'Boycott Israel' campaign challenges apartheid

A woman sits outside her home after Israel's bombing. Gaza Strip, February 2009.
Saturday, April 9, 2011

While Palestinian, Israeli and international non-violent protesters who march against Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories are literally showered in sewage, beaten, arbitrarily arrested and sometimes killed by Israeli forces, the battle against non-violent resistance has taken its own ugly form in Australia.

Supporters of the non-violent global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement — especially members of the Greens — have been subjected to abuse in a deliberate national campaign of misinformation and slurs orchestrated against them. It has questioned their values and integrity and falsely accused them of anti-Semitism.



See also:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Boycotting Israel is right and moral
Voices against Israeli apartheid
Jewish voices defend boycotting Israel
Israeli women criticise Goldstone's backflip
Israel kills Gazans, threatens fullscale war
Electronic Intifada journalist: People's power in the Middle East

The war on BDS is part of a concerted effort to sabotage Palestinian and Israeli non-violent resistance against Israel’s 43-year-old illegal occupation and its 63 years of discrimination against non-Jewish Israeli citizens.

Our political elites here in Australia who profess their love for Israel and who have come out strongly against BDS have yet to offer Palestinians and Israelis any real alternative to alter Israel’s behaviour and to force it to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law and the Universal Declarations of Human Rights.

Instead they stoop to play the old and abused anti-Semitism card to manipulate the discourse and to silence debate.

Recently, Federal MP Andrew Robb on ABC radio attacked the Greens accusing them of being anti-Semitic. Does Robb believe that all Jews are Israelis?

Does he believe that Israel represents all Jews? Does he hold all Jews world wide collectively responsible for the actions of the state of Israel?

Is he telling us that Jews have a political monolithic view and follow one agenda? The idea of lumping all Jews in the world into one category is inherently a racist idea that must be seen for what it is.

The BDS campaign rejects all forms of stereotypes, all forms of discrimination and all forms of racism including the kind Robb has indulged himself with on air.

The call to boycott Israel did not come about because Israel has a Jewish population but because the state of Israel practises discrimination and apartheid policies. When Palestinian civil society initiated the calls for BDS, it could not care less if the state was Jewish, Muslim or Hindu.

The fact that Israel is a state that oppresses the Palestinians, that denies them their rights and colonises them is the reason they have issued this call.

Robb asked the question “what drives BDS?” If he were genuine in his thirst for knowledge, a quick online search would have pointed him to the three demands made by the BDS call.

The first demand is for an end to the systematic discrimination against Palestinians who are citizens of the state of Israel. Surely no Australian political party is against the idea of equality for all citizens of a state.

The second demand calls for the end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land as per United Nations Security Council resolution 242.

This is completely in line with Australia’s stated foreign policy, which views the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as occupied land. Why is that considered extreme?

The third and final demand of the BDS movement calls on Israel to meet its obligations towards Palestinian refugees under international humanitarian law and UN Resolution 194.

How can any of these three demands be considered extreme or anti-Semitic?

Unfortunately, our right-wing press is telling our politicians that BDS is part of a campaign to delegitimise Israel, a state they say is based on the foundation of liberal democracy.

But you cannot have a state that has two sets of laws — one for Jews and one for non-Jews — and call that a liberal democracy. They claim that BDS demonises Jews, but this is incorrect.

Boycotts in South Africa were never put in place to demonise white people but to bring about change to a racist regime. BDS aims to delegitimise Israeli policies of discrimination and oppression and not, as some have claimed, to destroy Israel. The boycotts against South Africa did not destroy that country; they only dismantled its system of apartheid.

The Israeli government recognises the power of the BDS movement. It sees it as a threat to its current policies of discrimination and apartheid. As a result, it is cracking down on internal dissent and is in the process of making it illegal for Israeli citizens to support BDS.

This is not how democracies work. This is hardly the blueprint on which Australia should model itself.

BDS activists, Israelis and Palestinians are fighting an uphill battle in their quest for equality, freedom and civil liberties. Supporters of BDS in the Greens should be congratulated for supporting justice and equality in Palestine/Israel and for endorsing a movement that is rooted in international humanitarian law and the Universal Declarations of Human Rights.

[Samah Sabawi is a Palestinian-Australian writer, playwright, producer, political analyst, commentator and public speaker on human rights. Sabawi is the public advocate of the Australian advocacy group Australians for Palestine. To download the BDS manual visit www.australiansforpalestine.com .]

Comments

Thanks Ms. Sabawi, for such an eloquent article, explaining everything that is right with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the state of Israel, and everything that is wrong and unethical with the arguments against it.

Zionists and their lackeys will do anything to promote their zealous agenda of occupation, ethnic cleansing, neo-colonialism, apartheid, and genocide. For those of you who want to learn more about such: see the video, PALESTINE FOR BEGINNERS, 2nd ed. narrated by Bevis and Mast.

