Have they no shame?

I recently posted the only existing video of Anne Frank, a Dutch Jew who lived in hiding from 1942 until 1944. She, as well as her family and others cloistered in the “secret annex” of a friend’s house, were arrested in 1944 and transported to the camps. Of the seven arrested, only one (Otto, Anne’s father) survived. Anne and her sister Margot died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, only a few weeks before it was liberated by the Allies.  Anne was 15, Margot 19.

Anne intended that book she composed in hiding, now called The Diary of a Young Girl, would be published as a novel after the war, but of course she never saw that. Her grieving father ensured that it was published, and it’s well worth reading. Predictably, there were “diary deniers,” who asserted that the entire composition was a fabrication. But forensic analysis, handwriting comparison, and other techniques showed without any doubt that the diary was authentic.

If you’re in Amsterdam, a visit to the house and “secret annex” is mandatory.

Sadly, Anne Frank’s image has been coopted in the crassest way by BDSAmsterdam, the Dutch wing of the BDS Movement (“Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions”).  The movement aims to use the three weapons of its acronym to force Israel to stop what BDS sees as the apartheid-like treatment of Palestinians.

Although the movement is supported by people like Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, and Stephen Hawking, I think it is misguided, taken in by a victim narrative perpetrated largely by the left. Indeed, although Israel bears some guilt in the continuing conflagration (most especially in their refusal to give up the West Bank and encouraging settlement in that area), so do the Palestinians, who engage in deliberate, targeted murder of Israeli civilians. Indeed, the Hamas charter of 1988 not only calls for the extirpation of the State of Israel, but touts the fictitious and anti-Semitic document “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as evidence for a Jewish plan of worldwide domination.

I am especially opposed to academic boycotts of Israel, as I would be of academic boycotts against Palestine or anyone else, for I see academics, like sports, as a community that is international, transcending political differences.

But that aside, and regardless of how you feel, about Israel, I think most of us will agree that the new Twitter image of BDS Amsterdam, showing Anne Frank in a keffiyeh (the Palestianian scarf, now a symbol of the resistance), crosses the bounds of decency:

Screen shot 2013-06-13 at 6.02.10 PM

Many members of BDS favor not a two-state solution (my choice), but the complete elimination of the State of Israel. They are living in la-la land.

If Israel had existed in the 1940s, Anne Frank would have celebrated her 84th birthday on Wednesday.

106 Comments

  1. gbjames
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    sub

  2. Posted June 14, 2013 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    As shocking as it may sound, I think the Israeli issue is going to calm down a bit as Sunnis and Shiahs start fighting against each other. Saudi Arabia has already asked their citizens to leave Lebanon. Iran backs Assad, as does Hezbollah.
    I think hate can be greatly intensified when the fight is within the same religion. It becomes a fight not just about ideology, but about property rights.

    • JBlilie
      Posted June 14, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, I think you are right (more mayhem — it’s what they are best at).

  3. Dominic
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Recall that Hilary & Steven Rose are among the senior academics behind the call to boycott Israel
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Rose
    (Steven Rose is a chap who heavily criticised the Selfish Gene.)

  4. Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    This is pretty repellent, but not more so than other hyperbole and excesses in discussions on this subject.

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    The image that BDS have used is a photograph of graffiti found all over Amsterdam apparently

    Two examples that date back quite some time shown HERE & HERE
    Perhaps the original message of the image was different before BDS hijacked it? [if that’s what’s happened]

  6. Les Kaufman
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this balanced and rational post Jerry.

  7. Crop Dusted
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t really help the discussion to write things like “Many members of BDS favor not a two-state solution (my choice), but the complete elimination of the State of Israel.”

    (Similarly, “many members” of the academic community favor teaching creationism as a competing scientific theory to evolution.)

    In fact:

    “While individual BDS activists and advocates may support diverse political solutions, the BDS movement as such does not adopt any specific formula and steers away from the one-state-versus-two-states debate, focusing instead on universal rights and international law…” (BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights)

    I especially like the phrase “what BDS sees” as the apartheid-like treatment of Palestinians, as if they are imagining it.

    • Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      My statement was accurate, as is yours about creationism. So frickin’ WHAT? I am reporting what is going on, not trying to “help the discussion”.

      It is indubitably true that some BDS members favor the extirpation of the state of Israel. It is beyond me how anyone can want this.

      As for your apartheid-like analogy, no, I don’t think the comparison is accurate.

      • Andrea Collins
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Well said, Jerry.

    • dieter
      Posted June 14, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      These are the actual demands of BDS:

      “1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
      3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

      This would elimitate Israel and reduce Jews to an oppressed minority status in a Hamas ruled single islamic state.

      • Jeff Johnson
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        This would elimitate Israel and reduce Jews to an oppressed minority status in a Hamas ruled single islamic state.

        It’s very questionable whether Hamas could win a democratic victory in Israel after right of return were granted. I so often hear that hardly any Palestinians were kicked out of Israel, and yet right of return would destroy Israel? There is an obvious contradiction there. It has to be one way or the other.

        If Israel wants to be a democratic state rather than an authoritarian theocracy, #1 and #2 are necessary for Israel’s own good.

        The only one of these demands that should be questioned at all by those who support a democratic Israel is #3. In this case, a possible negotiation on compensation to the displaced families who have lost their rightful property might suffice.

        What would really accomplish the elimination of Israel would be for Israel to annex the West Bank. Assuming all citizens could vote in a democracy, that would really make Jews a minority. Israel cannot annex the West Bank without either being an Apartheid state with Arabs as second class citizens, or having a Jewish minority.

