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Why boycotts against Israel are fair game

Israel is unique in one very important way: for other malefactors like Syria and Sudan, there is no need to convince the international public of their wrongs.

If it wasn’t a persuasive argument, Israel’s defenders wouldn’t keep using it, like they are now against Alice Walker: Why are these left-wingers singling Israel out for boycott, not to mention condemnation, when so many other countries are committing far worse injustices and causing so much more suffering? Why aren’t these people boycotting Syria, or Iran, or the Taliban, or Sudan, or Eritrea, or Zimbabwe, or China, or Saudi Arabia, or any of the other regimes and movements whose human rights violations are in a completely different league than Israel’s?

And the answer given by Israel’s defenders, of course, is that these left-wingers with their BDS and their Israel Apartheid Week are simply anti-Semites. “If the only country you want to label is Israel, that’s anti-Semitism,” as the Israel Lobby’s elder statesman, Anti-Defamation League head Abraham Foxman, recently told The Times of Israel. And it’s not just the Israel-right-or-wrong crowd who accepts this argument; even liberals who genuinely oppose the occupation and criticize Israel forthrightly argue that this country shouldn’t be singled out for punishment when there are so many more deserving candidates, and these liberals, too, suspect that anti-Semitism is, if not the driving force behind this relentless focus on Israel, then it’s one of them.

In a July 2012 post, I wrote that the Western left was obsessed with Israel for the same reason it had been obsessed with South African apartheid, with the Vietnam War and with European colonialism before: because the Western left is peopled overwhelmingly by the “haves” of the world, and “left-wing haves naturally recoil when they see fellow haves lording it over the have-nots. … For a leftist, that is the ugliest thing on earth, even when elsewhere, other have-nots are being beaten up much worse by ‘their own.’” I still think that, but there’s also a simpler, less psychological, even fairly obvious reason why there’s a Western movement to boycott Israel  but not to boycott Syria, Iran, Sudan, Eritrea or other countries whose regimes practice a much “darker” form of repression on their victims than Israel does on the Palestinians.

The reason is that while these other states are, indeed, worse criminals than Israel, no popular movement is needed to convince the public and political leadership in the West that what those regimes are doing is wrong and ought to be stopped. Everybody knows that what Assad is doing is wrong, nobody is publicly defending the mass slaughter he commits; the U.S. has been supporting the rebels and the only debate in the West is whether or not to physically join the war against the Syrian regime.

By contrast, in America, by far the world’s most powerful, influential country, God help the politician who stands up in Congress or on the campaign trail and denounces Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and God help the one who isn’t tough on Israel’s enemies, the Arabs.

There is no Syria Lobby in the U.S., but there sure is an Israel Lobby. Is America arming Israel’s enemies like it is Syria’s? No, America is arming Israel against its enemies to the tune of $3 billion a year, plus any other goodies Congress gets inspired to throw in. Is the U.S. or any other country debating whether to send in troops to end the occupation? (Samantha Power was branded an anti-Semite for once uttering a few words that seemed to sort of suggest such a thing, and she’s had to spend years assuring the Israel Lobby that she didn’t mean it.)

As it is with Syria, so it is with Iran, Sudan, Eritrea, the Taliban, Saudi Arabia and so on: they’re already on the world’s shit list, especially America’s. The only debate is over how badly they should be attacked/sanctioned/ostracized/denounced. Israel, by contrast, is the favorite son of the world’s only superpower – despite its half-century of tyranny over the Palestinians.

Despite Israel’s occupation, it is the one country on earth that every U.S. presidential candidate has to visit and where they have to get their picture taken with the prime minister and president – and not to show their foreign policy credentials, but to show that they stand with Israel. Did Mitt Romney or Barack Obama consider it mandatory to do a photo-op with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran?

Congress gives dozens of roaring, standing ovations for a speech by Mr. Occupation Forever, Bibi Netanyahu; does it do that for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan?

