It says a lot about Israel’s declining status, and the rising influence of Palestinian-led civil society efforts to demand accountability for its crimes, that a boycott measure like the one United Methodists adopted at their General Conference 2012 this week could pass a major church body in the United States with minimal notice.
A young boy in the Palestinian refugee camp of Talbieh in Jordan / Omar Chatriwala, Flickr
Writing in the New York Times, author Peter Beinart writes in support of a boycott and divestment campaign against illegal settlements in the West Bank. His proposal is to boycott the products of settlements but to strongly support Israel proper and to oppose efforts to boycott Israel within the green line.
Beinart sees Israel’s expansion into the West Bank as creating “an entity of dubious democratic legitimacy, given that millions of West Bank Palestinians are barred from citizenship and the right to vote in the state that controls their lives.” He proposes calling the occupied territories “non-democratic” Israel, in distinction to the “democratic” Israel inside the Green Line. Thus, he favors boycott and divestment against settlements, but not against what he terms “democratic” Israel. Beinart is right that it is time for pressure on the non-democratic elements of Israel. But Beinart doesn’t go far enough in recognizing what those non-democratic elements are.
PSCABI has established links with numerous universities and student groups in many countries including the United States, Great Britain, and Italy, and will hold joint events with several over Skype during IAW, which begins Monday in Gaza. And members of the Gaza-based IAW organizing committee are working around the clock, both with each other, and with authors, poets, and activist groups worldwide, on a schedule that will reflect quickly-growing BDS successes and developments.
I am constantly perplexed by Alan Dershowitz’s ability to maintain his respectable status in spite of his extensive record of intellectual dishonesty. Despite his history, he’s still being published in major outlets, joining the drumbeat for an attack on Iran, and is taken seriously as the “go-to” guy for so-called “pro-Israel” groups seeking to counter the growing BDS movement. Is he really so brilliant that no one has caught on to his fraudulent “scholarship” yet?
Protest in solidarity with hunger striker Khader Adnan at Ofer prison / activestills, Flickr
Fatah and Hamas finally sign unity government agreement, hunger striker brings greater attention to IDF administrative detention, Hamas’ “waning” relationship with Iran and more this week’s top #Palestine stories.