TODAY’S TOON ~~ ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

IAW-Latuff-space-top

MUST SEE VIDEO ~~ ACADEMIC BOYCOTT DAYS

Up in the mornin’ and out to school
Israel’s universities are the tool
Palestinian history, they give it a pass
Too busy with jobs for the army brass
Workin’ your fingers right down to the bone
To help control the occupied zone

Ring, ring goes the bell
Village kids are in the prison cell
Discrimination at Ben Gurion
Palestinian students almost unknown
Back in the classroom they cook the books
Apartheid don’t know how mean it looks

Soon as 2005 rolls around
They’re boycottin’ to bring apartheid down
You say they violate freedom of speech
But you don’t practice what you preach
Up to the corner and round the bend
Palestinian freedom is at an end

Set the campus on stolen land
This is where the seizure of Palestine’s planned
With the grants you love, you work for the boss
All day long Palestinians waitin’ to cross
Doin’ demographics at Haifu U
Better send some natives to Timbuktu

Hail hail brand Israel
Our prettier face must prevail
Long live hasbara
To fool the world is the holy grail
Look out, they’re callin’ us to account
Academic apartheid’s beyond the pale

ROGER WATERS KEEPS KNOCKING DOWN THE WALL

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has fiercely criticized Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson over her decision to endorse SodaStream, an Israeli company that operates a factory in an illegal colony in the occupied West Bank.

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Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters slams Scarlett Johansson over Israel

 Ali Abunimah
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Roger Waters performs The Wall Live in Barcelona, 2011.

Roger Waters performs The Wall Live in Barcelona, 2011. (Wikipedia)

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Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has fiercely criticized Hollywood actress Scarlett Johanssonover her decision to endorse SodaStream, an Israeli company that operates a factory in an illegal colony in the occupied West Bank.

Waters writes that in his previous encounters with Johansson, the actress struck him as a “young woman of strength and integrity who believed in truth, human rights, and the law and love.”

Now, the rock legend says that Johansson’s decision to quit her role with the charity Oxfamin order to represent occupation profiteer SodaStream “is such an act of intellectual, political, and civil about face, that we, all those of us who care about the downtrodden, the oppressed, the occupied, the second class, will find it hard to rationalize.”

He has also written privately to Johansson and to musician Neil Young urging them to respect the Palestinian call for the cultural and economic boycott of Israel.

The Canadian-born Young faces growing calls to cancel a scheduled performance in Tel Aviv this summer.

Waters – who has been an outspoken supporter of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) – made the statements in a note he posted on his Facebook page.

Here’s Waters’ note in full:

In the past days I have written privately to Neil Young (once) and to Scarlett Johanson (a couple of times). Those letters will remain private.

Sadly, I have received no reply from either.

And so I write this note on my Facebook page somewhat in bewilderment.

Neil? I shall ponder all of this long and hard. We don’t really know each other, but, you were always one of my heroes, I am confused.

Scarlett? Ah, Scarlett. I met Scarlett a year or so ago, I think it was at a Cream reunion concert at MSG. She was then, as I recall, fiercely anti Neocon, passionately disgusted by Blackwater (Dick Cheney’s private army in Iraq), you could have been forgiven for thinking that here was a young woman of strength and integrity who believed in truth, human rights, and the law and love. I confess I was somewhat smitten. There’s no fool like an old fool. A few years down the line, Scarlett’s choice of SodaStream over Oxfam is such an act of intellectual, political, and civil about face, that we, all those of us who care about the downtrodden, the oppressed, the occupied, the second class, will find it hard to rationalize.

I would like to ask that younger Scarlett a question or two. Scarlett, just for one example, are you aware that the Israeli government has razed to the ground a Bedouin village in the Negev desert in Southern Israel 63 times, the last time being on the 26th of December 2013. This village is the home to Bedouin. The Bedouin are, of course, Israeli citizens with full rights of citizenship. Well, not quite full rights, because in “Democratic” Israel there are fifty laws that discriminate against non Jewish citizens.

I am not going to attempt to list, either those laws (they are on the statute book in the Knesset for all to research) or all the other grave human rights abuses of Israeli domestic and foreign policy. I would run out of space. But, to return to my friend Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett, I have read your reposts and excuses, in them you claim that the Palestinian workers in the factory have equal pay, benefits and “Equal rights.” Really? Equal Rights? Do they?

Do they have the right to vote?

Do they have access to the roads?

Can they travel to their work place without waiting for hours to pass through the occupying forces control barriers?

Do they have clean drinking water?

Do they have sanitation?

Do they have citizenship?

Do they have the right not to have the standard issue kicking in their door in the middle of the night and taking their children away?

Do they have the right to appeal against arbitrary and indefinite imprisonment?

Do they have the right to re-occupy the property and homes they owned before 1948?

Do they have the right to an ordinary, decent human family life?

Do they have the right to self determination?

Do they have the right to continue to develop a cultural life that is ancient and profound?

If these questions put you in a quandary I can answer them for you. The answer is, NO, they do not.

The workers in The SodaStream Factory do not have any of these rights.

So, what are the “equal rights” of which you speak?

Scarlett, you are undeniably cute, but if you think SodaStream is building bridges towards peace you are also undeniably not paying attention.

Love
R.

Written FOR

ISRAEL CONCERNED ABOUT ITS IMAGE

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Simple solution …. end the occupation!

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Palestinians say they see the success of the BDS movement as proof that non-violence can achieve their goals. 

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Growing concern in Israel over BDS 

With calls to boycott Israel on the rise, media reports say Israel considers hiring PR company to polish image. ‘Israel is getting nervous far too late’, says head of Israeli organization that fights BDS

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After several years, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) seems to be gaining strength. From a Norwegian sovereign wealth fund to a Danish bank, to Oxfam, to musician Roger Waters, each day brings new calls to boycottIsrael as a response to its continued construction in areas that Israel acquired in 1967.

In Europe, promoting BDS can be illegal. This week, Soda Stream, which has recently signed actress Scarlett Johansson as its promoter, won a case in a French court against a French organization seeking a boycott.

The court ruled that “the origin of the product” does not justify the call to boycott. Soda Stream is produced in a factory in Mishor Adumim, with some 500 Palestinian workers, as well as Israelis, in a post-67 area. Johansson came under intense pressure to drop the Soda Stream gig, but instead resigned as an ambassador for Oxfam, an organization that fights poverty around the world.

“The issue is very complicated,” a senior Israeli foreign ministry official told The Media Line. “The suit by Soda Stream would not even be accepted in a US court. What they did is totally forbidden under French law and totally acceptable under American law.”

The official claims that any pro-boycott actions are being labeled as BDS, which may be giving the movement more credit than it deserves. For example, several European supermarket chains have been calling for all produce from post-1967 areas to be labeled as such, but it is not a call to boycott these products.

In fact, Israel last month became the first non-European member of CERN, the Center of European Nuclear Research, and only the second country not from the European Union.

Yet there is a growing sense of uneasiness in Israel that BDS will spread. The Israeli cabinet is expected to discuss the issue for the first time next week. Media reports said that Israel was considering hiring a PR company to burnish its image.

“Israel is getting nervous far too late,” Gerald Steinberg, the head of NGO Monitor, an Israeli organization that fights BDS. “There was a tendency to say that we have to keep a low profile and that it will all go away. But I think Israel consistently underestimated the resources behind this.”

Palestinians say they see the success of the BDS movement as proof that non-violence can achieve their goals.

“I think it’s successful and it has a future here,” Ghassan Al-Khatib, a professor at Bir Zeit University and a former Palestinian government spokesman told The Media Line. “It’s picking up because all of the other peaceful options and non-peaceful options are not working. If there will be progress in peace talksthat will allow (Palestinians) to achieve basic rights it will weaken BDS.”

Steinberg says the BDS movement grew out of the Durban forum in 2001 which called to brand Israel as an “apartheid state.”

“The emphasis is on the complete international isolation of Israel,” he said. “It is not talking about Israel’s borders in 1967, but in 1948. BDS is a form of political warfare against the state of Israel. ”

In fact, most BDS activists support the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Israel, a demand that Israel has consistently rejected saying that Israel would lose its character as a Jewish state. The right of return is in fact one of the issues currently under discussion. Israeli press reports say the “framework” that US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to offer will not include a “right of return” although it will include a call for a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem.

So far, BDS has not had major financial repercussions for Israel, but if it spreads it could begin to hurt. Finance Minister Yair Lapidtold a security conference last week that Israel is dependent on exports, with 33 percent of its foreign trade conducted with Europe.

“Even a partial European boycott would be felt by every Israeli and the cost of living would go up,” Lapid said.

He warned that exports could drop by $5.7 billion dollars.

Last month at Davos, a group of 100 Israeli leading industrialists called on Netanyahu to make peace with the Palestinians to avoid the growing boycott of Israel. Palestinians say they see this call as one of the successes of the BDS movement.

“BDS is creating a constructive debate inside Israel for the first time,” Khatib said. “The US and Europe, Israel’s best friends, have been urging Israel to reconsider its settlement policy and stop construction. Now Israel seems to be paying a price for not listening to this advice.”

Khatib says he expects to see the BDS movement spread to more companies and will begin to take more of an economic toll.

Source 

A PALESTINIAN AND AN ISRAELI EXPLAIN WHY ISRAEL FEARS THE BOYCOTT

Would justice and equal rights for all really destroy Israel? Did equality destroy the American South? Or South Africa? Certainly, it destroyed the discriminatory racial order that had prevailed in both places, but it did not destroy the people or the country.” ~Omar Barghouti 

“The answer is clear. On the very day that nonviolence becomes Palestine’s official policy, Israel’s violent occupation policy is over. The current hysteria over boycotts and sanctions testifies to this.” ~Avraham Burg 

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Why Israel Fears the Boycott
By OMAR BARGHOUTI
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JERUSALEM — IF Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempts to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority fail because of Israel’s continuing construction of illegal settlements, the Israeli government is likely to face an international boycott “on steroids,” as Mr. Kerry warned last August.These days, Israel seems as terrified by the “exponential” growth of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or B.D.S.) movement as it is by Iran’s rising clout in the region. Last June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu effectively declared B.D.S. a strategic threat. Calling it the “delegitimization” movement, he assigned the overall responsibility for fighting it to his Strategic Affairs Ministry. But B.D.S. doesn’t pose an existential threat to Israel; it poses a serious challenge to Israel’s system of oppression of the Palestinian people, which is the root cause of its growing worldwide isolation.

The Israeli government’s view of B.D.S. as a strategic threat reveals its heightened anxiety at the movement’s recent spread into the mainstream. It also reflects the failure of the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s well-endowed “Brand Israel” campaign, which reduces B.D.S. to an image problem and employs culture as a propaganda tool, sending well-known Israeli figures around the world to show Israel’s prettier face.

Begun in 2005 by the largest trade union federations and organizations in Palestinian society, B.D.S. calls for ending Israel’s 1967 occupation, “recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality,” and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and lands from which they were forcibly displaced and dispossessed in 1948.

Why should Israel, a nuclear power with a strong economy, feel so vulnerable to a nonviolent human rights movement?

Israel is deeply apprehensive about the increasing number of American Jews who vocally oppose its policies — especially those who are joining or leading B.D.S. campaigns. It also perceives as a profound threat the rising dissent among prominent Jewish figures who reject its tendency to speak on their behalf, challenge its claim to be the “national home” of all Jews, or raise the inherent conflict between its ethno-religious self-definition and its claim to democracy. What I. F. Stone prophetically wrote about Israel back in 1967, that it was “creating a kind of moral schizophrenia in world Jewry” because of its “racial and exclusionist” ideal, is no longer beyond the pale.

Israel is also threatened by the effectiveness of the nonviolent strategies used by the B.D.S. movement, including its Israeli component, and by the negative impact they have had on Israel’s standing in world public opinion. As one Israeli military commander said in the context of suppressing Palestinian popular resistance to the occupation, “We don’t do Gandhi very well.”

The landslide vote by the American Studies Association in December to endorse an academic boycott of Israel, coming on the heels of a similar decision by the Association for Asian-American Studies, among others, as well as divestment votes by several university student councils, proves that B.D.S. is no longer a taboo in the United States.

The movement’s economic impact is also becoming evident. The recent decision by the $200 billion Dutch pension fund PGGM to divest from the five largest Israeli banks because of their involvement in occupied Palestinian territory has sent shock waves through the Israeli establishment.

To underscore the “existential” danger that B.D.S. poses, Israel and its lobby groups often invoke the smear of anti-Semitism, despite the unequivocal, consistent position of the movement against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. This unfounded allegation is intended to intimidate into silence those who criticize Israel and to conflate such criticism with anti-Jewish racism.

Arguing that boycotting Israel is intrinsically anti-Semitic is not only false, but it also presumes that Israel and “the Jews” are one and the same. This is as absurd and bigoted as claiming that a boycott of a self-defined Islamic state like Saudi Arabia, say, because of its horrific human rights record, would of necessity be Islamophobic.

The B.D.S. movement’s call for full equality in law and policies for the Palestinian citizens of Israel is particularly troubling for Israel because it raises questions about its self-definition as an exclusionary Jewish state. Israel considers any challenge to what even the Department of State has criticized as its system of “institutional, legal and societal discrimination” against its Palestinian citizens as an “existential threat,” partially because of the apartheid image that this challenge evokes.

Tellingly, the Supreme Court recently rejected an attempt by Israeli liberals to have their nationality or ethnicity listed simply as “Israeli” in the national population registry (which has categories like Jew, Arab, Druse, etc.). The court found that doing so would be a serious threat to Israel’s founding identity as a Jewish state for the Jewish people.

Israel remains the only country on earth that does not recognize its own nationality, as that would theoretically avail equal rights to all its citizens, undermining its “ethnocratic” identity. The claim that B.D.S., a nonviolent movement anchored in universal principles of human rights, aims to “destroy” Israel must be understood in this context.

Would justice and equal rights for all really destroy Israel? Did equality destroy the American South? Or South Africa? Certainly, it destroyed the discriminatory racial order that had prevailed in both places, but it did not destroy the people or the country.

Likewise, only Israel’s unjust order is threatened by boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

Omar Barghouti is a Palestinian human rights activist and the author of “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights.”

SOURCE

What’s wrong with BDS, after all?

Israel will be helpless when the discourse moves from who’s stronger/tougher/more resilient to a discourse on rights and values.
By Avraham Burg
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Talk of sanctions has been filling the air lately. Israelis, as always, are certain that the whole world is against us (psycho-national nonsense that will be more broadly discussed here in the future), and that all the world’s overt and covert conspiracies are focused solely on us – out of hatred and anti-Semitism, of course.Few notice the wonderful paradox whereby official Israel, together with mobilized world Jewry, fights the scourge of sanctions by whining and screaming anti-Semitism, Holocaust and Jew-hatred in chorus. Yet in the very same breath these exact same people utilize any possible tool to advance and intensify the sanctions against Iran, as they did against Hamas until recently. And with useful diplomatic hypocrisy they make every effort not to hurt Syria’s Bashar Assad too much, or Egypt, or another few corrupt targets of Israel’s foreign policy.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is gaining momentum and is approaching the turning point (rather slowly, it must be said) in which the civic action from below will meet the official policies of governments and parliaments from above, and sanctions against Israel will become a fait accompli. Israel’s finance minister is troubled by the economic consequences, while the American secretary of state is trying to protect us from international isolation. Research institutions are already mapping out their boycotts and sanctions while offering avenues for formulating appropriate Israeli policies. The media are also making their serious or frenzied contributions. Among all this talk, what is conspicuously missing is a real discussion of the ethical meaning of sanctions and their alternatives.

Personally I’m a man of dialogue and believe that a boycott – any boycott – is not a legitimate tool. When my prime minister leaves the room as the Iranian president is speaking, I can’t decide whether he’s an idiot or just being childish, but what’s clear is that he doesn’t represent me at all. I believe in peace and I have no doubt that proper (if pointed) dialogue with the Palestinians will in the end bring two achievements: peace, and the end to the boycotts, ostracism and isolation under discussion. It’s the same with the Iranians, and even with Danny Danon.

But those who don’t want peace, or who want it but don’t trust the partner, or who want and trust but don’t have the public courage to stand up to the enemies of peace among us, must ask themselves different questions altogether. It’s clear that there’s a connection between the diplomatic reality and its economic manifestations. It’s permissible – despite the evil and folly of that approach – to decide that it’s worth holding the occupied territories, if only because at this point the price of international isolation or the harm done to the pockets of Mr. and Mrs. Israeli is not so terrible. After all, in the end, national policy is a system of constantly balancing risks and rewards, and for now – they say – the risks are tolerable.

But everyone else – the political impotents or the merely indifferent – needs a different approach. Put yourselves for a minute in the Palestinians’ place and try to understand what Israel “allows them” and consider what you would do in their position. A violent Palestinian rebellion? No way! Totally out of the question, not least because it will be put down by a much more violent force. (It’s an undeniable fact that more innocent Palestinians have been killed by Israel than innocent Israelis killed by Palestinians). A diplomatic agreement? You’ve made Naftali Bennett’s rear end and Benjamin Netanyahu’s lost senses laugh. So then what? Nothing? Should they just say thank you and shut up? Would we remain silent and capitulate unconditionally if we were in their place?

Suddenly it turns out that the boycott movement is not just an annoying effort to hit Israelis in the pocket, but a bold and innovative attempt to achieve real diplomatic gains. And in the areas in which I firmly believe require dialogue and solutions: an end to the occupation, the destruction of the separation barrier, recognition of the rights and equality of Israel’s Palestinian citizens, and a solution to the refugee problem. It’s a local and international expression of a totally different type of Palestinian struggle, something new and not so familiar to us – nonviolent resistance. Is that also forbidden?

What emerges from all this is that of all the alternatives being suggested – as if anyone is asking us or has to care what we think – boycotts and sanctions are actually the most kosher. Silencing and repression are bad, and violence is worse. Compared to either method, nonviolent resistance and an unarmed popular uprising don’t sound so bad. The truth is that not all of their people are behind this (just like not all of our people support us), but the direction being outlined is clear, convincing and threatening. Deep down I’m convinced that the tough State of Israel has a response to any expression of force it may face. But it will remain helpless when confronted by a civil rebellion that moves the discourse from who’s stronger/tougher/more resilient to a discourse on rights and values. For this we have no answer.

What will the politicians and soldiers of the racist separation do on Hebron’s Shuhada Street, which is closed to Palestinians, if a thousand kids come with their bikes, soccer balls and cameras and ask to play on the street in front of their homes – a basic right of any normal child on any street in the world? What will be the response of the Sensible One if the parents of those children, along with hundreds or thousands of other people (me and my family among them) come to the wall of the Palestinian ghetto (known euphemistically as the separation barrier) and hold a vigil there before the international media, under clouds of tear gas, until it comes down?

The answer is clear. On the very day that nonviolence becomes Palestine’s official policy, Israel’s violent occupation policy is over. The current hysteria over boycotts and sanctions testifies to this.

Avraham Burg is former speaker of the Knesset.

SOURCE
H/T To Sam Bahour

INTERNATIONAL CARTOONISTS ENDORSE BOYCOTT OF SODASTREAM

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The letter comes as SodaStream increasingly is targeted by an international boycott due to the presence of its primary factory in the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. The day before, headlines were made when actress Scarlett Johansson ended her seven-year relationship with the charity OxFam over disagreements stemming from her role as a paid spokesperson for SodaStream.
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CARTOONISTS TO DIRECTOR OF ANGOULEME FESTIVAL: DROP SODASTREAM
Over forty cartoonists protest sponsorship by Israeli settlement manufacturer
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FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2014– Over forty cartoonists and illustrators from a dozen countries around the world released an open letter today to Franck Bondoux, director of the International Festival of Comics at Angoulême, asking the festival to drop its relationship with the Israeli drink manufacturer SodaStream.
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Among those signing the letter were French cartoonists Siné, Baudoin, Carali, and Chimulus, Americans Joe Sacco, Eric Drooker, Ben Katchor, Peter Kuper, Matt Madden, Seth Tobocman and Sue Coe, as well as Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh, Lebanese Mazen Kerbaj, Sudanese Khalid Albaih, Tunisian Willis From Tunis, Israeli Amitai Sandy, Brazilian Carlos Latuff,Spanish Elchicotriste, Italian Gianluca Costantini, and many more.
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The letter comes as SodaStream increasingly is targeted by an international boycott due to the presence of its primary factory in the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. The day before, headlines were made when actress Scarlett Johansson ended her seven-year relationship with the charity OxFam over disagreements stemming from her role as a paid spokesperson for SodaStream.
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The Angoulême International Comics Festival is the largest in Europe, and the second-largest in the world. The announcement that it would be sponsored this year by SodaStream drew immediate condemnation from French activists.
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The full text of the letter and list of signatories follows:
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Lettre ouverte à / Open letter to:
           Monsieur Franck Bondoux
                 Direction du Festival international de la bande dessinée
                  71 rue Hergé
                  16000 Angoulême
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Nous, dessinatrices et dessinateurs de tous les pays, sommes surpris, déçus et en colère de découvrir que SodaStream est un sponsor officiel du Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême.
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Comme vous le savez sûrement, SodaStream est la cible d’un appel international au boycott, pour sa contribution à la colonisation de terres palestiniennes, avec son usine dans la colonie illégal de Ma’ale Adumim, son exploitation de travailleurs palestiniens, et son vol de ressources palestiniennes, en violation du droit international et des droits humains.
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Angoulême a joué un rôle important dans la prise en compte de la bande dessinée comme une forme d’art depuis 40 ans. Il serait triste que SodaStream profite de ce festival pour essayer d’effacer ses crimes.
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Nous vous demandons de couper tous les liens entre le Festival et cette entreprise honteuse.
Cordialement,
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We, cartoonists and illustrators from all countries, are surprised, disappointed and angry to find out that SodaStream is an official sponsor of the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
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As you must know, SodaStream is the target of an international boycott call for its contribution to the colonization of Palestinian land, due to its factory in the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, its exploitation of Palestinian workers, and its theft of Palestinian resources, in violation of international law and contravening international principles of human rights.
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Angoulême has had an important role in the appreciation of comics as an art form for over 40 years. It would be sad if SodaStream were able to use this event to whitewash their crimes.
We ask you to cut all ties between the Festival and this shameful company.
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Sincerely,
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Khalid Albaih (Sudan)
Leila Abdelrazaq (USA)
Avoine (France)
Edd Baldry (UK/France)
Edmond Baudoin (France)
Steve Brodner (USA)
Berth (France)
Susie Cagle (USA)
Jennifer Camper (USA)
Carali (France)
Chimulus (France)
Gianluca Costantini (Italy)
Jean-Luc Coudray (France)
Philippe Coudray (France)
Marguerite Dabaie (USA)
Eric Drooker (USA)
Elchicotriste (Spain)
Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz (USA)
Ethan Heitner (USA)
Paula Hewitt Amram (USA)
Hatem Imam (Lebanon)
Jiho (France)
Ben Katchor (USA)
Mazen Kerbaj (Lebanon)
Lolo Krokaga (France)
Nat Krokaga (France)
Peter Kuper (USA)
Carlos Latuff (Brazil)
Lasserpe (France)
Lerouge (France)
Matt Madden (USA/France)
Mric (France)
Barrack Rima (Lebanon/Belgium)
James Romberger (USA)
Puig Rosado (France)
Mohammad Saba’aneh (Palestine)
Joe Sacco (USA)
Malik Sajad (Kashmir)
Amitai Sandy (Israel)
Siné (France)
Seth Tobocman (USA)
Eli Valley (USA)
Willis From Tunis (Tunisie/France)
Jordan Worley (USA)
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Si vous êtes dessinateur et que vous voulez vous associer à cette lettre ouverte, merci d’écrire à:lettertoangouleme@gmail.com
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If you are a cartoonist and you want to endorse this open letter, please write to:lettertoangouleme@gmail.com

ISRAEL ADMITS DEFEAT IN BOYCOTT

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There is only one way to end the Boycott …. END THE OCCUPATION!

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“In any case, the boycott is a phenomenon that is derived from the real issue, which is the construction in the settlements. As long as Israel continues to build, this phenomenon will persist and it will be difficult to prevent it without handling this political issue. There is no way to explain to the Europeans why the settlements are good, and why they should buy products produced beyond the Green Line.” 

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Foreign Ministry: We can’t fight against European boycotts 

Diplomacy has limited tools to combat boycotts initiated by commercial companies, says Foreign Ministry official: ‘As long as Israel continues to build (in settlements), Europe will continue to ban’

Attila Somfalvi  FOR

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Warnings made by US Secretary of State John Kerry regarding imminent boycotts against Israel remind the diplomatic sphere of one of its most challenging threats.

Scandinavian banks have already added Israeli companies that operate beyond the Green Line to a list of businesses that should not be traded with, and against the backdrop of this blacklisting, a Foreign Ministry official admitted that “we cannot prevent this phenomenon.”

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is closely following developments in Europe, claiming that Israeli diplomacy has limited tools to deal with commercial firms that choose to sever ties with Israeli entities.

“We cannot truly fight against the will to boycott us,” said the Foreign Ministry official. Following the announcement of Danish bank Danskebank in regards to pulling out its investments in several companies, including Israeli firms, an inquiry conducted by the Israeli embassy in Copenhagen revealed that the Danish bank has no investments with any body related to Africa-Israel Investments Limited (AFI).

“There is a boycott fashion in Europe against Israel, but we’re still not talking about a trend,” the Foreign Ministry official noted. “In any case, the boycott is a phenomenon that is derived from the real issue, which is the construction in the settlements. As long as Israel continues to build, this phenomenon will persist and it will be difficult to prevent it without handling this political issue. There is no way to explain to the Europeans why the settlements are good, and why they should buy products produced beyond the Green Line.”

Israeli companies on Danish bank Danskebank's blacklist
Israeli companies on Danish bank Danskebank’s blacklist

 

The Foreign Ministry was supposed to present data regarding boycotts in a cabinet hearing that was canceled last week; the ministry was also set to demand from the cabinet to separate the boycotts initiated by government and countries to the battle against pro-Palestinian organizations and commercial entities. In a yet-scheduled ministerial meeting on the matter, Foreign Ministry officials are expected to stress that the two should not be confused.

“There is no way to explain the fundamental issue that troubles even our most prominent companies in the world. It is impossible to face the subject of boycotts while not facing the subject of settlements. That is the truth,” said the Foreign Ministry official.

However, not everyone in the Israeli diplomatic field agrees with this analysis, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is certain that the issue of settlements is only an excuse for those who seek to boycott Israel. Lieberman believes that due to the process of “Islamization” in Europe, along with its severe economic crisis, European countries are working towards boycotting Israel in order to gain Arab funds.