In America, as well as in parts of Canada, Australia and even Europe, Israeli dignitaries and local Jewish leaders will hear Israel praised by officials as a frontline ally in the global fight for freedom. Nobody says that about Eritrea.

Meanwhile, the Western powers that don’t glorify Israel like the U.S. does, occupation and all, don’t give it any trouble, either. The outrage here and accusations of anti-Semitism over the European Union’s measly gesture to label products made in the West Bank and Golan Heights is a measure of the indulgence this country is accustomed to from that continent.

So if the Western Left singles out Israel among the world’s human rights violators for boycott, it’s because the ultimate Western power singles it out for patronage, while Europe grits its teeth in obedience. Israel is by no means the world’s worst malefactor – but it is the only one the world always encourages or, at the very least, protects. When that finishes, the occupation will finish, and so will the justification for singling Israel out.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Kolumn9

      You are basically saying that it is fair to single out Israel for a boycott because there are large segments of the American and European populations that don’t hate or even like Israel. How does that make any sense?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Carl

      I’d say you’re dead right there Larry. One further reason though is that the Israel/Palestine issue is extremely accessible. There’s acres of text in English and has been for decades. Try engaging with the Western Sahara conflict (a similar tragedy): if you know Spanish, you might get somewhere, otherwise you’ve about six books in English to choose from. And your friends aren’t interested as they’ve never heard of it. Trust me.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Jack

      I disagree with the premise. It’s circular. ‘There are lots worse but everyone knows about THEM” is not an argument for boycotting Israel, it’s a rationalization. And it proposes that the reason for the boycott basically is that other people do worse things but no one likes them anyway and no one knows about Israel so they deserve it more. In fact everyone knows about Israel, warts and all, and very few consider the Settlements a good thing. Frankly, my feelings about human rights in Saudi Arabia are pretty strong (cutting off hands and women veiled and not allowed to do the things I take for granted and financing oh by the way international terror) and the US is in bed with the Saudis. Why not boycott the Saudis to make this point that while there are worse no one talks about them and should? Why not isolate the Saudis? I don’t believe and most reasonable people don’t believe that Israel should continue the Settlements and I do believe in a 2-state solution and want them to get the heck on with it and be aggressive in making life better and more equal for Palestinians. Intellectual boycotts by academics single Israel out however when in fact there are peoples doing pretty awful things to their own peoples or to ethnic minorities etc. and we don’t boycott them: we throw up our hands. But Israel is small enough and enough “like us” albeit not like us so boycott them. It’s all so circular. And when British or European academics or intellectuals boycott Israel while giving a pass to worse actors, given the history of a certain kind of anti-Semetism in those regions, well, it’s hard not to think, hmm, well maybe…

      Reply to Comment
    4. Richard Witty

      Ami’s fictional parody was that, a parody. And, as a commenter noted a strawman one.

      Israel is singled out by Jewish American critics because it is familiar. It is stated as the state of the Jews, and “I” am a Jew, therefore I must have a voice, and its behavior reflects on what Jews are, what I am (how I am, and how I am known).

      Israeli Jews are actual participants in Israel, responsible as individuals, and responsible as a collective for what Israel is.

      Those that are western dissenters, from my view, feel similar to American Jews, feel discomfort with what is represented as similar to them. As Americans with implied omnipotence, it also seems to reflect on “us”. For those of us that are fundamental dissenters, it is an opportunity to stick it to America, “see what the world would be like if they applied your credos”.

      Implied in ALL boycott, divestment, sanctions movements (ALL, South Africa, Israel, China – relative to Tibet), there is the willingness, the necessity in order to practice, to think of the boycott target as an “other”, a party that is not kin enough to have fundamental qualms about isolating. Close enough to know a bit, but not close enough to consider intimately, not close enough to consider as continuing friend (with all the trusted influence that intimates have).