        • Sarah
          Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          It would be a contradiction in a normal situation. About 800,000 Arabs were displaced by the war in 1948, but the ‘right of return’ is supposed to apply not just to them but to all their descendants, who now number several million. Given that there is no such thing as an automatic ‘right of return’ anyway, this whole notion and the ‘refugee camps’ (which have become permanent slums) are an impediment to a peace agreement. The PA must know this, but they keep up the pretence and give their people false hopes.

        • dieter
          Posted June 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          The muslim brotherhood, which Hamas is a part of, currently wins any election it is allowed to run in. Its only challenge comes from even more radical salafists.

      • Boris Molotov
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        ” Hamas ruled single islamic state.”
        I highly doubt it. Don’t think that Israeli is some week vicitm state that will easily be overrun, these are not the Jews of the 1940s. They will not let that happen.
        The Israeli’s are well trained and armed and have radical religious nutcases that can match Hamas any day. On top of it, the Israeli goverment has state of the art weapons that makes Assad’s toy army look like a joke.
        Sure, Hamas could try but the situation would play itself out in much the same way as Lebanon and Syria: civil war but with a much more powerful central (Israeli) goverment.
        Also remember that there are a significant amounts of other minorities in that region as well.
        Even in the worst case, the world would simply not tolerate any pogroms against Jews, definately not the US. I could easilyu imagine volunteers streaming there by the thousands.
        No, I think the refugees would look for jobs and properity and sap the Israeli economy to the point of breakage.
        Why would a succesful and properous Israel bother with all of this trouble and risk civil war? It won’t, simple reasoning.
        Any re-integration program would need to very gradual and span over decades.

        • dieter
          Posted June 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          The west currently does nothing about pogroms against Christians and various minorities in the region. The US occupation force was unable to stop the mutual ethnic cleansing of sunnis and shias in Iraq.

          An intervention in Israel would first of all require allies in the region. Jordan is likely to fall next in the ongoing islamic spring. Half of Cyprus is occupied by Turkey.

          The west would however accept any jewish refugees this time around. So Israel could quickly empty out of Jews.

          The BDS demand #3 is clearly irresponsible. BDS members are either naïve or malicious.

          • Boris Molotov
            Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

            Israel won’t empty out. That’s simlply unrealistic. What makes you think Jews are so weak as to simply roll over? You can be assured that any Arab attempt at exterminating the Jewish population will easily result in mushroom clouds rising above Mecca,Tehran or any other state’s capital that threatens to do so. That’s reality. Israel is a military and economic power in the region, its not as vulnerable that one pretends it to be. This is self evident by not only its history but its compete military and political domination of the Palestinians and neighbours.

  8. Dave
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    An utterly repellent use of this young woman’s image. It never ceases to amaze me that self-proclaimed liberal, secular “anti-zionists” (such as make up most of the BDS crowd) will devote enormous energy to denigrating and demonizing the one country in the Middle East where secular liberals like themselves can live and express their beliefs in freedom. Instead, they prefer to align themselves with Islamists who fantasize about finishing the job that Hitler started and who would happily wipe out their secular liberal “allies” too, given half a chance.

    Personally, I pursue my own “reverse-BDS” campaign, which involves preferentially buying Israeli products whenever possible. I heartily recommend the Medjool dates produced by West Bank “settlements” – juicy and delicious!

    • Jeff Johnson
      Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Islamists who fantasize about finishing the job that Hitler started and who would happily wipe out their secular liberal “allies” too, given half a chance.

      This description may apply to some, but it does not apply to 4 million Palestinians who long for economic freedom and political self-determination. This sort of extreme hyperbole is really the mirror image of Hamas style rhetoric. It pretends that a minority of radical extremists represent an entire group of 4 million.

      BDS advocates non-violent means of obtaining political goals. And to call them anti-zionist is going too far.

      If “anti-zionist” means opposing the Revisionist Zionism of Menachem Begin and his terrorist group, the Irgun, who laid the political and philosophical foundations for today’s Likud party, sure, I’m opposed to that form of Zionism. That form of Zionism thinks Israel should occupy all of the original British Mandate on both sides of Jordan, and that form of Zionism is willing to displace millions of Muslims living in the West Bank to fulfill a religious destiny to create Greater Israel.

      But if Zionism simply means that Israel as a country should exist in its current legal boundaries, then I think it is unfair to call BDS anti-zionist.

      • Sarah
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        The BDS movement is thoroughly anti-Zionist and anti-Israel. Omar Barghouti, the chief instigator of the movement, touts for a one-state solution, which is code for no Israel. It’s “non violent” insofar as the movement itself fires no guns, but a “one-state solution” would hardly be a peaceful outcome. See:
        http://blog.camera.org/archives/2013/05/economist_joins_bds_whitewash_1.html

        • Jeff Johnson
          Posted June 14, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          As far as I can see, Israel is working very hard for a one state solution, which is Israel today plus Judea and Samaria. This is commonly refered to as “Greater Israel”.

          Your link is providing a subjective interpretation, because it doesn’t appear that BDS explicitly calls for a one-state solution.

          I don’t doubt the possibility that some who support BDS are anti-Israel because they are anti-semitic or anti-zionist.

          But I know that many who support BDS do so because they are concerned about Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians. They don’t want to end Israel, they want to change Israel’s behavior, which are two entirely different things. To impugn everyone’s motives with a blanket dismissal is to miss a lot of what people really want.

          It is possible to oppose both Arab terror against Israelis, and to oppose Israeli violations of Palestinian rights. One does not need to take a tribal approach to this conflict, and paint one side as always correct while denouncing the other side as entirely evil.

          • Sarah
            Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

            ‘Greater Israel’ is not an Israeli policy. It is what Israel’s enemies claim is its policy, but if it were true it wouldn’t have traded so much land for peace (or rockets, in the case of Gaza). Sabeel, another proponent of BDS, has stated that Israel has no right to exist. Probably some people on the BDS bandwagon don’t realize the full implications of it.

