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Why did progressive U.S. Jewish groups oppose divestment?

Despite having an explicit anti-settlement position, J Street and Americans for Peace Now actively opposed the Presbyterian Church’s efforts to divest from companies that profit from the occupation. By doing so, they are standing in the way of the Palestinian stride for freedom.

By Naftali Kaminski and Michael Zigmond

Undoubtedly, when Peter Beinart wrote his groundbreaking essay in 2010, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” he did not foresee the events around this year’s 220th General Assembly in Pittsburgh of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), but his analysis was proven right again.  For months the entire Jewish establishment, both nationally and here in Pittsburgh, shifted their attention from the real concerns of American Jews  and dedicated itself to a topic  most American Jews were not even aware of – how to prevent the Presbyterians from following their ethical principles when making financial decisions.

The issue of divestment was first raised by the Presbyterian Church in 2004, and at this year’s assembly, two resolutions on this matter were put up for a vote: the boycott of products produced in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the divestment from corporations whose products are used in the ongoing maintenance of occupation.

Despite the campaign against divestment, virtually nobody at the General Assembly of PCUSA suggested that the occupation was justified or that Israeli settlements were not an obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the end, the General Assembly approved a call to boycott products such as the popular Ahava cosmetics and a resolution to divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions was defeated by only 2 votes out of 664 through a parliamentary motion that prevented a vote on the divestment proposal itself. Importantly, a resolution to create a personal divestment option for pension holders (reversed on a procedural technicality), received significant majority support suggesting that Church-wide divestment is likely to happen in the future, if there is no end to the occupation, perhaps as soon the next General Assembly in 2014.

While the knee-jerk opposition to the Presbyterian resolutions and the usual kitchen sink assembly of implications of anti-Semitisms, recollection of Jewish suffering across the centuries, and a hint that these resolutions would support terrorism was predictable, what was new was the positioning of groups considered progressive or moderate at the forefront of the Jewish establishment campaign. In Pittsburgh, a local newspaper highlighted the role of “progressive” groups such as the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee and the local chapter of J Street in the opposition to the PCUSA resolutions. James Gibson, a Rabbi respected here for his progressive leadership, moderate views on Israel-Palestine and interfaith work, called on the Presbyterians not to “disinherit Israel.

And on the national level, one may argue that, despite the heavy-handed campaigning by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the groups that actually prevented approval of the divestment resolution were two prominent “pro-Israel, pro-peace” groups, J Street and Americans for Peace Now  (APN) who instead of simply pointing out that they did not support targeted divestment and/or boycott, actively called on Presbyterian to reject the measures. Their opposition was particularly influential because, unlike the other anti-divestment lobbyists, both groups are known to be vociferous critics of the settlements.

In what may be a telling analogy, much of the moderate Jewish establishment public pronouncements in Pittsburgh in 2012 bore an eerie resemblance to those of white ‘moderates’ in Alabama in 1963. In that year, eight white clergymen issued a public statement titled A Call for Unity in which they claimed nonviolent civil disobedience to segregation was “unwise and untimely” and suggested it would “incite to hatred and violence, however technically peaceful those actions may be.” They acknowledged the “natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized,” but insisted that the only way forward “should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations” and “not in the streets.”

As if inspired 49 years later by this letter, J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami, in an essay published just before the Presbyterian divestment vote, stated with regard to the Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance movement that “pursuit of these tactics has promoted little more than debate and division,” and that despite the fact that “frustration is rising over diplomatic stagnation,” the only way forward is through a full-on pursuit of diplomatic efforts.  Yet, during 20 years of diplomatic efforts the number of Jewish settlers in the occupied territories has nearly doubled – and has risen 18 percent during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s three-plus years in office – and the Palestinians are still under Israeli control and no closer to an independent state that they were when talks began in fall 1991.  It may be argued that J Street’s position is a logical extension of its position as a lobbying group seeking to impact lawmakers and a direct continuation of its realignment with Jewish Establishment policies as was evidenced by its support of a US veto on the Palestinian UN bid and the recent dismissal of the call by Peter Beinart, earlier celebrated as J Street’s Troubadour, for a boycott of settlement products.

