Why Zionists should support critics of the Israeli Occupation

Nathan Geffen
Opinion
Shaul and Yuli Novak are two Israeli Defence Force veterans with the organisation Breaking the Silence. They are currently visiting South Africa, giving talks and promoting a book. Breaking the Silence publishes testimonies by Israeli soldiers of their actions, many of them human rights violations, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Shaul is a strictly observant orthodox Jew who is committed to Israel. Yet he is reviled by many of his Jewish countrymen because he speaks out against and exposes the awfulness of the Israeli Occupation.

He says that just as he wants a state and civil rights for his people, so the Palestinians should have the same. Many Zionists say this too, but in contrast to most, Shaul and Novak mean it and are dedicating their lives to achieving it. Shaul and Novak are confident that it is still possible to move the several hundred thousand Israeli settlers out of the OPT so that a Palestinian state is viable.

How to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a question that troubles many in South Africa. Not only is it a subject close to the hearts of Muslims, Jews and others, but Israel's policies in the OPT are compared the world over to apartheid.

The Palestinians in the OPT live under the dictatorship of a foreign army of occupation. They have severe restrictions on their movements and rights. They have to use separate roads and amenities to Israeli settlers. They have no meaningful franchise. They are severely oppressed, and the Occupation continues unabated, with new Jewish settlements being approved all the time by the Israeli government. This is why Israel is a pariah state and why many people, myself included, roll our eyes when Israel's supporters proudly proclaim that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.

There is a vociferous and even acrimonious debate among those opposed to the oppression of Palestinians. On the one hand, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has three goals:

  • End of occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands including the dismantling of the infamous wall that runs through much of the West Bank;

  • Full equality and rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel; and

  • Promotion of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

Outspoken critics of Israel, Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky, have criticised the BDS movement. They argue that these three demands would result in the end of Israel, although the BDS movement does not explicitly acknowledge this, which Finkelstein says is dishonest.

The fulfillment of these demands would result in a single state in which Palestinians, supplemented by returning refugees, would outnumber the Jews and thereby end the Jewish state (in fact Palestinians might already be a majority if Israel is combined with the OPT).

Finkelstein, as far as I understand, explains that these demands mix up issues (such as the rights of Palestinians in Israel versus the demand for statehood by those in the OPT), go beyond what international law requires, and are incapable of mustering sufficient international political support. They won't fly and are unrealistic. On the other hand, Finkelstein argues, there is an opportunity now to demand the end to the Occupation and that opportunity shouldn't be undermined by an unrealistic political campaign.

Doron Isaacs, a South African, points out that while it is fair to characterise the situation, especially in the OPT, as apartheid, the analogy only goes so far: in contrast to blacks under apartheid, Palestinians appear to have no prospect of becoming the majority in Israeli cities.

The development of a single -- albeit highly unequal -- society in South Africa, which developed in spite of apartheid, and made separation impossible, is unlikely in Israel/Palestine.

The precondition for a South African solution is therefore absent, says Isaacs, and Palestinians are unlikely to mobilise for it. He says he supports the creation of a Palestinian state as the only practical way to advance equality and human rights in the present. Despite his unequivocal support for two states, Isaacs has been labelled a Jewish anti-semite by the rabbi of South Africa's largest synagogue.

In response, it can be argued that it is doubtful that a Palestinian state is viable, that the Palestinians inside Israel will continue to be oppressed, and that the BDS movement is slowly generating worldwide support. Finkelstein has responses to all these points which you can listen to. (See "Finkelstein on BDS" part 1 and part 2. For the BDS view, see Omar Barghouti's The BDS movement explained.)

The debate is a complex one and I am not yet sure where I stand. While I am a part of the Jewish community, I am an atheist and I have no attachment to the idea of a Jewish state. In contrast to what Zionists argue, I am sceptical that a Jewish state makes Jews safer.

But I respectfully suggest this to people who do want a Jewish state to continue existing and who would like that state to be democratic and not a pariah. Israel has a clear choice. If the Occupation does not end, and soon, Israel will continue to be a pariah state indefinitely. If the settlers entrench themselves further and the West Bank becomes a de facto part of Israel and Palestinians living there are not allowed to vote for the Knesset, not even Zionists will be able to argue that Israel is a democracy with a straight face.

Of course, if Palestinians are given the vote, the end of the Jewish state is a certainty. (I don't lose sleep over this, but Zionists should.) The longer the Occupation continues, the greater the risk to a viable democratic Israeli state.

In contrast to Zionist propaganda people like Yehuda Shaul, Yuli Novak, Doron Isaacs, Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky are not the enemies of Israel; what they support is the only reasonable option if a democratic Jewish state, accepted by most of the world, is to remain viable.

On 24 August, this article was updated with a link to an article by Omar Barghouti.

Comments

Submitted by Willie Paterson on

Maybe it is because you are an atheist that you are so clueless. What does the word democracy mean to you. Shooting people when they protest against their government as we see on a daily basis in the Arab countries? Why so silent?
Are you aware that Arab Israeli's serve in the Israeli parliament and are you also aware that a prominent Palestinian leader said that a future Palestinian state will be Jew free? Perhaps, that is your understanding of a democracy.

Submitted by Ruby Lee on

Hi Willie, it looks as though Mr Geffen is totally ignorant of facts, probably because he is an atheist and presumably doesn't know the bible. Archeology proves that the bible is not just a bunch of stories and also proves over and over again that the Jewish people were in the lands of Judea thousands of years ago. Click on
www.nbcnews.com/science/bowl-2-700-year-old-hebrew-inscription-dug-bibli...
and see how facts prove that the indigenous peoples of the area are the Jewish people, way before Arabs or the development of the Muslim religion.
Therefore, Mr Geffen and his ilk, if they really do stand for human rights, should be demanding the rights of the Jewish people to return to their lands in the same way that the African people have been allowed to return to their lands.

Submitted by Jacques on

Palestinians are Semites too. There are abuses on both sides. This isn't a case of "these people have it worse than those" or "these people have done worse things than those". It's simply that the situation as it exists now is untenable, and the Zionist perspective does not allow for a lasting solution. Your "argument", Willie, does nothing to solve the problem. Apparently you can't even admit that there is one.

Submitted by Willie Paterson on

Jacques, the Palestinians will do well by doing two things: 1. reconciliation among themselves and 2. reconsider their Charters. You might get a better understanding when you read both Fatah and Hamas' Charters. You might then also understand the risk Israel take to negotiate with such parties for the sake of lasting peace. It takes two to tango.

Submitted by Jacques on

Organisations like Breaking the Silence have shown that the Zionist strategy brutalizes everyone, including the young Israelis who are forced or coerced into committing immoral acts that shame them.
Your position may be "it takes two to tango", but meanwhile the Zionists have walled in the dance-floor and posted "Zionists Only" signs.

Submitted by Danny Kedar on

And what of the responsibilities of the PA? When ever, I present BDS supporters with strong evidence, that suggests, that the PA struggle, involves taking over the whole of Israel, something that they announce on their TV and radio stations daily, and therefore, the 2 state solution is one big step, in making it impossible for Israel to defend its borders, BDS dismiss this information, as either propaganda or irrelevant. Secondly, the BDS narrative differs across many countries. Part of Norman Finkelstiens criticism towards BDS, is that BDS, and especially BDS South Africa, demand a 1 state solution, which will be a Palestinian state. Therefore, BDS South Africa, disagree with the establishment and existence of the State of Israel. Finkelstein, also a big critic against Israel, argues, that these demands by BDS will never be respected by the international community.

An open letter to Nathan Geffen regarding the article:

"Why Zionists should support critics of the Israeli Occupation" - http://tinyurl.com/koum9dz

Dear Nathan Geffen,

All the individuals you cite in your article are Jewish Anti-Semites as we will clearly illustrate. With your permission, we will break up your article into its two main points for the benefit of the readers.

"Breaking the Silence" (BtS)
Your article starts with BtS and you afford credibility to Shaul and Novak for having served in the IDF. The writer of this response also served in the IDF yet claims no credit for that. Shaul's religious convictions do not afford him any credit either, the opposite in fact, they discredit him. Had Shaul learned that "he who saves a life, it is as if he saved the whole world", then he'd know that the logical opposite is true too, of taking life, and Shaul's rhetoric puts Jewish lives on the line (below). Claims of Shaul and Novak's "dedication" and "commitment[s]" to Israel are completely bankrupt and thus justifiably "reviled by many Jewish countrymen". Had their motivations been as pure as you claim, they would be fighting the apparent injustices within the system and country. They are both so impotent that, instead of bettering the world from within, they find gullible audiences out of the system who are willing to part with some cash to join an Israel bashing fiasco. Do you really hold that BtS's appearance before Pastor Ndlozi's sheep at a Methodist church in SA will help an Israeli soldier more clearly distinguish between lawful and unlawful behaviour?

Add funding by dodgy vicious Anti-Israel NGO organizations (see NGO monitor), and all you are left with is, a money making scam wrapped in IDF uniform and a beard. While you at it, you might also notice that even the far left Ha'aretz newspaper, says that BtS "seems more of interest to its members than seeking justice for injustices.” (h/t Steve Apfel). Shaul and Novak can remain confident of moving several hundred thousands of people, but not Israelis, only those who belong to the Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic crowd.

How does this make them Anti-Semites you surely ask, right?

Free speech is a bastion of democracy and a right which is protected by law. With rights come responsibilities, and free speech and opinion are not without limits. Jews and Israelis welcome free speech and debate; however when it means "speaking out" the responsibilities are tenfold. You ever ask yourself why they cannot "speak IN", to policy makers, perpetrators? By all means, "break the silence", but be very cautious to whom, when and how. We doubt that Shaul and Novak are aware of the intricacies of SA politics, South African Anti-Semitism and the recent Reshef concert incident and Israel Independence Day disruptions. They do not care and neither do you. However true their accounts of Israeli soldier human rights violations might be, it is irrelevant – they are engaging with Anti-Israel elements and inciting hate and ultimately, violence against Jews, as has already been documented. They do not and will not be held responsible for legitimizing the masses to call for violence. Expressing opinion is by definition to an audience, and it is the incumbent responsibility of the speaker to carefully consider the audience's potential response and no less, the perceived opinion. If the opinions or actions endanger or turn violent, the limit has been overstepped. If free speech fans the flames of Anti-Semitism then it is Anti-Semitism perpetrated by Anti-Semites.

Civil rights, Pariah State & BDS
Typically, all Anti-Israel/Semitic movements and critics only provide one-frame snapshots of a situation. Yes, the Palestinians have a lousy life and are subject to restrictions. You fail to explain or even hint as to why? Perhaps you have not asked yourself this question either. In the battle between civil rights and the accompanying responsibilities, the Palestinians have failed. They continue to support and endorse terror, so as a result, their victims have restricted their movement. This is an acceptable democratic response to un-democratic terror. It is incredulous that you expect democracy from only Israel and "roll [y]our eyes" at Israel's democracy in the Middle East. Did you roll your eyes at Hamas throwing PLO members off high-rise buildings? Are you rolling your eyes at Syria, gay rights, women's rights, freedom of religion rights in the Middle East? No, you are not. You conveniently prioritise Israel without considering the unique problems in the bad neighbourhood called the Middle East.

Since you do not reside in Israel, nor served in the IDF, nor have to make field decisions, all the subjects in your article border on academic/theory only. As a result theoretically, BDS is as morally corrupt as BtS. No BDS supporter really boycotts Israel, nor can they. Figure out why, yourself.

As someone who is undecided regarding Israeli issues and suffices by quoting Anti-Semites, you sure have a lot of audacity to publish a disingenuous article. Your religious convictions and skepticism are also of no interest to anyone. We don't quite understand the reason for saying that you "are part of the Jewish community" when you are a self-proclaimed atheist, don't lose sleep over the end of a Jewish state and don't know if a Jewish State keeps Jews safer. There is no extra credibility in all the above unless it is necessary for coining from your funding sources. Rubbing shoulders with Anti-Semitic individuals, organisations and those that fan the flames of Anti-Semitism --- IS ANTI-SEMITISM.

