Posts Tagged ‘Engage’
Mira Vogel interviewed me for engage.
The first thing I came to realise was that the boycott was promoting exactly the kind of thing it claimed to oppose. It’s a collective discrimininative action, a form of collective punishment if you like which is exactly the kind of action which should be stopped. I’ve been working in the peace movement to stop Israel taking collective action against Palestinians. I’ve been campaigning against that, and here is a group applying collective punishment to Israel. So, idealistically and pragmatically it’s wrong.
Something that happened quite recently I was visiting York and walking down the street and there was a Palestinian stand with, among other things, leaflets promoting boycott. And I got into an argument with people standing there and I found myself getting emotional. And I reflected on this and thought “Hang on, why am I getting so emotional? There’s a lot of good rational reactions against boycott but my reaction was emotional. And I realised that I feel personally hurt by boycott because it puts me in the same lump as Lieberman, Elyakim Haetzni and all those evil Israelis I’ve been fighting all my life because the boycott doesn’t discriminate between me and them. Suddenly I’ve become one of them, in the same bag with all their lot.
Engage tells us that the national executive of UCU backs new boycott proposal. Engage give a very well-thought review of why the boycott is morally wrong and strategically stupid. I won’t repeat their arguments – go read them yourself. You should also read Shuli Dichter‘s account of why the Supreme Monitoring Council, the most broadly representative umbrella organization of the Arabs of Israel, directors of Arab non-profit organizations and the joint associations of Arabs and Jews did not accede to the boycott calls, despite the pressure they were under to do just that. Shuli is the co-director of Sikkuy, the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality. His view is shared by Mohammad Darawshe, the Abraham Fund’s Director of Development for Europe and Israel. When asked recently, his response was clear and simple: the boycott is stupid, harmful and cheap.
And here’s a twist of historical humor: this news of a fresh attempt to boycott Israels bastions of forward thinking come at the same week when we are flooded with rabid rabbis calling for discriminant and even violent action against Arabs. What better illustration of the ludicrous hypocrisy of the boycott campaign? I mean, if you really care about anything other than your smug sense of moral superiority, your pleasures of intellectual colonialism, how about boycotting Dov Lior and Shmuel Eliyahu? Or better yet, supporting the Abraham Fund in taking legal action against them?