More striking was the response by Americans for Peace Now (APN), a group admired by many for its consistent anti-occupation stance and its support of boycotting goods made in illegal Israeli settlements. Widely misrepresenting the carefully crafted Presbyterian position which only focused on three companies profiting from the suppression of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories, the APN President Debra DeLee, said that the proposal targeted “Israel rather than the occupation” and raised worries of “global anti-Semitism.”  Oddly, in her rush to vilify the Presbyterian deliberations, she neglected to mention that the Presbyterians’ overture to boycott products made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank perfectly echoed APN positions.  In fact, her complete disregard for the actual text of the Presbyterian resolutions was disturbing, because it suggested a deep paternalistic attitude:  As if Palestinians or their Presbyterian supporters had no say in the design of their nonviolent resistance strategy, as if they needed to defer to Ms. Delee for approval.  Not unlike the moderate preachers in Alabama, She and APN seemingly consider Palestinian nonviolent resistance a distraction.

In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. responded to the white moderate preachers with his now famous Letter from Birmingham Jail:

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.

The Palestinians who have been living under a brutal occupation for 45 years, and who have only seen a deterioration of their conditions under negotiations, and are now asking for international support for a nonviolent strategy to finally change the status quo, must feel the same way -  that moderate Jewish groups like J Street and APN have become the  “largest stumbling block” in their stride for freedom and independent statehood.  In their vocal opposition to the Presbyterian limited divestment and settlement boycott resolutions, J Street and APN challenged the legitimacy of Palestinian nonviolent resistance, an attitude reminiscent of the white moderate preachers who preached patience and obedience to the leaders of the Civil Rights movement. The white moderate preachers ended up on the wrong side of history.  Where will J Street and Americans for Peace Now end up?

 

Michael Zigmond is an American scientist and long-time member of the Pittsburgh Jewish community with strong ties to Israel. Naftali Kaminski is an Israeli Physician-Scientist now living in Pittsburgh. Both were past supporters of J Street and contributors to APN and are members of the Middle East Peace Forum of Pittsburgh.They blogged their impressions from the boycott and divestment deliberations at the Presbyterian General Assembly  at the Pittsburgh Middle-East Peace Blog at www.pittmep.com.

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    1. Richard Witty

      J Street and APN are right in their positions.

      BDS, if successful, is a form of collective punishment on civilians, rather than holding the state accountable for state actions (most of which occurred in the late 70′s and early 80′s under Begin and Sharon leadership).

      Reply to Comment
    2. Y-Man

      Hey Richard Witty, how would you go about “holding the state accountable for state actions?”

      Reply to Comment
    3. Richard Witty

      Voting/campaigning.

      Appealing legal decisions in courts, local and international.

      Ultimately by advocating for a two-state realization, with the component of Israeli state funded compensation for property taken (perfection of title).

      It will end up costing Israeli taxpayers.

      As is the case with the Bush era deficits resulting from the two wars, tax cuts and diversion to a Wall St/banking economy from a Main St/producing economy, it is always subsequent generations that will pay for one’s own government’s prior folly.

      But, BDS punishes civilians, in a form of collective punishment in an effort to force a change in relationship.

      Its only non-violent from a distance.

      I get your and others’ frustration, but it has very little prospect of making things better for Palestinians or others in reality, and a large prospect of making things very grossly worse (if “successful”).

      Reply to Comment
    4. ginger

      J Street exists to spike BDS – it’s raison d’etre is to destroy the only means possible by which the Occupation can be overthrown

      Other than that it dutifully performs it’s Zionist good cop role to bad cop AIPAC

      Reply to Comment
    5. sh

      @Richard Witty – It has become abundantly clear over the past few months, if no-one guessed it before, that the peace process will be strung out for as long as it takes to establish quiet and many in the current coalition like the idea of transfer. To what depths are JStreet and APN willing to see things reach here before they act? What would have to happen to make you support stronger measures? Netanyahu and the coalition he has formed are responsible for today’s state actions, not Begin or Sharon.

      Reply to Comment
    6. BOOZ

      Whenever an article describes BDS as merely civil-rights related, as an honest attempt at shaking the status quo,as a “grassroots movement” as they say in order to pretend its authenticity, I tend to dismiss it as mere 1-state Palestinian supremacist storytelling.

      This article is not worth the bytes it is written with.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Y-Man

      So Richard, do you think the worldwide boycott of South Africa (which Israel never participated in, naturally) in the 1980s was unjust? Would you rather it not have happened?

      Reply to Comment
    8. Richard,
      .
      Nonviolece does do damage. If it did not, it would be useless. What it does do is attempt to channel direct assault onto itself, but it does not foreswear the picket, strike, or boycott. Each of these, to be successful, must induce harm. Gandhi’s home cloth campagin undoubtedly damaged local retailers, probably putting many out of business. But individuals had the choice of spinning home cloth, or purchasing only such, or not. They were not physically coerced, although certainly often socially so.
      .
      You cannot expect Palestinians to demonstrate weekly, subject to arrest, tear gas, skunk water, and sometimes injury, they happily accepting your approval of their doe like nonviolence while you condemn a boycott which is, after all, a very safe thing to engage in. The Israeli State is financed by taxation on a democratic populace; I see no reason why a boycott against products of that populace cannot be used as a political tool, decided not by States but by group and individual investments and purchases. As Y-MAN, above, notes, similar actions were taken against Apartheid South Africa (without much real effect until, interestingly, the collapse of the USSR).
      .
      There is no evidence that Israeli State policy might shift its action in the Bank. If there are true dissidents in the reigning parties, 972 does not report such (hint). BDS is in my view a valid nonviolent global tool which is not anti-Semitic if it is in response to Israeli State policy rather than “the Jewish State.” (Some commentors on this blog will not see the difference, I admit; but I do.)
      .
      The underlying principle, for me, in BDS and the weekly Palestinian demonstrations is a commitment to change the world without resort to the overtly destructive tactics of suicide bombing, lynching, assassination, shootings, or the forceful suppression of the economy. You are correct that a successful boycott will indeed alter the economy and, in imagined outcome, this could be as devestating as Gaza; but the route to such an extremely unlikely thing would be massive individual choice, and it is such choice which, generally but not necessarily, will prevent the kind of draconian control Israel has, objectively, had over Gaza. In the Jim Crow American South, blacks in the 50′s and early 60′s forced some changes by boycotting their usual stores; white owners, catering to the black populace, urged their city council to come to some accomodation as they (the owners) will losing money. While that action was more directly targeted than a general boycott of Israel (which was not proposed to the Presbyterian General Assembly), I suspect innocent whites, for example working for such stores, were harmed as well.
      .
      If you want a nonviolent (in the sense I have used the term) movement in the Bank you have to “give” it the flexibility it will need to find new directions and this includes, in my view, external support by such as BDS. We all know that if the Bank nonviolent movement fails another little hell may result. I am no BDSer; I do not advocate it incessantly. But I, not involved in the tumult, would not deny that tool without strong cause. Appeal to the clear and known history of anti-Semitism is not adequate at present; the factual case does not exist.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Kolumn9

      The goal of the BDS movement is to end Israel. It really is that simple. People can hide behind the excuse that they find it useful for their respective causes but don’t kid yourself about the objectives and ideologies of its core organizers.
      .

      If J Street and APN were to take any position but the one they took they would be immediately excluded from polite conversation and see whatever doors they have access to shut and shuttered. They would turn into the kind of marginal organizations that are on the other side of this issue.

      Reply to Comment
    10. ElaineB

      @ Richard Witty- your rhetorical citing of collective punishment is cynical in the extreme. If you want to know what collective punishment actually is, read some of these testimonies and read some reports on the impact of the closure on Gaza. http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=64&Itemid=208Read the narratives “occupied lives’ and while you are at it you might want to take note how the Israeli justice system has served these victims, or how Israel has politically intervened to thwart the international justice system and the prosecution of war criminals.

      BDS is a valid, non violent tool for change.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Richard Witty

      BDS remains very flawed.

      To the point that the only prospect of change resulting from BDS comes after grossly immoral consequences to a people.

