Fighting a Cultural Boycott of Israel

Cultural and economic boycotts helped isolate white-supremacist South Africa and encouraged a shift to multi-racial democracy — and a similar strategy has ratcheted up pressure on Israel to reach a peace deal with Palestinians — but there is a new pushback against that strategy, notes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

There is a new British organization called Culture for Coexistence with the aim of ending the cultural boycott of Israel, which has been relatively effective in raising public awareness of oppressive Zionist policies, and replace it with “open dialogue” and “cultural engagement.“ A “galaxy of 150 British artists and authors” signed an open letter published in the Guardian newspaper on Oct. 22 announcing the group’s position:

“Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory and will not further peace,” while “open dialogue and interaction promote greater understanding and mutual acceptance and it is through such understanding and acceptance that movement can be made towards a resolution of the conflict.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

While concepts such as open dialogue and cultural interaction are, in principle, hard to disagree with, their efficacy as agents of conflict resolution has to be judged within a historical context. In other words, such approaches are effective when circumstances dictate that all parties seriously dialogue and interact meaningfully – in a manner that actually promotes “mutual acceptance.”

Is this the case when it comes to Israel? The burden of proof here is on Culture for Coexistence because they are the ones asking the Palestinians and their supporters to put aside a strategy (boycott) that is actually putting pressure on Israel to negotiate seriously.

The Culture for Coexistence signatories do not address this question of efficacy. Instead they make the simple assertion that cultural boycotts are bad and won’t help resolve the conflict while cultural interaction is good and will work to that end. How do they know this? Without evidence of its workability, such an assertion is merely an idealization of cultural engagement that ignores that pursuit’s historical futility during a nearly century long conflict.


Do Israeli Leaders Want a Just Peace?

Cultural interaction with Israel went on for decades before the boycott effort got going. It had no impact on the issue of conflict resolution. Such cultural activity certainly did not change the fact that Israel’s leaders have never shown interest in negotiating a resolution with the Palestinians except solely on Israeli terms.

And, that stubbornness is a major part of the reason why peace talks (and also the Oslo agreements) never worked. There is a whole set of histories, written by Israelis and based on archival research that support the claim that Israel has not sought a just resolution to the conflict. Here I would recommend the Culture for Coexistence signatories read the books of the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe.

Given this historical Zionist attitude, what sort of “greater understanding and mutual acceptance” does Culture and Coexistence expect to accomplish by swapping the boycott for “cultural engagement”? It is a question the signatories of the open letter might address to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who just recently was reported to have proclaimed that Israel will control all Palestinian land indefinitely.

The “galaxy of British artists and authors” aligned with Culture for Coexistence seems oblivious to all these contextual issues. Of course, there is a good chance that some of them are more interested in undermining the boycott of Israel than in the alleged promotion of peace through “cultural engagement.”

As the Guardian article discussing the group notes, “Some of the network’s supporters are closely aligned with Israel,” including individuals associated with Conservative Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Israel.

Does Cultural Contact Lead to Peace?

There is another, more generic misunderstanding exhibited in the group’s statement. It is found in the letter’s closing assertion that “cultural engagement builds bridges, nurtures freedom and positive movement for change” – a position reiterated when Loraine da Costa, chairperson of the new organization, told the Guardian that “culture has a unique ability to bring people together and bridge division.”

No matter how you want to define culture, high or low, there is no evidence for this position except on the level of individuals or small groups. On the level of larger or whole populations, the assertion that “cultural engagement builds bridges” is another naive idealization that is belied by historical practice. Historically, culture has always divided people (both across borders and across classes) and acted as a barrier to understanding. At a popular level, most people are uninterested in, or suspicious of, foreign cultures and are unwilling to try to pursue cultural interaction.

Israel is a very good example of this cultural xenophobia. Historically, the European Jews who established the state despised Arab culture. They tried to eradicate it among the Mizrahi Jews who came to Israel from Arab lands. This intra-Jewish Israeli prejudice is still a problem today. What aspects of Arab culture (mostly having to do with cuisine) Israeli Jews are attracted to they try to repackage as “Israeli.”

There are two final considerations here: First is the need to be serious and clear in the use of language. One can, of course, say “culture has a unique ability to bring people together” but is this a statement that has any real meaning or is it just a platitude?

And second: If you are going to give advice about a century-old conflict you should know enough about its history to be sensible in your offering. Thus, in this case, if you know that high or low cultural intercourse with Israel (and, as suggested above, there has been plenty of it since the founding of the state in 1948), has actually improved the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, you should lay out the evidence. However, if one is just offering a banal cliche, well, only the ignorant can take that seriously.

Those who first proposed the cultural boycott did not do it out of some anti-Semitic dislike for Israeli artworks, music, literature or theater. They did it because cultural interaction with Israel had not only failed to promote an equitable peace, but in fact camouflaged the policies of a nation-state that practices ethnic cleansing and other destructive policies against non-Jews.

The logical conclusion was drawn that if you want to pressure the Israelis to change their ways, you withdraw from cultural contact and make any reconnection a condition of their getting serious about conflict resolution.

How is it that the 150 artists and authors who signed the Culture for Coexistence open letter do not know the relevant facts? Setting aside the confirmed Zionists, whose ulterior motive is pretty clear, do these people take this stand because it “feels right” – that is, because they believe cultural interaction ought to, or even must, promote conflict resolution? Alas, this is wishful thinking and, taking history seriously, Palestine may go extinct before such an approach actually helps lead to a just peace.


Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

38 comments for “Fighting a Cultural Boycott of Israel

  1. Chet Roman
    November 1, 2015 at 12:15

    This Culture for Coexistence is nothing more than another zionist effort to end any attempt to make Israel accountable for its war crimes. The same is happening on U.S. university campuses with zionists trying to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism and end free speech on campus. The zionists in Canada tried to pass laws that equated criticism of Israeli policies with anti-semitism. It’s part of the zionist strategy of “lawfare”. Make any criticism of Israeli policies illegal and prosecute those that have the audacity to challenge the “law”. It worked in some European countries where people are jailed for questioning the zionist narrative of the holocaust.

  2. Deschutes
    November 1, 2015 at 05:41

    I really hope that the BDS movement does in fact bring about positive change, that Israel makes some concessions to Palestine. For starters Israel could start taking down the giant concrete walls that separate and surround Palestine territory. How about lifting the trade embargo? How about allowing building material into Gaza strip, so they can start rebuilding all the buildings that were reduced to rubble during Operation Protective Edge? That would be a good start. My fear is that Israel is too powerful and well connected to be actually impacted by the BDS movement. Take for example Czech Rebublic: right now in CZ, Israel is actively partnering up with Czech corporations on lucrative business ventures: biotech, nanotechnology, and more broadly science and education sectors. President Zeman has just recently met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the Czech-Israeli business forum. Do you actually think President Zeman cares one fig about the Palestinians? No: he would laugh in your face if you mentioned the plight of Palestinians, let alone if you dared to mention the BDS movement against Israel. I don’t know why, but Czech Republic is very, very pro-Israel. Maybe because of the WWII history? I don’t know, but I don’t think Czechs will support the BDS movement because they already have strong business ties to Israel companies that are all over Prague.

    • Nathanael
      November 2, 2015 at 23:07

      Oh, they can be affected by BDS. Israel is a pissant little country and when they lose the support of the US population, they lose the support of the world.

      Israeli politicians used to understand this, but now the country is run by deranged goons like Netenyahu.

  3. Joe Tedesky
    October 31, 2015 at 14:23

    Maybe, we should all study what the word ‘coexistence’ means.

    If you go to the web page I have provided, you will see just how flexible the word coexistence can become. It, like many words, depends on what the author means, with the use of such language. Although, the Cuture for Coexitance movement may want you to believe, how their campaign has nothing but peaceful ends to it’s means, the word Coexitance could also mean whatever it’s sponsors want you to believe it means. If it turns out, that this movement is nothing more than some Zionist trick to get over on people with, then the new word that will be said, is bad credibility.

  4. Alec
    October 31, 2015 at 14:04

    “Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory and will not further peace,”

    By Megan Hanna | (Ma’an News Agency) | – –

    On October 29, Israeli military forces issued a disturbing message to residents of Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, telling them that unless they stopped throwing stones “we will gas you until you die.”

    The hypocrisy of the zionist combined with the stupidity of some goyim will result in the most brutal superpower since genghis khan.

  5. Mark Thomason
    October 31, 2015 at 12:36

    The strong reaction of the pro-Israel groups proves that this boycott is having exactly the intended effect.

    Keep it up. The more they howl, the more it is working.

  6. Abe
    October 31, 2015 at 12:06


    US Invasion of Syria Begins
    By Tony Cartalucci

    The US has openly committed to the invasion and occupation of Syrian territory. It does so with the intent of carving Syria up into a series of dysfunctional, weak zones to literally “deconstruct” Syria as a functioning nation-state. It is doing this unable to cite any credible threat Syria poses to US national security and without any semblance of a mandate granted by the United Nations. It also does so with the prospect of triggering direct war with nuclear-armed Russia in a region Russia is operating legally.

    A Desperate Move to Save a Bankrupt Agenda

    America’s latest actions are a desperate move sought by an increasingly hysterical political and corporate-financier establishment in Washington and on Wall Street. Recent hearings conducted by the US Senate Committee on Armed Services have struggled to produce a credible response to America’s unraveling criminal conspiracy aimed at Syria, particularly in the wake of Russia’s recent intervention. The committee and witnesses brought before it, have struggled to formulate a response – however – no-fly-zones and US troops on the ground have been discussed at length.

    It is a poorly calculated bluff. The presence of US special forces and US airpower operating illegally in and above Syria, meant to deny Syria access to its own territory will take time to implement. The official number of US special forces being sent into Syria is said to not exceed 50. Syria and its allies could insert an equal or larger number of forces into these same areas to essentially create a “safe zone” from “safe zones.” Bringing America’s illegal actions before the UN would also be a sound measure ahead of potential confrontations with US forces operating uninvited in Syria.

    The premise that ISIS must be fought and defeated by striking them in Iraq and Syria is betrayed by America’s own admission that the organization has already spread far beyond the borders of either nation. ISIS is clearly not supporting itself on the limited resources found within either country. Were the US truly interested in stopping ISIS, it would strike at its sponsors in Ankara and Riyadh. Of course, it was clear, well over a year ago, that the appearance of ISIS would be used intentionally to accomplish US geopolitical objectives in both Syria and Iraq, serving as a pretext for wider, long-sought after direct Western military intervention.

    The myth that dividing and destroying Syria while deposing its sitting government will somehow alleviate the violence in Syria and reduce the ongoing migrant crisis Europe faces, is betrayed by the fact that a similar premise used to sell intervention in Libya has only led to greater chaos in North Africa, and the creation of the migrant crisis in the first place.

    If the world, including Europe, seeks to prevent the spread of ISIS and the expansion of an already growing migrant crisis, stopping the United States and its partners before they create another “Libya” in the Levant must become top priority. And while it is unlikely that Europe will show any resolve in doing so, it would be hoped that Syria and its allies realize the consequences of failing now, at this juncture, and to whom’s borders the chaos will attempt to cross over into next.

  7. Peter Loeb
    October 31, 2015 at 07:08


    Rather than focus on individual signers or their
    close relationship to today’s Israel, I think it
    would have been illuminating to discuss
    the historical context as described by people
    such as Vladimir Jabotinsky in his essay
    THE IRON WALL..” His actions and racism are
    despicable, but his analysis of a colony,
    not a “state, and to its establishment by
    force still ring true,

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  8. Peter Loeb
    October 31, 2015 at 06:59


    I doubt I would care to have Beethoven as
    anythinga friend. He disdained “equality” but
    was basedin the male, “liberte, fraternity” And
    contact by the superior with the cosmos. Typical for
    the aristocratic ideology which was to
    peak in Germany in the 19th century.And onwards…

    Rather ugly himself, he wished he were
    aristocratic (“van” in Flemmish means
    of whereas “von” indicates nobility
    in Germany).Noble women, many
    of whom were his students, almost
    always gave him up as they would
    lose every crumb of privilege which
    their rank gave them.Beethoven used brothels
    for which Vienna was particularly famous.

    I boycott Wagner. I have learned how
    signifigant—indeed central– his use
    of the” flatted fifth” (interval) is i
    jazz. I turn off Wagner, I have some prejudices
    as well and there are limits.Wagner and
    “the Wagner circle” with its final solutions
    are unwelcome despite “flatted fifths.”!!

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  9. Wulik
    October 31, 2015 at 02:26

    “They tried to eradicate it among the Mizrahi Jews who came to Israel from Arab lands. This intra-Jewish Israeli …..”

    That’s because the Askenazi Jews are not from Palestine. They are Jewish converts from Khazar. Among other manipulations, they revived Hebrew from a liturgical language and forsake Yiddish to deceive ‘useful idiots’ of their origins.

