For years I have been rather ambivalent about the wisdom of boycotting Israel. While a boycott of anything related to the illegal settlements in the West Bank, which are a clear derivative of a brutal occupation, is an absolute necessity, and which I have fully supported, I have always been reserved about the boycotting of Israel proper. Today I feel that there is no choice but to call for a full and total boycott directed against Israel – Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS).
For the good of Israel and in the hope that blatant pressure from abroad directed primarily at the Israeli economy is the only way to wean Israel from what Thomas Friedman in a recent editorial called “Israel’s crack addiction”. It is the only way to wake Israelis up from their (crack) pipe dream of “business as usual” or the feasibility of maintaining a disastrous status quo that will only lead to more land grabs, violence and war, ultimately jeopardizing Israel itself. It is the only way to convince present and future governments that the current situation is untenable and unviable. It is the only way to save us from ourselves. At this point in time, Israelis are unable to affect change from within.
The atmosphere has become so poisoned that attempts at the grassroots level to affect political change are insignificant at best, particularly in light of attempts at the legislative level to delegitimise grassroots initiatives and make local NGOs seeking to advance political change illegal.
The current Israeli government (as well as past governments, whether led by Labour, Likud or the catch all Kadima party) has zero intention of moving forward with negotiations with the Palestinians. They would much rather “manage” the conflict than seek a truly just solution.
The continued occupation is having a disastrous effect on Israeli society as a whole. Human life has become cheap, a form of Judeo-Fascism is developing here, led by rabbis, far right politicians in the Knesset and leaders in the occupied Palestinian territory. Jim Crow legislation has been tabled at the Knesset, rabbis have signed calls not to lease or sell property to Arab Israelis, hundreds demonstrate against Arab Israeli neighbors, and recently a group of minors were arrested for conducting what can only be called pogroms against innocent Arab citizens in the center of Jerusalem.
The poison of the occupation has infected Israeli society as a whole at a level that can only be diagnosed as gangrenous. The only way to convince Israelis that the current status quo cannot be continued is to attach a real and significant price to the continued occupation, and yes, to force local political leaders to take responsibility, to lead rather than manage, to commit, rather than hide behind spin doctors or the outright lies of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Anyone who yet rationalises non-action against Israel is actively contributing to the inevitable use of the only other tool world history has provided for social and political change: violence! Please boycott my country today, you are our only hope!
The author chooses to withhold his name for fear of repercussions against his family. The threat is real. Suffice to say that the author is an Israeli academic in the field of the social sciences. While the author is fully prepared to pay the price for his opinions, there is no reason for his family to suffer.
The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘WikiLeaks to publish Israel files on Second Lebanon War, Dubai assassination’
Julian Assange said today that thousands of documents related to Israel are due to be released over next six months.
Assange admitted also that so far only 2% of the Wikileaks released documents related to Israel were picked by the Western mainstream media, something to do with ‘sensitivities’ of the Jewish communities in France, Germany, Britain and the USA.
I guess that more than ever we need Wikileaks. More than ever we need to establish our own channels of communication and information. The proof of the betrayal of Western media is conclusive.
Assange said that he holds 3,700 more files related to Israel, and the main source of them is the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.
Take your time Julian and keep safe.
The good news is that the bulldozers stopped working today thanks to the
brave people of Al-Walaja but they still need our collective support. 100
internationls will be in Al-Walaja tomorrow morning (Friday at 9 AM).
The video that I recorded and loaded this morning summarizes what happened
to us after our arrest in Al-Walaja, a peaceful beautiful village that is
slated for ethnic cleansing (for the second time). The beatings and pepper
spray used on Sheerin and the young men of Al-Walaja was truly vicious.
During the arrest, I managed to text message, take notes, and even take a
couple of pictures from under the stairwell without the soldiers being aware
(details maybe for my next book!). We challenged the soldiers’ demand that
we not speak to each other or to them. Many of the soldiers kept saying
they are obeying orders and I and others reminded them that obeying fascist
order is not an excuse in international courts of justice (we are not there
yet, but I believe the day is coming). I was truly inspired by the courage,
vision and dedication of villagers like Sheerin and Dia who exemplify
decency and dignified poise in front of the machine that still comes up
among humans every few decades. From fascism to Nazism to Zionism, the
enemy is one: racism and greed that in the end is self-destructive. But if
enough good people stand-up, the end may come sooner and more people on all
sides would be saved the physical and emotional scars of colonization.
Anyway, here is my statement on youtube:
Our friend Olivia Zemor and many others were denied entry on Ben Gurion
airport. You can read her statement here (in French, may translate using
However, thousands of people from around the world still managed to enter
Palestine through Israeli controlled ports of entry like Ben Gurion airport.
Some were asked to sign stupid statements about not entering “Palestinian
areas”. Of course all of this land is Palestinian areas, they should state
entering the ghettos or bantustans to make it clearer.
In the holding cell with tight handcuffs cutting our circulation, we had a
sense of peace and self-confidence. We shared smiles and whispered words of
encouragement to each other. It was uplifting experience and camaraderie. I
myself started singing (Fairuz-Zahrat Al-Madaen, Christmas songs, the
Palestinian national anthem etc). After all we were told not to speak to
each other but they said nothing of singing. I wished to dance but then I
thought this might be too much for my cell-mates. We all believe that it is
a sign of weakness and desperation that the Israeli army increasingly
brutally attacks unarmed people who are simply challenging occupation
nonviolently or merely asking pointed questions. From the Gaza freedom
flotilla to Rafah to Bilin to Al-Walaja, to Stuttgart, to Paris, and to the
rest of the world, the cracks in the walls holding empire of lies are being
felt. Again, there will be an event in Al-Walaja Friday at 9-11 AM. For
those outside Palestine, thank you for acting in your spheres of influence.
Auschwitz Survivor on Palestine
Why will there not be a US foreign policy that benefits US population? Is it
because certain Jews make money out of the tribalism that is Zionism? An
article in Haaretz on “How much do U.S. Jewish leaders [sic] make?”
Song for Kairos Palestine (Manal abdo)
Description of an arrest. Three of us released after about 10 hours. Five others were kept overnight. Some will have to go to (unfair) trials where Colonial Israeli Judges and prosecutors execute their bureaucratic punishments with no real law other than apartheid racist laws that befit Jewish immigrants at the expense of native Palestinians.
Mazin Qumsiyeh former of the faculty of Duke and Yale and now teaching at Bethlehem University has been arrested for objecting to an exapnding settlement in a Palestinian town. (details below)
The best time to make contact on arrests is immediately, before anything goes too far. Note from Jesse Qumsiyeh that they’ve already thrown water on the prisoners.
CALL CALL CALL
the U.S. office in Jerusalem for the Territories is
011-972-2-622-7221 or 011-972-2-622-7207
from 1 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
at all other times for emergencies like arrests, use this number
[ I just called so they do know the facts. What they need to see is that lots of people are behind Mazin ]
ask to speak to a duty officer
also make an email JerusalemACS@state.gov
Explain that you’re worried that American citizen Mazin Qumsiyeh will be mistreated, that the reason for the arrest is false, that Israelis have no right to build or expand a settlement on Palestinian land.
The arrest took place in the West Bank, in Al-Walaja, in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem. If you didn’t get Jesse’s email the main part is below
The other person to contact is Richard Blumenthal, the current Attorney General of the State of CT, Mazin’s last address. (Blumenthal was just elected Senator, but he still is AG) I’ve spoken to him in the past about Mazin.
Civil Rights/Torts Department
And let your friends know about this.