Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Boycott of Israeli settlements would shatter United Church’s credibility - The Globe and Mail

It would be difficult to get more wrong with regard to Israeli/Palestinians relations then this story does:

Boycott of Israeli settlements would shatter United Church’s credibility - The Globe and Mail:

Again, one is left wondering ... does anyone actually proof read material that The Globe puts out?  Some quick points:

1. A boycott of goods from Israeli settlements in the occupied  territories is not a boycott of Israel. It is from specific settlements that are beyond the UN partition line (a line of legitimacy that the story itself even recognizes as setting the legal boundaries of Israel).

2. The proposed boycott is not an attack on Israel or the Jewish community but a statement that the forced occupation and resettlement of someone else's land is wrong (it is wrong with Canadians do it to Original Peoples; it is wrong when Israelis do it to Palestinians.

3. This piece makes reference to the "Canadian consensus" on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Does this include the return of Palestinian refugees  to Israel, which is something that Canada worked for for years or the two state solution (which would involve grappling with illegal settlements in the occupied territories)? The author ignores these because this supposed "Canadian consensus" to which the author refers is really Harper's hard line. Its new and not representative of the diversity of views of Canadians on this issue.

4. Why homogenize the Jewish community. Many Jews deeply desire peace and recognize the problems of Palestinians in the occupied territories. In other words, Jews in Canada and elsewhere are not of a single mind. Supporting Israel, many recognize, does not mean unquestioningly accepting everything the government of Israel does. It does not mean rejecting the legitimate concerns and claims of Palestinians.

5. Palestinians reject the legitimacy of Israel: this old line that is dragged up every time there is a discusion of Israeli policy is really annoying because, frankly, its a lie. And, I'm tired of pro-Israeli people propagating this lie. Sure, there is an extremist section of the Palestinian population that rejects Israel's legitimacy. In exactly the same way there is an extremist section of the Israeli population that rejects the legitimacy of Palestinian claims. These are extremes. This matter was settled ages ago. The vast majority of legitimate spokespeople for Palestinians accept Israel and are willing to negotiate with its government to explore peace options. To disguise this fact; to neglect it ... well ... is either a lie or a lie of omission. I'll leave it to the author to decide.

What is really sad in all this is that Canada used to play a constructive role in the Middle East. Alas ...  

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