    The exclusionistic nature of their religion – not exclusive to them of course, abrahamic faiths among them – will make co-existence difficult for those not willing to transend their holy books; or at least make the faithful easily manipulated to their divisive goals.

  10. diogenes
    October 30, 2015 at 22:40

    “Do Israeli leaders want a just peace?’ Is the Pope a Mormon? Do bears shit in the Taj Mahal? Is the sky purple with pink polka dots?

  11. Andrew Nichols
    October 30, 2015 at 21:51

    Similar bunches of lame apologists for apartheid spruiked against boycotts of South Africa pre 1992. It’s a sure sign they are losing.

    • October 31, 2015 at 20:47

      ● FROM WIKIPEDIA [Constructive engagement]:

      [EXCERPT] Constructive engagement was the name given to the policy of the Reagan Administration towards the apartheid regime in South Africa in the early 1980s. It was promoted as an alternative to the economic sanctions and divestment from South Africa demanded by the UN General Assembly and the international anti-apartheid movement.[1]
      The Reagan Administration vetoed legislation from the United States Congress and blocked attempts by the United Nations to impose sanctions and to isolate South Africa.[2] Instead, advocates of constructive engagement sought to use incentives as a means of encouraging South Africa gradually to move away from apartheid.[3] The policy, echoed by the British government of Margaret Thatcher, came under criticism as South African government repression of the black population and anti-apartheid activism intensified. . .

      SOURCE –


      . . . While Thatcher maintained throughout her political career that she “loathe[d] apartheid and everything connected with it,” she . . . refused, alongside Ronald Reagan, to back sanctions against the Apartheid regime in South Africa. “In my view, isolation will lead only to an increasingly negative and intransigent attitude in the part of white South African,” she said in December 1977. . .

      SOURCE –

      ● FROM “South Africa: Why Constructive Engagement Failed”, By Sanford J. Ungar and Peter Vale, Winter 1985/86

      • Article Summary
      Ronald Reagan’s imposition of limited economic sanctions against the South African regime in September was a tacit admission that his policy of “constructive engagement”–encouraging change in the apartheid system through a quiet dialogue with that country’s white minority leaders–had failed. Having been offered many carrots by the United States over a period of four-and-a-half years as incentives to institute meaningful reforms, the South African authorities had simply made a carrot stew and eaten it. Under the combined pressures of the seemingly cataclysmic events in South Africa since September 1984 and the dramatic surge of anti-apartheid protest and political activism in the United States, the Reagan Administration was finally embarrassed into brandishing some small sticks as an element of American policy.
      [We’re sorry, but Foreign Affairs does not have the copyright to display this article online.]

      SOURCE –

  12. Erik
    October 30, 2015 at 21:17

    As one somewhat familiar with publisher and moviemaker prejudices, I can say confidently that these “artists” are merely pandering to the zionism of their publishers and moviemakers. No one else is allowed to be a “successful” artist in sales. Nothing that criticizes zionism ever reaches a mass audience. They all sneak in bits of zionist propaganda to get past the zionist reviewers and publishers. They know full well that this is purely a bid to continue the fake Israeli “peace” process. Let us all have peace and continue racism, not the unrest of that rabble. Fully consistent with the repub propaganda about democracy as mob rule, got to have plutocracy for stability.

    • dahoit
      October 31, 2015 at 12:57

      Yes,today I saw she has a new product coming out?Never touched her stuff BTW.
      She owes her billions to the Zionists.

  13. Dfnslblt
    October 30, 2015 at 15:35

    Healthy cultures DO NOT engage in genocide and repression; healthy culture boycott cultures which engage in genocide and repression.
    Follow the £€$ above and psychopathy will be found.
    Boycott and Divest!
    Stop the Illegal and Immoral Wars!

  14. Zachary Smith
    October 30, 2015 at 13:04

    The J.K. Rowling person has been catching hell.

    Her defense is that she really, really does care about the injustice and violence being suffered by the Palestinians. It’s just that she objects to doing anything substantial to put any kind of real pressure on the murderous and thieving little apartheid state of Israel.


    The Lite Zionists like to run their mouths, but to actually DO nothing at all.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 30, 2015 at 16:55

      Zachary, I do believe that the BDS movement, along with an honest press account of how terrible the Israeli’s treat the Palestinian’s, is the best way to expose the true nature of the Zionist. When, I first heard about J.K. Rowling’s signing on to this Cultural for Coexistence movement, my first thought was, what is the nationality of her publisher. Okay, this is wrong of me. I also don’t always think that way, but we are talking about Zionism here, and we all know how they (the Zionist) have used hardball influences over these many years to do their bidding. (ref; Clark Clifford to Harry Truman)

      I have also instructed my kids, and now my grandchildren, how sometimes you may need to separate the artist, from their personal life, to be able to appreciate the product they entertain us with. John Wayne was truly a jerk when it came to his politics, but his movie ‘the Shootist’, is still one of my all time favorites. Whether it be, a poet reciting their poetry, or a crooner belting out a beautiful song, or maybe an actor delivering a great believable performance, or how about a dancer gracefully taking your breath away with a terrific dance, you will need to appreciate their artistic talent for way it is, and deny the fact that they are in real life, just that screwed up of a human being. I digress….

      Zachary, I tell you this all the time, your comments do add a lot to this site’s comment board. You certainly keep the ‘cement heads’ in line. Yeah, this Israeli stuff really gets everyone going, and for what, a few bad apples who rot the whole basket. These artist who are signing on to the Cultural for Coexistence movement are either kidding themselves, or they are being bribed for work, but I can’t see their so called well intentioned movement doing the Palestinians any good.

      • Zachary Smith
        October 30, 2015 at 18:22

        I have also instructed my kids, and now my grandchildren, how sometimes you may need to separate the artist, from their personal life, to be able to appreciate the product they entertain us with.

        I can do that with a few people, but only a few. I don’t own a single movie starring Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, or Jane Fonda. After a lot of thought I bought the first Terminator movie featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but only because I figured purchasing a used DVD wouldn’t permit a single cent to get to him. Besides, the role he was playing was that of a monster, and that’s how I view the man.

        It’s easier for me with the Rowling woman – I never had the slightest interest in her novels, and the first two movies were (to me) so silly I shut them off after barely starting them. Opinions obviously differ there – enough people loved them to make her a very wealthy woman. She’ll remain rich, but with types like me she’s going to take a nose dive regarding reputation. There is the ‘betrayal’ factor like I felt when I learned Stephen Ambrose was a big-time plagiarist – I could no longer tolerate anything with his name in it on my bookshelves and they got thrown away.

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 31, 2015 at 10:52

          I respect people, who when their done with you, their done with you. Although in defense of a squirrel like me, my six arch enemies in my long career in business, are now our company’s six best customers, and in a couple cases, they are also our on time all the time vendors, as well as their being decent customers. I apparently have a knack, at settling scores. When, I was a teenager back in the sixties, I was one of our gangs negotiators. To me it was always just business. I work well surrounded by the ‘never again people’, who when they were on my side, they added leverage to the negotiations I was involved in. So, we all have our personalities, and hopefully that works well for all. As,a true negotiator, I hope this doesn’t offend you, and this will allow us to continue our relationship in the future. Plus, as Michael Corleone would say, ‘you keep your friends close, and your enemies closer’. One more thing, when you draw a line, that’s it, that’s your line, and no one, I mean no one, is given even an inch of wiggle room on that note. Your word is your word.

          • Joe Tedesky
            October 31, 2015 at 10:57

            After reading my cute little Michael Cordelone comment, I want you to know Zachary, I wasn’t making any reference to you. I always look forward to having a back and forth with you. You, along with Abe, Peter, and quite a few others are what make coming to this site a great experience. Besides, how boring would it be, if we all agreed on everything we discuss here?

      • Zachary Smith
        October 30, 2015 at 19:19

        Speaking of betrayal, there is a story I just saw at Google News.

        Helen Mirren on Israel boycott: ‘It’s the craziest idea’

        Down in the test:

        “I love Israel, I think it is a great, great country,” she finished emotionally. “I think that through all the difficulties, and all the pain that Israel has suffered in the past and will in the future, the great thing that Israel has is Israelis, and they will guide it through.”

        “DAME” Hellen Mirren doesn’t give a hoot about what I think, but my ranking of her goes from A+ to D–. Nary a mention does the rich and famous DAME have for the murdering and stealing of those great Israelis in their great, great country.

        I don’t know if I’ll be able to ever again watch any of her movies.


        • Abe
          October 30, 2015 at 23:06

          Israel recruits an aging shiksa actress who once had a Jewish boyfriend to star in an English remake (The Debt, 2010) of an Israeli fiction (Ha-hov, 2007) about a team of Mossad agents.

          Then Dame Mirren is given an award, prompting her to spout pearls of wisdom such as “the great thing that Israel has is Israelis”.

          It is doubtful that the “Israelis” she is referring to include the non-Jewish population of the State of Israel, let alone occupied Palestine.

          In fact, Mirren makes a point to mention that she “worked on kibbutz” and “slept on the beach” with her boyfriend just “six months after the Six-Day War” when Israel first occupied the West Bank and Gaza.

          Mirren neglects to mention United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council just five months after the Six-Day War, which requires:

          (i) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

          (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”

          Untroubled by such matters, the Dame insists that Israel is “a great, great country”

          • V
            October 31, 2015 at 08:53

            Joe Tedesky, Zachary Smith and Abe: Thank you ever so much for this information on the mentioned actors. I had no idea that they were so ardent, and politically blind, zionists. — Vesuvius

      • dahoit
        October 31, 2015 at 12:55

        The duke is my main main action hero.Yes,he was a bit of a reactionary conservative,an American nationalist,and generally toed the party line,but towards his end he did acknowledge the stupidity of Vietnam.We need his caliber deperately today,especially the American nationalist quality,to rescue US from the Ziomonsters.
        The Shootist,The Searchers,Stagecoach,True Grit,The Quiet Man and the cavalry trio,Yellow Ribbon,Fort Apache and Rio Grande are awesome peaks in American cinema.
        NK and Zimbabwe have not attacked other states and peoples like Israel,so her whataboutery falls flat.Typical brainwashed idiot,but can weave kids tales.Sort of like Carson,a brain surgeon moron.

        • Chet Roman
          November 1, 2015 at 11:59

          The “Duke” was a draft dodger during WWII, which probably explains his politics, hopelessly trying to convince himself that he was a “hero” and courageous patriot by towing the rightwing line. We have plenty of these chickenhawks in Congress.

          • Zachary Smith
            November 4, 2015 at 02:09

            At the start of the war ‘John Wayne’ was 34 years old and had 4 kids already.

            His mistake was that he didn’t do what the rest of the Hollywood stars were doing at the time – get himself a uniform.

            Probably there were others, but the only actor who I know of who was actually in combat was Jimmy Stewart. It’s a wonder he survived the war.

      • Linda Carraway
        November 2, 2015 at 19:01

        The message, not the messenger??

  15. Abe
    October 30, 2015 at 12:53

    ScarJo Settlersdream – RapNews parody

    ScarJo Greedily Sucks for Israeli Occupation – 2014 SuperBowl commercial

    “Oh yeah, she done it.”

    The SodaStream controversy is part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign launched in 2005 to pressure Israel to end the occupation.

    SodaStream has been criticized for operating its primary manufacturing plant in Mishor Adumim (Hebrew: מישור אדומים‎), an industrial park located in the industrial zone of the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, about 10 minutes’ drive from Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

    The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law.

    According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Mishor Adumim factory was built on land taken from five Palestinian towns and two Bedouin tribes evicted by the Israeli army.

    The European Union’s highest court ruled in 2010 that SodaStream was not entitled to claim a “Made in Israel” exemption from EU customs payments for products manufactured in the West Bank because Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are outside the territorial scope of the EC-Israel Agreement.

    Oxfam, an international confederation of organizations that address the structural causes of poverty and related injustice, has stated that “businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support” and opposes all trade with the settlements citing their illegality under international law.

    In January 2014, Oxfam accepted American Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson’s resignation as ambassador for that organisation, a role she had held for eight years, after she became a brand ambassador for SodaStream.

    In her statement, Johansson rsaid she resigned because of “a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement”. She described SodaStream as “not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine”.

    Oxfam denied that it supported the BDS movement against Israel as a whole, saying that “this is about trade from the settlements” and specific to settlements outside Israel’s pre-1967 border which Oxfam states, due to their location, pose an obstacle to any future two-state solution.

