Dr. Neve Gordon, political science lecturer, Ben-Gurion University, Israel:
3.5 million Palestinians and almost half a million Jews live in the areas Israel occupied in 1967, and yet while these two groups live in the same area, they are subjected to totally different legal systems. The Palestinians are stateless and lack many of the most basic human rights. By sharp contrast, all Jews - whether they live in the occupied territories or in Israel - are citizens of the state of Israel.
It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call to suspend cooperation with Israel. The words and condemnations from the Obama administration and the European Union have yielded no results, not even a settlement freeze, let alone a decision to withdraw from the occupied territories.
Los Angeles Times op-ed, August 21, 2009.
He called Israel an "apartheid state" and said that Israel should be boycotted. He was met by the label "anti-Semitic." His university in Israel is being threatened with a funding cutoff by some Jews in America.
Well, the only thing is that everything in the quote above is true. What part isn't true? Everyone knows it's true. Obviously, the Israelis and American Likudniks are having a very difficult time following Frank Luntz's secret, leaked advice to them to stop denying the obvious, that it only makes those Likudniks look stupid.
As for boycotts, the Israelis are mulling over boycotting Swedish goods over allegations by Palestinians that Israel may be harvesting body parts from Palestinians they murder for that purpose. [UPDATE: Israelis are signing an online petition to boycott IKEA, which is a Swedish furniture retailer.] See my post from yesterday: CIA AND IDF MONSTERS FOR HIRE?
The whole affair is so sad. Why did any Jews ever want to return to Palestine only to use terrorism to ethnically clean the area of Arabs so those Jews could takeover? It was so wrong. Anyone who doesn't think so is sick. That's a fact.
What's the Christian position on economic boycotts? Everyone is free to buy or not to buy from whomever. It is up to the individual to decide as guided by the Holy Spirit. If the decision is to punish, it's not Christian.
No Christian for instance is under obligation to buy pornography just because some pornographer would be less well off financially.
Should the world starve the Israelis into submission? They would do that to others. In fact, many Iraqis, mostly children, perhaps as many as 500 thousand by some accounts, died on account of the Food for Oil economic sanctions against Iraq, which sanctions were supported by the Israeli government. The Israeli government right now believes that Iran should be cutoff, blockaded from trade including in food. Nevertheless, the world should not do to Israel what Israel is willing and desirous to do to others. It's not Christian.
Can a person stop buying Israeli goods from rightwing Israeli businesses? Yes they can, not to punish or to starve or the like but to disassociate.
By the way, the Wikipedia statement as follows:
Under 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (EAA), it is illegal for US citizens to participate in boycotts imposed by foreign countries that are not sanctioned by the United States. Accordingly, the Arab League boycott of Israel is illegal for U.S. citizens.
is incorrect, as the amendment is unconstitutional. Anyone in the United States is free to buy or not to buy from any "legal" company anywhere in the world as his or her conscience sees fit. The United States can stop someone from buying illegal goods, but it cannot force the purchase of legal goods based solely upon the country of origin. If you don't want to buy French wine, no one can make you regardless of whether any other nation boycotts French wine or not. The same holds for Israeli goods.
If you don't want to buy Israeli goods for religious reasons, there is nothing the U.S. federal government can do to legally force you or to punish you for not doing so. Don't listen to fascist interpretations of the Bill of Rights.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)