            • Jeff Johnson
              Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

              Right. Likud pretends that is not it’s policy. The de facto settlement policy is a Greater Israel policy.

              And read this: the current Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin is heading a “Greater Israel Lobby”.

              http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Coalition-chairman-to-head-new-Greater-Israel-lobby-315471

              Nice try though. Of course Israel doesn’t want to be seen as having a Greater Israel policy, except for the most brazen of the right-wing and their most vocal US supporters.

              • Jeff Johnson
                Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

                Notice especially the last paragraph in the JP article. Netanyahu can’t bring himself to even slightly criticize the Greater Israel Lobby. He knows his political bread and butter depends on placating this.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

                If it were really a policy, it would not need a lobby.

              • Jeff Johnson
                Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

                Sarah,
                yes, if it were official policy, it wouldn’t need a lobby, unless there were a faction trying to undo the policy.

                On the other hand, it seems to be de facto policy if you simply notice the government backed settler program. And there is no shortage of positive sentiment toward Greater Israel among Isreali politicians and American supporters. Why would Jewish settlers move to the West Bank if they expected it to become an Arab ruled nation that requires they give up Israeli citizenship or return to Israel? In fact they expect that land to permenantly belong to Israel. They even think God is bringing that about, and that it is his will.

                Since the project of Greater Israel would destroy Israel as a Jewish democracy, it ought to be official policy to oppose Greater Israel, but it is not.

            • Jeff Johnson
              Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

              The Likud party was formed by Revisionist Zionists, whose idea of Zionism included not just Judea and Samaria, but land East of the Jordan.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Likud
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revisionist_Zionism

              Of course there are lots of Israelis who want a two state solution, and who don’t have such large ambitions for the future. But right now the Israeli government is dominated by those with the zeal to keep Judea and Samaria.

            • Boris Molotov
              Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

              Policy or not, it’s hard to deny that Israeli non-attempts to curtail settlement proliferation would seem to indiciate at the very least, willful ignorance.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

                Now and then Israel freezes the building of settlements, but it doesn’t have any effect on the PA’s willingness to negotiate. Settlements have been dismantled before. I think they are just another excuse by the PA.

              • Jeff Johnson
                Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

                Freezing settlements is no grand gesture.

                Not one of them should have ever been built.

  9. FloM
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    To me, what Anne Frank’s memory stands for is a pristine tenacity of spirit and kindness that prevails even over the heinous crimes she fell victim to. For either party to instrumentalise her in a political struggle that is anything but kind is to taint her memory.

  10. Jeff Johnson
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I agree this use of Ann Frank’s image creeps me out for a number of reasons.

    I’m not really sure how I feel about BDS. I do feel that the policies of the Israeli government in the last decade have become increasingly obvious: they are engaged in a protracted effort to permanently annex the West Bank, and the more they can inflame the anger of Hamas and its supporters, the better it is for the Greater Israel project. Israel deserves some consequences for their action, but whether BDS is the right approach, and whether this is the right group with the right motives is something I can’t be sure of. Certainly if there is any anti-semitic or anti-Zionist element to BDS then it is corrupted and unreliable.

    Hamas are complete idiots, playing right into the hands of the Israelis to help them accomplish the goal of Greater Israel. They will not be able to defeat Israel militarily, and their goal of destroying Israel is repellant.

    Because of Hamas, Israel has been able to successfully snub the more moderate leadership of the PA in the West Bank. “Hamas” is the first word of justification that comes to the lips of anyone who defends the despicable policies of the Israeli government in the West Bank. The more “success” Hamas has in pushing it’s viewpoint, the more Israeli voters fear and fall into the arms of the hard-line Likud and their religious fundamentalist allies.

    It is important to keep in mind: Hamas does not equal “The Palestinians”, and the Israeli Government does not equal all Israelis. There are moderates on both sides that could solve this conflict, but the right wing Likud and Hamas are the two irresponsible parties hell bent on obtaining their absolute maximum goals of total victory: on the one hand, the destruction of Israel, on the other hand, the destruction of the nascent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the permanent annexation to form “Greater Israel”. The minds of both groups, Hamas and the Israeli right, are corrupted by religious narratives.

    I’m on the side of the moderate Palestinians and the moderate Israelis who want to meet in the middle and make peace.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      “There are moderates on both sides that could solve this conflict, but the right wing Likud and Hamas are the two irresponsible parties hell bent on obtaining their absolute maximum goals of total victory: . . .”

      Yes, this is very frustrating, but normal human behavior. When people allow themselves to be informed by their religious traditions, cultural imperatives, racial pride, and again this is the rule rather than the exception, every conflict with an outsider group is reduced to a zero sum game.

      The Israeli Palestinian conflict strikes me as a very good example of how both sides could win, big, if only they could set aside their religious and cultural inspired hatreds and pragmatically use each other. Very difficult to achieve when both sides have to honestly agree to work together at the same time.

  11. Diane G.
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Appalling.

    Thank you, Dave (#8) and FloM (#9) for comments I wish I could have expressed so simply and eloquently. And of course to Jerry, for this:

    If Israel had existed in the 1940s, Anne Frank would have celebrated her 84th birthday on Wednesday.

  12. Sarah
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    If Anne Frank had lived, she would have been one of the foremost fiction writers in Dutch, no doubt about it. She would be widely translated and internationally known. She reminds us of not just the lives lost during the Holocaust, but the potential in all fields.

  13. Jimbo
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I also agree that the use of Frank’s image in this way crosses the line of decency and is crass.