Whan about your aboriginal people

Palestinians have a self autonomous state, they have there own government, so no they are not fighting for equal rights in Israel, there are so many wrong facts proclaimed in this article, which is the same reason she is being ostricized in parliment because of it, because its all bs, settlements aren't illegal under international law, as there is no law preventing anybody from moving anywhere, this is absurd, the occupation is legal as is any occupation which is a result of war, and the borders are to be negotiated because Israel is entitled to defensible borders under international laws, and that is to be determined in the negotiation table.

This is why the boycott is nonsense, because all it does is try and impose concessions on Israel with no moral cause behind it, it is not Israel who refuses to negotiate, but the Palestinians, it is not Israel who refuses to accept 2 states for 2 people, but the Palestinians, to try and force israel into concessions only to go to negotiations where they will negotiate more concessions is ridiculous, luckily the Australian government has more common sense then u.

Good question. Israel doesn't represent all Jews, and the Israeli government definitely doesn't represent all Israeli's opinions, let alone all Jews.

However Israel is without question the center of the Jewish world. 42% of the world's Jews live there, and for those that don't, most have family that do. It has significance for those that remain in the diaspora as a place of refuge from persecution, if needed (as often it is). It is also highly significant to many in a spiritual sense. It is the only (mostly) Jewish state in the world.

As a rough comparison, Israel is to the Jews, as Greece is to the Greeks. Most Greek Australians wouldn't object if our government criticized Greece over a specific policy, but might be quite offended if we banned all economic, cultural and sporting contacts with Greece while demanding they hand their country over to the Turks. Would trying to claim we were just being anti-GREECE, not anti-GREEK really wash?

That's where the claims of anti-Semitism arise. The BDS seeks to dismantle the state which is the center of the Jewish world. It is not merely about trying to negotiate a just and peaceful settlement with Palestinian Arabs.

Have you looked at Green left Weekly beyond one article? We campaign against the oppression of Aboriginal people, against the ongoing dispossession, impoverishment, repression and even - in the Northern Territory, apartheid-like policies.

If you looked just below this article on the home page you would see a feature article on the incaration of Aboriginal people and "deaths in custody" -this occurs at a rate higher than for Black peole in apartheid South Africa.

If you looked lower still you would find a series of more articles on the treatement of Aboriginall people and the fightback by Aboriginal people. And this is just one issue.

I'll make it easy for you and link to the articles in this one issue on this question.

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47290
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47285
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47286
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47288
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47289
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47295
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47291
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47322

We oppose such oppression in Australia, Palestine and everywhere.

People on this website love making derogatory statements. I am a proud Zionist, I have spent time in Israel and in territories helping under privileged Israeli and Palestinians children with a group called Ha'nor Haoved (Israeli Socialist youth Movement).

Time and Time again members of this website the socialist Alliance and the Greens call me a Racist. How am I a racist, I have been to Israel and the Territories and actively tried to educate kids towards ending the conflict. I Proudly support the rights of Israelis and Palestinians.

The people who instantly call supports of Israel Racists or Trolls and proudly advocate for the eradication of Israel as a State are Racists.

I will happily attend a protest against the building of Settlements. I would also happily attend a protest calling for Hamas and Fatah to denounce Violence. But I would not ever attend a protest run by the Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative of the Green Left Weekly because they time and time again drawn a line, STATING THAT IF YOU SUPPORT ISRAEL YOU ARE UNWELCOME. How does this point of view work towards making peace in Israel and ending this terrible bloody conflict?

The Palestinians and their backers have made it endlessly clear that their end-goal is to destroy Israel. How does one negotiate with this? Terms like "genocide", "ethnic cleansing" and "apartheid" is a way to seek international sympathies, but clearly describe the desire of the palestinians towards Jews.

The era of apartheid did not end because of boycotts, but because ordinary white, brown and black South Africans worked together to bring about change. Great leaders like Nelson Mandela who fought hard to being about a peaceful and negotiated freedom to ALL people's of South Africa made this happen.

When Palestinians stop shooting rockets (provided by Iran) at school buses and targeting random civilian targets (in case you forgot) Israelis might be more likely to accept their so-called call for peace. Why not boycott Iran for encouraging this by providing weapons? Of course we won't do that. We'll just boycott the US when Iran bombs Israel and the US stands up to provide support for Israel - blaming it the "Zionist Agenda". But completely ignoring Iran's "Islamic Agenda".

Here's my advise: you want peace? Go to Palestine and start teaching Palestinians that shooting rockets and throwing rocks is not how you bring about peace. Let's see how long you live - especially if you're white or Jewish looking.

Is Israel being held to the same standards as other countries? It's suspicious when people who don't try to organize boycotts over Turkey for its treatment of the Kurds; or Saudi Arabia for its treatment of women; or Rwanda; or Zimbabwe; or any number of other countries, suddenly get outraged over conduct by Israel which is far milder. It's hard to think of any reason other than anti-Semitism for this phenomenon.