      Reply to Comment
    5. rrsgenglnd

      Israel is an easy target.
      Israel has one of the largest international press corps in the world stationed in the countryreporting on the situation.
      WHY?
      Go to Syria, Turkey, Iran, Egypt and all the other world hotspots, and get molested, beaten, arrested and more; It just aint safe.
      Come to Israel and enjoy freedom, safety, fun and all the comforts of home.
      There is also a receptive audience at home, and its all in English.
      Lazy journalism that pays the bills,
      and Israel gets a constantly negative press.
      The Palestinians are the victims, always shown as poor,weak and at the mercy of others [and very seldom armed or aggressive].
      Israel is portrayed in military and/or wealthy terms; soldiers in uniform, military bases/equipment, and the better off neighborhoods of Israel with swimming pools and opulent wealth.

      Reply to Comment
      • Elisabeth

        “The Palestinians are the victims, always shown as poor,weak and at the mercy of others and very seldom armed or aggressive.”

        You could not be further from the truth, not only in American media but also in Europe. ‘Palestinian = terrorist’ has always been a central theme, ‘Palestinian = victim’ is a new one and still rare.

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        • Karen

          Hi Elizabeth – not sure which country you are from but defo here in UK The Palestinians are portrayed always as defencless victims- even this week when people were mowed down in the streets of Jerusalem the perpetrator was described as a ‘driver’ -The press should hold a lot of responsibility for the impasse that exists in this region

          Reply to Comment
    6. Mike

      Saudi Arabia on America’s shit list? you have got to be kidding. Although Syria may not have much of a lobby in the US, the same can not be said of Saudi Arabia.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Shmuel

      “but it is the only one the world always encourages or, at worst, protects. When that finishes, the occupation will finish, and so will the justification for singling Israel out”

      Larry,
      I am sure you are familiar with Russian roulette? You know? The “game” in which one bullet is placed into the chamber of a six shooter. Then someone rotates the chamber, points the gun to his own head and pulls the trigger. If he is lucky, then the bullet is not in the firing position and he survives. Otherwise kabooom!

      You and your fellow leftists remind me of such a gambling fellow. Please keep on demanding that America and the world should just make Israel do what the Arabs want. And sooner or later the world will listen to you.

      Then you better pray that the Arabs will be satisfied with the end of the occupation. And that the word occupation means the same to them as it means to you, moving back to the 1967 boundaries. Otherwise, if they call the entirity of Israel as occupied land, and the world will truly boycott Israel, you know what that will mean? Let me give you a hint:

      KABOOOM!

      Reply to Comment
    8. tod

      Wrong starting point. China annexed Tibet giving them rights. Israel, on the contrary, exploits without paying any price.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Tibetans have not got rights. What’s happening there is horrific. There is a policy to dilute Tibetan culture and destroy their chances for independence by aggressively settling the region with Han Chinese. This is a place where it’s possible to be imprisoned for years simply for owning a photo of the Dalai Lama. The prisons are infamous for torture, and it does not take much to be sent there – the merest whisper that you are a ‘splittist’ or a ‘separatist’ is enough. There is a similar network of checkpoints to the West Bank. Speaking out about the atrocities that go on is harder than in the West Bank; most Tibetans who come forward do so anonymously because of the risk to their families. Hundreds of people wouldn’t be risking their lives to escape across the Himalayas every year if they had rights where they are.