    As I reflect on my own criteria for “decency,” I realize that I might also suffer from some cognitive dissonance. Free speech and free expression trumps almost all but where to draw the line? Which of the following faked pictures would, in your opinion, cross the line or be considered indecent:

    A) defecation on a Bible
    B) Obama with a gun to his head that reads ‘stop the madness’
    C) Obama Photoshopped onto a monkey’s body
    D) Obama in whiteface
    E) a white person in blackface
    F) a toilet with an American flag hanging out of it
    G) a KKK-costumed individual wearing a button that says ‘vote for me’
    H) a picture of an unidentified KKK-costumed individual lynched and hanging from a tree

    I have a real problem with use of an underaged girl’s picture (Frank) used for political purpose or even satire. No problem with A, B encourages violence so no, C is overtly racist so no, D-H no problem. I think we bend the decency rules for political actors but I also feel an internal sense of contradiction. Others?

    • Posted June 14, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Many of them are in bad taste. None of them should be illegal.

      • JBlilie
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        +1

  14. Patrick Stinson
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The idea that Israel would cease to exist as a nation if it granted Arabs and Jews equal status and treatment is repellent to me. It is apologism on the same order as that regarding the US Jim Crow laws and South African apartheid.

    Peace, order, freedom of speech and thought, these are worth fighting for. Racial/religious hegemony is not. Israel and Palestine face complex problems but that is my guiding principle. Neither side has earned support from me.

    I do agree that appropriating the image of Anne Frank for any political purpose is questionable at best, vile at worst. However, I do not share the *visceral* reaction to the image of a Jewish girl wearing a keffiyeh that Dr. Coyne and many of you seem to. Perhaps that is because the only long-term solution in that area that does not involve ethnic cleansing by military force is the uniting of Jewish and Arab culture.

    • Malgorzata
      Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Israel already grants its Arab citizens equal right: they are treated equally by the law. Granted, there are differences in average income, housing and education which are diminishing and the authorities make efforts to diminish them further. Granted, there are Jews who have negative attitudes towards Arab citizens but they are in minority. Show me a country where a minority group is not a subject to some racism from some group. However, making Jews a minority in an Arab country was tried for thousands of years. Since the beginning of Islam they had status of “dhimmi” and were always second class citizens (or no citizens at all), at the whim of the current ruler, Islamic cleric and the majority population. There really was ethnic cleansing in Arab world – there is barely any Jew left there from a population of around one million. Arab countries are practically Judenrein. If all five millions of descendants of original Palestinian refugees would be allowed to “return” to Israel, this will be the end of the only state which, as Jerry wrote: “If Israel had existed in the 1940s, Anne Frank would have celebrated her 84th birthday on Wednesday. “ And any future Anne Frank would not have a safe haven. BTW, Palestinian Authority announced that no Israeli would be ever allowed to live in a future Palestinian state (and I do not suspect for a moment that they mean Israeli Arabs).

      • Jeff Johnson
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Palestinian Authority announced that no Israeli would be ever allowed to live in a future Palestinian state

        Abbas meant what he said, and what he said was “Israeli”, not “Jew”.

        He meant that Jews living in settlements on Palestinian territory would need to be Palestinian citizens, not Israeli citizens. He DID NOT SAY that Jews could not live in Palestine as Palestinians.

        • Malgorzata
          Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          Mahmoud Abbas, 28 July 2010: “I’m willing to agree to a third party that would supervise the [possible future Israeli-Palestinian] agreement, such as NATO forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the NATO forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land.”

          Mahmoud Abbas, December 2010: “We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it,”

          Of course, no matter daily hate propaganda aganst Jews (not Israelis) in Palestinian Authority’s TV, newspapers and in mosgues and schools on the West Bank, you can beningly interpret Mr Abbas words as applying to Israeli citizens and not to Israeli Jews. But you really need a strong will to close your eyes and ears.

        • Boris Molotov
          Posted June 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          Regardless, it’s pretty dumb anyway. Why should an Israeli not be able to live in Palestine as a temporary resident or via work visa etc.? I would expect in any real peace settlement that Israelis would be part of rebuilding Palestine and would, by necessity live there to help build institutions. My first suggestion is to get some Israeli consultants to train on how to do better PR.

          The Palestinian leadership has been really good at shooting themselves in the foot with stupid comments.

    • Jeff Johnson
      Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      +1

  15. Sarah
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I think you are begging the question here. Arabs and Jews already have equal legal status inside Israel. It’s the influx of so many Arabs that the country would become one more Arab state in the region that is the problem. The “right of return” would mean the end of Israel as a democracy and a Jewish state.

    • Jeff Johnson
      Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      It’s largely true that Jews and Arabs have equal legal status, although there are numerous situations in which Arabs suffer discrimination. Also, there have been open political moves to try to outlaw Arab political parties, and to prevent Jewish landlords from renting to Arabs, so there is plenty of illiberal sentiment toward Arabs in Israel. But overall I agree that Arabs live and work beside Jews in peace for the most part.

      The right of return might not create an Arab majority, but there would probably be close to equal numbers of Jews and Arabs. It would definitely change Isreali politics profoundly.

      Annexing Judea and Samaria, on the other hand, would create an Arab majority for sure, unless Arab residents were not allowed to vote.

      Annexing Judea and Samaria would destroy Israel as a Jewish and democratic state much more surely than the right of return.

      It seems to me that the only way out of this dilemma is a two state solution, with the pragmatic approach of negotiating some form of compensation for lost “Absentee” property.

      • Sarah
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re right about the two-state solution and some sort of recompense, although perhaps not to all umpteen million descendants of the original displaced persons. I don’t think there has ever been a plan to annex Judea and Samaria (except by Jordan, of course!)
        As for Arab Israelis, there is a new plan to start affirmative action to try to get them into higher education in greater numbers. They have lagged behind for various cultural reasons (like no tradition of higher education, keeping women at home, etc.) but that may change now. Certainly the Israeli government has no interest in keeping them down.

        • Jeff Johnson
          Posted June 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          I agree with all that. There has to be some limit to who qualifies for compensation, and cases must be documented. Certainly the government has no interest in keeping Arabs down. In fact the more successful they are, the worse it makes Hamas look.

