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Why settlement boycotters shouldn't join the BDS movement

Although the Israeli government’s crackdown on the BDS movement will doubtless boost sympathy for its cause, progressive settlement boycotters should think twice before getting onboard.

By Abe Silberstein

Protesters hold signs calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) during a Washington, D.C., protest against Israel's offensive on Gaza, August 2, 2014. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Protesters hold signs calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) during a Washington, D.C., protest against Israel’s offensive on Gaza, August 2, 2014. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared settlement evacuation to ethnic cleansing last September, it became clear that the Israeli government was redoubling its efforts to improve the reputation of the settlement enterprise.

Recent moves taken against boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) supporters seem to have cemented this approach: 2017 has seen a travel ban directed at BDS advocates and settlement boycotters, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s proposal for a database of Israeli BDS supporters, and the detention of Jeff Halper — an Israeli citizen and BDS advocate — on suspicion of “incitement” for possessing boycott-related materials.

In addition, the Israeli government has also highlighted the legal steps taken against BDS by supporters of Israel outside the country. In the United States, Congress and state legislatures have considered laws to penalize and even publicly shame supporters of a boycott. Many of these bills, according to Americans for Peace Now, not only fail to make a distinction between Israel and “territories controlled by Israel,” (i.e. the settlements), but also explicitly include the settlements.

This broad and indiscriminate attack on boycotts will no doubt have the effect of increasing sympathy for BDS. Likewise, BDS advocates will surely use this law to persuade those who have until now targeted only the settlements to support their movement. While making this switch may be tempting, supporters of a settlement boycott should resist, as there are important and unbridgeable differences between BDS and a progressive boycott of the settlements.

Settlement boycotters identify the settlement enterprise as a key obstacle to a final status agreement, an unjustifiable behemoth which can only be sustained through military occupation. By separating Israel and the occupied territories, we pointedly refuse to identify Jewish national self-determination as a problem in of itself. The same applies for Palestinian national aspirations. In short, we reject the conflict as a zero-sum game.

In contrast, the BDS movement’s goals are far more expansive and would amount to complete Israeli capitulation, including a full right of return for Palestinian refugees to Israel. The settlements actually benefit the BDS movement, because many of its advocates prefer a one-state solution: they are able to argue that as the settlement enterprise is so extensive, a single state is a pragmatic solution which fits the “facts on the ground,” as opposed to being a malicious attempt to jettison the State of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is joined by Likud members Yehuda Glick, Tzipi Hotovely and Ze'ev Elkin on a tour of the 'Lev HaOlam' (Heart of the World) organization, Jerusalem, February 3, 2015. The organization promotes the export and sale of products from Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and aims to fight the boycott of Israeli settlement products. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is joined by Likud members Yehuda Glick, Tzipi Hotovely and Ze’ev Elkin on a tour of the ‘Lev HaOlam’ (Heart of the World) organization, Jerusalem, February 3, 2015. The organization promotes the export and sale of products from Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and aims to fight the boycott of Israeli settlement products. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Despite increasingly illiberal and undemocratic measures by the current Israeli government, diaspora supporters of a settlement boycott have not given up on Israel’s citizens. Indeed, diaspora Jews are not the ones who initiated a settlement boycott.

For decades, Gush Shalom has maintained a boycott of the settlements and Peace Now maintains a list of settlement products to boycott — both of them Israeli NGOs. Additionally, dozens of prominent Israelis have signed petitions pledging to boycott settlements, including Amos Oz and David Grossman.

Instead of making common cause with a movement whose uncompromising positions will necessarily alienate the vast majority of Israelis, progressives should continue to highlight the moral and existential dangers of the settlements. This is the only way to reach the majority of Israelis who continue to support the two-state solution and are not fixated on protecting the settlements at all costs.

However, if making common cause with the BDS campaign should be avoided, so too should affiliating with the broad umbrella opposition to BDS, whose aggressive tactics mirror those of Erdan and the Israeli government. Last Wednesday, J Street U students were denounced as members of “an anti-Semitic organization” at the Israeli Mission’s Ambassadors Against BDS conference — a statement that was reportedly met with cheers by the crowd of mostly pro-Israel college students.

The State of Israel may no longer make a distinction between us and supporters of BDS, but it’s one well worth maintaining. As the mainstream anti-BDS movement is hijacked by the Right (if it was ever initially in anyone else’s control), and as the BDS movement continues to promote unrealistic policy demands, a settlement boycott remains the most practical and provocative means of stripping legitimacy from Israeli rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Abe Silberstein writes on Israeli politics and U.S.-Israel relations from New York. His work has previously appeared in Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, and +972 Magazine.

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    1. Firentis

      Jesus, does this really require 11 paragraphs? BDS wants to destroy Israel. We don’t. The end.

      Reply to Comment
      • Paranam Kid

        How does BDS want to destroy israel? By exposing its apartheid policies?

        Reply to Comment
        • Firentis

          By flooding it with Arabs until it becomes unsustainable as a country and collapses leading to the creation of yet another Arab state or joining with the West Bank and Gaza to create a single state of Palestine. Israel in every BDS scenario ceases to exist. The BDS people usually combine this with that with some delusional talk about how the Jews can continue to live there in a secular democratic state as a minority. I am presuming this would go about as well as how the other Jewish minorities in the region fared.

          Reply to Comment
          • Paranam Kid

            The 3 objectives of BDS say not about “flooding itith Arabs” until it becomes unsustainable. It only becomes unsustainable if it insists on remaining an ethnocratic state, run by jews only for the benefit of jews & @ the expense of non-jews (Palestinians).

            If it turned into a truly democratic state with equal rights FOR ALL, the country would be more sustainable than it is now. Annexing the West Bank will result in suddenly having Palestinians as new israeli citizens without any rights. Gues what will happen then. Civil war & collapse.

            Show us the BDS “scenarios” where israel ceases to exist.

            Other communities in the region fared very well before the establishment of israel.

            Reply to Comment
        • JeffB

          @Paranam Kid

          BDS has demands not just talking points. The 3 BDS demands act in concert with one another the same way:
          a) load the gun
          b) put the gun in your mouth
          c) pull the trigger

          Any combination other than (a), (b) and (c) together isn’t dangerous while all 3 are suicide.

          The forcible ethnic cleansing of 10% of its population would tear the state apart. Combine that with creating a 5th column inside the state and then flooding the state with additional hostiles and the state falls. Israel is facing a large internal population that is hostile to the state in which they live and act to subvert the functioning of that state. States can survive that and Israel is doing fine with little oppression. Were the size of that minority to increase in Israel, Israel would need to become more oppressive not less. To become less oppressive it needs an assimilation project which takes several generations and thus there can’t be constant huge inflows of hostiles.

          The BDS demands are unachievable in combination.

          Reply to Comment
          • Paranam Kid

            “a) load the gun
            b) put the gun in your mouth
            c) pull the trigger”
            That is what the settlers currently do to the Palestinians.

            “Israel is facing a large internal population that is hostile to the state in which they live and act to subvert the functioning of that state”.

            You have your knickers in a serious twist. israel is an ethnocratic state that has installed an Apartheid regime as has been so aptly exposed by the UN. And the only way it can keep that system in place in by subjugation. There is only 1 word for a country like that: fascist.

            Reply to Comment
          • A white guy that doesn't hate himself

            Paranam Kid, How about The Israeli citizens agree to sign a deal exclusively with you where if you and your fellow countrymen were to agree to sign off your homeland to the people you colonized X time ago the Israelis do the same. Show me a piece of land; not completely remote, that has been owned by the same ethnic group for more than a few centuries. It doesn’t exist.

            Reply to Comment
          • Paranam Kid

            I don’t understand your point. Are you saying that the colonisation of the Stolen Palestinian Territories by israel is acceptable? Are you saying that subjugation by the israelis of the Palestinians is acceptable? Are you saying flouting international law is acceptable? Are you saying Apartheid & genocide as exercised by israel are acceptable?
            Are you saying the Palestinians should shut up & accept their lot as imposed by “Master race” the jews?
            If your answer to all those questions is YES, then we have nothing to discuss anymore. If your answer is NO, then please explain your comment.

            Reply to Comment
        • Mark

          Recognising the iniquity of the BDS goals is one of the principal barriers to its adoption.

          Reply to Comment
          • Paranam Kid

            It is not the BDS goals that are iniquitous, they are transparent, fair & non-violent. It is israel & its surrogates that behave iniquitously: lacking ANY counterarguments to BDS they play the standard “antisemitism” smearing card when there is absolutely nothing antisemitic about BDS.
            Your other point that there is a barrier to the adoption of BDS is inaccurate: the movement is increasingly successful, though it has to work hard for every point scored, which applies to most good things in life.

            Reply to Comment
    2. i_like_ike52

      Why does the Israeli Left and American Jewish Left (people like Peter Beinart) obsess about the settlements, when there is a whole Arab-Israeli conflict to deal with ? Because it is a matter of “transference of guilt”, meaning, as the BDS’s know, the “occupation” began in 1948, NOT 1967. The Israeli Left wants to get people to overlook what they did-the 1948 occupation (full disclosure-I have no problem with what they did) and transfer everyone’s gaze over to “the settlers” (the 1967 occupation), hoping that the “progressives” won’t look to hard at them. The Israeli/American Jewish Left is saying “Its NOT me you hate, it’s THEM-the evil settlers. Well, it won’t work. Israeli Arab Knesset Member Zahalka pointed at Labor party MK Stav Shaffir and said “the settlers build their settlements NEXT to our Arab villages, YOU (the 1948 Labor Zionists) built yours on the land of the Arabs who fled. There it is, clear and to the point. It’s 1948 the BDS’s are after and so the settlement boycotters, like self-rightous people like Beinard who think they can separate the two of them are deluded “useful idiots”.

      Reply to Comment
      • JeffB

        @Ike

        I’m not anti-settlement and don’t like the UN (i.e. I’m talking for people I don’t agree with) But I’d say there are two big distinctions anti-settlement leftists would make

        1) Inside the Green line Israel is an imperfect and somewhat discriminatory democracy but a democracy none the less. In the West Bank you have a military dictatorship which practices blatant massive discrimination. The West Bank government is so offensive they can’t support it, while that is not the case with the government of Israel proper.

        2) The 1947-9 civil war was a civil war between ethnic groups within a country. Groups within a country are not obligated by international law, in particular the inadmissibility of acquiring territory by force. Once the civil war is over however the situation changes. The armistice lines serve as an internationally recognized border. By expanding beyond those lines once a state is in place Israel lacks any international law legitimacy for its borders, a situation it may never be able to correct.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Still insisting on a TSS?

      Perhaps the fact that Abe writes from NYC is why he doesn’t realize that the two state solution is dead. The settlements put the final nail in the coffin but there is no desire from the vast majority of Israelis to give Palestinians their freedom or to stop violating their rights, the most fundamental of which is the right to return home. Abe’s refusal to accept Palestinian refugees with the borders of 1948 is just as racist as the right wingers. Frankly, I prefer Netanyahu and the rights’ blatant racism is than this liberal Zionist BS.

      Reply to Comment
    4. i_like_ike52

      I really don’t think the Palestinians are impressed by references to obscure international law. I have heard it stated that the very proclamation of the state of Israel was “illegal” according to international law because UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which called for the partition of the Palestine Mandate into a Jewish and an Arab state was only advisory and required the agreement of both sides, and since the Arabs rejected it, the proclamation of a Jewish state was null and void.

      In any event, Palestinian public opinion strongly opposes any compromise peace with Israel and prefers the continuation of the status quo instead. Here is a detailed analysis of Palestinian public opinion, based on polls conducted by reputable Palestinian polling organizations:

      https://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2017/04/do-palestinians-want-a-two-state-solution/

      Reply to Comment
      • carmen

        “the Palestinian state will have sovereignty over its land, water, and airspace . . . Israel will be allowed to use the Palestinian airspace for training purposes, and will maintain two early-warning stations in the West Bank for fifteen years. The multinational force will remain in the Palestinian state for an indefinite period of time and its responsibility will be to ensure the implementation of the agreement, and to monitor territorial borders and coast of the Palestinian state, including its international border crossings.

        A fifth provision dealt with the demand for a “right of return” for Palestinians who, during fighting with Israel between 1947 and 1949, left or were driven out of the area of Palestine that had been partitioned by the UN into Arab and Jewish states. This clause stipulated:

        The refugees will be given five choices for permanent residency . . . : the Palestinian state and the Israeli areas transferred to the Palestinian state in the territorial exchange mentioned above; no restrictions would be imposed on refugee return to these two areas. Residency in the other three areas (in host countries, third countries, and Israel) would be subject to the decision of the states in those areas. The number of refugees returning to Israel will be based on the average number of refugees admitted to third countries like Australia, Canada, Europe, and others.

        Without reference to where Palestinians affected by this clause would end up living, it was stipulated that “All refugees will be entitled to compensation for their ‘refugeehood’ and loss of properties.”

        Gee – they must be crazy not to go for a sweetheart deal like this one Ike! You and your compatriots are nuts and would never accept a deal that screws you, but expect the Palestinians to? And there is no land for a Palestinian state, nothing but bantustans in the middle of illegal settlements, armed to the gills. Don’t respond – SOS with you folks 24/7.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Klaas Vaak

      “By separating Israel and the occupied territories, we pointedly refuse to identify Jewish national self-determination as a problem in of itself.”
      This is a statement in & of itself, without explanation. So what do you mean by that statement?

      “The same applies for Palestinian national aspirations. In short, we reject the conflict as a zero-sum game.”
      Another statement without explanation. What do you mean here?

      “…a movement whose uncompromising positions…”
      Uncompromising?

      The objectives of BDS:
      1. the end of Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestinian land and the Golan Heights
      2. full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel
      3. acknowledgement of the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

      The israelis know full well that 1. is in line with UN demands.
      The UN has exposed israel as an apartheid state, so full equality for Palestinians with Jews in israel is the way to solve that.
      Point 3 refers to the undoing of ethnic cleansing. Not accepting the right of return is accepting that the ethnic cleansing was OK, and that discrimination is also OK because the Jews in the diaspora have every “right of return”. That Jewish “right of return” is an odd term here anyway because they weren’t in the area in the 1st place, but that’s another story.

      Why do you argue that the focus should be only on the settlements, when israel proper is an apartheid state, and apartheid was defeated successfully in South Africa by BDS.

      Your focus is on a 2-state solution – now completely unrealistic, with annexation about to happen – and on leaving apartheid in israel as it is, undisturbed. That does not make sense at all.

      Reply to Comment
      • JeffB

        @Klaas

        I’m going to focus on right of return with the assumption you know the arguments against the rest.

        — Point 3 refers to the undoing of ethnic cleansing. Not accepting the right of return is accepting that the ethnic cleansing was OK,

        The right of return is the right of refugees to return to their homes after a conflict has ended. Usually that’s applied for about 5-10 years. It is not an inherited right because people descendants increase geometrically. You have over 1000 10-generations-out-ancestors, and thus with an unlimited right of return you might have 50 countries you have rights to. Almost every westerner is descended from almost every country in the former Roman empire once you go out 30 generations. . Almost all the Palestinians expelled in 47-9 are dead of old age.

        International law as it is actually practiced does not support the UNRWA position of an unlimited never ending right of return. The norm when repatriation fails is resettlement in a 3rd country. Sec Dulles in the Eisenhower administration fought hard to prevent this extremely harmful UNRWA interpretation of right of return from becoming the Arab position and failed. He correctly foresaw Palestinians becoming a stateless people because of this policy.

        There is no right of return for the people who self classify as Palestinian. They are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of war refugees not war refugees. They should be citizens in the country of their birth.

        — Jews in the diaspora have every “right of return”.

        That’s Israel using preferential immigration. That is both perfectly permissible and quite normal behavior.

        Reply to Comment
        • Klaas Vaak

          So Israel can exercise the right of return for the jews ad infinitum in time, but unilaterally decides that is not applicable to the Palestinians. Are you actually real?

          Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Klaas

            You are committing the fallacy of equivocation ( https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/81/Equivocation )

            There is a doctrine regarding refugees in warfare which is called “right of return”. This doctrine also somewhat exists in international law.

            There is an Israeli doctrine for what is legally preferential immigration called “right of return”.

