Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Netanyahu and Zionist Fear Mongers, Including
Adelson and Saban, Replace the Fading Iranian Threat With the Boycott Threat
By Uri Avnery
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, June 17, 2015
BDS, the New Netanyahu Enemy
NETANYAHU was racking his brain. His whole career is based on fear
mongering. Since Jews have lived in fear for millennia, it is easy to invoke
it. They are addicts.
For years now, Netanyahu has built his career
on fear of the Iranian Nuclear Bomb. The Iranians are crazy people. Once
they have the Bomb, they will drop it on Israel, even if Israel's nuclear
second strike will certainly annihilate Iran with its thousands of years of
But Netanyahu saw with growing anxiety that the
Iranian threat was losing its edge. The US, so it seems, is about to reach
an agreement with Iran, which will prevent it from achieving the Bomb. Even
Sheldon the Great cannot prevent the agreement. What to do?
around, three letters popped up: BDS. They denote Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions, a worldwide campaign to boycott Israel because of its 48 year-old
subjugation of the Palestinian people.
Ah, here we have a real
threat, worse than the Bomb. A second Holocaust is looming. Brave little
Israel facing the entire evil, anti-Semitic world.
True, until now
Israel has suffered no real damage. BDS is more about gestures than about
real economic weapons. But who is counting? The legions of anti-Semites are
on the march.
Who will save us? Bibi the Great, of course!
HONEST DISCLOSURE: my friends and I initiated the first boycott, which
was directed at the products of the settlements.
Our peace movement,
Gush Shalom, was deliberating how to stop the spread of the settlements,
each of which is a land mine on the road to peace. The main reason for
setting up settlements is to prevent the two-state solution – the only peace
solution there is.
Our investigators made a Grand Tour of the
settlements and registered the enterprises which were lured by government
enticements to set up shop beyond the Green Line. We published the list and
encouraged customers to abstain from buying these products.
boycott is a democratic instrument of protest. It is non-violent. Every
person can exercise it privately, without joining any group or exhibiting
himself or herself in public.
Our main aim was to get the Israeli
public to distinguish clearly between Israel proper and the settlements in
the occupied territories.
In March 1997 we held a press conference
to announce the campaign. It was a unique event. I have held press
conference which were overflowing with journalists – for example,
after my first meeting with Yasser Arafat in besieged West Beirut. I have
held press conferences with sparse attendance. But this one was really
special: not a single Israeli journalist turned up.
Still, the idea
spread. I don't know how many thousand Israelis are boycotting the products
of the settlements right now.
However, we were upset by the attitude
of the European Union authorities, which denounced the settlements while in
practice subsidizing their products with customs exemptions like real
Israeli wares. My colleagues and I went to Brussels to protest, but were
told by polite bureaucrats that Germany and others were obstructing any step
toward a settlement boycott.
Eventually, the Europeans moved, albeit
slowly. They are now demanding that the products of the settlements be
THE BDS movement has a very different agenda.
They want to boycott the State of Israel as such.
considered this a major strategic error. Instead of isolating the
settlements and separating them from mainstream Israelis, a general boycott
drives all Israelis into the arms of the settlers. It re-awakens age-old
Jewish fears. Facing a common danger, Jews unite.
not wish for more. He is now riding the wave of Jewish reactions. Every day
there are headlines about another success of the boycott movement, and each
success is a bonus for Netanyahu.
It is also a bonus for his
adversary, Omar al-Barghouti, the Palestinian organizer of BDS.
Palestine is well stocked with Barghoutis. It is an extended family
prominent in several villages north of Jerusalem.
The most famous is
Marwan al-Barghouti, who has been condemned to several life sentences for
leading the Fatah youth organization. He was not indicted for taking part in
any "terrorist" acts, but for his role as organizationally responsible.
Indeed, he and I were partners in organizing several non-violent protests
against the occupation.
When he was brought to trial, we protested
in the court building. One of my colleagues lost a toenail in the ensuing
battle with the violent court guards. Marwan is still in prison and many
Palestinians consider him a prospective heir of Mahmoud Abbas.
Another Barghouti is Mustafa, the very likable leader of a leftist party,
who ran against Abbas for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority. We
have met while facing the army in several demonstrations against the Wall.
Omar Barghouti, the leader of the BDS movement, is a postgraduate
student at Tel Aviv University. He demands the free return of all
Palestinian refugees, equality for Israel's Palestinian citizens and, of
course, an end to the occupation.
However, BDS is not a highly
organized worldwide organization. It is more of a trade mark. Groups of
students, artists and others spring up spontaneously and join the struggle
for Palestinian liberation. Here and there, some real anti-Semites try to
join. But for Netanyahu, they are all, all anti-Semites.
feared from the beginning, the boycott of Israel – as distinguished from the
boycott of the settlements – has united the general Jewish population with
the settlers, under the leadership of Netanyahu.
The fatherland is
in danger. National unity is the order of the day. "Opposition Leader"
Yitzhak Herzog is rushing forward to support
Netanyahu, as are almost
all other parties.
Israel's Supreme Court, a frightened shadow of
its former self, has already decreed that calling for a boycott of Israel is
a crime – including calls for boycotting the settlements.
every day, news about the boycott hits the headlines. The boss of "Orange",
the French communications giant, first joined the boycott, then quickly
turned around and is coming to Israel for a pilgrimage of repentance.
Student organizations and professional groups in America and Europe adopt
the boycott. The EU now vigorously demands the marking of settlement
Netanyahu is happy. He
calls upon world Jewry to take up the fight against this anti-Semitic
outrage. The owner of Netanyahu, multi-billionaire casino mogul
Sheldon Adelson, has
convened a war council of rich Jews in Las Vegas. His counterpart, pro-Labor
multi-billionaire Haim Saban
has joined him. Even the perpetrators of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
would not believe it.
AS COMIC relief, another
casino owner is competing for the headlines. He is a much, much smaller
operator, who cannot be compared to Adelson.
He is the new Knesset
Member Oren Hazan, No 30 on the Likud election list, the last one who got
in. A TV expose has alleged that he was the owner of a casino in Bulgaria,
who supplied prostitutes to his clients and used hard drugs. He has already
been chosen as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. The Speaker has temporarily
suspended him from chairing Knesset plenum sessions.
So the two
casino owners, the big and the small, dominate the news. Rather bizarre in a
country where casinos are forbidden, and where clandestine casino goers are
Well, life is a roulette game. Even life in
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