Good advice from Israeli official. “Boycotting our illegal settlements is meaningless, you may as well boycott israel” #BDS

Top Israeli official admits that boycotting just the settlements is meaningless

Ron Brummer, executive director of operations for the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, speaking at Bnai Torah synagogue in Atlanta in 2016.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is huge. A professional Israeli propagandist – Ron Brummer, chief of operations in Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Hasbara, has said recently:

Israel does not have two different economic ecosystems, like, Israel within the green line and Israel over the green line. If you want to divest from the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, you have to divest from Israel, which means you boycott Israel completely.”

Brummer spoke at the Israeli American Council on November 5— an organization funded by Sheldon Adelson– in a panel titled “The Real BDS: Bigotry, Discrimination and Slander.”

Brummer’s affirmation cuts through a discussion that has certainly divided waters.

Last year, Todd Gitlin, Peter Beinart, Kai Bird, Peter Brooks, Michael Walzer, Edward Witten, et al., wrote a letter in the New York Review of Books, titled “For an Economic Boycott and Political Nonrecognition of the Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories”. Whilst promoting a “targeted boycott of all goods and services from all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, and any investments that promote the Occupation”, they nonetheless “oppose an economic, political, or cultural boycott of Israel itself as defined by its June 4, 1967, borders” (and they in fact opened the letter with that statement).

In response, Angela Y. Davis, Chandler Davis, Richard A. Falk, Rashid Khalidi, and Alice Rothchild, et al., published a letter (also in the NYRB), which states that they “welcome the statement’s shattering of the taboo against boycotting Israeli entities that are complicit in—at least selective—violations of Palestinian human rights”, and yet noted the very critical problem they had with the letter:

“Defying common sense, however, the statement calls for boycotting settlements while letting Israel, the state that has illegally built and maintained those settlements for decades, off the hook,” they wrote. They wondered, moreover, “shouldn’t Israeli banks that are not based in settlements but finance their construction be targeted as well?”

Two years ago, I had translated a Hebrew Maariv article on my Facebook page, where Israeli bank officials were warning about a “financial-national tsunami”. The article by Ben Caspit noted that “the banks are in panic following a document produced by the research institute facilitating the EU. According to its recommendations, the union must boycott Israeli banks involved in financial activity in the occupied territories”. The upshot of this was further clarified by officials in the Israeli banking system:

“One way or another… it’s necessary to understand what will happen here on the day that it will be decided to ‘credit mark’. When you mark products it can harm part of the market here and there, but when they mark each credit that the bank gives beyond the Green Line [1967 line] and boycott that bank, the meaning of it is a property confiscation warrant on all the banks. The European banking and credit system is inextricably connected to the Israeli economy, no European bank will accompany projects in Israel, it will not be possible to receive credit in Europe and there is nothing we would be able to do about it”.

All of this completely confirms Brummer’s point about Israel having only one economic system, and it’s all invested in the occupation and the settlements anyway.

It’s important to understand just how much Brummer’s admission is ironic, coming from him. He’s a professional propagandist. He wouldn’t want to strengthen the BDS. But his point is, no doubt inadvertently, making a strong point for it, and for abandonment of ‘selective boycotts’. When I say ‘propagandist’, it’s not just vitriol. Reporter Philip Weiss is being semantically correct in describing Brummer as “the executive director for operations of the Israeli Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy”, but that last part, “public diplomacy”, is literally called Hasbara in Hebrew. In Hebrew, that literally means ‘explaining’, but many around the world have come to know the Hebrew term as synonymous with propaganda, just like with the Russian name ‘Pravda’ for the old Soviet state-outlet.  

Brummer’s boss is Minister Gilad Erdan, who, as minister of propaganda, has staged vile and lowly propaganda campaigns, such as the recent one against Marwan Barghouti during the Palestinian prisoner hunger-strike. Erdan’s office is entrusted with the task of combatting BDS globally, which it does by all sorts of means, many of which are admittedly kept secret and best not exposed. Erdan has claimed that “the message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist” and that “they [BDS activists] should know that there will be a price”.

