A Challenge to Critics of BDS

10 Jan
For the last month I’ve been responding to critiques and challenges of BDS. Now I have a question for its opponents and critics. What do you propose as an alternative strategy? The Palestinians have tried four decades of armed revolt, three decades of peace negotiations, two intifadas, and seven decades of waiting. They have taken up BDS as a non-violent tactic, precisely the sort of thing that liberal-minded critics have been calling upon them to do for years (where is the Palestinian Gandhi and all that). So now you say BDS is bad too. Fine. What would you have the Palestinians—and their international supporters—do instead?

29 Responses to “A Challenge to Critics of BDS”

  1. Larry Derfner January 10, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Why don’t they learn from us, and blow up the King David Hotel? (Kidding.) Or assassinate the UN envoy to the Middle East? (Kidding again, and anyway there isn’t one.)

    • Jon January 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

      Yeah because Stern and Irgun were so influential in founding the nation…. See that is the difference Larry and you of all people should know this, is that Stern and Irgun (those who espoused Terror and Maximalist goals) were NOT the Yishuv. Ben-Gurion made sure of that. Unlike the Palestinians who the main goals are both along the lines of those two organizations. I mean are you really going to tell us that the P.A. with it’s demand for no Israelis (re: Jews) living in the West Bank and for full Palestinian RoR to pre-1967 Israel is equivalent to the Yishuv….

      Larry, I know you are a Zionist and believe in a Two State Solution, and while I am slightly to the Right of you (think Labor or Ha’Tnua – that is who I support), I agree with your “dream”, but, for this to work the Palestinians ALSO have to agree with your “dream”, and right now there is no indication that the Palestinian Polity or Public Opinion does.

      1948 will not be undone and that is BDS’ goal. So until BDS changes it’s goals, we will oppose it.

  2. J. Otto Pohl January 10, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    They want the Palestinians to accept what ever terms are dictated to them by the Israelis. This means accepting not only the 78% of Palestine already seized by the Zionists in 1948, but additional chunks of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a Jewish state in the same sense that South Africa used to be a White State. It also means accepting that whatever remaining Bantustan like entity is left for the Palestinians will not control its own borders, air space, or coasts as is the case in Gaza today. If the Palestinians would accept these conditions then I am sure the opponents of BDS would be happy. It is not about tactics or strategies, but about goals. They don’t want any solution in which the Palestinians would have equitable access to their own land and resources. In that sense what ever form of opposition the Palestinians use whether it is armed struggle (a right affirmed by the UN GA in 1973), civil uprisings, or BDS are totally irrelevant it is the very fact of opposition they object to.

  3. robgehrke January 10, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Why, they would have them quietly go away, of course. You’re right here; the only acceptable policy for Palestinians from a revisionist Zionist point of view, and this has been historically stated by Zionist leaders, is that they simply keep their heads down and gradually disappear. It’s not really a big secret. The notion that Israelis categorically reject violence is, of course false too, unless you define “violence” as = “violence carried out by Palestinians”; otherwise violence and other forms of hooliganism are perfectly acceptable. The same goes for any state, really, Israel is surely no different in that respect.

    I’d only add that Palestinian resistance seems to have been largely historically non-violent considering the circumstances, and BDS did not inaugurate that, as if it were a completely new development. It’s my understanding that the first Intifada was largely a non-violent mass uprising, and became violent when attempts were made to crush it by force. The attempt to paint Palestinian resistance as solely the property of a vanguard of angry men brandishing AK-47s is a way to de-legitimize it and suppress the fact that these uprisings simply have mass popular support. The Palestinian “Gandhis” are mostly in prison.

  4. hophmi January 10, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    “I have a question for its opponents and critics. What do you propose as an alternative strategy? The Palestinians have tried four decades of armed revolt, three decades of peace negotiations, two intifadas, and seven decades of waiting. They have taken up BDS as a non-violent tactic, precisely the sort of thing that liberal-minded critics have been calling upon them to do for years (where is the Palestinian Gandhi and all that). So now you say BDS is bad too.”

    Stop trying to reverse 1948. Stop refusing to renounce violence as a negotiating tactic, where you only stop when Israel kills enough of your people to make you stop, and then restart as soon as you don’t get what you want at the negotiating table. Stop denying the historical connection of Jews to the region, which is a political ploy that has only caused the right-wingers to insist that you recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Stop using settlements in areas you know will end up in Israel anyway as a political excuse not to come to the table. Stop relying on international aid as a substitute for actually building functional, sustainable state institutions. Stop the culture of corruption in West Bank, and stop the culture of Islamic radicalism in Gaza. Get your damned house in order. Create leaders who don’t play off your factions against one another. And learn to compromise based on reality, as Ben-Gurion did by accepting a state far smaller than the Zionist movement thought they would get, rather than compromising based on nonsense, by talking about how you should get everything you want because you “gave up” 78% of your “historic homeland” when, in fact, you lost it because you threw your lot in with your itinerant brethren in the region who have never cared very much about you. Stop thinking that the Israelis are just another form of the British, and that they’ll leave if you make life difficult enough.

    In short, stop confusing attacks on Israel with building a Palestinian state. Focus on you, rather than on Israel.

    The most important thing the Palestinians can do, by far, is to begin to build the state they say they want. Jews were under British occupation before 1948. They also built a guerrilla movement, although unlike the Palestinian movement, it had a firm purpose, and it didn’t get off on killing as many innocents as it could. But the most important work the Yishuv did was institution building. When May 14, 1948 arrived, Ben-Gurion could stand up at Independence Hall and issue a proclamation of real substance because he had a state-in-waiting. He had cities the Yishuv had developed. He had a goal that extended further than fighting his enemies. So building new cities, like Rawabi, and establishing a civil culture of transparency will accomplish much more than BDS ever will, and in fact, BDS, retards these processes by encouraging the Palestinians to continue to focus on Israel. BDS, which is movement run by radicals in the West who have patronizingly allowed Palestinians to claim ownership of the movement for themselves, is the kind of political narcotic that will only make Palestinian suffering worse in the long run.

    Ben-Gurion also centralized all of the factions in the Yishuv by creating a single army, and by showing that he was willing to use force to keep everyone under one roof. Mahmoud Abbas, who is by and large a good man, does not want to fight that war, and Yasir Arafat never fought it more than half-heartedly, and not for very long at that, because he valued his life more than he valued his people. We’ve seen the price of not dealing with that problem in places like Lebanon and throughout Africa. It leads to chaos.

    • hidflect January 11, 2014 at 4:33 am #

      blah blah blah …and you still didn’t answer the question.

      • hophmi January 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

        Actually, I did. You just don’t like the answer.

  5. neffer January 10, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    A very simple answer, the Palestinians could have accepted one of the many proposals to settle the dispute, e.g., the proposal in 1948, one of the proposals in 2000 and 2001 and the proposal in 2008. None would be perfect – but then again, the Israelis accepted the proposal in 1948, which was not perfect for Jews.

    This ought not be about obtaining cosmic justice but, instead, about people being in a position to make a life for themselves. That, frankly, has always been the problem with the Arab side, which expects cosmic justice in the form of the end of Israel. And, only bigots think that is a just solution. So, their idea of cosmic justice – meaning creating another historic injustice directed at Jews – is itself a great moral failure.

    So, my suggestion is that those who want to help Palestinians tell them the truth, which is they need to say “Yes,” and stop pretending that Israel – and its people – will vaporize or that they can, as Hamas proposes, kill all the Jews.