...also worth reading "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as available for purchase on neo-Nazi websites as well as the Lakemba Mosque apparently.

Actually, the boycott in South Africa was key to ending apartheid. "Ordinary white, brown and black South Africans worked together to bring about change" only after the apartheid government was made untenable by internal and external campaigns, with the boycott being an important one.

Negotiations only happened when the apartheid government had no other choice. Their first choice was to jail people like Mandela and call them "terrorists". I wonder how many Palestinian versions of Mandela are in Israeli jails?

As anti-apartheid fighter Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of nonviolent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime." http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47309

The end goal of BDS is not to "destroy Israel" but, like South Africa, change the political system to make it a place where EVERYONE has equal rights.

The only reason you might interpret BDS to mean "destroy Israel" is if you are committed to Israel being a place where it is ok to discriminate against anyone who isnt Jewish (that is, an apartheid system).

I dont agree with the tactic of some Palestinian groups of randomly firing rockets, as it usually only hurts innocent people, does nothing to promote a political solution and gives Israel the opportunity to cast itself as the victim.

However, I think its utterly hypocritical to moralise about Palestinian rocket fire as if it was the thing holding back peace - given the breadth of the Israeli military occupation and the constant violence dished out by them. Israel's violence dwarfs that committed by Palestinian groups. Real peace requires justice.

I think the reputation of Jewish people would benefit greatly from not having their "cultural centre" being a state that regularly commits horrific crimes and then tries to justify it in the name of Judaism.

There is no contradiction between having a Jewish culture in Israel/Palestine and the fall of the current regime. Jewish culture can be a part of a new, democratic, non-racist Israel/Palestine, alongside other religions.

The analogy with Greece is ridiculous, as it completely ignores what the Israeli government actually does - killing, terrorising, robbing and economically depriving non-privileged groups. The problem with Israel is not a "specific policy", but an entire political system that favours one group and brutalises others based on race, one that uses violence as its first option to further its agenda and one that refuses to change despite decades of criticism.

Zionists like to confuse the issue of BDS by saying its motivated by culture or religion. BDS it is a political tactic (no money or legitimacy) to resolve a political problem (apartheid).

The BDS is seeking to democratise the state at the centre of the Jewish world, actually. It seems to be a common worry among Zionists that democracy might break out in Israel.

I agree with you 100%.I don't see any boycotts against the barbarity of halal slaughter practice or the treatment of those with a mental illness!
Oh that's it ......silly me,the worlds problems are down to the Jews again!

If you're not a troll but someone who really is for peace it probably helps to think about who created the problem. Zionist organisations and western governments set up the state of Israel, violently expelling much of the Arab Palestinian population in the process, in 1948. Since 1967 (and more so recently) this process has intensified with the cantonment of the West Bank and turning Gaza into an open air prison.

Violent reactions such as suicide bombings or rocket fire need to be understood in this context. It doesn't help to place conditions on Hamas and Fatah to renounce violence. It's clearly Israel that has the military might and is the main oppressor here.

If you support Zionism, but want peace and equal rights, I think the onus is on you to acknowledge the crimes/mistakes committed by the Israeli state, the current manifestation of the Zionist project, and to find a way to stop the settlements and the far-right lunatics in government in Israel. If you joined a protest with demands for these actions I doubt you would find the protesters there so hostile.

To suggest the worshipers at one of Sydney's major mosques are anti-Semites is slanderous and morally repugnant. but it is exactly the kind of argument we've come to expect from the supporters of Israeli apartheid

:
Bombing civilians in Gaza is on a level with halal slaughter of livestock. Now there's a new low in Zionist racism.