        The situation in Tibet is bad. This does not make Palestine’s situation OK. It’s enough to point that out without essentially doing the reverse of what Israel’s apologists get up to and trying to make out that Tibet is fine and Palestine has it worse.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Larry, I think you are missing three key points. Firstly, people active in the BDS movement – and I’ve been active myself long enough to have met hundreds – are not exclusively preoccupied with Israel. In fact, the vast majority of the hundreds of BDS activists I know overseas can be found in other peace and justice campaigns. Some are active with Campaign Against the Arms Trade, others in justice for Dalit people, others in the Fair Trade movement, and so on and so on. In any BDS group I’ve ever attended there has always been this diverse cross-section of interests and political commitments. The fiction that BDS advocates only care about Israel is just that – a fiction, designed to smear a campaign that the Israeli government has been getting increasingly jittery about. The second major argument that you haven’t mentioned: the BDS call is Palestinian-led. A large number of Palestinian civil society groups, broadly representative of that society, chose to enact this strategy. We listened, we decided to accept this choice. And finally, although people living under other repressive regimes have not embraced BDS in the organised way that we see here, there have still been efforts to help them through BDS tactics. When the Methodist conference was taking so much flak even for discussing a divestment from Caterpillar, and everyone was asking why they weren’t discussing Syria, I remembered how they had divested from companies that profiteer from suffering in the DRC as part of their commitment to maintaining an ethical investment portfolio – and no one, but no one, had asked them why they were focusing on Congo and not on Syria when they did that. Who has the double standard?

      Reply to Comment
      • Vicky, I know BDS people have other interests, but clearly the overwhelming focus is on Israel, and not just for Palestinians in the movement.

        Reply to Comment
      • Aaron Gross

        Vicky, your objections are probably true in themselves but they’re not counter-arguments against Larry. Regarding your first and your third objection: I’m sure most activists are active in more than one cause, but look at which causes get how much support, total: anti-Israel (or anti-occupation) causes get wildly disproportionate support.

        Regarding your second objection, the anti-Israel movement may be Palestinian-led, but in every political conflict or war there are interested parties looking for support. Your answer just begs the question of why the Palestinians, and not others, get so much Western support.

        Reply to Comment
        • I wasn’t trying to argue against Larry, just pointing to other factors that he didn’t mention and that are important in this discussion. BDS activists are routinely accused of caring only about Israel/Palestine, the insinuation being that they must be anti-Semitic, when this isn’t a true picture of the people supporting this campaign. Interestingly, staff at the Chinese embassy in London (which attracts weekly protests organised by Tibetan liberation groups) have also claimed that China is getting unfairly singled out, and have accused the protesters of being in the back pocket of the Dalai Lama (their equivalent to the anti-Semitism charge, presumably). The sensation of being uniquely targeted by people with spurious motives is obviously not restricted to supporters of Israeli policy, which has made me ask myself if it’s true that Palestine receives a disproportionate amount of support (attention is another matter). If you live in the region, are personally connected in some other way, follow the news and the blogs, then there is a risk that you see everything magnified and assume that the entire world is as absorbed in this as you are. I sometimes have to remind myself that it isn’t so.

          That said, I do think wider public awareness of Palestine is high and growing higher. One obvious reason for that is the support from Mandela, Tutu, and the ANC as a whole. It took thirty years for the South African BDS movement to really take effect. In the eight years since the Palestinian BDS call was issued, we have made huge strides, and this is largely because the South African anti-apartheid movement had already put BDS on the map as a political strategy. Prominent anti-apartheid activists now publicly discuss the parallels between Palestinian experience and their own, and proponents of Israeli policy are left to choose between the presumption of anti-Semitic motive, or the idea that these people honestly do see the parallels they describe. Current awareness of Palestine is in part due to the South African legacy. Cast Lead is another reason for the rise in awareness, in the UK at least. The BBC’s refusal to broadcast the DEC appeal on the grounds that it would compromise its political neutrality made huge headlines, as refusing the DEC is an unheard-of precedent. That got people asking questions. So it seems that certain historical and political events, some of them quite difficult to foresee, have played a big part in pushing Palestine into the spotlight at this particular time.