    • Patrick S. O'Donnell January 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      Let’s not forget or ignore the fact that nonviolent methods were used by Palestinians long before the BDS movement, indeed, far more often than is appreciated, in part owing to official U.S. propaganda and mass media coverage in the U.S. (see, for example, Marda Dunsky’s Pens and Swords: How the Mainstream American Media Report the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Columbia University Press, 2008). And the resort to international law, especially international humanitarian and human rights law should also, I think, be grouped under the choice of nonviolent means. Here are some titles (I’ve left out the international law stuff) that help us better appreciate the times and places during the conflict in which nonviolence has been a significant strategic choice:

      • Awad, Mubarak. Nonviolent Resistance in the Middle East. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers, 1985.
      • Awad, Mubarak E. and R. Scott Kennedy. Nonviolent Struggle in the Middle East. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publ., 1985.
      • Bröning, Michael. The Politics of Change in Palestine: State-Building and Nonviolent Resistance. London: Pluto Press, 2011.
      • Hiltermann, Joost R. Behind the Intifada: Labor and Women’s Movements in the Occupied Territories. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.
      • Kaufman-Lacusta, Maxine, ed. Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation. Reading, UK: Ithaca Press/Garnet, 2010.
      • King, Mary Elizabeth. A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance. New York: Nation Books, 2007.
      • Pearlman, Wendy. Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
      • Ring, Kenneth, with Ghassan Abdullah. Letters from Palestine: Palestinians Speak Out about Their Lives, Their Country, and the Power of Nonviolence. Tucson, AZ: Wheatmark, 2010.
      • Shulman, David. Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
      • Stephan, Maria J., ed. Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
      • Tripp, Charles. The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

      • neffer January 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

        “Let’s not forget or ignore the fact that nonviolent methods were used by Palestinians …”

        The issue here is the aims of the Palestinians. Their aim is to replace Israel and, depending on which faction is involved, to create a state dominated by Arabs – with any Jews stupid enough to stay or unable to leave, having a state of affairs far worse than those suffered by Arabs – or to create an Islamic state – where Jews would all have to leave or be killed – or, a radical Islamic state, where all efforts would be made to kill off any Jews at hand.

        So, peaceful means to an immoral, unjust resolution is pretty insane.

        Moreover, as liberation movements go, the Palestinian one is one of the least peaceful in its means. And, surely, it is one of the few which has made attacking civilians a primary strategy to obtain its ends.

        Which is to say, you are reading irenic nonsense.

      • hophmi January 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

        “Let’s not forget or ignore the fact that nonviolent methods were used by Palestinians long before the BDS movement, indeed, far more often than is appreciated”

        Patrick: I certainly haven’t forgotten it. But the truth is that the Palestinians as a society have never committed to it. This is not Gandhi or King and nonviolence. It’s meaningless when more than half the public support suicide bombings if 10 or 15% support civil disobedience. Mubarak Awad never had any real grassroots support, and neither does Mustapha Barghouti, Izz-el-din Abuleish and Sari Nusseibeh.

        Nonviolence is not just a “strategic choice.” Calling it a strategic choice is exactly what it wrong with the manner in which the Palestinians employ it; they employ it as a strategic choice when violence doesn’t work, and their strategy has been to buy time until they can use violence again, and to refuse to condemn it as immoral, a tendency in which they have been shamelessly encouraged by utterly contemptible people on the left who say that it’s not for them to dictate strategy to the Palestinians, even if that strategy is the murder of little children. Nonviolence is a MORAL choice. And it is a choice that the Palestinians have never made.

        “And the resort to international law, especially international humanitarian and human rights law should also, I think, be grouped under the choice of nonviolent means.”

        I disagree for two reasons. First, international law is not necessarily non-violent, not when it is used as a political tool to prevent the Israelis from defending themselves, and not when people talk about resolutions to invade Israel.

      • halibrewer January 11, 2014 at 4:02 am #

        how is the idea that Neffer stated, that the Palestinians’ goal is to eradicate Israel, (if this were true) any different morally or politically from the defacto goal of Israel eradicating Palestine? (other than the observable fact that the Israelis look like they are succeeding, brutally)

      • Everett Benson January 16, 2014 at 8:01 am #

        Patrick O’Donnell certainly has nosed up a lot of titles, but it is doubtful that he has read them, or anything else on the Arab-Israeli conflict. This includes even the most cursory histories of the region. E.g., all historical accounts accept that the Palestinian leadership since 1921 has not just endorsed terrorism, but focussed on actually committing it big-time, murdering large numbers of civilian Jews well before there was even an Israel (including almost all peaceable religious Jews of Hebron in 1929, and entire farming settlements during the 30s, bombing Jerusalem streets in the same period causing hundreds of deaths, extending with Nazi support into outright civil war in Mandate Palestine in the late 30s, killing Jews, the British, and their own Arab moderates, e.g., assassinating peaceable Arab leaders such as Jordan’s King Abdullah, etc. etc.). The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haji Amin el-Husayni, led these 1920s-1930s terrorist bands, and sought sanctuary in Nazi Germany during the war, where he made radio broadcasts in Arabic endorsing Nazi genocide, issuing “fatwas” requiring Muslims to join the Nazi armies, setting up two SS mostly Arab units himself involving over 10,000 Muslims, etc. Hitler promised him rule of a Nazi-satellite Judenrein pan-Arab state centered in Damascus after the war. But after the Nazi defeat, he settled “honorably” in Egypt, and tutored his nephew Yasser Arafat in his own values and goals, thus training the next generation of Palestinians in rabid antisemitism, violence and authoritarianism. No bibliography of propaganda and ideologically-driven fairy tales can obliterate that mainstream and well-documented Palestinian history. After the PLO was established in 1964 in Moscow, as a colonialist puppet of the USSR, it went on to lead the world in terrorist atrocities for three whole decades, justifying this in the PLO “Covenant” which still orients Fatah today. Hamas goes one step further and makes explicit in its own Charter that its chief aim is to kill all Jews in the world, citing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in justification for this. And it means it: that is why it shoots thousands of rockets at random into Israeli cities, year after year.

        So this is not ancient history. Some 70% of Palestinians according to Palestinian polls themselves over the past two decades, declare terrorist atrocities justifiable methods of “resistance,” and the Palestinian schoolbooks, mosque authorities, political leaders, and media inculcate and emphasize the same hate incitement and endorsement of violence against Jews that marked the Nazis. Mahmoud Abbas not coincidentally wrote his doctoral dissertation in Moscow on Holocaust denial, endorsing it, and he has said just two months ago that he actually considers the Grand Mufti a “hero” and model for Palestinians, that Palestinian terrorists who have murdered civilians are similarly his and all Palestinians’ “heroes” and he keeps repeating that it is an unconditional demand in “peace talks” that all Jews must be eradicated from the future state of “Palestine.” Farouq Qaddoumi, the “Foreign Minister” of the P.A., and PLO leader, said two weeks ago that of course the Palestinians warmly support the Nazi genocide and refuse to apologize for that, since both the Palestinians and the Nazis fought the same enemy, namely, “Zionists.”

        These are the groups that the BDSers want to endorse, and that they never ever suggest should be boycotted instead. Everyone can be known by the friends they choose.

  6. Patrick S. O'Donnell January 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    The aim of the Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem is the right and power to collectively determine their own destiny, sans Israeli domination or interference: political, economic, or legal. “Attacking civilians” became a means of last resort, a reflection of the failure of a plethora of other violent and nonviolent means to make any progress with regard to legally sanctioned and democratic rights to rule themselves (indeed, it was the highjacking of an airplane that first brought significant attention to their plight). To say this of course is not to endorse terrorist tactics but to understand why some movements and groups make the decision to use them. The founders of Israel pioneered terrorist tactics in the region as part of their colonialist settler struggle for statehood, indeed, going so far as to engage in acts of ethnic cleansing. In any case, it is well documented that many terrorist groups, even (self-described or not) “jihadist” ones can, for various reasons, forswear terrorist acts given due recognition of the legitimacy and justice of at least some of their claims (see, for example, Omar Ashour’s The De-Radicalization of Jihadists: Transforming Armed Islamist Movements, 2009). Of course in these sorts of debates, the focus is always on what the Palestinians have done with regard to non-combatants or civilians or children, utterly ignoring the behavior of the Israeli Defense Forces and intelligence/security agencies on this score. Other statements you make reflect an appalling ignorance of the facts and are not deserving of a response. Should you truly place a premium on truth, you would be well served to acquaint yourself with many of the titles in my bibliography on this conflict.

