Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy

On October 9th, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he plans to support his coalition’s initiative to boycott the Joint List, the third largest party in the Knesset. The move, initiated by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, is aimed at punishing the party’s decision not to go to former President Shimon Peres’s funeral, which was attended by dignitaries from no less than 70 countries, including US President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “Members of the Joint List have proven that there’s no point anymore in discussing anything or even arguing with them,” Lieberman averred, while adding “that we must decide to boycott all their appearances and addresses in the Knesset.”

Speaking on Israeli Channel 2, the head of the Joint Arab List, Ayman Odeh, explained that Peres’s funeral was part of a “national day of mourning in which I have no place; not in the narrative, not in the symbols that exclude me, not in the stories of Peres as a man who built up Israel’s defenses.” He went on to recall scenes in Peres’ long public career: from his role in the military government imposed on Israel’s Palestinian citizens in 1948-1966, through his pivotal role in obtaining Israel’s nuclear arsenal, to the IDF’s 1996 attack on a UN compound in the Lebanese village Qana, where 106 civilians were killed. He even cited Peres’s failure to attend Arafat’s funeral (with whom he had won the Nobel Peace Prize), or, indeed, of any other Israeli-Arab leader.

Perhaps because he did not think the Israeli public could stomach it, Odeh did not mention that Peres was a colonist through and through. In documents recently revealed, Peres is quoted as saying that he does not believe in an “Arafat state” and that Jordan is the only Palestinian state, while bemoaning the existence of Palestinian citizens in the Galilei. “I see how they eat up the Galilei and my heart bleeds,” he told former Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a 1978 meeting between the two. Much more recently, Peres went so far as to maintain that “Israel Defense Force operations enabled economic prosperity in the West Bank, relieved southern Lebanese citizens from the terror of Hezbollah, and have enabled Gazans to have normal lives again.” Indeed, until his death he was the paradigmatic voice of the colonial civilizing mission.

During the same Channel 2 interview, however, Odeh did point out to his Israeli Jewish audience that the following Saturday the Arab-Israeli community would be marking the 16th anniversary of the October 2000 riots in which 13 citizens of the community were killed by police during a series of demonstrations protesting Israel actions against Palestinians at the outset of the Second Intifada. “Will anyone from the government attend?” Odeh pondered; “Can someone understand our pain or does our pain not interest anybody?”

Notwithstanding Odeh’s candid effort to expose Israel’s racist approach toward its Palestinian citizens, Netanyahu’s coalition is determined to boycott the Joint Arab List.

Ironically, this is the same coalition that has been outspoken against the adoption of the boycott strategy as a legitimate non-violent political tool to struggle against Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinian people. Indeed, Netanyahu’s government is currently spending millions and millions of dollars to combat the Palestinian boycott movement, while criminalizing anyone who dare to support it publically. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced the formation of a committee to prevent BDS activists from entering the country, and to deport those already in Israel/Palestine.

Boycotting Israel’s colonial project is anti-Semitic, Netanyahu and his cronies assert, as they boycott the Palestinian leaders who dared not pay final respect to Peres.  They are so captivated by their twisted logic, that the irony is lost on them.

This article first appeared in Al Jazeera

More articles by:

Neve Gordon is a Leverhulme Visiting Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies and the co-author of The Human Right to Dominate.

October 17, 2018
John Steppling
Before the Law
James McEnteer
Larry Summers Trips Out
Frank Stricker
Wages Rising? 
Muhammad Othman
What You Can Do About the Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
Binoy Kampmark
Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson
Karen J. Greenberg
Justice Derailed: From Gitmo to Kavanaugh
John Feffer
Why is the Radical Right Still Winning?
Dan Corjescu
Green Tsunami in Bavaria?
Rohullah Naderi
Why Afghan Girls Are Out of School?
George Ochenski
You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
Cesar Chelala
Is China Winning the War for Africa?
Mel Gurtov
Getting Away with Murder
W. T. Whitney
Colombian Lawyer Diego Martinez Needs Solidarity Now
Dean Baker
Nothing to Brag About: Scott Walker’s Economic Record in Wisconsin:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail