web analytics
April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



The Real Purpose of Boycotts

Palestinian demonstrators

Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90

Share Button

Unmentioned is that the boycott called for by the Palestinian Authority is a violation of the April 29, 1994 Paris Agreement between Israel and the PLO which expresses respect of “each other’s economic interests,” and recognizes “the need to create a better economic environment for their people’s and individuals.” A further fallacy in the Palestinian logic is not only that the boycott is a violation of signed agreements, but also that, in a country the size of Vancouver Island or New Jersey, it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate the economy of the settlements from that of Israel as a whole.

What is surprising is the acceptance of this hostile strategy by non-Arabs, particularly citizens of Britain and other European countries. The campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) began in July 2005 by 171 Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), arguing that they support the Palestinian cause because Israel was not complying with international law and universal principles of human rights — regardless, of course, of whether they themselves were or not.

The campaign has led to various kinds of actions: in the academic area, in the economy, in mainstream Churches, in the media, in cultural activity, and by non-governmental organizations. In the full irony of the camel never seeing his hump, and contrary to self-proclaimed liberal ideas of free speech and opposition to censorship, academic and cultural groups have expressed their support. The annual Israeli Apartheid Week in the United States and Europe has led to demonstrations on university campuses in which anti-Israeli advocates have prevented the expression of dissent, and has also stimulated antisemitic demonstrations.

A few examples of boycott actions suffice to illustrate the anti-Israeli malice. The British Association of University Teachers (AUT) Council voted in April 2005 for different reasons to boycott two Israeli universities, Haifa and Bar-Ilan; under pressure from members supporting academic freedom, the boycott was cancelled. However, the British National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) in 2006 called for a boycott of Israeli academics and universities; and in 2009, a new group, the British academic union (UCU), passed a resolution to the same effect.

Moty Cristal, a well-known Israel expert on negotiation theory and mediation was disinvited from the conference on conflict resolution held in Britain in 2012 and arranged by the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust because of the objection by the Unison trade union, a constant and open critic of Israel. Further, two Israeli scholars were dismissed from editorial boards of scientific journals published in Manchester by the Arab editor.

Businesses have also entered the picture. In April 2012 the British Co-operative Group, the fifth largest supermarket group in Britain, said it would no longer do business with any supplier of produce from Israeli settlements. It is probably the first major supermarket group in Europe to implement such a boycott. Its customers will miss the Arava export growers, Mehadrin, Agrexco, and Adafresh collective exports of fruits and vegetables. Paradoxically, these companies have employed Arab workers in the fields and packing-houses. Moreover, Histadrut, the Israel trade union, has had good relations with PGFTU, the Palestinian counterpart for Palestinian workers.

Most surprising has been the activity of mainstream Churches, and by individuals in the cultural and entertainment sections of society. The latter are hardly likely to be sophisticated analysts of Middle Eastern affairs, yet well known musicians, Elvis Costello, The Pixies, Cassandra Wilson, Gil Scott Heron, performers including Emma Thompson and Mark Rylands, and filmmakers Ken Loach and Jean-Luc Godard have expressed support for a boycott, or refused to visit Israel. This attitude is more likely to result from fear, intimidation, misplaced self-righteousness or from a desire to be seen as politically correct among their peers, than from any political or moral conviction. A group of anti-Israeli activists in 2009 tried to stop the Toronto Film Festival from featuring Israeli films, and the films of Steven Spielberg have been banned in 14 Arab countries because he had made a $1 million donation to Israel in 2006.

Recent studies by psychologists and neuroscientists studying the causes of the unwillingness of individuals to accept reality or to question either the situation at which they are looking or their own behavior, suggest that advocates of boycotts against Israel seem to be prevented by their pre-existing beliefs — whether anti-Israeli or antisemitic attitudes — from appreciating the the context in which facts can be understood. If they truly wanted to help the Palestinians, their time and energy would be better spent in encouraging Arab states and Palestinians to demand better governance from their leaders, and possibly even to enter into negotiations to normalize political and trade relations with Israel. The argument that the boycott should remain in place until the Arab-Israeli conflict is resolved is the exact opposite of the path to either a settlement or to peace.

Share Button

About the Author: Michael Curtis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, and author of the forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “The Real Purpose of Boycotts”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Police create a human fence around a group of children, after an Arab mob began to assault them during a visit to the Temple Mount.
Arabs Assault Jewish Children on Temple Mount (Video)
Latest Indepth Stories
Students in Israel get computers to assist in their schoolwork.

Day schools can have boys and girls participate in the same online class but they don’t meet or interact in “real time.”

Richard Falk, FORMER  United Nations Human Rights Council’s Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories.

Jews so hostile to their own people they’ve spun out into the orbit of rabid anti-Israeli and pro-Islamic radicalism.

Breaking the Fw:Fw:Fw Chain

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

NIF support for BDS groups, writes Black, also included acting as a “go between for other donors….

Brandeis, which had to have known about her record of criticism of Islam, pulled the honor after pressure from a Muslim advocacy group and a number of faculty members and students.

Wherever I was invited around the world, I always met with people and let them know that I wanted to hear great stories.

R. Hadaya strongly argues in favor of establishing a festive day in commemoration of the establishment of the state of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority has jailed more than 350 Arabs for “security” reasons in just 2014.

Since Torah is the great equalizer, the great reconciler of divergent but valid opinions, this is also the place where common ground is reached.

Some American Jews feel their community has been hijacked from within by groups waging war against Israel seemingly in the name of the Jewish people.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

More Articles from Michael Curtis
Arab Woman

These feminists are so anti-Israel that they ignore Arab women’s lack of political and social freedom

President Obama hosting Jordan's King Abdullah.

With the Syrian government refusing to allow UN inspectors into the country it is difficult to see how indisputable proof of use of chemical weapons can be found

Sweden is now a country where orthodox Jews are afraid to wear a skullcap.

Since June 2005, the EU has given more than $48 million to over 90 NGOs based in Israel, who are regarded as critical of Israel.

The EU has yet to appreciate the reality that the conflict continues because of the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the right of the State of Israel to exist.

Today, fewer than 4,500 Jews remain in Arab countries. Israel absorbed and integrated 600,000 of the more than 850,000 who left.

The Palestinians have asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO. The city’s original name was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba and the name of Jabotinsky’s Zionist youth movement.

The virus of antisemitism is alive and well in Eastern Europe, and so is the denial of the Holocaust. It is particularly disconcerting that a younger generation in Rumania, and more than likely everywhere else in the world, should be infected with this virus, and is — or claims to be — ignorant of the real treatment of Jews in the 20th century.

    Latest Poll

    The Hamas-Fatah Reunification will...
    Answer as many as you want.







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-real-purpose-of-boycotts/2012/06/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: