BDS and South Africa – 3

A BDS debate involving South Africa usually follows certain predictable patterns. BDS advocates claim that those involved in the struggle to topple Apartheid in SA see the Arab-Israeli conflict in the same terms with Israelis serving as stand-ins for the Boers. Various names are dropped, but since most Americans are unfamiliar with the cast of characters (and because most students at schools targeted for BDS campaigns weren’t even born when Apartheid existed or ended), the only two names with any resonance are Desmond Tutu and, of course, Nelson Mandela.

Because Reverend Tutu is a four-square champion for BDS, his support for a boycott or divestment program can only be trumped by invoking the name of Mandela whose relationship with Jews and Israel is more ambiguous. One of the reasons the recent attempt to break ties between the University of Johannesburg and Ben-Gurion University in Israel failed was because of Mandela’s involvement in the relationship between the two centers of learning. This is why the endorsement of Mandela is so sought after that BDS advocates are not beyond using fraud to pretend to obtain it.

Like most things, the actual relationship between Israel and South Africa (like the relationship between South Africa and every other country in the world – including Israel’s loudest critics) was and is a complicated affair. As is usually the case when $$$s mix with global politics, few hands are clean when it comes to international affairs vis-à-vis pre-Mandela SA. And South Africa’s relationship with Israel since Apartheid fell is as multi-faceted as one would expect between two such intense and vibrant societies.

But when BDSers lay down their Tutu card (as they do in nearly every BDS battle) or supporters and opponents of boycotts try to read the Mandela tea leaves, they are taking for granted the assumption that the South African experience gives those that fought against Apartheid unique moral weight in discussion on other topics (notably the Middle East). But, without diminishing the courage and patience of all those involved with the successful overthrow of Apartheid, is this a reasonable assumption?

After all, if suffering and courage lent all who practiced it unquestioned moral authority, why are Jews (who suffered one of history’s greatest mass murders only to revive and build a thriving nation and Diaspora) treated by BDSers as uniquely damaged by these experiences? Apparently, if the South African experience created saints who cannot be criticized in any way (lest critics be banished from decent society), the Holocaust turned Jews into proto-Nazis who learned nothing from the experience other than how to behave like their former tormentors.

This knot can be untangled if you look at the world not through the lens of ideological need, but of actual human experience. As has been pointed out before, the BDS “movement” is part of an “Apartheid Strategy” designed to brand Israel as the inheritor of the mantle of the late 20th century’s most reviled nation and political system. But on its own, the “Apartheid Strategy” is simply an accusation, one that can be counter by facts and blunted by counter-accusation of the Apartheid-like nature of Israel’s most vocal critics.

Which is why the endorsement of those involved with the original fight against the original Apartheid becomes so critical. And just as importantly, we are asked to take it on faith that any South African endorsing the Israel=Apartheid analogy must be doing so based on nothing more than an unvarnished quest for justice.

But South Africa is a real place containing real people involved with real political (now geopolitical) decision-making. Yes, they won a marvelous victory against a vile and bigoted political system, and projects like Truth and Reconciliation commissions showed the world that there were options other than vengeance when old orders make way for new. But why were the Arabs states who supplied Apartheid with the oil it needed to run its machinery of repression given a unique pass from this Truth and Reconciliation process? Why do South Africa’s leaders, considered saints when they hurl their barbs at the Jewish state, behave with the same mix of vision, patriotism, virtue, venality, greed and hypocrisy seen in every other political leader in human history?

The voice of South Africans with regard to the Middle East (as with any other issue) are many and varied and the motivation behind some South Africans (including Tutu) endorsing BDS projects can and should be subjected to the same scrutiny as any political statement made by any other political leader. No supporter of Israel I have ever met has demanded that all political discussion stop because a Jew (even a Holocaust survivor) has spoken (quite the opposite, in fact). And without in any way diminishing the valor of those who helped bring down the Apartheid system, It is well past time that the same approach be taken with regard to South Africans.

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33 Responses to BDS and South Africa – 3

  1. Marc October 5, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    As a South African I can only agree wholeheartedly with and applaud the above post!

    Just to amplify one point (and to run the risk of raising an old argument which most, in my view unfortunately, consider to have been put to bed along time ago): Tutu and the other 95% of the so-called “anti-apartheid movement” may have led the crusade for economic disinvestment (that is, BDS) against the old SA regime, but there is NOTHING to suggest this was the morally superior position to take vis-a-vis apartheid and South Africa.

    A minority of principled hard-core liberals (amongst them moral giants such as Helen Suzman and Alan Paton) were second to no-one in their uncompromising and vociferous opposition to the apartheid regime and all that it stood for. Nonetheless they considered Tutu's crusade to be fundamentally immoral, leading as it surely did to economic devastation for so many innocent South Africans, black and white alike, whilst the families of Tutu and other “leaders” were safely ensconced outside of the country safe from such consequences.

    Regardless of whether or not it can be argued that this anti-South African crusade was ultimately responsible for the downfall of apartheid, this has no bearing whatsoever on the MORALITY of the movement. And if this is so, then surely it goes without say that nothing he or his ilk have done until now puts Tutu in any position to hold forth on the morality of BDS or for that matter anything else at all!

  2. DrMike October 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    Your excellent point about South African opinions being taken at face value (compared to statements by Holocaust survivors and their descendants) might be a bit too subtle for BDSers.

    Let's use a very concrete example:
    South Africans say that Israel is practicing apartheid. They must know better than anyone else because they lived through it, therefore it must be true.

    Israelis say that the Iranians and their sock puppets (Hezbollah and Hamas) are genocidal. The Israelis are so traumatized by the experience of the Holocaust that they see any opposition as genocidal. So their concerns can be dismissed.

    Jewish supporters of Israel say that delegitimization of Israel, demonization of Israel and double standards applied to Israel are anti-Semitic. They're just playing the “Holocaust card” claiming that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism; they shouldn't keep claiming victimization 65 years later. So anti-Semitism isn't really an issue now.

  3. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 4:00 am #

    Jon: do you have any idea of israel's cooperation with the apartheid SA regime during the 1970s and 80s? Will make a good topic for your next blog.

    Dr Mike: antisemitism, like any other form of hatred, is alive and kicking. However, to label legitimate criticism of israel as antisemitic is a pathetic abuse of the victims of the holocaust, so please know the difference.

  4. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    The third paragraph of this blog is that of a typical apologist for Israel. Hiding behind your words again Jon?

  5. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 4:26 am #

    Marc let me guess you must be a white (Jewish?) South African.

    You need to define “morality” since you have used it not once, not twice, but three times in your post attacking Bishop Tutu and the BDS movement in SA. So was the downfall of the apartheid SA regime a moral victory or not? Was the BDS movement a major reason for the downfall of the apartheid SA regime? If the BDS movement was not the “morally superior” choice, then what was?

  6. Marc October 6, 2010 at 5:45 am #

    Anonymous (12:26 AM):

    Indeed I am a white Jewish South African, but in case you're suggesting to the contrary, I believe my argument has more validity than just being an automatic extension of my pigmentation/religious affiliation.

    I think the term morality is quite well understood to refer to the quality of goodness or correctness in one's actions, and it is precisely this aspect of Tutu's anti-apartheid and anti-Zionist campaigns I question.

    To answer further: the downfall of apartheid in and of itself was a moral victory. Does that automatically confer on all things done to achieve this the status of “morally superior”? No more than Stalin was a moral paragon for contributing to Hitler's downfall. Alot done in the name of the anti-apartheid movement was morally reprehensible, notwithstanding its (debatable) effectiveness.

    Bottom line: if the argument is that Tutu's past behaviour allows him to occupy some sort of moral high-ground and his support of anti-Zionist BDS confers some sort of unique legitimacy on the movement, the response to this should be absolutely not.

  7. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Marc: I thought we were discussing SA's BDS movement and it's effect on the downfall of apartheid. Apparently because Tutu supports the current BDS movement against Israel, he has fallen out of favor with you and should be discredited by all means. Why am I reminded of another well known South Africaner who happens to be not only Jewish but pro-Israel. He made the big mistake of criticizing israel's actions in gaza (cast lead) and his name and reputation was dragged through mud.

    First you state “the downfall of apartheid in and of itself was a moral victory” then you say the effectiveness of the anti-apartheid movement is debatable.

    Given you are a white Jewish South African, I am not one bit surprised why you question the anti-apartheid movement in SA and detest Archbishop Desmond Tutu. More reason for me to praise the anti-apartheid movement in SA and respect Tutu for his support of the current BDS movement.

  8. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    I believe the above comment is quite racist. Marc is seen not as a person but as a “white Jewish South African,” and therefore his point of view regarding Tutu and the BDS movement and questionable aspects of the anti-apartheid movement are suspect.

    Why not just listen to what Marc has to say and judge his words for themselves? I had not considered the impact of boycotts on the general economy of SA until now. But he makes a strong and serious point – boycotts often harm the poor more than anybody else, especially the ruling classes.

    Isn't that counterproductive?

    Also – there's another good reason to argue against the whole BDS approach to Israel and that is the fact that there is NO real comparison between Israel and South Africa. The situation is completely different, the societies are completely different and Israeli society has no resemblance at all to apartheid South Africa. It does resemble other complex, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic Western democracies, AND it is trying to survive and function in a war zone – so the comparisons are bogus from the get go.

    This isn't even to mention Jewish history which has obviously been about as bad as it gets, and which should be factored into any discussion about Israel, period.

  9. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    “boycotts often harm the poor more than anybody else….”

    Agree 100%. I would extend this logic to say that the current sanctions against Iran hurt the poor and working class in Iran more than anyone else in Iran. Does that mean sanctions should not be used against Iran because there is something morally wrong about punishing the average Iranian who has (as we all witnessed) no say in the democratic election of their leaders?

  10. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    “Israel does resemble other complex, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic Western democracies..”

    Give me a break !


    1. Occupies land
    2. builds illegal and immoral settlements on occupied land in defiance of every nation on earth with the exception of Israel
    3. has “Jews only” roads in these settlements
    4. has built a separation wall that encroaches occupied land
    5. Treats non Jews in Israel, i.e. 20% of its population, as second class citizens.
    6. Effectively disallows property ownership in Israel if one is not Jewish

    My friend Israel has no similarity to other Western democracies and is much more similar to an apartheid military state. Have you been to Israel and where do you get your facts?

    And please spare me the “Israel is at war” routine. These so called Hamas terrorists did not even exist prior to 1987. Over 60 years of occupation and of the settlement enterprise has bred anger, frustration, resentment, and cowardly/violent acts of terrorism.

    What you and your Zionist white South African Jewish partner fail to admit is that Israel was founded on the Zionist dream of settling the area between the river and the sea. Zionism does not allow for anyone else to live in these lands and this is the root of the problem.

    The BDS movement also did not exist as much of a movement a decade ago, but once again thanks to Israel;s rogue behavior in the international scene, the unconditional and blind support provided by the US Congress (thanks to the pro Israel lobby), not to mention $3 billion in annual aid from the US, Israel does what it wants with impunity.

    Fortunately, the US is no longer the superpower it has been for these past 6 decades and the international community is definitely not on the side of Israel. In my humble opinion the BDS movement will only get stronger with the passage of time.

  11. Fred October 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    An example of how power/occupation corrupt/degenerate a society.

  12. Jon October 7, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    So many anons, so little time. So let me just focus on our 11:35 visitor:

    It’s a leap to say that since the end of Apartheid was a good thing (something upon which we can all obviously agree) that any activity dedicated to hastening its end was virtuous and/or effective.

    For example, there is legitimate debate as to the importance of divestment and boycotts campaigns (such as those championed by Desmond Tutu) in hastening the downfall of Apartheid, vs. other political campaigns (notably those that took place within South Africa itself during the Apartheid era). Those that partook in the former and remember them fondly obviously would like to believe that they were the lynchpin in bringing an end to the Apartheid system, but many believe that South African anti-Apartheid activists like Helen Suzman played as important (if not more important) a role in the struggle than did the more high-profile Tutu.

    Which brings up an interesting point vis a vis another “South Africaner who happens to be not only Jewish” (by which you obviously mean Justice Goldstone) whom you clearly feel should be counted among the virtuous due to his readiness to cast his accusations against Israel in terms of his own Jewishness and South Africanness. Yet, unlike Helen Suzman and other Jewish South Africans who put their own lives at risk to fight for the rights of South African blacks, Goldstone spent the Apartheid years as a hanging judge sentencing numerous black South Africans to death as a jurist in the Apartheid court system.

    So once again we see the inversion that is the at the heart of the BDS project whereby someone who might otherwise be considered a war criminal for the role he played in the judicial murder of minorities suddenly has all his sins washed away simply because he is willing to become a weapon in the BDSers war against the Jewish state.

  13. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Jon: As much as you try to hide behind your words, your blind Zionism and racism shine through. Judge Goldstone is a highly respected jurist with many humanitarian accomplishments to his credit. His record is avaialble for anyone who is interested.

    What I find despicable is your labeling Goldstone ” as someone who might otherwise be considered a war criminal for the judicial murder of minorities”. This label, completely fabricated by zionists (like yourself )who needed to smear Goldstone at any and all costs, is typical. Goldstone investigates the actions of both Palestinians and Israelis in operation cast lead that occuref in dec 2008 Jan 2009. Israel, which incidentally did not
    allow a single journalist in gaza during this brutal attack (I wonder why) refused to cooperate with Goldstone from day one. This
    begs the question : what did Israel have to hide
    by not allowing any foreign journalists (safety
    & security are bogus claims as journalist have
    covered many wars, if this can be called a war
    ! )? Goldstone, who is Jewish with many ties
    to Israel, criticizes israel's actions in this war
    which killed 1400 Palestinian men women and
    children (vast majority civilians). Because Goldstone cannot be labelled as antisemitic, the Zionists go in high gear to smear Goldstone. They go as far as disallowing Goldstone
    to attend his grand kids Bar Mitzvah (or bat mitzvah I forget).

    I will post more about Judge Goldstone's accomplishments and the lies propogated by people like you.

    At the end of the day this is not about the BDS movement but about the Zionist M.O. that nobody criticizes Israel, however valid and legitimate that criticism may be, and if they do, we will stop at nothing (speaking of values and morality) to destroy them. This MO will never be compatible with justice
    and democracy.

  14. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Anonymous said…
    “Israel has no similarity to other Western democracies and is much more similar to an apartheid military state”

    wow. I have to response for all the nonsense you succeeded to put in one comment.

    you think Israel

    1. “Occupies land” – Oh, and any other western democracy didn't? And by the way, 900,000 jews were deported from arab countries during the same years Israel “occupied lands”.
    There were jews in Israel since the 19th century, please learn history.
    2. “builds illegal and immoral settlements on occupied land in defiance of every nation on earth with the exception of Israel” –
    Don't decide for us in Israel that building in several places is moral or not. by the way, most of the “settlements” (which includes Tel-Aviv according to the Hamas) are legal.
    3. “has “Jews only” roads in these settlements” – are you kidding? there is only one little road that is closed for citizens who aren't Israeli, because of terror attacks that happened on this road. It has nothing to do with race. By the way, jews in Hebron are not aloowed to visit in most places there, simply because they are jewish.
    4. “has built a separation wall that encroaches occupied land” – Again, a stupid lie. this wall was built to PROTECT Israelis from terror attacks (and it does.) jews don't like this ugly wall either, but prefer it than being dead (just like Hamas wants).
    5. “Treats non Jews in Israel, i.e. 20% of its population, as second class citizens” – Again, a lie. Israeli non jews have the SAME rights jews have. (even more – they don't have to join the army)

    If you don't know what is going on in another country and try to sound like an expert, at least try to use less poor slogans. one or two is enough.

  15. Jon October 7, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Our anonymous visitor's hysteria is a good demonstration of just how critical the whole Apartheid analogy is to the Palestinian hasbarah project.

    Thus Richard Goldstone's role in the judicial murder of black South Africans becomes just another “smear” to BDS activists who can forgive anything (even the repression and killing of black South Africans – within a debate over Apartheid no less) as long as someone embraces their position that Israel is the cause of all wickedness and evil in the region.