          I’m not sure what you mean by a “plan” to annex the West Bank. That’s been part of the Likud Party philosophy from the start. If it’s not a plan, it’s a pretty strong intention then.

          Read this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/27/likud-the-party-of-annexation.html

  16. Sarah
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Oops, sorry! This was meant to follow on from no. 14.

  17. Dale
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    As an atheist from birth with no strong cultural ties that I haven’t broken, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I certainly don’t care for and relate to neither of these backward cultures. However, certainly the Israeli’s come across as the oppressors. A religious state holding their religious foes in apartheid and armed with nuclear weapons.

    It would make sense that even atheist jews would favor the Israeli position. Certainly the bias is evident. My question is, does this represent a form of kin selection? Kin selection seems to be the basis of our conflicts. The morals that we practice toward our kin are not the morals that we practice toward others outside our circle.

    • Sarah
      Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      But you do seem to have chosen a dog to root for anyway.
      “However, certainly the Israeli’s come across as the oppressors. A religious state holding their religious foes in apartheid and armed with nuclear weapons.”

      ‘Apartheid’ is not only a loaded term but not applicable to a democracy whose minorities have no legal impediments and are not segregated in housing or access to public places. The comparison to the old South Africa is part of a strategy to delegitimize the state of Israel.

      • david
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        I admit to being a little baffled that people arguing in good faith (haha) would use the above line of defense. The reason so many Israel-critics use the term ‘apartheid’ is because Israel has de facto control over the west bank and gaza. Though granted a certain degree of autonomy, they do not have rights that any other state has, such as water rights, military, trade etc. They cannot even travel throughout the west bank without numerous checkpoints. And they most certainly cannot vote to grant themselves those rights. The Israelis effetively control the space. Those are the Palestinians who stand in for the victims of ‘apartheid.’ Is it a perfect analogy?! Of course not! No analogy is perfect. But the fact is, millions of palestinians cannot even travel within their territory because of Israeli policy. To dismiss the comparison out of hand means you are willfully not paying attention. To pretend that just because Arab citizens within Israel have most rights while ignoring the elephantine West Bank and Gaza points to ignorance or intellectual dishonesty.

        Yes, it is possible to vehemently oppose the violence and virulent anti-semitism of arabs while also being against policies which are unjust. Sorry, doesn’t make one anti-semitic. It just makes one nuanced.
        I’m afraid tribalism makes it hard for both sides to grant points of the other.
        I actually read this blog for the biology. I love most of Jerry’s posts, but when it comes to Israel, it brings out a tribalism that is not pretty.

        • Posted June 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          You could have written everything but the last two sentences without insulting the host. And that would have been find. But the accusation of “tribalism” is petty and demeaning. Have you considered that I see problems on both sides, but that the Palestinian side is, to me, more recalcitrant and invidious? I have given reasons for this stand in many previous posts.

          I presume you think my stand comes simply because I have a Jewish background. But I submit that you are wrong. I call out bad Jewish behavior all the time (while being continually disappointed in it).

          Oh, and this is not a “blog.”

          If you don’t want apologize for accusing me of being biased because I’m a secular Jew, I suggest that you go read another website, because that is a rude comment. And rudeness is not pretty.

        • Sarah
          Posted June 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          The main reason ‘apartheid’ is a misleading and loaded word to use here is that Palestinians are not Israeli citizens. They are citizens of what would be a country if their leaders could ever agree to live peaceably with their neighbor and stop attacking it. Then they might agree on a border. At the moment there is only a cease-fire line. Israel has every right to prevent terrorists from coming into its territory, even if it means inconveniencing people who are not terrorists.
          (‘Tribalism’ is also a dubious word.)

      • Dale
        Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        All I’m really doing is identifying the clear underdog. I’m sure that if the shoe were on the other foot the Palestinians would oppress the Israeli’s just as bad. Just as with other religions it’s hard for me to understand the difference between the see Israel as a religion, a culture, a race or a state. Very confusing. They have drawn strong lines around their camp to very much distinguish themselves from “others”. I get tired of jewish peoples fixation on distinguishing themselves from others. To someone who is not so tribal it’s hard to care.

        WRT to apartheid. I just meant as a divided society. I think you know what I mean in terms of what is happening on the ground regardless of what you call it. Clearly, there are racial and cultural overtones in all of the hatred that these groups direct toward one another. I really is tribalism. Isn’t that just another word for kin selection after all? With no relationship to either, I just have a hard time favoring one crazy religious group over another. We need to be selection for adaptive traits and not against maladaptive ones.

        Oh, and again, wrt to Israel, this particular religious state has nuclear weapons and religious motivations and justifications.

        • Sarah
          Posted June 15, 2013 at 2:47 am | Permalink

          You need to take into account the number of times this “clear underdog” (or the surrounding Arab states in its name) have attacked Israel, either in outright aggressive wars or suicide missions or–the current strategy–‘lawfare’ and demonization.

  18. bacopa
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I can’t really comment on the Israel/Palestine issue, don’t really know enough about it. I think probably a lot of aggressive talk in the Arab world and Iran against Israel is mostly a way of getting at the US for historic grievances.

    As this sites #1 Rush fan I need to point out that Geddy Lee’s parents were in Bergen-Belsen at the same time as the Frank family. The song Red Sector A is based on Geddy’s mother’s experiences there.

    • Posted June 15, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Bacopus
      I’m sorry but I can’t accept your No 1 Rush fan claim without some kind of evidence! I am listening to “Cygnus X-1 Book II” now, and went to see them in Berlin on June 6th.

      (insert “Freewill” joke here)

      (Sorry this is off topic!)

      • Posted June 15, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        Bacopa:

        Also sorry I got your name wrong. DUH!