Officials within the Foreign Ministry further warn, however, that as long as Israel ignores warnings made by both its allies and critics, the anti-Israel wave will increase.

Israeli diplomats in embassies in Europe have identified a negative trend that is on the rise, and a tendency to present a caring front towards Palestinians. “There are companies that decide to boycott Israeli companies because they want to be part of this wave,” a Foreign Ministry source said. “In fact, it is almost impossible to do anything against it.”

Amid dealing with dangers of boycotts, the war between the Foreign Ministry and Yuval Steintz’s Ministry of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs is heating up. Steinitz demands that millions of shekels will be allocated to his office, so that he can deal with the boycott against Israel, but the Foreign Ministry rejected his plans. “This office only intensifies the problem. They already received many millions, and nothing happened. Those who think they can fight boycott are using the wrong terminology. We know how to operate in the political arena against governments and earn achievements. Regarding the boycott, this is not the way.”

And how are the economy-related ministries dealing with the boycotts? Finance Minister Yair Lapid warns against the escalation of the boycott, and in simulations that the ministry conducted in preparation for possibilities of intensification of economic bans, a dire picture for Israeli economy was painted. The Economy Ministry is also closely following the matter, but at this stage refuse to get anxious.

ZION TRIUMPHS IN NEW YORK STATE

See Immediate ACTION ALERT ….. HERE

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The new legislation would prevent New York higher-ed institutions from paying membership fees to academic groups that boycott Israel and will no longer reimburse students or scholars for their travel expenses to conventions of groups that have voted to boycott the Jewish State.

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Another great blow to Democracy and Academic Freedom …

In line with the policies of New York City, the State itself is now backing the occupation of Palestine with the following legislation …

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New York State passes anti-boycott legislation

Bill proposed by Democratic state senator passes chamber, if signed into law will prohibit New York universities and colleges from paying dues to ASA and other academic organizations that boycott Israel

By Yitzhak Benhorin FOR

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WASHINGTON - New York State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that directly addressed the controversy surrounding the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli universities.

The bill, to become law if signed by the governor, would prohibit the state’s massive higher education system from funding organizations that “have undertaken an official action boycotting certain countries or their higher education institutions” according to the language of the legislation.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic Senator Jeff Klein, and it passed with a wide margin of 56-4.

The senator’s office released a statement: “This legislation sends a very simple message, which is that we should never ask taxpayers to support religious, ethnic, or racial discrimination.”

The statement stressed the New York legislator’s relationship with the Jewish State: “I will not allow the enemies of Israel or the Jewish people to gain an inch in New York.”

The new legislation would prevent New York higher-ed institutions from paying membership fees to academic groups that boycott Israel and will no longer reimburse students or scholars for their travel expenses to conventions of groups that have voted to boycott the Jewish State.

Violators of the new bill would be cut off from state aid for the academic years in which the violation occurred.

The president-elect of the ASA, Lisa Duggan, told Al Jazeera that the New York Senate legislation is intended to cover Israel’s “ongoing violations of international law and human rights.”

In an emailed statement to Al Jazeera, Duggan said: “This law’s supporters claim to oppose discriminatory boycotts, but they have designed their legislation to let Israel off the hook for restricting the academic and other freedoms of Palestinians, while punishing those who protest those injustices.”

OXFAM’S LOSS IS PALESTINE’S GAIN

A statement released by Johansson’s spokesman Wednesday said the 29-year-old actress has “a fundamental difference of opinion” with Oxfam International because the humanitarian group opposes all trade from Israeli settlements, saying they are illegal and deny Palestinian rights.

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Despite OXFAM’S waivering and wishy washy positions on the matter … this latest move adds legitimacy to the entire BDS Movement.

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Johansson stepping down as Oxfam ambassador

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Scarlett Johansson is ending her relationship with a humanitarian group after being criticized over her support for an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank.

A statement released by Johansson’s spokesman Wednesday said the 29-year-old actress has “a fundamental difference of opinion” with Oxfam International because the humanitarian group opposes all trade from Israeli settlements, saying they are illegal and deny Palestinian rights.

“Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years,” the statement said. “She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.”

Earlier this month, “The Avengers” and “Her” actress signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International Ltd., and she’s set to appear in an ad for the at-home soda maker during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

SodaStream has come under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for maintaining a large factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians.

In response to the criticism, Johansson said last week she was a “supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine.”

Oxfam took issue with Johansson, noting it was “considering the implications of her new statement and what it means for Ms. Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador.”

Johansson had served as a global ambassador for Oxfam since 2007, raising funds and promoting awareness about global poverty. In her role as an Oxfam ambassador, she traveled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty.

Oxfam representatives did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

 

Source

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Here you can watch the despicable Johansson in action 

‘Save the world by supporting the occupation’

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Sorry, Coke & Pepsi’ is the uncensored version of SodaStream’s commercial for the Big Game 2014. Watch as Scarlett Johansson shows us how to save the world with a soda that’s better-for-you and all of us. Less sugar, less bottles. http://www.sodastream.com

OXFAM WAVERS IN ITS STANCE AGAINST APARTHEID

OXFAM can’t seem to make up its mind on boycotting the Occupation of Israel …. perhaps if we boycott them it will open their eyes to the injustices they are supporting ….STOP SUPPORTING OXFAM until they support the BDS Movement!

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OxfamOxsham

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First there was this FROM …..

Oxfam tells SodaStream spokesmodel Scarlett Johansson that settlements harm Palestinians

 by Ali Abunimah

Scarlett Johansson (Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia)

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The international development charity Oxfamhas publicly admonished Hollywood actressScarlett Johansson over her new and highly controversial role as spokesperson for the Israeli occupation profiteering firmSodaStream.

“We are proud of our relationship with Scarlett Johansson who has worked with Oxfam since 2005 to support Oxfam’s mission to end poverty and injustice,” the charity says in a statement.

“As an Oxfam Global Ambassador, she has travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty, and she has helped to raise critical funds for life-saving and poverty-fighting work around the world. We deeply value her support.”

But, the statement, adds, “Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”

“We have made our concerns known to Ms Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues.”

Campaigns

In the UK, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is urging people to contact Oxfam to call for Johansson “to immediately end her contract with Sodastream or to cut ties with her following her signing up with Sodastream.”

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has issued a similar action alert aimed at Oxfam America.

It is still unclear whether Oxfam will eventually drop Johansson – following a 2009 precedent with Hollywood actress Kristin Davis – or whether the charity will convince Johansson to drop her lucrative contract with SodaStream.

Clearly it would be preferable if Johansson would learn the lesson and walk away from SodaStream. Either way, it is now apparent that no matter how much money you get, doing business with firms that exploit Palestinian workers and profit from Israeli crimes carries, at least, a mounting reputational cost.

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And now THIS ….. also FROM

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Oxfam backs Scarlett Johansson, despite actress’ endorsement of Israeli settlements

 by Ali Abunimah
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International charity Oxfam is standing by its “Global Ambassador” Scarlett Johansson, at least for now, despite the fact that the Hollywood actress has come out in full support of Israeli settlements and profiteering in the occupied West Bank.

Johansson has faced strong criticism and media scrutiny for a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with SodaStream, an Israeli firm that operates in an illegal colony in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement yesterday, Johansson defended the deal and praised Israeli settlements.

“We have been engaged in dialogue with Scarlett Johansson and she has now expressed her position in a statement, including stressing her pride in her past work with Oxfam,” Oxfam spokesperson Kate Pattison told The Electronic Intifada in an email this morning.

“Oxfam is now considering the implications [of] her new statement and what it means for Ms Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador,” Pattison added.

Laundering settlements

In a statement to The Huffington Post yesterday, Johansson attempted launder the SodaStream deal as something beneficial for “peace”:

“I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” the actress said. “SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day.”

Maale Adumim is an Israeli colony built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law.

Choosing celebrity over principle

Johansson’s clear endorsement of Israeli colonization and regurgitation of SodaStream propaganda is at sharp odds with Oxfam’s own policy.

In a statement on 23 January, Oxfam said it had informed the actress that “Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”

Johansson’s statement indicates that the “dialogue” Oxfam has been hiding behind has failed to impress on the actress that profiting from Israeli crimes is totally incompatible with a role promoting human rights and development.

But at least for now, Oxfam has chosen to back celebrity over principle by continuing to stand behind Johansson.

In doing so, it has taken a clear position against Palestinians and their rights and chosen complicity with Israeli occupation and colonization.

Update

In light of Oxfam’s comments to The Electronic Intifada and Johansson’s statement, US Campaign to End the Israeli OccupationAdalah-NY and Jewish Voice for Peace todayexpressed outrage at Johansson’s endorsement of settlements and Oxfam’s failure to act on it.

“We demand Oxfam respond immediately and drop her as their Global Ambassador in accordance with their own stated position that settlements are a major barrier to peace and contributor to poverty,” said the US Campaign’s Ramah Kudaimi.