            Those two things are not the same.

            Reply to Comment
          • Klaas Vaak

            You are playing with words to justify a purely racist rule. The Palestinians were ethnically cleansed, which in & of itself is a war crime. Therefore there is no justification for the ethic cleansing so the Palestinians will always have a claim to return to their land. The only reason to ethnically cleanse them, other than a racist motive, which is the principle of Zionism.
            Of course the “right of return” does not fit israel’s narrative, but that is entirely irrelevant. Just like Germany had to repair the war crimes it committed, so issrael has the duty to repair, which includes “right of return”.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Klaas

            You are changing the topic. Your original charge was that right of return for Jews and right of return for Palestinians was the same thing, they were equivalent demands legally. You are now asserting that they may be entirely different demands but that right of return is a war crime and thus justified. That’s a new argument. Which I’ll now refute as well.

            — The Palestinians were ethnically cleansed, which in & of itself is a war crime. Therefore there is no justification for the ethic cleansing so the Palestinians will always have a claim to return to their land.

            The Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed do have a claim. If they are willing to live in peace under Israeli law they are entitled to return. Most of them are dead however. That’s not the population we are talking about. The Palestinians ethnically cleansed died of old age. What you need to argue is for a group right that is inherited forever.

            — The only reason to ethnically cleanse them, other than a racist motive, which is the principle of Zionism.

            The reason to ethnically cleanse them is they were working for the other side during a civil war.

            — Just like Germany had to repair the war crimes it committed, so issrael has the duty to repair, which includes “right of return”.

            Israel didn’t commit the ethnic cleansing it didn’t exist yet. Israel is what existed after the war. You mean the Yishuv, which doesn’t exist now. As for Germany repairing the war crimes, Germany didn’t repair the war crimes. The 100m people that died in WWII stayed dead.

            Reply to Comment
          • Klaas Vaak

            There is still property in israel that does NOT belong to israel but to Palestinians. Whether they be dead or their children now have the title deeds, the claim to return is a rightful one.

            The Palestinians living in israel or returning there would be willing to live in peace under Israeli law, provided that law were an equitable, EQUAL FOR ALL law. Right now the law in israel proper is NOT equitable, the country is an apartheid state, as clearly shown by the UN. The law in the Stolen Territories is even worse, with 2 sets, 1 for jews & 1 for Palestinians. And with the pending annexation that will become the norm.

            You are approving ethnic cleansing because they were “working with the other side”?
            1. I don’t know who you mean by “the other side”. If you mean the Brits, what is wrong with that? They were trying to negotiate their own state with the Brits, whereas the jews decided to bomb their way to their own state. But if by “the other side” you don’t mean the Brits, please explain.
            2. There was a time when the Zionists also worked with “the other side”, meaning the Nazis, thus ignoring an international boycott of Germany. I suppose by your standards that was perfectly alright?

            Germany paid billions of dollars of war crime reparations to israel only, not to the other countries where it inflicted death & destruction. If you are not aware of that you need to brush up on history.

            My bottom line is the following.
            As an ethnocratic apartheid state israel is subjugating an entire ethnic group, that it is trying to exterminate by stealth. Furthermore, israel is flouting international law by refusing to vacate territories it has stolen, territories that does NOT belong to it. Under these conditions israel lacks legitimacy & needs to be brought to its knees. Germany & former imperial Japan were bombed into submission for similar offences, so, theoretically, there is no reason why israel should be treated differently. In practice no country will take on that task, so the only way forward is to BDS the country to the hilt.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Klaas

            There is still property in israel that does NOT belong to israel but to Palestinians.

            To have property in New Jersey means the state of New Jersey recognizes your deed to the property. The state itself can be a property holder. But it is tautologically impossible for New Jersey to in a definitional sense claim property wrongly. Similarly in some sense all property in Israel belongs to Israel. Now if you mean there is property that is Jewishly held that should be Palestinian held, that may be true but the State of Israel is the one who determines that.

            You have a definitional error in this claim.

            Whether they be dead or their children now have the title deeds, the claim to return is a rightful one.

            Deeds from whom? Rightful according to whom?

            The Palestinians living in israel or returning there would be willing to live in peace under Israeli law, provided that law were an equitable, EQUAL FOR ALL law.

            Right of return isn’t conditional. If I intend not to live in peace I forfeit my right of return. Justified or not.

            Right now the law in israel proper is NOT equitable, the country is an apartheid state, as clearly shown by the UN.

            A UN body released a paper which the UN repudiated. That being said, that’s irrelevant to this discussion.

            You are approving ethnic cleansing because they were “working with the other side”?
            1. I don’t know who you mean by “the other side”. If you mean the Brits, what is wrong with that?

            No I mean the Arab nations that invaded mandate Palestine starting in 1947.

            2. There was a time when the Zionists also worked with “the other side”, meaning the Nazis, thus ignoring an international boycott of Germany. I suppose by your standards that was perfectly alright?

            The Nazis were never a claimant to Palestine. This is also a quite unfair and disgusting oversimplification of what happened, designed to be inflammatory.

            My bottom line is the following. As an ethnocratic apartheid state …

            None of which is relevant to right of return. There is plenty to discuss there but one piece at a time.

            Reply to Comment
          • Paranam Kid

            israel does NOT have the right to determine whether Palestinian property that was stolen subsequent to ethnic cleansing can be claimed by Palestinians. israel TAKES that right in its usual arrogant way because it cannot be held accountable.

            Title deeds ought to be respected, but israel’s logic is that title deeds held by the Palestinian “Untermenschen” don’t need to be respected.

            You “made” the right of return conditional, here’s what you wrote:
            “If they are willing to live in peace under Israeli law they are entitled to return.” The word “if” denotes a condition.
            So now you have changed your mind that it is not conditional anymore because my answer obviously does not suit your argument.

            As for the UN report, it was not repudiated, it was retracted. And the only reason it was retracted was because of israel’s & the US’s usual blackmail. It was NOT retracted because either of those 2 parties had any fact-based objections to it. It was the same with UN resolution 3379: israel demanded the resolution be rescinded for it to attend the 1991 Madrid peace conference. Pure blackmail.

            israel cannot stand to be criticised & to be exposed for what it is: a country based on a racist ideology – zionism – and having implemented racist policies – Apartheid. These 2 issues are proof that israel in its current form has absolutely no legitimacy the same way Nazi Germany & Apartheid South Africa had no legitimacy, and were subsequently brought to their knees.

            The fact that the Nazis were not claimant to Palestine does not undo the fact that the zionists collaborated with them, blatantly busting sanctions with the sole objective to get as many Jews into Palestine & pressure the Brits to “give” them Palestine. You call it disgusting to mention this: I understand you do because the zionist narrative was changed drastically later on because this issue could not bear the light of day, in a similar way that zionism=racism, and israel=apartheid don’t bear the light of day. But these facts remain facts, and israel & its surrogates will have to live with it & bear responsibility.

            By the way, the right of return is not the main issue: the article is about why the settlers should not join the BDS movement. Neither you nor any of the other commentators here have explained with real facts why BDS is bad, antisemitic, out to destroy israel, or whatever other alternative facts you guys can come up with; not even Netanyahoo & his henchmen/women have provided a valid argument. There is only 1 reason for that: there are no valid arguments because BDS is non-violent & not antisemitic, and that’s all there is to it.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Ben

      “transference of guilt…1948…Zahalka… Palestinian public opinion strongly opposes any compromise peace”

      Oh what baloney, Ike. Your inveterate Greater Israel Land Grabber slip is showing. You have plenty of Likud and Hayehudi lawmakers who say as or more extreme things than Zahalka from the opposite perspective. That’s why compromise is needed. Your settler side is no less extremist. You’re just demonizing. And the poll numbers will be highly elastic depending on what is offered and in what spirit. It’s very funny how a guy writes an article calling for moderation and you can’t wait to rush out and tell us how it all just can’t work. God forbid we develop a boycott strategy that’s functional! Lol. Meanwhile more settlements, of course.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Mark

      I think all solutions are dead for the time being as the desires of the two sides are irreconcilable. Consequently I shall be supporting all initiatives to quash BDS.

      Reply to Comment
    8. JeffB

      @Paranam Kid

      Your original question is how does BDS want to destroy Israel, a clear implication that you believed it wasn’t. That was explained to you. Your response was a rant about how Israel deserves to be destroyed. Those are two different arguments. Are you arguing that BDS doesn’t want to destroy Israel or acknowledging it does and trying to justify those actions? Right now you are just contradicting yourself.

      Reply to Comment
      • Paranam Kid

        I know reading is difficult, even for many of the most learned people, so I understand your struggles. If you would have read my comment carefully without getting carried away by your emotions, you would have noticed that I said israel needs to be brought to its knees, because israel believes it is beyond the laws the apply to all other countries. israeli exceptionalism is just not acceptable.

        I also said that, even though the country deserves to be treated like the 2 main WW2 allies because it has behaved & is continuing to behave in a similar fashion, no other country that could possible do a Dresden/Hiroshim/Nagasaki on israel would do so.

        So the only other option to bring the country to its knees is via BDS. Bringing the country to its knees does not imply destroying it completely, only the US does that to other countries. No, it means bringing the country to do what it HAS to do.

        And as for BDS, I have not seen 1 single, fact-based, non-emotive argument explaining why BDS is antisemitic & out to destroy israel. The explanations given below are baloney-based without any facts to back it up. BDS has clearly set ouut its objectives, which I gave below, and it has not crossed “red lines”. israel & its surrogates keep whining, screaming about antisemitism without so much as agreeing to a discussion about it.

        By the way, I do NOT think israel should be destroyed, its existence is a fait accompli. But in its current form with its current racist policies & behaviour the country lacks any legitimacy, and it knows that, which is why, as the only country in the world, it keeps whining about being delegitimised because it knows it is on thin ice at the best of times. So its current form of ethnocratic government & its administrative/organisational structure all need to be dismantled & replaced with a real democratic system.

        Reply to Comment
    9. JeffB

      @Panam Kid

      I’m going to try and answer your question about BDS again. This is pretty simple.

      There are 3 main types of states
      a) tribal states: small states where most people in the state (or at least in the ruling tribe) have a distant blood relationship with one another.
      b) empires: states where an aristocratic bond of exploitation exists maintained by force
      c) nation states: A nation is an aggregate collection of people who have most or all of: some common descent, shared history, a shared culture and a shared language. A nation can form an idealogical bond between peoples allowing those people to construct a government which is called self determination.

      When one talks about destroying a state they generally mean either
      i) Inflicting enough damage so that the nation changes its political positions substantially on major issues
      ii) Inflicting enough damage so that the nation underlying the state changes (conquest or genocide being the most common means)

      The BDS demands if implemented become a program for (ii). A Jewish democracy gets replaced with some form of Arab government, because the nation underlying the state is changed.

      There is an argument about whether that’s a good or bad thing. And there is an argument about whether that’s what BDS is demanding or not. You keep confusing the two. Any argument about why Israel sucks does nothing to prove that BDS is not demanding Israel’s destruction and is irrelevant.

      Reply to Comment
      • Paranam Kid

        I repeat my question again for the umpteenth time: show me the facts that prove BDS is out to destroy israel. You keep coming up with your interpretation based on Hasbara nonsense, but you do not present any facts. What’s more, neither you nor any of israel’s other surrogates or indeed israel itself is prepared to engage in an open, fact-based discussion.

        So you can keep repeating that I am confused, or don’t know what I am talking about or whatever else, but you are unable to present facts that prove incontrovertibly that BDS is out to destroy israel.

        Reply to Comment
        • JeffB

          @Paranam Kid

          You are simply ignoring the facts. The goals of BDS fall under the goals of what it means to destroy a nation state. It meets the definition. If I show that something is a material manufactured in thin sheets from the pulp of wood or other fibrous substances, used for writing then I’ve proven its paper.

          Reply to Comment
          • Paranam Kid

            What BDS goals SPECIFICALLY are aimed at destroying israel ??????? You keep making general, emotive comments but you still have not come up with any facts. Your analogy of paper & pulp, or your 3-states spiel, do not prove anything.

