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Amira Hass on BDS: "Don't make it into a religion"

Amira Hass (photo: Yossi Gurvitz)

UPDATE: Please read the clarification on +972 Magazine’s policy regarding BDS commentary at the end of this post (in italics).

According to a recently-passed  Israeli law, a citizen who advocates for a boycott of Israeli services, institutions or products, either in Israel or the West Bank, can be sued in civil court and a serious financial penalty imposed. A plaintiff need not show damages in order to win his case; it is enough to convince the judge that there is a potential for damage. Since +972 Magazine has no financial resources, we decided that we had no choice but to censor ourselves. None of the contributors to this site is permitted to express a position either against or in favour of the global BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement. Since +972 is also responsible for the comments, we delete any mention of BDS in the comment threads. I have never expressed my opinion on the matter in any public forum, and now I suppose I never will.

This is unfortunate, because BDS is a hot-button issue that stirs up a great deal of debate. For its supporters, BDS can be the litmus test of pro-Palestinian advocacy. At an October lecture hosted by the University of Toronto, Haaretz journalist Amira Hass responded to a question regarding BDS with remarks that I found particularly thought-provoking. Below are her comments, as they appear in my notes from that lecture.

You mustn’t make the means of the struggle into a religion. Palestinians used to believe in the armed struggle as a kind of religion. Now they do not. The use of weapons in the second intifada excluded the majority and actually made the occupation worse.

The problem is that Israelis have come to accept the dual life of occupation. They can have parties and gallery openings in Tel Aviv while a few minutes’ drive away water cisterns are destroyed, houses are destroyed, you need a permit to plant a tree, and so on.

Does boycott help? Well, $10 billion of Israeli military expertise (which Israel exports annually) will not be affected by BDS. Campaigns against Ahava, Elbit & Veolia were successful. The campaign against Caterpillar failed.

Boycott also raises the question of hypocrisy. Should we boycott Canada because of what it did to the First Nations *? Do not think of activism as a cult. Think. Ask questions. And by the way, not all Palestinians support BDS. As someone who grew up in a Marxist environment, I say, ‘don’t make a religion of it.’

*First Nations: indigenous people of Canada

Watch the entire lecture below: [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/32448930[/vimeo]

Clarification: In order to avoid legal and financial repercussions, +972 must avoid outright endorsement of BDS on its pages. That said, we are certainly allowed to broadly discuss the movement. Same goes for comments on the matter – we must delete outright calls for BDS,  but not any mention whatsoever.

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    1. Well, I would certainly not want to break the rules of this site, which hosts some of my favorite writers in the world.

      I would, however, like to point out that in cases where boycotts have been effective (such as the great grape boycott, instituted by Cesar Chavez to support rights for agricultural workers; and the South African boycott, which called for equal rights an end to Apartheid) the call for the boycott was issued from the from the group being protected.

      Conversely, in the disastrous boycott attempt called by U.S. Jews, asking that German products be banned unless Jews in Germany were recognized as equal – the result was increased hostility to Jews inside Germany, and a propaganda win for the Nazi party.

      When such boycotts were proposed, detractors of that tactic suggested that it would be ludicrous to boytcott grapes for farm-workers (why not wheat? or shrimp?) or to boycott South Africa for Apartheid when China had a stranglehold on Tibet, for example.
      The response, in both case, was that there had been a call from within – a call for solidarity – and that it behooves those of the speakers who believed in solidarity to rise to that call. In fact, not rising to the call would be a form of scabbing.

      That response was not available for the U.S. Jews’ boycott of German goods, although the crime for which it was declared was definitely as significant (and over time unfolded into one of the most notoriously horrible destruction in human history.)

      These historical notes might be useful when considering the benefits and drawbacks of the particular tactic being discussed.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Henry Weinstein

      Meanwhile in France, the Mulhouse judgement received wide coverage in French media.
      Just for information, without advocating for or against
      > http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m84046&fb=1

      Reply to Comment
    3. Richard Witty

      Thanks for telling of your dilemma. It is absurd to be stifled so.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Henry Weinstein

      Richard, unfortunately it’s not absurd: it’s the Fascist way
      See Alberto Moravia’s The Conformist.
      Step by step, bill after bill, until there will be not an inch left for freedom.
      No no no: fear of censorship.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Aaron

      Agreed that it would be unwise to make BDS into a religion. What then, if anything, *should* be made into a religion? People sacrifice more for religions than they do for rationalist utilitarian strategies. That’s why it was probably a good idea in the first place to manufacture a religion around the Armed Struggle, and also to abandon that religion, as Hass observes, when its success became unlikely.

      So what, if any, means should replace the Armed Struggle as a religion? Not BDS. Then nothing at all?

      Reply to Comment
    6. AYLA

      Oh… I think I’m understanding something more about 972 and its journalists, now… Hevanti…. What a sad, sad state of affairs.
      Really appreciate Dena-B.S.’s comment: thank you.
      I dont’ know if this comment will be deleted or not. What made me most sad about the law-that-shall-not-be-named–beyond the obvious threat to democracy and basic human rights and a signal of a dark, dangerous, and yes, fascist turn in this country–was the fact that Palestinians can no longer boycott Israeli products. This had seemed to me to be a very peaceful means of protest and self-determination, and last I checked, it’s still okay for Jews living in Settlements to give out holiday gift baskets with labels that read “from Jewish Farmers Only” (on Palestinian-stolen land). Personally, I don’t like the calls to boycott Israeli academics (for example) from conferences; I think this kind of blacklisting hurts innocents, intellectual exchange, and human exchange; if no one can know Israelis and Israelis can’t get out and exchange ideas, we’re just building more of the kinds of fences and walls our government builds that encourage hate.
      more than anything, really, we can’t talk about this? Where the hell do we live, and when? what next, if we don’t fight this?

      Reply to Comment
    7. AYLA

      p.s. Amira Hass rocks.

      Reply to Comment
    8. AYLA

      pps. it also made me sad, when i was living in Ann Arbor Michigan, and there was a picket line outside of a grocery store, Hillers, that had a small shelf of Israeli products, asking people not to shop there. I’ll admit, it seemed anti-semetic to me, and misguided in that college-town, liberal, bandwagon activism kind of way: really? this would get a message to Netnyahu, and not just close down a nice grocer’s store, as well as my only source of decent tahina?
      what’s most dangerous about the law, it seems to me, is not the loss of the effect unrealized boycotts, but the implications of the law itself, such as those on 972’s site if they, say, can’t keep journalists on board who openly support BDS. Hypothetically speaking, of course. I hate hate hate comparisons to pre-nazi Germany, as they are usually hyperbolic. And yet.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Flavia

      It’s right to say:
      “do nothing into a religion”!
      don’t make into a religion neither Amira Hass statement.

      Reply to Comment
    10. GoldSachs

      You are clearly taking a stance by cherry picking a statement by Amira Hass on the ‘hot button’ issue of BDS. Your contempt for the boycott movement is barely concealable. I am curious if you contacted Amira about this statement from this a lecture (I attended the lecture in fact). Perhaps she could be given a chance to speak her actual views on the issue?

      Reply to Comment
    11. lilianack

      Amira support a independent and sovereign Palestinia state, besides a really democratic israeli state. She is not antizionist in the meaning to support ONE palestinian state where all the inhabitants will have same rights. Let the palestinan talk about their national struggle, even if they disagree among them:besides to appreciate much all the expressions of solidarity coming fron all around. Boycott of Canada, USA or Auatralia could be a good idea, 300 years before… hopping we will be more successful with the Palestinian issue

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    12. I wonder if it is still permitted to critisize – or even to mention – this awful “recently-passed Israeli law”, but not mentioning *** anymore is a good idea. The less coverage they get, the better. I’ve expressed y opinion on their activity more than once, enough is enough.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Raz

      I agree with the comment by Goldsachs.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Dimi Reider

      Folks- note the clarification just added at the bottom of the post. You are welcome and even encouraged to discuss BDS so long as you don’t make an outright call for boycott. We can’t afford to break the law, but there’s absolutely no need to amplify it, either.

      Clarification: In order to avoid legal and financial repercussions, +972 must avoid outright endorsement of BDS on its pages. That said, we are certainly allowed to broadly discuss the movement. Same goes for comments on the matter – we must delete outright calls for BDS, but not any mention whatsoever.

      Reply to Comment
    15. MRW


      The Boycott of Germany in the 30s would have worked and was working, globally. The people who broke it were the Zionists working Palestine, and one creep who was making a fortune ripping off his fellow Jews trying to leave Germany. All of this is detailed in the 1984 first edition of The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Richard Witty

      I saw Howard Zinn describe that non-violent civil disobedience would have worked relative to nazi Germany.

      I loved Howard Zinn, but found that statement to be idiotic.

      My wife approached him after a lecture at my alma mater, and thanked him FOR continuing as a bombardier, that her family survived the holocaust because of a few day delay in a death march from slave camps to death camps, and that she and our children would then never have been born.

      Possibly because of his action.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Richard Witty

      There are two forms of BDS that are occurring in the world today (more detailed than that).

      1. BDS from outside of Israel against either West Bank products, companies that enhance Israeli suppressions, or against all Israeli products.

      2. Boycott of Israeli electoral process by activists that are either too despondent, too concerned about wasting their time, or too vain to undertake electoral efforts.

      There are two things that change policies in the world, in a democracy:

      1. Changing hearts and minds of citizens, attitudes
      2. Then, electing governing parties that represtent the changes in hearts and minds and effectively put those attitudes into practice.

      Reply to Comment
    18. BOOZ

      @Henry Wenstein :

      “Wide” coverage from French media ???

      ….Not beyond militant circles here ( I am posting from France).

      However there is an aspect of BDS nowhere to be publicized here : consumers being shouted at or having their shopping carts searched by BDS militants whenever they dare to come by the corner where Israeli products are on display in their supermarket! Talk about a “non violent” initiative….

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    19. AYLA

      Goldsachs and Raz–It’s hard for me to believe that any true journalist, particularly those on this site, would not be vehemently against the Israeli law stating that “a citizen who advocates for a boycott of Israeli services, institutions or products, either in Israel or the West Bank, can be sued in civil court and a serious financial penalty imposed. A plaintiff need not show damages in order to win his case; it is enough to convince the judge that there is a potential for damage.” As for being against the BDS movement, they probably all have interesting views on the subject that go beyond “for” or “against”. That said, it is only “for” statements that they are unable to fully voice here, so perhaps their relative silence speaks to the opposite of your assumptions?

      Reply to Comment
    20. AYLA

      oh–I’m wrong about one of my points; Lisa wrote that “None of the contributors to this site is permitted to express a position either against or in favour of the global BDS”. Seems this–also not speaking against–is 972’s solution to the issue, but I could very easily be wrong again.
      What’s happening to freedom of the press in this country is terrifying. Not news, here, but to me, that is the biggest issue underlying all of this.
      As for BDS–I’m sorry I’m not taking 45 minutes for Hass right now, but from Lisa’s excerpts, it sounds like she’s making some important points that are much more interesting than taking a stand for or against it.
      For what it’s worth, people who don’t live here: everyone I know makes politically conscious choices as a consumer. We try to buy from Palestinian farmers, and wont buy from Jewish farmers in settlements whose practices (beyond their being) offend us. There’s new information around here all the time. Organic eggs are a tricky one, apparently. Luckily, I have friends with chickens :). And I’m pretty sure the Palestinian grocery can still buy and sell whatever they please; they just can’t call their absence of Israeli products a boycott. The issue, to me, is that the law is insanely undemocratic. I’d say it’s unconstitutional, but oops, we forgot to make a constitution.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Henry Weinstein

      Here are the links concerning the media coverage:
      Le Monde, le Point, Nouvel Observateur, 20 Minutes, not bad for a judgement in Mulhouse, to my opinion.
      And there is a post in “le site officiel de la chambre de commerce France-Israel” saying it was the second time BDS activits were acquitted of crime in calling for boycott, for “ce type d’action mené dans le cadre d’une campagne internationale de protestation contre la colonisation des territoires palestiniens”.
      The point in Mulhouse and elsewhere in France was French BDS activists were prosecuted on Racism & Anti-semitism charge for calling to boycott Israeli products in a shopping mall.
      Personally I don’t support this kind of agressive actions, I’m not at all fan of sensational activism. But I’m not against debating, freedom of speech, freedom to demonstrate, all these precious things Israeli recent laws are attacking.
      I don’t support any call for boycotting the Israeli people, and I’m very sceptical about BDS activism on a practical level. Indeed most BDS activists call actually for a global boycott against Israel and the Israelis, and I don’t agree with this.
      In short, I don’t support BDS, but I’m against political censoring, anti-democratic bills.

      Reply to Comment
    22. That is a wonderful lecture by Amira.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Here is a video from the same tour (In Winnipeg on September 30, 2011). From roughly the first hour on, Amira speaks about the Boycott issue. Presumably, the comments are similar to the ones from the Toronto lecture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPqahZe6h14

      Reply to Comment
    24. AYLA

      finally listened. Excellent lecture; thanks so much for posting, Lisa. Love Hass. She refuses to get locked into polarized, pre-conceived language or ideas in which we’ve all grown far too comfortable, plus she speaks from her heart.

      Reply to Comment
    25. AYLA

      Just listened to Joseph Dana’s post as well, from 1 hr – 1:30. She speaks of BDS at about 1:19. Food for thought, there, for me, regarding academic boycotts, and also lot of interesting, measured analysis (as always).
      Goldsachs and Raz–you really should listen; you’re jumping to inaccurate conclusions.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Richard Witty

      Please address the question as to the responsibility of those with progressive political views to work within the electoral system to make legislative change.

      There is BDS against Israel. But, there is also self-defined BDS against working within the system to legally make change.

      People should be determined to do what they can within a democracy, which means formulating good arguments, and getting the word out calmly and indefatigably.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Raz

      By adding only a negative view of BDS Lisa has placed a position against it.

      Why not put a positive view of BDS?

      So called progressive Israelis and Jews are feeling increasingly maligned by the Palestinian freedom movement which has adopted BDS as the only final strategy left to pursue.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Piotr Berman

      When a democratic government is not-so democratic, outside pressure often corrects the policies that elected majority wishes to enact.

      One recent example is very restrictive media law enacted in Hungary that was modified due to the pressure of other European governments. Of course, it helps that laws in Europe can be challenged in European Court, and it is not in “good form” to disregard the Court ruling.

      Outside pressure is most effective in case of totally pointless policies, like the recent project of allowing the State of Israel to decide, on case by case basis, if an NGO can accept foreign money.

      Clearly, a small country is much more prone to be affected by outside pressure, and in my opinion, it is a very legitimate tool. Did Hungarian opposition betrayed their country by lobbying outside the country against the media law duly passed in their Parliament?

      Reply to Comment
    29. AYLA

      Raz–speaking only for myself, a progressive american-israeli–I feel the opposite of “maligned” by the Palestinian freedom movement (I love it and root for it/Palestinians), and as I said before, nothing offended me more about the new law (other than its anti-democratic nature) than the fact that it makes it illegal for Palestinians to boycott Israeli products. I think that’s evil. I actually don’t know any Israelis who don’t share my feelings about this. Of course, I run in certain circles, but you are calling out “progressive Israelis”, and those the people to whom I’m referring. BDS casts a very wide net, and to me, personally, it can miss the mark and also do more harm than good in feeding into Israel’s Isolationist, victim mentality (for which only Israel/Jews are responsible–not trying to make that the world’s responsibility). Still, in terms of effectiveness, I can’t just say I’m for BDS. If we could talk in more nuanced ways, as Hass does, I could tell you what kinds of boycotts I am for. In the meantime, everyone living here has his/her own consumer choices to make, and many more people than you might think take that quite seriously. All of my olive oil, for example, comes from Palestinians. That’s a lot of olive oil :).

      Reply to Comment
    30. AYLA

      p.s. I don’t think I need to be so coy (nor are my ideas very original–sorry for that): just saying, there’s a big difference between blanket boycotts against all-things-Israel and targeted ones, let’s say against settlement products. It would behoove people to separate Israel from the Occupation when making statements–in word or action–against the injustice here, and for Palestinian rights. To me, the problem with the blanket BDS is a) that it is disproportionate in it’s vilifying of Israel, which in turn makes Israeli supporters recoil, b) it misses the mark and does nothing to highlight the actual evils of the occupation, about which many Jews are ignorant because they’re too busy defending Israel against Blanket Anti-ness to let it in, and c) it hurts many innocents including some of Palestinians’ greatest advocates and Palestinians themselves (see Hass to learn, for one example, about Palestinian investor money in Israeli products/companies).
      So it’s too bad we can’t have a better discussion, beyond for or against. Unless we go on discussing the things we can’t actually call people to do on 972’s watch, which seems to be permissible.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Diana

      What kind of freedom of speech are you advocating here! I personally am very disappointed in 972 and for this blank and one sided, self-centered post and many others that I have seen for the last month,, You guys instead of showing the truth are turning into the total opposite, advocating the idea of zionism and making the comparison between Israelis and Palestinians. While in fact there is no need to compare the occupier and the occupied, the oppressed with oppresser.. Simply your turning into another form mainstream Israeli Media.

      I think you have lost me today as a reader, a follower and even sometimes a contributor!

      I am very disappointed in this decision I just read, and I would have to say, very disappointed in many posts I have seen on this site lately.. Thinking for myself, I thought those people were actually different than the soldier who sexualy harrassed me, or striped-naked two men on Huwara check-point yesterday or even that one soldier who murdered Mustafa Tamimi in Nabi Saleh.

      I don’t know if this comment will appear on the site, but it’s a message I would like to share with all those who work on the site, I thought this place was about showing the truth and not defending, supporting and going side by side with the Israeli occupation and aparthied.

      I know some of you on the site are good people, I believe and still do in you, but I dont think this is going in the right direction!

      Thinking of the future of this site if it follows these steps, I am sorry I wouldnt even say goodluck! Maybe I’ll wish u all a liberation of mind, soul and heart!

      Reply to Comment
    32. AYLA

      @Diana–I’ve read your comment, and the primary post, many times, and although I could deduce, I can’t know exactly what you’re reacting to–can you spell it out more specifically? Thank you.

      Reply to Comment
    33. AYLA

      People–there’s a context here, and that context is Amira Hass. If a famous environmentalist told us not to make a religion of recycling, s/he would not be implying that we should not recycle, or that recycling is bad; nor would s/he be saying anything anti-environment. What’s wonderful about Hass, besides her knowledge, compassion, and of-this-place-ness, is that she is not hysterical or shrill, not reactionary, and is continually making compassionate and informed appeals to us to open our eyes. If we knee-jerk respond, we are falling into the very traps she’s asking us to avoid.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Seb

      Diana – It is outraging, and i do agree with most of you comment, but you need to remember that 972 is operating under the Israeli radar and format, therefore its easy for any right-wing advocate to take legal actions against the magazine and shut it down.
      Frustrating or not, 972 has to ‘play the game’, and in a paradoxical fashion – censoring to keep the freedom of speech alive.
      Moreover, i believe the first paragraph says it all and shows the contradiction – a journal that needs to censor a specific subject because the government doesn’t like it. their hands are tied.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Joseph

      I’m sorry but whatever credibility this site had is now gone. You chose to stay in business and live under censorship rather than being courageous and challenging it, at your own personal risk. You have thus lost the right to be called “journalists”. This website now admits to censoring itself for opinions. So, the contributors to this website should now be accurately called “state propagandists” instead.

      I say it loud and clearly: I support BDS against Israeli cultural institutions, academic institutions, exported products of all kinds, sporting events, and any other export or product or event sponsored by an Israeli institution complicit in Zionism and the ongoing colonization of Palestine. Now, go ahead and play your role as state propagandists and censor me.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Joseph, your sanctimonious comment, typed from your perch in London, is meaningless. You can say you support BDS if you want. But if you call upon other people to support BDS in this forum, then your comment will be censored. And the reason is that if +972 is sued, it will have to shut down its operations the same day. Because we work with zero budget and write for no money. Get it?

      Unless, of course, you are a millionaire and you want to pay for our legal expenses.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Michael T

      oh Come on! even Meretz don’t uphold this “law”.

      Answer: Meretz has parliamentary immunity from prosecution. Any similar comments will be fully deleted, without the courtesy of a response. Lisa.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Michael T

      Shalom Achshav began a big campaign to boycott the West Bank Jewish settlements right as the law passed..

      Reply to Comment
    39. David

      The bad news is that I can’t tell you what I think of BDS here. The good news is that Israel’s own policies are convincing many American Jews that we need to take a clear look at a nation that some of us once thought could do no wrong. Prior restraint, this particular form of censorship, cannot be used in the US. The differences between Israel and it’s “unshakeable ally” will eventually shake that relationship.