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OXFAM must keep in mind that when you sit on the fence, there is always the danger that you will fall flat on your face!

BOYCOTT MEANS BOYCOTT .. NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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What did she expect us to do??

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Scarlett Johansson under fire for supporting Israeli SodaStream

 

 

Actress will appear in soda pop-making gadget’s Super Bowl commercial, as BDS supporters cry for boycott is muted by product’s unique success

Adi Gold

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Just moments after actress Scarlett Johansson became the ambassador of Israeli company SodaStream, the celebrity was already being criticized for supporting a business that operates in the West Bank.

Five years ago the Israeli carbonated drink company made its way to the US market, and Americans have since fallen in love with the soda pop-making gadget. But the product’s success has been overshadowed by a political cloud, which is threatening the Israeli business’s achievements and its spokeswoman.

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Scarlett Johansson (Photo: Reuters)
Scarlett Johansson (Photo: Reuters)

“While she’s openly gunning for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for 2016, Johansson would do well to realize that ‘normalizing’ the Israeli occupation is a bad use of her celebrity,” the Forward wrote. The New Yorker said Johansson’s doings are in conflict her Oxfam activities and New York Magazine called the product “blood bubbles.”

Johansson will appear in the company’s advertisement during the Super Bowl, the largest American tv event of the year, but stores across the US are continuing to ban the product for its political background. In addition, there have been vocal protests, calling for the same type of boycott and sanctions that were imposed on South Africa.

SodaStream employs 900 Palestinians in the Israeli settlements where its products are manufactured and according to reports pays Palestinian employees Israeli wages.

Despite the disagreements with the company’s politics, BDS supporters can’t argue with the product’s success.

“A lefty journalist friend of mine in Tel Aviv has a machine he keeps under his kitchen sink so that he doesn’t get embarrassed when other lefties come over for dinner,” said Ali Gharib, a reporter covering Middle East issues, told New York Magazine.

Anti-Israel non-soda drinkers even went out of their way to provide an alternative to the product.

Palestinian rights activist Henry Norr made his own version of SodaStream, using sugar, yeast, and an elaborate system of tubes, bottles, and clamps.

“I’m a little embarrassed because it seems so trivial and inane,” he said. “It’s a classed product to begin with. I was never a soda drinker before doing the research,” he said in a New York Magazine article.

SodaStream makes beverage carbonation systems that allow consumers to turn tap water into sparkling water and carbonated soft drinks. Besides selling the machines, it also sells gas refills and syrup flavors.

 

Written FOR

ISRAEL’S HYPOCRITICAL BACKLASH AGAINST BDS

Zionists have been quick to accuse the ASA resolution of violating academic freedom, but this accusation does not stand up to meaningful scrutiny. In fact, it is Israel that systematically denies this right to Palestinians.
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Backlash against boycotting Israel’s universities reeks of hypocrisy

David Letwin

A Palestinian schoolgirl inspects the damage to a classroom hit days earlier during Israeli bombing in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on 26 November 2012.  (Eyad Al Baba / APA images)

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The American Studies Association’s recent endorsement of the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions is a triumph for the entire boycott, divestment and sanctions(BDS) movement.

Israel’s ongoing crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people — 65 years of ethnic cleansing, colonization, denial of refugee rights and second-class citizenship, including extension of this brutal regime into the territories occupied since 1967 — has been perpetuated with the full complicity of Israeli academia.

The association’s vote powerfully affirms that such racism and injustice must not be legitimized through so-called “engagement” with abetting institutions.

Zionists have been quick to accuse the ASA resolution of violating academic freedom, but this accusation does not stand up to meaningful scrutiny. In fact, it is Israel that systematically denies this right to Palestinians.

And in reality, these attacks have little to do with academic freedom in the first place. Nor do they reflect an aversion to boycotts per se, which Israel and its supporters widely apply, for example, to the entire populations of Gaza and Iran — and now to the ASA itself.

Targeting Israel

Their real objection is that BDS targets Israel. Rather than admit this outright, however, BDS opponents typically complain of double standards.

“Did [the ASA resolution’s] authors,” wrote editors of The Washington Post, “pause to consider China’s incarceration of writers and scholars who dare to think and speak out for freedom, or the ethnic groups in China persecuted for refusing to heel to the Beijing masters?”

Writing in The Huffington Post, Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan College, stated: “The ASA listens to civil society only when it speaks against Israel. As its scholarly president declared, ‘One has to start somewhere.’ Not in North Korea, not in Russia or Zimbabwe or China — one has to start with Israel. Really?”

James F. Jones, president of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut made a similar point: “In this strange case, why the ASA would propose an academic boycott of Israel and not, for example, of Syria, the Sudan, North Korea, China, IranIraq, or Russia escapes rational thought.”

Congressman Eliot Engel stated: “If you must “start somewhere,” than I strongly suggest the ASA turn its attention to Syria, where Bashar al-Assad’s forces have indiscriminately shelled universities, killing students even as they sat for exams.”

Desperate

These arguments, however, are merely desperate attempts to distract attention from the fundamentally unjust nature of the “Jewish state” and trivialize Palestinian suffering.

As writer Mike Marqusee recently pointed out, these arguments are also virtually identical to earlier cries of “hypocrisy” against those who boycotted apartheid South Africa rather than “black dictatorships” elsewhere in Africa.

The logical fallacies here are numerous. First, one injustice never excuses another, nor do opponents of one injustice have to answer for unrelated injustices.

Second, the BDS movement has never condoned crimes by other regimes to begin with. Third, opponents of the ASA resolution wouldn’t support BDS no matter who else it denounced.

And fourth, they would never be making such arguments in the first place were their own rights at stake.

True hypocrites

Who, then, are the true hypocrites?

Furthermore, the ASA didn’t “propose” the boycott of Israel, as Jones has claimed. Rather, it endorsed an already existing Palestinian call — as Jones et al would do were their purported empathy for the oppressed genuine.

Instead, just as hostile whites often condescendingly dismissed black resistance to Jim Crow as the work of “outside agitators,” defenders of apartheid Israel portray BDS as the pathological brainchild of left-wing Western academics and activists. In both cases, the goal is to attack a movement’s authenticity and validity.

It didn’t work then; it won’t work now.

Indeed, more than anything these attacks signify that Israel has lost the battle for moral legitimacy. With Israel increasingly exposed before the world as a racist regime, its supporters now resort to assassinating the character of those — including a growing number of Jews — who demand justice for Palestinians.

These threats notwithstanding, the association’s stand is reverberating around the world.

“The ASA boycott of Israel,” wrote Palestinian BDS advocate Omar Barghouti, “will be remembered for many years to come as a crucial catalyst in this emancipatory process of reclaiming rights for all who are denied them.”

In Palestine, that process must ultimately lead to the end of Zionist apartheid, and, consistent with renewed Palestinian calls, a single democratic state throughout historic Palestine with equal rights for all.

Meanwhile, it is incumbent on all people of conscience to defend — and emulate — the ASA’s courageous stand.

David Letwin is a teacher living in Brooklyn, New York. He is affiliated with Jews for Palestinian Right of Return and Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Written FOR

JUSTIN BIEBER IN ISRAELI HEADLINES AGAIN …

Israel’s right wing press is gloating with the following announcement …

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Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga & More to Tour Israel in 2014

Some of the biggest names in the music world will tour Israel in 2014. Canadian singer Justin Bieber is tentatively scheduling a show in May of 2014, which would be his second performance in Israel. American performer Lady Gaga will return to Tel Aviv in May as well. Foreigner, the famous British-American group will arrive in March. American heavy metal pioneers Manowar are scheduled for May. Veteran French superstar singer Charles Aznavour will hit Tel Aviv in March. The trend is top acts coming to Israel is in contrast to the years 2000-2003 when both music and sporting events were being cancelled out of security concerns. The earlier decades of Israel saw few and far between big name acts stopping by, which made the rare mega concerts a treat for locals.

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Here’s one way we can support these clowns …

ONLY ISRAEL CAN END THE BOYCOTT AGAINST ITSELF

Israel’s future is one of increasing isolation. The Zionists recognize this possibility and that is why they are kicking and screaming. They even want to outlaw aspects of the boycott effort. It might be easier if they joined the 21st century by giving up their racist ambitions. However, ideologues rarely give up their ideologies willingly, so we will all have to do this the hard way.

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Free Palestine boycott Israel

 Academic boycott of Israel  

Whose academic freedom are we talking about?

By Lawrence Davidson

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The controversy that broke out over the American Studies Association’s (ASA) December 2013 vote to adopt an academic boycott of Israelwas inevitable.

The ASA’s academic boycott is a just a part of a much larger effort – the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – which has been growing worldwide over the last decade. In fact, the movement’s progress in the United States has been relatively slow, but this is changing, and the ASA controversy is an indicator of this shift. That being the case, the reaction on the part of Zionist supporters of Israel in and out of academia came as no surprise.

