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View Diary: How the Progressive D.C. Community Helped Me Defeat the Right-Wing, 'Pro-Israel' Silencing Machine (122 comments)

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  •  Excellent point Mokurai. The poignant thing is (1+ / 0-)
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    that if we accepted the "Dershowitz Standard" as our criteria and you were to move to North Korea to work on those problems there the North Koreans might accuse you of anti-Asian bigotry, because, in their opinion Assad's treatment of Syrians might seem worse.

    Wouldn't a  better criteria more consistent with progressive ideals to respect everyone right to make up their own minds for their own reasons what political causes they feel moved to support or oppose?

    Gandhi may choose working for freedom for India for a variety of reasons, not just that it was his home country, and that's were he lived.

    He also wrote that one reason his strategy of non-violence resistance worked against the British was that they were basically good people with a conscience. If he had tried this strategy with Ida Amin he may just have slaughtered all of the resisters without so much as a blink.

    A metaphor that may be apt in this case because I think most would agree that many Israeli's are similarly good people with highly developed senses of morality and habits of ethical self-reflection that one might not be able to count on if one were to choose Assad of Syria for a boycott.

    Another criteria that many may use, and should be recognized as valid and not a sign of bigotry might be knowledge of the situation and some sense of personal connection of moral obligation.

    Burma is often brought up as an example of a country treating minority populations with greater ruthlessness. However, most Americans probably know little about it, and we are not sending $3 billion/year to aid that government, and "we" as a country have not represented to the weaker parties to "trust us, as we will act as 'honest brokers' to achieve solutions in your best interest if you will just cast aside your current campaigns of violence.

    Another factor that I believe supporter could advance ( and remember I noted that I have not taken a position yet. May complaint is just a rejection of the "Dershowitz Standard,") is the existence of credible leaders and a core of disciplined adherents to a  non-violent  strategy that make it a plausible, if not viable possibility.

    One problem I have with the many different BDS movements that there are is the lack of clarity of goals. I agree with those that would reject any group advocating against Israels right to exist peacefully within he 1967 borders.

    Also, it seems problematic to me that most of the BDS movements I've read, (and I haven't read many, as this is not really one of my issues,,) is they focus otnly on products made in the "disputed territories" as Sheldon Adelson like to call them, and not on the Israeli economy, apparently, to symbolically note their intention is not to harm  or question Israel and its right to exist withing the 67 borders (a goal I support, but not the means.)

    So, the boycotts it would seem might most hurt Palestinian workers desperate for jobs, and a crippled Palestinian economy.

    Wouldn't it be strategically smarter for BDS supporters to do the opposite? Not boycott the firms on the West Bank but instead boycott all Israeli corporations until such time as Israel withdraws to withing the 67 borders, with or without any other peace agreements or recognition or conditions.

    Many make the point that parties should not be coerced against their wills into signing treaties, recognizing other countries they do not wish to recognize etc.I can understand this. So such duress shouldn't be the points of BDS, IMO.

    Instead,  the bodies we recognize as responsible for upholding international law, and U.S. position has been that Israel withdraw from illegally occupied territory, with the addendum that most reasonable people support the idea of Palestine and Israel enacting mutually agreeable land swaps to minimize the number of "stranded settlers." on the "wrong side' of the final borders.

    So wouldn't a more fair, more just, and more focused BDS objective be to unambiguously recognize Israel's right to exist securely, and peacefully within the 1967 border, or any mutually agreed land swaps negotiated and agreed to freely by Palestine, and then have BDS focused just on Israeli businesses and institutions until such time as such a withdrawal from "occupied territories" is completed.

    After than no BDS or pressure. Israel and Palestine could be free to recognize each other, or not, agree to peace treaties or not, and take as long as they want.

    The only interest the international community should have is compliance with international law, which requires invading parties to withdraw from occupied territories. Just as we are demanding with the Russians, in Ukraine.

    Oh, perhaps, Israels compliance with the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaties should also be required.  Perhaps, they should be allowed to keep the 75 to 400 nuclear warheads, they are "alleged" to have, for their security, if so the NPTs should be modified to reflect this.

    But, how can we tolerate a total defiance of international law after promising to all the other nations that if they only forego acquisition of nuclear weapons capability the "5"now "7" nuclear powers will guarantee this concession to global security will not be used to penalize them in geopolitics.

    What a tremendous strategic blunder it is to allow Israel  make a mockery of this promise and this vital treaty. History may not look kindly at P.M. Netanyahu's audacity to accuse others of "double standards," when he accuses Iran of not being trustworthy with respect to their NPT obligations when Netanyahu and Israel will not sign the NPT our acknowledge the nuclear weapons most believe they have.

    So, perhaps, resolution of this matter could be included in a more focuses BDS whose only theme was compliance with international law. A consistent application of this principle to Russia, Israel, and any and all other violators would cure the distraction of "red herring issues of BDS being anti-Israel, which David Harris Gershon reassures is not true in his case, and I believe him, as my understanding that he has devoted his life to teaching the Torah.  

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:07:37 AM PDT

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    •  The whole point of non-violent resistance (0+ / 0-)

      is to pressure somebody to making a deal they don't want any part of, whether it is dismantling Apartheid, or Jim Crow, or the British Empire, or anti-Catholic law and practice in Northern Ireland, or the Israeli occupation.

      A big part of ending slavery in the British Empire in the early 19th century was a boycott on sugar from the West Indies.

      We can discuss tactics and goals as long as we recognize that Palestinians are supposed to have rights under international law. Recognizing Israel will be a no-brainer after Israel recognizes Palestine.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:17:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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