Spotlighting - ONE AT A TIME
[email protected]

Submitted by Jacques on

As always, this comment uses the phrase "Jewish Anti-Semites" to refer to "any Jewish person who criticizes Israel or disagrees with the Zionist point of view".

Zionists frequently claim that anyone who disagrees with them doesn't represent "the full picture", but this is deeply hypocritical. Due to the complexity of the situation, and the long history, it will always be possible to say "AHA! But you didn't talk about this or that or the other issue". It is a rhetorical strategy of subterfuge, distraction, and insinuation that is deeply unethical.

For people who benefit from the status quo, it will always be easier to find a historical precedent that excuses any number of continuing abuses than it would be to admit the problems and work towards a solution.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Nathan, thank you for writing this. Shaul and Yuli Novak, and the rest of BTS are brave men; far braver than I. You have to be a brave man, and awake - to stand up and speak truth to power and popular opinion. I really was not awake, nor brave, when I followed the rest of the intake sheep-like through national service.

It also must take some bravery as a man, culturally Jewish, to write of these things - in the face of the inevitable venom, and the dismay of your family and community. It must be ironic - to have "anti-Semitic" thrown at you - when you can clearly see that the path of vitriol and hate is the very thing that is destroying the Zionist dream.

How ignorant the suggestion that you know nothing as an atheist. Rather: how pitiful the view that religious knowledge is all there is to life - and how squalid to chain themselves to one particular religious philosophy. How ignorant the belief that the bible is completely supported by archaeology.

When will they wake up and recognise there is a shared blood heritage among most men of the region?

"In a study of Israeli and Palestinian Muslim Arabs, more than 70% of the Jewish men and 82% of the Arab men whose DNA was studied, had inherited their Y chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors, who lived in the region within the last few thousand years" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_studies_on_Jews

"Arabs and Jews are essentially a single population, and that Palestinians are slap bang in the middle of the different Jewish populations " http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/2009/01/shared-genetic-heritage-of-j...

We are all cousins in blood - and some are closer than others. Time to stop the hatred and occupation - and treat all as humans with rights. Time to recognise that those promoting peaceful resolution have a far more valid point than those promoting aggression. Time to recognise that neither side has clean hands, and the longer this attrition continues - the dirtier each side becomes. But that's awfully hard to do with religious blinkers on.

Submitted by Allan Wolman on

You talk of the end of the colonization of Arab ‘lands’ but please explain where these Arab ‘lands’ are and who has the rightful claim to these ‘lands’.
Very clear in your opinion as all these lands (the whole of Israel) are Arab lands. But Nathan would you not concede that in most of that land – yes Israel and those occupied territories (and beyond) have had a Jewish presence since biblical times. OK understood you are an atheist so you don’t buy what the bible tells us but there is irrefutable scientific proof that the Jewish people occupied those “lands” from before history was recorded.
Perhaps you might want to explain who the Palestinians are? Prior to 1948 the Palestinians were in fact Jewish (since Roman times). There was a hotchpotch of various Arabs, Turks, Egyptians and others that made up the non Jewish population of the ‘land’ you refer to. The Palestinian people only came into being after the 1967 war. And prior to that date there was never a claim for a Palestinian state – there was indeed and only a determination to drive the Jews from the ‘land’ but no aspiration for a Palestinian state.
I would therefore argue that the Jews have a stronger claim to those ‘lands’. I would also argue your first point of the three BDS demands you mention. Your second point doesn’t warrant debate all I can say is examine the statute books on the State. Your third point is covered above as to who has claim to those ‘lands’.
Now I together with probably the majority of Israeli’s would like to see an end to the occupation and a viable two state solution. This statement must therefore imply that the majority of Zionists are critical of the occupation.
The problem is that the only party that does not want an end to the occupation are the Palestinians. And what would an end to the occupation bring? The end of victimhood, the end to an enormous industry employing thousands of people around the world all aligned to the anti Israel camp. The end to the subliminal anti Semitism, veiled under the guise of the likes of those in that camp. It would also bring an end to the millions of dollars of donor monies that flow into the coffers of a corrupt leadership. You see Nathan an end to the occupation is in nobody’s interest except Israel. I agree that the occupation is terribly detrimental to Israel and that is exactly the point – why would the Palestinians want an end to anything that is detrimental to Israel?
Now Nathan I note you concerns for justice for the Palestinian peoples however you are not honest in your argument for justice. Your concern seems to be for only a section of the Palestinians peoples and not all those unfortunate folk. You seem to forget those Palestinians in Lebanon suffering under a system far worse that what we ever experienced here in S.Africa under apartheid or of course those Palestinian caught in the crossfire of the Syrian conflict. If you quest were an honest endeavor and your concern sincere there are many who would support your narrative but your dishonesty exposes your hypocrisy.
I leave you with one thought. In 1967 there was not one single institution of higher learning in either Gaza or the West Bank. Today under the brutal occupation there are 7 Universities in Gaza and 13 in the West Bank (my source being Wikipedia). How many universities are the Palestinians living in Lebanon allowed to attend?

Submitted by Jacques on

Please provide evidence for your claim that "the only party that does not want an end to the occupation are the Palestinians". This sounds like complete balderdash.

Submitted by Allan Wolman on

Try reading what I wrote again and you will see the evidence you seek.
I will however give you one other piece of evidence:
You might recall last year when that “charade of bias dressed up as impartiality” called The Russell Tribunal on Palestine held their Cape Town 'sitting" you will recall how many 'witnesses' and 'jury' members visited Cape Town - housed in 5 star hotels and travelling business and first class. Terrific freebee and what better city than Cape Town in the summer.
No occupation no free first class travel, generous substance allowances, 5 star hotels and free holiday’s.
Oh Jacques on other thing – Arafat died with assets in excess of some billions of dollars – no occupation – no donor monies flowing into the pockets of those corrupt leaders. Need more evidence?

Submitted by Jacques on

Well done ignoring the point of my comment.
You still have provided no evidence for the statement that "the only party that does not want an end to the occupation are the Palestinians".
To do so, you would need to prove that (1) EVERYONE else wants to end the occupation and (2) that Palestinians do NOT want to end the occupation. It is impossible to prove the second, not only because it would requiring proving a negative but also because it is patently false.

Submitted by Allan Wolman on

Well Jacques you are correct I would have trouble PROVING the second point but all that I have detailed points that way – logic also points that way. So tell me if there is no occupation what does all the anti Israel groups like BDS etc do? They go out of business and the lobbyists loose their jobs, don’t they? The EU and other Arab monies dry up, doesn’t it?
But lets concentrate on your first point - did I write EVERYONE ELSE? I think not. If you read what I wrote – ‘an end to the occupation is in nobody’s interest except Israel’ i.e. only Israel wants and end. Understand now?

Submitted by Jacques on

Your comment that "the only party that does not want an end to the occupation are the Palestinians" implies that everyone else supports it. Otherwise the statement is unfounded.

This is what logic means.

So, again: you need to explain exactly who everyone else is who does support an end to occupation. (For example, does this include all Jewish people, or only Jewish Zionists, or only Jewish Zionists living in Israel? Does this include non-Zionist Jewish people?)

You also need to explain what you mean by "Palestinians". Do you mean Palestinians who support Hamas? How about Palestinians who don't support Hamas? Do you mean the Palestinian National Authority? How about Palestinian shopkeepers, school teachers, school children, university students, cab drivers? Do you mean Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories, or Palestinians living abroad, or Palestinian representatives in Israel's Parliament?

Then, once you have made it clear what you mean, you would need to provide some kind of evidence to support your claim to be able to describe the interests of every single one of those groups in your horrifically oversimplified comment that "the only party that does not want an end to the occupation are the Palestinians".

By the way, since you seem to be obtuse: A number of vague insinuations and allegations that you say "point a certain way" does not qualify as evidence. But then you have shown to be particularly adverse to logical thinking on this subject.

Submitted by Allan Wolman on

Tell you what Jacques, figure it out yourseld and use a bit of imagination

Submitted by Jacques on

Using your imagination might be enough for you, but I like my arguments to have a grounding in logic and observable reality, too. Your facetiousness is a good indication that you don't take logical argument seriously and are content to embrace your most paranoid fantasies without recourse to logic or responsibility.

Submitted by Spotlighting SA on

Jacque,

You obviously did not read the letter or conveniently chose to distort. The letter specifically mentions that free speech and debate are welcomed, always, but when it is used to incite violence or does incite violence, then that is a breach of the limits of free speech.
Nothing unethical about that.
Unfortunately, to understand anything about the ME, once does have to consider history, complexities and not just present one linear perspective.

Spotlighting

Submitted by Jacques on

What I see when I read your letter is that any debate is welcomed, but only if it is a debate about how the Zionist view is the only correct one, and how to punish Jewish dissenters.
And you will never be able to excuse current immorality by pointing to past injustices, no longer how long the history.

Submitted by Victor Gordon on

Doron, I've read your article several times in order to get the proper gist of it and refer to your final paragraph.

'In contast to Zionist propaganda people like Yehuda Shaul, Yuli Novik, Doron Isaacs, Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky are not the enemies of Israel: what they support is the only reasonable option if a democratic Jewish state, accepted by most of the world, is to remain viable."

I have yet to fully understand what it is that they support, other than the establishment of a viable Palestinian state and the end to occupation. This, of course, is no major epiphony. It is hardly a unique conclusion that requires rocket science. If it is the only viable solution available to achieve a realistic peace I have little doubt that it would receive the almost unanimous support of the Israeli popuplation.

What you continually ignore is what the Palestinians themselves must do to enable Israel to achieve this much desired goal. Nowhere in your article do you make the slightest demand on the Palestinians - it is almost as though they have absolutely no part to play reaching this accomodation. They are merely uninvolved bystanders who patiently wait for Israel to sort out their plight and enable them to have a future without having to lift a finger toachieve it; not even ending the hate-filled propaganda against Jews in PA schools and on PA television (Read the book "Deception" for a comprehensive summary of over 1500 instances compiled by the authors, providing dates and website references.)

What you ignore, Doron, is that the Palestinians (read Arabs) have made it impossible since 1948 for Israel to live side by side in peace and harmony. They have used every trick in the book to attack, undermine and vilify the Jewish state to their supposed advantage only to finally discover that there has been nothing gained in practical terms. All that's left is to appeal to those easily persuaded of Israel's so-called "colonial" aims and other wrong-doings (like yourself) that they are the oppressed victims while Israel is the vicious and willing occupier. Having said that, do you ever ask yourself, "What has Israel gained by "occupying" the West Bank since 1967, both economically and strategically? Why, if she could safely pull out in the knowlege that she could depend on the co-operation of the Palestinians for a viable peace and her own (and their) future security, would she wish to remain in this disasterous situation and face the acrimony of a hostile world?" Perhaps, while you "roll your eyes" at the mention of Israeli democracy, you could name any other country that has striven and managed to establish and maintain so high a level of democracy under the uniquely demanding conditions that Israel faces? Is it perfect? .... no, it isn't ... but it's a darn good example of what can be achieved under the most trying circumstances. Instead of rolling your yes, Doron, you should acknowlege this and offer some words of praise to a country that holds regular elections under conditions that are truly "free and fair", unlike Hamas and the Abbas who have declined to do so, ever since taking power. Sound familiar?

Doron, you are typical of the "feel good" Left who allow their judgement to be ruled by their hearts, not their heads. In doing so you choose to ignore reality and accept the theories that allow you to feel that you are making some sort of meaningful contribution to a situation in which you, yourself are not even involved. The fact that you freely admit that you have no attachment to the idea of a Jewish state and are sceptical that a Jewish state makes Jews safer, just 70 years after the Holocaust, disqualifies you from taking any mature and meaningful part in this debate. Combine this with being an atheist and why should your opinion about matters Jewish count for anything? Why, also should any sensible reader come to any other conclusion that, with so little binding you to the future wealfare of the Jewish state what else can motivate your apathy other than a total disconnect from Jews who identify with the well-being of Israel and their own religious identity?

Do you qualify as an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew? Only you can answer that but your rush to explain how little this identity means to you brings forth some unavoidable questions.