Media smear

On 5 January 2014 the New York Times reprinted a piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education more or less summarizing the reaction to the ASA move. It noted that “the presidents of more than 80 United States colleges have condemned the vote”. In addition, five of these institutions of higher learning “have withdrawn from ASA membership”. The Chronicle piece concludes that the ASA has become “a pariah of the United States higher-education establishment”.

That is a rather premature judgment. There are roughly 4,500 colleges and universities in the US. Being condemned by the administrations (which is not the same as the faculties and student bodies) of 80 represents condemnation by less than 2 per cent. Over one hundred institutions of higher learning have ASA membership. Losing five is again a small percentage. All of this hardly makes the ASA a “pariah”.

There are also other ways of judging the impact of the ASA action. If one goal of the ASA boycott move is to stimulate debate about Israeli behaviour and policies within a society (the US) that has long been dominated by Israeli propaganda, then the move is certainly a success. It has brought to the surface many statements and charges that demonstrate just how decontextualized attempts to defend Israeli behaviour are. If insightful counterarguments are spread about because of the ASA resolution, then the “pariah” has done quite well.

Charges and responses

Let’s take a look at some of the public charges and possible responses:

Damaging academic freedom

- Carolyn A. Martin, President of Amherst College: “Such boycotts threaten academic speech and exchange, which is our solemn duty as academic institutions to protect.”

- Molly Corbett Broad, President of the American Council of Education: “Such actions are misguided and greatly troubling, as they strike at the heart of academic freedom.”

 

Response: It is hard to argue against the ideal. Everyone associated with higher education does, or should, value academic freedom and the free flow of ideas. The problem is, people such as Dr Martin and Dr Broad, and many others, are directing their criticism at the wrong party. The ASA resolution, which one suspects has not been read by many of its critics, is not directed against individual scholars, researchers or teachers. It is quite explicitly directed againstIsraeli institutions – institutions that have abetted in the destruction of the Palestinian right of academic freedom for decades. The Israelis have just done this largely out of sight of the American academic community, to say nothing of the American people.

The fact is that the Israeli government, assisted by many of the country’s academic institutions, runs an illegal occupation that has long impeded education in the occupied Palestinian territories. One wonders just how aware of this historical fact are those who criticize the ASA. The facts in this regard are not a secret, although one does have to go out and look for them. Just do a thorough online search of the subject and all kinds of reports, analyses and documents show up. For instance, here is a link to a report about the complicity of Israeli universities in maintaining the occupation. Here is another on the impact of occupation on Palestinian education, and yet another on the struggle for Palestinian academic freedom.

It should also be mentioned that the Israeli government is embarked on an effort toenforce its own version of history on Palestinian schools. This may soon appear as an Israeli priority in its ongoing negotiations with the Palestine Authority. And, right now in the US, the Zionist student organization Hillel has laid down rules restricting any free discussion about Israel in their chapters on American college campuses. These facts should raise questions about the sincerity of Zionist concern over academic freedom and the free flow of ideas. It is policies and actions such as these, which have multiplied themselves out many fold, that are part of the context of the BDS movement and the action taken by the ASA.

Damaging institutional reputations and solvency

- William G. Bowen, former President of Princeton University and President Emeritus of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: “Boycotts are a bad idea… It is dangerous business… for institutions to become embroiled in these kinds of debates. The consequences for institutions are just too serious.”

Response: What might this mean? I don’t think that Dr Bowen is implying that what the ASA did is “dangerous” because it allegedly put the institution on the wrong side of a moral question. Here is another possible answer:

- Leon Botstein, President of Bard College: “Calls from alumni to take a stand against the boycott had played a role [in Bard College’s withdrawal of its institutional membership in the ASA]… I recognize that the American Jewish community is disproportionately generous to American higher education. For the president of an institution to express his or her solidarity with Israel is welcomed by a very important part of their support base.”

Response: Dr Botstein is suggesting that if one wants to know why “the presidents of more than 80 United States colleges have condemned the vote”, one should follow the money, and not necessarily the ideal of academic freedom.

Promoting anti-Semitism

- Lawrence Summers, former President of Harvard University, on the Charlie Rose show of 10 December 2013: “I regard them [boycott efforts against Israel] as being anti-Semitic in their effect if not necessarily in their intent.” That is because these efforts “single out Israel”.

Response: Dr Summers can say this only because he and other Zionists take the position that Israel and the Jews are one. This is factually wrong. There are many Jews in the US (and elsewhere) who do not identify with Israel and, in fact, a good number who publicly oppose Israeli behaviour and the notion of a Jewish state. As to the singling out of Israel, it is certainly warranted given the influence Zionist supporters exercise over US politicians and foreign policies and the resulting inordinate amount of aid and assistance given to Israel.

Conclusion

A lot more has been written about the ASA position, and below I list a small number of articles in support of the academic boycott position by thoughtful Americans.

- Henry Siegman, former director of the National Jewish Congress, “There is no bigotry in the boycott.”

- M. J. Rosenberg, former longtime aide to various congressmen and  senators,Propaganda vs. History.

- Joan W. Scott, scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J.“Changing My Mind about the Boycott.”

- Eric Cheyfitz, Professor at Cornell University, “Why I Support the Academic Boycott of Israel,” 

- Sydney Levy, Director of Advocacy for Jewish Voices for Peace, “Academic Freedom.”

If the academic freedom of Palestinians was not being destroyed as part of an overall policy of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, there would be no need for an institutionally centred academic boycott of Israel. As it is, however, the Zionists, in their relentless drive to create a Jewish-only state in historic Palestine, have created the conditions for resistance, and the boycott in its many forms is part of that effort. It is not going to go away.

Israel’s future is one of increasing isolation. The Zionists recognize this possibility and that is why they are kicking and screaming. They even want to outlaw aspects of the boycott effort. It might be easier if they joined the 21st century by giving up their racist ambitions. However, ideologues rarely give up their ideologies willingly, so we will all have to do this the hard way.

 

Source

ISRAELI LEADERS FEEL THREATENED BY THE BOYCOTT

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It’s clear that where the so-called “international community” of governments has done nothing but coddle and appease Israel, international grassroots activism is at last making its most intransigent and racist leaders feel some pressure.

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Boycott “greatest threat” facing Israel, leaders say

 Ali Abunimah

Tzipi Livni (left), says Israel is living in a “bubble.” (Matty Stern / US Embassy Tel Aviv)

While Israeli hasbara (propaganda) initiatives continue to bravely deny that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is having any impact, two statements from prominent politicians indicate otherwise.

Israeli justice minister and war crimes suspect Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of the moribund negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, told a conference last week that Israel was living in a “bubble.”

Boycott advancing “exponentially”

“Livni said that a country usually only finds out the cost of living in a bubble after it bursts, such as in the case of South Africa,” Ynet reported.

Noting that there was a growing international movement focused particularly on boycotting Israel’s illegal colonies in the occupied West Bank, Livni warned, “It won’t end there. The boycott is moving and advancing uniformly and exponentially … Those who don’t want to see it, will end up feeling it.”

Livni said that Israel was turning itself into “a lone settlement in the world.”

“Greatest threat”

Livni nominally supports a “two-state solution,” including the transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel to a Palestinian bantustan in a fraction of the West Bank.

But at the other side of Israel’s extremely narrow political spectrum, there is agreement about the threat of BDS.

Ayelet Shaked, chair of the Habayit Hayehudi party, warned that a “two-state solution” would be “national suicide,” The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday.

Habayit Hayehudi, with 12 seats in parliament and a member of the ruling coalition, calls for outright annexation of the entire West Bank.

Shaked called “for an Israeli response to the cultural and academic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, saying it was the greatest threat faced by the country,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

It’s clear that where the so-called “international community” of governments has done nothing but coddle and appease Israel, international grassroots activism is at last making its most intransigent and racist leaders feel some pressure.

 

Written FOR

ISRAELI ARTISTS COLLABORATE WITH BDS SUPPORTERS

The Boycott From Within is growing as Israeli artists join those supporting the International BDS Movement …

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Why David Broza Collaborates With BDS Supporter Roger Waters

By Jon Kalish

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David Broza with producer and country star Steve Earle. 

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In early 2013 singer-songwriter David Broza spent a little over a week in an East Jerusalem recording studio working on his new album. The Israeli superstar says it has been a life-long dream to have Israeli and Palestinian musicians work together on a project. The resulting album is “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem” (S-Curve Records), recorded in the studio that is the home base of Palestinian group Sabreen. It was produced by two Americans, Steve Greenberg and Steve Earle, and features a cameo by the Haitian-American star Wyclef Jean on the title track.

Broza and Jean, who co-wrote “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem,” sing, “Same face in the Haifa Is the same face out in Nevada / Same face in Nablus Is the same face out in New Orleans singing the blues.” In the chorus they croon “shalom/salam.”