      Israel won’t perceive BDS as a reminding communication, but as an assault (more than partially accurately). The first intifada, as intense as it was, was a wake up call to consider change.

      The second intifada, was a wake up call, a reminder, to prohibit change. The third will be what?

      The world at large, once BDS is “effective”, won’t consider BDS as an attempt to make positive change, but as a racially defined shunning. It will be seen (largely because it will be) as Kolumn9 sadly describes, an attempt to make there be no Israel on the map, in violation of international and all jurisdictions and themes of color-blind law, not in affirmation of it.

      BDS proponents are aware of what stimulates their opposition. But, they are not either aware, consistent, or unified as to what BDS’ valid goal is.

      BDS remains ambiguous, and remains punitive in orientation.

      The “successful” BDS campaigns in history, South Africa is really the only one, succeeded only because it was possible to regard South Africa as foreign. To the extent that anyone sympathized with the experience of white South Africans, that distorted the prospect of success of BDS. The ANC therefore undertook fairly involved pains to make sure that white deaths and injuries as a result of their violent efforts were minimal.

      Israel is not foreign in that way to American Jews, nor to American Christians, nor to the whole world that remembers the recent holocaust, even if just by photograph, and grandmother’s story.

      Reply to Comment
    12. RichardL

      Just how corrupt and racist does a court have to be before Richard Witty is finally able to see that taking that route, while symbolically important, is ultimately a waste of time and resources. Your methods for bringing about change Mr Witty, could take hundreds of years. Nobody should wait that long.

      Kolumn9 – are you paranoid about BDS, or just being malevolent to the campaign and its organizers? How would you know what its organizers intend? You don’t mix in those circles, you do not know the inner workings of the campaign and yet you claim to know their unspoken inner thoughts. You are quite right about J Street and APN though. On the evidence from their behaviour here they exist for polite conversation only.
      There is an interesting article by MJ Rosenberg here: http://mjayrosenberg.com/2012/07/09/presbyterians/
      This is how he explains the sell-out:
      “Not only did the usual pro-occupation stalwarts like AIPAC, American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs follow the Israeli government’s lead and oppose the resolution, they were joined by both J Street and Americans For Peace Now. That means that the Israeli government and the lobby delivered a clear message to those organizations: either you join us in fighting this resolution or we will drum you out of the community. You will be deemed un-kosher. Our rabbis will not sit on your boards. You will be beyond the pale. Your fundraising will suffer.”

      Reply to Comment
    13. Richard Witty

      RichardL,
      It depends on what your goal, and also on what degree that you apply the ends justifying the means for a tactical goal.

      If the goal is application of rule of law in a genuinely color-blind manner, then the quickest and most direct way to accomplish that is to apply in the here and now, in one’s own thinking, action, words.

      BDS is by definition the selection of a population for the masses to deny their equal rights under the law, in protect of another’s denial of rights.

      South Africa is VERY different than Israel/Palestine, structurally, demographically and in the political intent of both parties.

      You will be able to attract ideologues to BDS. Those that are motivated and remain motivated by compassion and moralism, will find it difficult to sustain a commitment to BDS, for the harms on innocents that it entails.

      If the goals of BDS were clear, then the argument of the ends justifying the means might be more palatable. For vague and opportunistic goals, not so palatable.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Cortez

      “BDS is in my view a valid nonviolent global tool which is not anti-Semitic if it is in response to Israeli State policy rather than “the Jewish State.” (Some commentors on this blog will not see the difference, I admit; but I do.)”
      .
      What is the difference those? The Jewish states doesn’t

      Reply to Comment
    15. Cortez

      “BDS is in my view a valid nonviolent global tool which is not anti-Semitic if it is in response to Israeli State policy rather than “the Jewish State.” (Some commentors on this blog will not see the difference, I admit; but I do.)”
      .
      What is the difference if both are in theory and practice premised on exclusion and racism towards Arab and Christian muslims. A Jewish State isn’t a problem…but if its premised on a common origin it should at least include Arab Muslims who also share this origin despite their current religious identification. Its highly likely that there would be this much of an opposition to Israel or Jewish state if the founders were inclusive of all people. In the absence of including all Jews whether former or current, and in the promotion of laws and policies that promote inhuman treatment of people, don’t see what difference it makes in the state’s name.