To the troll:
"Palestinians have a self autonomous state," ~ No they don't. The West Bank is under Israeli control while the Gaza Ghetto is blockaded, bedieged & bombarded
" they have there own government," ~ they don't
"so no they are not fighting for equal rights in Israel, " ~ they are fighting for equal rights throughout Israeli-occupied Palestine (ie. all of historical Palestine)
"there are so many wrong facts proclaimed in this article," ~ you have failed to identify a single wrong fact.
"which is the same reason she is being ostricized in parliment because of it," ~ who is being ostracised in parliament? you're attempts at speaking for power against truth are becoming non-sequiturs
"because its all bs," ~ not a convincing artargument, but better than any other you've made
"settlements aren't illegal under international law," ~ actually they are illegal under international law
"as there is no law preventing anybody from moving anywhere" ~ international law (ie. Geneva Convention) prohibits setllements in occupied territories; meanwhile, racist Israeli law prevents Palestinian victims of Zionist ethnic cleansing returning to their homes; more generally racist Israeli law places extreme restrictions on the movement of Palestinian people
"this is absurd," ~ true (but unintentionally so)
"the occupation is legal as is any occupation which is a result of war," ~ you think Hitler's occupation of Europe was legal then?
"and the borders are to be negotiated because Israel is entitled to defensible borders under international laws, and that is to be determined in the negotiation table." ~ contradicts your earlier statements about Palestinians having a state; UN resolutions define Israel's borders as those that existed before 1967. International law does not give an invading country the right to determine its borders through conquest
"This is why the boycott is nonsense," ~ This is why the boycott is necessary "because all it does is try and impose concessions on Israel with no moral cause behind it," ~ the so-called international community has failed to put any restraints on the expansionist Apartheid state that calls itself Israel
"it is not Israel who refuses to negotiate," ~ the leaked Palestine Papers clearly show that when Israel engages in negotiations it is in bad faith, simultaneous with acts of aggression on the ground, and without any intention of giving up the illegally conquered territory
"but the Palestinians," ~ the unaccountable PA are all to willing to negotiate away Palestinians' rights
"it is not Israel who refuses to accept 2 states for 2 people, but the Palestinians," ~ the unaccountable PA is totally committed to the 2-state comprimise; more & more Palestinians are seeing it for the con-job it is, however
"to try and force israel into concessions only to go to negotiations where they will negotiate more concessions is ridiculous," ~ Israel has not made any concessions at the negotiations but continues to demand concessions from the occupied Palestinians in return for the negotiations continuing
"luckily the Australian government has more common sense then u." ~ the Australian government, like other Western imperialist governments, is firmly on the side of injustice, another reason why the boycott is necessary. What our governments won't do we, the people, will.

PS. Anyone wondering why so many of these Zionist trolls? http://www.countercurrents.org/cook210709.htm

Tony

I often hear people say "why are you picking on just Israel? Why not boycott Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe or other countries with terrible human rights records?"

The difference is that human rights activists in these countries have not called for an international boycott. In contrast both Palestinian and Israeli human rights activists have called for a global boycott of Israel. That is why people in Australia and other countries call for a boycott of Israel.

If the resistance movements in Saudi Arabia or other countries called for a boycott I'm sure Australian activists would promote that too.

Countries other than Israel, such as Apartheid South Africa and Burma, have been subject to international boycotts.

To those who have claimed criticising Israel is anti-semetic: read the article.

"Recently, Federal MP Andrew Robb on ABC radio attacked the Greens accusing them of being anti-Semitic. Does Robb believe that all Jews are Israelis?

Does he believe that Israel represents all Jews? Does he hold all Jews world wide collectively responsible for the actions of the state of Israel?

Is he telling us that Jews have a political monolithic view and follow one agenda? The idea of lumping all Jews in the world into one category is inherently a racist idea that must be seen for what it is."

Trick.

"The Jews' struggle with humanity is as old as history itself; the present continuing struggle with the Islam nation is a natural continuation of the Jews' enmity towards the human race as a whole. Judaism controls the world by...secret movements as the destructive doctrines and groups, such as communism, libertarianism, Free Masons, Baha'ism, the Rotary clubs, the nationalistic and racist doctrines. The Jews try to control the world through sex, then sexual perversion, then the promotion of espionage, treason, and economic hoarding. The most significant results has been the intifada of the stone children in the occupied land which intifada has thrown the Israeli and international plans into disarray…I ask Allah Almighty who has gathered here us here…to liberate Palestine under a pure, clean, pious Islamic banner"

Sheik Al-Hilali

Former Grand Mufti Lakemba Mosque

This is not true. Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions, the main federation of Palestinian uinons, has repeatedly and publicly supported the BDS. See http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/2123.shtml

"On 25 November 2009 the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) issued a statement re-affirming its support for the BDS movement."

The article goes on to say: "All three Palestinian trade union federations -- the General Union of Palestinian Workers (a constituent mass organization of the PLO), PGFTU and the Palestinian Federation of Independent Trade Unions -- have endorsed BDS against Israel and have been part of the BNC since its inception. This has provided a unified Palestinian labor voice in support of boycotting Israel until it ends its three-tiered oppression of the Palestinian people: its occupation and colonization of the 1967 occupied territory; its institutionalized system of racial discrimination, or apartheid; and its denial of the UN-sanctioned rights of the Palestinian refugees, especially their right to return to their homes of origin."

In fact the general secretary of the PGFTU, Shaher Sa'ad, signed the original call for the BDS>

The link you sent was about ties to Israeli union federation Histadrut and explained: "The PGFTU in particular said that UNISON should maintain links with the Histadrut so that we could specifically put pressure on them to take a more vocal public stance against the occupation and the settlements."

Sounds like desperation to pretend black is white.

It seems that Zionism by definition is against peace and equal rights for all people. There is no piece where violence is used to maintain stolen lands.

Letter to Marrickville Council from concerned citizens of Israel urging you to stand firm in your support of BDS

We are Israeli citizens who witness first-hand the brutality of our
government’s policies towards the Palestinian people. We stand firm
in our support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) initiatives
against Israel until it meets its obligation to recognize the
Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination, and
fully complies with the precepts of international law.

We reject the notion promoted by demagogues, that the 2005 BDS call
from Palestine, and the BDS campaigns the world over which it has
inspired, are rooted in anti-Jewish sentiment. On the contrary, BDS is
an anti-racist movement against the daily, brutal occupation of
Palestine and the virulently racist policies towards Israel’s Palestinian
citizens.

We also reject the assertion that cultural and academic boycotts of
Israel defy the democratic principle of free speech. Research and
development in academic institutions play a central role in designing
and defending Israel’s military and intelligence machinery. Prominent
state-sponsored cultural institutions perpetuate the deception of
Israeli democracy, and serve as propaganda tools. Moreover, the BDS
campaign targets Israeli institutions, and does not bar Israeli
individuals from conducting research with partners abroad or Israeli
artists from performing abroad.

BDS was a key strategy in ending the white South African system of
apartheid by applying international pressure.

We warmly commend the groundbreaking stand taken by the Marrickville
Council in support of the Council in support of the democratic and non-violent BDS campaign for
justice and human rights and urge the council to stand firm in the
face of attempted intimidation and manipulation.

Sincerely,

Steve Amsel
Ronnen Ben-Arie
Matan Cohen
Adi Dagan
Prof. Rachel Giora
Rosamine Hayeem
Iris Hefets
Shir Hever
Yael Kahn
Dr. Anat Matar
Rela Mazali
Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover
Dr. Dorothy Naor
Ofer Neiman
Amit Perelson
Itai Ryb
Herzl Schubert
Yonatan Shapira
Jonatan Stanczak
Ruth Tenne
Yana Ziferblat

On behalf of Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within http://boycottisrael.info/

To: Marrickville councillors
Re: Local government support for global human rights
From: Sam Wainwright (Councillor, City of Fremantle)

Dear fellow councillors,
I write to you express my admiration for your adoption of a policy in support of the global non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. I won't dwell on why your policy is so worthy of support other than to repeat the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu when writing to students at UC Berkley on the same topic last year:

"...despite what your detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing what is incumbent upon you as humans who believe that all people have dignity and rights, and all those being denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings."

Those who say that it's not appropriate for a local government to take a stand on global human rights and that we should leave all questions of foreign policy to higher levels of government have a very poor understanding of Australian history.

On the eve of the Second World War wharfies at Port Kembla refused to load pig iron destined for the Japanese war machine. They were condemned by Prime Minister Menzies and the media for interfering in foreign affairs. That pig iron later rained down on Darwin as bombs.

How much longer would our involvement in the Vietnam War have dragged on if Australians hadn't expressed their opposition to it through every forum they could find? For nearly two and a half decades support for the murderous Indonesian occupation of East Timor was bipartisan policy in the federal parliament, despite it being condemned by all levels of Australian society. The Howard government committed our country to war in Iraq despite the clearly expressed opposition of the majority. A million people have died in that country as a result of the invasion.

Leaving foreign affairs to the so-called experts in Canberra has only brought policies based on greed and kow-towing to great powers, with a sad and bloody legacy. Australians have every right to demand a foreign policy based on human rights. They have every right to push for that through every channel they can find. Inevitably local government will become such a forum when our federal government is incapable and unwilling to do what is right.

Marrickville Council's support the BDS campaign is consistent with international humanitarian law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Those who mock or condemn you are ignorant, cowards or bullies. Your policy is a positive example for both my and all local governments to follow.

Sam Wainwright
Councillor - Hilton Ward (City of Fremantle)
0412 751 508
samw@fremantle.wa.gov.au

The Kurds have never rejected statehood as did the Arabs in 1948. They had all the West Bank,all Gaza and the areas of Jerusalem ethnic cleansed of Jews by the invading Arab armies.
If the Arabs had wanted only their own state it was there,voted on by the the UN as a partitioned Arab & Jewish state.The Arabs already had the vast majority of the mandate(80%) given to them as part of Jordan.
Strangely enough nobody weeps for the vast majority of the mandate of Palestine nor do they do Qassams,Grads,Kornets & suicide bombings at civillians to" liberate it".
The Kurds have never claimed the land of the other side as their own. They have been murdered opressed discriminated against for centuries.
All to the deafening silence of the so called humanitarians who claim they only object to occupation, not Israel, but give the Arabs,Iran and Turkey a free kick.
Why?

No shortage of people calling for a boycott there, though their numbers are perhaps in decline as they tend to get executed. Oh well. And if you looked a little harder you would find hundreds of human rights violators around the world worthy of a boycott, if not a full scale military intervention. Massacres happen in places like sub-Saharan Africa that involve tens of thousands, hundreds, even millions of people, but no-one is interested. Yet since Israel was founded more UN resolutions have been passed on it than the other nations of the world combined.