            Show me which points in the BDS objectives are aimed at destroying israel, and show me facts on the ground that prove what the BDS movement has done to start its destruction of israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • carmen

            Paranam Kid questioning assertions by JB that BDS is out to destroy israel. Hysterical really, as just a couple of years back BDS was labeled as a joke and impotent and would have no impact at all. In the mean time the zionist enterprise has gotten, by fear, blackmail, who knows, europe and the u.s. on the anti-BDS bandwagon. All this trouble for something that had been called dead in the water, impotent, etc. Now zionist apologists claim BDS is ‘out to destroy’ israel. So by their queer logic, israel is uber-strong, nothing can stop it or harm it and in the next sentence how harmful BDS is (while being impotent) and attacking poor defenseless israel. It is true, zionism will eventually make one a looney toon. These pages provide the proof of that. Speaking of proof:

            Paranam Kid “Show me which points in the BDS objectives are aimed at destroying israel, and show me facts on the ground that prove what the BDS movement has done to start its destruction of israel.”

            JeffB (changes the narrative because he realizes he blew it):”BDS isn’t powerful enough to do anything to Israel. Certainly not destroy it. The question is not whether BDS is genocidal in practice, obviously it isn’t. The question is only whether it is in theory. As for objectives that’s been explained in this thread multiple times.”

            There is no answer provided but a quick change by JB that BDS isn’t ‘powerful enough’ blah, blah, blah. Then goes on to change the narrative, like a loser would. Then adds more shit to the mix “The question is not whether BDS is genocidal IN PRACTICE (it keeps getting funnier doesn’t it), OBVIOUSLY it isn’t.”
            As usual. And tie up yet another thread. An insist that Paranam Kid, Klaas, Ben or anyone else is “simply ignoring the facts” — which would be the facts according to JB, or alternative facts for the uninitiated but if you don’t like those, he’s got so many more. What a rambling, convoluted pile of rubbish. Reminds me of another &%@!! This could be called inside the mind of a zionist apologist –
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMd_js_oQAk

            Reply to Comment
          • Paranam Kid

            Carmen, thank you for reminding us of the asinine assertions of the anti-BDS rabble that BDS is out to destroy israel. JeffB’s last reply to me is an unequivocal confirmation it is not, and clearly reflects the inability of the rest of the rabble’s nonsense too.

            Reply to Comment
          • Carmen

            Thank you for standing your ground in the face of such ridiculousness 🙂

            Reply to Comment
        • carmen

          You are absolutely right. Don’t try to convince the irregulars, their heads are too deep in the sand or somewhere and they’re unwilling to see the truth. It’s like trying to tell someone what they don’t want to hear and they shove their fingers in their ears while screaming.

          Reply to Comment
    10. JeffB

      @Panam Kid

      Show me which points in the BDS objectives are aimed at destroying israel, and show me facts on the ground that prove what the BDS movement has done to start its destruction of israel.

      BDS isn’t powerful enough to do anything to Israel. Certainly not destroy it. The question is not whether BDS is genocidal in practice, obviously it isn’t. The question is only whether it is in theory. As for objectives that’s been explained in this thread multiple times.

      Reply to Comment
      • Paranam Kid

        So now BDS isn’t powerful enough to do anything to Israel. That is completely contrary to what you have maintained till now.
        Thank you for confirming unequivocally that BDS is not out to do destroy israel & that no violence has been perpetrated by the movement against israel, its surrogates, or its interests.

        Reply to Comment
        • JeffB

          @Paranam Kid

          Thank you for confirming unequivocally that BDS is not out to do destroy israel

          I didn’t confirm that. You are again conflating intention with power. “is not out to destroy” is about about intention. BDS is out to destroy Israel. What I said was it lacks the power. If BDSers had the power they would destroy Israel.

          Al Qaeda is out to destroy the USA. It lacks the power to do that but not the intention. If Al Qaeda were more much more powerful there wouldn’t be a USA. Same situation.

          that no violence has been perpetrated by the movement against israel, its surrogates, or its interests.

          I didn’t say that either. Violence most certainly has come out of the BDS movement. There have been countless incidents of violence involving BDSers. Again lacking power, that violence has so far been low level and petty mostly interpersonal violence not remotely close to what’s required to destroy the state.

          Reply to Comment
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