Monday, August 3, 2009

Jews boycott Israel

It is really very important to distinguish betweens Jews and Zionists as groups: and to realise that many Jewish people do not support the atrocities of Israel. While Jewish refers to race, Zionist refers to a political attitude about Israel. I do not have any argument with Jews; but I do with Zionists who support Israel's occupation of Palestine, whether they are Jewish or not.

Among Jews who don't support Zionists are Gilad Atzmon, Leonard Cohen, Noam Chomsky among so many others, all geniuses in their own fields.

Many Israeli soldiers have spoken out against the atrocities of Israel here (30 min) and here (6 min). You tube has many such videos in which young jews in Israel have condemned their own government's occupation of Palestine which are very sobering.

Since France recently made it illegal to boycott Israel, I find the article below quite refreshing.

Jews plan Israel's boycott

From The Jewish Chronicle
Leon Symons
July 30, 2009

The JC has revealed plans developed by Jews For Justice For Palestinians (JFJFP) to cause maximum damage to Israel by extending boycotts.

At the anti-Israel organisation’s recent annual meeting, activists discussed a survey of its members which showed clear support for a comprehensive boycott. More than 400 JFJFP activists responded to the survey.

The meeting considered three options, based on the survey results: “1. That we maintain our present position; 2. That we will consider, on a case-by-case basis, smart boycotts against the occupation; 3. That we will consider, on a case-by-case basis, smart boycotts but
not restricted to the occupation.”

The meeting voted for the third option, which would enable JFJFP to initiate or support boycotts of all Israeli goods and services.

In a letter sent to members on Monday, after the meeting, the executive recommends option two, which would widen the group’s activities beyond its current focus on the settlements to taking in everything connected to what it terms the “occupation”.

This would mean boycotting companies, goods and services that could be shown to be connected directly to the Occupied Territories. That would include targeting those who refuse to say whether or not they worked in the Occupied Territories.

In explaining the detail of this option, the JFJFP executive say: “By targeting Israel’s policy of colonisation, this also avoids the accusation — important for an organisation like JFJFP — of being anti-Israel.”

Recommending option two, the executive say it is, among other things, best “for minimising the inevitable misrepresentation of our position in such a way as to make work directed at those who belong to Jewish communal organisations much harder than it is at present”.

The survey shows that the executive is worried about the impact of adopting a wider boycott strategy on the group’s reputation among Jews. Question two asks: “Do you think adopting a broader boycott position would make JFJFP more, or less, attractive to Jews in Britain who take issue with Israeli policy but have not chosen to express that concern by becoming a JFJFP signatory?”

Two-hundred and forty seven out of the 417 respondents said they thought JFJFP would be much less attractive. Another 96 stayed neutral.

JFJFP currently supports a ban on the importation of all settlement produce and claims it was “a very significant contributor to the process whereby the UK government strongly objected to the mislabelling of goods produced in the occupied Palestinian territories”.

It also supports the boycott of companies such as Caterpillar, which it says is “involved in home demolitions and the destruction of, for example, olive groves in order to build the barrier”.

It backs the boycott of companies involved in supporting settlements and demands “an end to the sale of arms to Israel and any purchase of arms or security equipment from Israel”.

The meeting also included a series of workshops exploring how anti-Israel activists should respond to various situations, using recent events as the basis for discussion.

These included the Zionist Federation’s hire of the Bloomsbury Theatre, the Edinburgh Film Festival’s acceptance of Israeli sponsorship and the announcement of a Leonard Cohen concert in Israel.

Read the full results here


atheo said...

Your contention is weakened by the fact that Cohen is going to perform in Israel against the pleading of the BDS movement and Chomsky is an ardent defender of the "two state solution" which is the very essence of Zionism (separatism).

Not that there aren't Jews that you could have cited. However lite Zionism is in the final analysis no different from Likudism, slightly different tactics and rhetoric.

Sheilanagig said...

You sound as tho you have studied this abit. My point is simply that being Jewish and being a Zionist are not the same - something many people do not realise.

I doubt that Chomsky or Cohen would approve of the use of white phosphorous bombs on women and children. My contention is they do not approve of the atrocities of Israel.

Please feel free to provide some other examples if you like. I am always interested in learning more about this.

Having said this, my post is obviously aimed at easing racism (against Jews in general)rather than distinguishing levels of Zionism for those who are more informed on the subject.

Thanks for your comment.

owl of minerva said...

my worry is that all this peace energy is not channeled properly, that different organizations work towards different goals and that in the end the palestinians will end up with nothing.

Sheilanagig said...

Yes Owl, I must agree with you. It is the differences that people on the 'left' argue about that keep groups who want to help the Palestinians, (and others) weak and impotent.

Trying to get lefties together is like herding cats - they all want to go in their own directions based on minor ideological differences - rather than creating a powerful movement based on shared priorities.

Sometimes I think this is a function of outrageous ego needs to be 'righter' than the 'other' groups. This makes all groups who oppose tyranny weaker - divided we fall. And it suits those we rally against.

I have not been able to figure out a way around this. And I share your worries; which tends to make me a bit more cynical about our prospects of succeeding.

Perhaps scarcity will do the job of shelving leftist egos so they can unite behind a cause. But it surely is a tragic methodology to teach us that egos must be brought into unison for potency in a movement.

Thanks for your comment and good luck to all of us. We will surely need it.


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