Thursday, February 13, 2014

The B.D.S. Threat. By Roger Cohen.

The B.D.S. Threat. By Roger Cohen. New York Times, February 10, 2014.

Roger Cohen’s Zionist Take on BDS. By Charles H. Manekin. The Magnes Zionist, February 10, 2014.

NY Times’ Roger Cohen “is a bigot, not a liberal,” says Omar Barghouti. By Ali Abunimah. The Electronic Intifada, February 11, 2014.

West Bank Boycott: A Political Act or Prejudice? By Jodi Rudoren. New York Times, February 11, 2014.

Omar Barghouti, who helped found the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in 2005, said activists had every right to pick their causes and where to focus their energy.
“He can say anything he wishes, but immoral? Resistance to his immoral policies can never be immoral,” Mr. Barghouti said of Mr. Netanyahu. “The litmus test is are you boycotting a group of people based on their identity, or are you boycotting something — an act, a company, a business — that you disagree with.”

NYT Reporter Treats Israeli Boycott as Immoral and Anti-Semitic, Reminiscent of Nazis. By Philip Weiss. Global Research, February 12, 2014. Also at Mondoweiss.

BDS on a Roll? Not So Fast. By Evelyn Gordon. Commentary, February 12, 2014.

Cutting through the BDS BS. By David Gerstman. Legal Insurrection, February 14, 2014.

NY Times plays Sympathy for the BDS. By David Gerstman. Legal Insurrection, February 9, 2014.

Boycott supporters plead for Universities to ease pressure on American Studies Association. By William A. Jacobson. Legal Insurrection, February 7, 2014.


This is just more of ASA and the boycotters refusing to accept that American civil society rejects its anti-Israel boycott. Playing victim is just a way of trying to turn the debate around.

John Kerry’s loose lips may sink peace ship. By William A. Jacobson. Legal Insurrection, February 6, 2014.

With All the Boycott Israel Talk, What Is BDS? By Marc Tracy. The New Republic, February 2, 2014.


The best argument for BDS is that it is a response to the occupation that originated in Palestinian civil society and is physically nonviolent. (This distinguishes it from a religious liberation, sometimes-violent movement such as that espoused by Hamas, which governs Gaza.) The best argument against it is that, at best, BDS is not clear about what its endgame is, and at worst its endgame would go well beyond ending the occupation and toward ending Israel itself—something supporters of a two-state solution should obviously want to avoid.
“BDS does not take any position on the political outcome or resolution of the question of Palestine,” Barghouti told me. Barghouti said he personally supports a single democratic state. That evinces a keen understanding of the movement, whose position on refugees almost forces it to oppose the continued existence of the Jewish homeland.
BDS is tied inextricably to the demand for the right of return for the roughly five million Palestinian refugees, most of whom descend from those created in and around 1948. Barghouti confirmed this to me, writing, “The BDS movement upholds the basic rights of all Palestinians, including the right of return.” Or, as he put it in one interview, “‘If the occupation ends, would that end your call for BDS?’ No, it wouldn’t. . . . The majority of the Palestinian people are not suffering from occupation, they are suffering from denial of their right to come back home.”
Practically, the return of all Palestinian refugees would almost certainly spell the end of the Zionist project. As prominent liberal Zionist Gershom Gorenberg has explained, “Implemented without restriction, [the right of return] would make a two-state solution meaningless, since Palestinians would reclaim property in West Jerusalem and throughout Israel, creating a new class of displaced Jews in a bi-national state. (When peace negotiators on either side are realistic, they dicker about what limited number of Palestinians would return to Israel, in a symbolic acknowledgment of the Palestinian tragedy.)” Similarly, the liberal Zionist group Americans for Peace Now acknowledges that the Palestinians would “agree to find solutions for the Palestinian refugee issue largely outside the borders of the state of Israel” as part of a series of tough compromises by both sides on the path to a two-state solution. It is telling that both APN (the sister organization of a prominent left-wing Israeli group) and J Street are American liberal Zionist organizations that support a two-state solution and oppose BDS, while the more left-wing Jewish Voice for Peace supports BDS and is officially agnostic on whether there should be two or one states.