          Reply to Comment
      • David

        Vicky hi.
        sorry for my english
        where a lot of conflicts in this world.
        Majority of all conflicts of last decades more brutal than israeli-palestinian.
        I think about 11000 people were killed in this conflict from 48
        8000 Palestinians and 3000 israelis.
        In the same time million were killed in Darfur in 3 years 200000 killed in surya in 2 years
        300000 killed in chechnya in
        million were killed in iran iraq war
        60000 civilians killed in american iraq war
        40000 people killed in turkey-kurdish conflict

        But you and your friends not pticipating in movements for boycott usa,russia,surya,sudan,iran,irag,chechenians,turkey

        and reason for that ……
        is those boycott organization simply does not exist

        So imagine yourself that you are the doctor.
        Your patient has 50 diseases.
        5 of them critical 10 heavy 20 medium and the rest easy.

        You talking all your energy to cure one minor desease.
        A you seriously think that it will make you patient healthy?

        And i even not mentioning that you taking arab side like definently wright side in the conflict despite their terrorism
        sucide bombing agression in most wars and refucing any compromise.

        But anyway even i accepting you opinion that israel is a wrong side violating human rights
        and there a lot of other countries(at least half of the world) violating human rights more than israel and you atacking israel for violating human rights
        SO ITS CLEAR THAT MOTIVATION IS NOT DEFENDING HUMAN RIGTHS
        THE MOTIVATION IS HATE TO ISRAEL

        Reply to Comment
    10. Lila

      Forget about the singling out issue (although I would hardly say that Saudi Arabia is clearly on America’s “shit list”, it’s one of its biggest arms customers…) – What about the goals of the BDS movement? The BDS movement isn’t working towards an end to the occupation, it’s doing its best – very much like the current Israeli government – to turn the conflict into a zero sum game.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Khaled Khalid

      Larry, you made some valid and interesting points.
      One other reason for Singling out Israel: It pretends to be a Liberal Democracy with rule of law and Justice for all Citizens – Except those “Palestinian Dogs who want to drive Jews into the Sea.” The question is never asked why Israelis want to drive Palestinians into the River Jordan instead of accepting them into a democratic state. Why? They’re in the way. And Israel covets the land for it’s Alabama style “White-only” Settlements.

      But the Israeli HULK HOGAN is always complaining about a Palestinian DWARF in the ring and wonders why they cant Sell their ridiculously embarrassing story despite continual propaganda. (It must be anti-semitism: why else won’t they believe Israel?)

      Israel prefers to be seen as a Normal White Country. Unfortunately it doesn’t live next to Denmark or Norway, as Shimon Peres said.
      Who is at fault for that one? Ben Gurion or God Almighty?

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >The question is never asked why Israelis want to drive Palestinians into the River Jordan instead of accepting them into a democratic state. Why?

        Few lies here.
        1 – Israelis does not really want to drive Palestinian Arabs into Jordan river.
        2 – Palestinian Arabs since 1919 are refusing to coexist with Jews on equal basis.
        3 – Any form of democracy is absolutely alien to all any Arab societies.

        Reply to Comment
      • Shmuel

        “One other reason for Singling out Israel: It pretends to be a Liberal Democracy”

        Wow, golly gosh, what an insight. Thank you Khaled.

        Tomorrow I will speak with my friend Bibi and will convince him to declare Israel a totalitarian state. That will make Israel fit in with the rest of the region and all will be forgiven. No more talk of boycotts.

        Thank you again, Khaled.

        Reply to Comment
    12. Aaron Gross

      You’re conflating two separate questions: Why is it fair and reasonable to focus on Israel? And, what motivates people to focus on Israel?

      On the latter, I think you’re wrong, it’s not about haves and have-nots. On the left, anti-Israel sentiment is about their perception of Israel as a Western state oppressing brown, Third World people. It’s viewed as Westerners against the Other, so the left naturally takes the side against the Westerners. This is a stance, not an ideology. I know from my own experience as a lefty.

      None of the other conflicts you mentioned are like that. If Israelis were all Mizrahim, Jews from Morocco, Iran, etc., no one would care too much if they oppressed Arabs. Brown people oppressing brown people.

