Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
The Celebrate Israel Parade (formerly the Salute to Israel Parade), scheduled for June 1, has drawn extraordinary advance criticism this year. It seems parade organizers, ostensibly to be as inclusive as possible, have acceded to requests to participate from the New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel and B’Tselem.
Critics, however, maintain that the three groups are tied to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which seeks to organize punitive action against Israel.
While some groups associated with BDS seek the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state and advocate boycotts against products produced on both sides of the Green Line, the three groups in question claim their interest is purely in seeing Israel change its policies vis-à-vis areas beyond the Green Line and that they therefore support boycotts only of products produced there.
This, these three groups say, is designed to strengthen Israeli democracy and Israel’s standing in the world, which makes them “pro-Israel” and therefore eminently qualified to participate in the parade. For us this is a distinction without a difference. To our mind anything outside the Israeli political process designed to force the elected government of Israel to change its policies cannot be deemed pro-Israel.
To be sure, parade organizers argue that “[t]here’s no BDS in the parade” and condemn BDS as a “clear and present danger to the future of Israel.” And in a statement they went on to say that while they “strongly disagree” with the three groups for their support of boycotts of products from over the Green Line, the groups “fit within the guidelines of the parade,” having signed a statement that says they “identify with Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”
While we would never question the parade organizers’ staunch support for Israel, they plainly do not agree with the notion that private organizations attempting to force Israel to change its policies is inconsistent with “pro-Israel” self-identification. Yet the actions of such groups serve to delegitimize Israel’s negotiating position and undermine any leverage it might have. Indeed, in this sense we cannot perceive any differences here with Mahmoud Abbas’s absolutist claims and adamant refusals to compromise on the major issues.
And what can Israel say to its critics who will gleefully trumpet the acceptance by the leading pro-Israel event in the United States of such vociferous opponents of Israel’s settlement policy?
Truth be told, these “limited” BDSers are hardly fanciful, philosophical moralists. They are savvy, presumptuous, hard-nosed zealots whose targets for economic and political demise only happen to be a couple hundred thousand Jews they consider dispensable.
Thus, Partners For Progressive Israel has this on its website:
In response to the recent passage of the Boycott Bill by the Knesset, a bill which blurs the Green line by making no distinction between Israel proper and the Settlements, we are reiterating our call to American Jews to “Buy Israel — Don’t Buy Settlements (They’re not the same)”…. The following is a list of products and produce made in West Bank Settlements and sold in the U.S. Please boycott these products and produce. It’s important to note that products made in Settlements bear the label “Made in Israel” but this is inaccurate. If you know of any other products or produce that are made or grown in West bank Settlements and sold in the U.S., e-mail us…and we will add them to the boycott list.
B’Tselem says this about itself:
Why Is B’Tselem bringing [its] work to the United States instead of keeping it in Israel?American foreign policy plays a vital role in shaping Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories. The debate in the United States is often based on a false dichotomy between Israel’s legitimate security concerns on the one hand, and Palestinians’ basic rights on the other. As an Israeli human rights group, we are uniquely positioned to inform and enrich this debate, providing the facts necessary to evaluate Israeli policy in light of security needs and applicable legal standards. B’Tselem has established a presence in the United States to enable Americans to support a human rights agenda that will protect the rights of Israelis and Palestinians alike, while also strengthening Israel’s civil society and its democracy.
As for the New Israel Fund, despite its fervent denials it seems to have even closer ties to the BDS movement; as investigative journalist Edwin Black noted in the Huffington Post, “until 2011, generous NIF grants to the boycott vanguard were indispensable to establishing and fortifying the budding international boycott movement.”
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?
Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.
Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.
Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status
David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?
sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience
Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.
Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]
Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.
Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.
Home is Milwaukee where their congregation, Beth Jehudah, and community always await their return.
A murderous uprising is taking place in Israel; On the roads, In the mixed Jewish-Arab cities.
Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”
A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.
The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.
Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.
His many articles on education showed great insight into the problems facing Jewish teachers in a changing student environment.
We cannot forget Secretary Kerry’s obsessive and relentless focus on the Middle East peace process.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/boycotters-on-parade/2014/04/24/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: