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Haaretz - Ravit Hecht: Israel's Problem Isn't BDS - It's the Occupation

World  (tags: middle-east, israel, palestine, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, BDS, occupation, oppression )

- 1324 days ago -
The hope that the Palestinians will quietly resign themselves to the settlements, happily content with the conditions imposed by the occupation, is unrealistic. What can we do if they impudently insist on resisting and striving for freedom, their natural


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Evelyn B (63)
Thursday June 4, 2015, 1:11 am
Israel's problem isn't BDS – it's the occupation

One can object to boycotts. But sanctimonious wailing and the automatic posing as victims coated with the memory of the Holocaust won't hide the fact that Israel is ruling over an entire other nation.
By Ravit Hecht 02:10 03.06.15

The daily Yedioth Ahronoth has launched a campaign called “Fighting the boycott” — the subheadline declares that the paper too “is mobilizing to join the battle.” Yedioth was never a journal with a particular ideology, so it’s probably trying to position itself as a patriotic, right-wing paper in its war against the leading daily, the free Israel Hayom owned by U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

The campaign's opening salvo was an article by right-wing journalist Ben-Dror Yemini, who accused rock star Roger Waters, gender theorist Judith Butler (a Jew) and physicist Stephen Hawking of harboring dark motives and anti-Semitism in their opposition to the occupation.

Yemini lays out the usual right-wing argument against anti-Israel initiatives: The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, despite the way it presents itself, not only opposes the occupation but denies Israel’s very right to exist.

According to this thinking, Nazi-like propaganda methods ensnare naïve young Jews who espouse values of tikkun olam, repairing the world. In addition, the global struggle against the occupation is hypocritical and biased because only Israel is targeted, not those awful countries like Iran, Sudan or North Korea.

This last argument is particularly interesting because it’s popular on the right and implies an unconscious admission of guilt. If Israel is as pure as the driven snow, why should it be mentioned in the same breath as emblems of human rights violations? If Israel is completely blameless, why does it need special treatment or a better spot in the group of problem countries?

The answer is that most Israelis — even if they fear territorial concessions for security reasons and don’t believe that a peace deal with the Arabs is sustainable — know that Israel is committing an injustice against civilians and denying them their freedom. They know that in the frequent rounds of violence, Israel kills thousands of innocent people as well as terrorists. They know that in a certain place under Israeli rule there is one legal regime for one nation (Israeli law for settlers) and a different one for another nation (military law for Palestinians).

How does one deal with such guilt, to which Yemini is also an accomplice? “Israel, of course, is far from perfect”, the writer states before returning to the real enemy, the BDS movement.

Yemini sets BDS in his sights, but Israel faced a suspension from FIFA last week not because of that vilified organization but because of claims by the Palestinian Football Association that others supported. The affair that made the whole country hold its breath proves the opposite of what Yemini is arguing. Israel is a member of FIFA because the world recognizes its sovereignty within the 1967 borders. It risked expulsion because of its policies in territories it captured in 1967.

Stretching the conflict back to 1948, which Yemini attributes to the boycott movement, serves his goal. It removes with a magic wand Israel’s responsibility for the situation that began in 1967.

The hope that the Palestinians will quietly resign themselves to the settlements, happily content with the conditions imposed by the occupation, is unrealistic. What can we do if they impudently insist on resisting and striving for freedom, their natural right?

Under those circumstances, what kind of struggle do Yemini and his right-wing readers, or any other reasonable person, prefer? Diplomatic and economic measures or exploding buses? UN votes or suicide bombers?

One can object to boycotts, including cultural or economic boycotts of the settlements. But sanctimonious wailing and the automatic posing as victims coated with the memory of the Holocaust is as mistaken an approach as the one Yemini accuses BDS of. Israel’s problem isn’t BDS or Jibril Rajoub — it’s the occupation.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Thursday June 4, 2015, 1:12 am
Shared on facebook and twittersphere.
No person or group or country wants to be imposed upon by another.

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 4, 2015, 7:21 am
Evelyn, the link doesn't work. The article is for subscribers only.


Carol R (11)
Thursday June 4, 2015, 7:55 am
Thanks Evelyn... great article.