  16. Marc October 7, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Anonymous (11:35 AM):

    Firstly, we were discussing (as per Jon's blog-post on which the comments are based) the extent to which Tutu by virtue of his contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle confers a special legitimacy on the current anti-Israel BDS movement. It is simply this issue I have tried to address by arguing that Tutu’s questionable contribution to the anti-apartheid movement puts him in no special category whatsoever. I have not raised in my posts the merits or demerits of anti-Israel BDS per se. Your comment that I attack Tutu simply because he attacks Israel and that I seek to discredit him by any means necessary is irrelevant polemic which in no way relates to anything I have said, so I will disregard it for now.

    I am not at all clear as to what is wrong with agreeing the downfall of apartheid was positive yet having reservations about some of the means employed in bringing this about. Any other positions to the contrary would be crazy!

    As far as your last paragraph is concerned, you do nothing there but display the utter intellectual bankruptcy of the BDS movement. As further comments on this post have stated, there were other “white Jewish South Africans” who fought apartheid tooth and nail. Their racial/religious makeup was totally irrelevant. Why you insist so hard on making it part of your argument right now escapes me. Stick to the argument (if you have one) and leave the racial and religious stereotyping to the bigots on the fringes.

  17. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    It is totally possible for a person to be really right about one thing, and totally wrong about something else.

    It doesn't matter whether BDS in SA was effective or not, because BDS in Israel is wrong. The accusations are wrong. It won't have any effect. Peace is what will have an effect. And it won't happen as long as
    BDS resists peace – which it does. E.g. Bharghouti opposing cooperative projects between Palestinians and Israelis.

    I feel bad for this anonymous poster. He or she obviously has a lot of passion. Unfortunately, anonymous only has access to untrue information. It is a garbage in – garbage out situation. I don't know if anonymous' limits are because he/she lives in a place where there is no freedom of access or if he/she lacks the intellectual curiosity (or ability) to examine other sources and judge them objectively.


  18. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    As promised a few links related to Judge Goldstone:

    Prosecution of war criminals in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda

    What the former chief justice of SA has to say about Goldstone:

    Israel's relationship with Apartheid SA

  19. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    It is not just I who thinks that Israel occupies land and builds illegal settlements on them; the entire world does , including the US (the only supporter Israel has).

    See the separation wall for yourself and tell me it does not encroach on Palestinian land :

    A better view of the “one little road”

    Israel's treatment of its non -Jewish citizenry and racist policies

    Arabs have the same rights as Jews do in Israel….my ass they do

  20. DrMike October 7, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    So if Israel comes to an agreement with the Palestinians and withdraws from most of the West Bank in exchange for a Palestinian declaration of the end of the conflict and the abandonment of the fictional “right” of return, then you would then agree not to support BDS efforts, right?

  21. Jon October 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Oh no! Links from the Internet criticizing Israel and agreeing with what you say! However did you find such things! However shall we respond to such an epic pile of evidence?

    Let's see, if I plug “Richard Goldstone is an asshole” into Google, I come up with 242,000 results, which makes your lousy three links look positively paultry in comparison. So (according to what your “these links prove my point” argument anyway), I guess I win by 241,997.

  22. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Jon you are more pathetic than I thought. If I search for “Jon Haber is an asshole” I will probably get 3 or 4 results, meaning you rank pretty low even as an asshole.

    Sorry and good riddance !

  23. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    Dr Mike: instead of asking me the question “if Israel comes to an agreement with the Palestinians and withdraws from most of the West Bank in exchange for a Palestinian declaration of the end of the conflict and the abandonment of the fictional “right” of return, then you would then agree not to support BDS efforts, right?” why don't you ask the government of Israel why they have continued to build settlements for decades on land that is supposed to be a Palestinian state. I think Israel's actions (or might I say inaction) is more relevant to peace than the BDS movement. Remember there was no BDS movement to speak of 15 years ago but Israel has been moving its citizens into occupied lands for decades.

  24. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    Anonymous –

    “It is not just I who thinks that Israel occupies land and builds illegal settlements on them; the entire world does , including the US (the only supporter Israel has)”-
    ok. I personally believe that every nation in the world occupies lands that belong to others. what is your point?
    I guess you don't think Americans should leave America back to the native Americans, and 6 million jews should go back to europe (unless you are simply crazy).
    and please don't speak in the name of the “whole world”. The UN declared in 1948 that a jewish state should exist in Israel along with the palestinian one. The ones who responsible for the lake of palestinian state are the Arab states, not the jewish people who have the justified right to build in Israel and never denied the palestinians' right. it is, still, the opposite.

    I see the separation wall every day, don't tell me to “watch it myself”. without this wall I wouldn't be here. read statistics about the background of building it before you spread lies. btselem at least gets money for it.
    your link is irrelevant, Route 443 is now open for everyone, and it was closed because jewish people were killed there by palestinians.

    And yes, Israeli arabs have the exact same rights as Jews do in Israel. your stupid irrelevant links don't cover the truth. There are no racist policies in Israel (at least not more than the policy in every other country).

  25. Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    where is my comment? anyway, I have to answer again to the other bunch of nonsence anonymous wrote.

    “It is not just I who thinks that Israel occupies land and builds illegal settlements on them; the entire world does” : first of all don't speak in the name of the whole world. secondly, I personally think America occupies land that belongs to native Americans and Europe occupies land that belongs to 6 million jews. so? what is your point? lets get it back?
    jews are in Israel for many decades and even the UN don't deny the jews' right to live in Israel. please learn history. The only ones who responsible for not having a palestinian state are the palestinians, who believe all jews should be kicked out of Israel. Never gonna happen, sorry. we have a historical right to live here.

    I See the separation wall every day, don't tell me to see it on your stupid irrelevant links. The wall is here to save lives (read statistics about the background of building it. clue: it was not built because we want it to be here. it is really ugly) And people were killed without it, FACT.
    the other link is completely irrelevant, the part of route 443 is now opened for everyone. and it was closed because jews were killed there.
    1.5 million Israeli Arabs do have the same legal rights as Jews do in Israel, wheather you believe it or not. please stop spreading lies (at least betselem gets paid for it) and check it on relevant sources.

  26. Jon October 8, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    Presuming your goodbye “good riddance” is not just another crock of shit you're leaving in your wake then farewell. And don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

  27. Anonymous October 8, 2010 at 4:55 am #

    Jon how much hasbara can you post and be challenged before you lose your cool? It must feel warm and cozy to post another one of your “witty” blogs that in reality say nothing but repeat Zionist rhetoric masked behind big words.

    I truly believe that you have no interest in real peace between Israel and Palestine. Yours is some calling to defend the “Jews and Jewish homeland” as if this is 1946, and Palestine is Europe. Your blogs have no context, just an attempt to categorize all BDS movements as failures, lies, deceit, back room dealings etc. You will never dare criticize Israel ..that is somehow against your moral code. What bothers you most is that the BDS movement has really not much to do with religion and race but everything to do with human rights. People who are neither Jewish nor Arab nor Muslim are involved with the BDS movement and it is these people that are your worst nightmare.

    Victimhood worked for a few decades after the holocaust but the world community sees Israel for what it is: a military power house that will never hesitate to brutalize it's neighbors in the name of security. Oh security…the term so often used as an excuse for Israel's shortcomings and criminal acts and a good excuse for sugar daddy America.

    Have the Palestinians committed acts of violence and terrorism against Israel? Yes they have. These acts should be considered in the context of the occupation, dispossession and settlements. Nobody thinks that Arabs have a predisposition to hate Jews (or do some people here think that?)

    Israel's preoccupation with security combined with religious dogma has resulted in not only a policy of occupation but much worse settlement in occupied lands. The settlement industry will never be accepted by the world as legitimate, and even the US, the staunchest supporter of Israel, considers settlements as illegal. But Israel is too drunk with the power bestowed on it by the Jewish/Israel lobby and feels entitled to every square inch of the west bank. Which brings us to entitlement. The pro Israel lobby and right wingers feel they are entitled to all this. If the US were to make the over $3 billion in annual aid it gives to israel conditional on a total and complete ban on settlement activity, somehow that sense of entitlement would slowly fade won't you agree? So we have victimhood, entitlement, and impunity so far. .

