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Monday, June 04, 2007

Will We See a Major Campaign to Boycott "Apartheid" Israel?

South Africa was once one of the world's strongest states. Armed to the teeth and led by a government that did not hesitate to jail and kill opponents, South Africa was brought under ANC/Communist Party control by a concerted campaign to isolate and boycott the republic.

Apartheid was South Afica's weak point. Even many anti-communists found it hard to defend the country, while the republic maintained such an indefensible system.

Israel is the next target for the international left. The Jewish state may be about to suffer a propaganda assault designed to damage Israel economically and turn the country into an isolated and friendless pariah.

Israel has never had Apartheid, but that won't stop the Marxist-Leninists using that most emotive of terms against her.

The "Apartheid Israel" term has been used by the left for a while now but I suspect its use is about to be stepped up.

Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Arab American journalist who teaches mass communication at Australia Curtin University of Technology, Malaysia Campus. He recently delivered a keynote speech at the ‘Al-Nakba’ conference, held in Cape Town, South Afica.

In an article published in today's edition of the Communist Party USA's online journal Political Affairs, Baroud recounts a conversation he had with communist South African cabinet minister, Ronnie Kasrils;

South Africa's Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils whispered to me as I sat down following a most enthusiastic speech I gave at a recent conference in Cape Town: "if you want the world to heed to your call for boycotting Israel, the call has to originate from the Palestinian leadership itself."

Baroud goes on to say;

Kasrils is obviously right. The call for boycotting the racist Apartheid government was an exclusively South African endeavour, made resonantly and repeatedly by the African National Council (ANC) and backed by the various liberation movements in the country and in exile. It took years for the dedicated campaign to be effective. The message communicated to the international community was clear and simply persuasive: put an end to Apartheid. It was but only a facet of various methods of struggle, notwithstanding the armed struggle which spread to Namibia, Angola and other African countries. Nonetheless it was a committed strategy.

One of the architects of the campaign which boycotted banks involved in investing in South Africa, presented me with an elaborate plan to involve civil societies in holding to account banks that facilitate the Israeli occupation economically and thereby help to facilitate its existence. It comprised a clear strategy, a straightforward plan of action and non-negotiable demands.

Is a similar campaign possible in the Palestinian case? Many people seem to think so. In fact, calls for boycotting Israel have dotted the political landscape of the Arab-Israeli and later Palestinian-Israeli conflict for years. The main obstacle to utilising civil societies in compelling Israel to end its brutal policies against the Palestinians is that these efforts are neither centralised nor do they emanate from a respected Palestinian authority and leadership. Despite their good intentions, and their sincere solidarity, they remain uncoordinated and lack a clear set of objectives.

I called Ahmed Youssef, the chief political advisor to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to ask him whether such a call for a boycott was feasible, especially prior to the forthcoming mass rallies to be held in London and other major cities on 9 June -- on the 40th anniversary of the Israeli occupation. Youssef was clearly distressed; the infighting between Palestinians had taken its toll on his often optimistic attitude. "How can one expect a unified leadership position on a boycott while Palestinians are fighting on two fronts; against one another and against Israel?"

I am certain that large numbers of conscientious people around the world would refuse to purchase Israeli products if they understood exactly how Israel has maintained its illegal occupation of Palestinian land. But how can we ascertain this fact without a professional and well organised boycott which would provide figures and statistics as part of the campaign to pressure companies that do business with Israel?

Should we wait for the Palestinian leadership, some of whom are in the process of complete capitulation, while others are struggling for basic survival and limited to an exclusivist political ideology, to cease their infighting, unify their ranks, rehabilitate their political institutions and only then call for boycott? The wait might be too long and arduous.

One of the main objectives of my frequent travelling has been to try and build a bridge between various proactive organisations, linked to change and liberation, and the Palestinian struggle. In some ways, these efforts have been successful. I believe that by creating a wider, well coordinated platform for the struggle against injustice, with Palestine being one of several central points of focus, civil society can be both effective and relevant. To achieve this, one must not dwell on specifics (in the Palestinian case, the debate of one versus two states, armed struggle versus passive resistance, Hamas verses Fatah, are cases in point) but search for unifying themes, leaving the more divisive issues for Palestinians to sort out.

Will the international left escalate its use of the "Apartheid Israel" slogan?

Given the prominence given to the concept in the CPUSA's theoretical journal, I suspect they might.


Anonymous Steve Nice Guiy Northland said...

"South Africa was once one of the world's strongest states" - in terms of renaissance naziism - Yes.

An "isolated and friendless pariah". Except for Uncle Maxwell (The Chickenhawk) Smart - Yes, and deservedly so. Even the Poodle of Downing Street's been moved to comment on "disproportionate" response.

"Israel has never had apartheid" - I agree, not within it's "legitimate" borders. Step into the occupied lands, different story. Deliberate policy in fact.

You really are a sheep in wolf's clothing Trevor. How you "sanitise" the fascistic consciousness. From the "safety" of the mediocre, no one takes it seriously, two per center ACT Party.

IDF: 10 Palestinians: 1

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Reid of America said...

There is nothing new going on here. The campaign to divest and boycott Israel has been going on for more than 20 years. It will fail.

Recall the Muslim worlds boycott of Denmark after the Mohammed cartoon controversy. Danish exports went up sharply in a counter boycott. You don't have to be philo-semitic to be appalled by leftists supporting depraved Palestinian jihadists. Many people who are indifferent to the Arab-Israel conflict will support Israel against a boycott because they can't stand radical leftists and Islamic jihadists.

