Tuesday, 8 September 2009

More on boycott

I received quite a few emails commenting on my last blog, (Why do some Israelis call the world to boycott Israel?) Some of them questioned the efficacy of a boycott. The point I tried to raise was not the effectiveness and efficiency of boycotts. What I am interested in is:

1. Does Israel’s occupation of the West Bank justify a boycott and if so what kind of boycott.

2. Is it legitimate to do as Dr. Neve Gordon has done and “attack” one’s own country abroad?

Uri Avnery, the seasoned and well-respected Israeli left-wing politician and publicist, advocates not a general boycott on the State of Israel but rather a specific boycott on the product of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories.

He writes: “Some 11 years ago, the Gush Shalom movement, in which I am active, called for a boycott of the product of the settlements. Its intention was to separate the settlers from the Israeli public, and to show that there are two kinds of Israelis. The boycott was designed to strengthen those Israelis who oppose the occupation, without becoming anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic.” See LINK

This is also the thinking behind last week's decision by the Norwegian government to divest from an Israeli company (Elbit) because of their involvement with the “Separation Fence” that is being built on Palestinian land.


  1. But the separation fence has a purpose, which is not to oppress Palestinians and rob them of their orchards, but to protect Israelis from terror attacks. It has been largely successful in this so far.

  2. More Israelis, and Jews in the US, should call for or join the boycott, even if a boycott is not the right thing. Calling for it indicates how desperate one is.

  3. I can`t help wondering:
    Even if this is only the lunatic fringe of Israel`s society, is there not a considerable degree of decadence about people striving to boycott themselves? (Irrespective of one`s view about the settlements)

    Moreover the irony is that most of the people who proclaiming these ingenious schemes seem to be state-employed. They have no compunctions about receiving salaries from their much hated government.

  4. The idea of a partial boycott is appealing, more appealing would be the realization by Israel´s leadership that even they can make mistakes; criticism can be constructive. The same goes for members of other hypersenitive groups such as the primitive Christians, Islamists and followers of Moses who like to turn sectoral narrowmindedness into stupidity.