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Tired Zionist Rhetoric
Andrew Bolt (another right winger in Australia committed to demonizing any who would criticize the state of Israel) has been at it again! This time he has shown footage of BDS protests around Australia; depicting the protesters as some type of analogous movement to the Nazi boycotting of Jewish stores in Europe. Bolts moronic ravings cannot be put down to ignorance; he is no genius, but is certainly smart enough to see through this type of nonsense. I find this particularly offensive as I was at one of these protests and I can testify (as God is my witness) that it (as anyone with the remotest understanding of the protesters and the cause they support knows) is not remotely motivated by any type of racist belief whatsoever, but is rather motivated by a passionate desire for equality, justice and peace in the Middle East. Adelaide (as well as the rest of Australia) has many businesses owned by Jewish people. Bolt fails to talk about why the BDS protesters don’t bother to protest against these Jewish businesses but rather concentrate on businesses (regardless of the ethnicity of who owns them) that have links to the state of Israel and the occupied territories. If Bolt did bother to raise these facts, his own Islamaphobia and racist attitudes would just be too obvious to hide.
So rather than send a letter to the editor, I decided to post some comments made by Jewish organisations and individuals supporting the BDS campaign. It was posted originally at
Jewish voices, in Israel and elsewhere, supporting the BDS movement
European Jews for a Just Peace
Network organisation of Jewish European peace groups: Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Near East – Austria; Union des Progressistes Juifs de Belgique; European Jews for a Just Peace Denmark; Union Juive Francaise pour la paix; Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in Middle East – Germany; Network of Jews Against Occupation – Italy; A Different Jewish Voice – Netherlands; Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace – Sweden; Jewish Socialists’ Group – United kingdom; Jews for Justice for Palestinians – United kingdom
“The time has come to translate our criticism of and opposition to the Israeli governments and policies into effective, non-violent actions like the BDS campaign. While the effect may seem symbolic in the first instance, such actions will activate a citizen base which will put pressure on the EU and national governments and Israeli society and government.”
American Jews for a Just Peace
An alliance of activists in the United States
“American Jews for a Just Peace believes that the power of moral suasion alone will not alter the facts on the ground in modern day Israel and what is left of Palestine. The Israeli state’s inexorable march toward the obliteration of the Palestinian nation within the borders of historic Palestine is nearly complete, and no amount of rhetoric, good intentions, and pleas alone will alter that fact.
“In light of this reality, and of the tragic, inhumane, and illegal siege of Gaza and occupation of the West Bank, AJJP joins and endorses the call from Palestinian Civil Society to mount a global campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel. We do this in the same spirit that the people and nations of the planet united to end the apartheid regime in South Africa, by applying non-violent economic sanctions of such magnitude that the offending state has no alternative for its economic survival other than to end its inhumane and unjust practices. We believe there is no one way to engage in boycott, divestment, and sanction practices and that the range of potentially effective actions is limited only by the imagination and commitment of those who advance their strategies and call.”
Independent Jewish Voices (Canada)
A group of Jews in Canada
“Whereas there will be no lasting peace without implementation of international law, United Nations resolutions and respect for the human rights of both Palestinians and Jewish-Israelis […] Therefore be it resolved that Independent Jewish Voices will […] Support the Palestinian call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and complies with the precepts of international law, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”
Breaking the Law of Return
Over 100 Jews from the United States
“Today there is a growing transnational movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, called for by Palestinian civil society and supported by activists, artists, and academics around the world, including an increasing number of conscientious Israelis. As part of this campaign, we pledge to boycott the “law of return.” As an act of political and ideological divestment, we repudiate the claims the State of Israel makes on us as potential citizens.”
Canadian award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, author
“There is a debate among Jews […] about whether the lesson of the Holocaust should be ‘never again to anyone’, or ‘never again to us.’ […] it is precisely because of what we experienced as Jews that we must denounce racism, denounce systems of segregation wherever they crop up, even and especially when they crop up amongst our own.”
” [..] part of the reason why there is so little interest in peace within Israel – [there are] two reasons: one is the fact that it is possible to live a relatively normal, fun life in Israel; and the other is that Israeli companies are not feeling the pinch from war.”
” […] Everything would be fine if we used words that barely register and tactics that barely worked… But we are here to reject that. We are here to use language that resonates and reaches people. And we want to use tactics that actually work.”
American post-structuralist feminist philosopher
“The idea is that we cannot participate in cultural institutions that act as if there is no occupation or that refuse to take a clear and strong stand against the occupation and dedicate their activities to its undoing”.
“One cannot ‘set aside’ the radical impoverishment, the malnutrition, the limits on mobility […] the exercise of state violence in both Gaza and the West Bank and talk about other matters in public [when visiting Israel]. If one were to talk about other matters, then one is actively engaged in producing a limited public sphere of discourse which has the repression and, hence, continuation of violence as its aim.”
Novelist and Professor in the City University of New York
“In November 2009 I had the honour of being invited to keynote the Tel Aviv LGBT studies conference, and very much wanted to attend. However, when I learned that it was being held at Tel Aviv University, I decided to instead go on a solidarity visit to anti-Occupation venues in Israel as well as meeting with Palestinian LGBT groups in the West Bank. LGBT audiences came to alternative venues to speak with me, so I was able to dialogue with queer audiences without undermining the Boycott. Although it took a lot of conversation and thought before I decided to participate in Boycott in this way, the trip convinced me that this was the right decision.
“LGBT people in Israel and Palestine are deeply involved in the anti-occupation movement, and they need and want our support of Boycott and Sanctions. I participated in a demonstration against the Wall in Bilin, and easily half of the Israelis supporting the Palestinian villagers were queer. The “Boycott Me” movement among Israeli academics is growing. I met with two different Palestinian LGBT organizations who clearly articulate the relationship between LGBT liberation and the Boycott and want and need our help. Economic pressure – on the model of the South Africa Divestment Movement- is the primary popular strategy for change in Israel and Palestine. American students are now increasingly involved in getting their schools to divest, and the LGBT community can be a dynamic force in this effort. Through conversation and thought, the LGBT community will expand our freedom visions to include Palestinians human rights.”
Detroit based Hip-Hop artist
“Israel– you should be ashamed \ Kill and maim 1,000’s of civilians in our name \ Claim you hitting terrorists but children in your aim \ Even murder relief workers blood spilling from they brain \ While they tried to drive the ambulance, damn they couldn’t stand a chance \ Even bomb students, hospitals, mosques, Rafah, and Khan Yunis \ Shot em in the back like the cops to Oscar Grant… \ And in each case the good ol’ united states sponsored that \ 7 million a day that we pay tax and AIPAC’s lobbyists is robbin us \ Sometimes it feels like they’re ain’t no stopping this \ BUT now no body can deny it cuz you made it too obvious \ Naked truth exposed like the emperor’s clothes \ The struggles getting hotter and the temperature rose \ Since 1948 when you formed the state \ Palestinian people still defending their homes \ They aint been surrendering, NO \ Boycott Divest and Sanction…”
“The Emperor’s Clothes” http://emergencemedia.org/node/118
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
Over 100 Israeli citizens and residents
“We, Palestinians, Jews, citizens of Israel, join the Palestinian call for a BDS campaign against Israel, inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid […] We stand against all forms of racism and oppression, and support and encourage BDS actions as a legitimate political activity and a necessary a means of non-violent resistance.”
Israeli feminist and Professor of Linguistics
“I am writing to express my support of your actions toward helping the boycott movement become engulfing and effective […] In light of Israel’s widely documented disregard for international laws exercised in our area for so many years, culminating in two recent wars against civilians in Lebanon and Gaza, it is left for us citizens of the world to attempt to hold up a mirror to Israel’s real face in the hope that it will give it a chance to choose justice and peace over occupation.”
Israeli-American film maker
“The aforementioned violations of human rights are precisely the reason why many Jews all over the world have joined the BDS campaign, a key issue for those of us who are trying to prevent violence against Israel while simultaneously countering its arrogant and aggressive policies against the Palestinians living under its rule.”
“The most provably-effective form of pressure known to us so far is BDS. Thus, BDS action does not amount to negative, counter-productive action, as many propagandists try to portray it. On the contrary, BDS action is a life-saving antidote to violence. It is an action of solidarity, partnership and joint progress. BDS action serves to preempt, in a non-violent manner, justified violent resistance aimed at attaining the same goals of justice, peace and equality.”
Israeli-British Professor of History
“We should not tire from mentioning the alternative in the 21st century: BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — as an emergency measure — far more effective and far less violent — in opposing the present destruction of Palestine. And at the same time talk openly, convincingly and efficiently, of creating the geography of peace.”
Israeli Journalist, writer, founder of the Alternative Information Center (AIC)
“The BDS campaign was initiated by a broad coalition of Palestinian political and social movements. No Israeli who claims to support the national rights of the Palestinian people can, decently, turns it back to that campaign: after having claimed for years that “armed struggle is not the way”, it will be outrageous that this strategy too will be disqualified by those Israeli activists. On the contrary, we have all together to join “Boycott from within” in order to provide an Israeli backup to that Palestinian initiative. It is the minimum we can do, it is the minimum we should do.”
The Endless Parroting of the Zionist Narrative
When Russian defectors left the former Soviet Union and told stories to western media of oppression and injustice going on under the Communist regime in the Soviet Union, our media outlets joyfully lapped up every word. Regardless of whether what they were being told was accurate or not,our media parroted every single allegation that was made as if it were undeniable fact. So is the case when any dissenter from the countries we are allowed to vilify comes out. That’s what happens when our media is given information that it wants to hear. In the case of Israeli dissidents like Illan Pappe, Miko Peled, Uri Avnery, Amira Hass and Tanya Reinhardt their voices are utterly ignored. Only the official Zionist narrative has any real chance of getting reasonable amounts of space in our media. The voices of Greg Sheridan, Andrew Bolt and Christopher Pyne will always be available to sprout the official Israeli line as indisputable fact. It is indisputable because our media will not allow it to be disputed.
For every ten stories that unquestioningly detail the Zionist line, perhaps one contrary letter to the editor will be published. And so the coverage of the BDS here in Australia by our media is following the script to the letter. In The Advertiser, 6/7/11 Andrew bolt stuns us with his insightful analysis of the a particular BDS protest as “people picketing shops because their owners were Jews”. Bolt plays the race card in defense of a regime which both Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela regards as apartheid. No doubt Bolt, just like the Israeli regime at the time, had no problem being buddies with the South African apartheid regime. The likes of Sheridan and Bolt want us to swallow the line that criticism of Israel is just anti-Semitism in disguise. They don’t seem to realize that such a lame and tired excuse will not hold for ever. I’m sure Bolt would not tolerate such an excuse for the indigenous inhabitants of Australia. Allowing Aboriginals to play the race card and portray themselves as eternal victims is inexcusable, but to make such demands on Israel is pure anti-Semitism. His double standards are clearly on display for anyone who uses their brain.
Racism in the media towards Arabs is far more acceptable. At Sydney’s festival of Dangerous Ideas, Peter Hartcher, a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, spoke about the aberration that occurred in the Arab world with respect to its unique position of 40 years without democracy while democratic nations bobbed up everywhere else in the world:
“It seemed such an aberration that people started to come up with explanations for why it wasn’t an aberration but was in fact the normal condition and came up with what is an outrageous theory that Arabs are somehow genetically or ethnically disposed to enjoy autocracy and loving those who oppress them.” June 2011
These “explanations” of Arab inferiority have been given air by Zionist Israel and our media for years.
The true motivation for the BDS campaign is entirely based in the same struggle for human rights that motivated the campaign against apartheid South Africa. Just as the campaign for justice in South Africa was neither trying to achieve, nor did it achieve, the destruction of South Africa neither is the BDS campaign against Israel seeking its destruction in any sense or manner. Nor was it based in racist attitudes towards people of Dutch origin. Israel can exist without its version of apartheid. It can exist as a truly democratic state with true equality for all its citizens, Jew and gentile. It does not have to be a “Jewish State”. Biblically speaking, Israel was never a land that somehow belonged to Jewish people. Non-Jews were to be treated and loved as though they were Jews. Such a model for a one state solution would get my vote.
