The Game is Up

Jonathan Hoffman has already ably discussed on these pages Seth Freedman’s March 9th article from the point of view of its economic inaccuracies. But of course Freedman wasn’t in the least bit interested in the economic reasoning behind his story; he was merely using it as a tool to push his political agenda. No sooner had he planted the idea that the EU and the OECD should be using membership of that latter organization for ‘carrot and stick’ actions against Israel, then the below the liners took up the theme big time. And given that Freedman himself brought up the subject of boycotts against Israel, it was hardly surprising that this was one of the dominant themes in the comments too. Check out this first moniker.

9 Mar 2010, 1:45PM
I support a 100% boycott of all Israeli economic and cultural activity. Do you ?

9 Mar 2010, 2:04PM
Sod the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, sod the EU, the US, and the UK — the time for a full-bodied boycott of Israeli goods and services is way, way past ‘last resort’.
And I would like to remind viewers that we are currently in the middle of The Sixth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2010.

9 Mar 2010, 2:23PM
In the meantime, it is incumbent on organisations such as the OECD and EU to flex their muscles in a fashion that is measured yet firm. That seems to be the approach that the EU is taking of late, but the OECD seems to be falling short of its own responsibilities. If, as expected, Israel’s membership is ratified in May, it can only be hoped that the OECD’s opposition to Israel’s misdeeds comes late rather than never.
One can understand Seth Freedman’s hesitancy and opposition to the Global BDS Movement, but “opposition to Israel’s misdeeds” just ain’t gonna come from any of the above any time soon. Israel’s impunity is one of the most sickening spectacles in the world today — and in the absence of credible censuring from governments / economic organisations, it is time that the concerned citizens of this world took whatever steps are open to them. I recommend Seth watch these two highly informative videos on the subject.
Video 1
Video 2

9 Mar 2010, 5:37PM
Palestinian refugees have been denied the right of return since 1948 and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has lasted over 42 years; Seth how much longer should we wait before boycotting Israel?

Freedman also introduced the subject of the objections of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee – a body which does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state – to Israel’s inclusion in the OECD on the grounds of ‘racism’. Of course he neglected to mention that some of the existing states which comprise the OECD are not exactly paragons of virtue; Turkey with its record on the subject of the Kurds, Italy and Slovakia in their treatment of the Roma, are considerably less tolerant of their minorities than Israel. But of course the Guardianistas are only capable of identifying one sort of racism, starting with someone who presumably hasn’t heard of the couple of dozen Muslim states in the world.

9 Mar 2010, 1:33PM
One again the world overlooks the crime and the aparthied system of israel.
They recognise the right of israel to exist but dont recognise the rights of palestinians to exist.
They recognise the right of israel to defend itself, but they dont recognise the right of palestinians to defend themselves.
They recognise the holocaust on the jews, but dont recognise the ethnic cleansing of the palestinisans by israel (many of whom are the survivors and offspring of survivors of the holocaust).
They recognise the aparthied system of south africa, but they dont recognise they apartheid system in israel.
They recognise the right of the jews to establish a jewish state but dont recognise the right of muslims to establish an islamic state.
How shameful, and how corrupt on the part of the people who still believe in and support israel whilst they steal and occupy lands, force people out their homes, restrict their livelihood and take away their basic human rights.
The truth will overcome falsehood, and justice will overcome oppression. i am sure of it.

9 Mar 2010, 3:32PM
Who’s “we” exactly? You plus Timothy and Tabatha from the student union?
We, oh pedantic one – is the world. And as well as Timothy, Tabatha and 100,000 more from the grand global student union, there are concerned citizens from over 40 urban centres of population worldwide.
Why not join us in making 2010 a year of struggle against Israeli apartheid and for justice, equality, and peace?

9 Mar 2010, 3:56PM
@DogManCometh: You can call it whatever you like, but it still isn’t apartheid.
Oh, it’s not only myself who refers to Israeli state policy towards the Palestinians as apartheid – amongst the hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens worldwide who are now using this label, there are notables such as Canadian-American author and activist, Naomi Klein:
It’s time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era”. The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was born.
And Bongani Masuku, International Relations Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) which has 21 affiliated trade unions representing 1.8 million workers:
COSATU fully supports the week of global action against the forces of apartheid occupying the land of the people of Palestine. We shall actively participate in all the activities, particularly the march taking place on Friday, 05 March in Pretoria where we call for the maximum participation of our members in show of solidarity. We also fully support the unity demonstrated by all the progressive forces involved with the people of Palestine as they came together to constitute the Coalition for a Free Palestine, which COSATU is a proud founder and active member of. This initiative is very important in the work of building unity and taking forward the historic outcomes of the Cairo Declaration. Only through working together and showing unity shall we be able to contribute to the unity of the oppressed and fighting people in Palestine.
And it must also be noted that Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians is far more brutal than the white supremacist South African model.

9 Mar 2010, 5:02PM
dogman: Here’s the blog discussing Bongani
That is very lazy. I’m not reading through a blog to help you out. Post the specific text where Bongani Masuku, International Relations Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions “threatened South African Jews with dire consequences if they supported Israel in any fashion whatever”. And I do mean the original text or speech — not some regurgitated hearsay opinion piece from a pro-Israel website.
Showering citizens with white phosphorus? You do exaggerate. WP was used for battle-field illumination.
No… I do not exaggerate. The whole world is aware of exactly what went on in Gaza just over a year ago. The brutality and recklessness of the IDF is well documented.
What are your comments about bombarding civilians for eight years with rockets and mortars?
What are yours?

10 Mar 2010, 10:41AM
sydk, it is very clearly apartheid. You don’t want to hear this, of course, but it’s one legal system and set of privileges for those of one religion, and a radically different legal system and set of privileges, or lack thereof, for those of other religions, in the same geographic area.
Just like it was in South Africa.
There are roads and settlements that were constructed exclusively for use by Israeli and immigrant Jews. And there’s stuff for everyone else.
It’s apartheid, no matter how much you want to deny it.
There was also a mixed bag of accusations of genocide, land-stealing, theft and labour exploitation.

9 Mar 2010, 1:16PM
Calling for an outright boycott of Israeli goods and services is an extreme way of exerting influence over government policy, and should be entertained only as a measure of last resort.
After decades of occupation, expansion, settlement, massacre, and even the odd bout of genocide, isn’t Israel waaaay past “last resort”?

9 Mar 2010, 3:23PM
This is easy, no? Either include the Occupied Territories in their entirety, or exclude them in their entirety.
That said, choosing the bits that are convenient for them (the land), while discarding the bits that aren’t convenient for them (the people already living on the land) is par for the course with Israel.
Israel steals land, daily, and the OECD should have nothing to do with them until they stop.

9 Mar 2010, 4:54PM
WP was used for battle-field illumination.
There really is no depth to which you won’t sink if you think it will make Israel look better, is there?
They are thieves. When they stop stealing, and give back what they have stolen, then they should be received into the international community.
Not before

9 Mar 2010, 5:43PM
How long, jmgreen?
Until the annexations are complete and the Palestinians safely tucked-up in their bantustans, ready to provide cheap labour to their masters.
And then it’ll be too late.

Now this is funny; shades of Harry Potter with the website whose name must not be mentioned…

9 Mar 2010, 1:37PM
Calling for an outright boycott of Israeli goods and services is an extreme way of exerting influence over government policy, and should be entertained only as a measure of last resort.
Last resort it maybe – but threats of withholding US loan guarantees is political suicide as George Bush senior found out to his cost.
The US based Israel-regardless-of-right-or-wrong hate site which aims to emasculate this place are gonna love this thread.
I can’t wait for the first finger-jabbing accusation of self loathing and/or anti-semitism.

But, dear readers, the game is finally up. This time we’re well and truly done for. The Guardianistas have finally discovered our Achilles heel; the way to make Israel toe the GWV line with a new secret weapon. Forget boycotts, divestment and sanctions. Forget EU trade agreements or membership of the OECD. Cancel all the UN debates with pre-destined conclusions. Who needs all that when there’s the ultimate threat?

9 Mar 2010, 5:21PM
Don’t use weasel words Seth. Come right out with the truth. Israel’s leaders are encouraged to believe they can get away with MURDER. Not just flouting international law.! No other nation would be allowed to get away with what the Israelis have got away with for decades. Extreme sanctions should be imposed and I would go further. Their football teams would not be allowed to play in th European Cup or the national side in the Nations Cup. They would be barred from the Eurovision Song Contest, too, After all Israel is not in Europe ,or was’t last time I looked at a map. How they managed to obtain these concessions in order to take part is something I never found out. Whatever ,those concessions must be withdrawn. I well remember the effect this type of sanction had on a similar regime in South Africa.

Well I guess it’s shalom shalom to any future Halelluia, Abani Bi or Dana International…
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