Submitted by Anonymous on

You could start off by getting the most basic fact of the article correct. It is not written by Doron. Are you sure you've read it several times?

Submitted by Allan Wolman on

Instead of being facetious, Anonymous, if you want to enter the debate do so in a constructive manner and instead of hiding behind anonymity be bold enough to put you name to your comments

Submitted by Jacques on

Your fake indignation at the anonymous commentator's supposed facetiousness is hilarious, Allan, considering your much more facetious reply to my comment above. Also, while the comment may have been written in a humorous vein, the point stands: the original commentator didn't bother separating two different articles, which calls into question their ability to check or represent facts.

Submitted by Victor Gordon on

Tushe, Anonymous, you got me! Well done! The thing is, Doron and Nathan have, in my mind, been one of a kind and to compound my unforgiveable error, Nathan refered to Doron in his article. Frankly, it makes little difference whether my remarks are directed to Doron, Nathan, Daniel, Zackie, Heidie-Jane or any of the others who sustain the BDS campaign. They are one and the same. And yes, I did read the article several times whether you wish to believe it or not as, at my age, it takes time to absorb such upside-down thinking.
You see, Anonymous, one of my (many) problems is this:
The people listed above (other than Zackie) are all Jews, either by birth or belief. They represent thousands upon thousands of other Left-wingers with like minds who allow their emotions to cloud reality - the reality being that the threat against Jews generally, has never abated and, if anything, is worse now than it has been since the Holocaust. Therefore, the simple fact is - if ever Jews needed a safe refuge of their own it is now, and if, in securing it, they sometimes find themselves having to behave in a manner that is less than perfect - a manner that is overlooked when it comes to other nations - so be it. They do the best they can under expteremly trying circumstances. Do I wish it were otherwise? Of course I do; but being a realist I believe that our tiny homeland is in a fight for it's very survival. Those who live there must do what they must, unhindered by those of us who sit in comfortable armchairs many thousands of miles distant. If you don't like it, simply stay away. An don't worry that Israel speaks in your name because, frankly, Israel couldn't care a continental whether you approve or not. They have bigger issues to concern themselves with. Whether Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello or anyone else performs there or not will not contribute an iota to their survival. Other than providing you BDS ouks with a moment self-importance and a meaningless, hollow victory, is irrelavent in the greater scheme of things.
The second thing that bothers me is why Israel's detractors are not bothered by the very real fact that, in contrast to the thousands of Jews who openly bemoan the (self-imposed) fate of the Palestinians, there are literally a handful of Muslims who show any concern regarding the fate of the Jews. We are talking of the number of fingers on two hands. Faced with this lack of reciprocity, what makes you believe that a two state solution offers any real possibility of a peace that will be honoured by the Palestinians for any longer than required to take the same advantage of an Israeli withdrawal as happened in Gaza? Other than continually calling for Israel's disengagement from the West Bank what do you guys bring to the table in the form of constructive, practical solutions to the very real problem of trust and security? I don't know whether you have children but, if so, would you be happy to move to Sderot?
I look forward to your comments.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Frankly, it makes little difference whether my remarks are directed to Doron, Nathan, Daniel, Zackie, Heidie-Jane or any of the others who sustain the BDS campaign. They are one and the same"

Many racist and anti-Semitic arguments start from an inability - or an unwillingness - to recognize difference within another group of people. Your own willingness to describe every individual who disagrees with you as dismissively as you do here is appropriate, considering that your entire argument is one based on racist assumptions about a large, disparate group.

Submitted by Victor Gordon on

Anonymous - oh, faceless one ... you have made not the slightest effort to address a single thing I have written. Common - redeem yourself. Please explain how "my entire argument is based on racist assumptions about a large disparate group." What, exactly, does this group consist of and whatare these 'racist assumptions'?

Submitted by Jacques on

Not sure why my name didn't appear above. Not sure why you care, since you don't seem to be very good with names anyway.

You say I have not addressed a single thing you have said. But I quoted something you said verbatim, and then explained my objections to it. Do you seriously not understand, or are you being deliberately obtuse?