  16. Abe
    October 30, 2015 at 12:08

    US taxpayer dollars and Zionist ingenuity at work:

    Israel will easily defeat this boycott by having Scarlett Johansson read the Bible in her sexiest voice

    • Saeed M.
      November 1, 2015 at 02:10

      Israel is a Democratic country among all violent surrounding countries. Israel contrary to the bias opinion of the author has been ready yo negotiate with its #1 enemy without any conditions. How many Jews can you find living in Arab countries? They were forced to convert or leave without any of their belongings. Arab Israelis are open to attend universities, have expesive cars & lifestyles. Israel should rightfully negotiate with the original owner of the tretory – Jordan.

      • November 1, 2015 at 21:44

        Ah, a hasbara warrior puts in an appearance.

        @ “Israel is a Democratic country among all violent surrounding countries.”

        False hasbara. Israel does not permit the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories to vote, even though Israel has ruled their lands since 1967. Israel is an apartheid state, not a democracy. Or stated another way, Israeli government is a democracy for only a fraction of the people it rules.

        @ “Israel contrary to the bias opinion of the author has been ready yo negotiate with its #1 enemy without any conditions.”

        More false hasbara. The historical record is clear that Israel has used negotiations only to prolong its occupation and has always approached negotiations with preconditions. See e.g.,

        Examples: the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish State; Palestinians must recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of that Jewish State; there must be lands swaps rather than accepting international law guaranteeing Palestinians the right of return to their homes; the list of preconditions goes on and on.

        Israeli officials have even bragged about their bad faith in negotiations and implementation of agreements. Example: and

        @ “How many Jews can you find living in Arab countries? They were forced to convert or leave without any of their belongings.”

        Israel can do little about that. But it can address its own shortcomings without attempting to change the subject to what other nations have done.

        @ “Arab Israelis are open to attend universities, have expesive cars & lifestyles.”

        But they do not have equality under Israeli law, with more than 50 laws that grant Jewish citizens rights not shared with Arab citizens. Examples: an Arab Israeli citizen has no right to live with his non-Israeli-citizen spouse in Israel; nearly any Jew in the world including those who never set foot in Israel has the “right of return” to Israel but the original Arab inhabitants of Israeli territory have no right of return to their homes; and Arab members of Parliament can be (and often are) ejected for statements made in favor of granting Arab citizens equal rights.

        @ “Israel should rightfully negotiate with the original owner of the tretory – Jordan.”

        No. Israel must bring itself into compliance with international law before any meaningful negotiations can take place. Israel should abide by international law and the many binding Article VII U.N. Security Council resolutions, beginning by herding all of its settlers off the Occupied Territories and withdrawing all of its troops as required by the Fourth Geneva Convention. Then Israel needs to facilitate an election by all residents of the former British Mandate Territory of Palestine so that they may finally have what the Charter of the United Nations guarantees, the right of self-determination as to their form of government. Israel was established illegally and that stain cannot be removed without disbanding its government in favor of a government legally formed by all those entitled to participate.

        • Steve Murray
          November 2, 2015 at 16:21

          I agree with all of your reply to the Hasbaratchnik. Just to add though, Arabs and Jews lived peacefully with each other for centuries befpore the growth of Zionist and the European/American colonisation of Palestine. Anti Jewish sentiment in Arab countries grew in tandem with the growth of anti-Arab Israel.

      • Linda Carraway
        November 2, 2015 at 18:58

        Where in heaven did you get your opinions from? I can say ‘opinions’, because they certainly are not facts, and when something as serious as the I/P conflict is being discussed, we need to be working with facts, not opinions.

      • Nathanael
        November 2, 2015 at 23:00

        Your claim that Jews were “forced to convert or leave without any of their belongings” is manifestly false for several Arab countries including Yemen.

        Talk to some Jews who moved from Yemen to Israel. They will be offended at the suggestion that they were expelled; they moved voluntarily.

      • david thurman
        November 3, 2015 at 19:15

        To Saeed M.!

    • Abe
      November 1, 2015 at 12:33
      • Nathanael
        November 2, 2015 at 23:03

        The Only Democracy In the Middle East is, of course, Turkey. Erdogan is trying to disrupt it, but it’s a full-fledged genuine one-person-one-vote all-the-votes-are-counted democracy.

        Jordan is a semi-democracy; everyone votes to elect a parliament, but an unelected King can overrrule it. Iran is a semi-democracy; everyone votes to elect a parliament, but an unelected Ayatollah can disqualify candidates and overrule it. Israel is a racist apartheid semi-democracy almost exactly like South Africa used to be.

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