Israeli musicians Gadi Seri and Yossi Sassi ventured into East Jerusalem for the recording sessions, where they were joined by Palestinian musicians Elias Wakileh, Said Murad and Yair Dallal. The Palestinian Hip Hop duo G-Town, Palestinian-Israeli singer Mira Awad and the Jerusalem YMCA Youth Choir also recorded with Broza. The choir, which is described as half-Palestinian, half-Israeli, is seen in the music video of Broza’s rendition of Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.” The video opens with images of an Israeli soldier, piles of litter in East Jerusalem streets, and Broza interacting with Palestinian teenagers.

Broza also does covers of songs by Elvis Costello and Pink Floyd. Costello and Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd front man, are known for supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel. In a recent interview, Waters spoke of the “systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime.” But Waters’ take on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict didn’t phase Broza, who calls Water’s song “Mother” “one of the most anti-boycott, boundary-breaking songs ever.”

At a gathering in early December to promote the new album, Broza told The Arty Semite “The greatest artists can say the most ludicrous, ridiculous, self-opinionated, righteous statements and it doesn’t take away from their art. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. It’s intelligent opinion, I believe, because these are intelligent people, but I don’t sit and judge their intelligence. I judge their art and their art is brilliant and keeps on shining.”

It’s worth noting that in 2005 Broza helped produce a Roger Waters show in Israel which Waters threatened to cancel after learning that Palestinians wouldn’t attend the performance. Broza arranged a new location and 65,000 tickets were sold.

“The only thing I asked him to do at the time,” recalls Broza, “was to come and plant an olive tree up on the hill where the Israeli/Palestinian village is and he didn’t. I planted it. So, he owes me one.”

The new album is officially released on January 14, the same date that Broza kicks off a U.S. tour at the Highline Ballroom in New York. Broza spends the rest of January performing in Los Angeles, Charleston, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., Cambridge and Chicago.

LATUFF’S SPOOF OF THE DAY

American Studies Association BDS Campaign Attacked by Conference of Presidents …

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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

american-studies-association-under-attack-over-bds-campaign

BOYCOTTING FROM WITHIN IN ISRAEL

Truly a show of International Solidarity

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At least 150 Israeli academics and authors, and another 150 American and British television and film professionals, also threw their support behind the boycott.
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Three Israeli Actors Refuse to Star in West Bank Performance

 

Three Israeli stage actors asked to be excused from performing in a play staged at a cultural center in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

The cast members, employees of the Cameri and Beit Lessin theaters, will be replaced by understudies for the performances of the acclaimed play “Best Friends” taking place in Ariel in the northern West Bank, the theaters said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.

The Cameri said in its statement that is respects the political views of its employees.

“The theater does not force its actors to perform in Ariel. Those who are not interested are replaced by their colleagues. The Cameri Theater chose to allow its actors to exercise their freedom of expression and follow their conscience,” the statement said.

The Ariel cultural center, which cost more than $10 million, was built with public funds and inaugurated in November 2010. More than 50 Israeli theater professionals signed a petition in advance of its opening saying that they would not perform in the Ariel center. At least 150 Israeli academics and authors, and another 150 American and British television and film professionals, also threw their support behind the boycott.

Several major Israeli theaters have staged productions at the Ariel center. Ariel is one of the largest Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

ZIONISM ATTACKS THE VERY FOUNDATIONS OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM

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Earlier this month, members of the ASA voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to endorse the Palestinian call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions which are complicit in Israel’s occupation and other violations of Palestinian rights.

Individuals supporting the boycott have also been targets of intense vilification and hate campaigns.

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Israel lobby launches fierce counterattack against American Studies Association

UN officials in Gaza announced last month that school construction projects were suspended due to the effects of the ongoing Israeli blockade.

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Israel lobby groups are marshaling their formidable forces for a fierce counterattack against the American Studies Association (ASA), including calls for repressive legislation, boycotts and other measures to punish and silence solidarity with Palestinians.

Earlier this month, members of the ASA voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to endorse the Palestinian call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions which are complicit in Israel’s occupation and other violations of Palestinian rights.

Individuals supporting the boycott have also been targets of intense vilification and hate campaigns.

Pressure on universities

Last week anti-Palestinian group StandWithUs, which works closely with the Israeli government, sent out an email blast calling on its followers to “Urge university presidents, donors and government to denounce the ASA and sever ties with the organization.”

The ASA has five thousand individual members along with 2,200 library and other institutional subscribers.

Under such pressure two universities, Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg, have canceled their institutional memberships of the ASA.

Targeting NYU

Now, New York University (NYU) is under intense pressure to follow in their footsteps. A 21 December New York Post editorial called on NYU’s American studies program to “sever its ties” with the ASA, pointing out that “almost a quarter of the American Studies Association’s 17 non-student councilors are from NYU, including the group’s president-elect, Lisa Duggan.”

It was the ASA’s governing body, its National Council, that first endorsed the boycott and called for a full membership referendum to back its decision.

In a bizarre anti-Semitic twist, the Post editorial emphasizes that NYU “is supported by many Jewish donors and attended by many Jewish students. It features buildings and programs with names like Steinhardt and Tisch. It makes its home in the US city that has the highest number of Jews.”

It is unclear why any of that should be relevant unless one takes the bigoted position – as the Post appears to do – that all Jews are either implicated in or supportive of Israel’s occupation and other human rights abuses that motivated the ASA boycott.

Northwestern president’s preemptive strike

Northwestern University president Morton Schapiro was among a dozen or so leaders of academic institutions who pro-Israel activists say have issued denunciations of the ASA’s boycott call.

“While we support the right of academicians to voice their viewpoints, Northwestern University disagrees strongly with the boycott vote of the ASA. Northwestern also rejects the actions suggested in the resolution,” Schapiro wrote in a 20 December email sent to the university community.

A copy of Schapiro’s email, co-signed by provost Dan Linzer, was sent to The Electronic Intifada by Uri Horesh a lecturer in Arabic at Northwestern.

“I myself happen to be a citizen of Israel, yet I fully support the call emanating from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israeli institutions until Israel ends its apartheid rule and recognizes the Palestinian people’s right to self determination” by meeting all the demands in the BDS call including the right of return, Horesh wrote back to Schapiro.

Horesh added that Schapiro’s statement is “odd” given that “there has not been a public debate or discussion of these matters in any University forum.”

Princeton resists

Princeton University president Christopher L. Eisgruber expressed his “dismay” at the ASA’s boycott decision and affirmed that “My personal support for scholarly engagement with Israel is enthusiastic and unequivocal,” in a statement sent to William Jacobson, a Cornell University law professor and pro-Israel blogger at the publication Legal Insurrection.

But, Eisgruber adds, “I do not intend to denounce the ASA, make it unwelcome on campus, or inhibit the ability of faculty members to affiliate with it. … engagement may be better than a boycott.”

Bullying and intimidation

In a 20 December press release emailed to The Electronic Intifada, the ASA Caucus on Academic and Community Activism states that “members of the American Studies Association are getting hate mail or threatening mail following the ASA membership vote in favor of a resolution calling for boycott of Israeli universities.”

The ASA Facebook page has been “subject to an avalanche of abusive postings” and “senior faculty have explicitly and implicitly intimidated junior faculty who support the boycott,” the release states.

“More generally within the academy, some are threatening to cut funds for faculty who want to attend the ASA in the future. We are also learning that individuals and groups outside the academy are threatening legal action against the ASA,” the press released adds.

Former Harvard University president Larry Summers has, for instance, called the ASA boycott “anti-Semitic in effect” and urged universities to deprive faculty of funds to participate in ASA meetings and activities.

Claire Potter, a professor at the New School University and long-time prominent critic of the ASA boycott, decided to vote for the boycott resolution in the end after careful deliberation.

Since then, “I have been receiving nasty and threatening electronic messages from those supposedly defending Israel: swastikas and pictures of concentration camps arrive daily, as well as accusations that I am promoting another Holocaust,” Potter writes at her widely read Tenured Radical blog.

“Expressions of hate and intimidation, even if they come from isolated individuals, constitute part of a larger pattern of attack on anyone who criticizes Israel or Zionism. These disturbing messages can take the form of threats. As such, they should not be dismissed or discarded,” the Caucus on Academic and Community Activism says in its press release.

It urges ASA members to report threats and intimidation both to the caucus and to the appropriate officials at their institutions.

Call for government repression

Unsatisfied by the campaigns already underway, Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador in Washington, called for more than mere denunciations of the ASA’s action.

“What’s needed is a way to fight back, and Congress can do it,” the American-born Oren, who renounced his US citizenship in 2009, writes in Politico.

Oren cited as a desirable precedent a 1977 US law “making it illegal for US companies to cooperate with any boycott of Israel and imposing stiff penalties on those that did.”

It is unclear whether Oren is unaware that such laws, in an academic context, would grossly violate First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association – the very values that opponents of the boycott claim they want to protect.

Still, Oren may find a receptive audience in Congress where the leaders of the bipartisan Israel Allies Caucus have strongly denounced the ASA.

Backlash likely to backfire

Anti-Palestinian groups likely believe that with a strong counterattack they can raise the price to any other group that might want to follow in the ASA’s footsteps and thus deter anyone else from taking action in solidarity with Palestinians.