    • neffer January 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      “The aim of the Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem is the right and power to collectively determine their own destiny, sans Israeli domination or interference: political, economic, or legal.”

      This is simply untrue, most particularly for those who champion Hamas’ cause. They aim to eliminate Israel, they aim to drive away Jews and, as they assert in their party’s covenant, to kill all of them.

      So far as the Palestinians in the WB, there are differences of opinion, from those held by Hamas to that of Fatah – which is not directed towards killing off all Jews, just getting rid of them – to more reasonable people. Deep down, I suspect that, whatever is said to pollsters, we actually do not know what the average Palestinian thinks because, neither in the WB or Gaza are the Palestinian purveyors of power accepting of real dissent but, rather, on shaming those who deviate from accepted ideology. That, after all, is how non-democratic forces work everywhere on Earth.

      • Patrick S. O'Donnell January 10, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

        As for Hamas, I’ll have to simply direct you to my post from several years ago, which I could elaborate upon were it not for time constraints and pressing obligations: http://www.religiousleftlaw.com/2010/09/hamas-terrorism.html

      • neffer January 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

        “As for Hamas, I’ll have to simply direct you to my post from several years ago, which I could elaborate upon were it not for time constraints and pressing obligations: http://www.religiousleftlaw.com/2010/09/hamas-terrorism.html

        You have not made a point. What is known about Hamas is that they publicly advocate genocide. Abiding by cease fires, etc., etc., has nothing to do with what they advocate.

        And, frankly, if Palestinians adopted a different approach – one that assumes that Jews have as much right as they have, as human beings (which they, on religious grounds, categorially deny), things might be a bit different. But, we have to live in the world as it is.

        Quoting a lot of stuff that is based on poor scholarship does not impress me.

    • Patrick S. O'Donnell January 10, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      It’s unreasonable, to put it mildly, to expect people to opt for a morally principled choice of nonviolence along Gandhian lines (he himself realized that very few people were capable of following through on such an arduous commitment), especially when a strategic choice, which can be principled in its own way as well, may accomplish the same goals: see, for example, in addition to the well-known writings of Gene Sharp, some of the essays in Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash, eds., Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2009) and Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan. Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia University Press, 2011). It’s hard to fault those South African leaders in the ANC and SACP who, in their struggle against apartheid, made a decision in the early 1960s to abandon a singular reliance on nonviolence means and methods by adding armed struggle (in the first place, and largely, in the form of sabotage) to the mix. During the first intifada, nonviolent actions on the part of Palestinians provoked severe and violent repression from the Israelis, as well explained in Mary Elizabeth King’s book.

      International law has yet to prevent Israelis from defending themselves in any manner they see fit, legal or illegal, moral or immoral.

    • hophmi January 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      “The aim of the Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem is the right and power to collectively determine their own destiny, sans Israeli domination or interference: political, economic, or legal.”

      Everybody gets that, but it’s far from that simple. First of all, it’s not clear that the aim is simply to remove the Israelis from the territories. Many Palestinians talk about a right-of-return to Israel itself, which goes far beyond that. Secondly, what the Palestinian do in terms of a government has an obvious effect on how that government impacts

      “’Attacking civilians’ became a means of last resort,”

      Sorry, Patrick, but I don’t buy it. The Palestinians have been launching attacks on civilians for three generations at least. Suicide bombing was only the latest form of it. I could point to the Hebron riots in 1929, the real first Intifada in the 1930s, the border attacks throughout the 1950s, the airplane hijackings and murders of the 1970s, etc.

