The BDS Debate and the Apartheid Analogy

another bds imageThe AJDS resolution on selective boycotts of West Bank products resulted in great hostility from the ‘powers’ in the Jewish community, even the AJDS took care to distinguish what it resolved from more radical ‘boycott’ Israel positions.
More recently, the resolution of the NSW Greens Party to support full BDS sanctions has also been condemned, by not only strong Zionists, but other Greens, because for its hard line that bespeaks a disconnection with realistic conflict resolution.
Phillip Walker is a Victorian Green, and blogged his opinion on the website, arguing that not only is the strategy incorrect, but that it is also misusing South African analogies. He speaks of his own decade in South Africa.
Michael Brull also also discusses the BDS campaign (with many rather nasty comments from the trolls in our midst) on the ABC Drum Unleashed website and the backlash to it. He provides an up-to-date account of how how Jewish community bodies and various commentators have engaged in boots and all tactics against anyone critical of Israel.
The situation is getting dire and perhaps what the hard liners on each side are saying reflects an increasing level of frustration. Even Martin van Creveld, a respected Israeli military historian, has recently said that Israel is on the path to apartheid if things continue as they are.
“Should Israeli rule over them (Palestinians) continue, then the country will definitely turn into what it is already fast becoming: namely, an apartheid state that can only maintain its control by means of repressive secret police actions.
To save itself from such a fate, Israel should rid itself of the West Bank, most of Arab Jerusalem specifically included. If possible, it should do so by agreement with the Palestinian Authority; if not, then it should proceed unilaterally, as the — in my view, very successful — withdrawal from Gaza suggests. Or else I would strongly advise my children and grandson to seek some other, less purblind and less stiff-necked, country to live in.”
It is remarkable that he and what’s left of the Israeli left are saying very similar things, at least about the political direction of Israel. We had such hopes for Obama, but Netanyahu, with his congressional allies and AIPAC, has been outfoxed. It’s distressing.
Meanwhile, Joharah Baker, in Miftah, argues that Abbas, for all his faults, addressed “over 100 Israeli Knesset members, peace activists and journalists at his headquarters in Ramallah to send their government and people one very important message: We want peace”. He has made it clear that he has gone as far as he can without betraying his constituency (and that is a very moderate line he is taking). Would you ever expect Netanyahu to meet 100 Palestinians?
Forget it.

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