Wednesday, January 09, 2008

An attempt to boycott Jewish philanthropists; sane anti-Zionists object

Engage on "the would-be cultural police" in the anti-Zionist camp who want to boycott all Jewish initiatives, and the more sensible stance of the Israeli Arabs' representative body.

This fits into the attack from the British "pro-Palestinian" lobby on Peace Oil, because it isn't Arab enough, or the attack by the same people on OneVoice. Rejectionist forms of anti-Zionism - like that of Ittijah and the Islamic Movement in Palestine and of their friends globally and in the UK, like the International Solidarity Movement, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (and, at least in the case of Peace Oil, Jews for Justice for Palestinians) clearly do not want a peaceful and just solution; they want a war to the death.

However, they do not represent the majority of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs.

As Guardian letter writer Mark Futerman put it, regarding the attack on Peace Oil, this stance is
the demented zero-sum mentality of the anti-Israel lobby. Their idiot logic would appear to be that anything which benefits Israeli citizens in any way is by definition bad for the Palestinians, even when it is actually benefiting Israelis (Jews, Arabs and Druze) and Palestinians (through Peace Oil's new blended cooking oil).

Peace Oil is an extremely worthy initiative that seeks to benefit all groups financially (through employment and training), while also funding peace and reconciliation work throughout the region. The primary argument made against Peace Oil is that it is "stealing" shelf space from Palestinian produced oils (the most commonly mentioned of which is Zaytoun). This is moronic. None of these oils had any shelf space in the first place to be stolen. They were at best available through church groups or via the internet. They were essentially failures as products, poorly distributed and marketed. What Peace Oil has done is hugely raise the profile of the olive oils of Israel and Palestine, including the olive oil produced by the Zaytoun initiative.

More: The Wall of “normalization” that inhibits Palestinian independence by Ray Hanania (highly recommended, also here) on OneVoice; the JC on Peace Oil.


Daniel of "Daniels Counter" said...

Well said and well quoted Futterman

The Contentious Centrist said...

I Left the same comment on Simply Jews.

The refusal to accept the help from the Jewish philanthropists hakes sense on two levels:

First, accepting money from Jewish philanthropists might create a reservoir of good will among the recipients, which in turn may dilute the purity of the collective resentment, and this is not a good thing.

Secondly, any improvement and correction of possible inequalities and lopsided distribution of wealth should not be encouraged. The inequalities, such as they are, must be made to wreck their maximal havoc so as to keep the people united and focussed upon the main goal. Actual relief and redress work against the ultimate goal, whatever that may be. How can extreme and exclusive pity be provoked if things actually get better?

As always, Seinfeld had something to say about such things:

"JACKIE: You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn't tell you
to put the balm on. Why'd you put the balm on? You haven't even been to see thedoctor. If your gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on.

KRAMER: I guess I screwed up huh Jackie?

JACKIE: Your damn right you screwed up. Where the hell did you get that damm balm anyway?

KRAMER: The Maestro.

JACKIE: Oh oh oh, so a Maestro tells you to put a balm on and you do it?

KRAMER: Well my stomach was burning.

JACKIE: I tell you what this is. This is a public humiliation.

KRAMER: Well I didn't know the balm was gonna work.

JACKIE: Do you know what a balm is? Have you ever seen a balm? Didn't you read the instructions?

KRAMER: Well I ...

JACKIE: (interrupts) No one can tell what a balm's gonna do. They're unpredictable.

KRAMER: I'm sorry Jackie."

bob said...

It is worth risking the "fetishization of balance" to suggest that the politics of resentment and the politics of rejection are not unique to the Arab people. The same eternal victim mentality - and a vicarious stoking of it by white liberals and radicals - can be found in more or less every "subaltern" identity position. And that includes, of course, the Jews, as evidenced by Avigdor Lieberman, for example, and his promise, while in Olmert's government, to make sure Annapolis came to nothing.

Noga said...

It was nothing to begin with and it came to nothing no thanks to Avigdor Lieberman.

Kramer's balm cured his burn because it was not such a bad burn to begin with...

And when you pander to people's victimhood, by using the fetishization gfallacy, you are diverting from those who are really suffering. I'd much rather see these Jewish philanthropists put their money where it will really save life and do some good, like feeding the hungry children of Africa.