Sunday, November 14, 2010

When Will BDS Get to Alaska?

A lot of my friends down below and overseas are deeply involved in the Global BDS Movement, which began back in the summer of 2005. It gained more adherents after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, many more during and after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008-January 2009, and even more in the wake of the murders on board the MV Mavi Marmara in the late spring of 2010.

Since the Mavi Marmara incident, American universities, union organizations and consumer-owned food co-ops have taken up the issues. More and more anti-war coalitions are participating in this fight against American accommodation of Israeli internal apartheid and occupation policies.

Essentially, what the movement seeks to achieve is this:

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) refers to an international economic campaign initiated by the July 9, 2005, call of 171 Palestinian non-governmental organizations "... for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights."[1] The three stated goals of the campaign are:

  1. An end to Israel's "occupation and colonization of all Arab lands", as well as "dismantling of the Wall;"
  2. Israeli recognition of the "fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;" and,
  3. Israeli respect, protection, and promotion of "the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194."

I wasn't a fan of the BDS movement until sometime this summer. And I'm still not entirely sure about some aspects of it. I stopped using a textbook for a class written by an Israeli academic, Roger Kamien, last year, but it was because a book came along that deals far better with 20th and 21st century trends in music than did the one I dropped. If someone in Israel wants to play my music there, I'm not going to try to stop it.

The push by Israeli politicians to force loyalty oaths on its citizens, the incredibly criminal wastewater practices by Israeli industries operating in the newly built industrial zones in the West Bank, the increasingly brazen treachery some American politicians are showing toward their own country on behalf of Israel, and the Israeli-backed push for what surely would end up being a thermonuclear confrontation with Iran, have all added up to convince me that it is time for BDS to come to Alaska.

I'm not sure yet what that might mean. I haven't had any discussions with any of the Alaska groups supporting Palestinian rights on this, and I'm not well versed on how economic sanctions against Israeli products available in Alaska might be dealt with. I have a lot of Jewish friends and acquaintances here. Many are Zionists. Some are growing more concerned as Israeli policies lurch rapidly toward outright apartheid, even within its own borders. A few have contacted me about my articles here on Palestinian rights, urging me on, and asking me not to tell anyone they communicated with me about this.

A vital component in the BDS movement down below and outside the USA is the participation of many Jewish peace activists. By and large, from my experience, Alaskan Jewish peace activists are mostly afraid to come forward more openly. I don't blame them.

Here's a youtube of one of scores of BDS actions that occurred recently in the lower 48:


Makabit Bat Guriel said...

I'd like to drop them right in the middle of Mecca and see what happens with their black clad, spiked hair, cleavage showing, tattooed asses. Not to mention a couple of the guys are probably gay...that goes over well in Islamic countries.
They'd be calling home hoping their families could get them out before the Muslims cut their fucking heads off.

And any Jew that supports this supports breaking another Jew's back.

I'd call in to work sick just to show up at one of these but the problem is this crowd is chickenshit and do it without notice. Videos though show faces and you can always picket their homes, dorms...get my drift!

Anonymous said...


Why does Makabit think you are a "Jew Hater"?

It seems a bit of an overreaction to your pro Palestine views.

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 11:04,

MBG and I are long-time adversaries, I guess. If you look at her comment at my post on Israeli Army recruiters on US college campuses, you can see that she has a rather manichean worldview.

Makabit Bat Guriel said...

No, I believe the manichean example works better with how you portray Israel and this so called Palestine. Besides, your interest didn't start just this last summer Phil and you know it. Are you getting senile?
Not to forget mentioning your very obtuse followers such as anonymous@ 11:04 am

Anonymous said...

They are lucky to not have been arrested for disorderly conduct - they could have been called in by the store management. Their Right to free speech and expression does not extend into private property - the store is a private space.

Anyway, I would like to see peace between Palestine and Israel. Their conflict is so complex and convoluted that I can no longer understand all facets of it. It is beyond ridiculous.

Stopping purchase of one product will make no difference. A lot of writing to Israeli consulate might.

Philip Munger said...

"They are lucky to not have been arrested for disorderly conduct - they could have been called in by the store management. Their Right to free speech and expression does not extend into private property - the store is a private space."

I suppose that is true. However, they didn't appear to be keeping people from purchasing products or to be clogging the aisles. An arrest for "disorderly conduct" might not have been a wise move on the part of management in terms of community goodwill.

Regarding "writing to [the] Israeli consulate," what makes you think that would make a difference? In the moves by consumer co-ops cited in my article, Israel consulates have gotten involved and were not at all understanding from the viewpoint of Palestinian rights, nor have they so far been able to honestly answer questions about Israeli industrial activities in the occupied West Bank.

Anonymous said...

industrial activities in the west bank means jobs. something the rest of the arab, muslim world isn't handing out to these palestinians. all the people of the west bank have to do is get their heads out of their ass and send home the trouble makers.

Philip Munger said...

"all the people of the west bank have to do is get their heads out of their ass and send home the trouble makers."

- couldn't agree more. Can't wait until they get on that bus back to Tel Aviv.

Makabit Bat Guriel said...

Now you have it Phil!
Then they put their unwashed Muslim loving butts on a plane at Ben Gurion and ship the little wide mouthed bastards back to their parents. Back to Philly, back to Seattle, back to Portland, back to San Francisco.
I'm impressed with your thinking there Phil! You know exactly what I was talking about! You are so fucking smart! You still eat shit but you were using your head on that last comment. Yessiree!