The necessary logic behind boycotting Israel

Phil Weiss on Mondoweiss articulates what many of us are feeling, as human beings and Jews:

I am for boycott because I have many times observed conditions under military occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and Gaza that reflect apartheid policies effected by Israel. I have seen ethnic cleansing, village demolitions, collective punishment, suppression of demonstrations, confiscation of land, hateful checkpoint systems fit for livestock, and violent targeting of civilians, and all these policies carried out on an ethnic basis. If you were Jewish, it wouldn’t be happening to you. If you were Jewish, you would be able to go to the Mediterranean Sea that you can see from your rooftop. But you’re not Jewish, so you can’t get out of the West Bank. Noam Sheizaf and Henry Siegman have both stated that Palestinians have no rights in the West Bank; and they are two Jewish writers. Palestinians who experience these conditions go further. Whenever I visit Palestine, I spend a lot of my time weeping; and I reflect that I have supported boycott in conditions that were less oppressive– California migrant harvests, for instance.

The conditions I’ve observed are revolutionary conditions: they are the tinder of violent uprising and annihilationist dreams. Any people subject to these conditions would take up arms. I know that New Yorkers would. And Palestinians have taken up arms many times, and violence has never served them. And that is why I am for boycott. Boycott is painful but it is nonviolent. And we need a nonviolent solution to the tyranny that exists in Palestine. A nonviolent solution is highly unlikely, but it is the best hope; and boycott has the potential to isolate and punish the Israeli regime in such a way that it might begin to transform itself, and that international human-rights norms will at last apply.

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