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    40. Harold Felton

      I’ll not pussy-foot around the issue. Any supporter of boycotts and divestiture is anti-Israel, and many are also anti-Semitic.
      The notion that one can encourage grievous damage to Israel’s economy and still be considered a friend of Israel is ludicrous.
      People are entitled to wish Israel’s demise if they wish but please stop the utter nonsense that they have her best interests at heart.

      Reply to Comment
    41. Mikesailor

      For Harold: “Any supporter of boycotts and divestiture is anti-Israel amd many are also antisemitic’. That is pure claptrap and you know it, or should know it. So, what strategy or tactic should be used, Harold, to stop any further harm from Israel? Or should we all just roll over and play dead because Harold night accuse us of, horror of horrors, antisemitism. Most of the commenters on this board realize that that the current Israeli law banning even mention of BDS is an abridgement of both freedom of speech and political action. Its ‘chilling effect’ stops all normal discourse.
      If you can’t answer, or more likely, don’t want to, let me ask you this: IF the US halted all military and financial aid to Israel would that be antisemitic? If th US refused to allow the IDF to recruit abd hold fundraisers on US soil (something no other country is permitted to do)would that be antisemitic? If the US disallowed ‘charitable’ deductions to those who donate to settlements in the West Bank, would that be anntisemitic? How about imposing sanctions on Israel for refusing to join the NPT? Or Israel’s use of US supplied weaponry in derogation of US law which states that such weaponry must only be used in self-defense? Or if the US didn’t veto UN resolutions which would sanction Israel for violations of international law, even when the US is signatory to those laws and treaties in the first place? Are all those examples antisemitic? If your answer is those examples are ‘anti-Israeli’, then I wear that label proudly. And if you deem them antisemitic, then you have stretched the meaning of that term beyond any recognition or sense.

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    42. Dubi K

      Dana B.S. – I’ve seen BDS activists attacking Palestinians involved in Jewish-Palestinian reconciliation efforts for not supporting BDS. Don’t say this is a “call for solidarity”. This is an attempt to impose one view on anyone who supports the Palestinian cause — indeed, to equate BDS with the Palestinian cause. As noted in the article – for some it became the litmus test, which is absurd. That is exactly what it means to “turn it into a religion”, the belief that if you don’t follow our One True Way, then you are against us.

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    43. Jillian C. York (@jilliancyork)

      I think Hass makes an excellent point; one can support BDS (as an American, I do) and still work to avoid making it a “religion.” It can not be the be-all end-all of activism, nor should it necessarily be a litmus test for dedication (though I understand why it is), particularly given its current legal status in Israel.

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    44. Just a Zionist

      This comment has been deleted by a moderator.

      Reply to Comment
    45. Amir.BK

      BDSers? there are no israeli BDSers silly, it’s illegal. I call for well informed conscientious consumerism. that’s all. c’est tout. I advise you all to advocate the same.

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    46. Just a Zionist

      This comment has been deleted by a moderator.

      Reply to Comment
    47. Craig Vale

      I am nothing short of stunned at the sheer amount of repression in a nation where Likud politicians are forever telling us in the west that one of the shining stars contained within ( The only democracy) in the middle east is its ” Free Press” Seems there is a very active cadre of Political thought police, morality checkers and flat out censors who seek to protect Israeli policies that are not in lock step with their (Likud) policies such as I see expressed on the pages of the online site Arutz Sheva.
      I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for writers and editors to have to self censor under the threat of financial ruin. Shameful !

      Reply to Comment
    48. Serge

      I must admit that I do not understand the concept of Israeli BDSers as, surely, their failure to have left Israel and, instead, continued engagement and involvement in the country’s economy is doing the opposite of what they say ought to be done. That said, as a ex-Montreal and now-Toronto Jew I am thankful that the BDS movement, which I do not endorse, has made it convenient for me to purchase Israeli products. I can say in all honesty that I have purchased far more from Israel than I would have done had I not been pointed towards these products, both in Montreal (hello Beautifeel!) and now in Toronto.

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    49. Rob

      My impulse is actually to argue against BDS–at least, against “B,” which targets persons based on nationality, not on individual wrongdoing.

      However, it is obscene to argue against BDS when others are prohibited from arguing for it. Like boxing with an opponent who has his hands cuffed behind his back.

      Reply to Comment
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