Saturday, August 22, 2009

An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that an international boycott is the only way to save his country.

John Lyons's piece in the Weekend Australian magazine on the Israeli settler movement in Israel explores aspects of Israeli hatred of Palestinians. It as partly as a result of the actions described in Lyons' article that the push for an international boycott of Israel is growing.

A distinguished Israeli academic, Neve Gordon has supported calls for an international boycott of Israel. In a recent article in the Guardian Gordon has written:

It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel. But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself.

I say this because Israel has reached a historic crossroads, and times of crisis call for dramatic measures. I say this as a Jew who has chosen to raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the Israeli peace camp for almost 30 years and who is deeply anxious about the country's future.

....... I am convinced that outside pressure is the only answer. Over the last three decades, Jewish settlers in the occupied territories have dramatically increased their numbers. The myth of the united Jerusalem has led to the creation of an apartheid city where Palestinians aren't citizens and lack basic services. The Israeli peace camp has gradually dwindled so that today it is almost nonexistent, and Israeli politics are moving more and more to the extreme right.

It is therefore clear to me that the only way to counter the apartheid trend in Israel is through massive international pressure. The words and condemnations from the Obama administration and the European Union have yielded no results, not even a settlement freeze, let alone a decision to withdraw from the occupied territories.

I consequently have decided to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that was launched by Palestinian activists in July 2005 and has since garnered widespread support around the globe. The objective is to ensure that Israel respects its obligations under international law and that Palestinians are granted the right to self-determination.

.......Nothing else has worked. Putting massive international pressure on Israel is the only way to guarantee that the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians -- my two boys included -- does not grow up in an apartheid regime".
Neve Gordon is a senior lecturer and Head of the Department and Politics at Ben Gurion University and a third generation Israeli who was wounded fighting in the Israeli Defense Forces. Gordon has published books and articles on Israeli politics and the Israel- Palestinian conflict. A link to his articles can be found here

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