    Given that the $3 billion in US aid to Israel is mostly in the form of military aid, Israel has rarely hesitated to use force (excessive in many instances) to resolve conflict and assert itself. 60 years of war, military superiority by Israel vis a vis it's neighbors, and the use of force in the WB, Gaza and East Jerusalem have proven fruitless. Israel, with all it's military might, cannot live in peace. So we have victimhood, entitlement, impunity, and brutality.

    Last but not least is racism and bigotry. Any nation (even a “Jewish” nation) built on religion, with a 20% non Jewish minority, is bound to discriminate against this minority. There are clear examples of racism and double standards in Israel contrary to anon who states all Jews and Arabs are treated equally. Arabs, they are after all the demographic threat, are routinely discriminated when it cones to land/property ownership in Israel. So we have victimhood, entitlement, impunity, brutality, and racism. That pretty much sums up all the ugly things about Zionism.

    Israel represents a major foreign affairs liability for the US. As dominant as the Jewish/Israel lobby is, voices of reason (starting with walt and Mearsheimer sp?) have begun to be heard. This fact coupled with the fact that the US is no longer the sole superpower all point to a more sane and fair policy with regards to the Israel/Palestine conflict. None of this bodes well for the lobby and bloggers like Jon. Add the BDS movement and we have a very neurotic Jon on our hand.

    Yours truly


    As I have always said no justice = no peace.

  28. Anonymous October 8, 2010 at 6:28 am #

    “Nobody thinks that Arabs have a predisposition to hate Jews (or do some people here think that?)”
    you are entirely brainwashed and have no idea about true history. jews live in Israel for decades, and palestinian terror against jews in Israel started long before 1948. and yes, palestinian arabs have a predisposition to hate Jews (read about terror against jews in the 1920's, or read about the education in arab countries against jews. the whole conflict is because of religion and not because of the “occupation” like clueless people try to portray. your links are irrelevant, route 443 is now opened and yes, arabs in Israel have the same legal rights jews have. it is a fact. the wall is there to protect us from rockets (there is no wall in Sderot and they suffer from it for 8 years).
    the ones who deny jews' right to live in Israel (historically justified rights.) are the palestinians. you can't have peace with someone who wish to kill you (and say it out loud in every possible chance. click “palwatch”). at least betselem gets money for spreading lies.

  29. Fred October 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Notable quotes from anonymous at 2:28 AM. I rest my case.

    “yes, palestinian arabs have a predisposition to hate Jews ..”

    “the whole conflict is because of religion and not because of the “occupation” like clueless people try to portray.”

    “arabs in Israel have the same legal rights jews have. it is a fact”

    “at least betselem gets money for spreading lies.”

  30. Anonymous October 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    click “palwatch” you say. The director of palwatch is a leader of the settler movement, with close ties to the Central Fund of Israel.

  31. Anonymous October 9, 2010 at 5:37 am #

    I don't care who the director of palwatch is. The fact is that every report there (unlike all the “reports” from betselem, haaretz, etc)is backed-up with vidoes and records, so that people who prefer ignoring the truth and instead inspect the reporter won't be able to do that. every video there was published in the palestinian news, and every sane person who watches this understands who prevent the peace from happening (clue: those who believe jews must exist in the world only as Dhimmis, (based on religious views).
    And by the way you lie again. Itamar marcus (I googled even though I don't really care) is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch and the Director of Research for the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace. both have nothing to do with settlements. leader of the settler movement? lol.

    Fred- thanks. usually I don't respond because English isn't my language but when someone tells me to “check out the wall for myself” (truly believe that jews enjoy this ugly wall and built it for no reason) when I see it every day, I get really pissed off.

  32. DrMike October 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    But again, realizing that I am repeating myself because none of the anti-Israel posters here have dared to answer this question:
    If Israel were to either
    A) unilaterally evacuate settlements as they did in Gaza or
    B) come to an agreement with the PA leadership which included mutually recognized borders
    then would you abandon your call for BDS activities against Israel?

    Your ongoing silence on this point makes it obvious that the settlements, while an issue that does need to be resolved between Israel and the PA, is not the core issue here. The core issue is the existence of a Jewish state within any borders at all. That's what the BDS movement is about.

    Try to prove me wrong with information from the BDS leadership (not whatever you claim as your own individual position).

  33. DrMike October 13, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    ah, the deafening silence….

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