Israel is a country of 7 million people on a tiny sliver of land. Even though many wars and lower level conflicts have been fought over it the number of casualties has been minuscule compared to other recent conflicts such as the Balkans, Rwanda, Congo, Cote D'Ivoire, Iraq, Eritrea and Darfur. And the claimed human rights abuses are nothing compared to what occurs in its neighboura. The rule of law is firmly in place, minorities are protected, and incidental wartime abuses are properly investigated.

So how do you explain the obsession with it in international affairs? It seems to me very similar to the scapegoating of the Jews for all the problems of the world, that has occurred for millennia. Anti-Semitism is the shorthand term for that isn't it?

What a great resource!

For that comparison to work you'd have to pretend that Greece had occupied parts of ... oh, say turkey, systematically driven off the people living in occupied areas in order to replace them with greeks and refused to give anything back. Frequently killing civilians and openly defying UN sanctions in the process. All the while using the invasion of Xerxes as an excuse.

I am a Jew and an Australian. I am concerned that if Israel disappears, then our sacred sites and burial grounds will be desecrated, lost, and we will no longer have access to them. It seems that the world wants the Jewish people to return to statelessness.

Israel's most sacred site, our Temple site, Israel let the Muslims keep because of their holy site that sits atop of ours. It is exactly like the aboriginal people, had they told white man to keep Uluru, in order to maintain the sacred tourist dollar.

As a Jew, how come the world wishes for my people to return to statelessness? Why must our culture and heritage become naught? Why must the world dictate that we should not feel connected to the sacredness of our past?

Of course this is anti-semitism. Essentially the world is telling me, as a Jew, that I am invalid, and have no right to exist. That I must shut up and be absorbed into the "superior" west.

Can the supporters of BDS guarantee, if they achieve what they are setting out to achieve, that the Jewish sacred sites and burial grounds will be looked after, protected and respected? Will Jews be allowed to live in Palestine? Or will there be a Palestinian apartheid state that forbids Jews from living there?

Hamas Charter "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.' (Article 7)

As an Australian Jew who wishes to maintain her Jewish heritage, that sounds very much like genocidal intentions to me, as the charter calls for murder of Jews, not just Israelis :(

Putting what people do aside, according to Islam, its PROHIBITED to damage other religions sacred sites, specially worshiping locations such as churches, and followers of the religion which that sacred site belong to, have the right to visit it as long as its done in a civilized way (no intentions to harm others), which Israeli gov doesnt quite follow itself, be it while dealing with muslims or christians.
The problem that you don't seem to realize, is that jews lived in palestine before Israel was established. My family had jew neighbors and friends in Palestine, and few relatives are married to jew women. As far as I can understand, that means that jews could live peacefully in Palestine, our problem (as muslim, christian and jew palestinians as there is discrimination toward palestinian in general) is the hostile takeover of our territory. if jews have the right to belong to a place they call home, we have the right (as palestinians, not muslims) to take back whats been our home for centuries.
Jews have the right to live, but why not live with others? they have lived with us muslims just like christians did and still do for quite a long time, you were welcome before. I say were as the creation of Israel had changed that. Arabs in general (muslims and non-muslims) became quite resentful of jews and began harboring hatred for so long, deeming most people that have any relation to jews to some kind of social exile, even though we are not prohibited in anyway from dealing with jews and are allowed to marry from jews. That is a result of emotions accumulating as a result of Israel's actions for decades.
I still try to defend jews, just like several jews try to defend us palestinians, I don't hate jews, but asking me, a palestinian, to not have a problem with Israel is quite a hard pill to swallow. Although I don't mind "sharing" a country with jews, but without all the discrimination and with real democracy were all hold same rights and political weight.

One last thing, it took me a while to figure out the meaning of anti-semitism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic#Ancient_Semitic_peoples
according to that, we arab, are semitic, so semitic being anti-semitic.. kind of confusing if you ask me.
But why does a word that describe quite a bunch of people that don't all belong to one religion to describe followers of one religion?

Putting what people do aside, according to Islam, its PROHIBITED to damage other religions sacred sites, specially worshiping locations such as churches, and followers of the religion which that sacred site belong to, have the right to visit it as long as its done in a civilized way (no intentions to harm others), which Israeli gov doesnt quite follow itself, be it while dealing with muslims or christians.
The problem that you don't seem to realize, is that jews lived in palestine before Israel was established. My family had jew neighbors and friends in Palestine, and few relatives are married to jew women. As far as I can understand, that means that jews could live peacefully in Palestine, our problem (as muslim, christian and jew palestinians as there is discrimination toward palestinian in general) is the hostile takeover of our territory. if jews have the right to belong to a place they call home, we have the right (as palestinians, not muslims) to take back whats been our home for centuries.
Jews have the right to live, but why not live with others? they have lived with us muslims just like christians did and still do for quite a long time, you were welcome before. I say were as the creation of Israel had changed that. Arabs in general (muslims and non-muslims) became quite resentful of jews and began harboring hatred for so long, deeming most people that have any relation to jews to some kind of social exile, even though we are not prohibited in anyway from dealing with jews and are allowed to marry from jews. That is a result of emotions accumulating as a result of Israel's actions for decades.
I still try to defend jews, just like several jews try to defend us palestinians, I don't hate jews, but asking me, a palestinian, to not have a problem with Israel is quite a hard pill to swallow. Although I don't mind "sharing" a country with jews, but without all the discrimination and with real democracy were all hold same rights and political weight.

