What maddens Zionists most is that they cannot control civil
society like they can pull the strings of the spineless political
élite. They fear BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) action
will derail their precious project for Greater Israel. So they now
sneer at civil society and try to discourage further BDS efforts.
This tactic comes across loud and clear in Michael Rosenberg’s
goal of the BDS movement is dismantling Israel, not the ’67
Actually, Israel is well on the way to dismantling itself through
its own vile and unsustainable behaviour. BDS is simply giving it
a helping hand.
The BDS call
A quick trip to the BDS
movement’s website will
expose Rosenberg’s attempt to mislead. For a start, the three
demands on Israel he highlights are not the BDS movement’s
demands; they are required of Israel by international and
humanitarian law. These demands are:
Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and
dismantling the separation wall;
Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian
citizens of Israel to full equality; and
Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian
refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated
in UN resolution 194.
The BDS movement calls on civil society to impose broad boycotts
and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to
those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. It says:
Nothing to criticize there, surely.
The idea that the Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland
is extinguished by the passage of time is absurd. They are
entitled to exercise that right as soon as the reasons for their
expulsion and dispossession cease to exist, which will be when
Israel’s illegal occupation ends. Jews have been claiming a right
to return 1,500 years after the reason for their expulsion, the
Roman occupation, ended and 500 years after the Byzantine Empire
collapsed. They insist on expelling and dispossessing the
indigenous population too. That really is taking the piss.
Rosenberg gives himself a hard time worrying that there would be
no more Israel if Israelis had to obey international law and UN
resolutions, and return the lands and resources they stole from
the Palestinians. It’s “an actual country”, he maintains. But I
bet he cannot tell us its actual borders.
I hear that most Jews who have squeezed into Israel in recent
times have no ancestral ties with the place at all.
Not all Palestinian families ejected in 1948 would wish to return
and live among Jews who had so cruelly wronged them for so long.
True, Israel might not be able to continue as an exclusively
Jewish state but racist exclusivity is what was so objectionable
about the Israel project in the first place.
Rosenberg also puts forward as justification for seizing and
keeping Palestine the claim that Israel speaks an ancient language
and has “created a new culture that is as legitimate as that of
the Palestinians or any other people”. I hear that most Jews who
have squeezed into Israel in recent times have no ancestral ties
with the place at all.
Israelis have been building their state on an illegal and
unsustainable premise. That makes it not only their problem but
everyone else’s too. New Israel’s ‘legitimacy’, if we can call it
that, only extends to the lands allocated in the 1947 UN partition
plan, and there are many who question the validity of even that.
Israel has hugely overstepped its generous 1947 allocation and
refused to declare it borders. Who gave the Jewish state
permission to expand beyond the partition lines into territory
reserved for a Palestinian state? Why are advocates of a two-state
solution always talking about 1967 borders instead of 1947
borders? Why would Israel cease to exist if forced back to either
of those lines?
And why is the international community still kept waiting for
Jerusalem to become an international city, as the UN promised?
Discrimination, discrimination, discrimination… and more
The world also waits for US Secretary of State John Kerry’s
much-heralded peace “framework” and wagers that it won’t be worth
a rat’s ass. It is thanks to Kerry, and all his useless
predecessors, that the BDS movement has had to swing into action.
The aim is simply to pick up the baton of justice cast aside by
craven world leaders, and run with it.
BDS still needs to evolve and sharpen its targeting to include
politicians in the West who fly the flag for the racist
Rosenberg concludes by saying the BDS movement is irrelevant and
does no good. Well, we’ll see. It is still early days but progress
has already been made. BDS still needs to evolve and sharpen its
targeting to include politicians in the West who fly the flag for
the racist Israeli regime. That should make a difference.
In the meantime, a report just released by Adalah (meaning
“Justice” in Arabic), an independent human rights organization and
legal centre for promoting and defending the rights of the 1.2
million Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel (20 per cent of the
population) and Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian
territory, reveals that there is no let-up in Israel’s policy of
discrimination and disenfranchisement.
The report says that the Israel Land Authority and the Ministry of
Construction and Housing continue to put Palestinian land on the
market for mass housing in the illegal settlements in the 1967
occupied territories, and to sell off property belonging to
Palestinian refugees, thereby further complicating their right of
A dunam is about one-quarter of an acre.
It underlines the point that Israel “continues its illegal policy
of building and settling Jewish citizens beyond the Green Line
[the 1949 armistice line], while Arab communities within its
territory continue to suffer from a shortage of housing and
overcrowding due to the massive discriminatory appropriation of
land and unfair, inequitable planning policies…”
All the more reason to keep piling on the boycotts.
Adalah’s report can be read in full here.