Sunday, July 12, 2009

Naomi Klein Calls for Boycott of Israel.

I doubt that the American mainstream media will cover this at all and, if they do, it will only be to condemn Naomi Klein for her naivete.

When people are killed and badly injured in lawful demonstrations against clearly unjust acts, that's not normal. And that is being normalised here. But it isn't a normal situation. And it's situations like that that shaped my decision to come to Israel, not as a normal book tour, but in support of the call for boycott divestment and sanctions.
They'll come out of the woodwork to attack her and label her an anti-Semite, but I feel her credentials are strong enough to resist such charges:
I wanted to start by letting you in on a little secret. There is a debate among Jews. I used to say “the Jewish community” but then I got excommunicated. So there is a debate among Jews - I’m a Jew by the way - about whether the lesson of the Holocaust should be “never again to anyone”, or “never again to us.” That’s what it pretty much boils down to. And there are a lot of people who believe that the lessons of the Holocaust was “never again to us, never again to the Jews.” Because we suffered this tremendous crime against humanity, we have the right to do whatever it takes to keep ourselves safe. In fact we even think we get a kind of get one genocide free card out of this. [...]

There is another strain in the Jewish tradition that says that the lessons of the Holocaust is “never again to anyone”, and that it is precisely because of what we experienced as Jews that we must denounce racism, denounce systems of segregation wherever they crop up, even and especially when they crop up amongst our own.
I am proud to put myself - and I thank my parents for this - in that second tradition. That’s why I’m proud to join in here tonight.
Klein is very brave to put her head above the parapet in this way.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.


Anonymous said...

An extremist ISRAELI government is disadvantageous to AMERICA and to the world.

There is no doubt, whatsoever, of President Obama’s integrity. But the time is now surely apposite to ask why he appointed so many political Zionists to key posts in his administration. Zionism is a worldwide movement, originating in the 19th century, that sought to establish and develop a Jewish nation in Palestine. Since 1948 its function has been to support the state of Israel at the expense of the indigenous peoples of Palestine. This, therefore, is very clearly a political movement; not an altruistic movement; not a humanitarian movement, not a movement for justice or for human rights – but a political movement.

In democratic America, there is complete freedom of choice to support who we want and to express whatever views we hold, provided they do not incite violence or work against the security of the state. However, it is more than coincidence that Israel should have such a powerful political lobby within the US administration – and it is germane to ask how and why this disproportionate representation occurred.

Could it be solely attributable to the power of AIPAC, an unelected political lobby that claims something in the region of maybe just 100,000 members out of an electorate of 308 million? That seems unlikely. But whatever the truth, there would seem to have been forces at work that were, and presumably are, undemocratic and a possible threat to society.

Unfortunately, there can be no other conclusion other than the current Administration is unrepresentative of the American electorate as a whole and that that means implementing a foreign policy – such as the appeasement of an extremist Israeli government – that is disadvantageous not only to America, but to the world.

Kel said...

I disagree. I think Obama has been careful to surround himself with people who are very supportive of Israel and that this gives him the cover he needs to be forceful about things like Israel stopping settlement building.

Even lifelong Israel supporters like Hillary Clinton are not defending Netanyahu's stance, in fact she is doing the opposite.

Had Obama surrounded himself with people who had been critical of Israel in the past, it would be much harder for him to keep up the pressure, as the Israeli's would have said he is being anti-Israeli. But you can't say that about Obama's team.

That's what enraging them so much.