Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why the Call to "Boycott Israel" Is Crap

...we are faced here with a skilfully orchestrated but calumnious, bellicose, anti-democratic and, in a word, perfectly despicable campaign. ...because one boycotts totalitarian regimes, not democracies.

  • One can boycott Sudan, guilty of the extermination of part of the population of Darfur.
  • One can boycott China, guilty of massive violations of human rights in Tibet and elsewhere.
  • One can and should boycott the Iran of Sakineh and Jafar Panahi, whose leaders have become deaf to the language of common sense and compromise.
  • One can even imagine, as we once did with regard to the fascist generals' Argentina or Brezhnev's USSR, boycotting those Arab regimes whose citizens' freedom of expression is forbidden and punished, if necessary, in blood.

One does not boycott the only society in the Middle East where Arabs read a free press, demonstrate when they wish to do so, send freely elected representatives to parliament, and enjoy their rights as citizens.

Regardless of what one thinks of the policies of its government, one does not boycott the only country in the region and, beyond the region, one of the unfortunately limited number of countries in the world where voters have the power to sanction, modify, and reverse the position of said government.

...in any event, this boycott campaign is in reality indifferent to the stance of the government of Mr. X or Mrs. Y. It is unaware, nor does it care to know, of what Israeli citizens themselves think, for example, of the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank. It doesn't give a hoot about demands, parameters, actual conditions of peace between the citizens in question and their Palestinian neighbors.

Of the latter, their aspirations, their interests, their possible hopes and the way the Hamas regime has smashed those hopes in Gaza, it doesn't give a tinker's damn and never says anything, either. No.

Regardless of what its promoters and its useful idiots say, the only real, accepted, hackneyed goal of this boycott campaign is to de-legitimize Israel as such.

That is what the comparison with the South Africa of apartheid implicitly expresses. That is what the anti-Zionist rhetoric that serves as the common denominator of all the groups constituting this BDS movement explicitly says and, if words have any meaning, what signifies their intent to undermine the very idea that today, like it or not, binds the Israeli nation.

And that is why this campaign, in fact, contravenes the customs, rules and laws of international and, in this case, French or American national law.

... the declarations of Omar Barghouti, one of the movement's founders, affirming that his goal is not two States but two Palestines.

And those of Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada and also opposed to the two-state solution, who does not hesitate to compare Israel to Nazi Germany and this or that of its philosophers to the columnists of Der Stürmer.

And the declarations of the leaders of Sabeel, this group of Palestinian Christians firmly implanted in North America who, anxious to lend the idea of "responsible investment" a "theological" basis, do not hesitate to subtly but surely reactivate the Christ-killing Jews stereotype. Not to mention some rather shady initiatives whose purpose is to mark Jewish--sorry, Israeli--merchandise with supposedly derogatory stickers intended for the attention of the vigilant French consumer.

...Presenting the promoters of this discourse of hatred as victims speaks volumes of the current state of confusion--intellectual and moral--of a Western world one would have hoped cured of its worst criminal past.

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