  19. John
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Of course any such characterization of Anne Frank’s work is scandalous and patently false. I knew that. What I did not know was much about the BDS. Thank you for the primer. This kind of extremism seems to me a hate-hobby, because no intelligent human could possibly expect those demands to EVER be met. With no chance of being considered seriously, the demands amount to just more drivel about the Middle East, thereby contributing nothing useful to the dialogue.

    • Sarah
      Posted June 15, 2013 at 2:58 am | Permalink

      “Hate-hobby” is right! I think the main purpose of BDS is just to stir up a “vote” against Israel. It is about encouraging hostility to the one democratic state in the Middle East. In fact Israel’s export figures are growing by a large annual percentage and Israeli businesses give employment to many Palestinians.

  20. Posted June 16, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Every bit as shameful and scandalous as depicting Mohammed’s turban as a bomb. Well, maybe not quite as disgusting because the BDS symbol is an image apparently designed to elicit sympathy and understanding rather than unthinking hatred and fear as in the anti-Muslim cartoon.

    I do see the Boycott-Disinvestment-Sanction movement to be a positive step. It’d be rather silly to condemn people for opposing Israeli aggression with force if we then block off peaceful opposition as well. You may as well just proclaim no opposition to Israeli policy will be tolerated. Ever.

    If concern for justice is just a ‘victim narrative perpetrated by the left’ we should be equally careful not to fall victim to a ‘victim narrative’ of the rightists: ‘Poor Israel! Forced to take the land and bulldoze the homes of those awful people that used to live here.’

    • Sarah
      Posted June 16, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      The difference in those images is that Anne Frank was a girl murdered by Nazis for being a Jew, whereas Mohammed has inspired a great deal of murder of Jews. I think the cartoons were more about ridicule than ‘hatred and fear’. BDS would be a positive step only if you wanted to destroy the one and only democracy in the Middle East.

      • Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        You seem to imagine a peaceful boycott of Israel equals the destruction of Israel. Boycotts, disinvestment, sanctions – these are all tools recognized as legitimate ways to help guide wayward countries into more socially acceptable policies. Unless you are suggesting the use of them by the US and her satellites against a variety of nations is intended to destroy Korea, Iran, Iraq, etc etc etc?

        • Sarah
          Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          The origin of the BDS movement is quite different; BDS is the classic thin end of the wedge. It’s about public opinion not about avocado sales. The object is to delegitimize Israel and eventually destroy it. Of course it won’t work, but there is real hatred behind it.

          • Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            I see – they are evil masterminds and they have a ‘hidden agenda’.

            One no more has to ‘hate’ Israel to criticize it than people around the world had to ‘hate’ South Africa to bring an end to their racist policies.

            So you’re quite right – public opinion is nothing to be sneered at. No reason not to harness it for good.

            • Sarah
              Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

              I think you’ve missed my point. There is no ‘hidden agenda’. They’re pretty upfront about what they want, which is a one-state solution, so called, and the consequent disappearance of the state of Israel. There is no way this can be ‘harnessed for good’.

              • Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

                Obviously if Israel changes its policy to a just one, then the impetus for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions will no longer apply. Thus no need to fear the alleged ‘destruction’ people keep harping on. Was South Africa destroyed? No – only the racists lost power over the majority.

                Not sure why it’s so terrible to imagine all of Palestine being one state and no longer artificially divided.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

                You win the prize for question-begging. Israel’s policies are not ‘unjust’ (unless you are comparing them to some Platonic ideal and ignoring the geographical context), and there is no resemblance to South Africa and its discrimination against its own citizens. Since at least the time of the Peel Commission in 1937 it has been recognised that a partition is the only workable solution. In 1947 Israel accepted a partition plan and the Arabs did not, as they wanted all or nothing. Rejectionism is still their strategy.

              • Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

                I’m sorry, but when it comes to apartheid I think Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela’s opinion are more persuasive than frantic denials.

                The Peel Commission’s decision to divide Palestine between native Palestinians and waves of immigrants was not deemed ‘workable’ to the people whose land was being divided. Why should it be?

                Yes, some Jewish immigrants accepted the plan to divide Palestine. They could have chosen to be lawful citizens of Palestine. They rejected this peaceful solution.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

                Not ‘frantic denials’, just facts.
                You need to remember that the Zionists bought the land they lived on, sometimes at exorbitant prices; the Arab population consisted in large part of immigrants from other Arab countries who went to Palestine for work. It is a bit more complicated than you assume.

              • Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

                I also remember that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven off their land, out of their homes and villages, at gunpoint during the Nakba.

                If indeed many came to Palestine to find work before there was an Israel, then that just demonstrates the good economy built by the native population who must have been providing all the work. Palestine must have been thriving indeed during the world-wide depression to have become a major employer in the region. Those Palestinian employers must have been among the most clever and productive in the world at that time.

                No one denies some Zionists bought land – they owned about 8% by legal means.

                So it is indeed much more complicated than you wish to paint it.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 17, 2013 at 1:04 am | Permalink

                Are you serious? The employment of Arab immigrants depended on Jewish businesses and agricultural projects during the 20s and 30s. That was why the economy was thriving.

              • Posted June 17, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

                Are you serious? There may have been some Arabs employed by some Jewish businesses, but it strains credibility that the Jewish minority, recent immigrants themselves, owning only a tiny fraction of the land, should be such agricultural wizards as to have become the major employers in the region. One would like to see some evidence for such an extraordinary claim.

                But even if some Jewish businesses thrived, that still is no excuse to dispossess the Palestinian majority who had lived there since Roman times and who – based on DNA evidence – seem to be the descendants of the Jewish population that never left the area.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 17, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

                What you imagine to be so outlandish is actually the case: yes, Zionists in Palestine from early in the 20th century injected money and energy into the region and employed Arabs from the surrounding countries. Most of the Arabs had not been living there “since Roman times”–far from it! This is not arcane information!