Justin Vale (13)
Thursday June 4, 2015, 10:50 am
phssst. let me whisper a little secret to you guys. isis is in gaza. hamas will soon learn the true meaning of terror.

Justin Vale (13)
Thursday June 4, 2015, 11:11 am
i told you guys months ago that isis iraqi militants were driving israel's roads like they own the place. too much time has passed. too much time. the attack on hamas in gaza city was a marvel of efficiency. being that gaza city is a city of check points how did isis disappear into thin air? why did anybody see isis? it wasn't a lone gunman. it was a group. why isn't anybody talking? the streets were filled with hundreds. why are they all claiming not to have seen? isis is among them. too much time has passed. since the zionist pulled out of gaza they have opened the doors for an isis influx.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday June 4, 2015, 3:22 pm
Thx Evelyn, well written there! But , as I already commented on Sam's thread incl. the links, Yedioth Ahronoth also revealed in other articles how desparate their BDS fight is due to lack of funds.

Foreign Ministry finds itself battling Israel boycott alone

Just one ministry official is in charge of the fight, now aided by a diplomatic cadet. 'We feel like soldiers in a battle, but without resources,' say staffers.
(,7340,L-4664577,00.html )

They also acknowledge that

The global boycott of Israel is growing silently

European banks are cutting ties with Israeli counterparts, while supermarkets across the world are appeasing violent protesters who attack their Israeli produce.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday June 4, 2015, 3:43 pm
On a side note, I found it interesting how BD obviously "confused" Ha'aretz with Adelson's Israel HaYom, a free give away on the streets. Remember how she would tell us that's, Ha'aretz, is what they wrap their garbage in because it is a free give away ?! LOL (and she's back in for a visit, too)

fly bird (26)
Friday June 5, 2015, 2:33 am
Israel's problem isn't BDS – it's the occupation.


End the occupation of Palestine!!

Tomek Malinowski (17)
Friday June 5, 2015, 3:50 am

Past Member (0)
Friday June 5, 2015, 4:51 am
Angelika, it was my Israeli friend who said that the only purpose of Haaretz is to serve a mat to dry feet on a beach.

Israelis don't read Haaretz, it is written for Arabs and for external audience.

Janet B (0)
Friday June 5, 2015, 3:16 pm

Mary Donnelly (47)
Friday June 5, 2015, 3:52 pm

Birgit W (160)
Friday June 5, 2015, 4:10 pm
Darren Woolsey says it all. Thanks for sharing.

Evelyn B (63)
Friday June 5, 2015, 9:41 pm
I'm sure that the close to 100,000 Israelis who read Haaretz at the weekend would be fascinated to know that the don't exist.

John De Avalon (36)
Saturday June 6, 2015, 4:04 pm
Evelyn: A figure you've extracted from Wikipedia. But that was, as it states, for 2008. It's 2015 now and circulation has gone into meltdown since.

John De Avalon (36)
Saturday June 6, 2015, 4:06 pm
The West Bank is occupied by Israel, true, but you are forgetting the West Bank is actually part of Jordan
The Jordanians annexed the West Bank from the Palestinians in 1950.

John De Avalon (36)
Saturday June 6, 2015, 4:14 pm
Who in their right mind wouldn't want peace in the Middle East, and indeed everywhere throughout the world.
A viable two nation solution, with compromise on both sides and foreign investment to create jobs and economic prosperity, the only way to lasting peace.

The problem I have with you, Evelyn, is your stance. You think you can feed in hate one end and get love and peace out the other? You can't.
That's like trying to put out a fire by sloshing petrol on it.

The way to peace is through the ways of peace.

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday June 7, 2015, 8:09 am
The way to peace is through both sides ceding, trying to understand and respect each other. As long as one side stands over with a stick, waiting until the other side has grovelled enough, it is not a way of peace, it is oppression.

You see "hate-feeding" because you don't want to even try to walk some steps in the shoes of the oppressed - but it is the occupation and the fear-mongering that feeds hate, not the efforts to lift the veil on the suffering caused by the occupation, oppression and inequality of rights.

Sheryl G (359)
Wednesday June 10, 2015, 10:47 am
Well said Evelyn, thanks for the article. Nothing caged makes for a good neighbor, a caged dog will keep barking until it is set free. These people need to be treated with the same respect that the people of Israel want, what is so hard to see in that.
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