BDS: Boycotting Apartheid

In July, in Rachel Corrie’s hometown of Olympia, Washington state, the popular Food Co-op announced that no Israeli products would be sold at its two grocery stores. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a principal endorser of this new Israel Divestment Campaign, issued a statement endorsing the boycott. “The Olympia Food Co-op has joined a growing worldwide movement on the part of citizens and the private sector to support by non-violent tangible acts the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination.”

In a surprise move in August, Harvard University divested itself of all its Israel investments, almost $40m worth of shares, including Pharmaceutical Industries, NICE Systems, Check Point Software Technologies, Cellcom Israel and Partner Communications. Initially, Harvard gave no explanation for its actions to the SEC. John Longbrake, spokesman for Harvard, maintained that Harvard has not divested from Israel, that these changes were routine and did not represent a change in policy. But was Harvard, in fact, caving under BDS calls and trying to do so as quietly as possible to avoid a Zionist backlash? In the past, Harvard has divested from companies for purely political reasons, but they did so publicly. For instance, five years ago, Harvard divested from PetroChina in order to protest China’s actions in Sudan.

In Vancouver, Canada, port truck traffic slowed to a crawl in late August as a group of about 50 protesters approached drivers with leaflets asking them to observe the world boycott campaign against Israel, and in particular to refuse to unload the Israeli container ship Zim Djibouti, one of the largest in the world, that had landed in Vancouver harbour. “This action was part of the growing international campaign to pressure Israel to comply with international law and stop killing innocent civilians,” said Gordon Murray, spokesperson for the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Coalition (BIAC). “Workers in South Africa, Scandinavia, the United States, Turkey and India have already responded to the Palestinian call for action,” said BIAC spokesman Mike Krebs. “The international solidarity movement has decided that the best way to change Israel’s behaviour is to take actions against Israeli companies and institutions in order to put pressure on the government there.”

In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor earlier this year, Jonathan Ben Artzi, a PhD candidate at Brown University and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nephew, made clear his belief that equality and social justice will prevail in Israel when the government and people of the United States adopt a no-tolerance stance toward Israel’s abuse of Palestinians. Ben Artzi, whose family has lived in the region for nine generations, and who’s seen a lifetime of Israel’s abuse of Palestinians, declared: “Sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you when enough is enough. As they did with South Africa two decades ago, concerned citizens across the US can make a difference by encouraging Washington to get the message to Israel that this cannot continue.” His reference to South Africa was to the protests, boycotts and divestment actions in the US between 1984 and 1989, which ultimately forced the white minority South African government to relinquish control over its oppressed Black majority. Ben Artzi served 18 months in prison for refusing his mandatory service in Israel’s military.

The California Israel Divestment Campaign launched a campaign on 8 September for a California ballot initiative in November requiring public employee and teacher pension funds to divest from business activities in Israel. Said local campaign organiser Sherna Gluck, a member of the Public Employee Retirement System: “Our public retirement systems have more than $1.5 billion invested in at least eight companies that provide war materials and services used in violation of internationally recognised human rights, including support for the illegal Israeli settlements and the Separation Wall.” Archbishop Tutu told the Californians: “We defeated apartheid nonviolently because the international community agreed to support the disinvestment in apartheid campaign. A similar campaign can help to bring peace in the Middle East and do so nonviolently.” This is the just the first divestment launch in California. Similar launches in other California cities are soon to come. With this divestment campaign, Californians are poised to spark a state-by-state divestiture movement to parallel the anti-Apartheid campaign that helped defeat the oppressive rule in South Africa.

The Dutch government too has set an important precedent for European and, indeed, world governments. It dropped a bomb this week when the Foreign Ministry cancelled a tour of mayors from Israel planned for October. The forum is funded by the Joint Distribution Committee, a Jewish-American charity, and the participant list included representatives from West bank settlements Efrat and Kiryat Arba in “Judea” and “Samaria”. The Israeli Foreign Ministry harrumphed: “This is undoubtedly useless and harmless politics, and we hope that this is not the final word on the topic.”

Well, I hope it is. The Netherlands has become notorious for the Islamophobia whipped up by Dutch politician and filmmaker, Geert Wilders, who proudly says “I hate Islam,” calls the Quran a “fascist book” and the Prophet Mohamed “the devil”. He argues that Muslim immigration is a “Trojan Horse”. His words are being echoed by Israeli politician, Aryeh Eldad, who condemned the boycott move: “The Dutch surrender to the Arabs reflects their surrender to the Muslim minority.” This principled move by the Dutch, clearly an attempt to fight the negative image of the Netherlands, will give pause for thought to all governments. Israel Local Council Chairman Shlomo Buchbut rightly concludes: “The decision by the Netherlands puts the [Israeli-Arab] conflict before anything else.”

Eric Walberg is a journalist who worked in Uzbekistan and is now writing for Al-Ahram Weekly in Cairo. He is the author of From Postmodernism to Postsecularism and Postmodern Imperialism. His most recent book is Islamic Resistance to Imperialism. Read other articles by Eric, or visit Eric's website.

38 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Mulga Mumblebrain said on September 22nd, 2010 at 10:07am #

    I wondered why I hadn’t heard from Tutu for so long. He has just risen a good deal in my estimation. Any action that confronts the monumental evil of Zionazism, such a danger to humanity, including the Jews (the decent, ‘self-hating’ ones first), is, in my opinion, justified. Unfortunately,being a pessimistic,in other words a realist, I expect Israel to be driven to the Messianic,lunatic, Right, by religious fanatics who despise all non-Jews and see their murder as a religiously sanctified act, and psychologically rewarding sport.

  2. MadMiles said on September 22nd, 2010 at 10:42am #

    I’ve supported boycotts, when appropriate, for many years. I organized divestment campaigns against South African apartheid at two different universities, first in the late seventies and again in the mid to late eighties. I strongly condemn Israel for its history of criminal abuse of Palestinian Arabs.

    Last winter I learned about the Ribicoff amendment. It has been illegal in the U.S. since 1976, to organize boycotts, divestment or sanctions against Israel. This law should be repealed.

    But anyone with responsibility for significant funds should also be aware of the possible repercussions for participating in the BDS campaign. I support the campaign, I just don’t think it’s organizers are being upfront about the legal landscape in America (U.S.)

    My source reported that when the issue came up with their Coop Board, the BDS organizers dismissed the importance of the federal law. I’ve searched the BDS website, and have seen no mention of it.

    Forewarned is forearmed.

  3. teafoe2 said on September 22nd, 2010 at 11:11am #

    I wonder if Mad Miles can tell us if anyone has actually been prosecuted under the law he so eagerly informs us of?

    I’m not a lawyer, but having just a tad of acquaintance with the constitutional law field, my guess is that this law probably would not survive a challenge to its constitutionality.

    I wonder what MM thinks the chances are that the Feds would take criminal action against the endorsers of the California BDS Initiative? Does he think there’s a real danger that Obama will have Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky thrown in jail?

  4. MadMiles said on September 22nd, 2010 at 11:50am #

    teafoe2, I reported what I know. I gave my bona fides. If you’re truly interested in the answer to your questions, feel free to do the research. My main point is my conclusion, know what you’re getting into, before jumping.

    If you google the Ribicoff Amendment, you’ll find plenty of pro-Israel partisan info using the law to try and scare people off from taking BDS actions. That’s not my purpose, or my argument.

    If I have one, other than what I’ve already stated, it’s that advocates of BDS need to acknowledge and address the issue of possible legal/financial repercussions, if they’re going to organize these actions and encourage others to participate.

    My recollection is that the sanctions effect institutions that pay federal taxes, not individuals who advocate the strategy/tactic.

    I’ve been reading Dissident Voice “Discussions” for years. I’m active politically elsewhere. (Mostly, lately, if internet chat is “activism”? The pressures of being a busy teacher, now unemployed with plenty of time but projects backed up and neglected.)

    I mention my political involvement to let everyone know I’m very familiar with the snarky, put-down, more revolutionary, or whatever, than thou, aspects of this DV micro-culture.

    I’m well equipped to handle myself, I’ve been active in the Left for thirty-five years. But isn’t the tit for tat firing squad pretty much a total waste of time and energy? Where has it gotten us? Where is it taking us? What do we really gain from it?

    Nothing wrong with argument, nothing wrong with debate, nothing wrong with clarifying choices, options, contradictions, conundrums. But trying to win by disparaging ones opponents, either subtly or brazenly, isn’t that one of the basic logical fallacies? I seem to have heard about someone over the years called a “straw man”….

    Just a reminder, I did say the law should be repealed. I don’t have the financial resources to mount a challenge. Given the array of political / economic forces, AIPAC et al, who thinks that’s likely anytime soon? If someone has the means to bring it into federal court, I say go for it! I certainly won’t stand in their way. And I would argue in the public arena for just such a thing. In fact, I think I just did? Twice, if my count is correct.

  5. MadMiles said on September 22nd, 2010 at 11:52am #

    its, not it’s! F’ing internet board editing limits!!

  6. teafoe2 said on September 22nd, 2010 at 12:13pm #

    MM, itz Affect not Effect;D

    MM claims his purpose is not to discourage people from supporting BDS, so why is he raising the issue of this never-applied law in this forum? If none of organizations actively engaged in presenting BDS resolutions or trying to put BDS on the ballot are concerned, if none of the prominent endorsers are concerned about becoming the target of Federal prosecution, I wonder why MM takes it upon himself to make such a fuss about it?

  7. efgh1951 said on September 22nd, 2010 at 12:28pm #

    re ribicoff, good point. and re challenging it on constitutional terms, also good point. the more the zios try to tie us in knots, the more opportunities they provide us to tie them in knots. ha, ha.
    the bottom line is, we must have the energy and commitment to use all opportunities we’re presented with to educate people about the real situation and to pressure the baddies.
    look at how wilders’ madness in holland backfired.

    btw, chomsky is not a bdser unless he’s seen the light 🙁 but you’ve got the idea.
    emerson: david! what are you doing in jail?!
    thoreau: ralph! what are you doing out of jail?!

  8. teafoe2 said on September 22nd, 2010 at 1:20pm #

    dear efgh, if you go to the California BDS Initiative site, you well see that Chomsko has indeed “seen the light”, at least up to a point, or should I say up to a line, as in Greenline, JVP “partyline” etc? His name is at or near the top of the list, along with CA Peace & Freedom (socialist) candidates, CA Green Pty (non-socialist) candidates, both ANSWER and UFPJ honchae, Bishop Tutu, Naomi Klein and several similar Unusual Suspects.

    However there is no point in trying to challenge the constitutionality of Mr MM’s favorite law until some prosecutorial agency tries to enforce it.

    And since MM admits that “sanctions” his “recollection” “effect” (sic;) institutions that pay federal taxes, not those who advocate for BDS, this is not a matter that grassroots internet or en vivo activists need be concerned about.

    “Institutions” normally have legal departments, in fact usually list Chief Counsel among their Officers. Same is true of corporations. All business firms have either in-house or contractual relationships with attorneys who are paid to warn them of any possible legal pitfalls inhering in any proposed action.

    And any “institution”, firm, NGO anybody else to whom a BDS resolution is presented, will in short order be visited by representatives of the Zionist Thought Police who will warn them of dire consequences if they so much as dare to consider a BDS presentation.

    So MM is crying wolf. From his goofy response to my comment, I’d guess he’s just a homegrown freelance crackpot. But I could be wrong: he could actually be a very professional hasbarat trying to act “emotionally disturbed” to give himself cover. Who knows, either way he’s a waste of time.

  9. MadMiles said on September 22nd, 2010 at 3:11pm #

    This will be my final reply in this trivial pissing match w/ TFoe2,

    “eagerly informs us”, “to make such a fuss”, “crying wolf”, “goofy response”, “homegrown freelance crackpot”, “actually be a very professional hasbarat trying to act ’emotionally disturbed’ to give himself cover. Who knows, either way he’s a waste of time.”

    So who’s doing the fussing and fighting here? I have yet to insult you. Nor have I disparaged your character, neither directly nor indirectly. I’ll save the pleasure for another time.

    Whatever the probability of federal sanctions for divestment or boycott actions taken by institutions with actual economic clout, and therefore reasons to avoid risk, the fact is in U.S. law it’s illegal. The people promoting the campaign are not up front about it. So, when it is raised, it undercuts their/our credibility.

    We live in perilous economic times, more so than for about sixty-eight years. Good luck getting financial managers to add risk to their portfolios. Especially if we advocates of BDS aren’t up front about such a possibility. I see it, among other things, as just another example of classic leftist self-marginalization. Sort of like this argument. But much more significant in the scheme of things.

    Because I am keeping the identity of the person who first told me about the conundrum private, I can’t reveal which Coop board then told the BDS organizers to take a hike. But it happened. It will happen again.

    My sole goal in mentioning it is so that, in a forum for critics of Israel, it won’t be a surprise to anyone. As I stated, I’ve read this board for years, I’ve never seen anyone else bring it up. That’s all.

    If some organization with clout wants to challenge the law, I applaud them. Civil Disobedience is my favorite form of political/economic/moral/legal (and by definition illegal) opposition. Preferably non-violent direct action and not passive, predominantly, for all intents and purposes solely, symbolic protest.

    I knew in choosing to relay the information here I was probably in for a knee jerk response. Male testosterone games on these boards are par for the course. Especially when veterans sniff a new guy that gives them the opportunity to run the newbie off “their” patch. Then, if successful, to beat their chests and crow about it to the “world”. Happens on the net, at work, in pubs and bars, in organizations. It’s as predictable as sunset. And a completely stupid, useless, futile waste of time.

    The obstacles we faced in organizing for divestment from South Africa were many. Claims of “restraint of trade”, “opposing constructive engagement” (which was State Department doctrine under Reagan after his minion Crocker djined it up), “supporting terrorists” (since the ANC was engaged in an armed struggle), the predictable “privileged white middle class student intellectuals with no grasp of the real world and live on trust funds, yadda, yadda, yadda”, “in a scene reminiscent of the sixties, in a sixties like atmosphere”, “it’ll never work, what can we do, nobody is going to listen to you, it’s about profit not justice, this is the real world -wise up”, etc., etc., etc..

    In the fall of 1980 the remaining activists in Campuses United Against Apartheid (California) basically phrased our dilemma as, “how far back from a brick wall do we start running before smashing our foreheads into it?” The next decade was extremely painful for South Africans, but sanctions, and more importantly decades of internal resistance, made things unprofitable for the Afrikaners and English settler descendants, and they started talking to Nelson. The divestment movement played a small role, but an important one. The actual history, is of course, much, much more complex.

    What we didn’t have to face was a law which said it was illegal to promote divestment from apartheid South Africa. And anyone who chooses to actually pull money out will be fined significantly by the Commerce Department via the Attorney General of the U.S..

    In the case of Israel, we do. That is not a small matter. No matter how much partisans in the fight want to trivialize it, or exaggerate the threat in the case of Zionists. I think it’s highly unlikely individuals and organizations with small budgets will get noticed. But if/when it comes to large amounts of money, the kind that could have an impact on Israeli policy? Read the law. Then decide for yourself.

    You can’t fight facts with derision alone. If you could, we’d have had a Socialist Democracy in this world many decades ago. Politics is a bit more complicated, and it requires actual exercise of real power, economic, physical, political and many other forms, that take place in something, for want of a better term, called the “real” world.

    If the Left could win solely with rhetoric and insult we would be in a very, very different social reality. More’s the pity.

    By the way, my nom de keyboard is “Mad” Miles, because a few years ago, after referring to myself as a mad forwarder of political emails (which I still am), someone wrote me back calling me mad miles. I liked it. I’m a slight anglophile. I embraced the various connotations, passionate being my favorite, and made it my own.

    Since doing so, it’s become interesting to me to see who tries to use it as a means to dismiss what I’ve said/written. It serves as an effective (and affective!) litmus test for reactive tendentiousness. So aside from being at least a quadruple entendre, it’s a useful tool for discerning who wants to discuss things, and who wants to score pissing match points and win the one-upmanship trophy.

    Affect vs. effect. Struggled with that usage in my early twenties. I fully understand the difference. I am a credentialed English teacher (but not a wonk grammarian.) Usually I don’t make that mistake. My bad. Chalk it up to the heat of debate. I still don’t fully agree with the usage rule, but here’s not the place to discuss it.

    To use it as evidence in an argument about strategy, honesty, facts of law….? Who’s being pedantic here?

    I miss Joe Bageant! Why isn’t he publishing on DV anymore?

  10. teafoe2 said on September 22nd, 2010 at 3:59pm #

    hohum. you’re the one who waxed pedantic over “it’s” vs “its”. some English teacher.

    For your information, a number of organizations are already challenging the law by ignoring it.

    BTW some may be impressed by your first name intimacy with “Nelson”, but I am not. The ANC victory hasn’t meant “Liberation” or anything close for the vast majority of South African Blacks. Nelson Mandela turns out to be the South African Abu Ammar.

  11. Deadbeat said on September 22nd, 2010 at 4:31pm #

    I think this is something to take a closer look at. I found a link to a story published about these anti-boycott provisions in the Washington Report On Middle East Affairs, October 1983 issue …

    No Anti-Boycott Relief

    The report is focus on the law’s impact primarily to businesses which actually goes against the Chomskyite notion that “corporations” are omnipotent. Apparently the Jewish Lobby has even greater power than the corps.

  12. teafoe2 said on September 22nd, 2010 at 5:37pm #

    Apparently Harvard U is not concerned about what so concerns Mr M? From Walberg’s Global Research article:

    >In a surprise move in August, Harvard University divested itself of all its Israel investments, almost $40m worth of shares, including Pharmaceutical Industries, NICE Systems, Check Point Software Technologies, Cellcom Israel and Partner Communications. Initially, Harvard gave no explanation for its actions to the SEC. John Longbrake, spokesman for Harvard, maintained that Harvard has not divested from Israel, that these changes were routine and did not represent a change in policy. But was Harvard in fact caving under BDS calls and trying to do so as quietly as possible to avoid a Zionist backlash? In the past, Harvard has divested from companies for purely political reasons, but they did so publicly. For instance, five years ago, Harvard divested from PetroChina in order to protest China’s actions in Sudan.<

    The Olympia Coop boycott was announced in July. It is now late September. I'm sure the ZPC has pulled all the strings it has available by now, judging on how quickly they respond to even a suggestion that some goy has noticed the relative affluence and elevated status US Jews enjoy these days.

    But if a sincere anti-zionist activist happened to notice information about these laws/regulations and became concerned they might negatively impact efforts to hold Izreel accountable, what would such a person be likely to do?

    MM says he sent a letter to one BDS organization but received no reply, so he decided to go public.

    I'd like to see a copy of that letter; I think it quite possible, if such a letter actually was sent, that it was so poorly composed by our English teacher friend that the recipient assumed it was just more crackpot spam.

    Another possibility is that the letter was never seen by anyone with authority to respond to it.

    If I thought this was an important problem, I'd start by sending a personal email about it to not one but several people, such as some of the writers whose work on the ZPC has appeared here on DV, Pulse Media, Palestine ThinkTank, at the Washington Monthly, and also to a few of the Endorsers listed on the Initiative page with whom I happen to share a mutual friend, like Cindy Sheehan, various Peace & Freedom candidates/organizers, CA GP ditto, Cres Valluci maybe? Or Cynthia McKinney?

    If I thought it was really important, I'd be aware that if there was any real substance to MM's worries, it would be an extremely delicate matter, not something to start posting about on a discussion forum open to every Tom Dick and Hasbarat Harry.

    So it seems to me that MM is either a sincere fellow severely lacking in commonsense, or he is trying to cast as much of a negative pall over BDS as he can, for reasons re which we can only speculate. ??

  13. MadMiles said on September 22nd, 2010 at 6:44pm #


    You don’t know when to quit when you’re ahead do you? I said nothing about “sending a letter”, to anyone for any reason. You’re tripping.

    As for my reasons for posting here. I’ve explained them in detail, repeatedly, today.

    That you refuse to accept me at my word(s) and continue to cast aspersions on my character and motivations, says nothing about me, and much about you.

    The Ribicoff Amendment is public knowledge, public law. That it is not directly addressed by the BDS movement, is not my doing. I believe we/they should. Otherwise we’re risking being discredited. That’s what I’m trying to help us avoid. That you can’t, or won’t, see that is not my problem.

    Harvard’s tactic seems sound, for now. “We weren’t divesting, we just made some rational investment decisions.” That might be the way to go for large institutions that want to deny their own motivations, stay out of court, and still do the right thing. Especially if they don’t want to admit their motives publicly.

    An AIPAC prompted federal AG prosecution against Harvard is a lot less likely than many other institutions I can imagine. A food Coop in California, on the other hand, does have that kind of rep and clout.

    Whatever puts pressure on Israel to cut out its shit, and do the right thing (if that is even possible in this world), is fine by me. At least whatever doesn’t backfire on the Palestinians and secondarily/tangentially their supporters. A discussion of strategies and tactics to oppose Israeli apartheid, land theft, oppression and murder is something I’ll leave to those facing the IDF and the crazed, racist settlers.

    A key to the anti-apartheid divestment movement against South Africa was to take the cause mainstream, rather than letting it stagnate in the marginal Left. Ignoring glaring contradictions and risks, is a way to keep the BDS movement marginal. I don’t want that. Do you?

    For the most part you’re just dicking with me here. It’s obvious. I hope you’re getting your jollies. Otherwise your aspersions, insults and taunts accomplish nothing.

    Your point about the law already being actively challenge is well taken, by the way.

    May I suggest you google, “The Charity Principle” as it relates to debates and discussions? You’ll get farther rhetorically if you don’t discredit yourself by acting the reactive, paranoid, defensive and maligning….

    Don’t want to violate the “commenting etitquette” here.

  14. MadMiles said on September 22nd, 2010 at 6:47pm #

    A food Coop in California … does NOT have that kind of rep or clout.

    I meant to say.

  15. kalidas said on September 22nd, 2010 at 7:02pm #

    I’m not very smart but I remember all those years ago when that not allowed to boycott Israel bullshit law was effected.
    I bitched about it, as usual, but with minimal results, as usual.

    I was amazed that this incredible in your face law could be put into place.
    Actually, I wasn’t amazed at all… just disgusted, as usual.

    I also vaguely remember it (the law) being if not applied then at least threatened to be applied if the occasion arose.
    I’m sure a little looking would produce a couple of news articles about business being threatened.

    I’ve been onto these sorry excuses for human beings for a long time.
    Long enough to wonder if they really are human beings.

  16. Rehmat said on September 22nd, 2010 at 7:34pm #

    I wonder what good old Bishop Tutu had to say about this news item:

    South African daily The Times reported on Wednesday that South Africa’s largest healthcare firm, Netcare, has been charged with cooperating with an Israeli-linked organ trafficking syndicate……..

  17. MichaelKenny said on September 23rd, 2010 at 3:35am #

    In regard to the Dutch move, one might remind people that an attempt to import settlement-produced goods into the EU under the EU-Israel association agreement was struck down in the EU Court of Justice on the ground that the goods were not produced in Israel. Don’t forget that not even the Israelis claim that the West Bank is part of Israel. so the settlers wer,in effect, hoist with their own petard! Settlement-produced are thus, under EU law, Palestinian goods which must be imported into the EU under the EU-Palestinian trade agreement. So much for the claim that the EU is in Israel’s pocket!

  18. 3bancan said on September 23rd, 2010 at 4:25am #

    MichaelKenny said on September 23rd, 2010 at 3:35am #

    This comment is a perfect product of a mental castrato zionazi brain…

  19. bateleur said on September 23rd, 2010 at 5:17am #

    I have followed some of the posts on this blog and just want to add my two cents worth. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has consistently fought for human rights around the world and has never shirked on this responsibility. He has even criticized the ruling ANC party when it was justified. As for sanctions on Israel, I believe that this is one of many tools that should be used to force Israel to change it’s apartheid style policies. I find it ironic that the Israelis and the jewish community pushed so hard to impose sanctions on South Africa and now they are complaining because they are getting some of their own medicine. It is also a matter of historical fact that they had close ties with the apartheid government before they betrayed them, they worked together with the National Party to develop and test nuclear bombs. They apparently have 200 nuclear devices in their arsenal and yet whine about Iran pursuing their own nuclear program. Israel has consistently abused the basic human rights of Palestinians, who are held captive in their own land. Israel deserves sanctions until they learn to live in harmony with their neighbors. Ironically, about 90 % of Israelis are of eastern european descent, and yet they claim to be semitic people, all the while persecuting semitic peoples, such as, the Palestinians and the Lebanese. Who are the hypocrites here?

  20. mary said on September 23rd, 2010 at 5:31am #

    Mr Kenny’s frequent posts would lead one to believe that the EU is a bastion of fairness and democracy. It is actually the direct opposite.

    He omits to refer to the delegations to Israel of EU parliamentarians keen to strengthen the ties.

    He omits to mention the existence of Friends of Israel groupings eg
    and their trips to Auschwitz and their pressure groups.

    Also omitted is the newly formed Friends of Israel group including Lord Trimble (don’t laugh but he is one of the ‘international’ observers on the Israeli flotilla inquiry) and Aznar.

    The British political parties have their own EU Friends of Israel groups and I guess that other countries have the same.

  21. teafoe2 said on September 23rd, 2010 at 9:27am #

    Famous last words: >This will be my final reply in this trivial pissing match w/ TFoe2,<

    But MM is right on one point: I gave him credit for having made an attempt to contact one BDS org before going public with his "concerns", and I was wrong. I misremembered what he had said; it wasn't MM but an anonymous "source" who is supposed to have discouraged on Coop board from considering BDS by telling them BDS was illegal.
    So my bad. I gave him too much credit. MM admits he never made a single attempt to contact any responsible officer or board member of any BDS organization about this, before he started broadcasting it to the world and badmouthing the BDS leadership.

    MM admits he didn't make any attempt to contact or confer with organizers of BDS campaigns about the possible consequences to BDS participants of application of these laws/regulations.<
    I made a mistake. I forgot that it was his anonymous "source" and not MM himself who contacted that Coop board to warn them not to trust BDS organizers.

    But MM also made a teeny mistake when he referred to "a food coop in California". Is it possible that our mad friend doesn't know that Olympia is the capital of Washington state? Or can't tell the difference between an election and a food coop?

    I know it takes all kinds to make a movement, but I myself would tend to expect that a person with an intense interest in BDS would probably be better informed about major developments in the campaign, especially after Mr Walberg had just written about them?

    I'm sorry, but my personal assessment of Madman Miles is that he's not only a pottymouth afflicted with acute logorrhea, but probably a volunteer provocateur doing an amateur job of carrying out a professionally conceived plan.
    Such is my best guess. Of course I have no courtroom-ready proof at hand, but I do have several decades of movement experience. Which tells me that whenever somebody starts trying to discourage action aimed at redressing some wrong, but is poorly informed about how the movement works and about key developments in it, there is something amiss. ??

  22. teafoe2 said on September 23rd, 2010 at 10:28am #

    this is not about MM, but is relevant to BDS and Mr Warlberg’s excellent article. Excerpted from Palestine ThinkTank:

    Mitchell Plitnick, a former editor of the online information service Jewish Peace News and former co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace, who has worked for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, recently applauded Norway’s divestment from an Israeli company involved in “building settlements in the West Bank and working on construction of the Separation Barrier.” Nevertheless, he made clear that his support for BDS stops abruptly at the Green Line, because, in his opinion, “the movement as a whole has become associated with one-state ideologies and support for the Palestinian Right of Return, two points that fall well outside the international diplomatic consensus and are non-starters for most of Europe’s elites.”

    Arguing, essentially, that a “Jewish Israel” should not be affected in any way by some future, hypothetical peace agreement, Plitnick claims that “the problem is the settlements” and that the way to “address the historic, and massive, injustice done to the Palestinians” is not “by promoting a single state where Jews lose their political self-determination and quickly become a minority in the area in question.”

    Another Jewish Peace News editor, Lincoln Z. Shlensky, agrees. He writes that, to be effective and compelling, a clear distinction “between the settlements and Israel proper” must be made by the BDS movement, which he claims “implicitly anticipates the end of Israel as a predominantly Jewish, democratic state and therefore serves to radicalize Jewish Israelis against it and to make its aims unacceptable to almost all Western governments.” That way, he suggests, “such a strategy can succeed if the occupation, and not the existence of Israel itself, is the clear target.”

    In his new article, “The New Zionist Imperative Is to Tell Israel the Truth,” published in Rabbi Michael Lerner’s Tikkun Magazine, J Street head Jeremy Ben-Ami refers to the BDS campaign as an approach “that rel[ies] on anger” and one that will not encourage the “very difficult and painful compromise that is necessary to achieve peace.” Are we to infer that the hard choice Ben-Ami, who mentions his commitment to a “Jewish, and democratic” Israel four times in his short piece, believes that Israel – its government and public – must make is to actually respect international law and human rights? To most reasonable observers, this might seem to be a “compromise” that Israel shouldn’t have the choice not to make.

    Incidentally, Rela Mazali, another editor of Jewish Peace News, is quick to point out that “there isn’t and never has been “a Jewish Israel.” What there is, what I live in, is a Jewish-controlled Israel. Which is not a democracy.”

    Ben-Ami’s claim that the BDS movement is born of anger has historic parallels. During deliberations among American Jewish leaders in 1933 as to whether or not to support a boycott of Nazi Germany, Joseph Proskauer and Judge Irving Lehman of the American Jewish Committee publicly opposed the move. Lehman pleaded, “I implore you in the name of humanity, don’t let anger pass a resolution which will kill Jews in Germany.” Sound familiar?

    Also, it should be noted that, if a century of colonialism, over six decades of ethnic cleansing, 43 years of occupation, and systemic discrimination, intolerance, and racism aren’t enough to elicit “anger,” either one has no morality to speak of, or the word itself has lost all meaning. It is not the “anger” that is the problem, here, it’s the historic – and unabated – injustice.

    Huffington Post blogger M.J. Rosenberg does “not support boycotting the State of Israel,” because he believes it would hurt “those brave Israelis (B’tselem, Peace Now, Rabbis for Human Rights, Gush Shalom, Machsom Watch, Gisha, Israelis Against Home Demolitions, etc.) who fight the occupation with everything they have.”

    “These Israelis (I particularly think of Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Rabbis For Human Rights) actually put their bodies on the line to fight settlers and soldiers when the need arises. I think of Uri Avnery, the old Haganah fighter, who has struggled against the occupation from the beginning.”

    Apparently, Rosenberg considers supporting Israelis who “fight” and “put their bodies on the line,” more important than respecting the non-violent tactics of the actual Palestinians who have lost their homeland to a militarized, colonizing enterprise, who fight oppression, dehumanization, and degradation on a daily basis, and whose bodies are actually in the line of fire from Apache helicopters, F-16 jets, Predator drones, white phosphorous and tank shells.

    Similarly, Israeli historian and writer Bernard Avishai, a longtime critic of Zionism and its effects, also opposes a substantial boycott campaign directed at Israel. In his June 2010 article in The Nation, entitled “Against Boycott and Divestment,” Avishai argues that academic and economic boycotts and international divestment are “seriously counterproductive…Because those actions generally undermined the very people who advanced cosmopolitan values in the country. To get social change, you need social champions, in management as in universities.”

    “Even under apartheid,” Avishai writes, “you had enlightened people who needed the world’s backing, and B[oycott] and D[ivestment] cut the ground out from under them.”

    For some reason, Avishai’s concept of life inside the Green Line runs parallel to Taub’s when he states that “despite institutionalized discrimination and the disquieting excesses of its security apparatus – the Israeli state still accords its citizens, including about 1.5 million Arabs, a functioning democracy, the right to vote, a free press and an independent judiciary.”

    “Democratic Israel is under threat from growing numbers of rightists for whom settling “Eretz Yisrael” is of a piece with containing, if not disenfranchising, Israeli Arabs and Jewish dissenters skeptical of their version of the Jewish state. But, then, how to strengthen dissent? By isolating dissenters?”

    Avishai omits that Israel’s democracy functions only by disempowering its minority citizenry, as already discussed, and that great pains are taken to punish internal dissent and stifle media coverage of its illegal and inexcusable behavior.

    Echoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s concern regarding a potential Israeli brain-drain, Avishai writes, “Polls show that about 40 percent of Israeli Jews have abidingly secular and globalist (if not liberal) attitudes. Who gains from economic decline and the inevitable consequence of most educated Israelis fleeing to, well, the Bay Area?”

    Interestingly, Avishai does allow that, “Targeted sanctions against the occupation are another matter, however. Foreign governments might well ban consumer products like fruit, flowers and Dead Sea mineral creams and shampoos produced by Israelis in occupied territory, much as Palestinian retail stores do.”

    A ‘Jewish State’ of Mind

    So, when allegedly progressive commentators write “Yes to Israel. No to settlements,” and favor the boycott of West Bank colonies, but oppose the same campaign when its targets fall inside Israel’s borders (which aren’t even internationally recognized), what do they see as the ideological difference between the two, and where is the evidence that there really is one? What kind of state do these commentators actually wish to preserve and protect: one that privileges one demographic group over another or one that represents all its citizens equally?

    For instance, in a recent Ha’aretz article, Yossi Beilin, a former leader of the ultra-dovish Meretz party and an architect of Oslo, spoke for the Zionist left in Israel, calling a one-state solution “nonsense,” adding, “I’m not interested in living in a state that isn’t Jewish.” Similarly, in the very same issue, Hanan Porat, one of the iconic founders of the ultra right-wing, messianic settler movement Gush Emunim, dismissed the idea of a single, democratic state. “There is no point in threatening us with the idea of a state of all its citizens,” he scoffed.

    Neither governmental policies of discrimination and racism nor the declarations of left or right-leaning activists need speak for the Israeli public. Yet numerous opinion polls from the past few years give the distinct impression that the majority of Israelis have questionable attitudes towards concepts like equality and democracy.

    In March 2010, a poll conducted by the Maagar Mochot research institute revealed that while 80% of Israeli high school students prefer a democratic form of government (while 16% actually desire a dictatorship), over 49% do not support equal rights being granted to both Jewish and Arab citizens of the State of Israel. 56% of the high school students polled believed Arabs should not be allowed to vote, while 32% said they would not even want to have an Arab friend. One out of every six students would not want to study in the same class with an Ethiopian or an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, and 21% of them think that “Death to Arabs” is a legitimate expression. Additionally, 48% insisted they would refuse official orders to evacuate illegal West Bank settlements if they were serving in the Israeli military (for which 91% of respondents were eager to enlist).

    Perhaps these results should not be surprising, considering that a 2008 poll cited by Yediot Ahronot discovered that “40 percent of Jewish Israelis did not believe that Arab Israelis should be allowed to vote.”

    In late April 2010, a survey commissioned by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University found that over 57% of the respondents agreed that human rights organizations that expose immoral conduct by Israel should not be allowed to operate freely, the majority felt that “there is too much freedom of expression” in Israel, 43% said “the media should not report information confirmed by Palestinian sources that could reflect poorly on the Israeli army,” 58% opposed “harsh criticism of the country,” 65% thought “the Israeli media should be barred from publishing news that defense officials think could endanger state security, even if the news was reported abroad,” and 82% said they “back stiff penalties for people who leak illegally obtained information exposing immoral conduct by the defense establishment.”

    The poll also found that “most of the respondents favor punishing Israeli citizens who support sanctioning or boycotting the country, and support punishing journalists who report news that reflects badly on the actions of the defense establishment.” Additionally, of those polled who described themselves as right-wing, 76% said “human rights groups should not have the right to freely publicize immoral conduct on Israel’s part.”

    “Israelis have a distorted perception of democracy,” said pollster Daniel Bar-Tal, a professor at the Tel Aviv University’s School of Education, as he analyzed the survey’s findings. “The public recognizes the importance of democratic values, but when they need to be applied, it turns out most people are almost anti-democratic.”

  23. hayate said on September 23rd, 2010 at 10:35am #

    Rehmat said on September 22nd, 2010 at 7:34pm #

    “South African daily The Times reported on Wednesday that South Africa’s largest healthcare firm, Netcare, has been charged with cooperating with an Israeli-linked organ trafficking syndicate……..”

    Where there are poor people, one will find israelis and their agents harvesting their organs, one way or another.

  24. teafoe2 said on September 23rd, 2010 at 10:35am #

    the above “BDyeS” was excerpted from an article on PalestineThinkTank by Nima Shirazi:

  25. hayate said on September 23rd, 2010 at 10:43am #


    The boycott the settlements, not israel itself crowd is a zionist attempt to derail the BDS movement altogether. These are their “good cops” in the good cop/bad cop team. A “mild” zionist is just a more duplicitous ziofascist. All the more reason israel must be dismantled and zionism and zionists given the boot.

    Thanks for posting those excerpts from Nima Shirazi.

  26. teafoe2 said on September 23rd, 2010 at 11:34am #

    hayate said on September 23rd, 2010 at 10:43am #


    The boycott the settlements, not israel itself crowd is a zionist attempt to derail the BDS movement altogether. ////

    Precisely. “you can say THAT again!”, so I did;)

    >Thanks for posting those excerpts from Nima Shirazi.<

    de nada:)

  27. 3bancan said on September 23rd, 2010 at 11:51am #

    I wrote a couple of times here about the spread of zionazification all over the globe – not only in the US, all the anglophone countries and Europe, but also in India, Russia and China.
    I predicted the military cooperation between Russia and Israel - – and that it would be the Jewish zionazis who would decide what Russia can and must not sell to other countries:
    “Russia cancels its delivery of S-300 defence missile sytem to Iran”

    The zionazification of the world is marching on…

  28. mary said on September 23rd, 2010 at 12:11pm #

    No mention of the slaughter of Palestinians but praise for the quisling Abbas from Obomber at the UN today

    ‘Those who long to see an independent Palestine must also stop trying to tear down Israel. After thousands of years, Jews and Arabs are not strangers in a strange land. After 60 years in the community of nations, Israel’s existence must not be a subject for debate.

    Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States. And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people. The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance — it’s injustice. And make no mistake: The courage of a man like President Abbas, who stands up for his people in front of the world under very difficult circumstances, is far greater than those who fire rockets at innocent women and children.’

  29. teafoe2 said on September 23rd, 2010 at 12:55pm #

    Let us all be grateful to Obummer for making it absolutely clear who and what he is; now spray some Airwick.

  30. teafoe2 said on September 23rd, 2010 at 1:02pm #

    3bc, I don’t think the zionazis have anywhere near the degree of influence with the Chinese Confucianist-capitalism state, that they do with the Russian and Indian governing elites. Would be interested to read arguments that they do–?

  31. mary said on September 23rd, 2010 at 2:14pm #

    I would like to thrust this article in front of Obama’s face and ask him what he had to say about this incidence of murder, the settler violence and the brutal police firing tear gas canisters.

    Settler guard murders Palestinian in East Jerusalem; police fire gas at his funeral
    International Solidarity Movement
    23 September 2010 | ISM Media

    On the morning of Tuesday 22 September a privately-hired Israeli settler security guard shot and killed a Palestinian man in the neighbourhood of Silwan in Palestinian East Jerusalem (Al-Quds). The killed man, Samer Sarhan, was aged 32 and had five children.

    Eyewitnesses say the shooting followed a verbal disagreement between Sarhan and the security guard.

    Palestinian outrage at the murder precipitated a general strike in the Silwan neighbour, with hundreds of people gathering in the street, chanting and shouting “Allahu Akbar”. Hundreds of Israeli police, border police and soldiers occupied the area in anticipation of the funeral. Silwan residents created makeshift roadblocks trying to slow down forces entering the area. Some youths threw stones towards the occupying soldiers, exasperated by the impunity with which settlers are allowed to shoot at Palestinians. They set fire to one Police vehicle.

    The funeral procession left the Al-Aqsa Mosque and soon came under fire from Israeli settlers living in their outposts around East Jerusalem. Mourners at Sarhan’s burial found themselves confined inside the Bab al-Rahma cemetery, the exits blocked by the Israeli authorities. The border police then proceeded to open fire with tear gas canisters at the trapped people, the gas inducing severe breathing difficulties in some cases.

    The private security guard was released on bail the day after the killing. Silwan resident Abu Nasser said: “We are sure that the murderer will not be punished and perhaps even be given a medal for his crime.” …

  32. MadMiles said on September 23rd, 2010 at 4:53pm #

    It’s hard to discuss things intelligently with people who don’t read with care, and then jump to conclusions, and then more conclusions based on erroneous conclusions.

    I never wrote that someone contacted a coop board with the Ribicoff Amendment info. If anyone read what I wrote, you would know that a BDS initiative was in front of this unamed board (in California, more egregious presumptive misreading) and when the Ribicoff “law” issue was raised (by board members doing due diligence, that was implied but I didn’t state it specifically) the BDS proponents dismissed it as irrelevant, much as has been done here.

    But board members responsible for the financial wellbeing of the coop, found that unpersuasive, and that was the end of any consideration of a BDS action by that institution.

    That is my concern, by being evasive and denying any significance to the laws against divesting from Israel, we create a situation where there is no room for maneuver from the start. (I fully and heartily support BDS, don’t cast aspersions about some assumed sympathy I have for Israel in this conflict! I was a member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee of Chicago from 1989-1993, until it disbanded after Oslo. I’m not peripheral or new to the movement for Palestinian Human Rights, National sovereignty and their right to a state of their own, or one democratic state in all of historical Palestine. I’m not going to debate the efficacy or desirability of one or the other here. It’s been well discussed on this site and many other places.)

    As for communicating this concern to the leaders of the BDS campaign in the U.S.. What would be the purpose? They already know about the law. Any websearch on the issue brings it up at or near the top. The partisans for Israel have seen to that. I wouldn’t be telling them anything they don’t already know.

    But ignoring a problem, hoping it won’t come to fruition, is not a strategy for changing anything. It’s just denial and evasion. That’s why I wrote here yesterday. And I’ve raised the issue when it came up elsewhere, in the communities in which I operate.

    I want to congratulate the regulars here for providing an erudite and well informed discussion of the issues surrounding Palestine/Israel. It’s kept me abreast of some of the more detailed aspects of developments for most of this decade. I don’t always agree with the vehement scapegoating that goes on, but I understand and sympathize with the passion, the outrage, and the disgust with what Israel has done and is doing, and anger at the lies and evasions of its supporters. And I’ve made many of the same points and shared the same information (often from this site, not exclusively) on the boards that I infest, uh, I mean visit regularly. 😉

    TFT, give me all the shit you want. As I stated early in this discussion. I can take it. Sometimes it’s even amusing. Your wild hyperbole, conscious elisions and dark brooding do have some entertainment value. And your dedication to opposing Zionist crime is palpable, for that I can forgive you your insults and rumor mongering.

    You just need to find better targets. Because with me you’re missing the mark. Course I’ve seen defenders of Israel run out of this site on a regular basis, haven’t seen many lately, so perhaps you were just missing having any target, and my new participation here provided you one. Any port in a storm…

    I won’t appeal to authority, but I have more than a passing acquaintance with one of the editors of Dissident Voice. We haven’t seen each other in years, different schedules and interests. And my street organizing took a fall while I was getting my credential, starting a teaching career (yes, late in life) and working in the second oldest prison in the U.S., also teaching. Now I have some time, and I’m re-expanding my areas of political participation.

    So, TFT, you haven’t run me off your private patch. Keep trying if that’s what gets you off.

    Back to the struggle. Just railing at the excrescences of Israel and its supporters gets no one anywhere. What strategies for actual, effective opposition can we help organize? I know a lot is happening, I’m a contributor to ISM, the Freedom Flotilla was a masterstroke, albeit with tragic results. I’m glad to see the moron who slimed Rachel Corrie last night has had his obscene screed flushed.

    My comment about seeking effective strategies is in response to the pattern of this discussion over the years. The Left is masterful at complaining. I do more than my share. But words are empty without action.

    And before I’m slimed with not proposing something. I strongly endorse an international movement of non-violent direct action affinity groups, dedicated, organized, experienced, that put thousands of people into the streets and other public places, to actually raise the price of policies we oppose to the point where those in power no longer find their plans tenable or profitable. Tall order, easier said than done, but words necessarily precede intelligent actions.

  33. mary said on September 24th, 2010 at 6:19am #

    Israel Kills As It Talks
    September 23, 2010

    Even while peace talks shakily resume, Israeli forces attack and kill unarmed Palestinians, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank

    Israeli occupation forces have killed a Palestinian man in the northern West Bank in what eyewitnesses and neighbours described as “a cold-blooded murder” and “extrajudicial” execution.

    The murder took place at the Noor Shams Refugee Camp on 17 September in an area that is supposed to be under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

    The family of Eyad Abu Shilbaneh said Israeli soldiers showered the 38-year-old Islamic political activist with bullets, even though he posed no threat to the soldiers.

    “He was just waking up from sleep, he was unarmed and he showed no resistance; they could have arrested him had they wanted to,” said his wife. “They came to assassinate him, not to arrest him.”

    Israeli authorities have not denied Mrs Abu Shilbaneh’s account completely. An Israeli army spokesman acknowledged that the man was unarmed and that he posed no threat to the soldiers. However, the spokesman claimed that the kept his hands to his back, which raised the soldiers’ suspicion. The spokesman was silent when asked why the soldiers didn’t just “neutralise” him instead of killing him…

    and another today – not news of course…

    Israel kills fisherman in Gaza
    Press TV

    The Israeli Navy has shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of the Gaza Strip currently under a crippling naval blockade.

    The victim identified as Mohammed Bakr died by a bullet shot in the sea north of the Gaza Strip, head of the Palestinian territory’s emergency services, Adham Abu Selmiya, told AFP on Friday.

    An Israeli military spokeswoman claimed the Palestinian fisherman was in restricted waters “heading towards Israel.”

    The coastal enclave has been under siege since June 2007. Israeli Navy vessels regularly open fire on Palestinian fishing boats to prevent them from venturing more than a few kilometers from the shore.

    The 1.5 million impoverished people of Gaza are in dire need of supplies due to the blockade. Fishing remains a staple source of livelihood for the besieged people.

  34. teafoe2 said on September 24th, 2010 at 4:14pm #

    Apologies to other DV “regulars”: I did a very poor job of responding to this MMs sabotage attempt. He’s right about one thing, I didn’t read his tale about his mysterious “source” and the Board of the unnamed Coop he claims is “in California” carefully enough. So it’s taken me a while to reflect on the plausibility of his story, on its inner consistency?

    Since we have no definite information one way or the other, I don’t think we can totally dismiss the possibility that he just made the whole thing up out of his lively imagination. But if we just take him at his word, accept his account of what his “source” told him, another set of questions arises: how come, if he’s as pro-Palestine as he claims, is he so determined to protect the privacy of the Board Members who allegedly told the BDS advocates to take a hike?

    Assuming that somewhere in CA there is a Food Coop Board who DID summarily dismiss a BDS resolution presented to them, why is MM so anxious to let them off the hook?