When we hear our media outlets crying injustice and racism as part of their criticism of the BDS campaign against Israel, we need to remember that it really was these same voices that cried foul when a grass roots movement started the BDS campaign to end apartheid in South Africa. The end of apartheid in Israel will be the beginning of the true fight against anti-Semitism not only in the Middle East but the rest of the world.
ACTION FOR PALESTINE
Quick note to viewers of this blog: Please checkout Yakov Rabkin’s YouTube video link on the left hand side of the home page of this blog entitled “Yakov Rabkin on the root cause of the Israel-Palestine conflict.”
I well remember the response of the South African government, and that of many western governments and conservative politicians, to the BDS campaign that was launched against it in order to end the racist Apartheid regime. The advocates of the BDS movement were described as long haired hippie communists or terrorists. Any one who did not fit that description, but insisted on supporting the BDS movement, were considered to be naive dupes who would soon find themselves taking their orders from Moscow when the end product of their campaign was realized.
The anti-Apartheid BDS movement was going to destroy South Africa and lead to a blood bath as vengeful South African blacks proceed to “push the whites into the sea”. Supporters of the Apartheid regime pointed to the fact that surrounding African nations were all brutal undemocratic regimes where freedoms experienced by South Africans were unknown. South Africa stood amongst the barbaric nations like a shining light of civilization in an otherwise dark and despairing part of the world. South Africa was an example of civilized Europeans holding the fort against the native African hordes. Sound familiar?
But the BDS campaign never planned to destroy South Africa or dispossess white Afrikaans just as the BDS campaign against Israel neither seeks to end the State of Israel or dispossess Jews from the Holy Land. Fear mongering could not save the Apartheid regime in South Africa from meeting its just fate and it will not save the Zionist state of Israel from the demand to bring full equality to all the inhabitants of Israel-Palestine.
The BDS movement has recently had some major successes around the world and it continues to slowly and steadily move towards its goals. The Zionist state of Israel could take a lesson from the regime that was in South Africa and bring an end to the occupation of the West Bank and allow full equality for all in Israel before the BDS campaign forces it to do so. Israel could come to its senses and realize that in the end the world will not allow the continuation of its colonization project in the West Bank.
The BDS campaign will continue regardless of the disapproval of the likes of Greg Sheridan, Andrew Bolt and a host of nervous politicians and their respective parties. The BDS campaign against South Africa moved ahead without them and it will do so again. Justice will come, its just a matter of the juggernaut, that is the BDS movement, continuing on its inevitable path that I believe God has set it on.
ACTION FOR PALESTINE.
The Lord hears the cry of the Palestinian people.
As a Bible believing Christian I find the anti-BDS sentiment of so called journalists like Greg Sheridan and Andrew Bolt to be based in nothing but European supremacist, pro-colonialist bigotry. The media representation of what the BDS campaign is all about is reprehensible to anyone who knows anything at all about the movement.
The BDS program against the Zionist state was called for by 170 civil Palestinian organisations in 2005 as a non-violent means to pursue the cause for self determination and justice for the Palestinian people by putting economic pressure on the state of Israel to align itself with international law regarding its behaviour and policies towards the Palestinian people. The goal of the BDS movement is not necessarily aligned with either a one or two state solution. At all levels, the BDS movement recognises the right of the state of Israel to exist with secure and safe borders. A right acknowledged by Yasser Arafat in 1993 but never reciprocated by the Israeli government to this day.
The western media has no complaint with sanctions against those nations that don’t “play ball” with us, regardless of the fact that, in Iraq for example, thousands of children suffer and die as a result. But when it comes to countries that are aligned with us, even the slightest hint of sanctions against them is met with almost hysterical cries of racist and terrorist motivations, regardless of the fact that, as in the case of Israel, the nation is guilty of more violations of International law than all the Arab/Muslim nations put together. We can bomb Iraq to the ground (killing hundreds of thousands) on the faulty premise that it had weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Qaeda when in fact it did not and our leaders had access to (or could have easily gained access to) information to the contrary. We can do these things without the slightest pang of conscience or pain of remembrance because our media and our leaders do not allow them to be part of our remembrance. They are not worthy victims; they are not worthy of our grief or sorrow let alone remorse. they are not us, they are them.