Indeed, Brummer also pointed out that there will be a price – and that was the headline of this site’s coverage: “Want to boycott Israel? Be my guest, there will be a pricetag”. This is a somewhat chilling, even if indirect, hint to ‘pricetag attacks’ by religious-fundamentalist Israeli settlers against Palestinians, supposedly as an act of revenge. The most notorious of these has been the burning alive of the Dawabshe family in Duma in 2015.

Brummer’s bellicose rhetoric reaches ridiculous levels, like when he talks about the ‘carrot and the stick’ in regards to BDS: “With BDS promoters… You always have to use the stick and carrot theory. First you hit them with the stick then you hit them with the carrot” – so even the carrot is a stick, when it comes to BDS. Perhaps Brummer believes that the only language that the non-violent BDS movement understands is force – or perhaps it is the only language that he himself can speak.

As to the ‘selctive boycott’ strategy, the notion has been championed by intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, whom I have challenged recently on this point. As I wrote: 

“This notion, of seeing the settlements as separate to Israel, touches upon a very central issue, concerning responsibility: Is it not fair to say, that the Israeli state is responsible for this occupation, for these settlements? Historical appraisal shows that it is – and that the enactment and maintenance of the settler project has been supported de facto by Israel from right to left. We can then wonder why criticism of Israel, as a whole, is so contentious. If a thief has stolen some items, is it not the thief who is to be regarded as responsible?”

Israeli-British professor Avi Shlaim has recently stated in an interview for Jadaliyya, that he is “in favour of EU sanctions against Israel because Israel fails to live up to the terms of the association agreement it has with EU. The preamble of this agreement says Israel must respect the human rights of all the people under its rule. Israel systematically violates the human rights of the Palestinians and therefore I think and I hope that the EU would suspend this agreement until Israel lives up to its obligations.” 

Shlaim confirmed in that interview that BDS is not merely a strategy – it is the only valid strategy available to Palestinians:

“BDS is a global grass-roots movement which has been gathering support at a very impressive pace and it has had a large number of successes with major companies divesting from Israel. It has also had considerable impact on public opinion throughout the world, delegitimising the Israeli occupation. The Israelis take it very seriously. They have formed a unit with a budget of GBP 40 million in order to fight BDS by launching personal attacks on individuals and delegitimising them rather than engaging with the arguments of BDS. And it seems to me that there is now hope that western governments will change their policy of support for Israel… So going back to BDS, there is no hope for the Palestinians to bring about the end of occupation through the support of western governments or the UN, the only hope that the Palestinians have is through BDS.”

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy made a similar statement over a year ago: “we have no choice but to recognize that boycott, divestment and sanctions is the only game in town”.  

And now Brummer, top Israeli propagandist, even confirms that there is no such thing as a selective boycott of Israel. Either you’re in or you’re out.

Indeed, time to choose sides – which side of history you’re on. Israel will tell you that boycotting Israel is ‘anti-Semitic’ – aye, even the center-left lawmaker Merav Michaeli recently said that “a lot of the BDS movement is good old anti-Semitism.”

But in the end, you have to sift through this propaganda, and it becomes a very personal moral matter. To protect Apartheid – or to fight for freedom, justice and equality. And it seems quite obvious now, that you can’t really sit on the fence here – nor on the ‘green line’.  

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The U.S. Is Complicit in Slow-Motion Genocide in Palestine

Palestinian Farmers to lose their land to settlement parks

These red-roofed square houses could be in any settlement in the Palestinian West Bank. Here they are in the illegal settlement of Avnei Hefetz, east of Tulkarem. The surrounding land is going to be used to build Israeli recreational facilities.

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Israel to expropriate Palestinian land for settlement expansion in northern West Bank

Ma’an news
November 14 /16, 2017

BETHLEHEM– Israeli authorities on Tuesday reportedly notified Palestinian farmers that they intend to expropriate plots of land near the village of Shofeh, southeast of Tulkarem in the northern occupied West Bank, in order to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Avnei Hefetz.

