Israel Hits Back Against Boycott

Exclusive: Israeli officials are attacking on several fronts against people who support the BDS movement as a nonviolent way to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian human rights, writes Marjorie Cohn.

By Marjorie Cohn

On March 19, Israeli tax officials arrested Omar Barghouti, a prominent Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Omar and his wife Safa, an Israeli citizen, were detained for 16 hours and have been subjected to daily interrogation sessions.

Omar Barghouti, a founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at pressuring Israel to respect the human rights of Palestinians.

Barghouti’s arrest is indirect evidence of the growing strength of the BDS movement, a worldwide non-violent challenge to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, a protest campaign that the Israeli government has identified as an existential threat to Israel.

Israel is particularly sensitive in light of the new United Nations report concluding that it has established an “apartheid regime” and recommending that national governments support BDS activities to challenge Israel’s illegal system of oppression of the Palestinians. The report was co-authored by Richard Falk, an international law expert and former U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “We will defend ourselves against slander and boycotts.”

Barghouti wrote in the New York Times, “Having lost many battles for hearts and minds at the grass-roots level, Israel has adopted since 2014 a new strategy to criminalize support for BDS from the top” in order to “shield Israel from accountability.”

Last year, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs established a “tarnishing unit” to tarnish the reputation of BDS human rights defenders and networks.

According to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, the “inflammatory fabrications” against Omar Barghouti constitute the “latest chapter of repression and intimidation” against him. For years, various arms of the far-right Israeli government have subjected Barghouti to intense threats, intimidation and repression.

The investigation of Barghouti is part of Israel’s “systematic efforts to criminalize the BDS movement, intimidate activists and stop free speech,” the Committee said.

“After failing to intimidate them through the threat of revoking Omar’s permanent residence in Israel, and after the effective travel ban imposed on him proved futile in stopping his human rights work,” the Committee stated, “the Israeli government has resorted to fabricating a case related to Omar’s alleged income outside of Israel to tarnish his image and intimidate him.”

Travel Ban

The latest travel ban against Barghouti, imposed in connection with the investigation, coincidentally comes shortly before he is scheduled to travel to the United States to accept the Gandhi Peace Award, along with Ralph Nader, at Yale University.

Palestinian boys prepare to welcome Women’s Boat to Gaza, which was intercepted by the Israeli naval blockade on Oct. 5, 2016.

In addition to the travel ban on Barghouti, top Israeli officials have threatened BDS activists in general and Barghouti in particular. At a “Stop the Boycott” conference in Jerusalem last year, Israeli public security and strategic affairs minister Gilad Erdan warned that BDS activists “will know they will pay a price for it.”

During the same conference, Yisrael Katz, Israel’s intelligence minister, called for attacks on BDS leaders. Katz utilized the same Hebrew word the military uses for “targeted civil elimination,” or civil assassination. Aryeh Deri, Israel’s interior minister, told attendees at the conference that he might revoke Barghouti’s residency permit.

After threats against Barghouti at the conference, Amnesty International stated it was concerned for the “safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti, and other boycott, divestment and sanctions activists, following calls alluding to threats, including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights, made by Israeli ministers.”

Adnan Ramadan, another co-founder of BDS, said, “All of this tax evasion business is just an excuse to pressure the BDS movement as a whole . . . part of their war against the campaign, but it won’t work . . . because the BDS campaign isn’t one person or two people or ten people, it’s an organized movement of hundreds of thousands of people.”

“This latest desperate chapter of repression and intimidation by the Israeli government against Omar Barghouti is the strongest indicator yet of the failure of the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to slow down the impressive growth of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights,” the Committee stated.

And, according to the Forward, a report issued by the Anti-Defamation League and the Israel-based Reut Institute concluded, “Jewish communal efforts against the BDS movement have largely failed.”

What Is BDS?

The BDS movement was launched in 2005 by representatives of Palestinian civil society. They called upon “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era … [including] embargoes and sanctions against Israel.”

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

This call for BDS specified that “these non-violent punitive measures” should last until Israel fully complies with international law by (1) ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the barrier Wall; (2) recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and (3) respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their land as stipulated in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194.

BOYCOTTS involve withdrawing support for Israel and Israeli and international companies involved in violations of Palestinian human rights, as well as complicit Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions.

DIVESTMENT campaigns urge banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and universities to withdraw investments from all Israeli companies and from international companies involved in violating Palestinian rights.

SANCTIONS campaigns pressure governments to fulfill their legal obligation to hold Israel to account by ending military trade, free-trade agreements and expelling Israel from international forums.

BDS was a major factor behind the 46 percent drop in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014, according to a U.N. report. Israeli exporters have repeatedly complained that it is getting harder to export products to Europe. A World Bank report reveals that Israel’s exports to the Palestinian economy dropped by 24 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

Investors who have divested from companies targeted by the BDS movement include government pension funds in Sweden, Norway, New Zealand and Luxembourg. Investors include George Soros, the Bill Gates Foundation, the huge TIAA-CREF public sector pension fund in the U.S., Dutch pension giant PGGM and Norwegian bank Nordea.

BDS initiatives have been passed by more than 50 councils in Spain and by dozens of other councils in the U.K., Australia, Sweden, Norway and Ireland. U.S. churches, including the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church (UMC), and several Quaker bodies have voted to divest from Israeli and international companies targeted by the BDS movement.

Academic associations in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, South Africa and the U.K. have voted to support BDS. Thousands of artists and cultural figures, including Roger Waters, Marcel Khalife and Alice Walker support the cultural boycott of Israel. Lauryn Hill, Elvis Costello and Vanessa Paradis have canceled shows in Israel. World renowned scientist Stephen Hawking refused to attend a conference hosted by former Israeli president Shimon Peres.

The Chilean government suspended free trade agreement talks with Israel during its 2014 attacks on Gaza. Bolivia and Venezuela have cut diplomatic ties with Israel. Brazil refused to appoint a settler leader as Israeli ambassador to the country. The University of Johannesburg severed its ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University.

More than 30 U.S. student associations and 11 Canadian student associations have voted to support divestment from Israeli apartheid. BDS is supported by the U.K. National Union of Students, 30 other U.K. student unions and student organizations in Belgium, South Africa, Brazil, Chile and beyond.

A section of the barrier — erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians — with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

SodaStream closed its factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim following a high-profile boycott campaign against the company that saw retailers and investors across the world cut links with the company. SodaStream is still a major target of the BDS movement because it is a high-profile Israeli export, and the company was complicit in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Naqab (Negev) in the south of Israel.

French telecom Orange left the Israeli market, in response to BDS campaigns in France and Egypt about the role Orange’s Israeli franchise holder played in supporting the Israeli military, its attacks on Gaza, and its involvement in illegal Israeli settlements.

G4S announced plans to sell its Israeli subsidiary after the international Stop G4S campaign cost the company millions of dollars in lost contracts. The Bill Gates Foundation cut its ties with the company. G4S provides security services and equipment to Israeli checkpoints, illegal settlements, and prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to torture. G4S has a record of breaking promises to end its support for Israeli apartheid so the campaign against G4S is ongoing until the sale is complete.

French multinational Veolia withdrew from Israel after a BDS campaign over its role in Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land, resulting in billions of dollars in lost contracts. Israeli state water company Mekorot lost contracts in Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Community mobilizations during Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza prevented Israeli ships from docking at a port in Oakland, California, after actions by dockworkers at ports in South Africa, Sweden and India in recent years.

The E.U. has introduced rules prohibiting funding of Israeli companies and bodies based in illegal Israeli settlements and has warned businesses about the risks of doing business with illegal Israeli settlements.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. See her website: http://marjoriecohn.com/ and follow her on Twitter @MarjorieCohn.

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24 comments for “Israel Hits Back Against Boycott

  1. Sally Snyder
    March 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Here is an article that looks at how Israel is training a significant portion of America’s police forces:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/07/who-is-training-americas-police-forces.html

    Watching the news from the Middle East should give us a good sense of what lies ahead for American civilians.

  2. mike k
    March 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Israel is an American crime against humanity.

  3. mike k
    March 30, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Now Israel wants to teach our cops to be better fascists? They should know how; but we are pretty good at fascism without their well meaning help.

  4. Zachary Smith
    March 30, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    During the same conference, Yisrael Katz, Israel’s intelligence minister, called for attacks on BDS leaders. Katz utilized the same Hebrew word the military uses for “targeted civil elimination,” or civil assassination.

    Imagine that!

    BDS is going to have to expand to other areas to get the attention of the little apartheid state.

    Nearly 100 aircraft and several hundreds of air warriors and support crews from the United States, Greece, Poland, France, Germany, India and Italy will converge here in the autumn for Blue Flag, a biennial, two-week drill aimed at honing the type of planning, targeting and coordinated command and control demanded by coalitions operating in high-threat theaters.
    .
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    .

    “Everybody wants to engage and cooperate with the IAF. It’s a privilege,” said Hecht, who spent four years on the Israel Defense Forces’ J5 planning staff, primarily coordinating bilateral issues between the U.S. and Israel.

    Of course they want to suck-up to the murderous IDF – their demonstrated competence at using US F-16s on civilians is surely world-class.

    These are murder skills well worth learning, even if it means extensive kissing of Zionist heiny. Hey, US police have been learning how to treat every citizen here like Palestinians, why not our Air Force as well?

    www*defensenews.com/articles/israeli-air-force-to-host-7-nations-in-its-largest-ever-air-drill

    • March 30, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      Interesting how isreal murders USA sailors on USS Liberty , Russian surveillance vessel appears and zionist murderers withdraw. Yet isreal gets aid and Russia is the boogeyman. Zionist fear BDS more than anythig. It is well documented that the dancing Arabs T spoke of concerning 9/11 is well documented to have been isreali’s probably mossad.

  5. Bill Bodden
    March 30, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    As this article indicates a few nations have had the courage and integrity to object to and oppose the anti-human rights policies of the right-wing Israeli government. So, what does that say about the United States where almost all politicians in Washington and many states have sold their souls and whatever honor they might have had to the Israel lobby? Other than pulling the trigger to fire a bullet into someone or press a button to drop a bomb on people what is worse than endorsing Operation Protective Edge and its slaughter of thousands of innocent and oppressed men, women and children in Gaza? Well, perhaps, taking steps to quickly replenish the military materiel expended in that violation of international law and crime against humanity.

    Then there are the members of administrations in so-called institutes of higher learning who cravenly have also sold their souls to the same corrupting lobby.

    • Andrew Nichols
      March 30, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      If the Russians sought the level of control over the US Govt that the Israelis have, all hell would break out.

      • Bill Bodden
        March 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm

        One of the great ironies in the U.S.-Israel relationship is that the “greatest nation ever in the history of the world” is also the dog at the end of the tail wagged by Israel.

  6. mike k
    March 30, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Israel: America’s evil twin. Of course not everyone living there is evil, some are really good people. When we say Israel or America, we often are referring to the demented government/military/economic complex that sets the policies of that country.

  7. mike k
    March 30, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    It often happens that the most powerful and persuasive members of a nation gain control of it’s affairs, and then corrupted by the power they have gained, they plunge the state and all living in it into horrible deeds of war and persecution. The only recourse left to those citizens choosing to follow a more peaceful course, is to remove the power maddened leaders from their dominant positions. And this necessity often means those citizens must resort to the very violent means that they abhor, in the hope that a new government will turn to the ways of peace. And how often has that hope been dashed when the new rulers become corrupted just as their predecessors had been, and the whole sad drama begins to unfold again. The history of Athens reflects this archetypal pattern clearly.

    Our task today is to find a way out of this recurrent cycle, before it destroys everything through the means science has provided us.

    • Lois Gagnon
      March 30, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Power drives humans to do things they would otherwise not consider doing. Hierarchy is the vehicle they ride to achieve power. Maybe we need to eliminate the vehicle.

  8. March 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    A very good article, Marjorie Cohn, showing that BDS is having an effect and Israel knows it. Friends and I in Massachusetts have boycotted Israel for a number of years since becoming aware of the BDS movement through Boston College’s “Truth and Justice Radio” on WBZ. With the attempts to label such websites as “fake news”, the information BDS makes available on Israeli products may be monitored. Andrew Cuomo in NY has introduced a partial boycott of any business supporting BDS, not sure how effective this has been; I think he had legislation introduced to crack down on BDS.

    I can’t remember where I saw a photo of John McCain at a holy site in Jerusalem, wearing a yarmulke, head bowed as if praying, looking oh so sanctimonious. The same McCain who would like to bomb Iran and Russia. Israel gets a free pass, Netanyahu even addressed Congress. Putin is called a thug by McCain. It is John McCain who is a thug.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 30, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      It is John McCain who is a thug.

      And that is putting it in a very mild term. The man and his little sidekick from South Carolina are barbarians of the first order. Not surprising in McCain’s case when you consider how his father was in the lead betraying the crew of the USS Liberty after they were killed and wounded by Israeli air and naval forces. – http://dissidentvoice.org/July2004/Hughes0712.htm

      • Zachary Smith
        March 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        The man and his little sidekick from South Carolina are barbarians of the first order.

        I suspect you unjustly slander barbarians with this statement. Nearly pure evil is in a different category altogether.

        • Bill Bodden
          March 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm

          … unjustly slander barbarians,,,

          You do have a point there, Zachary.

  9. Marko
    March 30, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Israel can push back against the BDS movement , but the resulting blowback may render their actions futile. My own interest in participating in BDS initially centered on finding companies that were active and harmful only in the occupied territories. I’ve already changed my focus due to Israel’s continuation of their atrocious behavior – now anything ” Made in Israel ” is on my shitlist. And I can escalate further if necessary – Think : ” Anything In Any Way Associated With Jews , Worldwide “.

    Is that what Bibi wants ? He can push back all he wants , but he can’t control how individual consumers direct their spending.

    Would the type of escalation I’m suggesting be anti-semitic ? Yes , precisely so. That’s the point. Be careful what you wish for , Bibi.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 30, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      ” Anything In Any Way Associated With Jews , Worldwide “.

      I share your sentiment, Marko, but your framing, unfortunately, includes the good people of Jewish heritage of which there are many. Better ” Anything In Any Way Associated With right-wing Israeli racists and their supporters, Worldwide “. Supporters would include almost everyone in Congress.

      • March 30, 2017 at 8:26 pm

        “Zionists” would be simplest

  10. Virginia Jones
    March 31, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Great article! And it is very good to see that the BDS movement is working. I hope Palestinians don’t suffer because of it but I am afraid they will. Eventually the world will stop buying into the line that no one can comment on the Israeli treatment of Palestinians or the old ‘anti-semitic’ will come out. Enough!!

  11. Vera
    March 31, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Keep boycotting! Don’t give up! israel has brought this upon itself so stop blaming others. I’ve been boycotting israel long before BDS got even started.

  12. Fergus Hashimoto
    April 1, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Barghouti & Co are merely stalking horses for Islamo-Fascism.

  13. April 4, 2017 at 5:50 am

    The “Virtuous” New Nazis

    Source: gatestoneinstitute.org/8921/virtuous-new-nazis

    by Giulio Meotti September 17, 2016 at 5:00 am https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8921/virtuous-new-nazis

    Instead of worrying about Islamist terrorism and Molenbeek, Brussels’ nest of jihadists, there are racists in Europe who want to crush Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

    They all falsely claim to be a “peaceful”, using “economic means” to correct “wrongs” in the Palestinian territories. However, they never seem to try to correct any of the wrongs of the corrupt, repressive governments of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza, or even to advocate there for a free press, for the rule of law or for building a stable economy. Their true, racist motives are unmasked.

    The pre- or post-1967 lines are only an alibi for these new Nazis. Many consider Israel in its entirety illegal, immoral, or both — even though Jews have lived on that land for 3,000 years — part of it is even called Judea. Their appetite for accusing Jews of having the audacity to “occupy” their own historical, Biblical land only reveals their collusion the darkest lies of Islamic extremists, who are trying to destroy the indigenous Christian Copts in their native land of Egypt, and the indigenous Assyrian Christians whom we see being slaughtered throughout the Middle East. Should the French be accused of “occupying” Gaul? Just look at any map of “Palestine,” which blankets the entire state of Israel: to many Palestinians, all of Israel is a single giant settlement that has to be dismantled.

    Meet the packs of new Nazis, posing as Righteousness and Virtue, pursuing new exterminationist policies against Israel and, right after that, the Jews.

    “In Nazi Germany,” noted Brendan O’Neill in the Wall Street Journal, “it was all the rage to make one’s town

    Judenfrei.”

    “Now a new fashion is sweeping Europe: to make one’s town or city what we might call ‘Zionistfrei’ — free of the products and culture of the Jewish state. Across the Continent, cities and towns are declaring themselves ‘Israel-free zones,’ insulating their citizens from Israeli produce and culture. It has ugly echoes of what happened 70 years ago.”

    The Nazis said “kauft nicht bei Juden”: do not buy from Jews. The slogan of these new racists is ” kauft nicht beim Judenstaat”: do not buy from the Jewish State. The Nazis repeated ” Geh nach Palästina, du Jud”: Go to Palestine, you Jew. Racists in Europe shout “Jews out of Palestine!”

    Let us take a look at who they are. The city council of Leicester, for one, recently approved banning products “made in Israel.” Think of that: a city without Israeli products. This is not Nazi Germany in 1933; this is a British city under Labour leadership in 2016. Two Welsh councils, Swansea and Gwynedd, blocked commercial partnerships with Israeli companies. In Dublin, a well-known restaurant, Exchequer, decided not to use the Israeli products. The Irish town of Kinvara became “Israel-free”. In Spain, the town of Villanueva de Duero no longer distributes Israeli water in its public buildings. The French city of Lille froze an agreement with the Israeli town of Safed.

    Boycotting products made by Jews, now, and then.

    Under racist pressure, Brussels Airlines , a Belgian airline partially owned by Lufthansa, decided that it will not serve anymore the Israeli Achva brand halva dessert. An activist of the Palestine Solidarity Movement flying from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to Brussels found himself eating the dessert produced in Israel. This Nazi-lite complained to the airline, which quickly removed the sweet (after an outcry, the airline reversed the decision). Instead of worrying about Islamist terrorism and Molenbeek, Brussels’ nest of jihadists, there are racists in Europe who want to crush Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

    An early case of trying to destroy Israel through economic means occurred in 1980, when L’Oreal had bought the Helena Rubinstein cosmetics company. Arab regimes had threatened to truncate the lucrative relationships with the multinational companies if they did not cut ties with Israel. Instead of rejecting the blackmail, L’Oreal bowed to the blackmail. Today, this antisemitism is not led by either Arab states or Western states. France, for example, recently outlawed calls to single out Israel for boycotts. Today’s hate campaign and these Nazi policies are now largely led by universities, trade unions, businesses, and hypocritical so-called “human rights” groups, as well as other NGOs.

    And, shamefully, churches. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), on August 11, 2016 called on the U.S. government to end all aid to Israel and embrace tactics to destroy the country by economic means. Last winter, the US Methodist Church also unchristianly divested from five Israeli banks.

    They all falsely claim to be a “peaceful”, using “economic means” to correct “wrongs” in the Palestinian territories. However, they never seem to try to correct any of the wrongs of the corrupt, repressive governments of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza, or even to advocate there for a free press, for the rule of law or for building a stable economy. Their true, racist motives are unmasked. They are simply coordinating with the violent strategy of Palestinians and Muslim fundamentalists in the West — those who have repeatedly refused to make peace with Israel for seven decades and have chosen terrorism instead.
    This asymmetrical war, for the first time since the Holocaust and the wholesale slaughter of six million Jews, also recently shattered a German taboo. Apparently, for some Germans, the old bloodlust never went away — it merely slept. The teachers’ union in the city of Oldenburg just published an article in its September magazine calling for “a complete boycott of the Jewish State,” according to the Jerusalem Post, “the first call to boycott Israel or Jews from a German organized labor group since the Holocaust.” To its belated credit, on September 5, the Oldenburg teachers’ union apologized, labeling the boycott “a big mistake” and “anti-Semitic.”

    The European Union signed an agreement with Morocco, which has a territorial dispute with Algeria, but nevertheless enshrined its right to exploit the resources of Western Sahara; no campaign was launched to protest it. And we have not heard any protests against Turkey for its occupation of Northern Cyprus or its wholesale imprisonment of dissidents, journalists or academics. No, the boycott policy is solely against the Jewish State, which boasts one of the highest levels of academic freedom, press freedom and equality under the law on the planet. They do this in the “3-D” ways noted by the true advocate of human rights, the Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky, in his The Case For Democracy:

    Double standard: targeting only Israel from among the 200 territorial disputes, from Tibet to Ukraine.

    Demonization: comparing Israel’s actions to Nazis when it is really the people doing the comparing who should be compared to Nazis.

    Delegitimization: denying the right of Israel to exist.

    The racist hypocrisy is as transparent as it is perfidious.

    They are also subjecting Israel’s academia to a “silent” neo-Nazi campaign from unprincipled universities: extend fewer invitations, reject more articles, and use the standards of the Third Reich Nuremberg Laws to exclude participation by Jews. Syracuse University just disinvited from a conference Simon Dotan, a Jewish professor from New York University and award-winning filmmaker, who was born in Romania, raised in Israel and is living in the US. Commentator Caroline Glick noted:

    “Hamner’s decision had nothing to do with the quality of Dotan’s work. She admitted as much…

    Dotan was disinvited because he is Israeli and because the title of his film, The Settlers, does not make it immediately apparent whether he reviles the half million Israeli Jews who live in Judea and Samaria sufficiently.”

    Others in the world of academia who have approved these neo-Nazi measures include the British historian Catherine Hall and, disgracefully, the severely disabled Stephen Hawking, who is able to speak thanks only to an Israeli voice device.

    This academic boycott campaign began when Oren Yiftachel, a scholar at the Ben Gurion University, had an academic a paper rejected by the journal Political Geography. The rejection came with a note informing him that the magazine could not accept a submission from “Israel,” and his paper was returned unopened. The publishing house St. Jerome Manchester, specializing in translations, refused to send academic volumes to the Bar Ilan University in Israel. The British magazine, Dance Europe, refused to publish an article about the Israeli choreographer Sally Anne Friedland; Richard Seaford declined to review a book for the Israeli magazine, Antiquity Scripta Classica Israelica. A professor of pathology at Oxford University, Andrew Wilkie, rejected an application by Amit Duvshani, a doctoral student at Tel Aviv University. Wilkie wrote in his rejection: “no way would I take on somebody who had served in the Israeli army.”

    These neo-Nazis spread their message at universities, churches, businesses and municipalities. They adopt measures such as teachers’ petitions, public stalkings, threats of legal action (lawfare), demonstrations in front of shops, and often just violent shouting, intimidation, threats and sit-ins.

    They are, of course, unable to dent the flourishing Israeli economy, but they are clearly trying to fuel a racist climate of suspicion and hostility towards Israel and Jews everywhere. The Swedish Coop has stopped selling

    carbonation machines made by Israel’s SodaStream, while the largest Dutch pension fund, PGGM, withdrew investments from five Israeli financial institutions. Vitens, the largest supplier of drinking water in the Netherlands, cut ties with its Israeli counterpart, Mekorot. The Berlin department store KaDeWe, the largest in Europe, halted sales of Israeli wine (then reversed the decision). The largest cooperative in Europe, the Co- operative Group in the UK, has introduced a discriminatory policy towards Israeli products. McDonald’s has refused to open a restaurant in the Israeli city of Ariel, in Samaria. The University of Johannesburg severed ties with Ben-Gurion University in Israel. Academic unions in the UK and Canada, from doctors to architects, have also supported the new Nuremberg Laws against Israel. Dozens of artists — especially musicians and filmmakers — have, like the original Nazis before them, refused to perform in Israel or have canceled their performances. Many pension funds have divested from Israel. Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, raising questionable “ethical issues”, included Israel’s Bank Hapoalim in a blacklist of companies.

    The pre- or post-1967 lines are only an alibi for these new Nazis. Many consider Israel in its entirety illegal, immoral, or both — even though Jews have lived on that land for 3,000 years — part of it is even called Judea. Their appetite for accusing Jews of having the audacity to “occupy” their own historical, Biblical land only reveals their collusion the darkest lies of Islamic extremists, who are trying to destroy the indigenous Christian Copts in their native land of Egypt, and the indigenous Assyrian Christians whom we see being slaughtered throughout the Middle East. Should the French be accused of “occupying” Gaul? Just look at any map of “Palestine,” which blankets the entire state of Israel: to many Palestinians, all of Israel is a single giant settlement that has to be dismantled.

    Instead of Israel, they would facilitate the creation of another Arab-Islamic state that will suppress freedom of expression for artists, journalists and writers; that will drive away Christians from their homes; that will stone to death homosexuals; that will torture inmates in prisons, that will put to death innocents simply for wishing to convert to Christianity; that will sentence anyone to flogging, prison or death who is even alleged to have said something someone might have found offensive to Islam; that will be oblige women to wear veils and live apart; that will glorify terrorists; that will ban alcohol; that will arrest people for expressing unpopular opinions; that will encourage a new category of Muslim refugees: those who would gladly escape an oppressive and murderous regime.

    These new Nazis serve up, instead of an argument, untrue and deceptive slogans such as “apartheid state”, “occupation”, “repressive”, “violator of international law” (which Israel meticulously is not). Their goal, like that of the original Nazis, is to manipulate people, and instill in them bias and hate against Israel, and just behind this subterfuge, against the Jews.

    Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

    © 2016 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

  14. April 5, 2017 at 12:41 am

    “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another”.
    Nelson Mandela

  15. hillary
    April 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    85% of the world’s Jewish population are Ashkenazi & their DNA is traced to Eastern Europe NOT to the Middle East.

    At the time the Scriptures were written 750 B.C. the population of Jerusalem was about 1,500 people living in rough conditions.

    The Glorious age of “Jewishdom” was only in the imagination of the Jewish writers who were endowed with vivid imaginations.

    Where is the architecture ?

    ” the biblical narrative is a product of the hopes, fears, and ambitions of the kingdom of Judah, culminating in the reign of King Josiah at the end of the seventh century BCE. We will argue that the historical core of the Bible arose from clear political, social, and spiritual conditions and was shaped by the creativity and vision of extraordinary women and men. Much of what is commonly taken for granted as accurate history — the stories of the patriarchs, the Exodus, the conquest of Canaan, and even the saga of the glorious united monarchy of David and Solomon — are, rather, the creative expressions of a powerful religious reform movement that flourished in the kingdom of Judah in the Late Iron Age. Although these stories may have been based on certain historical kernels, they primarily reflect the ideology and the world-view of the writers. We will show how the narrative of the Bible was uniquely suited to further the religious reform and territorial ambitions of Judah during the momentous concluding decades of the seventh century BCE…

    http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/f/finkelstein-bible.html

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