Limmuding BDS in Oz

The now controversial Limmud-Oz is featuring a speaker who will address boycott, divestments and sanctions of apartheid Israel directly after all – Edwin Black, who has some most peculiar ideas on BDS will be speaking.

‘Black is also expected to speak on the roiling issue of BDS, the anti-Israel Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanction movement. The BDS coalition of left-wing Jewish groups and Arab economic jihadis, traces its direct roots to the aggressive adoption of Hitler’s anti-Jewish boycott by Arabs in Palestine during the Holocaust.’

Chortle 🙂

Here’s a couple of comments on BDS from Edwin Black:

‘I found the viewpoint expressed overlooking settled history. Arabs have been mass murdering Jews in Palestine since the Balfour Declaration. The pogroms of 1920 and 1921 saw Arabs in well-documented internationally condemned orgies of death including mass battering skulls, hatchet attacks and mutilations. British commission responded but did not stem the violence. Student journalists should check it out. In 1929, because Jews sat down at the Wailing Wall while praying instead of remaining in a standing position, Arabs mercilessly massacred Jews with knives, swords, clubs and guns. In Hebron, eyes were poked out, babies cut in half, one man was crucified, another had his brains extracted and used for sport, one was cut open and his papers burned, one had his head was baked in an oven, Torahs burned–all for sitting down during prayer–all in a globally documented massacre. There have been many more attacks. Student journalists should check it out.

Does the BDS movement own up to this enormous record of mass murder and Torah desecration? Can BDS assure the world that they succeed and have their way, that Jews will no longer be mass murdered merely because they sat down during prayer?’

edwin black

Black is poisoning the well, creating a lurid illusion that BDS, which was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 because all other methods have failed to restrain the crimes against humanity continuously perpetrated by Israel, is retrospectively guilty of events which if they are factual, occurred nearly 80 years ago. Over the top and out the window. What’s this guy on?

More from the erudite Edwin:

‘If all Arabs want peace, it only takes a handshake and a pen to make it happen. Sadat and King Hussein proved that. Until that courageous moment occurs, all the BDS agitation,including BDS against peacemakers, is just in furtherance of the dark tendency of history to make us perpetuate and repeat all prior unhappiness. Don’t be fooled students. Peace has a chance if you give peace a chance. Good bye Harpo and all those who think BDS is an answer. Better to invest in mutual peace then endless economic jihad.

So BDS makes the zionists continue their genocide of Palestinians. And pigs fly because BDS makes them.

Next weekend at Limmud-Oz in Sydney:

‘On the opening night international panel discussion scheduled for Saturday, June 11, Black will speak on the topic “Who is a Friend of Israel?” The much anticipated panel of international figures is expected to confront the BDS issue head on, with Black giving the historical perspective as it applies to today’s Arab Spring.’

Let’s hope there’s folks present to ask suitable questions in response.

Other Limmud-Oz speakers who will ‘deal’ with BDS are :

“2. ‘Beyond the Pale: Disagreeing about Israel’ with Tommy Sterling, Larry Stillman and Mark Baker. 3. ‘From BDS to Burqas! Grassroots Community Action’ with Elaine Black, Shirlee Finn, Danny

Kidron, Gael Kennedy and Sergio Redegalli. 4. ‘BDS Movement, Councils, and the art of conversation’ with Donna Jacobs Sife, Lyndall Katz, Gael

Kennedy and David Knoll. 5. ‘Is Israel an apartheid state?’ with Andrew Markus. 6. ‘Narrative Wars: A Brief History of an Enduring Conflict’ with Mark Baker.”

“Criticism of Israel or the policies of its government similar to that levelled against any other country is entirely acceptable, and is an everyday occurrence within Israel itself. However, the Executive of Limmud-Oz in Sydney believes that the BDS campaign is an attack on Israel’s basic legitimacy and harms the Jewish people as a whole, as does the singling out of Israel for unjust criticism.

Contrary to the BDS call for a cultural boycott of Israel, Limmud-Oz supports engagement with Israeli academic and artistic institutions and we have a number of their representatives involved in Limmud-Oz this year. BDS therefore undermines this crucial aspect of Limmud-Oz.

Limmud-Oz does not deny that proponents of BDS have the right to express their views to whomever they like. But that right does not impose an obligation on us to provide them with a space to do so.

This is not about censorship, nor are we seeking to stifle dissenting views. Limmud-Oz is proud of the principles of pluralism and inclusiveness which guide us and Limmuds around the world.”


From this article – “Boycott row batters Australian Limmud”:

‘Limmud-Oz, the Australian arm of the global festival of Jewish learning, is at the centre of controversy after organisers banned two presenters who “publicly advocate a total boycott against Israel” and a major donor threatened to withdraw funding.

The executive of Limmud-Oz released a statement last week saying it believes that the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign is “an attack on Israel’s basic legitimacy and harms the Jewish people as a whole”.

Programme director Michael Misrachi confirmed that, as a result, Peter Slezak, a co-founder of Australian Independent Jewish Voices, and Vivienne Porzsolt, a spokeswoman for Jews Against The Occupation, were disinvited from the two-day festival in Sydney in mid-June.

Mr Slezak accused organisers of “moral and intellectual weakness” while Ms Porzsolt said the ban “smacks of excommunication”‘

But Mr Immerman defended the decision to drop the two BDS proponents. “In supporting BDS, these individuals advocate denying free speech to Israeli academics and performers, on whom we depend for Limmud-Oz, yet, ironically, claim this right for themselves.”

They may, however, attend the festival, he added. “Limmud-Oz remains a very broad tent – the programme includes and celebrates a wide diversity of opinions.”

The “boycott of the boycotters” prompted two other presenters to withdraw last week in protest.

“We abhor the idea of being associated with an event that bans ideas,” Jenny Green and Joel Nothman said in a letter to the Limmud executive.’

Considering Black’s odd reinterpretations of history and the misconception Mr. Immerman has about BDS as well, it’s most unfortunate that those who would provide a more informed and balanced view are censored from attending causing others to chose to cancel as a matter of principle.

Relevant Links

Greg Felton sets Edwin Black straight on several important historical details: History triumphs over pseudo-history—a response to Edwin Black

Jin quote of the day: Zionists abhor equal rights for all in Israel like a child who’s been playing in the mud resents having a bath.

Palestinian Statehood Notes

Ex COS Rahm Emanuel: U.S. does not expect Israel to return to 1967 borders – Rahm mentions the ‘issue of settlements’. Obama never mentioned settlements in his first speech. In his speech to AIPAC, he mentioned ‘new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides.’

Nutanyahoo has pushed since that he will be seeking to include as much of the illegal settlements and outposts as possible.

I take Emmanuel’s inclusion of ‘the issue of settlements’ as deferential.

Palestine’s Boycott National Committee speaks out on September “statehood” bid
Palestinians agree to attend Mideast conference

‘On Saturday, a senior Palestinian official said Abbas has concluded that a statehood push at the U.N. would not advance the Palestinians’ cause.

Abbas’ initiative, he said, will be compromised by the fact that the Palestinians first have to seek support from the Security Council before going to the General Assembly, where the Palestinians are more confident of obtaining majority support.’

Report: Abbas knows UN won’t recognize state

A member of the PLO negotiating team, however, denied the report saying some of the world’s most important international lawyers are backing the initiative and the Palestinians are hopeful they will succeed.

“President Abbas knows getting recognition will be difficult, which is something quite different,” the official said on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

Here comes Abass’s sellout of Palestinians right of return? Ya’alon’s view:

‘Ya’alon said that there were “paradigm differences between the two sides.” He stated that while Abbas had expressed willingness to go to Paris, the PA president had not agreed to begin negotiations with Israel.

“We are ready to go to the table. We have been waiting for Abu Mazen [Abbas] for two years,” Ya’alon told Channel 2.’

Maybe it’s posturing – the Israelis don’t sound keen, despite the overly generous starting point.

Ya’alon says:

‘that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in the UN General Assembly would not lead to Israel’s isolation or have any concrete effect on the country. ‘

Then what’s the problem in a Palestinian state being declared?

Maybe the Israeli govt are taking the Reut Institute’s advice.

Major ziotroll effort on Ya’alon’s part? Danny Danon’s NYTimes piece and the Legal Forum of Israel’s complementary advices about Israel’s annexation options might be very tempting to the expansionist Israelis.

“Such unilateral action by the Palestinians could give rise to reciprocal initiatives in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) which could include proposed legislation to declare Israel’s sovereignty over extensive parts of Judea and Samaria, if and when the Palestinians carry out their unilateral action.”

Meir Dagan, ex-Mossad chief throws a bucket over Nutanyahoo:

‘The absence of any workable plan, he said, will leave Israel in a dangerous and weak situation if the Palestinians push for UN recognition of a state later this year.’

There’s legal dispute about whether Res 377, which is the Uniting for Peace resolution would be applicable in the case of recognising a state. It is used to resolve the peace not recognise states – yes, Israel is conducting a military occupation of Palestinians, but as long as Israel whines deceitfully that they are ‘willing to negotiate’ why, firstly would Res 377 be invoked, secondly, how could res 377 be used to form a state – that is not its role.

There are arguments for both positions. I tend to think that there will be no use of res 377 in this case, but Israel will use the situation to bleat victim again. I am of course willing to be persuaded, but then again, do we really think the sort of Palestinian ‘state’ which is on the table is actually a viable, sovereign state? As Grinstein of the Reut Institute says:

‘Despite Obama’s speeches, the diplomatic process will remain at a dead end as the moment of decision in September approaches. Then the United States will have another opportunity to do the right thing: to ensure that the establishment of a Palestinian state conforms to Israel’s needs.’

Neither Danny Danon in his NY Times article nor the Legal Forum of Israel on the face of it *want* Abass to declare a state – while the Reut Institute (hasbara central) does – yet if Israel refuses to attend the OH NO not more peas talks in Paris, Abass seems to be going to proceed with the declaration – yet this will be blocked by US veto, but may give Israel the excuse, even if it is broached, to commence annexation of all lands except for where Palestinians are living at present – the formalisation of discontinuous powerless bantustans, leaving Palestinian people without rights, presenting an opportunity to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Israel also – but of course, making Israel’s position completely untenable, except in Ya’alon’s, and the Reut Institute’s eyes.

‘Grinstein hopes that UN recognition will set rolling a bandwagon that limits any Palestinian state to precisely the kind of demilitarized bantustan under overall Israeli control that will “solve” Israel’s legitimacy and diplomatic problems while marginalizing Palestinian rights, especially refugee rights.’

Grinstein also points out how Israel might use Hamas like a switch to avoid the OH NO not more peas talks in Paris

‘Since the Hamas victory in the January 2006 elections, there is not and cannot be a Palestinian partner to such a diplomatic process. On the one hand, a Palestine that includes Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel and existing agreements, cannot be a partner to negotiations on a final-status agreement. On the other hand, without Hamas, the Palestinian system lacks internal legitimacy, which prevents a historic concession. That’s why all the calls out of Washington, Brussels and Jerusalem for a renewal of talks between Israel and the Palestinians are hollow, and the negotiations that were conducted during the Annapolis process had no chance of success in the first place. ‘

The last paragraph is the most sinister:

”Despite Obama’s speeches, the diplomatic process will remain at a dead end as the moment of decision in September approaches. Then the United States will have another opportunity to do the right thing: to ensure that the establishment of a Palestinian state conforms to Israel’s needs.’

What the Reut Institute has been up to recently:

‘In the Palestinian arena, we continued to meet with members of the political, diplomatic, and security establishment, and also key figures of influence from other arenas. Of particular note, we have begun the process of mapping the vast and complex political-diplomatic terrain ahead of the expected September UN General Assembly declaration of an independent Palestinian state, and the likely Durban III conference taking in New York at the same time. ‘

What Res 377 MIGHT be used for, though, is in regard to Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. I’ve written previously about this here.

Significantly, this issue also comes up in September, so Grinstein is doubtless correct when he has determined the diplomatic process will remain at a dead end till near September.

I also wrote about Professor Francis Boyle’s interpretation of the use of 377 here.

Also relevant is Ali Abunimah’s piece here on the Palestinian BNC’s reaction to the declaration of a Palestinian state:

‘The statement emphasizes that however one feels about the issue of diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian “state,” the campaign to achieve such recognition cannot stand as a substitute for the global struggle for Palestinian rights in all their aspects. Here are some key passages with highlighting added:

” This September will mark the 20th anniversary of the start of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” that is widely recognized as a total failure, by any objective standard. This sham process has served as a cover for Israel’s intensive colonization of Palestinian lands, continued denial of Palestinian basic rights, and gradual ethnic cleaning of Palestinians, while simultaneously giving a false impression of peacemaking. In this context, the BNC welcomes the recognition of a great majority of states around the world that the Palestinian right to statehood and freedom from Israeli occupation are long overdue and should no longer to be held hostage to fanatically biased US “diplomacy” in defense of Israeli expansionism. However, recognition of Palestinian statehood is clearly insufficient, on its own, in bringing about a real end to Israel’s occupation and colonial rule. Neither will it end Israel’s decades-old system of legalized racial discrimination, which fits the UN definition of apartheid, or allow the millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes of origin from which they were violently uprooted and exiled.