The Wafa news agency, owned by the  Palestinian National Authority, reported that Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian liaison office that the state intends to use land in the village in order to open roads and build playgrounds and other recreational facilities for Avnei Hefetz.

The farmers were reportedly given 60 days to appeal the decision in Israeli courts.

According to Wafa, the farmers of Shofeh “expressed real concern over the decision” to “rip them off the land that is their only source of income.”

The farmers told Wafa that while they have the papers to prove their ownership of the land, “they do not expect the Israeli courts to be fair to them.”

Wafa added that the Israeli army seized lands from the village in March to build a power station and industrial area.

Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.

From March 19, 2014: a bulldozer next to a new housing construction site in the Israeli settlement of Har Homa in east Jerusalem. Photo by Ahmad Gharabli/AFP

The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.

Meanwhile, Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported that in 2016 Palestinians experienced the highest number of Israeli demolitions since the group began recording the incidents.

Meanwhile, Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported that in 2016 Palestinians experienced the highest number of Israeli demolitions since the group began recording the incidents.
At the same time, Peace Now reported that Israel’s illegal settlement construction in the West Bank increased by 34 percent in 2016, with Israeli authorities initiating construction on 1,814 new settler housing units.

Annexing Palestine settlement by settlement

Source

Escalation in Israel’s Settlement Policy: The Creation of De-Facto Annexation

Peace Now

November 15, 2017

The past few months have seen unprecedented developments in the settlements, causing severe damage to the chances of a two-state solution. Accelerated population growth, approvals of housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, promotion of bypass roads, advancements of Knesset bills, home demolitions and changes in legal interpretations – all lead to a situation of de-facto annexation of area C. Without any official declarations, the Israeli government is preventing the viability and contiguity of a future Palestinian state, while treating lands in area C as its own. The implications of the above-mentioned developments are far-reaching for Israel, the Palestinians and the region as a whole.

Peace Now’s new report summarizes key developments of the last several months and analyzes their impact, individually and together, on the viability of a Palestinian state alongside Israel and the possibility for a two state solution.

To read the full report click here

Seven Years after israeli Forces Destroy Mosque, Muslim Worshipers Ordered to pay $37,000

IMEMC News & Agencies – November 17, 2017

 

 

Israeli occupation authorities have ordered Muslim worshipers to pay NIS130,000 ($37,000), seven years after destroying their mosque in Rahat, southern Israel.

Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court ruled, according to Days of Palestine, that the founders and operators of the mosque would pay the fine as a compensation to the state of Israel.

The lawsuit was filed by the Southern District Public Prosecutor’s Office, against eight residents of Rahat who were members of the mosque committee, and demanded compensation of NIS459,500 ($130,000).

Muslim worshipers, who are original Palestinian residents, remained at home when Zionists occupied Palestine in 1948, built it to fulfill their needs. They apparently applied for the needed licenses to build the mosque, but were refused.

Occupation authorities claim that the mosque was illegally built in 2010, by the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch, on public property.

Six months after it was built, the Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court and District Court marked the 400-square meter structure for demolition.

According to the state, the defendants initiated and conducted false procedures to delay and obstruct the evacuation, and even called on the public to oppose the demolition.

The defendants said that they had exhausted the legal procedures for preventing the mosque’s destruction and gave up, after the mosque was set to be demolished.

“Naturally, when you talk about a holy place built by the residents, and the residents see police forces in great numbers coming and demolishing the mosque, it bothers and hurts them,” they explained.

Everyday israeli jews express support for genocide “We need to kill Arabs”

Abby Martin | The Empire Files

On the streets of Jerusalem, Abby Martin interviews Jewish Israeli citizens from all walks of life. In several candid interviews, disturbing comments reveal commonly-held views about Palestinians and their future in the region. Israeli-born human rights activist and anti-Zionist, Ronnie Barkan, explains why these attitudes dominate Israeli society.

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israeli right’s anti-democratic laws penetrate everywhere

Israeli right’s anti-democratic laws penetrate everywhere

Article Summary
The accumulation of anti-democratic, anti-coexistence and nationalistic laws threatens the fabric of Israel’s society.

 

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