Why the Israeli case against boycott is so weak

Posted: May 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Left, the US and us | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Regarding the discussion we had here on Gil-Scott Heron’s decision to cancel his show in Tel Aviv, here are some wise words from Gidon Levy. The real boycott, argues Levy, is the one that Israel is leading against the Palestinians and their supporters:

… entry into Israel and the West Bank is being affected by the recent frenzy of [Israeli] boycotts. Anyone who is suspected of supporting the Palestinians or expressing concern for their lot is boycotted and expelled. This group includes a clown who came to organize a conference; a peace activist who was due to appear at a symposium; and scientists, artists and intellectuals who arouse suspicions that they back the Palestinian cause. This is a cultural and academic boycott on all counts, the type of boycott that we reject when it is used against us.

Yet the anti-boycott country’s list of boycotted parties does not end there. Even a Jewish-American organization like J Street, which defines itself as pro-Israel, has felt the long arm of the Israeli boycott. It is permissible to boycott J Street because it champions peace, but we can’t tolerate a boycott of products made in settlements that were built on usurped land. Denying a visiting professor entry into Gaza for an appearance at a university does not qualify as a boycott, but cutting off ties with Israeli institutions that provide fast-track degree programs for army officers and interrogators in the Shin Bet security service – people who are often viewed around the world as complicit in war crimes – is viewed as verboten.

Read the full article on Haaretz.

One Comment on “Why the Israeli case against boycott is so weak”

  1. 1 Alex said at 4:28 am on May 16th, 2010:

    Last week’s Haaretz magazine featured media personality Avri Gilad, who claimed that “[t]he non-nationalist, Gideon Levy-type left…says the Palestinian is always right and the Jew is always evil—the automatic, boring left, has become detached from reality in my view.” I’ve read plenty of Levy’s columns and I don’t recall a single time he said anything like “the Jew is always evil” or that the other side is “always right.” People seem to be scared of him because he is unafraid to tell the truth, perhaps.