m unaware of any regional or international activity to disarm it.
        In Egypt, Copt minority has been systematically exterminated. No-one gives a dead rat’s ass.
        N. Korea? Gosh, you truly aren’t too bright, are you? But no, of course not. You don’t even know what “Juche” means.

        Russia is being mistreated by the Western governments? Where do you get all this bullshit from?

        Reply to Comment
        • Rehmat

          Nyeth – Iran is being punished with sanctions and its leaders being compared to Hitler – because Israel and Jewish lobby want that way.

          Otherwise, Israel has a stockpile of 400 nuclear bombs while Iran has none. Israel has invaded all of its neighbors since 1949 – while Iran has not attack its neighbors for the last 150 years.

          http://rehmat1.com/2012/03/23/irans-nuclear-hoax-is-good-for-us-and-israel/

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Nyeth – Iran is being punished with sanctions and its leaders being compared to Hitler – because Israel and Jewish lobby want that way.

            Baseless lies.

            >Otherwise, Israel has a stockpile of 400 nuclear bombs

            More baseless lies.

            >while Iran has none.

            Are you truly THAT dumb?

            Iran had signed a paper where she had waived all rights for nuclear weapons. In terms of international law, Israel is allowed to have as much nukes as it pleases, while Iran is not.

            >Israel has invaded all of its neighbors since 1949 – while Iran has not attack its neighbors for the last 150 years.

            And yet more lies, for the grand finale.

            In 1948 Israel was invaded by armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and some irregulars and volunteers, however Arabs are shitty warriors – cruel to their prisones but coward, undisciplined and generally worthless on the battlefield – so they managed to lose.

            In 1956 UK, France and Israel had invaded Egypt to return control over the Suetz Channel. Egyptians did not quite realize that stealing international property is not quite the same as stealing camels.

            In 1967 Israel did invaded three neighboring countries, however it is well known that said Arab states were preparing a war agaist Israel, and pre-emptive strikes are not always considered as an act of aggression.

            In 1973 Israel was invaded again.

            In 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon to put an end to crossborder attacks.

            In 2006 Israel had invaded Lebanon again in response to the cross-border attack by Lebanese militants.

            So…
            Since 1948 Israel was attacked/invaded 9 times by different entities, while had attacked/invaded these or different entities 5 times only…

            Reply to Comment
          • “Arabs are shitty warriors – cruel to their prisones but coward, undisciplined and generally worthless on the battlefield – so they managed to lose.”
            Trespasser, get lost.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Iraq probably had so many POWs because they defected to Iran. You silly raving maniac.

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            Trespasser didn’t get lost, as Larry claims, he is simply an ignorant extremist.

            Despite the fact that seven regular Arab armies didn’t exist at the time – Saudi Arabia and Yemen did not have regular armies, Lebanon’s army never crossed the international frontier, Iraq’s and Transjordan’s armies never entered the territory the UN allotted to the Jewish state – no one can deny the historical mistakes made (also) by the Egyptian army, the Arab Liberation Army, and the Army of the Holy War. The latter included also a few hundreds of Palestinians. A more accurate and balanced assessment on this issue, however, should be considered the one recently provided by Uri Avnery, a protagonist of those days. “No one asked the Arab Palestinians”, Avnery noted, “whether to accept or reject anything. If they had been asked, they would probably have rejected partition, since – in their view – it gave a large part of their historical homeland to foreigners. The more so, since the Jews, who at the time constituted a third of the population, were allotted 55% of the territory – and even there the Arabs constituted 40% of the population”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Peter Hindrup

            Carl: Would you please name Uri Avnery’s book, if a book, or some reference?
            Interested, not questioning.

            Thanks, peter

            Reply to Comment
    3. Lloyd Alexander

      The “we have to start somewhere” line was already a truncated, distorted quote manufactured to discredit and attack. This depends on ignoring the next two sentences Marez said, which appear in the full version of the NYT story:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/us/scholars-group-to-disclose-result-of-vote-on-an-academic-boycott-of-israel.html?_r=0

      This editorial takes the easy way out here, cutting Marez’s quote to 5 words. Here is the rest of the quote: “He argued that the United States has “a particular responsibility to answer the call for boycott because it is the largest supplier of military aid to the state of Israel.” While acknowledging that the same could be said of a number of oppressive governments, past and present, he said that in those countries, civil society groups had not asked his association for a boycott, as Palestinian groups have.”

      It’s far easier for those opposed to BDS to generate a reductive meme that pretends 5 words were all Marez said and make that the sole basis of their critique; no one seems to want to confront the argument that ASA scholars found this issue especially important because Israel is the largest recipient of US aid and the US is therefore complicit in apartheid-like conditions there. To keep reproducing this quote as the attackers do is intellectually dishonest and unethical, suggesting a weak argument that

      Reply to Comment
      • Giora Me'ir

        One has to start somewhere . . . to end the U.S.’s enabling of Israel’s illegal colonization and ethnic cleansing. I fully agree, and applaud the ASA’s courage.

        Reply to Comment
        • Larry Derfner is absolutely correct about the double standard in Israel’s favor. Increasingly its coming down to civil society and those with the ability to make Israel accountable in real terms. I also applaud the ASA’s courageous decision.

          Reply to Comment
      • I was actually debating whether to put in the other two reasons Marez made, but I didn’t because one of them, that the Palestinian were the only ones who approached the ASA, isn’t a very good reason, either, and while the other one, that the U.S. gives so much aid to Israel, is a very good reason, it doesn’t make the “one has to start somewhere” any stronger. So I decided it wasn’t necessary to put those remarks in, which would have slowed down the story greatly and still left the “one has to start somewhere” standing. But thanks for making the point, which is a very legitimate one.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Giora Me'ir

      Yes, Israel gets away with violations of UN resolutions and international law without sanction, unlike other countries. All because it has the U.S. in its hip pocket. The day that ends will be the day Israel will have to face up to the consequences of its actions.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >Yes, Israel gets away with violations of UN resolutions and international law without sanction, unlike other countries.

        Bullshit.
        Did you ever bothered to actually read UNGA/UNSC resolutions which do not concern Israel?
        http://www.un.org/en/sc/documents/resolutions/index.shtml

        You see, contrary to leftist version of the universe, in the real world most countries do not give a damn regarding UN resolutions.

        Also, you are forgetting that ALL UNGA/UNSC resolutions concerning Israel also mention “Palestinians” in one form or another, meaning that if said “Palestinians” does not feel obliged to heed to UN resolutions concerning Israel, Israel does not have to treat “Palestinians” as subjects of the international law. Pretty much like a murderer can’t complain that his right for freedom is violated by prison guards.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Giora Me'ir

      Not worth my time responding to your ranting incoherence.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >Not worth my time responding to your ranting incoherence.

        The truth is that you are too cowardly and dishonest of a person to admit that Israel is not the only country which gets away with violation of UN resolutions.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tony

          I agree, we should boycott the US as well

          Reply to Comment
    6. BDS was introduced in Palestine by the Histadrut. No Arab workers were permitted, Arab shops and companies were boycotted, Arab goods were destroyed.
      It worked apparantly, since Israel controls 100% of the land now. Maybe that’s why they are in a paranoia.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Steve Benassi

      Larry Derfner should be writing for American newspapers, doing US TV news interviews on PBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Thank you. Your article is very informative.

      Reply to Comment
    9. richard witty

      The only plausible description that i’ve for Bds succeeding without proceeding to global shunning (racist and fascist), is if israeli businessmen pressure netanyahu to seek reconciliation.

      That is happening but not to the goal of actual peace, only to the point of deflection.

      The revolutionary accompanying advocacy for a single state is Bds as a war weapon, nowhere resembling a jewish voice for peace substantively.

      Reply to Comment
      • “The only plausible description that i’ve for Bds succeeding without proceeding to global shunning (racist and fascist), is if israeli businessmen pressure netanyahu to seek reconciliation.”