Israel has just passed France to become the worlds #4 defense exporter. Do you think these defense buyers care about radical leftist boycotts? Israel has the highest concentration of high technology companies after Silicon Valley. Do you think technology buyers will support an anti-semitic boycott? Microsoft and Intel have very large operations in Israel. Do you think they will alter their support of Israel to appease leftists who would hate them even if they had no links to Israel?

The Israel haters may have lots of support in academia. But fortunately, Israel has lots of support in the financial world.

12:32 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"South Africa was once one of the world's strongest states" - in terms of renaissance naziism - Yes.

Steve the anti-Semite, look at the number of Palestinians and Arabs in general rising. Does that look like what Nazism would look like to you? Who gives a damn to you Steve about Palestinian children being brainwashed to hate Israeli Jews? Apparently that isn't Nazism or Fascism to the likes of you.

1:50 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"You really are a sheep in wolf's clothing Trevor. How you "sanitise" the fascistic consciousness. From the "safety" of the mediocre, no one takes it seriously, two per center ACT Party."

You're such sheep Steve for siding with the likes of Ahmadinejad who has vowed for Israel's destruction. Ahmadinejad and you Steve are on the same page when both of you suggest how Israel is an "apartheid".

Tell me Steve, have you the gall to pick up the Torah (origiinal religious text) and see what happens to those like ilk such as you for those who always oppose Israel no matter what happens to Israel? Even if Israel happens to be a freer society than most of the Middle East (excluding Turkey and a certain extent Lebanon)?

You always seem to suppose the side that is the most totalitarian and unfree. But suggest how I am a Zionist "fanatic", a "fascist" and a "holocaust Nazi". But you siding with the more totalitarian side, what does that make you?

3:44 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

I believe this religious concept takes into effect against those who oppose Israel:

1: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

2: For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

3: Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

4: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

5: And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

6: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:

7: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

You Steve and anyone else who goes against Israel in similar manners are on the wrong side, and are siding with some of the worse tyrants in the world.

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Steve Nice Guy Northland said...

I'd do better service to your biblical tracts if I used them for bottom paper Mah !

Don't forget karma sweetheart !

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Steve Nice Guy Northland said...

One further thing Mah Mah - please don't ever again call me an anti-Vegemite - I'm an anti-Mahmite.

If you can't sort that one out ask Trev to take you on a virtual tour of any Nooo Zeee supermarket. Best prices at Countdown !

Funny (like, sick), how when you're pressed you get all flighty and pull out your cruddy religiosity. Much like "Prishop Prian Pramaki" over here. You should hook up with that fulla.

You'd be a riot together the two of you. Except for the bitch-slapping over who gets the tithes.

Don't think your tin soldiers would be a match for his Black Shirts though Mah so taihoa on the monetary demands.

That fulla licensed from above to bring celestial thunder down on nay-sayers !

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Steve Nice Guy Northland said...

Oh, a further, further thing:

IDF: 10 Palestinians: 1

HN !

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Apartheid" Israel?" Hello? "Apartheid" America! Trev!

Land of the free America! I don't think so! Where indigenous people have been banished to reservations for how long? (answer that question Mah! or Trev!) How about Paris Hilton who has heaps of money gets soft labour while poor people get hard labour! That is called really really rich. I understand that America does not even check peoples alcohol intake when they crash their cars ..something to do with the Constitution??? So how free is America?

"Torah (origiinal religious text) and see what happens to those like ilk such as you for those who always oppose Israel no matter what happens to Israel? Even if Israel happens to be a freer society than most of the Middle East (excluding Turkey and a certain extent Lebanon)?" Have you ever lived in Israel Mah? Must have been really angry Mah when you wrote that! So how come you have two countries that you belong to?

What about Putin and Bush at this present moment? How dare they put the rest of the world in danger. F... them both!


P.S.Mah are you sure you are not in a mental institution?

9:40 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Message to MAH and Steve

MAH-as one of a handful of Golitsynite bloggers on the Internet, you have better things to write than attacking Steve all the time.

Its wasting comment space that could be much better used.

Please discipline yourself not to react to Steve's baiting.

Steve-abusive and repitive comments will be deleted from now on.

Your views are welcome. I can take criticism. Your inane attacks on my other commentors are not.

You are hogging comment space, which counters the purpose of this blog.

Raise the tone of your comments and all will be well.

Post abuse and you will type for nothing.

Fair enough gentlemen?

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Steve Nice Guy Northland said...

Cop out Trev - Default ! Can't hack it ? Prefer licky licky back scrathching do we ?

12:04 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"Mah are you sure you are not in a mental institution?"

HAM, I'm pretty sure Trev's comments are also aimed at you too.

5:37 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Trev, I personally think this personal attack on Reid would certainly qualify you to censor any of Steve's comments:

Scroll down to the last comments and see for yourself.

5:46 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Trev, you may also want to apply the same policy toward HAM. I'll tone myself down and not respond that much to people like this, but I don't want to be harassed.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why me Mah? You have called me an anti-semite - and I have Jewish ancestry. You have told me that I should be in a mental institution, hence my asking if you had taken your meds. I also took issue with your statement that Afro-Americans are brainwashed. I have not harassed you - apart from calling you a grumpy old fart.... pretty harmless really.

My Dad fought the Germans in WWII for people like you.

Trev just answer this question and I won't bother this blog again. What does "Golitsynite" mean? Thanks.


8:58 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

I'll answer that question over the next couple of days Huhana.

3:19 PM  

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