      “To say this of course is not to endorse terrorist tactics but to understand why some movements and groups make the decision to use them. ”

      I haven’t seen much in the way of attempts to understand from the left. What “understanding” tends to be is simply fitting everything into a post-colonial narrative that ignores any possible cultural reason a society might turn to violence.

      “he founders of Israel pioneered terrorist tactics in the region ”

      That’s nonsense. True, utter, nonsense. The Arabs have been fighting with one another for hundreds and hundreds of years, and that has often included killing civilians. I’m amazed people say this; it is a sort of perverse Western chauvinism; nobody blew things up for political purposes until these white interlopers did it in the mid-20th century.

      “as part of their colonialist settler struggle for statehood”

      More ridiculous, and frankly, racist, nonsense; these were refugees from European antisemitism, and people who emigrated to the region, bought land, and developed it, and their struggle against the British colonialists was no more colonial than that of the Arab struggle against British colonialism that took place at the same time.

      “indeed, going so far as to engage in acts of ethnic cleansing”

      Both sides have committed acts of ethnic cleansing; entire Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem were erased during the 1948 war, and Jews were massacred and ethnically cleansed from Hebron in 1929.

      “Other statements you make reflect an appalling ignorance of the facts and are not deserving of a response.”

      Yes Patrick, I’ve noticed many times that pro-Palestinian activists in the West don’t want to deal with anything that even remotely complicates the clean post-colonialist narrative they’ve developed, where the Palestinians are always blameless angels and the Israelis are always devils. This is an example of how the pro-Palestinian movement, particularly its radical BDS component, infantilizes and dehumanizes the Palestinians by denying them any agency for their own actions.

      ” Should you truly place a premium on truth, you would be well served to acquaint yourself with many of the titles in my bibliography on this conflict.”

      I’ve read plenty of pro-Palestinian literature. I’m pretty sure you haven’t read very much outside of that literature.

    • Everett Benson January 16, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      If the Palestinian behaviour is accepted to be in some particular detail indefensible, a common anti-Zionist response is to say the Israelis are guilty of the same thing, as if this first of all excuses the Palestinians and then even makes their behaviour positively good and OK (as it does not when Israelis allegedly do it). However, the equation is false. Let us look at the “behavior of the Israeli Defense Forces.”

      Col. Richard Kemp, CBE, former Commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and also commander of troops in Northern Ireland and the Iraq war and one of the foremost experts in the world on counter-terrorism problems, informed an UN Human Rights Council inquiry into the 2009 Gaza war that “Mr President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”  His statement to the UN HRC can be seen and heard at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX6vyT8RzMo.

      Retired Major General Jim Molan, American Chief of Operations of Allied forces in the Iraq war during 2004-2005, and who monitored the Gaza conflict closely, strongly agreed in public addresses and articles after the Gaza conflict. See for example his “UN’s bias binds Gaza,” The Australian, October 2, 2009, at http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26152548-7583.html.

      Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies has concluded that Israel has set a very high humanitarian standard in dealing with urban terrorists that hide in their own civilian population, that civilian casualties were minimal given the situation, and that to refuse to engage the enemy that hides amongst civilians would grant them easy victories and would leave democracies defenseless. It is therefore unacceptable in international law to abdicate self-defense on such grounds. See his 96-page report, The “Gaza War”: A Strategic Analysis, at csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/090202_gaza_war.pdf
      Jeffrey White, a strategic analyst and expert in military defines, underlines the strong efforts made by Israel to avoid civilian casualties, in his “Examining the Conduct of IDF Operations in Gaza,” Policy Watch 31497, March 27, 2009 (at http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=3034). 

      Current Allied commanders in Afghanistan have acknowledged Israeli leadership in counter-insurgency methods and ethical standards and have sought to learn from them, which, despite the media hype, has greatly improved the effectiveness and moral rigour of the Coalition response in Afghanistan and has certainly put it far above that of the Taliban.