One last thing, it took me a while to figure out the meaning of anti-semitism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic#Ancient_Semitic_peoples
according to that, we arab, are semitic, so semitic being anti-semitic.. kind of confusing if you ask me.
But why does a word that describe quite a bunch of people that don't all belong to one religion to describe followers of one religion?

Arab apartheid / Muslim apartheid are the largest 'apartheid systems', that exist today.[1]

Virtually all non-Arabs and/or non-Muslims are second class citizens.[2]

Among minorities that feel the wrath of the bigoted Arab-Muslim world are:

* Berbers (native N. Africans, before Arab invasion).

* Copts (indigenous Egyptians suffer from both: Arab racism and Islamic bigotry).

* Kurds. Examples include: in [Saddam's] Iraq and in Syria.

* Blacks, in Arab lands or in Arab ruled Africa like the genocide in the Sudan and slavery in both Sudan and in Mauritania.

* Asians, particularly in the Gulf Arab states. [Sex slaves or "plain" slaves].

* Maronites-Christians [Native Lebanese] suffer from both Arab ethnic racism and religious bigotry, like the massacres in the 1970s by local Muslims and by Palestinian/Syrian forces.

* Assyrians, are/have been persecuted both racially and religiously. Still very much marginalized in Iraq, for example.

* Iran is not an Arab country but racism is huge against Kurds, Jews, Turkmens, etc. So is anti-non-Muslim bigotry against Christians, Bahai, Zoroastrians and others in the Islamic republic.

* Turkey is also a Muslim non-Arab country and Kurds, Greeks, Armenians and other ethnicities have been through much suffering, genocide. Still there's great wide racism against non-Turkish ethnic groups. Turkey's policy in Cyprus has also been recognized as a real Apartheid by many. All non-Muslims are automatically branded as "foreigners" at the "moderate" Islamic supremacy of Turkey.

* All non-Msulims in 'Islamic Apartheid state' of S. Arabia. Bibles and Jews are offivially banned.

* Al-Akhdam in Yemen.

* Gypsies in Jordan.

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Islamic-Arab "Palestine" apartheid:

* Ahmadiyya Muslims are harshly persecuted in (Pakistan and in) the "Palestinian" Apartheid authority and/or by Hamas.

* Descendents of slaves of the Bedouins are still stigmatized by racist "Palestinians."

* Christians are discriminated, persercuted against [especially since Y. Arafat's Islamization of Bethlehem], by Palestine authority and Hamas militant-Islamic regime.

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From anti-Jewish Apartheid:

- The Arab racist apartheid against the Jews attempted genocide ever since the 1920s, (Like Mufti of "Palestine" at his incited massacres, and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who called simply 'to kill Jews').
- Chased out a Million Jews in the late 1940.
- Has boycotted and demonized [every logical defensive action is branded "racist"] the Jewish democratic-free-equal-to-all state only because it's the "other." It is neither Muslim nor purely Arab.
- The Arab racist world continues to play with Arab-Palestinians (grandchildren of Arab immigrants[3]) like a ping-pong against Israel.[4]

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And the beacon of apartheid has the audacity to charge the only country in the M.E. which is NOT apartheid] multi-racial Israel's beautiful democracy [that often gives preferential treatment for its Arabs over Jews][5]|[6]|[7]|[8]|[9]|[10]] with this terminology?

The Arab deceptive propaganda machine that acts as if Arab-Islamic genocidal campaign is not obvious enough to determine Israel's extra security measures [including an anti-terror / anti-massacres wall/fence].

As if we are not fully aware of the 'Arab oil lobby's power' over the UN and other major international organizations and some African officials to go along with the Arab propaganda.

Despite some non-Arabs who jump on this wagon out of: ignorance, of confusion complex, or of sheer bigotry. Never forget, that this entire "apartheid, racism" label was invented by Arab racists ganging up in the UN since 1975.

Even promoter of the apartheid-slur J. Carter admitted on CNN: "I recognize that Israel is a wonderful democracy with freedom of speech and equality of treatment under the law between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis."[11]

Radnom fact: Israel is a secular system, its laws are based on the Ottoman and British-Mandate rulings that proceeded the reestablishing of the State in its historic place.

Incidentally, the lying Pallywood machine also created a fake "memorandum" (written by an Arab propaganist) claiming that N. Mandela ever uttered this crappy analogy.[12]

Arab Nazism - the origin of the 'apartheid slur'
This thesis of falsely comparing Israel to S. Africa's system was invented by Ahmed Shukeiri in 1961.[13] That's right, years before the "occupation" excuse 'appeared' on the scene. (And of course decades before the security fence against Arab massacres was erected). Not by accident was that very same Mr. Shukairy, the aide to the Arab-Islamic Nazi: the Mufti, A. Hitler's ally. Involved in assisting in extermination at the period of WWII.[14] He also identified himeself with Nazis (based in Argentina) in front of the United Nations in 1962.[15]

Last but not least:

Isn't it true that the anti-Jewish "apartheid" slur (Treat the 'A' word like the 'N' word, jpost)[16] campaign is: A) to demonize Jews and B) to hide the real apartheid practiced by the Arab-Islamic world?[17]

I abslotuely doubt if anyone really believes this canard. Though many racists utter the slander. This blatant racism against Israel delegitimizing its will and right to survive against the Arab-Islamic racist genocide campaign for so many years. If this isolating of Israel is not pure Arab-Muslim apartheid. Than what is apartheid? And just why is outrageously denying Jews' history to the land not racism but telling the truth of Arab-immigration which makes up the chunk of the roots of the so-called Palestinians is? One more thing: Show me, now, one country in the Arab and Muslim world which is 'not' an apartheid system!

First, anti-Semitism always referred to anti-Jewish bigotry. Call it Arab/Muslim anti-Jewish intolerance, if you prefer.

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ARAB-NAZISM & GENOCIDE = ROOTS OF 'APARTHEID-COMPARISON' THESIS

Ahmad shukairy Arab-nazi has invented the apartheid slur (upon pluralistic democratic Israel, six years before the so-called "occupation" excuse came about) in 1961 ["Politics, lies, and videotape: 3,000 questions and answers on the Mideast crisis" - Page 392 – Yitschak Ben Gad - SP Books, 1991 – 479 pages], he helped the (ally of Adolf Hitler, al-Husseini, better known as the) Mufti and aided in extermination of Jews in WW2, according to testimony in Congress. [Congressional record: proceedings and debates of the United States Congress: Volume 113, Part 12 - United States. Congress - Govt. Print. Off., 1967 - Page A-525]. The same Shukairy admitted in 1956 that so-called "Palestine" is NOTHING but a part of Syria... [United Nations review: Volume 3 - United Nations. Dept. of Public Information, United Nations. Office of Public Information - 1957 - Page 8] Then, in 1963, he changed his mind, and the 'new nationalism' is 'conveniently' used -since then- by Arab immigrants' children who call themselves as "Palestinians" since 1963. He's more famous for coining the Palestine Liberation Organization's genocide slogan 'Drive the Jews into the Sea' [America's Two Holy Wars - John Tyler - Page 246].

ARAB MUSLIM APARTHEID

All the while the Arab world and the Muslim world are the largest practitioners of racial and religious apartheid. Where not one minority has equal rights with the governing power. Not to mention the still-practiced racist slavery on Asians and on blacks by Arabs. And the ethnic cleansing by the Arab world including by anti-Christian, anti-Jewish Arab-Islamic-Apartheid-Palestine.
To quote from books: The Islamic world "the world's largest practitioner of both religious and gender apartheid." [Israel: And the Palestinian Nightmare - Page 158 - Ze'ev Shemer - 2010 - 244 pages] "The Islamic culture of "religious intolerance, economic backwardness, gender apartheid, muzzled press, militarism, terrorism." [A theory of international terrorism: understanding Islamic militancy - Page 153 - L. Ali Khan - 2006 - 371 pages] The "antisemitism of the Arab world and the Muslim world." The racist "long history of oppression against minorities in Arab countries." [U.S. news & world report: Volume 131, Issues 8-18 - U.S. News Pub. Corp., 2001 - Page 120]

PALLYWOOD

The lying Arab-Palestinian Goliath machine not only lies and denies Israel's extending more rights to Arabs than to Jews (like favortism in court, affirmative action and exemption from military service), but also fabricates "memorandums" like a supposed speech by N. Mandela which was actually written by an Arab residing in the Netherland... The Arab lobby also aided J. Carter (the one who wrote a hate book in 2006 with almost an exact title of that by Palestinian-Arab M. Bishara in 2002), who uttered anti-Jewish bigoted statements like: 'stating Freeman's recommendations for council board members contained "too many Jews."' [Living in the Times of the Signs - Page 219 - David R. Barnhart - 2007 - 492 pages]

AIM OF 'APARTHEID SLUR' CAMPAIGN

The racist Arab "apartheid" slander campaign (like infamous 'apartheid week') has been rocked by usual anti-Jewish hatred outbursts, including calls to kill Jews, Swastikas, etc. [M. Ignatieff: Israel Apartheid Week and CUPE Ontario's anti-Israel posturing should be condemned." National Post, March 05, 2009] ["Swastikas and Ku Klux Klan Symbols during 'Apartheid Week..." Israel National News, 3 Mar 2010]