Wednesday, August 15, 2007

SF Chronicle: Israel "ripe for boycott"

The author is George Bisharat. We're seeing this sort of thing with increasing frequency in left-leaning newspapers:
. . . "the worst first" has never been the rule for whom to boycott. Had it been, the Pol Pot regime, not apartheid South Africa, would have been targeted in the past. It was not - Cambodia's ties to the West were insufficient to make any embargo effective. Boycotting North Korea today would be similarly futile. Should every other quest for justice be put on hold as a result? [...]

What state actions should trigger a boycott? Expelling or intimidating into flight a country's majority population, then denying them internationally recognized rights to return to their homes? Israel has done that.

Seizing, without compensation, the properties of hundreds of thousands of refugees? Israel has done that.

Systematically torturing detainees, many held without trial? Israel has done that.

Assassinating its opponents, including those living in territories it occupies? Israel has done that.

Demolishing thousands of homes belonging to one national group, and settling its own people in another nation's land? Israel has done that. No country with such a record, whether first or 50th worst in the world, can credibly protest a boycott.[...]
How do you like "Expelling or intimidating into flight a country's majority population" as a description of the '48 war? And coupling home demolitions with settlement is a cute trick. I guess those demolitions were to make room for settlements! The editorial talks a lot about South Africa, commenting "The opprobrium suffered by white South Africans unquestionably helped persuade them to yield to the just demands of the black majority."

What are the Palestinians' "just demands"? What would Israel have to do, exactly, to yield to Bisharat's boycott? Withdraw to the '67 borders? Doesn't that only get them a hudna? White South Africans comprised a small minority of the population of a large country, and it was expected that they would simply relinquish power. They were expected to recognize, in other words, that they had no right to self-determination as Whites. I think that is often part of the appeal of comparing Israel to South Africa. It enables one to call for Israel's dissolution without having to state it openly.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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