              • Posted June 17, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

                Sorry, but the scientific data from DNA analysis shows that the Palestinians are the very people who’ve been there since ancient times. This pokes a rather largish hole in fatuous claims that Palestinians are ‘recently arrived migrant Arabs’. This is not a secret.

                Certainly there was some migration into Palestine due to economic development by the British, both Muslims and Jews. But obviously such events do not justify the ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians who were there long before the arrival of the Europeans.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink

                I wonder if you have been reading Shlomo Sand. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and you have just quoted some of it.

              • Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

                Is it misinformation?

                “Ariella Oppenheim Ph.D., a researcher at Hebrew University and the Hadassah Medical School labs, has published the result of DNA studies which show that both the Palestinians and Jews are descended from the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey.”

                Perhaps you are misinformed?

              • Sarah
                Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

                Seriously, you might want to read “Palestine Betrayed” by Ephraim Karsh to get a better idea of the situation. It is an authoritative account and you would find it very informative.

              • Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

                Thank you for the recommendation.

              • Posted June 20, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink

                Reading reviews of Karsh’s book, it seems I will have to look elsewhere for a more balanced view:

                ” The error is that of demographics: this wish for peaceful coexistence was always expressed with the accent on the Jewish people having the majority of the population. By distorting this item, and then ignoring the many statements about the plans for ethnic cleansing via population transfer, expulsion, and/or outright killing of the local inhabitants, Karsh denies support to his argument that “premeditated dispossession is baseless.” From its inception, to the current reality of the ongoing settlements, demolitions, expulsions, and biased civil and military laws… the idea of dispossessing the Palestinians cannot be denied.”

              • Sarah
                Posted June 20, 2013 at 6:20 am | Permalink

                Why rely on a review and think it is more authoritative than a scholarly book on the subject? I think by “balanced” you mean half true and half false!

              • Posted June 20, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

                Not at all – it’s just that it would appear that claims that Karsh is ‘authoritative’ aren’t reliable. In fact he appears to be partisan and controversial in coming out against historians who’ve actually, you know, studied the subject.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 20, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

                And you think Efraim Karsh hasn’t??? Don’t embarrass yourself.

        • Sarah
          Posted June 16, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          Another thing: would you like foreigners to help guide your country into more socially acceptable policies after you had voted your government into power? Israel is a democracy and the others you mention are not. BDS is also a wrong-headed attempt to overrule the Israeli electorate.

          • Jeff Johnson
            Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

            You seem to entirely overlook that in the West Bank, the IDF are foreigners. Anything else is basically a presumption of Greater Isreal annexation.

            I can imagine that if my grandparents had been ruthlessly exterminated in Auschwitz or Treblinka by Nazi monsters, that I might defend Israel with such ferocity that even the slightest criticism or obstacle would be seen as part of a grand evil existential threat.

            But on the other hand, anyone ought to take the trouble to perform the following moral thought experiment: imagine that your grandparents lived on a family farm in the Galilee, land that had been worked by the family as far back as anyone can remember. Then you hear rumors of massacres from villages near Jerusalem, and you witness the shelling with mortar fire by Israeli forces of a nearby village. There are a variety of threats, and the only certainty is that there is extreme uncertainty about what dangers the coming months may bring. So you evacuate to Lebanon or Syria, intending to return home after things have calmed down. Only when you try to return, the Israeli governemnt won’t allow it, and you are locked out of your ancestral land for good.

            I’m not saying these two situations are equivalent morally. I’m just saying that it is always possible to try to honestly put yourself in the shoes of others and see through their eyes.

            The BDS demands are a far cry from a Hamas battle cry. You may be quite correct that for some people, BDS may be an opportunity to disguise more nefarious motives. But there are millions who in principle support BDS for more humane and balanced reasons.

            It is possible for a fair minded moral person to support the existence of Israel within its current borders, a nation of outstanding achievements as well as some military excesses that are at least understandable given the circumstances, while at the same time supporting economic freedom, political self-determination, and soverignty for Palestinians in the West Bank. This is not an impossible conflict.

            • Sarah
              Posted June 16, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

              The Palestinians could have self-determination and sovereignty if they could get their act together, renounce terrorism, and agree to live in peace with a Jewish state, and it could have happened 65 years ago. The thing about BDS is that it doesn’t matter what your personal motives are, the effect is support for a very sinister movement. That’s what I meant about the thin end of the wedge.

              • Jeff Johnson
                Posted June 16, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

                Again you have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Imagine if Jews were the majority living in Palestine in 1945, and the UN gave 56% of the land to a Muslim Arab state. Then you can get some idea of the legitimacy of anger over the Naqba.

                The UN partition was a wonderful dream come true for the Jewish people, but it was at the same time a tremendous loss for the Arabs. So to blithely say they should have just swallowed it without complaint is asking too much.

                Now you talk as if every last Palestinian must renounce terrorism before any talking can be done, and you seem to think that Israel would be willing to simply agree to all reasonable requirements. This is really an unrealistic oversimplification. Is it realistic to keep a tight grip on every Palestinian in the West Bank because Hamas exists? Israel can deal with Hamas militarily. Meanwhile, making a legitimate peace with the Palestinians in the West Bank would do more to reduce Hamas’ hostility and delegitimize their militaristic approach than any other action Israel could take.

                Most Palestinians have renounced terror. If not Israel would be deluged with terrorist attacks from 4 million Palestinians. Most of the Palestinians just want jobs. As it stands, far more Palestinians have died from Israeli violence than Israelis have died from Arab violence, so to pretend that only Palestinians have killed unjustly is a kind of willful unfairness.