To the opponents of the BDS movement, the only true course for the Palestinian people is to either self dispossess from their homeland or be complicit with the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza. The refugees that live outside of Israel-Palestine should just “get over it”. Those who oppose the BDS movement deny the Palestinian people any means to fight for their rights to self determination at all. They must in effect become Zionists or suffer the consequences. The anti-BDS proponents demonise all Palestinian resistance. They condemn Palestinians as terrorists if they resist with violence or condemn them as anti-Semites if they resist non violently as is the case with the BDS campaign. They demand that the game be played in such a way that “heads Israel wins, tails the Palestinians lose”.
John Pilger puts a far more correct spin on the BDS campaign when he says in support of the BDS movement:
“Sometimes, looked at from the outside, Australia is a strange place. In other ‘western democracies’ the ‘debate’ about the enduring injustice dealt the Palestinians and Israel’s lawlessness has moved forward to the point where the cynical campaign of anti-Semitism smears is no longer effective — in the UK, much of Europe and even the United States.
If Israel’s bloody assault on Lebanon was not the turning point, the criminal attack on the imprisoned population of Gaza certainly was. The same is true of the BDS movement. This eminently reasonable, decent and necessary campaign enjoys a respectability across the world, not least in South Africa, where it’s backed by the likes of Desmond Tutu and especially those Jews who fought the apartheid regime. The University of Johannesburg, the country’s biggest, has just broken all ties with Israel. Justice for Palestine, said, Mandela, is ‘the greatest moral issue of our time’. That’s the company those Marrickville councillors who have stood up for this ‘greatest moral issue’, keep. And those who have wavered and walked away should think again – remembering other waverers who, long ago, walked away from speaking out against what was being done to Jews. The scale is very different; the principle is the same. Do not be intimidated by Murdoch vendettas or by anyone else. All power to you.”
The words of the Torah cry out to all Christians, Muslims and Jews.
“Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.”( Exodus 22:21-24)
The God of the Old Testament cries out in dozens of verses in the Torah for Jews to reach out beyond the bounds of hatred, racism and bigotry; to take hold of the hands of the oppressed and the alien just as God reached out to them when they were helpless in Egypt, suffering under the oppression of Pharaoh.
The BDS movement will be heard in heaven, of that we can be assured. God’s promise to hear the cry of the oppressed in Israel should send shudders up the spine of those who arrogantly deny the right of the Palestinian people to be heard. The words of Jesus ring in our ears as well:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Jesus care and concern for the marginalised and demonized in His time reflect the love of God for all humanity. His special concern for those at the “bottom” is a perfect reflection of God the Father’s heart towards Jew and non-Jew.
The gospel of Christian Zionism is not a gospel of Good News to Palestinians be they Christian, Muslim or secular. It is not really a gospel of Good News to anyone whose heart rejoices at the news of God’s reconciliation of all humanity to Himself.
The BDS movement affirms the right of Jewish people to live anywhere in the world (not just in Israel) in peace and equality with all peoples, free from racial and religious bigotry. The BDS movement wishes for exactly the same right for Palestinians. As such, the morality of the movement matches the morality of the God of both Testaments of the Bible. Anti-BDS supporters reject the concept of equality for Jew and non-Jew in Israel and the occupied territories. As such, they align themselves with the powers already defeated on the cross of Jesus some 2,000 years ago. Justice and equality for all in the Holy land is the ultimate goal of the Lord God and the BDS movement. That is why I endorse and am involved in it.
The New Testament affirms to Christians that both Jesus and Moses concur about justice and equality in all the world. Religious nationalism, self righteousness and hatred will be swept away, once and for all. this is the true hope that lies at the heart of all truly Biblically based doctrines of Eschatology.
ACTION FOR PALESTINE