        I’m not running around chanting “BDS
        and, in any case, no one would listen to me anyways. But I see BDS no different than boycotts elsewhere, whether of buses (US), shops (US, South Africa), lettuce (Hispanic field workers, US), or union strikes throughout much of the world. In no case was there an existential ostracism involved; the message was change your behavior and it will be over. Granted, those exposed to the boycott can feel it as existential; but this is because they tie themselves fundamentally to the contentious policy, rather like a parent does to her/his children. So one side sees it as existential, the other not–unlike, say, those who want to push Israel “unto the sea,” where both sides see exactly the same thing. The Boycott Law makes the target boycott prima facie existential–indeed, more than this, for evidence of damage is not necessary. Just saying “I think you should boycott settler vegetables” becomes a declarative existential attack, not on behavior, but essence.

        The right nationalists frame BDS as just this. I would say, rather, that while boycott is a hard fought nonviolent tool, the ASA boycott is probably a mistake as it targets academics not necessarily associated with occupation policy. (My actual view is neutral; I just won’t say it is wrong to boycott Israel in principle for I do not think it is, nor do I think boycotts targeted to direct behavior anti-Semitic. But I don’t think I have to have a view on everything.) The Boycott Law and and charges of antisemitism leveled on BDS are, to my mind, an attempt to dislodge important and, as said, hard fought, tools of social contention. Coupled with, e.g., the bill presently in the Knesset to tax left NGO’, etc., these all are moves to emasculate civil opposition. This is what must be fought.

        Reply to Comment
        • Richard Witty

          My “hysterical” response to BDS is large a result of what has been said directly to me by BDS proponents and supporters, and also my utter irritation (more than irritation) at some of the fundamentally deceptive statements presented by BDS proponents.

          There are many that approaching BDS as you suggest, as a means to attempt to communicate, towards a change in policy, behavior.

          There are MANY however, much of the leadership, that combines a maximalist interpretation of what the right of return means (not a former resident of Jaffa to Jaffa, but a three-generations hence descendant of a former resident of Ramallah, to Jaffa), and an advocacy for a single state accompanied by that maximalist right of return.

          Those that apply a moderate right of return most often DON’T want a single state, as Israeli Jews would constitute a majority, almost all Zionist of some flavor.

          It is oil/water at that level.

          So, what is BDS? Is it the milque-toast boycott of Sodastream, or is it the robust fascist ethnic isolation (necessary for it to succeed if you believe that “Israelis only listen to force”).

          Reply to Comment
          • I have long held that anything more than a symbolic right of return (even of a hundred thousand), is a socio-economic absurdity. But the three generations of return you note is no different, in fact a lot more reasonable, than unlimited free ingress into the ancestral homeland by descendants dozens of generations removed. Palestinian Return is mirror to the Law of Return in a war fought usually in words. Israel isn’t going anywhere, and the Law of Return is fixed; indeed, I think it has constitutional status via the Declaration of Independence. But there is nothing to be gained (save verbal war victories) in denying that Palestinian Return is just the mirror image of what Israel has actualized itself. There is no justice on this issue; there cannot be.

            All sorts of political positions can be abused. The Boycott Law (applicable only to Israeli citizens unless a foreigner speaks boycott there) shows a resolve to remove an evolved tool of civil conflict. The Israeli government is engaging in a silencing campaign in the Boycott and Nakba Laws, with a bill to further restrict speech via special NGO taxation now in the Knesset. That some will use boycott antisemitically does not imply the tool is itself anti-Semitic. If I saw produce from the settlements I wouldn’t buy it. That doesn’t make me anti-Semitic anymore than refusing to buy lettuce in the American Southwest (in support of Hispanic agricultural workers in the 70′s and 80′s) would commit me to advocating that gringos be expelled from the land taken from Mexico by war c 1840.

            We all want something to hate, and verbal wars have their own pleasure centers in the brain. I am on the sidelines and do not want to see the hard earned social tool of boycott (of which the labor strike is a special form) gutted. It is neither against the State inherently, against Jews inherently, nor against most gods inherently (although one can probably construct a god where it would be).