      On the question of why it’s reasonable to focus on Israel, I think you’re largely right. Boycott and sanctions are more likely to work against Israel than against other countries. That’s largely because Israel is dependent on the US, and American support for Israel is not in US interests; it’s ideological (including evangelical Christian), and ideologies can change overnight. If anti-Israel activists can convince young Americans that Israel has cooties, then the US might change its position on Israel.

      That might be a bad thing from your perspective, because it might strengthen the Israeli occupation. The US might adopt a Rand Paul, hands-off attitude: Do whatever you want, but do it on your own. That would not be good for the Zionist left.

      Reply to Comment
    13. David

      To boycott is not a mathematical equation. It is a function of evaluating what can be done to assist oppressed people. I try to buy only fair trade products. I try to buy union made products. I try to boycott Monsanto genetically modified products. I try to boycott products manufactured in occupied territories. If the personal is political, we do our best to avoide being complicit in oppression.
      Though I oppose a boycott of Israeli products (those made within the green line) and argue against it, I understand why others choose to do so. Rather than maligning the bds movement, the Israeli government should begin to address the sources that give rise to it. End the occupation and then you earn the right to be critical of bds.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Rachel

      Israel is an appropriate target because it is singled out for FAVORABLE treatment by the U.S., the E.U. and by the institutional Jewish community, which has proven incapable of having a civilized, challenging discussion on the issue. Israel receives 3 billion per year in aid, which is more than all the needy countries of sub Saharan Africa combined. Israel has most favored nation trading status. Israel, unlike China or Saudi Arabia, is lauded by the powerful in the media and in our congress. If we non-violently pressure, we can not only do something to help Palestinians, but give Israelis the opportunity to do what it takes to create a peaceful future.

      Reply to Comment
    15. [...] dürfte eins der am besten gehüteten Geheimnisse dies- und jenseits von Berlin sein. Larry Derfner sieht die Sache ganz anders: “Singling out Israel” ist für ihn nicht nur akzeptabel, sondern sogar dringend [...]

      Reply to Comment
    16. Gabriel P

      I don’t buy the premise that many of said regimes don’t have significant pools of public support, whereas Israeli has allies such as the US.

      Russia attempted to shelter Assad from international criticism before the situation became evident to all, and even so it continues to bankroll the massacre of Syria’s own citizens!

      I’d also draw attention to the gulf between criticism of said regimes – Eritrea, Sudan etc. – and consequent action. Palestinians receive more aid per capita than any one one earth. In fact, 9 times more than Sudanese, whose lot is incomparably worse than residents of the West Bank.

      Reply to Comment
      • I’m not sure Palestinians get more per capita even than Israelis – a Hebrew University study found that in 2009, Israel got about $2.5 billion in charitable donations from abroad – and that’s not counting the $3 billion-plus a year from the U.S. And Israel is a little freer and more prosperous than the Palestinians. Your comparison of Assad’s Russian support to Israel’s U.S. support doesn’t hold – one, because Assad is menaced by the rest of the West while Israel definitely isn’t, and two, because Russia’s support for Assad, while wrong, is purely strategic, like America’s military alliance w/Saudi Arabia; the Russians don’t glorify Assad like America does Israel, so there isn’t the same vacuum of truth that needs filling.

        Reply to Comment
      • Gabriel P

        The 2011 Global Humanitarian Assistance Report says Palestinians do in fact receive the greatest amount of aid per capita.

        Specifics aside, Palestine receives a phenomenal amount of overseas assistance – more international aid than Afghanistan or Iraq or DRC. This suggests the international community is actually highly switched on to Israel’s actions in the West Bank and acts upon them. Contrary to your claims, the world can’t possibly have lapped up America’s narrative if it donated $7.2 billion for schools etc. in Bethlehem and Nablus.

        The strength of AIPAC and America’s pro-Israel lobby means BDS will never convince US leadership to turn its back on Israel. Though on the positive side, it has been applying pressure for negotiations with the PA.