      Even Richard Goldstone, whose UN-sponsored report at first accepted Hamas claims regarding Israel’s conduct of the war, later withdrew that endorsement and acknowledged Israel’s morally responsible efforts to minimise casualties and to punish any deviations from this policy if they could be confirmed in subsequent inquiries, although very few were confirmed. On the other hand, Goldstone found that following his Report Hamas leaders made no efforts at all to investigate any alleged war crimes done by its own fighters, nor to punish those guilty of them. On the contrary, they boasted of their crimes, treated the perpetrators as heroes and “martyrs,” and like the Fatah leadership of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, praised them in their schoolrooms, at official ceremonies, in their media, from the podium of their mosques, and so on. The worse the atrocities they committed, the prouder they openly were.

      So the attempts to justify the Palestinian terrorist atrocities against civilians by equating it to the IDF fall to the ground, as pure myth.

  7. dadanarchist January 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Wow, the hasbaraists (neffer and hophmi) are quick off the mark. Kudos, boys, you’re earning your paychecks tonight!

  8. marcus January 10, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    Lotta hasbara same-old same-old talking points in response here – amazing how on this issue the level of discourse remains unbelievably juvenile and neanderthal. The crap representations of Palestinian intentions are unbelievably erroneous & straight out of state colonialist propaganda manuals.

    Really, people – you’re boring. You’re stuck in the freaking 1960s. Get a new tune at least.

    Fact is, the critics have ZERO solutions. They basically demand that the Palestinians do NOTHING except lie down and accept being a brutalized, colonized people enslaved in perpetuity to a repulsive, racist, morally depraved military defending a settler population that makes ordinary Germans in the 30s look like Santa’s elves.

    “Shut up and take it” has ALWAYS been the zionist response to this question – from liberal and conservative zionists alike.

    • halibrewer January 11, 2014 at 4:50 am #

      exactly. Also these same people seem to think that the Israeli defacto goal of eradicating Palestine (and Palestinians) is acceptable.

      • hophmi January 11, 2014 at 9:38 am #

        The response from pro-Palestinian partisans is typically abusive here. A hint: calling every argument that you don’t like a name does not make you more right.

    • Everett Benson January 16, 2014 at 7:25 am #

      What is being objected to by these oh-so-bored anti-Zionists is the right of those Zionists actually to defend Israel by citing well-known and irrefutable facts. That is why there is no slightest attempt to refute those facts, merely to hurl personal insults at those reciting them yet again so annoyingly. “Same-old talking points” suggests that Zionists in response to anti-Zionist demonizations should not mention the always valid truth but instead, like the anti-Zionists themselves and the antisemites amongst them, constantly shift ground when challenged and make up shiney new accusations and phoney “facts” to vary the diet. Another touch is to claim that those making excellent and factual defenses of Israel and Zionism do so merely because they are “paid” to do it, as “hasbarah” sponsored by that sinister state Israel. They do it only for the money. But what would you expect of Joos? They wouldn’t even defend their own people if they weren’t paid to do so.

      I think all this really shows exactly how baseless and mythological the BDS arguments are, and how easy it is for their advocates to slip into fullblown antisemitic discourse.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to stop the Israeli occupation: An answer to Corey Rubin | Mideast Matrix - January 10, 2014

    […] Rubin asked the following about the ASA’s recent pro-BDS […]

  2. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem | Corey Robin - January 12, 2014

    […] response to my challenge to critics of BDS—if not BDS, what would you have the Palestinians do?—defenders of Israel, many of them Jewish, […]

  3. Ten things we’ve learned about opposition to academic boycott |  SHOAH - January 16, 2014

    […] And so it remains. Corey Robin’s pertinent question to boycott critics has not yet been satisfactorily answered: “What do you propose as an alternative strategy?” […]

  4. Ten things we’ve learned about opposition to academic boycott - BDS News, Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS), Pro BDS - SPME Scholars for Peace in the Middle East - January 29, 2014

    […] And so it remains. Corey Robin’s pertinent question to boycott critics has not yet been satisfactorily answered: “What do you propose as an alternative strategy?” […]

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,277 other followers