                Sayyad and Abbas have been good negotiating partners, and they have cooperated with the IDF in joint anti-terror security operations. And what did Israel do to reward that? It pulled out of Gaza rather than pulling out of the West Bank. Why? Every action Israel takes demonstrates a de facto unwillingness to ever let go of the West Bank no matter what the Palestinians do.

                I think you need to re-examine your assumptions.

              • Malgorzata
                Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

                You suggest to Sarah to put herself in the shoes of a refugee. Maybe she can, maybe she can’t. I can. I have been a refugee, and my family and I were never allowed to return to our homeland. I suspect that my experience makes it easier to understand the plight of Palestinians, especially when you think that my experience as refugee was shared by some millions Poles (and some millions Germans as well). The difference is in the reception: we were not put in the refugee camps, we were not raised on hatred to Ukrainians and Russians, we were allowed to live a normal life. Germans, at least, knew that they were the aggressors and paid the price for Hitler. But Poles didn’t have even this motivation to accept their fate – they were just moved by the great powers. But accept their fate they did without resorting to blowing up other people to smithereens. If all the energy of the Western world to press, boycott and condemn Israel went into pressing Arab neighbours of Israel to accept people who speak the same language, have the same religion, the same customs, the same food, as their citizens, instead of keeping them, generation after generation, in refugee camps, half of the problem would be solved (and, what is no less important, those people would have normal lives instead of endless suffering). Moreover, if the world made clear to Arab states and to Palestinian Arabs that everywhere in the world the aggressor who loses has to pay the price, that no matter what their religion is saying them, they just have to accept the one Jewish state in the Middle East, another part of the problem would disappear. And if the West pressed Palestinian Authority to stop anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish propaganda in their schools, mosques, TV and press and accept peace with Israel, they would have Palestinian state quite a long time ago.
                You also seem to think that only Jews can support Israel. You are mistaken. There are plenty of people who are not Jews – and quite a lot of Arabs and Muslims among them – who do understand the falsifying propaganda against Israel and who can see that from the very beginning Israel wanted peace and Arabs wanted to get rid of Jews. You also seem to ignore the fact that with the exception of Jewish immigrants to Israel from U.S. the rest are refugees or descendants of refugees – refugees from Europe, refugees from Arab and Muslim states, and now refugees from such places in Europe as Malmoe in Sweden or some places in France where anti-Semitism is rampant and people are afraid for the safety of their children. They do not want to wait until it will be too late and one of their children would write another “Anne Frank Diary”. I suspect that more people in Israel have capacity to put themselves in the shoes of Palestinian refugees than you do.

            • Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

              It really is in everyone’s long-term interest to seek a just peace. Sure there are extremists on either side who profit from ongoing conflict. And extremists who want an ‘all or nothing’ solution. But I agree this is not an impossible conflict, there is plenty of room for give and take.

          • Posted June 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

            If my government is involved in counterproductive or criminal activities I would welcome help from right-minded individuals wherever they hail from. Especially if they used non-violent means to do so, as the BDS movement does.

            • Sarah
              Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

              But suppose the foreigners trying to influence your government are meddling in a complex situation they don’t understand and have swallowed a lot of one-sided propaganda. What then?

              • Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

                Open dialogue will ‘out’ any one-sided propaganda, which is why the BDS movement will promote better understanding of the situation. There’s no need for anyone to fear honest discussion.

                Obviously things can be complex – all the better reason not to leave it up to others to decide in back room deals while the people wait outside in ignorance. The situation in South Africa was also complex, but that is no excuse to do nothing.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

                Your argument is contradictory. BDS is about closing off dialogue, not encouraging it! BDS is the opposite of ‘honest discussion’!

              • Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

                Why are you trying to delegitimize a peaceful protest for human rights?

                As more people are drawn into the debate as to whether citizens all over the world can contribute something to bringing peace to the Middle East of course there will be discussion.

                It seems you are closing off dialogue by unilaterally declaring that Israel should not be held accountable for its policies.

              • Sarah
                Posted June 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

                People can discuss the situation endlessly, and indeed they do, but BDS is not particularly peaceful when shops are bullied into closing, and the wider implications are anything but peaceful. Trying to isolate a country through boycotting is not conducive to discussion–except for the anti-Israel people talking to each other.

              • Posted June 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

                The implications are that ordinary citizens could use their consumer choices to stop supporting states which abuse human rights, just as we did to successfully end the racist South African regime peacefully and non-violently.

                You honestly think it was ‘bullying’ for people all over the world to boycott, divest, and sanction South Africa? Then you must certainly agree the US is bullying Iran with its sanctions. As you claim such behavior is not conducive to dialog, except for anti-Iranian people talking at one another, then you must be campaigning for an end to the isolation of Iran, Korea, and other victims of economic bullying.

                Indeed, trade with Gaza should be allowed, and ships approaching there from the Mediterranean must not be attacked by Israeli pirates. Such bullying is anything but peaceful, right?

            • Michele Locker
              Posted November 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

              I guess you haven’t been to a BDS protest lately… they are hardly peaceful. Lots of death to Jews/death to Israel….especially seen on US college campuses.

              Interesting that they can boycott Israel, but do nothing to help the arabs in surrounding states nor criticize arab governments for CHOOSING to keep their people as refugees, out of work, deny them citizenship, etc.

  21. Sarah
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    You hardly need anyone to conduct a discussion with, since you provide both sides and shoot down the weaker side you’ve invented! Go for it.

    • Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      It would be helpful if we knew who exactly you are accusing.

      • Sarah
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:30 am | Permalink

        Sorry, proudfootz, it wasn’t clear. I was referring to your previous post in the long thread under #20.

  22. Michele Locker
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Does “anyone” have the rights to her image? Wonder if the BDS could be sued for using it without permission and in this slanderous way? Curious? Is there an attorney here???


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