      Reply to Comment
    16. DHRF

      Palestinians are free to organize their own civil disobedience campaigns, as the writers argue. But demanding that American Jewish groups sign on ignores the fact that our interests are slightly different. Advocating for a two state solution because we want to see a Jewish and democratic Israel survive and thrive is not the same thing as advocating for Palestinian human rights and freedoms, much as that is an important and desired goal. Likewise, it would be silly to demand that the thrust of the Palestinian civil disobedience is for the benefit of the Jewish state, so it can have internationally recognized borders and a Jewish majority. American Jews should be no less respected for our choice of tactics in this struggle than the Palestinians or Presbyterians for that matter.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Y-Man

      @Richard Witty You never answered whether you thought the Apartheid SA boycott was just. You say that the SA boycott was successful because “it was possible to regard South Africa as foreign.” Then you say, “Israel is not foreign in that way to American Jews, nor to American Christians, nor to the whole world that remembers the recent holocaust, even if just by photograph, and grandmother’s story.” uggghhhh, way to cheapen the actual memory of the Shoah.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Gaudi

      BDS is another convenient way to scare Jews and make them close ranks around another impending Pogrom. This is also the entire current use of the Holocaust in Israeli politics.

      Ignoring for the moment some deeper issues around “democratic and jewish”, the 1967 territories are a much simpler question. For 45 years now the majority of Israelis feel that the benefits of the occupation outweigh its costs.

      Every Israeli benefits economically from the occupation, whether they support it or not, thru the theft of water and its attendent lower price, the disposal of Israeli garbage in the West Bank, the extraction of building materials from the territories to name a few. For the more committed, those willing to cross the 1967 line, there are even greater benefits in the form of subsidized housing, jobs, education, water, electricity, roads, etc.

      To be successful, a boycott would not to affect this balance of power, which it only would if it affected all of Israeli society. With Israel’s huge import/export ratio, every segment of Israeli society but the settlers will within days bear the increased costs of the occupation, changing the underlying balance of power, isolating the settlers as an internal enemy and lead to a South-African style resolution.

      This spectre of success is EXACTLY why you see such hysterical effort on the part of the Israeli government and Jewish organizations to smear any such effort and pull out all the stops to squash it.

      Like most people, US Jews are not very knowledgable about the occupation. Nor do they realize how they are manipulated by the establishment’s scare tactics of smearing as “anti-jewish” any critic of Israeli policy. Things are somewhat different with governments, as they are well aware of the horros of the occupation, but there interests and Israel’s significant American clout is the club by which other countries are kept in line.

      In short, while an economic boycot of Israel would resolve the occupation very quickly, it will take a while to overcome the massive forces trying to squash it.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Richard Witty

      Y-man,
      The boycott/divestment/sanctions of South Africa was an unjust means to accomplish a just end.

      In the context, it was both necessary and possible, and the ends justified the means, especially as the parties themselves had decent leadership that was able to reconcile.

      That is NOT confident in the case of Israel/Palestine.

      Again, Israel is not foreign the way that South Africa was. Israel’s economy is connected to the US economy. The South African economy relative to the US and European economy was a link of gold, diamonds, and some agriculture.

      South African gold and diamonds got into the world economy even with a boycott, though just took some additional middle men so less profits for the 1% of 1% there.

      A boycott of Israel is a boycott of one’s friends of friends.

      And, again, to be successful it must be harsh, not incidental as currently. And, to get to being harsh, and to people that one’s leaderships know and care about, is a different beast than organizing a shunning of an alien community.

      And, again and again, the stated goals of the movement are vague, opportunistically so, almost designed to not be achieved.

      Can I wish for that movement to be a “success”?

      No.

      Can one guided by moral principles (as distinct from ideology)?

      Its their choice. I would say no.