Diplomatic recognition must result in protection of the inalienable right to self-determination of the entire Palestinian people represented by a democratized and inclusive PLO that represents not just Palestinians under occupation, but also the the exiled refugees, the majority of the Palestinian people, as well as the discriminated citizens of Israel.. For it to go beyond symbolism, this recognition must be a prelude to effective and sustained sanctions against Israel aimed at bringing about its full compliance with its obligations under international law. As shown in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, as well as in the current struggles for freedom and justice in the Arab region, world governments do not turn against a patently illegal and immoral regime of oppression simply on ethical grounds; economic interests and hegemonic power dynamics are far weightier in their considerations.”

The statement continues:

” The key lesson learned from South Africa is that, in order for world governments to end their complicity with Israel’s grave and persistent violations of human rights and international law, they must be compelled to do so through mass, well organized grassroots pressure by social movements and other components of civil society. In this context, BDS has proven to be the most potent and promising strategy of international solidarity with the Palestinian people in our struggle for self determination, freedom, justice and equality.

In light of the above, and inspired by the will and the power of the people which have given rise to the Arab spring, the BNC calls upon people of conscience and international solidarity groups to proceed with building a mass BDS movement in the US and elsewhere in the world’s most powerful countries before and after September. Only such a mass movement can ensure that whatever diplomatic recognition transpires at the UN in September on Palestinian statehood will advance the rights of the Palestinian people and raise the price of Israel’s occupation, colonialism and apartheid by further isolating it and those complicit in its crimes”.’

Dagan isn’t so popular. Netanyahu advisers accuse ex-Mossad chief of plot to topple PM

Channel 10 quoted sources close to Netanyahu as saying that Dagan had “gone crazy” and had “compromised state secrets” by speaking out against an Israeli attack on Iran.

Why else isn’t Dagan popular? Democracy, Israel Style

Just-recently retired Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who had already come out publicly in favor of the Ofers a day earlier, wrote an op-ed on Israel’s leading Internet portal, YNET, saying that it’s not illegal to trade with Iran (technically false, practically speaking sometimes true, depending on the whims of the authorities) and that Iran isn’t even considered an “enemy country” (false, it’s specifically referred to as such in several laws, including one that bans anyone who visited it from running for Knesset for seven years). Then, to change the subject and get the Ofers off the front pages, he went on to say it would be “stupid” to attack Iran and expressed grave concerns as to the judgment of PM Netanyahu* and Defense Minister Ehud Barak**. In addition, Dagan also said that Israel should have accepted the Saudi (Arab League) peace proposal, but then said that once it became an Arab League proposal it became “verboten”. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I know.

Palestine / Israel Links

Cosmetics firm LUSH endorses “Freedom for Palestine”
Turkish FM urges int’l community to warn Israel, not Turkey, on flotilla
Israel on high alert for possible border unrest
Wadi Rahal Village
Bishop questioning of Labor’s support for Israel answered

The Government could not support the part of Ms Bishop’s motion because it stated there was a “fraying of the traditionally bipartisan support amongst Australia’s political parties for the State of Israel”. This statement is false. Bipartisan support for the State of Israel is strong and undiminished. Israel is fully supported by the Government, and we are not aware of any fraying of support from the Opposition.

Government members today voted in favour of the following motion in Parliament today.

[The Parliament]

“(1) restates its support for the motion moved by the then Prime Minister and passed by this House on the sixtieth anniversary of the State of Israel, and in particular:

(a) acknowledges the unique relationship which exists between Australia and Israel, a bond highlighted by the commitment of both societies to the rights and liberty of our citizens and to cultural diversity;

(b) commends the State of Israel’s commitment to democracy, the rule of law and pluralism; and

(c) reiterates Australia’s commitment to Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and our continued support for a peaceful two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. ”

The motion should have had the word ‘unique’ changed for ‘special’ so it more closely aligned with the US commensalist position. Australia, the US, Canada and Israel – all settler colonial entities in denial of their ongoing genocide of their indigenous peoples. Israel differs from the rest of course in its ‘cultural diversity’ because there are no equal rights under the law in Israel – non-jews are discriminated against by more than 30 laws.
Can equality exist in the Jewish state?
After 44 years of occupation: where is the Israeli Peace Camp?

Israeli peace activists do not need to dictate to the Palestinians how to run their resistance; they have their own work to do.

If they are truly worried about a one state solution, they need to organise and take to the streets to protest Netanyahu’s fatal blow to the two-state solution and to force their government to change its course.

After 44 years of occupation, what are they still waiting for?

Demo starting in qalandia now
#qalandia before the demo. A lot of international press gathering at the checkpoint
Israelis banned from Turkish race

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