Israel lobbying groups’ outrage and bullying tactics may claim a few more victories, just as Brandeis and Penn State Harrisburg moved to boycott the ASA.

Yet the repressive backlash also exposes the lie that many boycott opponents are concerned about “academic freedom.”

In the long run, the only thing such tactics are likely to achieve is to spread the debate about Israel’s abuses and the merits of boycott as an ethical solidarity strategy to campuses across the United States.

There is evidence that is already happening. In a Los Angeles Times opinion piece denouncing the boycott as “a repugnant attack on academic freedom,” Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University, nonetheless had to concede that many of the Israeli policies that motivate boycott supporters are indeed “abhorrent.”

There’s something, at least, that we can all agree on.

Written FOR

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See THIS related report from the zioPost

THE GREATEST THREAT TO ISRAEL IS NOT THE BDS MOVEMENT, BUT ZIONISM ITSELF

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The BDS movement demands what Israel actually pretends to be: a normal democracy in a state of all its people. It does not ask anyone to leave or to accept less than equal rights. It asks only that Jews be willing to live on equal terms with non-Jews, with Palestinians or Bedouins, Christian, Muslim or secular, and to live in a land of all its people. That would be real belonging, not colonial settlement.
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The nightmare hidden within liberal Zionism

David Lloyd *
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Since the American Studies Association (ASA) announced this month that its members had voted overwhelmingly to endorse the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, the predictable outpouring of furious responses has been proliferating.

They range from former Harvard president Larry Summers’ recycling of the threadbare charge that the boycott is tantamount to anti-Semitism to the soundbites of homophobic, Islamophobic venom that have been spewed onto the ASA’s Facebook page and into the inboxes of its officers.

But surely the most disingenuous of responses to date is that of The Crisis of Zionism author and Open Zion editor Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast — despite the fact that Beinart eschews the overheated and overtly bigoted language deployed by other critics (“The real problem with the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel,” 17 December 2013).

Indeed, Beinart generously exonerates the ASA from anti-Semitic tendencies, though the ASA has no need of his good graces on that score. It would have been better for Beinart to consider whether the really anti-Semitic gesture is not the Zionist demand that all Jews, no matter what their political or ethical beliefs, accept a single state as their representative and offer their allegiance to it, even if it is founded in discrimination, exclusion and ethnic cleansing.

To demand such an identification of all Jews is not only to dismiss the growing number of Jews worldwide who are challenging the nature of the “Jewish State,” but also to erase centuries of diverse and non-Zionist Jewish traditions.

Beinart also gives the ASA a pass on inconsistency, both for being an academic association boycotting academic institutions and for seeming to single out Israel for special attention. The ASA doubtlessly welcomes his dispensation, even though what it really reveals is his complete misunderstanding of the history and practice of boycott as a political tactic deployed by social movements.

“Orwellian”

But it is at the very heart of his column that Beinart reveals the peculiar and irresolvable contradictions that afflict the would-be liberal Zionist and the extraordinary contortions of truly Orwellian language that are required to magic those contradictions away.

How else, indeed, can one manage to normalize a state that has made itself an exception in every possible way while demanding to be viewed as the “only democracy in the Middle East?”

Beinart accuses the ASA and the Palestinian boycott movement as a whole of covertly “oppos[ing] the existence of a Jewish state within any borders.” They refuse, he complains, to distinguish between “the West Bank, where Palestinians lack citizenship, the right to vote and the right to due process, and Israel proper, where Palestinians, although discriminated against, enjoy all three.”

It’s a nice sleight of hand. Admitting that there is discrimination in Israel takes the reader’s eye off the real game, which is to pretend that that discrimination is an aberration, not the very essence of Israel’s basic laws and practices.

Shell game

Beinart cannot not know that Israeli law makes a distinction between holding formal citizenship (ezrahut) while while distributing the crucial category of nationality (le’um) on ethnic grounds, thus reserving for Jews the most substantial rights, including that of return and access to land.

This distinction was reaffirmed in October by Israel’s supreme court which threw out a petition by 21 citizens to have their nationality recorded in the population registry as “Israeli” rather than “Jewish.” The court ruled that removing this distinction would endanger Israel’s status as a “Jewish state” — that is to say one where Jews are privileged above non-Jewish citizens.

In this malicious shell game, Palestinians and other “non-Jews” face not only discrimination, but permanent exclusion from fundamental rights that in virtually every other state — and any claiming to be a “democracy” — are entailed upon citizenship.

Palestinians are not “immigrants”

Beinart also seeks to cover up another act of exclusion that is fundamental to Israel’s character as a racial state. This is his most fabulously Orwellian moment: “The BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement’s call for ‘respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties’ denies Israel’s right to set its own immigration policy. So does the movement’s call for ‘recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality,’ which presumably denies Israel’s right to maintain the preferential immigration policy that makes it a refuge for Jews.”

“Preferential immigration policy” is the sanitary phrase with which Beinart describes the denial to refugees of the right, guaranteed under international law, to return to their homes. Palestinians in the diaspora who seek to return are not immigrants, but an indigenous people that has been ethnically cleansed from lands and communities where they have lived for generations.

They are the people who lived in the village of Issawiyeh, on whose expropriated land Hebrew University has built its Rabin Building, or who were deported from the destroyed village of Sheikh Muwanis, on which Tel Aviv University is located.

Or they are, like the great poet Mahmoud Darwish, the “present absentees”; people disappeared almost as much by the richly inventive language of Israeli discrimination that Beinart echoes as by the actual practices that turn an indigenous people into “immigrants” or “infiltrators.”

And that process of transfer is ongoing for the inhabitants of occupied East Jerusalem who, having been consistently denied permits to extend their houses under Israeli “law,” find their homes demolished or “legally” expropriated by settlers.

The exclusion is ongoing for any Palestinian “citizen” of Israel who, having married another Palestinian from a few miles away in the West Bank, is denied the right to family reunification and must self-transfer to other parts of the occupied territories.

Rights as “existential threat”

Is the Palestinian demand for Israel to “recogniz[e] the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality” so outlandish or outrageous?

In what other state would such a demand by any minority, indigenous or not, be seen as heralding the destruction of the state or as discriminating against the majority?

The examples that come to mind, inevitably, are apartheid South Africa, or Northern Ireland in the days when it was a “Protestant state for a Protestant people” and Catholics, who forged a civil rights movement to demand equal rights, were confronted with brutal state rejection and violence.

Such regimes, based fundamentally in discrimination or in the grossly unequal exercise of power or privilege, always regard any challenge to the system that maintains inequality as an existential threat.

The truth of Israel

In this respect, the occupied Palestinian territories are not to be distinguished from the “normal” or “proper” state of Israel. It is not only that, as Gideon Levy recently wrote in Haaretz, all Israeli institutions are complicit in the occupation. It is that the occupation and its practices are the truth of Israel itself.

The early Zionists, in their recognition of the existence of an indigenous Arab population that would not accept colonization and in their belief in the necessity of an “iron wall” of military force to realize their colonial projects, were not only prophetic. They were considerably more honest than current liberal Zionists about the nature of what they were doing.

“Two-state solution” threatens Palestinians

The increasingly remote possibility of the two-state solution, undermined by the daily expansion of illegal settlements, will not resolve the essentially discriminatory nature of an exclusive racial state. Perceived as a “demographic threat,” another Orwellian euphemism invoked to justify ethnic cleansing, it is Palestinians in Israel who face an existential threat in any two-state solution.

Such a “solution” would not — and should not — put an end, to the Palestinian pursuit of justice and equality. Under what dystopian code should any people abandon its rights or its pursuit of equal treatment under the law?

But this does not mean that the BDS movement intends the “destruction of the state of Israel,” with all the connotations of genocide or expulsion that that phrase, more or less openly invokes. It seeks its transformation.

An invitation

The BDS movement demands what Israel actually pretends to be: a normal democracy in a state of all its people. It does not ask anyone to leave or to accept less than equal rights. It asks only that Jews be willing to live on equal terms with non-Jews, with Palestinians or Bedouins, Christian, Muslim or secular, and to live in a land of all its people. That would be real belonging, not colonial settlement.

That is an invitation, not a threat. It is an invitation to Jews everywhere, and to all people, to realize the emancipatory potential embedded in every struggle for justice and in every act of local or international solidarity with those struggles.

It is an invitation to free oneself from the painful contradiction of advocating democracy and defending and supporting oppression. It is an invitation to step out of the meshes of a Zionist dream that has become a nightmare, ever more rigid and repressive, and to embrace the possibilities and the risks that true democracy and ethical decolonization entail.

Nelson Mandela’s death has brought to mind again the fact that for a peace process in South Africa to begin, white South Africans had, to their eventual credit, to stand down from their exclusionary racial privileges. In Northern Ireland too, Protestants had to relinquish their monopoly on rule in order for the peace process to begin.

Some have called these the costs of peacemaking. Perhaps it would be better to think of them as the gifts peace brings to those willing to contemplate cohabitation in a just society.

*David Lloyd is Distinguished Professor of English at University of California, Riverside.

 

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