      Reply to Comment
    20. This article is absurd. These people so narcissistic that just because they seem to personally agree with BDS, and used to like J Street they feel the need to attack J Street because of a logical move. For one, the BDSM (BDS Movement, irony) is a one-state movement, J Street is two-states. Two, why the hell are people considering divesting from Israel when there is plenty else going on in the world. (I’m praying they have no investments in any companies that do business with Iran, most African countries, China, Russia, any middle eastern country, many Latin American countries, Burma, any others). Answer? Because some Palestinian activists see it as a way to get their agenda item heard, fine thats absolutely legitimate, but pro-peace, pro-Israel activists have a perfectly legitimate case as well.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Edward [Goldstein]

      Some of the comments ignore the reality that however desirable the 2-state solution was or wasn’t (and it was my strong preference), the option is now destroyed by the de facto creation by Israel of one state between the sea and the river — demograpohically and in terms of infrasturcure, education and tourism policies and, increasignly, legal provisions. Many will deny it, but the challenge now is to figure out the future of the one state so many opposed but helped to create, often by their inaction.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Edward Goldstein

      There is a tradition of intermittent Palestinian nonviolence. The latest, current eruption of concerted nonviolent efforts should be applauded and assisted, not ignored, condemned or denigrated. There’s no reason why someone supporting nonviolence cannot simultaneously pursue the conventional politics of lobbying, political giving and public information. Nor does diplomacy negate nonviolence. They could actually complement each other. Some abhor and desparately try to choke off the current nonviolence because it highlights the diplomatic void and the bankruptcy of most political efforts…and because, as on various historical occasions, it may ultimately prove successful!

      Reply to Comment
    23. 32ndparallel

      The reason why progressive American groups oppose BDS efforts is very simple. BDS activists have explicitly stated their intent to destroy Israel and forcibly replace it with a “binational” state, and nearly every American Jew on both the left and the right thinks that would be an utter disaster. AFAIK you won’t find a single American who hasn’t at some point spouted off something anti-Semitic who favors a one-state solution.

      The history of multi-national states composed of warring ethnicities is just atrocious, and commonly leads to ethnic cleansing or genocide. Yugoslavia, pre-partition India, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Turkey are just a few of the examples. And need I even mention the history of Jews under Arab rule? (Hint: There aren’t any any more.) Most of us progressive Jews have relatives who were viciously mistreated when living as minorities, and we don’t seem to have forgotten history quite as fast as the bloggers on this site.

      Do any of the one-staters here want to forcibly reunify Yugoslavia or India/Pakistan? Or perhaps you hypocritically advocated Kosovo independence while simultaneously wanting to destroy Israeli independence?

      Reply to Comment
    24. 32ndparallel

      And by the way, accusing moderate American Jews who oppose BDS of being tantamount to racist segregationists shows just how desperate the bloggers on this site have become.

      Reply to Comment
    25. There really are only two options left: the ethnic one or the democratic one. Either Greater Israel surrounding up to 70 Palestinian cantons, an impoverished Gaza and an underclass of unwanted Arabs in what may continue to be defined as “Israel proper”; or the democratic one, with the same civil, legal and human rights for all from the river to the sea, with no walls or barriers and the same law for all.

      The first is what exists now (whether or not it is legalised in the terms suggested by Bibi’s Levy Commission) with daily ethnic cleansing on both sides of the “occupation” lines and in Jerusalem. This will see BDS grow to become the prevalent condition of Israel’s existence, whatever the arguments for and against. BDS will grow because the oppression and injustice will grow and be increasingly blatant and visible as the delusion of a peace process fades.

      Only the achievement of a non-ethnic democracy will fulfill the conditions for the end of this struggle because without justice there cannot ever be long-term normality and peace.

      Such a non-ethnic democracy will put an end to the “Jewish state” which demands a guaranteed majority, and instead create a very Jewish country where voting will eventually settle into the usual patterns of left and right, rich and poor, secular and religious, north and south etc, across the ethnic blocs.

      This will happen. BDS is simply a means, and a good one because it enables sympathisers including many Jews (far outnumbering J-Street) to be involved in working for it. The issue has gone beyond 2-states or one: it’s now entirely about apartheid vs. democracy.

      Reply to Comment
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