Friday 04 June 2010
Bernard Ogley (M Star June 2) is correct in advocating a total boycott of all Israeli goods and services – and not just the current fragmented efforts centring on those from illegal settlements in the occupied territories.
However, to be truly effective such a boycott needs to extend both to cultural and sporting boycotts and demonstrations – note the recent disruption of a concert by the Jerusalem Quartet, all of whom are ex-members of the IDF – and the peaceful confrontation with zionism in our own workplaces, communities and even our trade unions.
Too many on the “progressive” wing of British politics remain enamoured with a highly fictionalised account of the early years of the state of Israel and remain deluded as to how reactionary the likes of the Israeli Labour Party and trade union federation Histadrut both were then and certainly are now.
To be a zionist needs to become as shameful a position as being in favour of apartheid South Africa.
See Jim’s response.
I’m not sure how many colleagues with similar views (there are a few) would feel entitled to actually go through with this but just for the record, Jewish history compels me to be sympathetic about Jews’ claim to a way of exerting control over their own security matters, namely a state. Only a history-in-the-making where antisemitism was consistently routed could suggest otherwise. But there isn’t a history-in-the-making like that, so the only conversation worth having is about what is justifiable self-defence and why, what not and why, and how the situation could be improved. If that makes me a Zionist by the reckoning of most anti-Zionists (or affirmed Zionists for that matter) I don’t mind.
I could be persuaded into a confrontation scenario with any colleague who buys my lunch. Apart from that I’m busy and may respond unpredictably if confronted in transit. If anybody wants to involve me in their genuinely pro-Palestinian work I am, as ever, interested.
HT Bob, who has more in the wake of the Gaza flotilla.