Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Clarification 1: the boycott of Israel

(Following comments by Renegade Eye and Brockley Nick, I'm clarifying my position on the boycotting of Israel.)

A boycott is indeed a difficult thing to pull off. Economic boycotts - not buying Israeli products - or divestment campaigns - don't invest in Israeli firms - are complex enough. But cultural boycotts, academic boycotts, humanitarian boycotts (effectively what the anti-Zionist doctors are proposing) and news embargoes (effectively what the NUJ anti-Zionists are proposing) are even more complicated, and arguably are extremely counter-productive in that they target the places where hopes for peace are located.

I do not think that the Israeli state has an admirable human rights record, and if my union had a consistent international policy that said we will boycott all states that commit a certain set of clearly defined humanitarian abuses, and Israel happened to be one of them, then I’d probably support the boycott.

But Israel has been singled out wrongly here. Look at any one of its crimes, and they have been committed by other states too. Including, as Nick points out, the US, not to mention the UK. And when one state in the world is singled out as the source of all evil, you have to ask why.


Renegade Eye said...

It is a question mark for me. From my experience it is very difficult to pull off a meaningful boycott. To me it is a tactical question.

I think helping the Israeli left would be a good start.

bob said...

Helping the Israeli left is absolutely a good start: constructive engagement is the way forward, not refusal to get engaged.

Daniel said...

As I said right from the beginning. Where do boycotts start and where do they end. Suppose you want to bocyott Israel for human rights violation and political views regarding Palestine, what about the rest of the human societies confederated into nations, out there?
Here is a good list of state violaters: USA, China, GB, Russia, Communist Korea, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Columbia, Sri Lanka, DR Congo, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the EU and its racist annexation and immigration policies and many more.

The point is why are those brain heads singularly selecting Israel as their one and only cause. What makes them make that choice? So political in the choice of supporting Palestine as buying a kefiyya at GAP or other stores as a fashion accessory. What's really going on?