    Since he doesn’t hesitate to try to embarrass the leaders/planners of the BDS campaign in California, why is he so anxious to prevent us from holding members of this Board accountable for their actions?

    Is it possible that these “Board Members” were/are a bunch of Soft, or even Mainstream, Zionists who seized on the existence of this arcane statute to give themselves an out, so they wouldn’t appear to be avoiding the BDS issue for ideological reasons?

    Who knows. Well, if any DV readers know or have heard of any incident along the lines of MM’s hearsay report, why not post that info here on DV, so we can look into it?

    I don’t think it could have happened in the Bay Area because it would have become public knowledge immediately. The North Coast political climate is close to that in the Bay Area, even more advanced in some areas. It couldn’t have been in Sacramento; the Coop there is covered by the same people who are handling the statewide Initiative, dealing with the Sec of State, provisions of Election Law etc.

    So that pretty much leaves Southern Calif. Does DV have any readers in that area? No?

    Well, if anybody knows anything, let us hear about it. And of course if MM really wants to aid the Palestinian cause, he could easily ID the offending Coop Board by posting the info here under a different alias.

  35. MadMiles said on September 24th, 2010 at 4:33pm #

    Sure, everyone who criticizes what they see as a problem in the BDS campaign is a Zionist. Anyone who chooses to protect the confidentiality of a source of information, in which the significant parts are public knowledge, just not well publicized public knowledge, is a Zionist or a liar, more likely both! If they don’t betray the trust of others they’re an agent.

    Eminently logical, irrefutable. No wonder you’re so well informed on constitutional law!

    No matter how often I state that I support the BDS campaign/movement, and that I have actively opposed the crimes of Israel for at least two decades, I’m an idiot, a liar an agent, etc.

    If this is how you treat your allies, well good luck making any change in this world. This entire episode of tit for tat reminds me of my days debating Marxist-Leninist true believers.

    Gave it up because nobody else cared and we represented a microscopic part of the political landscape. A complete and utter waste of time and energy. Except to get the adrenaline flowing and the bile spouting. Useless, trivial and ridiculous.

    When people complain about the circular firing squad of the Left, this is exactly what they’re talking about. Same old, same old.

    Ho hum, off to dinner and some trad Celtic music. Will be thinking of my friend Waleed who claimed that the Irish and the Palestinians had parallel histories. Plenty of “the movement eating its own” in those horrible struggles as well.

  36. PatrickSMcNally said on September 24th, 2010 at 6:12pm #

    > “Russia cancels its delivery of S-300 defence missile sytem to Iran”

    So what? Khrushchev took missiles out of Cuba, but that was done with an agreement that there would be no ionvasion. Russia has made it clear that it is againsy any military attack on Iran. That clarity has been extended to the point where Russia is helping Iran set up nuclear facilities which can no longer be easily bombed without risk of fallout.

    > The zionazification of the world is marching on…

    Mindless rubbish.

  37. Ellen Lau said on September 24th, 2010 at 8:14pm #

    I’ve watched these people for a while now, Miles. They have long histories in Democratic Party type formations like Peace and Freedom and the like, managed electoral campaigsn there..and in all those places no criticism of Israel was ever allowed for long.

    Clearly this is some sort of a ‘cover’ operation for the zionists, trying to pose as ultra anti zionists in order to..??? attack Noam Chomsky, front for zionists within any new movement.???

    I don’t know, but it stinks like last week’s fish. These people are Demo Party type ‘liberal’ zionists trying to pass as Palestinians, that much is clear.
    I remember when the Demo party types were trying to be ghetto blacks. Remember the Panther days? Jimmy JOnes?

    Anyone have any idea what the target of this little false flag media operation might be?’

    Don’t feel bad Miles. They WANT to push out all the reasonable people. It’s a deliberate strategy.

  38. teafoe2 said on September 25th, 2010 at 11:43am #

    Well, MM, aren’t you going to repudiate your supporter Ellen’s ridiculous nonsense? If people can be judged by the company they keep, you’ve got a problem:)

    >I’ve watched these people for a while now, Miles. They have long histories in Democratic Party type formations like Peace and Freedom and the like, managed electoral campaigsn there..and in all those places no criticism of Israel was ever allowed for long.<

    Anybody with the slightest acquaintance with CA electoral politics, which is the only jurisdiction in which the Peace & Freedom party operates, knows that the Democratic Party has for decades tried everything they could to keep P&F off the ballot. They succeeded in doing just that a few years ago, but P&F was able to recruit enough new registrants to have the ballot status reinstated.

    And of course, if you go to the CA BDS Initiative page, you will see that BDS is endorsed by a long list of P&F candidates, including R Becker and G La Riva of the PSL. UFPJ is also represented, as is SEIU. Near the top of the list is the name of Noam Chomsky, followed by that of Naomi Klein.

    I'm sorry but it's Ms Lau who winds up sounding extremely fishy:)

    Let me take just a moment to get MM's Chicago Toughguy adrenaline flowing:

    How old did you say you are, MM? Don't you know by now that when something said on an internet forum gets your adrenaline flowing, it's an indication that you're wrong about something? That something you posted is wrong, offbase?

    You can keep trying to snow everybody as long as you want, but if you really gave a shit about Justice for Palestinians, you wouldn't exhibit such contempt for them.
    The BDS call was issued by a coalition of 197 Palestinian organizations in Palestine; it is supported by all the Palestinian organizations in the world except those aligned with the Isreali Government-sponsored "Palestinian Authority" nest of traitors.

    So if you weren't so locked into your whitebread suburban sense of petit-bourgeois colonialist superiority, you might have paused to consider what the Palestinians might think of your concerns, of what effect THEY might think going public with them might have.

    And you can forget giving us this crap about how you support the Palestinian cause. We've heard that snowjob before from people who are a lot slicker at deploying it than you are. Here on DV as well as on Pulse Media and PalestineThinkTank, many of us have been doing verbal battle with Noam Chomsky and the Little Chomskys for weeks. Your tactic is just a new twist on the same old Chomskyism: claim to support Palestinian Rights, then do all you can to sabotage any real-world efforts to have them implemented. Same ol' same ol', hohum.

    If you were really a concerned activist instead of a bullshit artist with a toilet vocabulary, you'd have taken your concern to the ISM people you claim to have donated to. If you were really once a member of Palestine Solidarity, you would have contacted Richard Reilly or some other PSM member or members.

    It's really so transparent, how you are so concerned not to "betray the trust" of a bunch of anti-Palestinian "board members", but you don't give a shit about possible fallout from your complaint having a negative impact on the Palestinian struggle.

    Oh yes, let me take a sec to thank you for the gratuitous & irrelevant excursion into red-baiting: it's another indication where your petit-bourgeois ass is coming from.

    Okay, Whitebread, I'll cut you loose for now:) But be clear about one thing: I'll never let any of your bs jive stand without challenging it. You'll never have the last word on this, so you and your girlfriend might as well give up:D