        Whereas South Africa was alone in the 1980s, Israel isn’t and won’t be (remember Obama’s “Atem Lo Levad”?) meaning BDS will, for the time being, remain the most obvious vehicle for anti-Zionism and little else.

        Reply to Comment
        • There isn’t a contradiction between giving humanitarian support to the Palestinians and every other kind of support to Israel, allowing it to continue the occupation – that’s exactly what the U.S. does. If boycotts weren’t a threat to Israel, the govt and Israel Lobby wouldn’t be fighting so hard against them.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gabriel P

            I wholeheartedly agree there’s no contradiction between support for Palestinians and the State of Israel.

            However, BDS discriminates against people pushing this very agenda – of course alongside of members of less agreeable political standpoints. This is the hypocrisy of sanctions imposed in the name of humanitarianism, yet attempt to worsen the lives of Israelis.

            Of course, as you underlined, such sanctions don’t sit well with Israel – though it’s plain optimism to think such disapproval could pave the way for a fundamental policy shift. That takes place on the negotiation table.

            Reply to Comment
    17. Ibnab

      By “international public”, you mean “western public”. I live in an arab country and many are not convinced by the wrongdoings of the Syrian regime for exemple. Even in Israel, the communist party which is mainly arab is ambiguous concerning the syrian regime.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Richard Lightbown

      Surely the elephant in the room is that Israel is committing grave human rights abuses on at least an hourly basis. Even if it is true that worse human rights abuses occur elsewhere it does not excuse Israel for continuing to commit crimes against humanity and war crimes. Let’s stand this thing the right way up: it is not opponents of these abuses that should answer for their actions, but the criminals that continue to commit grave violations of international law.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Piotr Berman

      “Singling out” argument is a red herring for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most important is that most of the examples like Syria are under heavy economic sanctions. The largest exceptions are of course superpowers, China, Russia, USA, but it would be an extreme delusion to claim that they are free from criticism.

      Then it is hard to accuse China, Russia and USA of Apartheid. Tibetans have (roughly) the same rights as other citizens of People’s Republic, so the major problem is that there are not that many rights there.

      In general, the Hasbara specialists ignore all news that do not affect Israel directly, so they may genuinely believe that Israel is “the only target of obsessive criticism”, In actuality, if you look American anti-imperialist websites (my private label, for the lack of a better one) with larger traffic, like antiwar.com, counterpunch, The Nation, one can see a very global perspective,

      Reply to Comment
    20. The Trespasser

      From BDS website

      1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall

      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

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

      Basically, these fellas are not demanding any “equality”, but rather are seeking for ways to destroy Israel.

      You really can’t compare them to folk from Counterpunch and such, who are patriots of their country.

      What surprises me is that why BDS is still not considered a terrorist movement – their goals are quite the same as those of Hamas.

      Reply to Comment
      • tod

        Mr Cheater, the sentence is “Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967″

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Mr. Idiot, you just have no slightest idea of what you are talking about.

          “1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall”
          http://www.bdsmovement.net/call

          Reply to Comment
    21. The conflicts in the Middle East presently attract the focus of much of the world, which for various compelling reasons seems warranted. In the 1960′s our attention was on Vietnam. In the 1970′s and 1980′s our attention shifted to Latin America and Africa (leaving Cambodians to suffer while the world looked elsewhere).

      Many politicians (including Obama) have commented that resolving the Israel – Palestine conflict is critical to stablizing the Middle-East. The boycott is simply one approach to resolving this pivotal conflict and deserves to be debated on its merits.

      Related to the strategic character of the boycott is that Israel has the power to end the Occupation and back up to the Green Line. Its not clear what those of us in the West can do to bring peace and democracy to Iraq, Syria, Saudia Arabia, Eygpt and Iran.

      My guess is that the focus of the world will soon move on to climate change (Tuesday?)and, at best, the resolving the conflicts in the Middle East will be a sub-part of our collective fight against global warming.

      Reply to Comment
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