            Reply to Comment
    10. The author writes: “The occupation is a greater human rights violation than, for example, Iran’s nuclear program, or Cuba’s communism, or Russia’s killing of Sergei Magnitzky and its anti-gay policy – yet Israel gets off scot-free”.
      Really? Iran’s nuclear program, designated to kill as many Israelis as possible, is a lesser human rights violation than the occupation of the West Bank, which at least a small part of the violations it brings can be justified for security reasons?
      Look, I’m all for ending the occupation, but let’s put things into perspective. Israel’s violations (as opposed to infringements) are not close to the other countries’ infringements.
      The fact is, that IN PROPORTION to the actual violations committed, Israel is condemned more than any other country.

      Reply to Comment
    11. LucyM

      The reason BDS is a failure (and your article is ridiculous) is because it presents a simplistic picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict and places sole blame for it on Israel. Anyone not blinded by ideology recognizes that the situation is far more complex than just the “occupation” and does not come close to reaching the level of the atrocities you try to compare it to.

      Reply to Comment
      • Rick Chertoff

        “Complexity” is the new propaganda (“hasbara” line of the Israeli gov’t to non-Israeli Jews, by way of Ari Shavit and others to deflect the inconvenient facts that have percolated up to almost everyone, even Israelis: the ’48 war was planned and perpetrated by the Zionists for the deliberate purpose of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. This is not only from Pappe but “pro-gov’t” Benny Morris, who, like Shavit, now justify it. We are talking about a typical “settler state” phenomena. Was S. African Aparteid “complicated”? Yes, and it was simply morally unacceptable, as is Israeli apartheid- period.

        Reply to Comment
    12. Folks, I’ve had enough of The Trespasser and Rehmat – their comments will not run on my channel anymore (unless I miss one by mistake). The Trespasser is anti-Muslim bigot, Rehmat is an anti-Jewish one.

      Reply to Comment
      • Hi Larry. I find Trespassor repulsive as well,as evidenced by his comments on the near point blank rubber bullet shooting near the knee cap of an Palestinian women, video presented on 972 just yesterday. Trying to engage with him is impossible, although I take comfort in his sometimes silence.

        I do have one point of contention with you, however. You use “defender of Israel,” above, as though this did not include you. But it does. I don’t think one can afford to allow others to control that appellation right now; it’s part of what I see as the general national right campaign.

        Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, I guess i should write “defenders of Israeli policy.”

          Reply to Comment
      • Aaron Gross

        Larry, I really hope you’ll reconsider that decision. I’m speaking as someone who’s been banned from the entire +972 site once already (here’s the whole story: ), and who regularly gets denounced here as a fascist, racist troll, and all permutations thereof.

        As you know, I think yours is one of the best channels at +972, and part of the reason for that is its openness. I often disagree with both those commenters, but each offers substantive, to the point comments. I don’t think either anti-Semites or anti-Muslims should be disqualified if they’re willing to do that. As I’ve said before, your enemies will tell you truths about you that your friends are too polite to utter.

        Obviously it’s your call, I’m not trying to tell you what to do. This is just my opinion.

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Oh, I see that you censored out the link. OK, well, I just want to emphasize that no one involved, including the person who banned me from +972, has disputed any of the facts as I related them.

          Reply to Comment
      • Garai

        My two cents..

        Let’s start from the beginning then.
        Maybe I should explain how Google search algorithm works to you..
        Or, I could demonstrate it.
        Build a time machine, and go back to the 60′s (Vietnam) and search “atrocities”, chances are you’re going to find plenty results that deal with Vietnam, because that’s the topic of the day.
        Now jump back to our day, and in 2013 Israel is relatively quiet, hence there are not many results that mention Israel.
        This is quite misleading, to attempt to construct an argument around a misinformed idea of “facts”.
        But okay, have it your way.

