7 thoughts on “Israeli Diplomats in South Africa (1964) on Boycott: Shades of BDS! – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Case Studies in Sanctions and Terrorism

    (Aug. 2, 1963) – US ambassador to UN, Adlai E. Stevenson, speaking in opposition to mandatory arms embargo: “The application of sanctions in this situation is not likely to bring about the practical result that we seek…. Punitive measures would only provoke intransigence and harden the existing situation…” Nevertheless, US pledges to terminate all new sales of military equipment by end of 1963.

    “The Unspoken Alliance” : Ties Between Israel and Apartheid South Africa

  2. If BDS and other mechanisms should succeed in chasing Israel off, would that solve all the problems of the Palestinians?

    I think it is probably correct that ending the occupation (really ending it: not like the embargo of Gaza after Sharon’s famous pull-out) would not solve all of Palestinians’ problems. It would not solve the problem of the PRoR to Israel, would not magically create a viable economy, would not produce democracy or a crop of decent, capable, knowledgeable, non-corrupt leaders. Israel would continue to steal water, the new petroleum reserves would require to be shared (but wouldn’t be), all the garbage-toxics-sewage-and-military-wastes dumped by Israel and Israelis in WB&G would not immediately be cleaned up, and there’d still (without a peace treaty) be no highway from G to WB.

    So what? So the BDS-ateers should quit? No way!

    People want a shot at self-determination and to lift the oppressive yoke of occupation. They should have it.

    And it is equally necessary for Israel to learn that [1] it must end its immoral illusory omnipotency — wrapped in immunity and impunity and [2] it can live as an ordinary nation rather than as a raging carnivore, red of tooth and claw, unsatisfied unless destroying the lives of a subject people. “We were slaves in Egypt” seems to have been learned as the obverse lesson: “We must hold slaves in Palestine”.

    Perhaps one thing that must happen is a rabbinic revamping whereby ancient teachings — which I know nothing of but the little Israel Shahak illuminated, and whatever the dreadful military and settler rabbis have revealed — ancient teachings will be forever annulled, revoked, renounced, etc., so that Israelis can live with their neighbors as equals and not as conquerors.

    1. The Gaza Withdrawal was a con. Sharon split the Palestinians into two enclaves for the conquering. When they democratically elected Hamas, he and W. Bush used this as a pretext to put Gaza under siege. They then propped up Abu Mazen, a man who is inclined to opt for the two-state solution, a life-line for the Greater Israel ultimate goal, or otherwise a “manageable”.

      Today, the West Bank looks like dots on the map. It is virtually non-existent save for its demographic hostages who we know exist undoubtedly. Gaza is still under siege.

      Sharon’s plan, as was very characteristic of him, was never to create peace, but provide corridor for the end of Palestine once and for all. And we all know the “Greater Israel” fanaticism goes beyond the confines of Palestine. In fact, that is why the Israeli lobby swarms congressional halls to urge America to illegally balkanize Syria.

      Therefore, Palestine has already been destroyed. The only residual territories left are meaningless. The Palestinians have lost their voice. All that remains is for the annexation of the settled lands, which they are happily engaging in already.

      However, under conditions of regional peace, the Likudists will meet their destined demographic expiry. The reason they want to create global chaos (so overtly) is that they require the necessary “fog of war” for the next stage of their plan, applying a “final solution” to their Palestinian question.

      It does no favors to anyone when these facts are painted as something else. Regional and global peace for another 5-6 years is all it will take to end the Zionist project once and for all, which has never been a secular democracy, not under any notion of the term, nor was it meant to be originally.

  3. Richard, good analysis of BDS. However it would be overly optimistic to think that BDS will really begin it bite in just a few years. After all it took 27 years for it to work against S. Africa. Even 1 year prior apartheid’s capitulation, we could see articles in right wing press claiming how ineffective the boycotts were. Having said that it amazing how fast BDS against Israel is moving.

    The final nail in coffin of S. African apartheid was when the boycott began to affect the international market in S. African bonds. The bankers then decided game over. It is interesting to note that Israeli businesses are beginning to show concern. Businesses in France pressuring De Gaulle is what preceded the French retreat in Algeria. So maybe we will not have to wait for a couple of more decades to see Israel come to its senses. Perhaps Israel can learn from the history of S. Africa and France and try to take a pro-active stand rather then being forced to its knees.

    1. Apartheid South Africa lasted as long as the Cold War did. When the Cold War ended, the Western powers no longer had a powerful reason to want to prop it up.

      The boycott may have played a necessary role in destroying apartheid South Africa’s legitimacy, so that, when the Western powers no longer had good reason to support it (secretly), it fell pretty quickly. But it was the end of the Cold War that accelerated events.

  4. I broke out of my orthodox cocoon March 13, 2010

    Jake Wallis Simons grew up within a strict Jewish community, his life governed by religious doctrine. But once he left school, he joined the outside world and has never looked back

    Author of Telegraph article: The darker side of Oxfam.

    Following the opinion of ‘Professor Gerald Steinberg’ [NGO Monitor]. Right!

    Last December Mr. Simons wrote another ‘well researched’ article about Breaking the Silence, which really is an anti-settlement foreign funded NGO to end the occupation. “Why are European powers (and Oxfam) funding a radical Israeli group?” Most revealing, a reporter with Orthodox Jewish roots and ‘never looked back’ …

  5. Update: New York anti-Boycott Bill in Trouble

    NYSUT, others oppose don’t-boycott-Israel bills

    The Assembly’s version of legislation aimed to prevent academic boycotts such as the one launched against Israel in December by the American Studies Association is scheduled to be taken up in committee on Monday [update: the bill was pulled from consideration by the committee], just days after the state Senate passed a similar measure sponsored by Sen. Jeff Klein.

    The ASA’s action is intended as a protest against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories. While almost entirely symbolic, it’s seen by Israel’s supporters as a dangerous precedent for other academic or business groups.

    The Assembly bill and its Senate sibling are receiving pushback from entities that are usually in lockstep behind Speaker Sheldon Silver, the sponsor of his chamber’s version — including the powerful New York State United Teachers union, which in a memo of opposition states that the bill would “serve to regulate speech based on content and the message it conveys.”

    Here’s the memo of opposition from NYSUT …

    And here’s the letter of opposition from two progressive groups, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the state chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

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