        Another key difference between Israel and other countries you mentioned, is that they are committing said “violations” against their own people, or against a sovereign nation / individual.
        Israel, on the other hand, is in a difficult spot, it is my opinion that Israel should not be held responsible for citizens of Palestine, so any argument that deals with “apartheid” is, in my opinion, invalid, because that would make Israel the reason for all problems in the world, or if you will, any other country, French people make less money than Germans? Apartheid! Germany doesn’t pay equal wages to the French!
        That sounds ridiculous, because it is, that’s how it sounds like to me when people are complaining about check-points around Israel’s border with the West Bank, are you advocating for a border-less world where anyone can enter any territory they please? Are you also against security check points in airports? Passports, maybe? Is it apartheid to request a visa to enter the US?

        You talk about Israeli violations, and by passing mention other (in my opinion, worse offenders, statistically speaking) countries, but curiously neglect to mention Palestine, Hamas, PLO, Fatah, Arafat and the many different factions scattered around Palestine and the surrounding areas, who, just as Israel, have VIOLATED the same resolutions and agreements.
        On the other hand, were they ever punished? Not everyone consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization, I guess that’s fair, but considering the same people (my bad, I’m assuming) would consider the Irgun to be a terrorist organization (full disclosure, I consider them terrorists.) makes me think that there is something off about the entire thing, that’s the double standard in my opinion.

        People go out of their way to treat Israel as an aggressor state, ignoring many circumstances that would otherwise make a “violation” seem acceptable, like in the case of the 6 days war, but at the same time they simply REFUSE to address the “side” they are supposedly defending!

        You are more than welcome to compare the actions of Israel to the actions of Sudan, or other countries who commit human rights violations on a weekly basis.

        Israel is largely staying away from the Palestinians, all the dramatic talk about “human rights” being violated here is made by NGOs and arm-chair warriors like yourself, while the Palestinians who live here (another full disclosure, I live in the West Bank) couldn’t give a rat’s ass about you or their efforts to demonize Israel, they DO give a damn about everyday things, like water, or heating, but once again – Israel is NOT (or SHOULD NOT) be responsible for those things, just as Germany isn’t responsible to provide water to Turkey or France, it’s ridiculous.

        The Palestinians here are accepting any help from NGOs because eventually it DOES move things along, but they most certainly do NOT share your views.
        Which is not to say that it applies to every single one, it only serves as a general sentiment among those Palestinians who I interact with.

        Once you, the NGOs and Hamas are out of business, there WILL be peace, because the people WANT peace, and you are promoting hatred instead.

        Reply to Comment
    13. Seth Frisch

      The ASA speaks in racial terminology. Language is important because it is the very medium by which we understand the speaker. Many people think the ASA is anti semitic — which is just so rich. Probably better to stick to the facta of the case. ASA using racial terminology is just plain rascist. Nothing more.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Angel1234

      “The Western powers can punish Russia, they can punish China, they can lay in to Iran, Syria, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan and the like – but they won’t touch Israel (the European Union’s wussy “guidelines” notwithstanding).” Derfner has a very bizarre and extremely selective sense of humor. His putting Israel on a par with the worst oppressive regimes in the world is infantile and dishonest. He ignores the constant harping of the whole world on Israel (including countless inane UN General Assembly resolutions year after year after year) while never mentioning the vastly more murderous and egregious offenses of the other countries he mentions. Contrary to what Derfner dreams, no one wants to go against China, Russia and other brutal human rights violators, because they tend to retaliate and strike back when criticized, whereas Israel is fair game since it can’t strike back at defamers like him. Count your blessings instead of spewing your venom.

      Reply to Comment
    15. GilGamesh

      the “Western powers” sanction Russia, Iran ect. for political reasons, not human rights violations. Human rights are only the pretense. It’s exactly the same reason the ASA boycotts Israel and makes no mention of other far worse violators of human rights. At least the “Western powers” don’t discriminate, all political enemies are fair game. Can’t say that about the ASA and their ilk who have only one nation that meets the level required for them to impose sanctions while all others get a pass. hmmmmm.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Magid Shihade

      Thanks very much for writing this excellent article.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Aaron Gross

      Well, at least one UN interpreter disagrees with Larry. Have you all seen this funny video from a UN meeting about a month ago? http://bit.ly/JDU8bk

      Reply to Comment
    18. goldmarx

      A fine essay, Larry.

      I’ve been following you on Mondoweiss, and I see you have encountered the destructively hostile atmosphere of the comment section, encouraged by Phil Weiss and ‘Annie’, as well as the blatantly anti-Semitic Woody Tanaka and others who apologize for Polish anti-Semitism during the Middle Ages, for example.

      One day, there’ll be an article on how Mondoweiss is hurting the BDS movement with its nurturing of hate speech.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Mikesailor

      Larry; I once asked you whether or not some activities either supported overtly or at least never condemned, by the ‘Jewish’community’ leads to a backlash by non-Jews interpreted as ‘antisemitism’? Read the commenters and I think you will agree that the perceprion “that all Jews are Zionists” leads one into the problem of “justice vs. Judaism’; which, as things are going will soon turn into “Jewishness vs. democracy”. None of thess perceptions need be completely 100% accurate but the overwhelming perception is what counts. If you take the labels away, things become much clearer: if A does this to B what will B’s reaction be? Should A be absolved, especially if he continues such actions? If we condemn A, is that unfair? If we punish A proportionally to the harm caused, is that unfair?

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    20. Firstly, the boycott is inane. And also insane. Boycott India over Kashmir? England over the Falkland Islands? And all the Country’s that harshly persecute non-believers (be they political, religious, ethnic). Probably, more than half the world should be boycotted on this score.
      The issue of Israeli-Palestinian rights is so very complicated, rooted in centuries of history, tradition and culture.
      Don’t like the “so called occupation”? Then in some odd calculus of fairness, boycott both parties until they agree to a peace treaty.
      And, why no peace treaty? Blame the Palestinians at least as much as the Israelis as many in Israel do.
      Recent history: Arafat refused peace when offered a realistic, pragmatic deal. So no deal! Israel walled its borders to protect itself and gave Gaza its own administration i.e.. the right to fire rockets on Israel. .
      Did Gaza status improve or solve anything? No.
      How about boycotting the rich Arab nations that have the resources to ease Palestinian poverty yet prefer to blast Israel instead?
      Does everyone in Dubai and Saudi Arabia need
      a Mercedes?
      So here’s the solution: let’s boycott Saudi oil, also. At least as a start.
      Then probably most of the rest of the world.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Ahuva

      All that came upon the Palestiniens they brought it on themselves.
      They had so many opportunities to make peace bu have chosen war. They adore violence and bloodshed. They do nothing to change the situation for themselves. They keep educating youth to hate. Your country suffered lost of innocent lives on 9/11. Open your eyes…we offered them almost everything. We are ready to give them land . They even don׳t want to recognize Israel as the land of the Jews.
      Your anti-Israeli manifest is replacing the old , never changing anisimitism

      Reply to Comment
    22. Robert O'Neal, Ph.D.

      Israel has given much more to the world than almost any nation. Its Islamic enemies pledge to drive the Jews into the sea. When working on my doctorate, I was given the responsibility of reading the Koran among other research and found that hatred of Jews (and Christians) is commanded within Islam’s holiest book.

      From the Koran:

      Surah 33:60, “Truly, if the Hypocrites (non-Muslims and Muslims who do not follow the strictest of Islamic commands), those in whose hearts is a disease, . . . Whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain without mercy—a fierce slaughter—murdered, a horrible murdering.”

      Surah 5.33, “They (Non-Muslims) should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides …”
      Surah 2.191 “And murder them (non-Muslims) wherever you find them … murder them …”

      Surah 4.89 “They (Christians and Jews) desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (flee their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and murder them wherever you find them …”

      Surah, 9.5 “Fight and murder the disbelievers (non-Muslims) wherever you find them, take them captive, torture them, lie in wait and ambush them, using every stratagem of war.”

      Surah 8.65, “O Prophet! Urge the believers to war …”

      Surah 2:190, “War (Jihad) is holy fighting in Allah’s Cause with full force of numbers and weaponry. It is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars. By war (Jihad), Islam is established … War (Jihad) is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim …”

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